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Definition of Simile Definition of Personification

A simile is a figure of speech that makes Personification is a figure of speech in which a

a comparison, showing similarities between two thing – an idea or an animal – is given human
different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in
resemblance with the help of the words “like” or such a way that we feel they have the ability to act
“as.” Therefore, it is a direct comparison. like human beings. For example, when we say, “The
sky weeps,” we are giving the sky the ability to cry,
 Our soldiers are as brave as lions. which is a human quality. Thus, we can say that the
 Her cheeks are red like a rose. sky has been personified in the given sentence.
 He is as funny as a monkey.
 The water well was as dry as a bone. Common Examples of Personification
 He is as cunning as a fox
1. Look at my car. She is a beauty, isn’t she?
Definition of Metaphor 2. The wind whispered through dry grass.
3. The flowers danced in the gentle breeze.
Metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an 4. Time and tide wait for none.
implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between 5. The fire swallowed the entire forest
two things that are unrelated, but which share some
common characteristics. In other words, a Onomatopoeia Definition
resemblance of two contradictory or different
objects is made based on a single or some common Onomatopoeia, pronounced on-uh-mat-uh–pee–uh,
characteristics is defined as a word which imitates the natural
sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that
 My brother was boiling mad. (This implies mimics the thing described, making the description
he was too angry.) more expressive and interesting.
 The assignment was a breeze. (This implies
that the assignment was not difficult.) Common Examples of Onomatopoeia
 It is going to be clear skies from now on.
(This implies that clear skies are not a threat  The buzzing bee flew away.
and life is going to be without hardships)  The sack fell into the river with a splash.
 The skies of his future began to darken.  The books fell on the table with a
(Darkness is a threat; therefore, this implies loud thump.
that the coming times are going to be hard  He looked at the roaring
for him.)  The rustling leaves kept me awake.
 Her voice is music to his ears. (This implies
that her voice makes him feel happy) The different sounds of animals are also considered
 He saw the soul of dust when passing as examples of onomatopoeia. You will recognize
through the dust storm. the following sounds easily:
 Chaos is the breeding ground of order.
 War is the mother of all battles.  Meow
 Her dance is a great poem.  Moo
 A new road to freedom passes through  Neigh
this valley of death.  Tweet
 My conscience is my barometer.  Oink
 His white face shows his concern.  Baa
 His kisses are like roses.
 He married her to have a trophy wife. Groups of Onomatopoeic Words
 Laughter is the best medicine.
 Words are daggers when spoken in anger. Onomatopoeic words come in combinations, as they
 His words are pearls of wisdom. reflect different sounds of a single object. For
example, a group of words reflecting different
sounds of water are: plop, splash, gush, sprinkle, 9. There was an employee in the office who
drizzle, and drip. was regularly irregular.
10. The hero of the play was so dejected that he
Similarly, words like growl, giggle, grunt, murmur, was the perfect embodiment of being alone
blurt, and chatter denote different kinds of in a crowd.
human voice sounds. 11. The heads of state gathered to determine
an approximate solution to the crisis.
Moreover, we can identify a group of words related 12. The green pasture surrounded by hills was
to different sounds of wind, such as swish, swoosh, teeming with a deafening silence.
whiff, whoosh, whizz, and whisper 13. The political scientist was asked to give
his unbiased opinion on the current issue.
Definition of Oxymoron 14. The CEO of a multinational company said,
“We have been awfully lucky to have
Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two survived the disastrous effects of the recent
opposite ideas are joined to create an effect. The economic recession.”
common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an 15. The program was not liked by the people,
adjective proceeded by a noun with contrasting for a lot of unpopular celebrities were
meanings, such as “cruel kindness,” or “living invited
Definition of Hyperbole
Common Examples of Oxymoron
Hyperbole, derived from a Greek word meaning
1. Open secret “over-casting,” is a figure of speech that involves
2. Tragic comedy an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis
3. Seriously funny
4. Awfully pretty Common Examples of Hyperbole
5. Foolish wisdom
6. Original copies  My grandmother is as old as the hills.
7. Liquid gas  Your suitcase weighs a ton!
 She is as heavy as an elephant!
The above oxymoron examples produce a comical  I am dying of shame.
effect. Thus, it is a lot of fun to use them in your  I am trying to solve a million issues these
everyday speech. days.

