- any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.
- an instance of this.Compare figure of speech.
- a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish.
- (in the philosophy of Santayana) the principle of organization according to which matter moves to form an object during the various stages of its existence.
Origin of trope
Examples from the Web for tropes
Northanger Abbey, after all, parodies the tropes and excesses of sentimental Gothic novels.The Birth of the Novel
November 27, 2014
But as with any show that was created in the 1940s, some of its tropes could be deemed politically incorrect or offensive today.Is ‘Tom and Jerry’ Really Racist?
October 2, 2014
It takes these tropes that we, as a culture, seem to love and spins them on their heads.'SNL' Star Kate McKinnon's Big, 'Awesome,' Emmy-Nominated Year
August 19, 2014
I hope that its success encourages others to look beyond the tired “doofus dad” tropes.Move Over, Ladies: Dove Does Dads
June 17, 2014
But in the end, White's music doesn't just recycle these tropes—it transcends them.Is Jack White the Last True Rock Star?
June 13, 2014
This is the effect on us of tropes, fables, oracles, and all poetic forms.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
He went to his imagination for his facts, and to his memory for his tropes.The Verbalist
Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
Perhaps skilled in the art of metaphors and tropes (ilmul-bad).The Bbur-nma in English
Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
Tropes and Fictions are raised, as it were, upon the Foundation of right Reason.Lectures on Poetry
The common sense of our tropes, rodomontades, and allegories is this!Husks
- rhetoric a word or expression used in a figurative sense
- an interpolation of words or music into the plainsong settings of the Roman Catholic liturgy
Word Origin and History for tropes
1530s, from Latin tropus "a figure of speech," from Greek tropos "turn, direction, turn or figure of speech," related to trope "a turning" and trepein "to turn," from PIE root trep- "to turn" (cf. Sanskrit trapate "is ashamed, confused," properly "turns away in shame;" Latin trepit "he turns"). Technically, in rhetoric, a figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it.