follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

trope

[trohp] /troʊp/
noun
1.
Rhetoric.
  1. any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.
  2. an instance of this.
2.
a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish.
3.
(in the philosophy of Santayana) the principle of organization according to which matter moves to form an object during the various stages of its existence.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin tropus figure in rhetoric < Greek trópos turn, turning, turn or figure of speech, akin to trépein to turn
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for tropes
  • And some of its tropes of corporations taking over the world seem not-so-speculative.
  • These tropes of apology and forgiveness become especially animated in discussing the civil-rights era.
  • Although one of his better tropes distinguishes the state from society, he wants the former to cultivate the latter.
  • The film-makers deliberately avoid the well-worn tropes of drugs and violence.
  • Being so widespread they make excellent data points for the study of how language tropes take hold.
  • Clearly there are long term continuities and tropes out there that get reactivated when things go wrong.
  • In an effort to avoid the same old variety-show tropes, he says, he sought out fresh talent.
  • But maybe the first step in getting past reductive tropes is having someone make up tropes for you to play in the first place.
  • As a result they can stand in for many varied cultural tropes.
  • Graphic designers were commissioned to create graphic auras that suggested exclusivity through various tropes and conceits.
British Dictionary definitions for tropes

trope

/trəʊp/
noun
1.
(rhetoric) a word or expression used in a figurative sense
2.
an interpolation of words or music into the plainsong settings of the Roman Catholic liturgy
Word Origin
C16: from Latin tropus figurative use of a word, from Greek tropos style, turn; related to trepein to turn
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tropes
trope
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for tropes

trope

in medieval church music, melody, explicatory text, or both added to a plainchant melody. Tropes are of two general types: those adding a new text to a melisma (section of music having one syllable extended over many notes); and those inserting new music, usually with words, between existing sections of melody and text.

Learn more about trope with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for trope

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tropes

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with tropes