Short Examples of Oxymoron in Speech Short Examples of Hyperbole

1. There was a love-hate relationship between 1. A ton of worry was lifted from the beggar’s
the two neighboring states. back when he received the alms.
2. The professor was giving a lecture 2. He saw a man as tall a power poll.
on virtual reality. 3. He saw his childhood friend after ages.
3. Paid volunteers were working for the 4. The weather was so hot that literally
company. everything was on fire.
4. The channel was repeating the old 5. The boy was dying to get a new school bag.
news again and again. 6. The teacher told his students not to repeat
5. The contractor was asked to give the exact that mistake for the umpteenth time, but to
estimate of the project. no avail.
6. A lot of soldiers have been killed in friendly 7. He was in such a hurry that he drove his car
fire. at a bazillion miles per hour.
7. The doctor was absolutely unsure of the 8. The minister told the guests that the couple’s
nature of his illness. friendship was deeper than the sea, and
8. All the politicians agreed to disagree. sweeter than honey.
9. The blacksmith’s hand was harder than the The term idiom refers to a set expression or a phrase
rock. comprising two or more words. An interesting fact
10. Their headmaster was omnipresent, as he regarding the device is that the expression is not
seemed to be all around the school all the interpreted literally. The phrase is understood to
time. mean something quite different from what
11. The businessman was so busy that he was individual words of the phrase would imply.
attending to a million calls simultaneously. Alternatively, it can be said that the phrase is
12. The old man was older than the Himalayas. interpreted in a figurative sense. Further, idioms
13. The mule is able to lift tons of weight uphill. vary in different cultures and countries.
14. His classmates laughed at him, saying he
had a pea-sized brain. Definition of Imagery
15. John was called the elephant of the class for
his clumsiness. Imagery means to use figurative language to
represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way
Allusion Definition that it appeals to our physical senses.

Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a  It was dark and dim in the forest.
person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, The words “dark” and “dim” are visual
literary or political significance. It does not describe images.
in detail the person or thing to which it refers. It is  The children were screaming and shouting
just a passing comment and the writer expects the in the fields.
reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the “Screaming” and “shouting” appeal to our
allusion and grasp its importance in a text. sense of hearing, or auditory sense.
 He whiffed the aroma of brewed coffee.
Allusion Examples in Everyday Speech “Whiff” and “aroma” evoke our sense of
smell, or olfactory sense.
The use allusions are not confined to literature  The girl ran her hands on a soft satin
alone. Their occurrence is fairly common in our fabric.
daily speech. Look at some common allusion The idea of “soft” in this example appeals to
examples in everyday life: our sense of touch, or tactile sense.
 The fresh and juicy orange is very cold and
 “Don’t act like a Romeo in front of her.” – sweet.
“Romeo” is a reference to Shakespeare’s “Juicy” and “sweet” – when associated with
Romeo, a passionate lover of Juliet, in oranges – have an effect on our sense of
“Romeo and Juliet”. taste, or gustatory sense.
 The rise in poverty will unlock the
Pandora’s box of crimes. – This is an Short Examples of Imagery
allusion to one of Greek Mythology’s origin
myth, “Pandora’s box”. 1. The old man took the handful of dust, and
 “This place is like a Garden of Eden.” – This sifted it through his fingers.
is a biblical allusion to the “garden of God” 2. The starry night sky looked so beautiful that
in the Book of Genesis. it begged him to linger, but he reluctantly
 “Hey! Guess who the new Newton of our left for home.
school is?” – “Newton”, means a genius 3. The fragrance of spring flowers made her
student, alludes to a famous scientist Isaac joyful.
Newton. 4. The sound of a drum in the distance
 “Stop acting like my ex-husband please.” – attracted him.
Apart from scholarly allusions we refer to 5. The people traveled long distances to watch
common people and places in our speech. the sunset in the north.
6. The stone fell with a splash in the lake.
Definition of Idiom 7. The sound of bat hitting the ball was
pleasing to his ear.
8. The chirping of birds heralded spring. 5. The Muslim forces raised their flag with a
9. There lay refuse heaps on their path that crescent on it. (The crescent moon
were so smelly that it maddened them. represents Islam.)
10. The silence in the room was unnerving. 6. He turned green when found a wallet.
11. The blind man touched the tree to learn if its (Green color is often associated with greed,
skin was smooth or rough. jealousy, and monetary affairs.)
12. When he was on the way to work, he heard 7. They dressed in black to the funeral of their
the muffled cry of a woman. friend. (The color black is associated with
13. The beacons of moonlight bathed the room death.)
in ethereal light. 8. The yellow boat turned into the channel, to
14. The wild gusts of cold wind pierced her make the tourists happy. The color yellow
body. color is the symbol of deterioration and
15. The burger, aromatic with spices, made his infidelity, as well as the symbol of freshness
mouth water in anticipation of the first bite. and happiness.)
9. He was disappointed when the mirror broke.
Definition of Symbolism (Broken mirror is an symbol of separation.)
10. He gave a red rose to his wife on Valentine
Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas Day. (Red rose is a symbol for love.)
and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings 11. He, after a long time, saw a silver lining in
that are different from their literal sense the shape of the arrival of his brother. (Silver
edge/lining of clouds symbolize hope and
Common Examples of Symbolism in Everyday Life optimism.)
12. You have a sixth sense like an owl. (Owl
In our daily life, we can easily identify objects that symbolizes wisdom.)
can be taken as examples of symbolism, such as the 13. You work like an ox. (The ox symbolizes
following: hard work and stamina.)
14. When he saw a bat in dream, he grew white
 The dove is a symbol of peace. with fear. (Bats are the symbol of death.)
 A red rose, or the color red, stands for love
or romance. Alliteration Definition
 Black is a symbol that represents evil or
death. Alliteration is derived from Latin’s “Latira”. It
 A ladder may stand as a symbol for a means “letters of alphabet”. It is a stylistic device in
connection between heaven and earth. which a number of words, having the same first
 A broken mirror may symbolize separation. consonant sound, occur close together in a series.

