Elocution | Definition of Elocution by Merriam-Webster


el·​o·​cu·​tion | \ ˌe-lə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce elocution (audio) \

Definition of elocution

1 : a style of speaking especially in public
2 : the art of effective public speaking

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Other Words from elocution

elocutionary \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈkyü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce elocution (audio) \ adjective
elocutionist \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈkyü-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce elocution (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for elocution


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Examples of elocution in a Sentence

He took lessons in elocution. the oft-told story that he practiced elocution by learning to speak with a mouth full of pebbles
Recent Examples on the Web Young Flori, attracted to the stage, took elocution lessons to suppress a Brooklyn accent that might have limited her acting career and studied drama at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now known as Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Flori Roberts Created a Cosmetics Line for Dark Skin," 22 Dec. 2020 Margaret Thatcher's Voice Thatcher's distinctive timbre is often traced back to elocution lessons that the Conservative Party leader received during the middle of her career. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's What Margaret Thatcher's Voice Really Sounded Like, Since Everyone Wants to Know," 27 Nov. 2020 Later come elocution lessons, with a rope tied around Diana’s waist to keep her from moving her arms while speaking. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "A Royally Candid Interview with The Crown's Emma Corrin, Josh O'Connor, and Emerald Fennell," 21 Oct. 2020 Matheson and Solomon were the original Bill and Ted, and the floral elocution the inventors imagined for their characters was a pastiche of Peter Sellars, Damon Runyon, and the sunny SoCal drawl of San Dimas, where high-school football ruled. Devin Gordon, The Atlantic, "Bill and Ted Meet Their Destiny," 28 Aug. 2020 But through the wizardry of Lerner’s prose, this battle of adolescent elocution becomes an emblem for the fiery state of American culture. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Ben Lerner’s brilliant new novel, ‘The Topeka School,’ captures America’s brutal divisions," 7 Oct. 2019 The elocution is a vocal step away from the original literary character, Victorian English Doctor John Dolittle, originally concocted by author Hugh Lofting while serving in the World War I trenches with the British army. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Dolittle': Why Robert Downey Jr. dares to talk to the animals ... with a Welsh accent," 15 Jan. 2020 In general in Korea, great acting is often associated with the voice and elocution. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Bong Joon-ho on Enlisting South Korea's "Everyman" Superstar for 'Parasite'," 8 Sep. 2019 In preparation, the contestants go through a training period that involves such eclectic studies as performance art, rap music, and elocution. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "The documentary side of MFA French fest," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elocution.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elocution

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for elocution

Middle English ellocucioun "oratorical or literary style," borrowed from Latin ēlocūtiōn-, ēlocūtiō "expression of an idea in words, manner of expressing oneself," from ēlocū-, variant stem of ēloquī "to utter, put into words" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at eloquent

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Time Traveler for elocution

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The first known use of elocution was in the 15th century

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Statistics for elocution

Last Updated

27 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elocution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elocution. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce elocution (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of elocution

formal : the study of how to speak clearly and in a way that is effective and socially acceptable


el·​o·​cu·​tion | \ ˌe-lə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce elocution (audio) \

Kids Definition of elocution

: the art of reading or speaking clearly and effectively in public

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