Definitions for figure of speech

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word figure of speech

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

fig′ure of speech′(n.)

  1. an expression in which words are used in a nonliteral sense, as in metaphor, or in an unusual construction, as in antithesis, or for their sounds, as in onomatopoeia, to suggest vivid images or to heighten effect.

    Category: Rhetoric

Origin of figure of speech:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. trope, figure of speech, figure, image(noun)

    language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense


  1. figure of speech(Noun)

    A word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language.


  1. Figure of speech

    A figure of speech is the use of a word or a phrase, which ascend from its literal interpretation. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification, or synecdoche. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetorical figure or a locution. Not all theories of meaning have a concept of "literal language". Under theories that do not, figure of speech is not an entirely coherent concept.

Translations for figure of speech

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary

figure of speech

one of several devices (eg metaphor, simile) for using words not with their ordinary meanings but to make a striking effect.

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