rhetorical question

noun
a question asked solely to produce an effect or to make an assertion and not to elicit a reply, as “What is so rare as a day in June?”

Origin:
1835–45

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World English Dictionary
rhetorical question
 
n
a question to which no answer is required: used esp for dramatic effect. An example is Who knows? (with the implication Nobody knows)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

rhetorical question definition


A question posed without expectation of an answer but merely as a way of making a point: “You don't expect me to go along with that crazy scheme, do you?”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

rhetorical question

A question asked without expecting an answer but for the sake of emphasis or effect. The expected answer is usually "yes" or "no." For example, Can we improve the quality of our work? That's a rhetorical question. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Unfortunately, there is a good answer to this last rhetorical question.
It's presented as a rhetorical question, but the answer is easy enough.
He had a habit of asking his interlocutors-and himself-a rhetorical question,
  then answering it.
That's an actual, non-rhetorical question, by the way.
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