Table of Figures of Speech
ID
Figure
English Name
Category
Definition
Emphasis
Notes
1
Allegory
Allegory
Illustration
Continued comparison by representation or implication
Points of comparison
Allegory is broader term in Semitic languages than Western.
2
Anadiplosis
Like Endings & Beginnings
Repetition
Repetition of the same word or words at the end of one sentence or clause and at the beginning of another.
The repeated words
3
Anaeresis
Detraction
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition complete in itself, a detraction by a negative expression.
The positive opposite
The negative appears to take something away but really is adding to it. Cf. Tapeinosis
4
Anaphora
Like-Beginnings
Repetition
The repetition of the same word at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences
The repeated word
5
Antanaclasis
Word-Clashing
Repetition
Repetition of the same word in the same sentence, with different meanings
Repeated words
Homonym - same word has more than one usage.
6
Antonomasia
Name Change
Meaning
Change of proper name for appellative or vice versa
Name
Description takes place of the literal name
7
Asyndeton
No-Ands
Grammar
An enumeration of things without conjunctions.
The whole unit
Important to view the group as a whole unit. May have emphasis on last item in list.
8
Catachresis
Incongruity
Meaning
One word changed for another only remotely connected with it.
Correct meaning.
9
Cataploce
Exclamation
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition complete in itself, a sudden exclamation.
On the sentence before.
E.g., "God forbid!" Exclamation differs from interjection because it usually involves an emotional response.
10
Climax
Gradation
Repetition
Continuous anadiplosis - repetition of endings and beginnings of one sentence or clause.
The build up of logic
Each concept repeated is important to note and consider. E.g. II Peter 1:5
11
Epanadiplosis
Encircling
Repetition
Repetition of the same word or words at the beginning and end of a sentence.
Repeated word(s)
Consider the sentences in between as a unit of thought.
12
Epistrophe
Like Endings
Repetition
Repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive clauses or sentences.
Repeated word(s)
Often sets a structural pattern.
13
Epitrechon
Remark (Running Along)
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition not complete in itself, used as an explanatory remark.
Pause
Read from before the parenthesis to after to complete the sentence.
14
Epizeugxis
Duplication
Repetition
Repetition of the same word in immediate sucession.
Repeated word
Effect is to establish the word duplicated. E.g. Isaiah 26:3
15
Erotesis
Interrogative
Rhetoric
The asking of questions without waiting for the answer.
Answer
The meaning must be gleaned by putting the question into a statement. Question always has an obvious answer.
16
Hendiadys
Two for One
Meaning
Two words used, but one thing meant.
The combination of concepts
The words can be put together using one as an adjective, but more often are best described with a different word that combines the two ideas.
17
Homeopropheron
Alliteration
Repetition
Repetition of the same letter or syllable at the commencement of successive words.
What the syllable means
If the alliteration is only a letter, the emphasis is on the words that have that letter.
18
Hypocatastasis
Implication
Illustration
A declaration that implies the resemblance or representation, comparison by implication.
What is compared
In Semitic thinking, the parts of the body all represent something specific. Can take a metaphor and use the meaning without the verb "to be"
19
Hypotimesis
Under-Estimating
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition complete in itself, an underevaluation, apology or excuse
The opposite
20
Idioma
Idiom
Meaning
The peculiar usage of words and phrases.
The real meaning of phrase
Idioms are particular to each language and culture.
21
Interjectio
Interjection
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition complete in itself, thrown in between, exclamation
What follows the exclamation
22
Metalepsis
Double Metonymy
Meaning
Two metonymies, one contained in the other, but only one expressed
The meaning underneath
There are at least two steps to discover the meaning
23
Metaphor
Representation
Illustration
A declaration that one thing is (or represents) another, or comparison by representation
What is represented
Usually has form of the verb "to be"
24
Metonymy
Change of Noun
Meaning
The change of one noun for another related noun.
The related noun
Several categories: cause, effect, time, place
25
Parabola
Parable
Illustration
Comparison by continued resemblance.
Points of comparison
Can be extended simile. There is often more than one point of comparison. Parable is a broader term in Semitic thinking than in Greek.
26
Paradiastole
Neither-Nor
Repetition
Repetition of the disjunctives: neither, nor, either, or
Words in between
Consider each noun or phrase carefully.
27
Parembole
Insertion
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition complete in itself - a digression.
The parenthesis as a unit
Context not needed or required to be understood
28
Polysyndeton
Many-Ands
Grammar
The repetition of the word "and" at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.
Each connected noun or phrase
Consider each word connected with "and" carefully.
29
Prosopopoeia
Personification
Illustration
Things or ideas represented as persons.
The thing or idea
Human characteristics given to inanimate objects or abstract ideas. Can be an action that a person would do.
30
Repetitio
Repetition
Repetition
Repetition of the same word or words irregularly in the same passage.
Ties the passage together
The repeated word is emphasized but often to just set the structural pattern.
31
Simile
Resemblance
Illustration
A declaration that one thing resembles another, comparison by resemblance.
