Elocution

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Elocution'

Elocution Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    elocution n : an expert manner of speaking involving control of voice and gesture
Elocution Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Elocution \El`o*cu"tion\, n. [L. elocutio, fr. eloqui, elocutus, to speak out: cf. F. ['e]locution. See Eloquent.]
  1. Utterance by speech. [R.] [Fruit] whose taste . . . Gave elocution to the mute, and taught The tongue not made for speech to speak thy praise. --Milton.
  2. Oratorical or expressive delivery, including the graces of intonation, gesture, etc.; style or manner of speaking or reading in public; as, clear, impressive elocution. ``The elocution of a reader.'' --Whately
  3. Suitable and impressive writing or style; eloquent diction. [Obs.] To express these thoughts with elocution. --Dryden.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Elocution'


Elocution is the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone.

In Western classical rhetoric, elocution was one of the five core disciplines of pronunciation, which was the art of delivering speeches. Orators were trained not only on proper diction, but on the proper use of gestures, stance, and dress. (Another area of rhetoric, elocutio, was unrelated to elocution and, instead, concerned the style of writing proper to discourse.)

Elocution emerged as a formal discipline during the eighteenth century. One of its important figures was Thomas Sheridan, actor and father of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Thomas Sheridan's lectures on elocution, collected in Lectures on Elocution (1762) and his Lectures on Reading (1775), provided directions for marking and reading aloud passages from literature. Another actor, John Walker, published his two-volume Elements of Elocution in 1781, which provided detailed instruction on voice control, gestures, pronunciation, and emphasis.

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Elocution Sample Sentences in News


  • Have you ever changed your voice to try to fit in?
    Elocution lessons to sound less posh appear to be on the rise. When have you wished your voice sounded different? A news story in the Times this morning suggests that there is a trend for people wishing to soften their traditional upper-class accents, in order to fit in with work and friends. The director of a private tuition group quoted in the piece claims that Read more on this news related to 'Elocution'
  • Anne McElvoy: Gosh, we’re not allowed to sound posh any more
    O tempora, o mores, o Eliza Doolittle. A new trend in elocution lessons, the Times reports, involves retraining yourself to sound less posh. So advanced is the fear of sounding plummy that voice coaches are inundated with clients who want to sound less rarefied. Read more on this news related to 'Elocution'

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