Definition of rhetorical
- a rhetorical question
My question was rhetorical. I wasn't really expecting an answer.
you can skip over the rhetorical passages and still get the gist of the essay
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rhetorical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Rhetorical has several meanings which are close enough in meaning that they may easily cause confusion. It can refer to the subject of rhetoric ("the art of speaking or writing effectively") in a broad sense, and may also refer to that same subject in a somewhat deprecatory sense ("given to insincere or grandiloquent language"). But perhaps the most common use of rhetorical today is found in conjunction with question. A rhetorical question is not a question about the art of speaking effectively; it is a question that is asked for effect, rather than from a desire to know the answer. “Would it kill you to stop chewing your food with your mouth open?” is a rhetorical question.
: of, relating to, or concerned with the art of speaking or writing formally and effectively especially as a way to persuade or influence people
of a question : asked in order to make a statement rather than to get an answer
What made you want to look up rhetorical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Find the Cousins