Figure of Speech : Meaning and Example
A figure of speech is the use of a word or a phrase, which ascend from its literal interpretation. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, personification, or synecdoche.
“A figure of speech is a departure from the ordinary form of experience, or the ordinary course of ideas, in order to produce a greater effect.” —Wren.
Main Figure of Speech used in English language —
- Simile : Comparison between two things ( of different kinds which have, however, at least one point in common ) using like or as.
Example : She is as lovely as a rose.
- Metaphor : A metaphor is an implied Simile without the use of like or as.
Example : Camel is the ship of the desert.
- Personification : Attributing or applying human qualities to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.
Example : A lie has no legs.
4. Hyperbole : Use of exaggerated terms for emphasis.
Example : Floods of tears flowed down her cheeks.
- Apostrophe : A direct address to the dead, to the absent or to a personified object or idea.
Example : O death ! where is thy sting ?
6. Oxymoron : Using two terms together, that normally contradict each other. ( a special form of Antithesis)
Example : Sweet bitter tears flowed from her eyes.
- Alliteration : Repetition of a word at the end of a clause at the beginning of another.
Example : How high his Honour holds his haughty head !
8. Metonymy : Substitution of an associated word to suggest what is really meant.
Example : The pen (author ) is mightier than the sword ( the soldier ).
9. Synecdoche : Form of metonymy, in which a part stands for the whole or the whole stands for a part.
Example : The best brains ( i.e. scholars ) have assembled here.
- Antithesis : Juxtaposition of opposing or contrasting ideas. A striking opposition or contrast of words or sentiments made in the same sentence.
Example : To err is human, to forgive is divine.
11. Irony : Use of word in a way that conveys a meaning opposite to its usual meaning.
Example : Run, run, you are brave indeed.
- Pun : When a word or phrase is used in two(or more) different senses.
Example : Is life worth living ? That depends upon the lever.