Word of the Day

Thursday, March 31, 2005


\mag-NIL-uh-kwent\ , adjective;
Lofty or grandiose in speech or expression; using a high-flown style of discourse; bombastic.
Stevens did for American poetic language what Saul Bellow was to do for prose, extending its boundaries, taking in the magniloquent, the arcane, the plainspoken, the gaudy, the low-rent.
-- Algis Valiunas, "Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose", Commentary, January 1, 1998
A feature of Young's intellectual project is to incorporate the Elizabethan delight in metaphors both decorous and indecorous, constantly embellishing her prose with a poetic juxtaposition of the grand with the prosaic, "a constant alternation of the magniloquent and the colloquial."
-- Constance Eichenlaub, "Marguerite Young", Review of Contemporary Fiction, June 22, 2000
Although Napoleon presented himself as "the Enlightenment embodied, bringing rationality and justice to peoples hitherto ruled in the interests of privileged castes," and although he may even have believed to some degree in the image he presented, the reality of his rule belied the magniloquent professions of moral generosity.
-- Algis Valiunas, "The ashes of Napoleon", Commentary, June 1, 2002
Shannon, doubling as NSBA's executive director over that time, has taken wicked delight in delivering new vocabulary in his sometimes magniloquent columns about the workings of local school boards.
-- "Thomas A. Shannon", School Administrator, April 1996
Magniloquent is derived from Latin magniloquentia, from magnus, "great" + the present participle of loqui, "to speak."
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