figure of speech

figure of speech
language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense (Freq. 1)
Syn: ↑trope, ↑figure, ↑image
Derivationally related forms: ↑tropical (for: ↑trope)
Members of this Usage Domain:
Hypernyms: ↑rhetorical device

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noun. See list at rhetoric.

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: an expression (as a metaphor or euphemism) that substitutes a variation in point of view by which one thing or notion is referred to as if it were different in some way (as in identity, degree, shape) from what it actually is or seems to be but so related that the expression successfully implies an intended meaning or effect either slightly or greatly different from what is literally said (as “the apple of my eye”, “forever chasing rainbows”, “she didn't go to the party because she had nothing to wear”, “a pretty pickle”)

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any expressive use of language, as a metaphor, simile, personification, or antithesis, in which words are used in other than their literal sense, or in other than their ordinary locutions, in order to suggest a picture or image or for other special effect. Cf. trope (def. 1).

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figure of speech noun
Any of various devices (such as simile or metaphor) for using words in such a way as to make a striking effect
• • •
Main Entry:figure

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figure of speech UK US noun [countable] [singular figure of speech plural figures of speech]
an expression in which the words are used figuratively , not in their normal literal meaning
Thesaurus: types of phrase or expressionhyponym

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figure of speech,
an expression in which words are used out of their literal meaning or in striking combinations to add beauty or force. “The eye of an eagle” (a metaphor) and “as brave as a lion” (a simile) are figures of speech.

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a word or phrase used in a nonliteral sense to add rhetorical force to a spoken or written passage

calling her a crab is just a figure of speech

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noun, pl figures of speech [count]
: a phrase or expression that uses words in a figurative way rather than in a plain or literal way

“You are the apple of my eye” is a figure of speech.

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ˌfigure of ˈspeech [figure of speech] noun (pl. figures of speech)
a word or phrase used in a different way from its usual meaning in order to create a particular mental picture or effect

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • figure of speech — Figure Fig ure (f[i^]g [ u]r; 135), n. [F., figure, L. figura; akin to fingere to form, shape, feign. See {Feign}.] 1. The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance. [1913 Webster] Flowers have all exquisite figures. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • figure of speech — index phrase Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • figure of speech — n a word or expression that is used in a different way from the normal meaning, to give you a picture in your mind …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • figure of speech — noun count an expression in which the words are used FIGURATIVELY, not in their normal LITERAL meaning …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • figure of speech — is any of several recognized linguistic devices used to make language lively or more colourful, such as metaphor and simile …   Modern English usage

  • figure of speech — [n] communication that is not meant literally; stylistic device adumbration, allegory, alliteration, allusion, analogue, anaphora, anticlimax, antistrophe, antithesis, aposiopesis, apostrophe, asyndeton, bathos, comparison, conceit, echoism,… …   New thesaurus

  • figure of speech — ► NOUN ▪ a word or phrase used in a non literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect …   English terms dictionary

  • figure of speech — n. an expression, as a metaphor or simile, using words in a nonliteral sense or unusual manner to add vividness, beauty, etc. to what is said or written …   English World dictionary

  • Figure of speech — A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetoric, or locution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. Figures of speech are often used and crafted for emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However,… …   Wikipedia

  • figure of speech — figures of speech N COUNT A figure of speech is an expression or word that is used with a metaphorical rather than a literal meaning. Of course I m not. It was just a figure of speech …   English dictionary

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