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We have the largest database of literary terms explained, with examples and resources to assist. Explore the glossary with 579 terms defined.

Jargon

Jargon is the use of phrases and words that are specific to a situation, trade, a selective group, or a profession.

Rising Action

The rising action comes after the exposition and before the climax. It includes the complicating or inciting incident.

Tricolon

A tricolon is a group of three similar phrases, words, clauses, or sentences. They are parallel in their length, rhythm, and/or structure.

Proverb

A proverb is a short, simple statement that gives advice. It is based in common experience.

Syncope

Syncope refers to a literary device that involves the shortening of a word by removing or omitting letters.

Setting

Setting is when and where a story takes place. This could be a real place or someone completely fictional,

Arcadia

Arcadia, in poetry, is a term that refers to an idealized, unspoiled natural landscape. It is a utopia and perfect in every way.

Epigraph

An epigraph, in literature, is a phrase, quote, or any short piece of text that comes before a longer document (a poem, story, book, etc).

Litotes

Litotes is a figure of speech that includes a phrase in which a negative word is used in order to express something positive.

No pain, no gain

“No pain, no gain” is used to describe the suffering that’s necessary in order to achieve one’s goals.

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Famous Poems Worth Reading

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