See also


Kind Of


Old Chinese Criteria

1. The current general term for articulate rhetorical ability is biàn 辯 (ant. nè 訥 "be tongue-tied").

2. Nìng 佞 typically describes rhetorical skill as an unattractive negative attribute.

3. Gǔ jí 滑稽 is an ambiguous word referring to elequence as either articulateness and fluency, or as loquaciousness.

Modern Chinese Criteria

口才 is the standard modern word referring to eloquence.

文才 refers to written eloquence.

辯才 focusses on intellectual as well as rhetorical proficiency.

三寸舌 "three inch tongue" is derogatory.

三寸不爛之舌 "three inch unrotting tongue" is vividly derogatory.

筆墨 refers to elegance of written style.

筆底下 refers to an admirable ability to write well.



生花之筆 (prov) refers in a flowery way to an admirable ability to write well.

生花妙筆 (prov) refers in a flowery way to an admirable ability to write extremely well.

rough draft to BEGIN TO identify synonym group members for analysis, based on CL etc. 18.11.2003. CH /

COMENIUS 1665 De Rerum Humanarum Emendatione 510©

DISERTUS est qvi facile; Facundus qvi jucunde; Eloquens, qui potenter loqvitur. Sive Disertus, cujus verba fluunt; Facundus cujus Verba svaviter influunt; Eloqvens, cujus verba percellunt "overpower", movent, flectunt, captivant.

DIFFERENTIAE I De differentiis 38


136. Ex Agraetio.

-- Discretus est. Lege: Desertus, est derelictus, a [col. 25C] deserendo dictus. Ex Agraetii mente neutra harum lectionum, quas ms. habent, tolerari potest. Al.: Dissertus est doctus a disserendo, etc.


136. Inter Disertum et discretum [Al., dissertum]. Disertus orator est, discretus est doctus, a discendo dictus.

DIFFERENTIAE I De differentiis 39


179. Varr., IV de Ling. Latin.: Loquax, qui nimium loquitur; eloquens, qui copiose loquitur. Ipse, Etymolog. lib. X, littera C et L.

-- Sallustius. Citatur idem fragmentum ab Agell., lib. I, cap. 15. Incertum unde.


179. Inter Eloquentem et loquacem. Sinceritas facundiae eloquentum est, effusa et incondita temeritas, loquacium. Unde est Sallustius: Loquax magis quam facundus. Et Cicero: Hunc loquacem esse habitum, nunquam dissertum.

DOEDERLEIN 1840 Lateinische Synonyme und Etymologien


disertus refers to a person who speaks with clarity and precision.

facundus refers to someone who speaks with a natural facility and graceful eloquence.

eloquens refers to someone who speaks with precision and grace at the same time.


garrulitas refers to childish or idle talkativeness, from the mere pleasure of talking and hearing oselsef talk.

loquacitas refers to a quaint talkativeness, from inability to stop short, which has its origin in the diminished energy of old age.

garrulus refers to the property of a person given to much talking.

verbosus refers to the property of a text which uses excessively many words.


lepos refers to light wit which, like humour, is only opposed to seriousness and is opposed to dullness of mind.

festivitas refers to a cheerful wit as opposed to gloomy seriousness.

facetiae refers to the jocund type of wit.

sales rfers to pungent wit, piquant humour.

dicacitas refers to the satirical wit which is exercised at the cost of others, yet so that the jest is still the principal aim, the pain inflicted being only an accidental adjunct.

cavillatio refers to the scoffing wit in which the mortification of others is the principal aim, the jest only a a means and unimportant form.

DUFOUR 1910 Traite elementaire des synonymes grecques 77

LANGIUS 1631 Anthologia sive Florilegium rerum et materiarum selectarum 29



MENGE Lateinische Synonymik 206

MENGE Lateinische Synonymik 354

SCHMIDT 1889 Handbuch der lateinischen und griechischen Synonymik 3

UEDING 1992ff Historisches Woerterbuch der Rhetorik 1.1455

UEDING 1992ff Historisches Woerterbuch der Rhetorik 2.1091

WU SANXING 2008 中國文化背景八千詞 Zhongguo wenhua beijing ba qian ci 236FF

TENG SHOU-HSIN 1996 Chinese Synonyms Usage Dictionary 305



Attributions by syntactic funtion

  • nab : 46
  • vi : 34
  • VPi : 17
  • vadN : 16
  • v[adN] : 6
  • NPab : 2
  • vtoN : 2
  • NP[adN] : 2
  • vadV : 2
  • n : 2
  • VPadN : 2
  • VP[adN] : 1
  • nab(.post-N) : 1
  • NPab{N1adN2} : 1
  • vi.red : 1
  • NP : 1
  • NP{N1=N2} : 1

Attributions by text

  • 韓非子 : 40
  • 論語 : 15
  • 春秋左傳 : 15
  • 管子 : 13
  • 荀子 : 7
  • 說苑 : 7
  • 史記 : 7
  • 論衡 : 5
  • 莊子 : 5
  • 呂氏春秋 : 3
  • 戰國策 : 3
  • 陸機集十一卷 : 2
  • 春秋穀梁傳 : 2
  • 孟子 : 2
  • 祖堂集 : 2
  • 楚辭 : 2
  • 晏子春秋 : 1
  • 禮記 : 1
  • 百喻經 : 1
  • 老子 : 1
  • 韓詩外傳 : 1
  • 新論-漢-桓譚 : 1
  • 文子 : 1


辯 / 辨   biàn OC: brenʔ MC: biɛn biàn OC: brenʔ MC: biɛn 53 Attributions

The current general term for articulate rhetorical ability is biàn 辯 (ant. nè 訥 "be tongue-tied"). The current general term for articulate rhetorical ability is biàn 辯 (ant. nè 訥 "be tongue-tied").

