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.
a recurring theme or motif, as in literature or art:the trope of motherhood;the heroic trope.
a convention or device that establishes a predictable or stereotypical representation of a character, setting, or scenario in a creative work:From her introduction in the movie, the character is nothing but a Damsel in Distress trope.The author relies on our knowledge of the Haunted House trope to set the scene.
(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.
Other definitions for -trope (2 of 2)
a combining form meaning “one turned toward” that specified by the initial element (heliotrope); also occurring in concrete nouns that correspond to abstract nouns ending in -tropy or -tropism: allotrope.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use trope in a sentence
For San Diego to move in an exciting new direction, we need bold leadership to stand up and call out fear-mongering instead of giving in to tired tropes about the people “coming for your neighborhood.”Opponents of Measure E (and More Housing) Want You to Be Very, Very Afraid | Marissa Tucker-Borquez | October 9, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
The trope is so common among actual travelers that the double-decker creation accounts for a significant proportion of hotels’ room service sales.
By using straightforward language accented with in-person dialogue, Johnson is demonstrating that no restaurant “has” to lean on tired tropes to express flavor.Why Do Fast-Casual Restaurants Get a Pass on Appropriation? | Jenny Dorsey | October 5, 2020 | Eater
I grew up in the late 1980s and 90s, when the trope of the diabolical home invader was in full force.
As Lili Loofbourow wrote for the Week in 2017, part of the reason Selin has problems with cultural tropes — with the semiotics of cosmopolitan American college students — is that she’s bicultural.The true love story in Elif Batuman’s The Idiot is a love affair with language | Constance Grady | September 11, 2020 | Vox
As such, they emphatically demonstrate the accuracy of the “no risk to public” trope.The Sky Is Not Falling, and Ebola Is Not Out of Control | Kent Sepkowitz | October 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is a common trope in pop culture, be it movies or TV, that straight men loooove girl-on-girl action.
To what extent she is trapped in an eternal royal trope or willing participant is only something she knows.If Kate Middleton’s Butt Could Speak: It’s Time Royal Princesses Led Visible, Voluble Public Lives | Tim Teeman | June 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And a stock trope, the “bed trick,” that many of the nerds watching probably knew dates back to the legend of King Arthur.Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds | Arthur Chu | May 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
How contrived that Modern Family would end its season finale with the tried-and-true sitcom trope: a wedding.
It's a hard word, but I've sure-ly heard her say he-li-o-trope sach-et.Pages for Laughing Eyes | Unknown
Thus the rhetorical trope which is called surprise, is similar to that of music termed the declining of a cadence.Novum Organum | Francis Bacon
Thus, in trying to account for her to himself, did the honest Lackaday flounder from trope to metaphor.The Mountebank | William J. Locke
Allegoria, the seconde parte of trope is an inuersion of wordes, where it is one in wordes, and another in sentence or meanynge.A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes | Richard Sherry
Though we could well have spared that Kembleian dying trope, his rising up and falling again.The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor | Samuel James Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for trope (1 of 2)
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
British Dictionary definitions for -trope (2 of 2)
indicating a turning towards, development in the direction of, or affinity to: heliotrope
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