Short Examples of Symbolism in Sentences  Both sentences are alliterative because the
same first letter of words (B) occurs close
1. Ching Chua gave his wife a red rose. (In together and produces alliteration in the
Chinese culture, the color red symbolizes sentence. An important point to remember
property and happiness.) here is that alliteration does not depend
2. David stopped his car at the red signal. (In on letters but on sounds. So the phrase not
other cultures, the color red is symbol of knotty is alliterative, but cigarette chase is
blood, passion, and danger.) not.
3. Rebels raised a white flag to negotiate.  A big bully beats a baby boy.
(During war, the color white symbolizes
making peace with the enemy. Otherwise, it Assonance Definition
represents purity and life.)
4. The Red Cross is working around the world. Assonance takes place when two or more words,
(The symbol of the cross represents close to one another repeat the same vowel sound,
Christianity, and the red cross in particular but start with different consonant sounds.
represents aid in times of need.)
“Men sell the wedding bells.” Example #1: Zealots (By Fugees)

The same vowel sound of the short vowel “-e-” The following lines from a song also show how
repeats itself in almost all the words, excluding the consonant sounds have been used repeatedly.
definite article. The words do share the same vowel
sounds, but start with different consonant sounds – “Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile
unlike alliteration, which involves repetition of the Whether Jew or gentile, I rank top percentile
same consonant sounds. Below are a few assonance Many styles, more powerful than gamma rays
examples that are common. My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays.”

Common Assonance Examples Metonymy Definition

 We light fire on the mountain. Metonymy is a figure of speech that replaces the
 I feel depressed and restle name of a thing with the name of something else
 Go and mow the lawn. with which it is closely associated. We can come
 Johnny went here and there and everywhe across examples of metonymy both from literature
 The engineer held the steering to steer the and in everyday life.
Examples of Metonymy in Everyday Life
Brief Examples of Assonance
We use metonymy frequently in our everyday life.
1. “If I bleat when I speak it’s because I just For a better understanding, let us observe a few
got . . . flee” metonymy examples:
— Deadwood, by Al Swearengin
2. “Those images that yet,  “England decides to keep check on
Fresh images beget, immigration.” (England refers to the
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.” government.)
— Byzantium, by W. B. Yeats  “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
3. “Strips of tinfoil winking like people” (Pen refers to written words, and sword to
— The Bee Meeting by Sylvia Plath military force.)
4. “I must confess that in my quest I felt  “The Oval Office was busy in work.”
depressed and restless.” (The Oval Office is a metonymy, as it stands
— With Love, by Thin Lizzy for people who work in the office.)
 “Let me give you a hand.” (Hand means
Definition of Consonance help.)

