Pronunciation: (ret'ur-ik), [key]
1. (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
2. the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
3. the study of the effective use of language.
4. the ability to use language effectively.
5. the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
6. the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
7. (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.
8. (in older use) a work on rhetoric.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.