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figure of speech

noun, plural figures of speech. Rhetoric
1.
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
1815-1825
1815-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for figures of speech
  • figures of speech, parentheses, and punctuation demand notice.
  • If you can't interpret figures of speech, go brush up on them.
  • The use of vivid description or figures of speech in speaking or writing to produce mental images.
  • Students may have difficulty understanding and using some idioms, figures of speech and words with multiple meanings.
  • In addition, culturally specific knowledge should be avoided, along with the use of difficult words and figures of speech.
  • Identify problems with an author's use of figures of speech, logic, or reasoning.
  • Sometimes connotations are conveyed through the use of metaphor or other figures of speech.
  • Students may have difficulty using and understanding idioms, figures of speech and words with multiple meanings.
  • They also learn to look for and understand figures of speech.
British Dictionary definitions for figures of speech

figure of speech

noun
1.
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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Difficulty index for figure of speech

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for figures

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with figures of speech