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rhetorical

adjective

  1. (pertaining adjective)  of or relating to rhetoric
  2. (general adjective)  given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought
    Similar to: bombastic, empurpled, flowery, forensic, grandiloquent, oratorical, poetical, stylistic

Etymology summary

Middle English rethorik, from Anglo-French rethorique, from Latin rhetorica,...
(Source: Merriam-Webster)  [more]

Definition references  (+images)

Wikipedia:

Rhetoric

the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the capability of writers or speakers that attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric... (40 of 15849 words, 5 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Rhetoric

Collins Dictionary:

rhetorical | bombastic [synonym, sense-specific] | rhetorically [adverb, derived]

concerned with effect or style rather than content or meaning; bombastic | of or relating to rhetoric or oratory (18 of 395 words, 2 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/rhetorical

Merriam-Webster:

rhetorical | bombastic [synonym, sense-specific] | flatulent [synonym, sense-specific] | fustian [synonym, sense-specific] | gaseous [synonym, sense-specific] | gassy [synonym, sense-specific] | oratorical [synonym, sense-specific] | orotund [synonym, sense-specific] | windy [synonym, sense-specific] | ...

of, relating to, or concerned with rhetoric ; employed for rhetorical effect ; especially, asked merely for effect with no answer expected | given to ... (24 of 310 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/rhetorical

Oxford Dictionary:

rhetorical | rhetorically [derived]

relating to or concerned with the art of rhetoric | expressed in terms intended to persuade or impress | (of a question) asked in order to produce an ... (26 of 103 words, 3 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/rhetorical

Macmillan British Dictionary:

rhetorical

relating to a style of speaking or writing that is effective or intended to influence people | written or spoken in a way that is impressive but is ... (27 of 51 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/rhetorical

Wiktionary:

rhetorical

Part of or similar to rhetoric, which is the use of language as a means to persuade. | Not earnest, or presented only for the purpose of an argument (28 of 38 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/rhetorical

Random House Dictionary:

rhetorical

used for, belonging to, or concerned with mere style or effect. | marked by or tending to use bombast. | of, concerned with, or having the nature of ... (26 of 36 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/rhetorical

Cambridge Dictionary:

rhetorical | rhetorically [adverb, derived]

describes speech or writing which is intended to seem important or influence people (13 of 35 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/rhetorical

New World Dictionary:

rhetorical | rhetorically [adverb, related]

of, having the nature of, or according to rhetoric | using or characterized by mere rhetoric, or artificial eloquence; showy and elaborate in style (23 of 29 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/rhetorical

American Heritage Dictionary:

rhetorical | rhetorically [adverb, related]

Of or relating to rhetoric. | Characterized by overelaborate or bombastic rhetoric. | Used for persuasive effect (15 of 27 words, 3 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/rhetorical

Encarta Dictionary:

rhetorical | rhetorically [adverb, derived]

relating to the skill of using language effectively and persuasively | relating to or using language that is elaborate or fine-sounding but insincere (22 of 40 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861702500​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Merriam-Webster:

rhetorical

First use: 14th century

Origin: Middle English rethorik, from Anglo-French rethorique, from Latin rhetorica, from Greek rhētorikē, literally, art of ... (17 of 34 etymology words)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/rhetorical

Oxford Dictionary:

rhetorical

Origin: late Middle English (first used in the sense "eloquently expressed"): via Latin from Greek rhētorikos (from rhētor "rhetor") + "-al"

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/rhetorical

Online Etymology:

rhetorical

First use: late 15th century

Origin: "eloquent", from Latin rhetoricus. Meaning "pertaining to rhetoric" is from 1520s. Rhetorical question is from 1843.

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=rhetorical

Wiktionary:

rhetorical

Origin: Latin rhētoricus, from Ancient Greek ῥητορικός (rhētorikos, "concerning public speaking").

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/rhetorical

Audio references

Wiktionary:

rhetorical

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "rhetorical"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/rhetorical

Collins Dictionary:

rhetorical

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "rhetorical"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/rhetorical

Macmillan British Dictionary:

rhetorical

Audio: British English pronunciation of "rhetorical"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/rhetorical

Macmillan American Dictionary:

rhetorical

Audio: North American pronunciation of "rhetorical"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/rhetorical

Cambridge Dictionary:

rhetorical

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "rhetorical"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "rhetorical"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/rhetorical

the Free Dictionary:

rhetorical

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "rhetorical"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "rhetorical"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "rhetorical" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/rhetorical

Google Dictionary:

rhetorical

Audio: English pronunciation of "rhetorical"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=rhetorical

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

rhetorical

Audio: North American pronunciation of "rhetorical"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=rhetor​04 word=rhetorical

YourDictionary Audio:

rhetorical

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "rhetorical" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/rhetorical

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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