from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Expression of ideas by words; manner of saying; choice or selection of words; style.
  • noun A word.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Dialect, Idiom, etc. See language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[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.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin dicere, to speak.


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  • "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