American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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EL'OQUENCE, noun [Latin eloquentia, from eloquor, loquor, to speak; Gr. to crack, to sound, to speak. The primary sense is probably to burst with a sound; a fissure, from the same root; whence, to open or split; whence Latin lacero, to tear; and hence perhaps Eng. a leak.]

1. Oratory; the act or the art of speaking well, or with fluency and elegance. eloquence comprehends a good elocution or utterance; correct; appropriate and rich expressions, with fluency, animation and suitable action. Hence eloquence is adapted to please, affect and persuade. Demosthenes in Greece, Cicero in Rome, lord Chatham and Burke in Great Britain, were distinguished for their eloquence in declamation, debate or argument.

2. The power of speaking with fluency and elegance.

3. Elegant language, uttered with fluency and animation.

She uttereth piercing eloquence

4. It is sometimes applied to written language.