AskDefine | Define grandiloquence

Dictionary Definition

grandiloquence n : high flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation [syn: grandiosity, magniloquence, rhetoric]

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  1. lofty, pompous or bombastic speech or writing

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Extensive Definition

Grandiloquence is speech or writing marked by pompous or bombastic diction. It is a combination of Latin word "grandis" (great) and "loqui" (to speak).
The 29th President of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, is often considered a grandiloquent speaker. His style of speaking was somewhat unusual, even in his age. The following is an example of his unusual and grandiloquent word speech:
''"America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality…."''
William Gibbs McAdoo believed Harding's speeches consisted of "an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea."
Senator Robert C. Byrd from West Virginia lost his position as majority leader in 1989 because his colleagues felt his grandiloquent speeches, often employing obscure allusions to ancient Rome and Greece, were not an asset to the party base. This trait has been exemplified by oratory quoting Shakespeare upon the death of his little dog Billy.

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Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

affectation, aggrandizement, amplification, ballyhoo, big talk, blowing up, burlesque, caricature, command of language, dilatation, dilation, enhancement, enlargement, exaggerating, exaggeration, excess, exorbitance, expansion, expression of ideas, extravagance, extreme, fashion, feeling for words, form of speech, grace of expression, hard word, heightening, huckstering, hyperbole, hyperbolism, inflation, inordinacy, jawbreaker, lexiphanicism, literary style, long word, magnification, manner, manner of speaking, mannerism, mode, mode of expression, orotundity, overemphasis, overestimation, overkill, overstatement, peculiarity, personal style, polysyllable, pomposity, pompousness, pontificality, pontification, prodigality, profuseness, puffery, puffing up, rhetoric, self-importance, sensationalism, sense of language, sesquipedalian, strain, stretching, stuffiness, style, stylistic analysis, stylistics, superlative, tall talk, the grand style, the plain style, the sublime, touting, travesty, trick, turgidity, vein, way
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