rhetoric

Rhetoric is speaking or writing that's intended to persuade. If your goal is to write editorial columns for the New York Times, you should work on your rhetoric.

Rhetoric comes from the Greek meaning "speaker" and is used for the art of persuasive speaking or writing. When people listened eagerly to long speeches and studied them in school, rhetoric was generally used positively; now it is often a negative term, implying artfulness over real content. If someone gives a clever speech but doesn't really address the problem, you might say, "That's just a lot of rhetoric."

Definitions of rhetoric
  1. noun
    study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially in public speaking)
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    type of:
    literary study
    the humanistic study of literature
  2. noun
    using language effectively to please or persuade
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    type of:
    expressive style, style
    a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period
  3. noun
    high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation
    synonyms: grandiloquence, grandiosity, magniloquence, ornateness
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    types:
    flourish
    a display of ornamental speech or language
    blah, bombast, claptrap, fustian, rant
    pompous or pretentious talk or writing
    type of:
    expressive style, style
    a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period
  4. noun
    loud and confused and empty talk
    “mere rhetoric
    synonyms: empty talk, empty words, hot air, palaver
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    type of:
    bunk, hokum, meaninglessness, nonsense, nonsensicality
    a message that seems to convey no meaning
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