figure of speech
Date: 1751 a form of expression (as a simile or metaphor) used to convey meaning or heighten effect often by comparing or identifying one thing with another that has a meaning or connotation familiar to the reader or listener

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • figure of speech — Figure Fig ure (f[i^]g [ u]r; 135), n. [F., figure, L. figura; akin to fingere to form, shape, feign. See {Feign}.] 1. The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance. [1913 Webster] Flowers have all exquisite figures. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • figure of speech — is any of several recognized linguistic devices used to make language lively or more colourful, such as metaphor and simile …   Modern English usage

  • figure of speech — [n] communication that is not meant literally; stylistic device adumbration, allegory, alliteration, allusion, analogue, anaphora, anticlimax, antistrophe, antithesis, aposiopesis, apostrophe, asyndeton, bathos, comparison, conceit, echoism,… …   New thesaurus

  • figure of speech — index phrase Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • figure of speech — n a word or expression that is used in a different way from the normal meaning, to give you a picture in your mind …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • figure of speech — noun count an expression in which the words are used FIGURATIVELY, not in their normal LITERAL meaning …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • figure of speech — ► NOUN ▪ a word or phrase used in a non literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect …   English terms dictionary

  • figure of speech — n. an expression, as a metaphor or simile, using words in a nonliteral sense or unusual manner to add vividness, beauty, etc. to what is said or written …   English World dictionary

  • Figure of speech — A figure of speech, sometimes termed a rhetoric, or locution, is a word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language. Figures of speech are often used and crafted for emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However,… …   Wikipedia

  • figure of speech — noun language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑trope, ↑figure, ↑image • Derivationally related forms: ↑tropical (for: ↑trope) …   Useful english dictionary

  • figure of speech — figures of speech N COUNT A figure of speech is an expression or word that is used with a metaphorical rather than a literal meaning. Of course I m not. It was just a figure of speech …   English dictionary

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