declaim

verb de·claim \ di-ˈklām , dē- \

Definition of declaim

intransitive verb
1 :to speak rhetorically
  • speakers declaimed on a variety of issues
; specifically :to recite something as an exercise in elocution
2 :to speak pompously or bombastically :harangue
  • In presence of this historical fact it is foolish to declaim about natural rights …
  • —V. L. Parrington
transitive verb
:to deliver rhetorically
  • an actor declaiming his lines
  • "I am a German citizen," she declaimed as if she had been practicing these lines …
  • —André A. Aciman
; specifically :to recite in elocution
  • … all these people declaiming selections from Shakespeare.
  • —Ellen Glasgow

declaimer

noun

declamation

play \ˌde-klə-ˈmā-shən\ noun

Examples of declaim in a Sentence

  1. The actress declaimed her lines with passion.

  2. The speakers declaimed on a variety of issues.

Recent Examples of declaim from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'declaim.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

When Should You Use declaim?

Declaiming suggests an unnatural style of speech best suited to a stage or podium. Listening to an actor declaim a passage in a Shakespeare play can be enjoyable. Listening to Aunt Ida at Sunday dinner declaiming on the virtues of roughage might not be. Most people don't appreciate being treated as an audience, and good advice is usually more welcome when it's not given in a declamatory style.

Origin and Etymology of declaim

Middle English declamen, from Latin declamare, from de- + clamare to cry out; akin to Latin calare to call — more at low


DECLAIM Defined for English Language Learners

declaim

verb

Definition of declaim for English Language Learners

  • : to say (something) in usually a loud and formal way



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to praise usually to excess

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