Figures of Speech

Figures of speech are the way of expression of ideas, thoughts or specialized opinions in non-literary language producing a greater effect. This art of expressive language is classified into various forms.


It is a way of expression wherein there is a comparison between two things of a different kind but having one common idea. Usually, it is expressed using words like ‘like’; ‘as’ and ‘so’.

For Example:

He fought like a lion in the war.

His brain is as soft as cheese.

The dark clouds will move and so will I.


It is also another way of expression with a comparison between two objects of a different kind but a common idea. It is also called as an implied simile. Usually, it is NOT associated with words namely ‘like’; ‘as’; ‘so’.

For Example:

He is a lion in the war.

The camel is the ship of the desert.


It is a way of expression wherein inanimate things and abstract concepts are given life and intelligence like human beings.

For Example:

The flowers are dancing in the rain.

The anger is holding his hands.


It expresses the direct addressing to the dead, or to the absent or to the thing or notion which is personified.

For example:

O death! where is thy sting?

James! you should be living at this hour.


It is a way to emphasize our opinions and ideas by an overstatement.

 For Example:

If the river were dry, I am able to fill with my tears.

The manager gave me tons of work to do.


It is a figure of speech where there is a description of disagreeable fact with the agreeable term.

For Example:

He has fallen asleep forever. ( i.e. he is dead)

He is a differentially abled person. (i.e. he is handicapped)


It refers to the words or sentiments which are contradictory to each other are made in one sentence.

For Example:

Man Proposes, God Disposes

Many were called, but few arrived.


It is a literary device in which two opposite words or sentiments are joined together to create an effect.

For Example:

Parting is such a sweet sorrow.

She accepted their kind cruelty.


It is an expression of antithetical ideas which captures attention.

For Example:

The art lies in hiding the art.

The child is the father of the man.


It is a literary device where the real meaning of the expression is an exactly the opposite of which is conveyed. The irony is usually of three categories; verbal; situational and dramatic.

For Example:

If a person is stuck in a hurricane and he says” What a nice calm weather it is!”

The police station is robbed. (situational)


It is the usage of words in such a way that it is capable of more than one application, the words would produce the ludicrous effect.

For Example

You were right so I left.

Geometry is so pointless.


It is a figure of speech which designates in two types of expressions; a part which implies the whole meaning or the whole for a part.

For Example:

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Transferred Epithet:

It is a way of expression in which an epithet is transferred from a noun to describe another noun in the sentence.

For Example:

She passed a sleepless night.

Lord Ullin reached the fatal shore.


It is a way of expression of ideas through questions for the sake of getting answers.

For Example:

Can you be sick for a home never seen?

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?


It is a literary device which makes an exclamatory statement to emphasize its ideas.

For Example:

What a piece of work is man!

Life is not a joke!


It is a figure of speech where the series of ideas are arranged in increasing order of importance.

For Example:

He ran into the house, searched the wardrobe, found a small envelope and took it along.

The party was simple, austere and sublime.


It is a figure of speech which arranges the ideas and thoughts in decreasing order of importance. It is mostly used as a ridicule.

For Example:

Here thou, great Marie! Whom all the courtesans obey, the citizens adore.

We have discovered this huge cave after struggling through the woods and researching in the libraries.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.