el·​o·​quent ˈe-lə-kwənt How to pronounce eloquent (audio)
: marked by forceful and fluent expression
an eloquent preacher
: vividly or movingly expressive or revealing
an eloquent monument
eloquently adverb

Did you know?

Since eloquent has to do with speaking, it makes sense that it comes from the Latin verb loquī, which means "to talk or speak." (The adjective loquacious describes a person who is skilled at or has the inclination for talking.) Expression of the self can be seen and not heard, which gives meaning to eloquent as an adjective for nonverbal impressive acts.

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
Recent Examples on the Web Overall, there were enough meme-worthy moments, eloquent speeches and genuine surprises to justify the roughly three-and-a-half-hour show. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 11 Mar. 2024 Hers is one of those stories that has been told for thousands of years by some of the most skilled and eloquent composers, from Apollonius to Euripides. Diya Chacko, Orange County Register, 13 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for eloquent 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eloquent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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-)

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near eloquent

Cite this Entry

“Eloquent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eloquent. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


el·​o·​quent ˈel-ə-kwənt How to pronounce eloquent (audio)
: having or showing clear and forceful expression
an eloquent speaker
an eloquent essay
: clearly showing some feeling or meaning
an eloquent look
eloquently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on eloquent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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