euphuism

noun
eu·phu·ism | \ ˈyü-fyə-ˌwi-zəm , -fyü-ˌi- \

Definition of euphuism 

1 : an elegant Elizabethan literary style marked by excessive use of balance, antithesis, and alliteration and by frequent use of similes drawn from mythology and nature

2 : artificial elegance of language

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Other words from euphuism

euphuist \ˈyü-fyə-wist, -fyü-ist \ noun
euphuistic \ˌyü-fyə-ˈwi-stik, -fyü-ˈi- \ adjective
euphuistically \ˌyü-fyə-ˈwi-sti-k(ə-)lē, -fyü-ˈi- \ adverb

Did You Know?

Nowadays, someone who uses euphuism might be accused of linguistic excess and affectation, but "euphuism" hasn't always had a negative connotation. When John Lyly employed this verbose form of rhetoric in his prose works Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580), it was a style that appealed to many of his contemporaries. "Euphuism" comes from the name of the character Euphues, whom Lyly described as a "young gallante, of more wit then wealth, and yet of more wealth then wisdome." The name was probably inspired by a Greek word meaning "witty." The term "euphuism" came into being to refer to Lyly's (and other writers') style a dozen or so years after his works appeared.

First Known Use of euphuism

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for euphuism

Euphues, character in prose romances by John Lyly

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Time Traveler for euphuism

The first known use of euphuism was in 1592

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