Definition of rhetorical in English:


Line breaks: rhet|oric¦al
Pronunciation: /rɪˈtɒrɪk(ə)l


  • 2(Of a question) asked in order to produce an effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information.
    More example sentences
    • It might be a rather petulant rhetorical question, or he might just be trying to keep me on the phone.
    • Kyle didn't offer him the time to answer the rather rhetorical question.
    • It was a statement, a rhetorical question, and just by looking at her he was sure that it had made her angry.



More example sentences
  • First, rights rhetorically acknowledge what we fundamentally value.
  • The parallelism, while rhetorically effective, was also overly glib.
  • His stance also may have been influenced by a US retreat, at least rhetorically, from its war to eradicate coca leaf.


late Middle English (first used in the sense 'eloquently expressed'): via Latin from Greek rhētorikos (from rhētor 'rhetor') + -al.

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