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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 of figure of speech
1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for figure-of-speech

figure of speech

an expression of language, such as simile, metaphor, or personification, by which the usual or literal meaning of a word is not employed
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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