el·​o·​cu·​tion | \ ˌe-lə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce elocution (audio) \

Definition of elocution

1 : a style of speaking especially in public
2 : the art of effective public speaking

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Other Words from elocution

elocutionary \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈkyü-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce elocution (audio) \ adjective
elocutionist \ ˌe-​lə-​ˈkyü-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce elocution (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for elocution


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Examples of elocution in a Sentence

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 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 Born in Jersey City, N.J., on Nov. 8, 1914, and raised in Brooklyn, the red-haired Lloyd began taking elocution lessons by age 7. Dennis Mclellan, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2021 It’s as if the filmmakers went with first takes by a cast that needed more rehearsal time, not to mention elocution lessons. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2021 Young Flori, attracted to the stage, took elocution lessons to suppress a Brooklyn accent that might have limited her acting career and studied drama at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now known as Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2020 Margaret Thatcher's Voice Thatcher's distinctive timbre is often traced back to elocution lessons that the Conservative Party leader received during the middle of her career. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 27 Nov. 2020 Later come elocution lessons, with a rope tied around Diana’s waist to keep her from moving her arms while speaking. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, 21 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of elocution

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for elocution

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

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

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Last Updated

30 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elocution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elocution. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for elocution



English Language Learners Definition of elocution

: the study of how to speak clearly and in a way that is effective and socially acceptable


el·​o·​cu·​tion | \ ˌe-lə-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce elocution (audio) \

Kids Definition of elocution

: the art of reading or speaking clearly and effectively in public

More from Merriam-Webster on elocution

Nglish: Translation of elocution for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elocution


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