figure of speech


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to figure of speech: personification, metaphor, simile, parts of speech

figure of speech

n. pl. figures of speech
An expression that uses language in a nonliteral way, such as a metaphor or synecdoche, or in a structured or unusual way, such as anaphora or chiasmus, or that employs sounds, such as alliteration or assonance, to achieve a rhetorical effect.

figure of speech

n
(Rhetoric) an expression of language, such as simile, metaphor, or personification, by which the usual or literal meaning of a word is not employed

fig′ure of speech′



n.
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.
[1815–25]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.figure of speech - language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
cakewalk - an easy accomplishment; "winning the tournament was a cakewalk for him"; "invading Iraq won't be a cakewalk"
blind alley - (figurative) a course of action that is unproductive and offers no hope of improvement; "all the clues led the police into blind alleys"; "so far every road that we've been down has turned out to be a blind alley"
megahit, smash hit, blockbuster - an unusually successful hit with widespread popularity and huge sales (especially a movie or play or recording or novel)
sleeper - an unexpected hit; "that movie was the sleeper of the summer"
home run, bell ringer, bull's eye, mark - something that exactly succeeds in achieving its goal; "the new advertising campaign was a bell ringer"; "scored a bull's eye"; "hit the mark"; "the president's speech was a home run"
housecleaning - (figurative) the act of reforming by the removal of unwanted personnel or practices or conditions; "more housecleaning is in store at other accounting firms"; "many employees were discharged in a general housecleaning by the new owners"
goldbrick - anything that is supposed to be valuable but turns out to be worthless
lens - (metaphor) a channel through which something can be seen or understood; "the writer is the lens through which history can be seen"
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
conceit - an elaborate poetic image or a far-fetched comparison of very dissimilar things
irony - a trope that involves incongruity between what is expected and what occurs
exaggeration, hyperbole - extravagant exaggeration
kenning - conventional metaphoric name for something, used especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry
metaphor - a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
metonymy - substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in `they counted heads')
oxymoron - conjoining contradictory terms (as in `deafening silence')
prosopopoeia, personification - representing an abstract quality or idea as a person or creature
simile - a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')
synecdoche - substituting a more inclusive term for a less inclusive one or vice versa
zeugma - use of a word to govern two or more words though appropriate to only one; "`Mr. Pickwick took his hat and his leave' is an example of zeugma"
domino effect - the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events (like a falling domino causing a whole row of upended dominos to fall)
flip side - a different aspect of something (especially the opposite aspect); "the flip side of your positive qualities sometimes get out of control"; "on the flip side of partnerships he talked about their competition"
period - the end or completion of something; "death put a period to his endeavors"; "a change soon put a period to my tranquility"
summer - the period of finest development, happiness, or beauty; "the golden summer of his life"
dawn - an opening time period; "it was the dawn of the Roman Empire"
evening - a later concluding time period; "it was the evening of the Roman Empire"
rainy day - a (future) time of financial need; "I am saving for a rainy day"

figure of speech

noun expression, image, turn of phrase, trope It was just a figure of speech.

Figures of speech

alliteration, allusion, anacoluthia, anadiplosis, analogy, anaphora, anastrophe, antiphrasis, antithesis, antonomasia, apophasis, aporia, aposiopesis, apostrophe, catachresis, chiasmus, circumlocution, climax, emphasis, epanaphora, epanorthosis, exclamation, gemination, hendiadys, hypallage, hyperbaton, hyperbole, hysteron proteron, inversion, irony, kenning, litotes, malapropism, meiosis, metaphor, metonymy, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, paralipsis or paraleipsis, parenthesis, periphrasis, personification, pleonasm, polysyndeton, prolepsis, prosopopoeia or prosopopeia, repetition, rhetorical question, sarcasm, simile, spoonerism, syllepsis, synechdoche, tmesis, zeugma
Translations
إستِعارَه، تَشْبيه
figura
billedligt udtryk
kielikuva
façon de parlerfigure de style
szókép
líking, myndhverfing
figura de linguagem
talesätt

figure of speech

nfigura retorica
it's just a figure of speech (fig) → è solo un modo di dire

figure

(ˈfigə) , ((American) ˈfigjər) noun
1. the form or shape of a person. A mysterious figure came towards me; That girl has got a good figure.
2. a (geometrical) shape. The page was covered with a series of triangles, squares and other geometrical figures.
3. a symbol representing a number. a six-figure telephone number.
4. a diagram or drawing to explain something. The parts of a flower are shown in figure 3.
verb
1. to appear (in a story etc). She figures largely in the story.
2. to think, estimate or consider. I figured that you would arrive before half past eight.
ˈfigurative (-rətiv) adjective
of or using figures of speech. figurative language.
ˈfiguratively adverb
ˈfigurehead noun
1. a person who is officially a leader but who does little or has little power. She is the real leader of the party – he is only a figurehead.
2. an ornamental figure (usually of carved wood) attached to the front of a ship.
figure of speech
one of several devices (eg metaphor, simile) for using words not with their ordinary meanings but to make a striking effect.
figure out
to understand. I can't figure out why he said that.
References in periodicals archive ?
26 is a good example of this tendency, for it not only makes creative use of a 'figure of sound' based on doubling of phonic sequences (yamaka), but also has been composed as an apahnuti, a figure of speech based on the denial of one thing and its replacement with another.
In what appears to be a tragic-comedy, a new Philippine figure of speech is being applied on the country's bachelor president, 53-year-old Benigno Aquino, who is reportedly dating a beauty queen.
Using a figure of speech that seems fashionable lately, Tyler warned that "no one wants a trade war".
It was an allegory I used as a figure of speech," he said.
Louis, the effects of World War I on ethnic Germans, activist Russians of German descent in inter-war Germany, culture and gender in the arts scene of Chicago, developing a research agenda for expatriate and heritage German literary studies, German-speaking exiles in Ireland from 1933 to 1945, the diaspora in Turkey, the German immigrant as a figure of speech and fictional character, radical ideas and colonial spaces in the case of Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche, Pennsylvania Germans in Kansas, German migrant encounters with the nazi past, veiling the history of von Braun and Rudolph before their involvement in the US space program, language proficiency among German speakers, and the identity of German Mennonites in Canada.
Ramsden, who admitted he came from a family of "troublemakers", said: "It was just a figure of speech, I didn't literally mean going out and doing something like that.
Mr Brisco says that was just a figure of speech and that he didn't give Sharma's firm, TVRC, permission to keep it.
Having a "healthy glow" isn't just a figure of speech.
In business when you say you have signed a contract it's as much a figure of speech as anything else.