Definition of stem-winder in English:

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1 informal An entertaining and rousing speech: a stem-winder of a speech
More example sentences
  • Giuliani used some of the most overt forms in order to present a classic political stem-winder.
  • His was no Gettysburg Address, to be sure, but compared to some of the stem-winders of history, Mr. Clinton's speech, delivered at a rapid pace, flew by.
  • To say it wasn't a stem-winder is simply to say that it wasn't like Barack Obama's speech a few nights back, or Clinton's, or even Clark's or Sharpton's for that matter.
2 dated A watch wound by turning a knob on the end of a stem.


sense 1 from the notion of ‘winding up’ or causing a lively reaction from those listening.

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