If you ask a rhetorical question it means you don’t necessarily expect an answer, but you do want an occasion to talk about something.

  • Pronunciation: / rɪ'tɔrɪkl/
  • English description: given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought
  • Synonyms: nonliteral
  • Chinese Translation: 修辞的(xiu1 ci2 de)
  • Spanish Translation: retórico
  • ORIGIN: Rhetoric is the art of written or spoken communication. If you went to school a hundred years ago, your English class would have been called Rhetoric. But nowadays if we say something is rhetorical, we usually mean that it’s only good for talking. If you speak beautifully about carpentry but can’t ever actually build a cabinet, we might say you have lots of rhetorical flare, but very little real skill.


  • But snippets released so far suggest it will at least sustain the party’s rhetorical commitment to badly needed economic reforms.
  • Most Americans understand, intuitively, that the differences between the major parties are often rhetorical, not substantive.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in Vocabulary

Song of the Week: <I lived>