Definition of rhetoric noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈretərɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈretərɪk//
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  1. 1(formal, often disapproving) speech or writing that is intended to influence people, but that is not completely honest or sincere the rhetoric of political slogans empty rhetoric His speech was dismissed as mere rhetoric by the opposition.
  2. 2(formal) the skill of using language in speech or writing in a special way that influences or entertains people synonym eloquence, oratory
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French rethorique, via Latin from Greek rhētorikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of rhetoric’, from rhētōr ‘rhetor’.Extra examples Behind all the rhetoric, his relations with the army are tense. He was prepared to use militant rhetoric in attacking his opponents. Her speech was just empty rhetoric. Little has changed, despite the rhetoric about reform. official rhetoric on the virtues of large families
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rhetoric