Advertisement - Continue reading below

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)

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.

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."