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rhetorical question

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?”.
1835-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rhetorical question
  • 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.
  • Given the information that her book uncovers, this a purely rhetorical question.
  • Permit me the luxury of answering a rhetorical question.
  • The lecturer, as lecturers are wont to do, poses a rhetorical question.
  • After almost every line of dialogue, she repeats herself or asks a rhetorical question.
  • The answer to her rhetorical question, it seems, is to try to redefine the school.
  • If you prefer, consider it a statement rather than a rhetorical question.
British Dictionary definitions for rhetorical question

rhetorical question

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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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rhetorical question in Culture

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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Idioms and Phrases with rhetorical question

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® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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