June 6th, 2021

words 6

Sunday Word: Peroration

peroration [per-uh-rey-shuhn]

1 the concluding part of a speech or discourse, in which the speaker or writer recapitulates the principal points and urges them with greater earnestness and force
2 a long speech characterized by lofty and often pompous language or rhetoric


Generally speaking, the peroration of a speech is intended to emphasize briefly what is to be done — and Duterte ended with threats against major water services and electricity corporations in the country. (Arcale John R Deraco, Duterte’s political rhetoric and the masses, The Manila Times, August 2020)

If you chose the wrong time to go to the loo, you would get a 20-minute peroration on every 18th century print lining the stairs. (Zoe Williams, My teenage respect for the rules led me to risk poisoning the whole family, The Guardian, December 2020)

He was in his shirt-sleeves, on account of the extreme heat, and he seemed to have just reached the peroration of his speech, and was impressively beating his breast. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot)

At first, indeed, I pretended that I was describing the imaginary experiences of a fictitious person; but my enthusiasm soon forced me to throw off all disguise, and finally, in a fervent peroration, I exhorted all my hearers to divest themselves of prejudice and to become believers in the Third Dimension (Edwin Abbott, Flatland)


mid-15c, peroracioun, 'a speech, an address,' in rhetoric, 'the concluding part of an address,' involving an emphatic restatement of the principal points, from Latin perorationem (nominative peroratio) 'the ending of a speech or argument of a case,' from past-participle stem of perorare 'argue a case to the end, bring a speech to a close,' from per 'to the end,' hence 'thoroughly, completely' (from PIE root per- 'forward,' hence 'through') + ōrare 'to speak, plead'. (Online Etymology Dictionary)

As you may have already guessed, 'peroration' is a relative of 'oration.' Both words ultimately derive from the Latin orare, meaning 'to speak' or 'to plead.' The direct ancestor of 'peroration' is the Latin verb perorare, meaning 'to declaim at length or 'to wind up an oration.' Perorare, in turn, comes from the combination of per- ('through') and orare. The English language also has the verb 'perorate,' which means 'to deliver a long or grandiloquent speech' or 'to offer a concluding part of a speech.' (Merriam-Webster)