AskDefine | Define diction

Dictionary Definition



1 the articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience [syn: enunciation]
2 the manner in which something is expressed in words; "use concise military verbiage"- G.S.Patton [syn: wording, phrasing, phraseology, choice of words, verbiage]

User Contributed Dictionary



From the Latin dicere, to speak.



  1. The effectiveness and degree of clarity of word choice and presentation.

Related terms


Extensive Definition

Diction, in its original, primary meaning, refers to the writer's or the speaker's distinctive vocabulary choices and style of expression. A secondary, common meaning of "diction" is better, and more precisely, expressed with the word enunciation — the art of speaking clearly so that each word is clearly heard and understood to its fullest complexity and extremity. This secondary sense concerns pronunciation and tone, rather than word choice and style. Diction is divided into two types: Denotation is the literal meaning of a word. Connotation is the attitudes and feelings associated with a word.
Diction has multiple concerns; register — words being either formal or informal in social context — is foremost. Literary diction analysis reveals how a passage establishes tone and characterization, e.g. a preponderance of verbs relating physical movement suggests an active character, while a preponderance of verbs relating states of mind portrays an introspective character. Diction also has an impact upon word choice and syntax.
Diction comprises eight elements: Phoneme, Syllable, Conjunction, Connective, Noun, Verb, Inflection, and Utterance.
diction in German: Diktion
diction in French: Diction
diction in Italian: Dizione
diction in Russian: Дикция
diction in Turkish: Diksiyon

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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