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Definition of rhetoric

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rhet·o·ric  audio  (rtr-k) KEY 

    1. The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively.
    2. A treatise or book discussing this art.
  1. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.
    1. A style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particular subject: fiery political rhetoric.
    2. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.
  2. Verbal communication; discourse.

Middle English rethorik, from Old French rethorique, from Latin rhtoric, rhtorica, from Greek rhtorik (tekhn), rhetorical (art), feminine of rhtorikos, rhetorical, from rhtr, rhetor ; see rhetor

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