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

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Other words from eloquent

eloquently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for eloquent


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


ineloquent, low, undignified

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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 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 Wade The eloquent words of President Johnson, a white Southerner doing the right thing, stay with you. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "Why voices of LeBron James and other athletes matter: Bill Livingston," 4 June 2017 People later told Yang how powerful their presence and eloquent presentations were. Ed Frauenheim, Fortune, "How Workday Became One of the Best Places to Work for Millennials," 26 June 2018 Locke's deep, eloquent voice has been preserved by the Detroit Historical Society as part of an oral history project in 2016. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Hubert Locke, author of 1967 Detroit riot book and academic, dies at 84," 9 June 2018 His appeal to minority voters broadened, especially after his eloquent impromptu eulogy to Dr. King in Indianapolis endowed Kennedy with an exalted status even among the most alienated African-Americans. Ross Baker, Smithsonian, "Why Robert Kennedy Transformed From a Conservative Into a Liberal Champion of Civil Rights," 5 June 2018 This process of resolution, of coming to terms, was smooth and utterly eloquent. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra welcomes new year with stupendous farewell in Mahler's Symphony No. 9 (review)," 12 Jan. 2018 Instead, Maluma moves fluidly between both, marrying genres and beats with vocals that have dramatically improved and can go from eloquent and melodic to edgy rap. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Viva Friday: All the Best New Latin Songs and Albums You Should Add to Your Playlist," 18 May 2018 Best of all is the time spent with Ginsburg herself, who as a subject is both eloquent and candid. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Beyond the 'Gins-burn': The documentary 'RBG' shows the formidable soft power of Ruth Bader Ginsburg," 3 May 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.

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

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wax eloquent

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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

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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

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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 magnificent or impressive array

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