Figure of Speech Dictionary
A figure of speech or a trope (the latter word has a more specific use) is a non-ordinary use of language employed to create an emphasis, amplify a meaning, draw a comparison or contrast, or to make a rhetorical point. The figure may be achieved by employing repetition of words or sounds in a specific pattern, making an interjection, stating or implying a comparison, using synonyms, or using a specific pattern of argument. This searchable dictionary collects some of the common forms (about half of all figures). Use the Contact Page to advise of corrections, additional examples or forms we have missed.
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Catabasis or Gradual Descent
An decrease of emphasis on some meaning in successive sentences.
e.g. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)
Notes: May be Used to emphasize humiliation, sorrow. The opposite of anabasis."
Catachresis or Incongruity
Two items compared or one standing for the other when the ideas they represent are radically different or perhaps contradictory, paradoxical or contradictory logic, or an illogical mixed metaphor.
e.g. To take arms against a sea of troubles. Ð William Shakespeare
Notes: The user may simply be employing one word incorrectly thinking it is another of perhaps similar spelling.
Cataploce or Exclamation
An emphatic parenthetic addition that is complete in itself.
e.g. God forbid!
Notes: Exclamation differs from interjection in that it usually involves an emotional response.
From the Greek letter chi, shaped like the Latin X, and meaning a crossing. Two entities are related to one another in a "crossing" structure.
e.g. 1. I love you as you love me. 2. "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." (John F. Kennedy)
Climax or Gradation
Continuous anadiplosis - repetition of endings and beginnings of a particular sentence or clause.
Secondary Category: logic
e.g. II Peter 1:5
Notes: Each of the repeated concepts is important in the sequence of argument.
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