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rhetoric

[ret-er-ik] /ˈrɛt ər ɪk/
noun
1.
(in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
2.
the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
3.
the study of the effective use of language.
4.
the ability to use language effectively.
5.
the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
6.
the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
7.
(in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.
8.
(in older use) a work on rhetoric.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; < Latin rhētorica < Greek rhētorikḕ (téchnē) rhetorical (art); replacing Middle English rethorik < Medieval Latin rēthorica, Latin rhētorica, as above
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rhetorics
  • My guess is that nothing will really happen, besides some empty rhetorics.
British Dictionary definitions for rhetorics

rhetoric

/ˈrɛtərɪk/
noun
1.
the study of the technique of using language effectively
2.
the art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please; oratory
3.
excessive use of ornamentation and contrivance in spoken or written discourse; bombast
4.
speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaning: all the politician says is mere rhetoric
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek rhētorikē (tekhnē) (the art of) rhetoric, from rhētōrrhetor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for rhetorics

rhetoric

n.

early 14c., from Old French rethorique, from Latin rhetorice, from Greek rhetorike techne "art of an orator," from rhetor (genitive rhetoros) "speaker, orator, teacher of rhetoric," related to rhesis "speech," rhema "word, phrase, verb," literally "that which is spoken," from PIE *wre-tor-, from root *were- "to speak" (cf. Old English word, Latin verbum, Greek eirein "to say;" see verb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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