"involving a mention of something one feigns to deny; involving knowledge obtained by negation," 1850, from Latinized form of Greek apophatikos, from apophasis "denial, negation," from apophanai "to speak off," from apo "off, away from" (see apo-) + phanai "to speak," related to phēmē "voice" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").
of persons, "open to conversation or approach," late 15c., from Old French affable "benign, approachable" (14c.), from Latin affabilis "approachable, courteous, kind, friendly," literally "who can be (easily) spoken to," from affari "to speak to," from ad "to" (see ad-) + fari "to speak" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say"). Related: Affably.
mid-15c., elocucioun, "oratorical or literary style," from Late Latin elocutionem (nominative elocutio) "voice production, a speaking out, utterance, manner of expression," in classical Latin especially "rhetorical utterance, oratorical expression," noun of action from past-participle stem of eloqui "to speak out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak"). Related: Elocutionary; elocutionist.
In minstrel shows, the name of a straight-man character (1870) who was the questioner of the end men. Related: Interlocutory. Fem. forms include interlocutress (1858), interlocutrix (1846), interlocutrice (1848).
"speak evil of, maliciously speak or write what injures the reputation of," c. 1300, from Old French defamer (13c., Modern French diffamer), from Medieval Latin defamare, from Latin diffamare "to spread abroad by ill report, make a scandal of," from dis-, here probably suggestive of ruination, + fama "a report, rumor" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say"). Related: Defamed; defaming.