AskDefine | Define grandiloquent

Dictionary Definition

grandiloquent adj
1 lofty in style; "he engages in so much tall talk, one never really realizes what he is saying" [syn: magniloquent, tall]
2 puffed up with vanity; "a grandiloquent and boastful manner"; "overblown oratory"; "a pompous speech"; "pseudo-scientific gobbledygook and pontifical hooey"- Newsweek [syn: overblown, pompous, pontifical, portentous]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From grandiloquus < grandis + loquor

Pronunciation

  • /gɹænˈdɪl.ə.kwənt/ /gr

Extensive Definition

Grandiloquence is speech or writing marked by pompous or bombastic diction. It is a combination of Latin word "grandis" (great) and "loqui" (to speak).
The 29th President of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, is often considered a grandiloquent speaker. His style of speaking was somewhat unusual, even in his age. The following is an example of his unusual and grandiloquent word speech:
''"America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality…."''
William Gibbs McAdoo believed Harding's speeches consisted of "an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea."
Senator Robert C. Byrd from West Virginia lost his position as majority leader in 1989 because his colleagues felt his grandiloquent speeches, often employing obscure allusions to ancient Rome and Greece, were not an asset to the party base. This trait has been exemplified by oratory quoting Shakespeare upon the death of his little dog Billy.

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Sources

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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