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Stentor +‎ -ian, from Ancient Greek Στέντωρ (Sténtōr). Stentor was the herald of the Greek forces in the Iliad, noted for his loud voice.


  • IPA(key): /stɛnˈtɔː.ɹi.ən/
  • (file)


stentorian (comparative more stentorian, superlative most stentorian)

  1. (of a voice) Loud, powerful, booming, suitable for giving speeches to large crowds.
    • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], “(please specify the page)”, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, pages 223–224:
      Shouts of laughter were elicited, smart biddings drawn out, from the whispers of a timid miss, to the stentorian voice of a fox-hunting squire, and not a few fracas from parties either contending for a supposed prize, or disclaiming their chance for it,...
    • 1918 September–November, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Land That Time Forgot”, in The Blue Book Magazine, Chicago, Ill.: Story-press Corp., →OCLC; republished as chapter VIII, in Hugo Gernsback, editor, Amazing Stories, part II, number 12, New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, March 1927, →OCLC, page 1140, column 2:
      There seemed no one to dispute his claims when he said, or rather shouted, in stentorian tones: "I am Tsa. This is my she. Who wishes her more than Tsa?"
    • 1918, Edith Wharton, chapter IX, in The Marne, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC, pages 87–88:
      But whenever one of the motor-trucks lumbering by bore a big U.S. on its rear panel Troy pushed his light ambulance ahead and skimmed past, just for the joy of seeing the fresh young heads rising pyramid-wise about the sides of the lorry, hearing the snatches of familiar songs—"Hail, hail, the gang's all here!" and "We won't come back till it's over over here!"—and shouting back in reply to a stentorian "Hi, kid, beat it!", "Bet your life I will, old man!"
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 12: Cyclops]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC, part II [Odyssey], page 304:
      The Irish Caruso-Garibaldi was in superlative form and his stentorian notes were heard to the greatest advantage in the time-honoured anthem sung as only our citizen can sing it.
    • 1934 September 29, William Faulkner, “Ambuscade”, in The Unvanquished, New York, N.Y.: Random House, published 1938, →OCLC; republished in The Unvanquished: The Corrected Text, New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books, October 1991, →ISBN, section 2, pages 12–13:
      Giving us a last embracing and comprehensive glance he drew it, already pivoting Jupiter on the tight snaffle; his hair tossed beneath the cocked hat, the sabre flashed and glinted; he cried, not loud yet stentorian: "Trot! Canter! Charge!"
    • 1989 July 17, John Simon, “The Ubu Boo-Boo”, in New York Magazine, volume 22, number 28, page 47:
      To be sure, Ubu Roi does not translate easily, if at all. Take the first word of the play, so shocking to contemporary theatergoers, Ubu's stentorian “Merdre!”—which is, of course, the basic French curse word with an added “r” for good, or bad, measure.
  2. (by extension) Stern, authoritarian; demanding of respect.