Definition of rhetorician in English:


Line breaks: rhet¦or|ician
Pronunciation: /rɛtəˈrɪʃ(ə)n


  • 1An expert in formal rhetoric.
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    • Olson, Richard McKeon, and Ronald Crane put hundreds of graduate students at least on speaking terms with classical rhetoric, and rhetoricians were active in the Hutchins college as well.
    • Including the term ‘rhetoric,’ we rhetoricians argued, would help to both demystify the term and avoid giving the impression that the option was a sort of vocational track.
    • To the extent that Hoppin influenced Robinson, he would have accorded classical rhetoric primary importance and singled out Quintilian as the rhetorician deserving the highest praise.
  • 1.1A speaker whose words are primarily intended to impress or persuade: they’re ready to listen to any smooth-tongued rhetorician
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    • By contrast, the new abolitionist calls are being issued primarily by rhetoricians in the field who consider, in Young's words, art as grammar.
    • Hence the rhetorician who wants to persuade by arguments or proofs can adapt most of the dialectical equipment.
    • Although Hairston, Young, Becker and Pike take for granted that Rogers' theories are appropriate for use by rhetoricians as a means to persuade, this is not the case.


late Middle English: from Old French rethoricien, from rhetorique (see rhetoric).

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