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

  • noun An affectedly elegant literary style of the late 1500s and early 1600s, characterized by elaborate alliteration, antitheses, and similes.
  • noun Affected elegance of language.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In English literature, an affected literary style, originating in the fifteenth century, characterized by a wide vocabulary, alliteration, consonance, verbal antithesis, and odd combinations of words.
  • noun Synonyms This word is sometimes confounded with euphemism and euphony. It has nothing to do with either.

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

  • noun (Rhet.) An affectation of excessive elegance and refinement of language; high-flown diction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable An ornate style of writing (in Elizabethan England) marked by the excessive use of alliteration, antithesis and mythological similes.
  • noun An example of euphuism.

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

  • noun an elegant style of prose of the Elizabethan period; characterized by balance and antithesis and alliteration and extended similes with and allusions to nature and mythology
  • noun any artificially elegant style of language


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

[After Euphues, a character in Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit and Euphues and his England by John Lyly, from Greek euphuēs, shapely : eu-, eu- + phuein, to grow, bring forth; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Lyly's Euphues.


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  • The voter is bored with me-tooism,

    Impatient with faux folksy truism.

    He longs for much more

    Like great days of yore

    When orators mastered euphuism.

    May 23, 2017