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

Examples of declamation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the whole show is well cast and performed, and even when the action feels overly constructed or declamatory — and there is a rash of declamation toward the season’s end — there is something or someone pleasing to latch onto. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2023 But don’t confuse Iggy’s rant or its wild musicality as a return to Stooges-like raucousness and institutional declamation for nostalgia. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 6 Jan. 2023 His sound world is brooding, with grimly hovering drones, enhanced by electronic effects, under heated declamation. New York Times, 12 July 2022 Musical declamation of the kind usual in the narrative and dialogue parts of opera and oratorio, sung in the rhythm of ordinary speech with many words on the same note: singing in recitative. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, 23 Jan. 2022 At the conclusion of his proud, if not defiant, presentation, a transfixed room roared in applause as Churchill was awarded the declamation prize. Tod Worner, National Review, 17 Oct. 2021 The music-making ranged from hushed reverie to hard-driving declamation, with Ward’s sometimes piercing, sometimes tender saxophone lines as focal point. Howard Reich,, 27 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'declamation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of declamation was in 1523

Dictionary Entries Near declamation

Cite this Entry

“Declamation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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