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allegory

[al-uh-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee] /ˈæl əˌgɔr i, -ˌgoʊr i/
noun, plural allegories.
1.
a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.
2.
a symbolical narrative: the allegory of Piers Plowman.
3.
emblem (def 3).
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English allegorie < Latin allēgoria < Greek allēgoría, derivative of allēgoreîn to speak so as to imply something other. See allo-, agora; Greek agoreúein to speak, proclaim, orig. meant to act (e.g., speak) in the assembly
Synonyms
2. fable, parable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for allegories
  • While you carp about about allegories there is a world of suffering out there.
  • His style is diffusive, swelling, and full of epithets: and he is fond of comparisons and allegories.
  • Most of the new book is apparently composed of fictional allegories.
  • Shortly thereafter he began to paint the genre scenes, landscapes, and allegories for which he has become renowned.
British Dictionary definitions for allegories

allegory

/ˈælɪɡərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
a poem, play, picture, etc, in which the apparent meaning of the characters and events is used to symbolize a deeper moral or spiritual meaning
2.
the technique or genre that this represents
3.
use of such symbolism to illustrate truth or a moral
4.
anything used as a symbol or emblem
Derived Forms
allegorist, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French allegorie, from Latin allēgoria, from Greek, from allēgorein to speak figuratively, from allos other + agoreuein to make a speech in public, from agora a public gathering
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
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Word Origin and History for allegories

allegory

n.

late 14c., from Old French allegorie (12c.), from Latin allegoria, from Greek allegoria "figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another," literally "a speaking about something else," from allos "another, different" (see alias) + agoreuein "speak openly, speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly" (see agora).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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allegories in Culture
allegory [(al-uh-gawr-ee)]

A story that has a deeper or more general meaning in addition to its surface meaning. Allegories are composed of several symbols or metaphors. For example, in The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, the character named Christian struggles to escape from a bog or swamp. The story of his difficulty is a symbol of the difficulty of leading a good life in the “bog” of this world. The “bog” is a metaphor or symbol of life's hardships and distractions. Similarly, when Christian loses a heavy pack that he has been carrying on his back, this symbolizes his freedom from the weight of sin that he has been carrying.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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allegories in the Bible

used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes use of it allegorically. Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there is a beautiful allegory: "Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt," etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical description of old age.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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11
14
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