  • viactbe well-spoken, be eloquent, be rhetorically successful; be well-argued; show eloquence in action
  • vadNeloquent, well-spoken; LH 1: interested in rhetoric
  • nabdispositionconvincing eloquence; rhetoric; rhetorical polish; rhetorical skill
  • vtoNcausativemake rhetorically beautiful
  • vadVeloquently
  • nabfeaturerhetorical and argumentative proficiency
  • nsubject=nonrefthose who are eloquent
  • nabactdiscursive argumentation; acts of eloquence and argumentation; especially: specious argumentation
  • vadNgradedeloquent, well-spoken
  • visubject=wordsbe well-articulated (
  • nab(.post-N)the eloquence of the contextually determinate N
   nìng OC: neeŋs MC: neŋ 38 Attributions

Nìng 佞 typically describes rhetorical skill as an unattractive negative attribute.

  • nabactsuperficial eloquence, outward well-spokenness; empty rhetoric
  • nabdispositionrhetorical ability
  • v[adN]pluralpeople who are skilful talkers, glib talker, rhetorical sham
  • vadNeloquent, rhetorically smooth 佞人
  • vibe eloquent, have shrewd eloquence 寡人不佞
  • viderogatorybe glib-tongued,be rhetorically crafty
   cí OC: zɯ MC: zɨ 11 Attributions
  • nabactrhetorical formulation, proper formulation; diction;
  • vadNwell-formulated
  • viactmake elaborate formulations, make speeches; indulge in rhetoric;
  • neloquent prose
有口   yǒu kǒu OC: ɢʷɯʔ khooʔ MC: ɦɨu khu 5 Attributions
  • VPicolloquial: have good rhetorical talents
   yán OC: ŋan MC: ŋi̯ɐn 4 Attributions
  • nabactthe gift of effective public speech, public eloquence
辯智   biàn zhì OC: brenʔ tes MC: biɛn ʈiɛ 4 Attributions
  • NPabdispositiondialectic cleverness
  • VPadNeloquent and clever
  • VPiintensitivebe rhetorcially clever
有辭   yǒu cí OC: ɢʷɯʔ zɯ MC: ɦɨu zɨ 3 Attributions
  • VPibe eloquent; be able to explain oneself
滑稽   gǔ jī OC: kuud kii MC: kuot kei 3 Attributions

Gǔ jí 滑稽 is an ambiguous word referring to elequence as either articulateness and fluency, or as loquaciousness.

  • VPadNrhetorically rich and witty
  • VPibe quick-witted, be eloquent
  • VPinegativebe glib-tongued
   shēng OC: qjeŋ MC: ɕiɛŋ 2 Attributions
  • nabactrhetoric, speechifying, public speaking
利口   lì kǒu OC: rids khooʔ MC: li khu 2 Attributions
  • NP[adN]nonreferentialthe sharp-tongued, the well-spoken
巧佞   qiǎo nìng OC: khruuʔ neeŋs MC: khɣɛu neŋ 2 Attributions
  • VP[adN]the crafty talkers
  • NPabactcrafty eloquence
   yín OC: ŋrɯn MC: ŋin 1 Attribution
  • vi.redreduplicated: well-reasoned and affable
佞人   nìng rén OC: neeŋs njin MC: neŋ ȵin 1 Attribution
  • NPindefiniteglib-tongued person; toady
  • NPnonreferentialthe eloquent (in general)
博辯   bó biàn OC: paaɡ brenʔ MC: pɑk biɛn 1 Attribution
  • VPibe full of expansive rhetoric
口給   kǒu jǐ OC: khooʔ krub MC: khu kip 1 Attribution
  • NPab{N1adN2}featureeloquence
察辯   chá biàn OC: skhreed brenʔ MC: ʈʂhɣɛt biɛn 1 Attribution
  • VPibe incisive and well-argued
文辭   wén cí OC: mɯn zɯ MC: mi̯un zɨ 1 Attribution
  • NP{N1=N2}written eloquence
誾誾   yín yín OC: ŋrɯn ŋrɯn MC: ŋin ŋin 1 Attribution
  • VPibe well argued and reasonable (of a person) 誾誾如
辨智 / 辯智   biàn zhì OC: brenʔ tes MC: biɛn ʈiɛ biàn zhì OC: brenʔ tes MC: biɛn ʈiɛ 1 Attribution
  • VPibe eloquent and clever
   lì OC: rids MC: li 1 Attribution
  • vadNeloquent, smooth, well-spoken
佞兌   nìng rui4 MC: nengH -- OC: neeŋs -- 1 Attribution
  • VPiderogatory(probably = ning4rui4 佞銳) be glib-tongued, crafty in speech
   biàn OC: brenʔ MC: biɛn 0 Attributions
    佞者   nìng zhě OC: neeŋs kljaʔ MC: neŋ tɕɣɛ 0 Attributions
    • NPnonreferentialthe quick-tongued, the eloquent
    辯達   biàn dá OC: brenʔ daad MC: biɛn dɑt 0 Attributions
    • NPabdispositionrhetorical skill, efficient eloquence

    Existing SW for

    Here are Syntactic Words already defined in the database: