Definition of "rhetorical" []

  • Of or relating to rhetoric. (adjective)
  • Characterized by overelaborate or bombastic rhetoric. (adjective)
  • Used for persuasive effect: a speech punctuated by rhetorical pauses. (adjective)
  • Concerned with effect or style rather than content or meaning; bombastic (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Of or relating to rhetoric or oratory (adjective) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "rhetorical" in a sentence
  • "My friend Gary periodically performs what he calls "rhetorical surgery" on himself, excising from his vocabulary a word that feels drained of all meaning."
  • "BASH: After Republican Jeff Sessions asked nearly a dozen questions about her controversial comment that a wise Latina woman could make a better judgment, Sotomayor backed off what she called a rhetorical flourish that fell flat."
  • "You are what we call a rhetorical thug when it comes to this whole issue of patriotism."