What does rhetorical question mean?

Definitions for rhetorical question

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word rhetorical question.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rhetorical question(noun)

    a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered

    "he liked to make his points with rhetorical questions"


  1. rhetorical question(Noun)

    A question posed only for dramatic or persuasive effect.

  2. rhetorical question(Noun)

    A question to which the asker does not expect an answer.


  1. Rhetorical question

    A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question that is asked in order to make a point. The question is used as a rhetorical device, posed for the sake of encouraging its listener to consider a message or viewpoint. Though these are technically questions, they do not always require a question mark. For example, the question "Can't you do anything right?" is asked not to gain information about the ability of the person being spoken to, but rather to insinuate that the person always fails. While sometimes amusing and even humorous, rhetorical questions are rarely meant for pure, comedic effect. A carefully crafted question can, if delivered well, persuade an audience to believe in the position of the speaker. In simple terms, it is a question asked more to produce an effect than to summon an answer.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of rhetorical question in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of rhetorical question in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. The Spokesman-Review:

    I was being rhetorical, because I was trying to make the point that equalizing a colonoscopy to this particular procedure was apples and oranges, so I was asking a rhetorical question that was designed to make her say that they weren't the same thing, and she did so. It was the response I wanted.

Images & Illustrations of rhetorical question

  1. rhetorical questionrhetorical questionrhetorical question

Translations for rhetorical question

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for rhetorical question »


Find a translation for the rhetorical question definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these rhetorical question definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"rhetorical question." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/rhetorical question>.

Are we missing a good definition for rhetorical question? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for rhetorical question:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.