Consonance refers to repetitive sounds produced by Synecdoche Definition

consonants within a sentence or phrase.
This repetition often takes place in quick Synecdoche is a literary device in which a part of
succession, such as in “pitter, patter. something represents the whole, or it may use a
whole to represent a part. Synecdoche may also use
Common Consonance Examples larger groups to refer to smaller groups, or vice
versa. It may also call a thing by the name of the
 The ship has sailed to the far off sh material it is made of, or it may refer to a thing in a
 She ate seven sandwiches on container or packaging by the name of that
a sunny Sunday last year. container or packing
 Shelley sells shells by the seash
Synecdoche Examples from Everyday Life
Examples of Consonance in Literature
It is very common to refer to a thing by the name of
its parts. Let us look at some of the examples of
synecdoche that we often hear in casual Common Examples of Irony
Let us analyze some interesting examples of irony
 The word “bread” refers to food or money, from our daily life:
as in “Writing is my bread and butter,” or
“He is the sole breadwinner.”  I posted a video on YouTube about how
 The phrase “gray beard” refers to an old boring and useless YouTube is.
man.  The name of Britain’s biggest dog was
 The word “sails” refers to a whole ship. “Tiny.”
 The word “suit” refers to a businessman.  You laugh at a person who slipped stepping
 The word “boots” usually refers to soldiers. on a banana peel, and the next thing you
 The term “coke” is a common synecdoche know, you’ve slipped too.
for all carbonated drinks.  The butter is as soft as a slab of marble.
 “Pentagon” is a synecdoche when it refers to  “Oh great! Now you have broken my new
a few decision makers. camera.”
 The word “glasses” refers to spectacles.
Short Examples of Verbal Irony
Definition of Irony
1. The doctor is as kind hearted as a wolf.
Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used 2. He took a much-needed vacation,
in such a way that their intended meaning is backpacking in the mountains.
different from the actual meaning of the words. It Unfortunately, he came back dead tired.
may also be a situation that ends up in quite a 3. His friend’s hand was as soft as a rock.
different way than what is generally anticipated. In 4. The desert was as cool as a bed of burning
simple words, it is a difference between appearance coals.
and reality. 5. The student was given ‘excellent’ on getting
zero in the exam.
Types of Irony 6. The roasted chicken was as tender as a
leather boot.
On the grounds of the above definition, we 7. He was in such a harried state that he drove
distinguish two basic types of irony: (1) verbal the entire way at 20 miles per hour.
irony, and (2) situational irony. Verbal irony 8. He enjoyed his job about as much as a root
involves what one does not mean. For example, canal.
when in response to a foolish idea, we say, “What a 9. My friend’s kids get along like cats and
great idea!” This is verbal irony. Situational irony dogs.
occurs when, for instance, a man is chuckling at the 10. Their new boss was as civilized as a shark.
misfortune of another, even when the same 11. The new manager is as friendly as a
misfortune is, unbeknownst to him, befalling him. rattlesnake.
12. The weather was as balmy as a winter day in
Difference Between Dramatic Irony and Situational Siberia.
Irony 13. A vehicle was parked right in front of the
no-parking sign.
Dramatic irony is frequently employed by writers in 14. The CEO of a big tobacco company said he
their works. In situational irony, both the characters did not smoke.
and the audience are fully unaware of the 15. The fear of long words is called
implications of the real situation. In dramatic irony, “Hippopotomonstrosesquippedalio phobia.”
the characters are oblivious of the situation, but the
audience is not. For example, in Definition of Sarcasm
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, we know well
before the characters that they are going to die. In Sarcasm is derived from the French
real life circumstances, irony may be comical, word sarcasmor, and also from the Greek
bitter, or sometimes unbearably offensive. word sarkazein, which means “tear flesh,” or “grind
the teeth.” Somehow, in simple words it means to Definition of Litotes
speak bitterly
Litotes, derived from a Greek word meaning
“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter “simple,” is a figure of speech that employs
saying I approved of it.” (Mark Twain) an understatement by using double negatives or, in
other words, a positive statement expressed by
Types of Sarcasm negating its opposite expressions.

