el·​o·​quent | \ ˈe-lə-kwənt How to pronounce eloquent (audio) \

Definition of eloquent

1 : marked by forceful and fluent expression an eloquent preacher
2 : vividly or movingly expressive or revealing an eloquent monument

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Other Words from eloquent

eloquently adverb

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Since "eloquent" can have to do with speaking, it makes sense that it comes from the Latin verb loqui, which means "to speak." "Loqui" is the parent of many "talkative" offspring in English. "Loquacious," which means "given to fluent or excessive talk," also arose from "loqui." Another "loqui" relative is "circumlocution," a word that means someone is talking around a subject to avoid making a direct statement (circum- means "around"). And a "ventriloquist" is someone who makes his or her voice sound like it’s coming from another source.

Examples of eloquent in a Sentence

He [H. L. Mencken] relished the vagaries of vernacular speech and paid eloquent homage to them in The American Language. — Jackson Lears, New Republic, 27 Jan. 2003 Samuel Johnson is palmed off in classrooms as a harmless drudge of a lexicographer, yet open the Dictionary anywhere and find precision and eloquent plainness. — Guy Davenport, The Geography of the Imagination, (1954) 1981 There was a burst of applause, and a deep silence which was even more eloquent than the applause. — Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, 1886 His success serves as an eloquent reminder of the value of hard work. an eloquent writer and speaker, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the founders of the women's rights movement
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Recent Examples on the Web Here Biden was the most eloquent, effective and emotional referencing his late son Beau's military service, the rate of suicide among veterans, the stress and strain on families, and the number of veterans wounded and killed in Afghanistan. Aaron David Miller, CNN, 31 Aug. 2021 The Mongol Century is a specialist work, whose illustrations are occasionally more eloquent than its prose. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2021 The daughters of both men also received plenty of airtime and are passionate and eloquent. Rodney Ho, ajc, 3 Sep. 2021 That’s the rushing undercurrent of Pedro Almodóvar’s eloquent and subtly affecting new film Parallel Mothers (Madres paralelas), the opening film of the 78th annual Venice Film Festival. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 1 Sep. 2021 Arguably this is eloquent in its own way of the agony of that private wilderness, the frustrations of bushwhacking a path through it. Richard Adams Carey, WSJ, 13 Aug. 2021 Sabin’s book is crisp, clear, eloquent, and carefully focused on the political changes of the 1970s. Kim Phillips-fein, The New Republic, 2 Aug. 2021 No explanations are forthcoming, but gradually a story coalesces in eloquent, wordless images of Kang soaking in a pool and performing outdoor stretches. Los Angeles Times, 13 Aug. 2021 Kelly Cornell, associate principal horn of the Fort Worth Symphony, supplied eloquent solos. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 11 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eloquent.' 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 eloquent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eloquent

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin ēloquent-, ēloquens "capable of speech, expressing oneself fluently," from present participle of ēloquī "to utter, put into words," from ē- e- entry 1 + loquī "to talk, speak," probably going back to dialectal Indo-European *tlokw- "talk," whence also Old Irish ad-tluichethar "(s/he) gives thanks" (originally with buide "thanks" as object, as in atluchedar buidi do Día "he thanks God"), do-tluichethar "(s/he) desires, beseeches, asks," Old Church Slavic tlŭk "interpreter" (from *tl̥kw-o-)

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The first known use of eloquent was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eloquent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eloquent. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for eloquent



English Language Learners Definition of eloquent

: having or showing the ability to use language clearly and effectively
: clearly showing feeling or meaning


el·​o·​quent | \ ˈe-lə-kwənt How to pronounce eloquent (audio) \

Kids Definition of eloquent

1 : having or showing clear and forceful expression an eloquent speaker an eloquent plan
2 : clearly showing some feeling or meaning an eloquent look

Other Words from eloquent

eloquently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on eloquent

Nglish: Translation of eloquent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eloquent for Arabic Speakers


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