follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

trope

[trohp] /troʊp/
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.
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.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin tropus figure in rhetoric < Greek trópos turn, turning, turn or figure of speech, akin to trépein to turn

-trope

1.
a combining form meaning “one turned toward” that specified by the initial element (heliotrope); also occurring in concrete nouns that correspond to abstract nouns ending in -tropy, or -tropism:
allotrope.
Origin
< Greek -tropos; see trope, tropo-
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for trope
  • The intellect is stimulated by the statement of truth in a trope, and the will by clothing the laws of life in illusions.
  • Chronicle, on the other hand, treats the found footage itself as a trope.
  • Most of the media coverage of the debate relied on this familiar trope.
  • The truth is it's such a trope to sit around and bash your parents.
  • Yet whatever one thinks of the lynching trope, it worked.
  • Bonus ironic comment: amid the continuing subprime meltdown, media consumers will have noticed a common trope.
  • The influence of speculation is a common trope in stories examining the current oil boom.
  • Whether you think stem cell research is immoral or not, this little trope needs to be dealt with.
  • The old trope that scientists can't communicate needs to be binned.
British Dictionary definitions for trope

trope

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

-trope

combining form
1.
indicating a turning towards, development in the direction of, or affinity to: heliotrope
Word Origin
from Greek tropos a 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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.

-trope

word-forming element meaning "that which turns," from Greek tropos (see trope).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for trope

in medieval church music, melody, explicatory text, or both added to a plainchant melody. Tropes are of two general types: those adding a new text to a melisma (section of music having one syllable extended over many notes); and those inserting new music, usually with words, between existing sections of melody and text.

Learn more about trope with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for trope

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for trope

7
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with trope

Nearby words for trope