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 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 Matheson and Solomon were the original Bill and Ted, and the floral elocution the inventors imagined for their characters was a pastiche of Peter Sellars, Damon Runyon, and the sunny SoCal drawl of San Dimas, where high-school football ruled. Devin Gordon, The Atlantic, 28 Aug. 2020 But through the wizardry of Lerner’s prose, this battle of adolescent elocution becomes an emblem for the fiery state of American culture. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Elocution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elocution. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of elocution

formal : 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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