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euphuism

[yoo-fyoo-iz-uh m] /ˈyu fyuˌɪz əm/
noun
1.
an affected style in imitation of that of Lyly, fashionable in England about the end of the 16th century, characterized chiefly by long series of antitheses and frequent similes relating to mythological natural history, and alliteration.
Compare Euphues.
2.
any similar ornate style of writing or speaking; high-flown, periphrastic language.
Origin of euphuism
1590-1600
1590-1600; Euphu(es) + -ism
Related forms
euphuist, noun
euphuistic, euphuistical, adjective
euphuistically, adverb
Can be confused
euphemism, euphuism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for euphuism
Historical Examples
  • And so, though we cannot say that euphuism is verse, we can say that it partakes of the nature of verse.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • Equally unsatisfactory is the theory that euphuism was of purely Spanish origin.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • There is more than a touch of euphuism in Stevenson; he was never insincere, but he was consciously fine.

    Essays on Modern Novelists William Lyon Phelps
  • With euphuism, antithesis and the use of balanced sentences came to stay.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • euphuism, as the jargon is called, has been described many times; it was the first effort in English towards ornament in speech.

    Great Ralegh Hugh De Selincourt
  • The cry of art for art's sake is raised, and the result is extravagance, euphuism.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • Assamese follows Bengali in its accentuation, but the language has never been the toy of euphuism.

  • Child, pp. 6–20, for an account of chief writers who have dealt with euphuism.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • In the first place it appears that the part played by Berners in the history of euphuism has been considerably under-estimated.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • It was a euphuism to speak of a fling at you: it was a kick.

British Dictionary definitions for euphuism

euphuism

/ˈjuːfjuːˌɪzəm/
noun
1.
an artificial prose style of the Elizabethan period, marked by extreme use of antithesis, alliteration, and extended similes and allusions
2.
any stylish affectation in speech or writing, esp a rhetorical device or expression
Derived Forms
euphuist, noun
euphuistic, euphuistical, adjective
euphuistically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: after Euphues, prose romance by John Lyly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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15
18
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