Last modified on 27 October 2014, at 19:58


Action is eloquence. ~ William Shakespeare in Coriolanus

Eloquence (from Latin eloquentia) is fluent, forcible, elegant or persuasive speaking in public. It is primarily the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion. The term is also used for writing in a fluent style.


  • The most eloquent voice of our century uttered, shortly before leaving the world, a warning cry against the "Anglo-Saxon contagion."
  • Discourse may want an animated "No"
    To brush the surface, and to make it flow;
    But still remember, if you mean to please,
    To press your point with modesty and ease.
  • To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy.
    • Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis (1938), Ch. 18: The Taming of Power.
  • That aged ears play truant at his tales
    And younger hearings are quite ravished;
    So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
  • But while listening Senates hang upon thy tongue,
    Devolving through the maze of eloquence
    A roll of periods, sweeter than her song.
  • But to a higher mark than song can reach,
    Rose this pure eloquence.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 219-20.
  • Is enim est eloquens qui et humilia subtiliter, et magna graviter, et mediocria temperate potest dicere.
    • He is an eloquent man who can treat humble subjects with delicacy, lofty things impressively, and moderate things temperately.
    • Cicero, De Oratore, XXIX.
  • Il embellit tout qu'il touche.
    • He adorned whatever he touched.
    • François Fénelon, Lettre sur les Occupations de l'Académie Française, Section IV.
  • A good discourse is that from which nothing can be retrenched without cutting into the quick.
  • L'éloquence est au sublime ce que le tout est à sa partie.
    • Eloquence is to the sublime what the whole is to its part.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, Chapter I.
  • Eloquence may be found in conversations and in all kinds of writings; it is rarely found when looked for, and sometimes discovered where it is least expected.
  • Profane eloquence is transfered from the bar, where Le Maître, Pucelle, and Fourcroy formerly practised it, and where it has become obsolete, to the Pulpit, where it is out of place.
  • There is as much eloquence in the tone of voice, in the eyes, and in the air of a speaker as in his choice of words.
  • True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and nothing but what is necessary.
  • When your crowd of attendants so loudly applaud you, Pomponius, it is not you, but your banquet, that is eloquent.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book VI, Epistle 48.
  • * * as that dishonest victory
    At Chæronea, fatal to liberty,
    Killed with report that old man eloquent,
    [Isocrates, the celebrated orator of Greece.]
  • In causa facili cuivis licet esse diserto.
    • In an easy cause any man may be eloquent.
    • Ovid, Tristium, III. 11. 21.
  • L'éloquence est une peinture de la pensée.
    • Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées, XXIV. 88.
  • It is with eloquence as with a flame; it requires fuel to feed it, motion to excite it, and it brightens as it burns.
  • Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
    Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong.
  • Omnium artium domina [eloquentia].
    • [Eloquence] the mistress of all the arts.
    • Tacitus, De Oratoribus, XXXII.
  • Magna eloquentia, sicut flamma, materia alitur, et motibus excitatur et urendo clarescit.
    • It is the eloquence as of a flame; it requires matter to feed it, motion to excite it, and it brightens as it burns.
    • Tacitus, De Oratoribus, XXXVI.

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