What Is Hypocatastasis?


Metaphors and similes are figures of speech used to add flair and humor to a phrase. These popular rhetorical devices are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to get to the point; enter hypocatastasis.

What is hypocatastasis?

Linguistically, both a hypocatastasis and a metaphor imply “a resemblance, representation or comparison.” However, hypocatastasis packs more of a punch than a metaphor because it uses only one noun, (the other noun is implied), while a metaphor uses two nouns.

For example, “You are a rockstar!” is a metaphor because two nouns are present: you and rockstar.

But, if you simply said “rockstar!”, the you (or object) is implied, therefore creating a hypocatastasis.

Famous examples of hypocatastasis

Hypocatastasis is common in the Bible. For example, when Satan is simply referred to as a “serpent;” the serpent/Satan comparison is implied, thus a hypocatastasis.

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