el·​o·​quent | \ˈe-lə-kwənt \

Definition of eloquent 

1 : marked by forceful and fluent expression an eloquent preacher

2 : vividly or movingly expressive or revealing an eloquent monument

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from eloquent

eloquently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for eloquent


elevated, formal, high-flown, lofty, majestic, stately, towering


ineloquent, low, undignified

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Ojemann makes a cut in the side of the woman’s temporal lobe, which is above the ear, avoiding what’s known as the eloquent cortex, parts of the brain that are generally understood to allow people to move, hear, speak, and see. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 Although any animal lover knows that animals communicate in myriad other ways, all of which are more eloquent than words. Lisa Scottoline, Philly.com, "Learning lessons, and letting my pony go | Lisa Scottoline," 14 June 2018 And her struggles are an eloquent reminder that even without outright tragedy, childhood is filled with challenges, cruelties and opportunities for courage. Nalini Jones, New York Times, "When the Going Gets Tough, These Kids Find Their Way," 13 Apr. 2018 Anthony’s adamancy, the eloquent obviousness of her observations on gender, comes across in Thomson’s music through understatement. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Before ‘Hamilton,’ 100 years of American music theater and how it’s told the story of who we are," 29 June 2018 The usually eloquent Cumberbatch reportedly tried to brush off praise. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Actor Benedict Cumberbatch thwarts London mugging: report," 2 June 2018 Danny Gavigan does assured, eloquent work as Joseph. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "At Everyman Theatre, 'Book of Joseph' provides intriguing drama of family secrets, regrets," 18 May 2018 The notes left out, the phrase unresolved, the words left hanging, are often eloquent, but not in a way that can be explained. The Economist, "People crave silence, yet are unnerved by it," 17 May 2018 In modern America, with eloquent voices such as Gallico and Red Smith wielding power and influence, that’s typically where heroes were created. Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com, "HBO's film on Joe Paterno is a tragedy, not a documentary," 6 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of eloquent

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eloquent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin eloquent-, eloquens, from present participle of eloqui to speak out, from e- + loqui to speak

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eloquent

Listen to Our Podcast about eloquent

Dictionary Entries near eloquent








Statistics for eloquent

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eloquent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on eloquent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eloquent

Spanish Central: Translation of eloquent

Nglish: Translation of eloquent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eloquent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eloquent

What made you want to look up eloquent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!