Figure speech

figure of speech

noun, plural figures of speech. Rhetoric.
any expressive use of language, as a metaphor, simile, personification, or antithesis, in which words are used in other than their literal sense, or in other than their ordinary locutions, in order to suggest a picture or image or for other special effect. Compare trope ( def 1 ).

Origin:
1815–25

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World English Dictionary
figure of speech
 
n
an expression of language, such as simile, metaphor, or personification, by which the usual or literal meaning of a word is not employed

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