eloquent

play
adjective el·o·quent \ˈe-lə-kwənt\

Definition of eloquent

  1. 1 :  marked by forceful and fluent expression an eloquent preacher

  2. 2 :  vividly or movingly expressive or revealing an eloquent monument

eloquently

adverb

eloquent was our Word of the Day on 01/18/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of eloquent in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. His success serves as an eloquent reminder of the value of hard work.

  5. an eloquent writer and speaker, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the founders of the women's rights movement

Recent Examples of eloquent from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of eloquent

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



ELOQUENT Defined for English Language Learners

eloquent

play
adjective

Definition of eloquent for English Language Learners

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

  • : clearly showing feeling or meaning


ELOQUENT Defined for Kids

eloquent

play
adjective el·o·quent \ˈe-lə-kwənt\

Definition of eloquent for Students

  1. 1 :  having or showing clear and forceful expression an eloquent speaker an eloquent plan

  2. 2 :  clearly showing some feeling or meaning an eloquent look

eloquently

adverb

Word Root of eloquent

The Latin word loquī, meaning “to talk” or “to speak,” and its form locūtus give us the roots locu and loqu. Words from the Latin loquī have something to do with talking. An eloquent speaker speaks clearly and well. Elocution is the art of speaking or reading well in public. A ventriloquist is a person who speaks so that the voice seems to come from elsewhere.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to reach the highest or a decisive point

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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