Word Origin & History
1533, from L. tropus "a figure of speech," from Gk. tropos "turn, direction, turn or figure of speech," related to trope "a turning" and trepein "to turn," from PIE base trep- "to turn" (cf. Skt. trapate "is ashamed, confused," prop. "turns away in shame;" L. trepit "he turns"). Technically, in rhetoric,
a figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it.
comb. form meaning "that which turns," from Gk. tropos (see trope