What does rhetoric mean?

Definitions for rhetoricˈrɛt ər ɪk

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word rhetoric.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rhetoric(noun)

    using language effectively to please or persuade

  2. grandiosity, magniloquence, ornateness, grandiloquence, rhetoric(noun)

    high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation

    "the grandiosity of his prose"; "an excessive ornateness of language"

  3. palaver, hot air, empty words, empty talk, rhetoric(noun)

    loud and confused and empty talk

    "mere rhetoric"

  4. rhetoric(noun)

    study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially in public speaking)


  1. rhetoric(Noun)

    The art of using language, especially public speaking, as a means to persuade.

  2. rhetoric(Noun)

    Meaningless language with an exaggerated style intended to impress.

    Itu2019s only so much rhetoric.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Rhetoric(noun)

    the art of composition; especially, elegant composition in prose

  2. Rhetoric(noun)

    oratory; the art of speaking with propriety, elegance, and force

  3. Rhetoric(noun)

    hence, artificial eloquence; fine language or declamation without conviction or earnest feeling

  4. Rhetoric(noun)

    fig. : The power of persuasion or attraction; that which allures or charms

  5. Origin: [F. rhtorique, L. rhetorica, Gr. (sc. ), fr. rhetorical, oratorical, fr. orator, rhetorician; perhaps akin to E. word; cf. to say.]


  1. Rhetoric

    Rhetoric is 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 has played a central role in the Western tradition. Its best known definition comes from Aristotle, who considers it a counterpart of both logic and politics, and calls it "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion." Rhetorics typically provide heuristics for understanding, discovering, and developing arguments for particular situations, such as Aristotle's three persuasive audience appeals, logos, pathos, and ethos. The five canons of rhetoric, which trace the traditional tasks in designing a persuasive speech, were first codified in classical Rome: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Along with grammar and logic, rhetoric is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. From ancient Greece to the late 19th century, it was a central part of Western education, filling the need to train public speakers and writers to move audiences to action with arguments. The word is derived from the Greek ῥητορικός, "oratorical", from ῥήτωρ, "public speaker", related to ῥῆμα, "that which is said or spoken, word, saying", and ultimately derived from the verb λέγω, "to speak, say".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Rhetoric

    ret′or-ik, n. the theory and practice of eloquence, whether spoken or written, the whole art of using language so as to persuade others: the art of speaking with propriety, elegance, and force: artificial oratory: declamation.—adj. Rhetor′ical, pertaining to rhetoric: oratorical.—adv. Rhetor′ically.—v.i. Rhetor′icāte (obs.), to act the orator.—ns. Rhetoricā′tion (obs.); Rhetori′cian, one who teaches the art of rhetoric: an orator.—v.i. Rhet′orise, to play the orator. [Fr.,—L. rhetorica (ars)—Gr. rhētorikē (technē), the rhetorical (art)—rhētōr, a public speaker—erein, to speak.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Rhetoric

    the science or art of persuasive or effective speech, written as well as spoken, and that both in theory and practice was cultivated to great perfection among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and to some extent in the Middle Ages and later, but is much less cultivated either as a science or an art to-day.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    Language in a dress suit.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of rhetoric in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of rhetoric in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Rick Santorum:

    The rhetoric and the policy do not match.

  2. Jeff Essmann:

    I think it's time for that rhetoric to end.

  3. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner:

    This is the worst kind of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

  4. Giovano Ghizoni:

    To say the currency will save us is just rhetoric.

  5. Samuel Kimeu:

    The rhetoric suggests he is serious. The actions don't match.

Images & Illustrations of rhetoric

  1. rhetoricrhetoricrhetoric

Translations for rhetoric

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • rétorika, řečnictví, floskuleCzech
  • retorik, velformuleret, kancellistilDanish
  • RhetorikGerman
  • retóricaSpanish
  • بلاغتPersian
  • retoriikka, puhetaitoFinnish
  • rhétoriqueFrench
  • roscaireacht, reitricIrish
  • वक्रपटुताHindi
  • հռետորաբանությունArmenian
  • retorica, redekunde, retoriekDutch
  • retóricaPortuguese
  • фразёрство, пустосло́вие, красноре́чие, рито́рика, пустозво́нство, красноба́йство, словоблу́дие, риторикаRussian
  • gòvōrnīštvo, retòrikaSerbo-Croatian
  • рето́рикаUkrainian
  • بیاناتUrdu
  • 修辭Chinese

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"rhetoric." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 25 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/rhetoric>.

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