verb (used without object)

  1. to speak aloud in an oratorical manner; make a formal speech: Brutus declaimed from the steps of the Roman senate building.
  2. to inveigh (usually followed by against): He declaimed against the high rents in slums.
  3. to speak or write for oratorical effect, as without sincerity or sound argument.

verb (used with object)

  1. to utter aloud in an oratorical manner: to declaim a speech.


  1. to make (a speech, statement, etc) loudly and in a rhetorical manner
  2. to speak lines from (a play, poem, etc) with studied eloquence; recite
  3. (intr foll by against) to protest (against) loudly and publicly

late 14c., from Middle French déclamer and directly from Latin declamare “to practice public speaking, to bluster,” from de- intensive prefix + clamare “to cry, shout” (see claim (v.)). At first in English spelled declame, but altered under influence of claim. Related: Declaimed; declaiming.

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