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Figures of Speech The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced

A figure of speech is a word or phrase that has a phrases.

meaning something different than its literal meaning. It
can be a metaphor or simile that is designed to further Example:
explain a concept. Or, it can be a different way of Many are called, but few are chosen.
pronouncing a word or phrase such as with alliteration to
8. Apostrophe
give further meaning or a different sound.

1. Alliteration Breaking off discourse to address some absent person

or thing, some abstract quality, an inanimate object, or a
The repetition of an initial consonant sound. nonexistent character.

Example: Sally sells seashells. Example:

"O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
2. Allusion That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
The act of alluding is to make indirect reference. It is a That ever lived in the tide of times."
literary device, a figure of speech that quickly stimulates Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1
different ideas and associations using only a couple of
words. 9. Assonance

Example: David was being such a scrooge!. (Scrooge" is Identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in
the allusion, and it refers to Charles Dicken's novel, A neighboring words.
Christmas Carol. Scrooge was very greedy and unkind,
which David was being compared to.) Example:
"The crumbling thunder of seas" – Robert Louis
3. Anaphora Stevenson

The repetition of the same word or phrase at the 10. Cataphora

beginning of successive clauses or verses. (Contrast
with epiphora and epistrophe.) Refers to a figure of speech where an earlier expression
refers to or describes a forward expression. Cataphora is
Example: I came, I saw, I conquered – Julius Caesar the opposite of anaphora, a reference forward as
opposed to backward in the discourse.
4. Antaclasis
It is a rhetorical device in which a word is repeated and After he had received his orders, the soldier left the
whose meaning changes in the second instance. barracks. (he is also a cataphoric reference to the soldier
Antanaclasis is a common type of pun. which is mentioned later in the discourse.
Example: 11. Chiasmus
Your argument is sound, nothing but sound. – Benjamin
Franklin. A verbal pattern in which the second half of an
The word sound in the first instance means solid or expression is balanced against the first but with the parts
reasonable. The second instance of sound means reversed.
5. Anticlimax He knowingly led and we followed blindly

Refers to a figure of speech in which statements 12. Climax

gradually descend in order of importance.
Refers to a figure of speech in which words, phrases, or
Example: clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance.
She is a great writer, a mother and a good humorist.
6. Antiphrasis "There are three things that will endure: faith, hope, and
love. But the greatest of these is love."
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is used to 1 Corinthians 13:13
mean the opposite of its normal meaning to create ironic
humorous effect. From the Greek : anti "opposite" and 13. Dysphemism
phrasis, "diction".
Refers to the use of a harsh, more offensive word
Example: instead of one considered less harsh. Dysphemism is
She's so beautiful. She has an attractive long nose. often contrasted with euphemism. Dysphemisms are
generally used to shock or offend.
7. Antithesis
Example: Example:
Snail mail for postal mail. A lead foot is driving behind me. (This refers to someone
who drives fast. This metalepsis is achieved only
14. Ellipsis through a cause and effect relationship. Lead is heavy
Refers to the omission of a word or words. It refers to and a heavy foot would press the accelerator, and this
constructions in which words are left out of a sentence would cause the car to speed.)
but the sentence can still be understood.
Example: 22. Metonymy

15. Euphemism A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is

substituted for another with which it's closely associated;
The substitution of an inoffensive term for one also, the rhetorical strategy of describing something
considered offensively explicit. indirectly by referring to things around it.
Example: Example:
Going to the other side for death Crown. (For the power of a king.)
Passed away for die The White House. (Referring to the American
16. Hyperbole
23. Onomatopoeia
An extravagant statement; the use of exaggerated terms
for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect. The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with
the objects or actions they refer to.
The bag weighed a ton. Example:
17. Irony
The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal
meaning. A statement or situation where the meaning is 24. Oxymoron
contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the
idea. A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory
Example: terms appear side by side.
His argument was as clear as mud.
18. Litotes Dark light
A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in Living dead
which an affirmative is expressed by negating its
opposite. 25. Paradox
A statement that appears to contradict itself.
19. Merism Example:
It is a figure of speech by which something is referred to Drowning in the fountain of eternal life
by a conventional phrase that enumerates several of its Deep down, you're really shallow.
constituents or traits.
26. Personification
Flesh and bone. (Referring to the body). A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or
20. Metaphor abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.

An implied comparison between two unlike things that
actually have something important in common. "Ah, William, we're weary of weather,"
said the sunflowers, shining with dew.
Example: "Our traveling habits have tired us.
All the world's a stage, Can you give us a room with a view?"
And all the men and women merely players; They arranged themselves at the window
They have their exits and their entrances; and counted the steps of the sun,
(William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2/7) and they both took root in the carpet
where the topaz tortoises run.
21. Metaplesis William Blake
It is a figure of speech in which reference is made to
something by means of another thing that is remotely 27. Pun
related to it, either through a causal relationship, or
through another figure of speech. A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the
same word and sometimes on the similar sense or
sound of different words.
Example: Metaphors Examples
"Atheism is a non-prophet institution." (The word You are my guardian angel!
"prophet" is put in place of its homophone "profit",
altering the common phrase "non-profit institution") I wish you weren't always such a chicken!

28. Simile Johnny's mouth is one huge metal factory.

A stated comparison (usually formed with "like" or "as") Onomatopoeid Examples

between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have The leaves crunched under my feet.
certain qualities in common.
Buzz, Splat, drip, beep, ring
Oxymoron Examples
He fights like a lion.
Here are some funny oxymorons :
29. Synecdoche
1) Clearly Misunderstood
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent 2) Exact Estimate
the whole (for example, ABCs for alphabet) or the whole 3) Small Crowd
for a part ("England won the World Cup in 1966″). 4) Act Naturally
5) Found Missing
Example: 6) Fully Empty
A hundred head of cattle (using the part head to refer to 7) Pretty Ugly
the whole animal) 8) Seriously Funny
9) Only Choice
30. Tautology 10) Original Copies
11) Open Secret
A statement that says the same thing twice in different
12) Tragic Comedy
ways, or a statement that is unconditionally true by the 13) Foolish Wisdom
way it is phrased. 14) Liquid Gas
Mother of all Oxymorons is-
Forward planning
It's a free gift. 15) "Happily Married".
31. Understatement

A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker

deliberately makes a situation seem less important or
serious than it is.

"The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace."
(Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress")

Figure of Speech Examples

Hyberbole Examples
1) The king's nose was three feet long!

2) That food was so hot my ears were smoking!

3) Usain Bolt runs faster than a cheetah!

4) I'm so tired I could sleep a year.

5) He cried so long that he made a lake!

6) I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!

7) You have a million toys at your house!