- a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.
- a symbolical narrative: the allegory of Piers Plowman.
- emblem(def 3).
Origin of allegory
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for allegory
A “Crime of the Century” that takes on mythic dimensions as an allegory of a city in decline.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
They are, after all, carefully selected “types,” and to isolate them runs the risk of seeing the book as an allegory.Albert Camus, Our Existential Epidemiologist
October 17, 2014
Seizing on this scene, critics called the novel “an allegory of our violent times.”American Dreams: A Best-Selling Pint-Sized Psychopath
June 29, 2014
Roosevelt, it seems, had little taste for allegory, and misunderstood which “wild things” London was actually describing.American Dreams: ‘The Call of the Wild’ by Jack London
January 25, 2013
The painting is at the Metropolitan Museum, which considers it an allegory of the sense of sight.Juan Do Paints a Puzzle Picture
January 3, 2013
The allegory is the life of its author cast in an imaginative form.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
They've got no use for Beauty, Allegory, all that high-brow racket.Hall-Marked and Others (From Six Short Plays)
Khalid proceeds with his allegory of the Muleteer and the Pack-Mule.The Book of Khalid
The composite animal in Book IX is an allegory of the parts of the soul.
The allegory has a political as well as a philosophical meaning.
- a poem, play, picture, etc, in which the apparent meaning of the characters and events is used to symbolize a deeper moral or spiritual meaning
- the technique or genre that this represents
- use of such symbolism to illustrate truth or a moral
- anything used as a symbol or emblem
Word Origin and History for allegory
late 14c., from Old French allegorie (12c.), from Latin allegoria, from Greek allegoria "figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another," literally "a speaking about something else," from allos "another, different" (see alias) + agoreuein "speak openly, speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly" (see agora).
A story that has a deeper or more general meaning in addition to its surface meaning. Allegories are composed of several symbols (see also symbol) or metaphors. For example, in The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, the character named Christian struggles to escape from a bog or swamp. The story of his difficulty is a symbol of the difficulty of leading a good life in the “bog” of this world. The “bog” is a metaphor or symbol of life's hardships and distractions. Similarly, when Christian loses a heavy pack that he has been carrying on his back, this symbolizes his freedom from the weight of sin that he has been carrying.