dec·​la·​ma·​tion | \ ˌde-klə-'mā-shən How to pronounce declamation (audio) \
plural declamations

Definition of declamation

1 : the act or an instance of declaiming : a rhetorical speech, oration, or harangue During her declamation Eustacia held her head erect, and spoke as roughly as she could, feeling pretty secure from observation.— Thomas Hardy Flaubert invited a small party of friends … to a private reading—or, rather, a declamation, for he liked to bray his work at the top of his lungs—that lasted for ten hours.— Judith Thurman Iacocca talks nonstop, like the salesman he is. If not for the humor and the regular flashes of common sense, his declamations would be rants.— Kurt Andersen
2a : the art or practice of rhetorical speaking or recitation as an exercise in elocution Higher education was exclusively devoted to debate and declamation and was in the hands of a rhetor, a specialist teacher of public speaking.— Anthony Everitt
b : a recitation of a speech or poem in a way that demonstrates one's elocution His moving declamation of the Rupert Brooke poem 'The Soldier' at Armistice Day celebrations on Friday … confirmed his ability to inhabit the two roles of Royal figurehead and private man.— Tom Sykes

First Known Use of declamation

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of declamation was in 1523

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Cite this Entry

“Declamation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on declamation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for declamation

Britannica English: Translation of declamation for Arabic Speakers


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