Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to rhetoric.
  • adj. Characterized by overelaborate or bombastic rhetoric.
  • adj. Used for persuasive effect: a speech punctuated by rhetorical pauses.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Part of or similar to rhetoric, which is the use of language as a means to persuade.
  • adj. Not earnest, or presented only for the purpose of an argument

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to rhetoric; according to, or exhibiting, rhetoric; oratorical

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing rhetoric; oratorical: as, the rhetorical art; a rhetorical treatise; a rhetorical flourish.
  • In some colleges in the United States, rhetorical exercises (declamations, etc.) held publicly before all the students of the college.

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

  • adj. of or relating to rhetoric
  • adj. given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought

Etymologies

From Latin rhētoricus, from Ancient Greek ῥητορικός (rhētorikos, "concerning public speaking"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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