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euphuism

[yoo-fyoo-iz-uh m] /ˈyu fyuˌɪz əm/
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
1590-1600; Euphu(es) + -ism
Related forms
euphuist, noun
euphuistic, euphuistical, adjective
euphuistically, adverb
Can be confused
euphemism, euphuism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for euphuist

euphuism

/ˈjuːfjuːˌɪzəm/
noun
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
Derived Forms
euphuist, noun
euphuistic, euphuistical, adjective
euphuistically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: after Euphues, prose romance by John Lyly
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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Encyclopedia Article for euphuist

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

Learn more about euphuism with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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13
15
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