What is the different between loquacious and talkative? I don't see much different in their definition:

Loquacious: tending to talk a great deal; talkative.
Talkative: fond of or given to talking.

Regarding M-W Dictionary, they are different as follow:

Talkative may imply a readiness to engage in talk or a disposition to enjoy conversation .
Loquacious suggests the power of expressing oneself articulately, fluently, or glibly

But I don't see the different. Isn't that anyone who is talkative is also having an ability to talk fluently, therefore matching the description of talkative? Is it true that loquacious has the same meaning of talkative?

  • 3
    The number of people who know what loquacious means is very much smaller than the number who know what talkative means. – TRomano Mar 7 '15 at 17:58
  • 1
    The definition that you listed for loquatious quite clearly states that it is identical in meaning to talkative. Your word choice would depend on the audience. – Ian MacDonald Mar 7 '15 at 18:02
  • There are no exact synonyms. There are instances where you could use one but definitely not the other. – Mitch Mar 7 '15 at 18:28
  • I would tend to imagine a "loquacious" person as being a bit flamboyant in his speech patterns, whereas a "talkative" person simply talks a lot. But I have no idea whether others would view it the same way. – Hot Licks Mar 7 '15 at 22:46

A talkative person talks a lot but, a loquacious person talks with more details and are animated to paint a visual picture for their audience to create emotion.

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  • Welcome to ELU Stack Exchange, and thanks for posting an answer. Your answer could be improved by providing references with links for context. Otherwise, you are stating an opinion based on your personal knowledge. Please refer to the help topic english.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer for tips about providing the best possible answers. – Katherine Lockwood Nov 20 '16 at 3:53

They are essentially synonyms, the following extract suggests that loquacious has a more negative connotation than talkative and is less common as shown in Ngram:


  • Our starting word, “talkative,” should describe somebody who likes to talk frequently or at length. Interestingly, talkative can be used with either a positive or negative connotation, but, for the most part, it’s a fairly positive word. I could say “My talkative friend easily navigates from conversation to conversation;” here, the word “talkative” suggests my friend is a facile communicator. Conversely, I could say “After only one drink, Suzie became very talkative;” here, the word has a gently negative connotation.


  • Loquacious implies an inclination to talk incessantly or to keep up a constant flow of chatter. For example, “John, a loquacious investment banker, never tired of exhausting his dinner guests with self-indulgent chatter.” Notice that loquacious doesn’t have the versatility that talkative has–it’s always negative. For that reason, it’s a more precise word.


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  • 2
    I would disagree that talkative is positive. It's at best, neutral. – Hack Saw Mar 7 '15 at 18:47
  • Since "loquacious" is an uncommon word, even people who more or less know its meaning might not be aware of any positive or negative connotations. In fact its apparent similarity to "eloquent" might even impart a positive connotation to some. "Talkative" is neutral or negative to me, and I would use something like "outgoing" instead to refer to such a person in a positive way. – ghostarbeiter Mar 15 '16 at 13:29
  • @ghostarbeiter - less common probably, but not as uncommon as you suggest. books.google.com/ngrams/… – user66974 Mar 15 '16 at 13:33

From Dictionary.com:

Talkative, garrulous, loquacious characterize a person who talks a great deal. Talkative is a neutral or mildly unfavorable word applied to a person who is inclined to talk a great deal, sometimes without significance: a talkative child.The garrulous person talks with wearisome persistence, usually about personal and trivial things: a garrulous old man.A loquacious person, intending to be sociable, talks continuously and at length: a loquacious host.

As Hack Saw says, talkative is not generally positive. It is, in my opinion, unfavorable more often than neutral, especially from my point of view as a teacher.

And of course, you must consider that talkative will be understood by far more people than loquacious will.

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  • In your example of a loquacious host, can you describe more detail about them? For example, are they talking in the way that annoying the audience? Is loquacious a negative word? – Ooker Mar 15 '16 at 13:10
  • Loquacious is not generally thought of as negative. A loquacious speaker is one who is comfortable with words, and uses them effectively. It can connote someone who talks to excess, which might be annoying, but I don't think it is built into the meaning of the word. – Steven Littman Mar 16 '16 at 1:08

I would say that the main difference is in their delivery; perhaps you could say the "quality" of the speaker's word choices or sentences. For example, a "talkative" person would be one whose speaks simply, and uses more common terminology or better known synonyms. A "loquacious" speaker would use lesser known terms, "fancier" pronunciations (think 'vahz' rather than 'vase') or words that most people haven't seen since they studied for the SAT. A "garrulous" person speaks frequently, but seldom has anything positive or upbeat to contribute...a talkative "Debbie Downer" if you will.

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  • Hello, Annie. On ELU, 'answers' that come across as (or are) opinion, usually because they lack supporting evidence, are not usually all that helpful. Check the other 'answers' (and Katherine Lockwood's 'comment'). – Edwin Ashworth Jun 15 '17 at 0:39
  • I don't think pronouncing vase as vahz is "fancy", it's the normal way to pronounce it where I live. – nnnnnn Dec 23 '19 at 7:32

there is no much difference between these words. The meaning or context of both words is almost the same. Loquacious is basically an adjective defining someone who intends to or is in favor of more talking. While Talkative also means the same. A person who does a lot of talking or you can say who basically is known for lots of talking. So, there is a close call when the difference is considered. This type of question is basically asked a lot in the gre verbal section of the GRE test a lot. Then, again more similar meaning of certain words makes it pretty much difficult to differentiate the words.

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  • There actually is a fairly significant difference between the two. Their meaning does overlap in one definition, but not the other. – Karlomanio Dec 23 '19 at 16:47

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