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From Latin allocūtiō (address).



allocution (countable and uncountable, plural allocutions)

  1. A formal speech, especially one which is regarded as authoritative and forceful.
    • 1904, Joseph Conrad, Nostromo, ch. 2:
      The Minister of War, in a barrack-square allocution to the officers of the artillery regiment he had been inspecting, had declared the national honour sold to foreigners.
  2. (chiefly US, law) The question put to a convicted defendant by a judge after the rendering of the verdict in a trial, in which the defendant is asked whether he or she wishes to make a statement to the court before sentencing; the statement made by a defendant in response to such a question; the legal right of a defendant to make such a statement.
    • 1997, Caren Myers, "Encouraging Allocution at Capital Sentencing: A Proposal for Use Immunity," Columbia Law Review, vol. 97, no. 3, p. 788 n6:
      The term "allocution" refers to the personal right of a defendant to make a statement on his own behalf in an attempt to affect sentencing. . . . The word "allocution" is also frequently used . . . to describe the statement made by a defendant during a guilty plea proceeding.
  3. (chiefly US, law) The legal right of a victim, in some jurisdictions, to make a statement to a court prior to sentencing of a defendant convicted of a crime causing injury to that victim; the actual statement made to a court by a victim.
    • 1989, Karen L. Kennard, "The Victim's Veto: A Way to Increase Victim Impact on Criminal Case Dispositions," California Law Review, vol. 77, no. 2, p. 427 n49:
      As of July, 1985, 19 states permitted victim allocution at the sentencing phase of criminal trials.
  4. (Roman Catholicism) A pronouncement by a pope to an assembly of church officials concerning a matter of church policy.
    • 2004, Thomas Shannon and James Walter, "Implications of the Papal Allocution on Feeding Tubes," The Hastings Center Report, vol. 34, no. 4, p. 18:
      The recent papal allocution To the International Congress on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas has been the occasion for much discussion concerning the use of artificial feeding tubes for nutrition and hydration.
  5. (communication, media) The mode of information dissemination in which media broadcasts are transmitted to multiple receivers with no or very limited capability of a two-way exchange of information.
    • 1993, I. Th. M. Snellen and Wim B. H. J. van de Donk (eds.), Public Administration in an Information Age, →ISBN, p. 198 (Google preview):
      Allocution is the dissemination of information by a central unit towards a collectivity of decentral units, the central unit being both the source and the determining actor.
    • 2008, Christina Spurgeon, Advertising and New Media, →ISBN, p. 5 (Google preview):
      Bordewijk and van Kaam describe the one-to-many architecture of modern broadcast mass media as ‘allocution’. This is the least responsive type of interactivity because it is not designed to support exchanges. . . . The one-way flow of information is under the programmatic control of the media service provider.

Related terms[edit]



  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.




From Latin adlocutio.


  • IPA(key): /a.lɔ.ky.sjɔ̃/
  • (file)


allocution f (plural allocutions)

  1. (short) speech

Further reading[edit]