Figurative language is language that creates an image, connection, or expands one’s interpretation of what a phrase or idea can mean. It often allows readers to visualize or think about a concept in a new way.
- AdageAn adage is a short, familiar and memorable saying that strikes as an irrefutable truth to a wide segment of the population.
- AmbiguityAmbiguity is a word or statement that has more than one meaning. If a phrase is ambiguous, it means multiple things.
- AnalogyAn analogy is an extensive comparison between one thing and another that is very different from it.
- AntiphrasisAntiphrasis is a rhetorical device that occurs when someone says the opposite of what they mean but their true meaning is obvious.
- AntithesisAntithesis occurs when two contrasting ideas are put together to achieve a desired outcome.
- AporiaAporia is a figure of speech where a speaker or writer poses a question. This question expresses doubt or confusion.
- ArchaismAn archaism is a figure of speech in which a writer’s choice of word or phrase is purposefully old fashioned.
- AsyndetonAsyndeton is a figure of speech that occurs when words like “and” and “or” (coordinating conjunctions) are removed from sentences.
- CatachresisCatachresis is a figure of speech. it occurs when writers use mixed metaphors inappropriately.
- ConceitThe word conceit refers to two different kinds of comparisons: the metaphysical, made famous by John Donne, and the Petrarchan.
- Epic SimileAn epic simile is a long poetic comparison, that uses like or as, and which goes on for several lines. It grows more complicated and reveals its meaning as the lines progress.
- Figure of SpeechA figure of speech is created when a writer uses figurative language or that which has another meaning other than its basic definition.
- HyperbatonA hyperbaton is a figure of speech in which the order of words in a sentence or line are rearranged.
- HyperboleHyperbole is defined as an intentionally exaggerated description, comparison, or exclamation meant to make a specific impact on a reader.
- IdiomAn idiom is a short-expression that means something different than its literal translation.
- ImageryImagery refers to the elements of a poem that engage a reader’s senses. These are the important sights, sounds, feelings, and smells.
- Implied MetaphorAn implied metaphor is a literary device that’s used in everything from short stories to novels and poems.
- IronyIrony occurs when an outcome is different than expected. It is very possible for one situation to strike one reader as ironic and another not.
- LitotesLitotes is a figure of speech that includes a phrase in which a negative word is used in order to express something positive.
- MeiosisMeiosis is a figure of speech that when used minimizes the importance of something. This is done through the use of a euphemism.
- MetalepsisMetalepsis is a figure of speech that occurs when a writer uses a phrase or word in a new context. The chosen phrase or word comes from a different figure of speech.
- MetaphorA metaphor is used to describe an object, person, situation or action in a way that helps a reader understand it, without using "like" or "as".
- MetonymyMetonymy a kind of figurative language that refers to a situation in which one term is substituted for another.
- Mixed MetaphorA mixed metaphor is a literary device that occurs when two or more dissimilar metaphors are fused to forge a comparison, typically creating a ludicrous effect.
- Nonce WordA nonce word is a made-up word, or lexeme, created by a writer in poetry or fiction.
- OnomatopoeiaAn onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the natural sound of a thing.
- OverstatementOverstatement is a type of figurative language. They are descriptions of events, people, situations, and objects that are over exaggerated.
- OxymoronAn oxymoron is a kind of figurative language in which two contrasting things are connected together.
- PloceA ploce is a figure of speech. It occurs when a poet repeats a word with a different emphasis. The technique is used in poetry, prose, and drama.
- ProcatalepsisProcatalepsis occurs when the person speaking addresses another point of view before the opponent even speaks.
- Reductio ad AbsurdumReductio ad absurdum is used when a speaker argues for their position by attempting to point out the absurdity in the alternative argument.
- Sensory LanguageSensory language is the words used to create images that trigger the reader’s senses. These include sight, sound, smell, and taste.
- SimileA simile is a comparison between two unlike things that uses the words “like” or “as”.
- SpoonerismSpoonerism occurs when a writer changes the first letters of a word. This might create a new word or something nonsensical.
- TropeA trope, in literature, is the use of figurative language to make descriptions more evocative and interesting.
- ZeugmaZeugma occurs when the writer uses a single word capable of conveying two different meanings at the same time.