A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1702, 1703

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1702, 1703

Rhétorick. n.s. [ῥητορικὴ; rhetorique, Fr.]

  1. The act of speaking not merely with propriety, but with art and elegance.

    We could not allow him an orator, who had the best thoughts, and who knew all the rules of rhetorique, if he had not acquired the art of using them. Dryden's Dufresnoy.

    Of the passions, and how they are moved, Aristotle, in his second book of rhetorick, hath admirably discoursed in a little compass. Locke's Thoughts on Reading.

    Grammar teacheth us to speak properly, rhetorick instructs to speak elegantly. Baker's Reflections on Learning.

  2. The power of persuasion; oratory.

    The heart's still rhetorick, disclos'd with eyes. Shakesp.

    His sober lips then did he softly part,
    Whence of pure rhetorick whole streams outflow.

    Enjoy your dear wit and gay rhetorick,
    That hath so well been taught her dazling fence.

Sources: Baker, Thomas (10) · Dryden, John (788) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost (33) · Milton, John (449)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Rhetorick." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 23, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/rhetorick/.

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