1. An affectedly elegant literary style of the late 1500s and early 1600s, characterized by elaborate alliteration, antitheses, and similes.
2. Affected elegance of language.
[After Euphues, a character in Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit and Euphues and his England by John Lyly, from Greek euphuēs, shapely : eu-, eu- + phuein, to grow, bring forth; see bheuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
eu′phu·istic, eu′phu·isti·cal adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.