lo·​cu·​tion | \ lō-ˈkyü-shən How to pronounce locution (audio) \

Definition of locution

1 : a particular form of expression or a peculiarity of phrasing especially : a word or expression characteristic of a region, group, or cultural level
2 : style of discourse : phraseology

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Examples of locution in a Sentence

We were taught to avoid certain locutions when speaking. in the poet's somewhat affected locution, word order is often reversed and so we have “the sea serene”
Recent Examples on the Web President Lyndon Baines Johnson was a retro Texan by birth and locution. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Broadway’s ‘Great Society’ about LBJ has lots of history but no real bite," 2 Oct. 2019 Consider common appeals to allyship and altruism; such locutions convey a sort of optional quality, a moralistic tone, and unreliable trendiness. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, "One for All," 26 Aug. 2019 On this night, Dylan made every word count, and sang with a blues master’s locution. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Bob Dylan in fine voice at UIC? Yes, you read that right," 31 Oct. 2019 American English is meant to grow wild and woolly on our shores, spawning dialects and pidgins, wantonly consuming foreign words and locutions, anarchically legitimizing slang and warped grammar. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Delicate Art of Creating New Emoji," 28 June 2018 This is an engrossing story, which Wood tells with a mastery of detail and a modern plainness of expression that makes a refreshing contrast with the 18th-century locutions of his subjects. Richard Brookhiser, New York Times, "In ‘Friends Divided,’ John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Beg to Differ," 31 Oct. 2017 Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X…This is not an anodyne phrase. Mark Lilla, WSJ, "The Liberal Crackup," 11 Aug. 2017 The result has been an ever more naked public square, another memorable Neuhaus locution, where religion is viewed as a merely private affair with no public relevance. Ryan T. Anderson, National Review, "The Continuing Threat to Religious Liberty," 3 Aug. 2017 A few contemporary locutions and interpolations — most courtesy of Abbott's mischievous Touchstone — come into play. Kerry Reid, chicagotribune.com, "All the world's a lovely stage in First Folio's 'As You Like It'," 17 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'locution.' 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 locution

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for locution

Middle English locucion, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin locūtiōn-, locūtiō "act or manner of speaking, phrase, expression," from locū-, variant stem of loquī "to speak, talk" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at eloquent

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Time Traveler for locution

Time Traveler

The first known use of locution was in the 15th century

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Statistics for locution

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Locution.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/locution. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for locution


How to pronounce locution (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of locution

technical : a particular way of using words : a word or phrase

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More from Merriam-Webster on locution

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for locution

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with locution

Spanish Central: Translation of locution

Nglish: Translation of locution for Spanish Speakers

Comments on locution

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good-natured easy friendliness

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