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Definition the use of (or study of using) words to make a point — typically implying skillful use
  • She has convincing rhetoric, but makes bad decisions.
rhetoric = use of words to make a point
  • She disliked his policies and his rhetoric.
  • rhetoric = way of using words to make a point
  • Don't be fooled by her empty rhetoric.
  • rhetoric = use of words to make a point (in this case implying that the words may sound good, but are lacking in substance)
  • PLAYER: It's about a King and Queen....

    GUIL: Escapism! What else?

    PLAYER: Blood

    GUIL: -Love and rhetoric.
    Tom Stoppard  --  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  • rhetoric = the use of words to make a point
  • What you're supposed to do in most freshman-rhetoric courses is to read a little essay or short story, discuss how the writer has done certain little things to achieve certain little effects, and then have the students write an imitative little essay or short story to see if they can do the same little things.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • rhetoric = study of the technique and rules for using language effectively — especially to persuade
  • Rhetoricians might argue that DeLay's comments were intended to create or shape a reality rather than reflect one.
    Jeff Dircksen  --  The 109th Congress's Spending Votes: A "Victory" in Name Only  -- (retrieved 06/28/06)
  • In appearance and rhetoric he was old-fashioned, but in imagination and knowledge and resource he was as young as the latest statute.
    London, Jack  --  The Iron Heel
  • Just at this time, Pierre Abelard, who had already made himself widely famous as a rhetorician, came to found a school of rhetoric in Paris.
    Twain, Mark  --  The Innocents Abroad
  • Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action... If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.
    Theodore Roosevelt (26th US President)
  • The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force.
    Adolf Hitler
  • The American Patriots used convincing rhetoric to convince the colonists to support revolution.
  • Creationist critics often charge that evolution cannot be tested, and therefore cannot be viewed as a properly scientific subject at all. This claim is rhetorical nonsense.
    Stephen Jay Gould
  • As before, I found her rhetorical style somewhat overwhelming, but in general I was able to follow her line of thought.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • Loudspeakers carry the rhetoric of the official ceremony even to our hilltop.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • Even when cited merely as a rhetorical device, the armed struggle was a sign that we were actively fighting the enemy.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • CROMWELL (Resuming his rhetorical stance) Foreman of the Jury.
    Robert Bolt  --  A Man for All Seasons
  • I used the utmost of my endeavour to persuade him, and joined that known woman's rhetoric to it—I mean, that of tears.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Moll Flanders
  • Strangely enough, what Ned Andrews had extolled too, in all his rhetoric, was the future works of man and the leaving of the past behind.
    Eudora Welty  --  One Writer's Beginnings
  • Is there anything more in it than a name—a rhetorical flourish?
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • This is a critical point, and one that is often lost in the heated rhetoric of the war on smoking.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point

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