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rhetoric (n.)

early 14c., rethorike, "the art of eloquence and persuasiveness in language, the art of using language to influence others," from Old French retorike, rethorique (Modern French rhétorique) and directly from Latin rhetorice, from Greek rhētorikētekhnē  "art of an orator," from rhētōr (genitive rhētoros) "speaker, master speaker, orator; artist of discourse; teacher of rhetoric," especially (in the Attic official language), "orator in public." This is related to rhesis "speech," rhema "word, phrase, verb," literally "that which is spoken" (from PIE *wre-tor-, from root *were- (3) "to speak;" see verb). Since classical times with a derogatory suggestion of "artificial oratory" as opposed to what is natural or unaffected, "ostentatious declamation."

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Definitions of rhetoric from WordNet

rhetoric (n.)
using language effectively to please or persuade;
rhetoric (n.)
high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation;
Synonyms: grandiosity / magniloquence / ornateness / grandiloquence
rhetoric (n.)
loud and confused and empty talk;
mere rhetoric
Synonyms: palaver / hot air / empty words / empty talk
rhetoric (n.)
study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially in public speaking);
From wordnet.princeton.edu