Printable Version
Pronunciation: pêr-ê-raj-shên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. The conclusion of a speech, either a summarization or attempt to inspire the audience. 2. A highly rhetorical or bombastic speech.

Notes: Today's word is the noun derived from perorate "to sum up a speech or oration". It comes with the full panoply of derivations of most verbs ending on -ate: a personal noun, perorator, and two adjectives: perorative and peroratory, which also serves as a (rare) synonym of peroration.

In Play: Today's word has come to mean a long-winded oration: "Senator Jess Newcombe gave another of his perorations which put most of his audience to sleep." It originally meant the conclusion of an oration: "I was deeply moved by the peroration of the president's speech."

Word History: Today's Good Word was taken from Latin peroratio(n) "the closing or a speech or argument", the action noun for perorare "bring a speech to a close", comprising per "through finished" + orare "to speak formally". PIE per- meant "forward, before, through". Latin took the latter meaning in the sense of English through "over, ended". Orare may be based on PIE or- "to speak ritually", source also of Sanskrit aryanti "they praise" and Attic Greek ara "prayer". It may also come from PIE os- "mouth", source of Latin os, oris "mouth", source of Russian orat' "bellow" and Late Latin oralis "of the mouth", which English borrowed as oral. Latin also had a verb osculari "to kiss", borrowed by English as osculate. Take your pick. (Now let's appreciate the efforts of champion contributor William Hupy, with nine pages of suggestions to his credit in the Agora since 2006, for today's fascinating Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!