If you ask a rhetorical question it means you don’t necessarily expect an answer, but you do want an occasion to talk about something.

Rhetoric is the art of written or spoken communication. If you went to school a hundred years ago, your English class would have been called Rhetoric. But nowadays if we say something is rhetorical, we usually mean that it’s only good for talking. If you speak beautifully about carpentry but can’t ever actually build a cabinet, we might say you have lots of rhetorical flare, but very little real skill.

Definitions of rhetorical
  1. adjective
    of or relating to rhetoric
    “"accepted two or three verbal and rhetorical changes I suggested"- W.A.White”
    “"the rhetorical sin of the meaningless variation"- Lewis Mumford”
  2. adjective
    given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought
    “mere rhetorical frippery”
    figurative, nonliteral
    (used of the meanings of words or text) not literal; using figures of speech
    not plain; decorative or ornamented
    bombastic, declamatory, large, orotund, tumid, turgid
    ostentatiously lofty in style
    flowery, ornate
    marked by elaborate rhetoric and elaborated with decorative details
    empurpled, over-embellished, purple
    excessively elaborate or showily expressed
    of, relating to, or used in public debate or argument
    grandiloquent, magniloquent, tall
    lofty in style
    characteristic of an orator or oratory
    poetic, poetical
    characteristic of or befitting poetry
    of or relating to style (especially in the use of language)
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    not rhetorical
    used of spoken and written language
    limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
    matter-of-fact, prosaic
    not fanciful or imaginative
    using simple and direct language
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