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figure of speech

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noun, plural figures of speech. Rhetoric.
  1. any expressive use of language, as a metaphor, simile, personification, or antithesis, in which words are used in other than their literal sense, or in other than their ordinary locutions, in order to suggest a picture or image or for other special effect.Compare trope(def 1).
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Origin of figure of speech

First recorded in 1815–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for figure of speech

allegory, allusion, analogy, anticlimax, antithesis, bathos, comparison, conceit, device, euphemism, euphuism, exaggeration, expression, flourish, flower, hyperbole, image, imagery, irony, metaphor

British Dictionary definitions for figure of speech

figure of speech

noun
  1. an expression of language, such as simile, metaphor, or personification, by which the usual or literal meaning of a word is not employed
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012