Meaning of rhetorician in English:


Pronunciation /rɛtəˈrɪʃ(ə)n/


  • 1An expert in formal rhetoric.

    ‘Olson, Richard McKeon, and Ronald Crane put hundreds of graduate students at least on speaking terms with classical rhetoric, and rhetoricians were active in the Hutchins college as well.’
    • ‘Including the term ‘rhetoric,’ we rhetoricians argued, would help to both demystify the term and avoid giving the impression that the option was a sort of vocational track.’
    • ‘To the extent that Hoppin influenced Robinson, he would have accorded classical rhetoric primary importance and singled out Quintilian as the rhetorician deserving the highest praise.’
    • ‘In times of radical change, artists, rhetoricians, and critical intellectuals too often underestimate our importance and our powers.’
    • ‘As rhetoricians with no one definition of rhetoric and no shared characterization of the writing whose teaching they would supervise, they would face the risk of intellectual chaos.’
    • ‘At the meeting of the Rhetoric Society of America in 2000 a group of rhetoricians from Communication and English met late one afternoon to consider the future of rhetoric as an academic discipline.’
    • ‘A distinguished cast of classical Greek and Roman rhetoricians differed fundamentally on the tasks of rhetoric and the evidence of their disputes is conveniently collected in Quintilian.’
    • ‘To say that the drama often emphasizes the dark side of rhetoric is certainly true, but to argue that Renaissance rhetoricians were unaware of that side is simply to ignore a great deal of evidence to the contrary.’
    • ‘This department would bring together the twelve to fifteen scholars of composition/rhetoric in English with the four to six rhetoricians from communications.’
    • ‘The senses of rhetoric deployed here are quite narrow, invoking what ancient rhetoricians would have thought of as the third and fifth canons of rhetoric respectively.’
    • ‘Such work is likely to be outside the home unit's understanding of rhetoric, which will require educating colleagues who are not rhetoricians.’
    • ‘If rhetoricians are the approved practitioners of rhetoric, they can expand their territory by an expansive definition.’
    • ‘As rhetoricians, we generally take as a starting point that rhetoric involves action.’
    • ‘In short, Lacanian psychoanalytic theory can help rhetoricians navigate the posthumanist theoretical landscape in a characteristically rhetorical way.’
    • ‘Numerous rhetoricians have also considered how rhetorical space is created and how it includes and excludes certain discourse, and certain speakers.’
    • ‘Coupland the slaphappy rhetorician, drunk on throwaway tropes and instant epigrams, puts Coupland the pop sociologist in the shade.’
    • ‘A rhetorician could note figures and tropes throughout the play.’
    • ‘As rhetoricians, we understand the strategic power of attending to practical resources of particular situations, and a rhetorical stance on rhetorical studies needs to put that understanding to use.’
    • ‘I'm interested that over the years, the people who have invited us into their classrooms to see how they teach and talk most intelligently about teaching are not the rhetoricians.’
    • ‘It's plain silly to compartmentalize the disciplines, as if a botanist couldn't talk to an economist, a geologist to a rhetorician, or N. A. Chomsky to G. W. Bush.’
    1. 1.1A speaker whose words are primarily intended to impress or persuade.
      ‘they're ready to listen to any smooth-tongued rhetorician’
      • ‘By contrast, the new abolitionist calls are being issued primarily by rhetoricians in the field who consider, in Young's words, art as grammar.’
      • ‘Hence the rhetorician who wants to persuade by arguments or proofs can adapt most of the dialectical equipment.’
      • ‘Although Hairston, Young, Becker and Pike take for granted that Rogers' theories are appropriate for use by rhetoricians as a means to persuade, this is not the case.’
      • ‘But in the hands of the party's rhetoricians, such trite sentiments are intended to catch votes, not to express real policies.’
      • ‘Campbell's manner is refined and thoughtful; he is not a forceful lecturer, but a measured and methodical rhetorician.’
      • ‘The moralizing is given all the force which an accomplished rhetorician can provide and is enlivened by anecdote, hyperbole, and vigorous denunciation.’
      • ‘Again, the image-based rhetorician has a competitive advantage over the concept-based rhetorician: imagery produces superior memory for verbal material.’
      • ‘Wright begins with the note commonly sounded by rhetoricians: the orator must first feel the passion he wishes to ‘imprint’ in his audience.’
      • ‘From a critical perspective, Juanita's awareness that her work could be ‘dismissed as bogus’ because of particular language choices is an important factor in her development as a rhetorician.’
      speech-maker, public speaker, lecturer, talker, speechifier, expounder, orator, declaimer, rhetorician, haranguer


Late Middle English from Old French rethoricien, from rhetorique (see rhetoric).