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Figures of Speech

Match the following terms with their definitions.

AB
allegoryA narrative in which abstract ideas figure as circumstances or persons, usually to enforce a moral truth.
alliterationRepetition of the same sound, usually initial, in two or more words.
anaphoraRepetition of a word, usually at the beginning of successive clauses or phrases, for emphasis or for pathetic effect.
apostropheAddress of an absent person or abstraction, usually for pathetic effect.
assonanceThe close recurrence of similar sounds, usually used of vowel sounds.
asyndetonOmission of conjunctions in a closely related series.
chiasmusArrangement of words, usually adjectives and nouns, in the pattern ABAB.
ecphrasisAn apparent digression describing a place (or work of art), connected at the end of the description to the main narrative by hic or huc.
ellipsisOmission of one or more words necessary to the sense.
enjambmentThe running over of a sentence from one verse into another so that closely related words fall in different lines.
hendiadysUse of two nouns connected by a conjunction with the meaning of one modified noun.
hyperboleExaggeration for effect.
hysteron proteronReversal of the natural and logical order of events or ideas.
interlocking word order or synchesisABAB arrangement of pairs of words. This arrangement often emphasizes the close association of the pairs.
ironyThe use, clearly intentional or apparently unintentional (dramatic irony), of words with a meaning contrary to the situation.
litotesAn understatement for emphasis, usually an assertion of something by denying the opposite.
metonymyUse of one noun in place of another closely related one to avoid common or prosaic words.
onomatopeiaUse of words whose sound suggests the sense.
oxymoronThe use of apparently contradictory words in the same phrase.
pleonasmUse of unecessary words.
polysyndetonUse of necessary conjunctions.
praeteritioClaiming to pass over something that one plans to say.
prolepsisUse of a word before it is appropriate in the context. A proleptic adjective does not apply to its noun until after the action of the verb.
simileAn expresed comparison, introduced by a word such as similis, qualis, or velut.
synecdocheUse of the part for the whole to avoid common words or to focus attention on a particular part.
tmesisSeparation of the parts of a compound word usually for metrical convenience.
transferred epithetA device of emphasis in which the poet attributes some characteristics of a thing to another thing closely associated with it.
tricolon crescensA three-part increase of emphasis or enlargement of meaning.
zeugmaA linking of one verb or adjective with two distinct words or clauses; often the connection to the one seems more natural than to the other.


Ms. Haddad

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