ra·​con·​teur | \ ˌra-ˌkän-ˈtər How to pronounce raconteur (audio) , -kən- \

Definition of raconteur

: a person who excels in telling anecdotes

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Raconteur Has Old French Roots

The story of raconteur is a tale of telling and counting. English speakers borrowed the word from French, where it traces back to the Old French verb raconter, meaning "to tell." Raconter in turn was formed from another Old French verb, aconter or acompter, meaning "to tell" or "to count," which is ultimately from Latin computare, meaning "to count." Computare is also the source of our words count and account. Raconteur has been part of the English vocabulary since at least 1828.

Examples of raconteur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some attendees at his events in Iowa last week said Mr. Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, is a relatable raconteur whose decades of experience are comforting amid the chaos of the Trump era. Katie Glueck, New York Times, "The Many Ways That Joe Biden Trips Over His Own Tongue," 30 Oct. 2019 Vodka Collins reunited in the 1990s and released three new albums, and Mr. Merrill became a fixture in the New York rock world, playing widely and building a reputation as a raconteur telling stories of his own singular career. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Alan Merrill, a Songwriter of ‘I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,’ Dies," 30 Mar. 2020 On one occasion, Lorie, a raconteur who talked in short, staccato bursts, recalled a session where a panel of professors were grilling a PhD student on a draft of his thesis. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The stock market is usually a poor predictor of recessions—but this time it’s right," 13 Mar. 2020 Todd is a raconteur who, with his therapist (Tracy Thoms), has mastered camp irony. Armond White, National Review, "Straight Up Answers the Rom-Com Need," 28 Feb. 2020 An entertaining raconteur with a deadpan sense of humor, he was determined to rehabilitate his image. Adam Entous, The New Yorker, "The Ukrainian Prosecutor Behind Trump’s Impeachment," 16 Dec. 2019 Porter’s life was rife with sorrow, but outwardly, at least, he was seen as a good-natured raconteur with a sharp wit, especially after a few belts. Patrick Sauer, Smithsonian Magazine, "The History of O. Henry’s ‘The Gift of the Magi’," 24 Dec. 2019 His narrator, who shapeshifts from omniscient outsider to quasi-first-person raconteur, only made my disorientation worse. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "Silicon Valley is a popular target for writers. How does Daniel Handler’s ‘Bottle Grove’ hold up?," 30 Aug. 2019 Especially because the storytelling comes courtesy of Kevin Kling, a master raconteur who can make even the most commonplace of experiences a thing of wonder with his witty descriptors. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Minnesota Orchestra’s ‘Home’ offers comfort and some joy," 15 Dec. 2019

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

1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for raconteur

French, from Middle French, from raconter to tell, from Old French, from re- + aconter, acompter to tell, count — more at account

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Time Traveler for raconteur

Time Traveler

The first known use of raconteur was in 1828

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Statistics for raconteur

Last Updated

7 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Raconteur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raconteur. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for raconteur


How to pronounce raconteur (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of raconteur

formal : someone who is good at telling stories

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More from Merriam-Webster on raconteur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raconteur

Spanish Central: Translation of raconteur

Nglish: Translation of raconteur for Spanish Speakers

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