euphuism

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n euphuism an elegant style of prose of the Elizabethan period; characterized by balance and antithesis and alliteration and extended similes with and allusions to nature and mythology
    • n euphuism any artificially elegant style of language
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n euphuism (Rhet) An affectation of excessive elegance and refinement of language; high-flown diction.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n euphuism In English literature, an affected literary style, originating in the fifteenth century, characterized by a wide vocabulary, alliteration, consonance, verbal antithesis, and odd combinations of words. The style, although bombastic and ridiculous originally, contributed to the flexibility and verbal resources of later English. It assumed its most extreme form in the works of John Lyly, called the Euphuist.
    • n euphuism Synonyms This word is sometimes confounded with euphemism and euphony. It has nothing to do with either.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Euphuism ū′fū-izm an affected and bombastic style of language: a high-flown expression
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. e'yfyh`s well grown, graceful; e'y^ well + fyh` growth, fr. fy`ein to grow. This affected style of conversation and writing, fashionable for some time in the court of Elizabeth, had its origin from the fame of Lyly's books, “Euphues, or the Anatomy of Wit,” and “Euphues and his England.”
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From Euphues, a popular book by John Lyly (1579-80).—Gr. euphyēs, graceful—eu, well, phyē, growth—phyesthai, to grow.

Usage

In literature:

He says that 'Italy is only an euphuism for Fate.
"A Room With A View" by E. M. Forster
It was a euphuism to speak of a fling at you: it was a kick.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin" by Charles Darwin
Its name is quaint, for so was its discoverer, Luke Fox, a worthy man, addicted much to euphuism.
"Voyages in Search of the North-West Passage" by Richard Hakluyt
What is meant by euphuism?
"English Literature" by William J. Long
The vice of Euphuism was its monotony.
"From Chaucer to Tennyson" by Henry A. Beers
A euphuism has been invented to cover the wrongfulness of this system; it is now called 'discounting.
"Hodge and His Masters" by Richard Jefferies
EUPHUISM, an affected bombastic style of language, so called from "Euphues," a work of Sir John Lyly's written in that style.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
The Renaissance riots itself away in Marinism, Gongorism, Euphuism, and the affectations of the Hotel Rambouillet.
"Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2" by John Addington Symonds
Few of the poems in the Anthology depict any ephemeral phase or fashion of opinion, like the Euphuism of the sixteenth century.
"Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913" by Evelyn Baring
The good wives of the neighbourhood used no such euphuisms as their more prudent husbands, when they spoke of Crayshaw's.
"We and the World, Part I" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
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