figure of speech
Origin of figure of speech
Words nearby figure of speech
MORE ABOUT FIGURE OF SPEECH
What is a figure of speech?
A figure of speech is a word or phrase that’s used to be expressive (figurative) rather than literal. We use figures of speech to create a mental image for our audience or for another special effect, such as an implied meaning.
English has many different kinds of figures of speech. For example, a simile is a figure of speech that compares two seemingly unrelated things, as in He ran across the field like a cheetah. Personification is a figure of speech in which nonhuman things are given human attributes, as in The car slammed into the cruel, unforgiving wall. And irony is a figure of speech in which words are used to imply the opposite of what they actually mean, as in “Beautiful weather!” he said as he came in from the thunderstorm.
Why is figure of speech important?
The first records of the phrase figure of speech come from around 1815. The phrase combines the word figure, which means “a representation or symbol,” and the word speech, which means “oral communication.” A figure of speech relies on the listener or reader to know or be able to determine the intended meaning behind the figure of speech rather than the literal definitions of the words being used.
Figures of speech are a neat quirk of language and are used in both oral and written communication. They often require the listener or reader to go beyond the words themselves and logically determine what the user of a figure of speech actually meant.
A particularly interesting kind of figure of speech is the idiom, as as Get a dose of one’s own medicine. When interpreted literally, many idioms seem to make no sense at all, such as raining cats and dogs, which means “raining heavily.” Idioms rarely translate across languages and may even be limited to a particular culture or region.
Did you know … ?
Figures of speech can be found in every language. In fact, many of the names for the figures of speech we use in English come from the same figures of speech that were used by ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome.
What are real-life examples of figure of speech?
This chart gives some more examples of idioms, a commonly used type of figure of speech:
We use figures of speech all of the time. Sometimes, a person misjudges if a listener or reader will actually understand the figure of speech they use.
"I have a favor to ask you"
Are you more likely to get what you want when this precedes a request?
If so, is it because you're making explicit the debits and credits in the interaction? I.e. "I know I'm using one of my limited credits now."
Or is it just a figure of speech?
— Ben Casnocha (@bencasnocha) April 26, 2020
Today I learned falling out of bed is a real thing and not a figure of speech
— mom0ka@Khonsu Posting (@stocjia) September 6, 2020
What other words are related to figure of speech?
Which of the following is NOT an example of a figure of speech?
How to use figure of speech in a sentence
Those are troubling numbers, for unfettered speech is not incidental to a flourishing society.
There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.
We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.
Tend to your own garden, to quote the great sage of free speech, Voltaire, and invite people to follow your example.
The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.
Alessandro turned a grateful look on Ramona as he translated this speech, so in unison with Indian modes of thought and feeling.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
And so this is why the clever performer cannot reproduce the effect of a speech of Demosthenes or Daniel Webster.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
He was tall and of familiar figure, and the firelight was playing in the tossed curls of his short, fair hair.The Bondboy|George W. (George Washington) Ogden
Their opportunities and earnings are relatively small, and in order to live they must figure closely.Readings in Money and Banking|Chester Arthur Phillips
He said no more in words, but his little blue eyes had an eloquence that left nothing to mere speech.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini