Definitions

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

  • n. Choice and use of words in speech or writing.
  • n. Degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation in speech or singing; enunciation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The effectiveness and degree of clarity of word choice, and presentation of said words.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Choice of words for the expression of ideas; the construction, disposition, and application of words in discourse, with regard to clearness, accuracy, variety, etc.; mode of expression; language.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Expression of ideas by words; manner of saying; choice or selection of words; style.
  • n. A word.
  • n. Synonyms Diction, Phraseology, Style. Diction refers chiefly to the choice of words in any utterance or composition. Phraseology refers more to the manner of combining the words into phrases, clauses, and sentences: as, legal phraseology; but it also necessarily involves diction to some extent. Style covers both and more, referring not only to the words and the manner in which they are combined, but to everything that relates to the form in which thought is expressed, including peculiarities more or less personal to the writer or speaker.
  • n. Dialect, Idiom, etc. See language.

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

  • n. the articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience
  • n. the manner in which something is expressed in words

Etymologies

Middle English diccion, a saying, word, from Old French, from Latin dictiō, dictiōn-, rhetorical delivery, from dictus, past participle of dīcere, to say, speak; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin dicere, to speak. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "If I hadn't in elegant diction
    Indulged in an innocent fiction
    Which is not in the same category
    As telling a regular terrible story."

    August 20, 2008