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 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, "The story of the Black church, from the spiritual to the political to the personal," 25 Feb. 2021 Illusionist and raconteur Helder Guimarães is back with another virtual show for the Geffen Playhouse’s Stayhouse series. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Helder Guimarães peers into ‘The Future’ for more Zoom magic. The view is fuzzy," 13 Dec. 2020 Mank is the story of Herman J. Mankiewicz, renowned screenwriter, raconteur, and drunk. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "7 films written by Herman J. Mankiewicz to watch after Mank," 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, "'Mank' is a lush dive into old Hollywood and life of screenwriter behind 'Citizen Kane'," 17 Nov. 2020 The great Southern writer and raconteur died earlier this year, but her love for the holidays, like her life, was over-the-top. Sid Evans, Southern Living, "A Special Tribute: Julia Reed's Christmas in The Delta," 16 Nov. 2020 An engaging raconteur, Barrow boasted a fund of humorous stories about politics, academia and the humanities. Paul Davies, Scientific American, "In Memoriam: John D. Barrow," 10 Oct. 2020 Fenn was an art and antiquities collector and Southwestern raconteur best known for hiding a treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Forrest Fenn, who sent explorers on a famed Rocky Mountain treasure hunt, dies at 90," 9 Sep. 2020 To the flamboyant New Orleans restaurateur and raconteur, diamonds were a sign of success. Dominic Massa, NOLA.com, "'Diamond Jim' Moran reigned over restaurants as a sparkling king of bling, new book recalls," 3 Sep. 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

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The first known use of raconteur was in 1828

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Statistics for raconteur

Last Updated

11 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Raconteur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raconteur. Accessed 7 May. 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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