Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A recitation delivered as an exercise in rhetoric or elocution.
  • n. Vehement oratory.
  • n. A speech marked by strong feeling; a tirade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or art of declaiming; rhetorical delivery; haranguing; loud speaking in public; especially, the public recitation of speeches as an exercise in schools and colleges; as, the practice declamation by students.
  • n. A set or harangue; declamatory discourse.
  • n. Pretentious rhetorical display, with more sound than sense; as, mere declamation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or art of declaiming; rhetorical delivery; haranguing; loud speaking in public; especially, the public recitation of speeches as an exercise in schools and colleges.
  • n. A set or harangue; declamatory discourse.
  • n. Pretentious rhetorical display, with more sound than sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or art of declaiming or making rhetorical harangues in public; especially, the delivery of a speech or an exercise in oratory or elocution, as by a student of a college, etc.: as, a public declamation; the art of declamation.
  • n. Specifically In vocal music, the proper rhetorical enunciation of the words, especially in recitative and in dramatic music.
  • n. A public harangue or set speech; an oration.
  • n. Pompous, high-sounding verbiage in speech or writing; stilted oratory.
  • n. A specially close or successful union of tones with words, as in a song or aria.
  • n. A work in which the text is read or spoken while a musical accompaniment or comment is played. Also called melodrama. See melodrama, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. recitation of a speech from memory with studied gestures and intonation as an exercise in elocution or rhetoric
  • n. vehement oratory

Etymologies

Middle English declamacioun, from Latin dēclāmātiō, dēclāmātiōn-, from dēclāmātus, past participle of dēclāmāre, to declaim; see declaim.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French déclamation, from Latin dēclāmātiō, dēclāmātiōnem, from dēclāmō, dēclāmāre; see declaim (Wiktionary)

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