Definition of locution in English:


Line breaks: lo¦cu|tion
Pronunciation: /ləˈkjuːʃ(ə)n


  • 1A word or phrase, especially with regard to style or idiom.
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    • These locutions are determinedly descriptive.
    • His earliest plays were political, ridiculing the wooden locutions of communist rhetoric.
    • Today, any state-sponsored eugenic ideology would surely face considerable opposition, but instead we have (to use the barbarous locution now common) ‘privatized’ eugenic decisions.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] A person’s style of speech: his impeccable locution
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    • Like the protagonists in the classic Hollywood films of Anthony Mann, Hawks or Ford, the leads of Collateral express themselves through their action as much as their locution.
  • 2An utterance regarded in terms of its intrinsic meaning or reference, as distinct from its function or purpose in context. Compare with illocution, perlocution.
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    • For our paraphrastic procedure to be comprehensive, it must work with contexts containing explicitly comparative locutions.
    • The surface grammar of power locutions can be misleading in numerous ways.
    • The central claim of the prosentential theory is that ‘x is true’ functions as a prosentence-forming operator rather than a property-ascribing locution.



More example sentences
  • Austin distinguishes among three components in a total speech act: the locutionary act, the illocutionary act, and the perlocutionary act.
  • The paternalistic tradition thus constructs a simulacrum of male discursive empowerment which multiplies locutionary authority while eradicating perlocutionary agency.
  • In this article we analyze the grammar of codes of ethics as a written locutionary act, and attempt to determine their implicit illocutionary and perlocutionary values.


late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin locutio(n-), from loqui 'speak'.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody