any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.
an instance of this. Compare figure of speech.
a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish.
(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.

1525–35; < Latin tropus figure in rhetoric < Greek trópos turn, turning, turn or figure of speech, akin to trépein to turn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trope (trəʊp)
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
[C16: from Latin tropus figurative use of a word, from Greek tropos style, turn; related to trepein to turn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And some of its tropes of corporations taking over the world seem
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.
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