1. Choice and use of words in speech or writing.
2. Degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation in speech or singing; enunciation.
[Middle English diccion, a saying, word, from Old French, from Latin dictiō, dictiōn-, rhetorical delivery, from dictus, past participle of dīcere, to say, speak; see deik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.