euphuism

euphuism

[yoo-fyoo-iz-uhm]
noun
1.
an affected style in imitation of that of Lyly, fashionable in England about the end of the 16th century, characterized chiefly by long series of antitheses and frequent similes relating to mythological natural history, and alliteration. Compare Euphues.
2.
any similar ornate style of writing or speaking; high-flown, periphrastic language.

Origin:
1590–1600; Euphu(es) + -ism

euphuist, noun
euphuistic, euphuistical, adjective
euphuistically, adverb

euphemism, euphuism.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
euphuism (ˈjuːfjuːˌɪzəm)
 
n
1.  an artificial prose style of the Elizabethan period, marked by extreme use of antithesis, alliteration, and extended similes and allusions
2.  any stylish affectation in speech or writing, esp a rhetorical device or expression
 
[C16: after Euphues, prose romance by John Lyly]
 
'euphuist
 
n
 
euphu'istic
 
adj
 
euphu'istical
 
adj
 
euphu'istically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

euphuism

an elegant Elizabethan literary style marked by excessive use of balance, antithesis, and alliteration and by frequent use of similes drawn from mythology and nature. The word is also used to denote artificial elegance. It was derived from the name of a character in the prose romances Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and his England (1580) by the English author John Lyly. Although the style soon fell out of fashion, it played an important role in the development of English prose. It appeared at a time of experimentation with prose styles, and it offered prose that was lighter and more fanciful than previous writing. The influence of euphuism can be seen in the works of such writers as Robert Greene and William Shakespeare, both of whom imitated the style in some works and parodied it in others

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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