Figure of Speech Dictionary
A figure of speech or a trope (the latter word has a more specific use) is a non-ordinary use of language employed to create an emphasis, amplify a meaning, draw a comparison or contrast, or to make a rhetorical point. The figure may be achieved by employing repetition of words or sounds in a specific pattern, making an interjection, stating or implying a comparison, using synonyms, or using a specific pattern of argument. This searchable dictionary collects some of the common forms (about half of all figures). Use the Contact Page to advise of corrections, additional examples or forms we have missed.
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Results for Grammar:
Asyndeton or No-Ands
An enumeration of items without using conjunctions.
e.g. Veni, vidi, vincit.
Notes: One must view the group as a whole unit. There may be an emphasis on last item.
Hyperbaton or Transposition
The deliberate or accidental placing of a word out of its usual order in a sentence or dramatic departure from standard syntax (word order) for poetic effect.
Secondary Category: Grammar
e.g. Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." (E. A. Poe)
Notes: Often used with an adjective or pronoun, or by reversing noun and verb.
A word that logically comes first is placed last instead.
e.g. The prisoner was charged with murder and rape.
Polysyndeton or Many-Ands
The repetition of the word "and" at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.
e.g. I went downstairs and out the door and got on my bike and cycled to town and bought a present.
Notes: Each thought or action in the sequence is meant to be considered separately. As the example illustrates, unless used with care for an effect, polysyndeton may appear clumsy and amateurish."
A verb or other part of speech governs two or more words or phrases, even though it is usually applied to only one.
e.g. I raised my eyebrows and my expectations.
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