That which is described
Uses "like" or "as" in comparison. The meaning is understood more vividly and often more deeply because of the comparison.
32
Syncrisis
Repeated Simile
Illustration
Repetition of a number of resemblances.
The points of comparison
Several similes linked together in close proximity
33
Synecdoche
Transfer (or Part for Whole)
Meaning
The exchange of one idea for another associated idea.
The implied idea
Often a part is used for the whole.
34
Tapeinosis
Demeaning
Rhetoric
A lessening of a thing in order to increase it.
The true meaning
Differs from meosis - the word(s) magnified are the same.
35
Meiosis
Belittling
Rhetoric
A belittling of something in order to magnify something else.
The true meaning
Cf. Tapeinosis
36
Parenthesis
Parenthesis
Parentheses
A parenthetic addition complete in itself, but needs context to be understood
Explanation of previous sentence
This is the true figure of parenthesis used as an explanation or description.
37
Paramegnon
Derivation
Repetition
Repetition of words derived from same root: similar in sound but different in meaning
The build up of concept
Usually different nouns or verbs formed from same root but which have distinct meanings of their own.
38
Homeoteleuton
Like Endings
Repetition
Repetition of successive words ending with same letters or syllables
Repeated word(s)
39
Homeoptoton
Like Inflections
Repetition
Repetition of like inflections
Words with repeated endings
40
Paromoesis
Assimilation
Repetition
Repetition of inflections similar in sound
Words with repeated inflections
41
Epanalepsis
Resumption
Repetition
Repetition of word or phrase after any kind of parenthesis or digression
Marks return to a previous subject
42
Hendiatris
Three for One
Meaning
Three words used, one thing meant
The combination of concepts
43
Ellipsis
Omission
Rhetoric
Words omitted from a sentence or phrase that are necessary to complete the grammar, but not the sense
The omitted word
44
Paroemia
Proverb
Rhetoric
A saying, a trite expression, common remark, maxim
The moral lesson implied
These are culturally related and it is important to understand the manners or customs behind the saying
45
Enigma
Dark Saying
Rhetoric
A dark or obscure saying, a puzzling statement, riddle
The truth behind the statement
Often the saying is not explained
46
Eironeia
Irony
Meaning
The expression of thought in a form that naturally conveys the opposite
The opposite meaning
Can be sarcastic, but more often is only obviously the opposite.
47
Oxymoron
Wise-Folly
Rhetoric
A wise saying that seems foolish
The wisdom or lesson implied
Some proverbs utilize this figure
48
Apostrophe
Aside
Rhetoric
A turning aside from the direct subject matter to address others
Points to specific group
The group addressed needs to take special note
49
Heterosis
Exchange
Meaning
Exchange of one accidence of part of speech for another
The correct form
This is especially used with verb tenses.
50
Hypallage
Interchange
Meaning
An interchange of construction whereby a word is grammatically related with another
In a genitive phrase the first noun is interchanged as an adjective.
51
Hyperbole
Exaggeration
Meaning
When more is said than is literally meant.
The literal meaning
52
Anabasis
Gradual Ascent
Rhetoric
An increase of sense in successive sentences.
The logic of the sentences
53
Catabasis
Gradual Descent
Rhetoric
A decrease of sense in successive sentences.
The logic of the sentences
54
Merismos
Distribution
Meaning
An enumeration of the parts of a whole that has been mentioned
The whole
E.g. "morning and evening" means the whole day
55
Synathroesmos
Enumeration
Meaning
An enumeration of the parts of a whole that has not been mentioned
The whole
Cf. Merismos
56
Epanados
Inversion
Repetition
Repetition of different words in a sentence, in an inverse order (but same sense)
Repeated words
Contributes to understanding of the structure of a passage.
57
Paranomasia
Rhyming Words
Repetition
Repetition of words similar in sound, but not in sense or origin.
The concepts that rhyme
58
Polyptoton
Many Inflections
Repetition
Repetition of the same noun or verb in different conjugations or inflections.
The root verb
Can be verb with related noun/adjective. Common in Semitic languages.
59
Synonymia
Synonym
Meaning
Repetition of words different in sound and origin, but similar in meaning
The repeated concept
Common in English and Western languages.
60
Repeated Negation
Many No's
Repetition
Repetition of two or more negatives
The negative
Can be combination of negative verb with another negative conjunction.
61
Euphemismos
Ephemism
Meaning
Change of what is unpleasant for pleasant
The reality of what is meant
62
Hyperbaton
Transposition
Grammar
The placing of a word out of its usual order in a sentence.
The word out of place
Often used with an adjective or pronoun.
63
Anthropopatheia
Condescension
Meaning
The ascribing of human attributes to God
The action or picture described
Hebrew name is "Derech Benai Adam", the way of the sons of man.
64
Epibole
Overlaid Repetition
Repetition
Repetition of the same phrase at irregular intervals.
The repeated phrase
Differs from anaphora and repetitio by being a phrase not just one word.
 

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