elocution

noun

el·​o·​cu·​tion ˌe-lə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce elocution (audio)
1
: a style of speaking especially in public
2
: the art of effective public speaking
elocutionary adjective
elocutionist noun

Example Sentences

He took lessons in elocution. the oft-told story that he practiced elocution by learning to speak with a mouth full of pebbles
Recent Examples on the Web The good-humoredness of warrior M’Baku (Winston Duke), with his calm elocution and handsome furs, can only get you so far. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2022 The Westeros public gave her the name the Realm's Delight — but instead of busying her days with needlework and elocution classes, Rhaenyra serves as her father's cupbearer and rides dragons. Nick Romano, EW.com, 13 July 2022 Following her family’s move to a somewhat more upscale area, she is sent for elocution lessons as part of the transition. Clea Simon, BostonGlobe.com, 23 June 2022 Swallowing her consternation, Anna persists with giving the boy twice-weekly elocution lessons at her apartment, without ever addressing their past encounter. Guy Lodge, Variety, 13 Feb. 2022 Sent by his mother to elocution classes, he was introduced to the plays of John Osborne, Harold Pinter and Arnold Wesker. New York Times, 5 Dec. 2021 An audition for a major Hollywood director turned sour when management made her attend elocution lessons beforehand. Jasmine Andersson, refinery29.com, 21 Aug. 2021 Mason’s agents begged him to get speech and elocution lessons to help mitigate his thick Yiddish accent. Wayne Federman, Vulture, 18 Aug. 2021 His theater-loving mother insisted on elocution lessons to rid him of his Brooklyn accent. Washington Post, 11 May 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English ellocucioun "oratorical or literary style," borrowed from Latin ēlocūtiōn-, ēlocūtiō "expression of an idea in words, manner of expressing oneself," from ēlocū-, variant stem of ēloquī "to utter, put into words" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at eloquent

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of elocution was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near elocution

Cite this Entry

“Elocution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elocution. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

elocution

noun

el·​o·​cu·​tion ˌel-ə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce elocution (audio)
1
: a style of speaking especially in public
2
: the art of effective public speaking
elocutionary adjective
elocutionist noun

More from Merriam-Webster on elocution

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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