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

adj 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”

adj 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)
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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