gran·​dil·​o·​quence gran-ˈdi-lə-kwən(t)s How to pronounce grandiloquence (audio)
: a lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style, manner, or quality especially in language
was urged to follow up his grandiloquence with positive action
grandiloquent adjective
grandiloquently adverb

Did you know?

Grandiloquence, which debuted in English in the 16th century, is one of several English words pertaining to speech that derive from the Latin loqui, meaning "to speak." Other offspring of loqui include eloquent ("marked by fluent expression"), loquacious ("full of excessive talk"), and soliloquy ("a long, dramatic monologue"). Grandiloquence comes (probably via Middle French) from the Latin adjective grandiloquus, which combines loqui and the adjective grandis ("grand or great"). A word that is very similar in meaning to grandiloquence is magniloquence—and the similarity is not surprising. Magniloquence combines loqui with magnus, another Latin word meaning "great."

Examples of grandiloquence in a Sentence

a heavyweight champion who was famous for his entertaining grandiloquence prior to every match the predictably wearisome grandiloquence of the speeches at a political convention
Recent Examples on the Web Much of that singularity was centered in McCarthy’s prose, which ricocheted—sometimes gracefully, sometimes jarringly—between gruff matter-of-factness and soaring, biblical grandiloquence. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 13 June 2023 Several of them can fly, and all have at least a touch of grandiloquence to them. Michael Nordine, Variety, 11 Aug. 2022 Rylance plays him with chest puffed out into grandiloquence, the painful shuffle of a man with no unbroken bones, and the periodic grace of a pixie. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 14 June 2022 At least some of the grandiloquence proved justified. Idrees Kahloon, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Many times, vision statements end up being washed up by grandiloquence. Nacho De Marco, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 There will be plenty more rhetoric, pomposity and grandiloquence in the next few weeks as negotiations between the union and MLB get hot and heavy. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 13 May 2020 Behind the grandiloquence of his note was a young man, alone, under extraordinary stress. Barton Gellman, Washington Post, 11 May 2020 His most recent high-profile job, foreign secretary, found him ill at ease in a role that required more gravitas than grandiloquence. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, 22 July 2019 See More

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

Word History


probably from Middle French, from Latin grandiloquus using lofty language, from grandis + loqui to speak

First Known Use

1589, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grandiloquence was in 1589


Dictionary Entries Near grandiloquence

Cite this Entry

“Grandiloquence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


gran·​dil·​o·​quence gran-ˈdil-ə-kwən(t)s How to pronounce grandiloquence (audio)
: high-sounding or overly impressive language in speech or writing : bombast
grandiloquent adjective
grandiloquently adverb
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