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trope

[trohp]
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noun
  1. Rhetoric.
    1. any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.
    2. an instance of this.Compare figure of speech.
  2. a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish.
  3. (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.
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Origin of trope

1525–35; < Latin tropus figure in rhetoric < Greek trópos turn, turning, turn or figure of speech, akin to trépein to turn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

symbolimageanalogyimpressionperceptionfigureideathoughtnotionvisionsimilitudeemblempersonificationallegoryhopemetonymytropeconceptionconceitconstruct

Examples from the Web for tropes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Joseph Trapp

  • The common sense of our tropes, rodomontades, and allegories is this!

    Husks

    Marion Harland


British Dictionary definitions for tropes

trope

noun
  1. rhetoric a word or expression used in a figurative sense
  2. an interpolation of words or music into the plainsong settings of the Roman Catholic liturgy
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin tropus figurative use of a word, from Greek tropos style, turn; related to trepein to turn
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

Word Origin and History for tropes

trope

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper