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.
Did You Know?
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
First Known Use: 14th century
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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