from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A question to which no answer is expected, often used for rhetorical effect.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A question posed only for dramatic or persuasive effect.
- n. A question to which the asker does not expect an answer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered
Sorry, no etymologies found.
A rhetorical question if ever I heard one, with the old death's-head glaring like Dragfoot the Hangman, and then he swung towards our group, hitching his sword-hilt out of the way and fumbling in his pants pocket.
He followed this rhetorical question with the same two notes, ritardando, played four quaver chords, then a bar which disrupted one's expectations by the introduction of a rest and a pair of semiquavers, and very shortly broke into cascades of chorded and unchorded semiquavers that left Pelagia open-mouthed.