Figure of speech

figures of speechlocutionfigurerhetorical figurefigurativefigurative speechfigurativelyfigureslocutionscomment
A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is figurative language in the form of a single word or phrase.wikipedia
312 Related Articles

Rhetorical operations

Amplificationfour fundamental operationsfour categories
Classical rhetoricians classified figures of speech into four categories or quadripartita ratio:
In classical rhetoric, figures of speech are classified as one of the four fundamental rhetorical operations or quadripartita ratio: addition (adiectio), omission (detractio), permutation (immutatio) and transposition (transmutatio).

Scheme (linguistics)

Schemes (from the Greek schēma, 'form or shape') are figures of speech that change the ordinary or expected pattern of words.
In linguistics, scheme is a figure of speech that relies on the structure of the sentence, unlike the trope, which plays with the meanings of words.

Trope (literature)

tropetropesliterary trope
Tropes (from Greek trepein, 'to turn') change the general meaning of words.
A literary trope is the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech.


"I had butterflies in my stomach" is a metaphor, referring to a nervous feeling as if there were flying insects in one's stomach.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that, for rhetorical effect, directly refers to one thing by mentioning another.

Zeugma and syllepsis

"She would run up the stairs and then a new set of curtains" is a variety of zeugma called a syllepsis. Run up refers to ascending and also to manufacturing. The effect is enhanced by the momentary suggestion, through a pun, that she might be climbing up the curtains. The ellipsis or omission of the second use of the verb makes the reader think harder about what is being said.
In rhetoric, zeugma (from the Ancient Greek ζεῦγμα, lit. "a yoking together" ) and syllepsis (from the Ancient Greek σύλληψις,, lit. "a taking together" ) are figures of speech in which one single phrase or word joins different parts of a sentence.


"An Einstein" is an example of synecdoche, as it uses a particular name to represent a class of people: geniuses.
A synecdoche (, ; from Greek συνεκδοχή, synekdoche, lit. "simultaneous understanding") is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa.


similescomparisonspoetic simile
To say "it was like having some butterflies in my stomach" would be a simile, because it uses the word like which is missing in the metaphor.
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things.


adynataa task that he can’t solveimpossible tasks
adynaton: hyperbole It is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. It is like the opposite of "understatement".
Adynaton (plural adynata) is a figure of speech in the form of hyperbole taken to such extreme lengths as to insinuate a complete impossibility:


anastrophe: Changing the object, subject and verb order in a clause.
Anastrophe (from the ἀναστροφή, anastrophē, "a turning back or about") is a figure of speech in which the normal word order of the subject, the verb, and the object is changed.


A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is figurative language in the form of a single word or phrase.
It may be a euphemism, a saying or proverb, a fixed expression, a figure of speech, etc.


adynaton: hyperbole It is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. It is like the opposite of "understatement". To say "It was like having a butterfly farm in my stomach", "It felt like a butterfly farm in my stomach", or "I was so nervous that I had a butterfly farm in my stomach" could be a hyperbole, because it is exaggerated.
Hyperbole (, huperbolḗ, from undefined (hupér, 'above') and undefined (bállō, 'I throw')) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech.


accumulation: Accumulating arguments in a concise forceful manner.
Accumulatio is a figure of speech, part of the broader group of enumeratio, in which the points made previously are presented again in a compact, forceful manner.


antithesis: Juxtaposition of opposing or contrasting ideas.
In rhetoric, antithesis is a figure of speech involving the bringing out of a contrast in the ideas by an obvious contrast in the words, clauses, or sentences, within a parallel grammatical structure.


aposiopesis: Breaking off or pausing speech for dramatic or emotional effect.
Aposiopesis (Classical Greek: ἀποσιώπησις, "becoming silent") is a figure of speech wherein a sentence is deliberately broken off and left unfinished, the ending to be supplied by the imagination, giving an impression of unwillingness or inability to continue.


Classical rhetoricians classified figures of speech into four categories or quadripartita ratio:
Its treatment of rhetoric is less comprehensive than the classic works of antiquity, but provides a traditional treatment of res-verba (matter and form): its first book treats the subject of elocutio, showing the student how to use schemes and tropes; the second book covers inventio.


antistrophe: Repetition of the same word or group of words in a paragraph in the end of sentences.
It is also known as epiphora and occasionally as antistrophe. It is a figure of speech and the counterpart of anaphora.


enallage: Wording ignoring grammatical rules or conventions
Enallage (ἐναλλαγή, enallagḗ, "interchange") is a figure of speech used to refer to the use of tense, form, or person for a grammatically incorrect counterpart.

Climax (rhetoric)

anti-climax: It is when a specific point, expectations are raised, everything is built-up and then suddenly something boring or disappointing happens.
In rhetoric, a climax (, klîmax, lit. "staircase" or "ladder") is a figure of speech in which words, phrases, or clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance.


tripartite mottoslogans consisting of three wordstripartite
hendiatris: Use of three nouns to express one idea
Hendiatris (from the ἓν διὰ τρεῖς, hen dia treis, "one through three") is a figure of speech used for emphasis, in which three words are used to express one idea.


aphorismus: Statement that calls into question the definition of a word.
Aphorismus (from the ἀφορισμός, aphorismós, "a marking off", also "rejection, banishment") is a figure of speech that calls into question if a word is properly used ("How can you call yourself a man?").

Correlative verse

correlative verse: Matching items in two sequences
Correlative verse is a literary device used in poetry around the world; it is characterized by the matching of items in two different pluralities.


complex syntactical orderhiperbatónhyperbatons
hyperbaton: Two ordinary associated words are detached. The term may also be used more generally for all different figures of speech which transpose natural word order in sentences.
Hyperbaton in its original meaning is a figure of speech where a phrase is made discontinuous by the insertion of other words.


hendiadys: Use of two nouns to express an idea when it normally would consist of an adjective and a noun
Hendiadys (a Latinized form of the Greek phrase ἓν διὰ δυοῖν, hèn dià duoîn, "one through two") is a figure of speech used for emphasis—"The substitution of a conjunction for a subordination".


battling the undead was never a bowl of cherrieslitotelitotic
litotes derived from a Greek word meaning "simple", is a figure of speech which employs an understatement by using double negatives or, in other words, positive statement is expressed by negating its opposite expressions.
In rhetoric, litotes (, or ) is a figure of speech that uses understatement to emphasize a point by stating a negative to further affirm a positive, often incorporating double negatives for effect.


set phrase
merism: Referring to a whole by enumerating some of its parts
In law, a merism is a figure of speech by which a single thing is referred to by a conventional phrase that enumerates several of its parts or lists several synonyms for the same thing.