Word: eloquence

Pronunciation: E-lə-kwəns

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: fluent or persuasive speaking or writing

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Today’s Word of the Week is featured thanks to my mother, who recently sent me a list of the 100 most beautiful words in English. There were plenty of excellent words to choose from, some of which will appear later in this segment, but I chose “eloquence” first because: (a) it’s one of my favorite writing-related words; and (b) it’s fitting of the woman who showed me the list. My mother has always had a way of charming people with her words!

“Eloquence” refers to a person’s ability to speak or write in a fluent and/or persuasive manner. The word arose in late Middle English and comes from the Latin noun eloquentia, which in turn is derived from the verb eloqui, meaning “to speak out”. This verb is composed of the preposition ex “out” and the verb loqui “to speak”.

Truth be told, I’ve always loved the word “eloquence”, so when I saw it had made the list of most beautiful English words, I had to jump at the chance to feature it in my vocabulary segment. I see it as one of those words that apply equally to fiction and to real life, for to be “eloquent” is a goal that every writer should strive to achieve. Being able to captivate your audience using only your words is key to your success as a writer. Whether it’s a description of the skill your characters have to persuade their peers or a reminder of the standard to which you should hold your stories, “eloquence” is an excellent word to keep on your vocabulary list! Good luck!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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