eloquent

adjective
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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web In an eloquent and indignant open letter, Kerandi confronted university administrators who claim to have values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and yet hire police, who have a record of murdering Black men and women, to patrol campus. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, "The End of the University," 8 Sep. 2020 Rivers’ passionate and eloquent speech was fueled by yet another example of police brutality against a person of color. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Four years after Colin Kaepernick began his protests, sports figures' voices are growing louder — because they have no choice," 26 Aug. 2020 Malcolm had been the national spokesman of the Nation of Islam, and had become famous as a fierce and eloquent advocate of Black Nationalism. Les Payne, The New Yorker, "The Day Malcolm X Was Killed," 27 Aug. 2020 That moment of eloquent silence set the stage for a later appearance by Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, who joined a virtual roundtable with Biden. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The First Real Convention," 21 Aug. 2020 Of course, the actual messages were almost always more eloquent than that—but the underlying message was exactly the same. Olivia Muenter, Health.com, "None of My Stretch Marks Are From Being Pregnant—but I'm Embracing Them Anyway," 20 Aug. 2020 Yet, as China silences Uighur poets’ voices in Xinjiang, Uighur poets and artists in the diaspora have spoken up, bearing eloquent witness to the catastrophe in their homeland. Joshua L. Freeman, The New York Review of Books, "Uighur Poets on Repression and Exile," 13 Aug. 2020 Later that afternoon, Johnson waxed far more eloquent. Doug Hurley, National Geographic, "Honoring a life's mission," 3 Aug. 2020 Rousseau, in Confessions, called tears an eloquent testimony of love. Maureen Stanton, Longreads, "Through a Glass, Tearfully," 10 Aug. 2020

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

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eloquent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eloquent. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for eloquent

eloquent

adjective
How to pronounce eloquent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of eloquent

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

eloquent

adjective
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

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