Definition of declaim
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
: 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
declamationplay \ˌde-klə-ˈmā-shən\ noun
Examples of declaim in a Sentence
The actress declaimed her lines with passion.
The speakers declaimed on a variety of issues.
Recent Examples of declaim from the Web
Green’s script is truffled with cosmic aphorisms that the lovers declaim and that a villainous conductor named the Unnamable (the great character actor Denis Podalydès) spews forth with wicked glee.
This was declaimed by Ed Yardeni, chief economist for Deutsche Bank Securities, before a crowded hotel ballroom.
Poets are declaiming their works before large, theater-size audiences in the cities and on the campuses.
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.
DECLAIM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of declaim for English Language Learners
: to say (something) in usually a loud and formal way
Seen and Heard
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