el·​o·​quent | \ ˈe-lə-kwənt How to pronounce eloquent (audio) \

Essential Meaning of eloquent

1 : having or showing the ability to use language clearly and effectively an eloquent speech/speaker an eloquent essay He waxed eloquent [=he said many things] on/about the pleasures of gardening.
2 : clearly showing feeling or meaning His success serves as an eloquent reminder of the value of hard work.

Full Definition of eloquent

1 : marked by forceful and fluent expression an eloquent preacher
2 : vividly or movingly expressive or revealing an eloquent monument

Other Words from eloquent

eloquently adverb

Did you know?

Since eloquent has to do with speaking, it makes sense that it comes from the Latin verb loquī, which means "to talk or speak." (The adjective loquacious describes a person who is skilled at or has the inclination for talking.) Expression of the self can be seen and not heard, which gives meaning to eloquent as an adjective for nonverbal impressive acts.

Examples of eloquent in a Sentence

He [H. L. Mencken] relished the vagaries of vernacular speech and paid eloquent homage to them in The American Language. — Jackson Lears, New Republic, 27 Jan. 2003 Samuel Johnson is palmed off in classrooms as a harmless drudge of a lexicographer, yet open the Dictionary anywhere and find precision and eloquent plainness. — Guy Davenport, The Geography of the Imagination, (1954) 1981 There was a burst of applause, and a deep silence which was even more eloquent than the applause. — Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, 1886 His success serves as an eloquent reminder of the value of hard work. an eloquent writer and speaker, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the founders of the women's rights movement
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Recent Examples on the Web In my mind's eye, and in my father's absence, Sidney epitomized what a man should be: unflappable and courageous, eloquent and proud, charming and handsome. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Jan. 2022 In my mind's eye, and in my father's absence, Sidney epitomized what a man should be: unflappable and courageous, eloquent and proud, charming and handsome. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, 12 Jan. 2022 Although the bill canceled existing mandates for renewable energy, proponents were eloquent in their concern for the climate. Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine , 4 Jan. 2022 The dignified and eloquent Poitier has a surprising side: the rollicking raconteur. Claudia Puig, USA TODAY, 7 Jan. 2022 Ry Russo-Young’s three-part documentary about her lesbian mothers and the sperm donor who sued them for parental rights, threatening to pull apart her family, built to a powerful and eloquent conclusion. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 20 Dec. 2021 Garbo stares into the distance, her face a kind of mask but no less eloquent for it. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 Eight of the stories are brought to life in English by his longtime translator, the gifted and eloquent Lucia Graves, who has always seemed to me like a true partner to the author. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2021 Among people who had been victimized by priests and church leaders, Mr. Saviano was seen as a valiant, eloquent and courageous champion who refused to be silenced. Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eloquent

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin ēloquent-, ēloquens "capable of speech, expressing oneself fluently," from present participle of ēloquī "to utter, put into words," from ē- e- entry 1 + loquī "to talk, speak," probably going back to dialectal Indo-European *tlokw- "talk," whence also Old Irish ad-tluichethar "(s/he) gives thanks" (originally with buide "thanks" as object, as in atluchedar buidi do Día "he thanks God"), do-tluichethar "(s/he) desires, beseeches, asks," Old Church Slavic tlŭk "interpreter" (from *tl̥kw-o-)

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The first known use of eloquent was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Eloquent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eloquent. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for eloquent


el·​o·​quent | \ ˈe-lə-kwənt How to pronounce eloquent (audio) \

Kids Definition of eloquent

1 : having or showing clear and forceful expression an eloquent speaker an eloquent plan
2 : clearly showing some feeling or meaning an eloquent look

Other Words from eloquent

eloquently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on eloquent

Nglish: Translation of eloquent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eloquent for Arabic Speakers


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