- (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
- the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
- the study of the effective use of language.
- the ability to use language effectively.
- the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
- the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
- (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.
- (in older use) a work on rhetoric.
- the study of the technique of using language effectively
- the art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please; oratory
- excessive use of ornamentation and contrivance in spoken or written discourse; bombast
- speech or discourse that pretends to significance but lacks true meaningall the politician says is mere rhetoric
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).