noun \ˈdik-shən\

: the clearness of a person's speech

: the way in which words are used in speech or writing

Full Definition of DICTION

obsolete :  verbal description
:  choice of words especially with regard to correctness, clearness, or effectiveness
a :  vocal expression :  enunciation
b :  pronunciation and enunciation of words in singing
dic·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
dic·tion·al·ly \-ē\ adverb

Examples of DICTION

  1. The actor's diction was so poor I could hardly understand what he was saying.
  2. The student's essay was full of careless diction.
  3. He has wisely chosen to render almost all the material in what novelists and writers of creative nonfiction like to call close third person, approximating the diction and consciousness of his characters but retaining the freedom to wander into the bigger picture. —Thomas Mallon, New York Times Book Review, 22 Feb. 2009

Origin of DICTION

Latin diction-, dictio speaking, style, from dicere to say; akin to Old English tēon to accuse, Latin dicare to proclaim, dedicate, Greek deiknynai to show, dikē judgment, right
First Known Use: 1581

Rhymes with DICTION


Next Word in the Dictionary: dictionary
Previous Word in the Dictionary: dictiest
All Words Near: diction

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up diction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).