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 Few humans seemed to move through the world with as much wholehearted ferocity as the chef, writer, raconteur, and television host Anthony Bourdain. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 12 June 2021 This campy musical provides a reflection on the life of Irish raconteur Wilde. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 30 May 2021 Spinning a vibrant yarn with a time-traveling chronology, the coerced raconteur transports those in his presence and the viewer through episodes of fantastical battles and recent turmoil. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 6 Mar. 2021 Lonesome is discovered in a Southern jail cell by a radio producer played by Patricia Neal, who transforms him (with the help of Walter Matthau) into a popular raconteur and pitchman and then into a populist political force. New York Times, 13 May 2021 Gates, director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, has been a pathbreaking literary scholar, professor, public intellectual, raconteur, filmmaker and pop-cultural figure. Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2021 Illusionist and raconteur Helder Guimarães is back with another virtual show for the Geffen Playhouse’s Stayhouse series. Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2020 Mank is the story of Herman J. Mankiewicz, renowned screenwriter, raconteur, and drunk. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 4 Dec. 2020 Gary Oldman is masterful as the complicated Mankiewicz, a drunken raconteur who slurs his speech and in heated moments becomes his own worst enemy, needling his patrons and sharing his insights. Will Coviello, NOLA.com, 17 Nov. 2020

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

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Raconteur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raconteur. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for raconteur



English Language Learners Definition of raconteur

formal : someone who is good at telling stories

More from Merriam-Webster on raconteur

Nglish: Translation of raconteur for Spanish Speakers


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