Sarcasm often depends upon the voice tone. There For example, using the expression “not too bad” for
are seven types: “very good” is an understatement, as well as a
double negative statement that confirms a positive
1. Self-Deprecating Sarcasm – This category idea by negating the opposite (meaning it’s good, by
of sarcasm expresses an overstated sense of saying it’s not bad). Similarly, saying “She is not a
inferiority and worthlessness. beauty queen,” means she is ugly, or saying “I am
2. Brooding Sarcasm – In this criticism, the not as young as I used to be,” in order to avoid
speaker utters something polite. However, saying I am old. Litotes, therefore, is an intentional
the tone of his speech has a marked use of understatement that renders an ironic effect.
bitterness to it.
3. Deadpan Sarcasm – It is expressed without Common Litotes Examples
emotion or laughter, making it difficult for
the listener to judge whether the speaker is In everyday life, it is common to experience litotes
joking or mocking. in conversations, though not many people are aware
4. Polite Sarcasm – A speaker is said to have of this term and its usage. Below are a few
delivered a polite sarcasm when his listeners examples of litotes from daily conversations:
only get to realize that his kind remark was a
sarcastic one after they had given it some  They do not seem the happiest couple
thought. around.
5. Obnoxious Sarcasm – This kind of sarcasm  The ice cream was not too bad.
makes people feel like punching the speaker  New York is not an ordinary city.
in the face. It is not very funny, and it gets  Your comments on politics are not useless.
under your skin.  You are not as young as you used to be.
6. Manic Sarcasm – This type of sarcasm is  I cannot disagree with your point of view.
delivered in an unnatural happy mood,  William Shakespeare was not a bad
which makes the speaker look like he has playwright at all.
gone crazy.  He is not the cleverest person I have ever
7. Raging Sarcasm – This kind of sarcasm met.
relies mainly on exaggeration and violent  She is not unlike her mother.
threats.  Ken Adams is not an ordinary man
 A million dollars is no small amount.
Road not taken (By Robert Frost)  You are not doing badly at all.
 Your apartment is not unclean.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all Anaphora Definition
the difference.”
In writing or speech, the deliberate repetition of the
The poet is talking about two roads, one is not first part of the sentence in order to achieve an
traveled often by people, and the other one is artistic effect is known as Anaphora.
chosen by the majority of people. He had taken the
less-traveled road. Frost uses a sarcastic remark, Anaphora, possibly the oldest literary device, has its
that he feels regret for having chosen this path or roots in Biblical Psalms used to emphasize certain
road which made a difference. words or phrases. Gradually, Elizabethan and
Romantic writers brought this device into practice.  “Tell them to be good, tell them to follow
Examine the following psalm: their elders, and tell them to mind their
Common Anaphora Examples  “The young athlete was in a decent uniform,
and wanted to perform very well.”
It is common for us to use anaphora in our everyday  “My mother liked the house very much, but
speech, to lay emphasis on the idea we want to she couldn’t buy it.”
convey, or for self affirmation. The following are  “An apple fell on the head of a peasant, but
anaphora examples: he couldn’t grasp the laws of motion.”
 “The search party barely got to the middle of
 “Every day, every night, in every way, I am the desert, when a storm overtook it.”
getting better and better.”  “The film was based on a true story, but it
 “My life is my purpose. My life is my failed to get viewers’ attention.”
goal. My life is my inspiration.”
 “Buying diapers for the baby, feeding the Definition of Tautology
baby, playing with the baby: This is what
your life is when you have a baby.” Tautology is the repetitive use of phrases or words
 “I want my money right now, right here, that have similar meanings. In simple words, it is
all right?” expressing the same thing, an idea, or saying, two or
 “The wrong person was selected for more times. The word tautology is derived from the
the wrong job, at the wrong time, for Greek word tauto, meaning “the same,” and logos,
the wrong purpose.” meaning “a word or an idea.” A grammatical
 “Their property was sold, their tautology refers to an idea repeated within a phrase,
homestead was sold, and their paragraph, or sentence to give an impression that
everything was sold for want.” the writer is providing extra information.
 “Who is to blame, who is to look to, who is
to turn to, in a tough situation like this.” Tautologies are very common in the English
 “In adversity, his close friends left him, his language due to the large variety of words it has
close colleagues left him, and his best close borrowed from other languages. Given the fact that,
relatives left him.” during its evolution, the English language has been
 “Everything looked dark and greatly influenced by several other languages –
bleak, everything looked gloomy, including Germanic and Latin – it is not uncommon
and everything was under a blanket of to find several exotic tautologies. This is how
mist.” tautologies can often be found in English poetry
 “All the people were moving in the same and prose.
direction; all the people were thinking
about the same thing; and all the people Types of Tautology
were discussing the same topic.”
 “After a long term of studies, the There are several types of tautology that are
students wanted to go home, they wanted to commonly used in everyday life, in poetry, in prose,
play, and they wanted to meet their parents in songs, and in discussions, depending on the
and friends.” requirements of a situation. Some of the common
 “The players were much exited for the categories include:
tour; the players wished to do a lot of
shopping; the players planned to go  Repetitive words used due to inadequacies
sightseeing.” in the language
 “The young writer was given the award for  Intentional ambiguities
his best seller. The young writer was exited  Derision
to get the reward, and he decided to  Poetic device
celebrate the occasion in a fitting manner.”  Psychological significance
 Speech by inept speaker or narrator

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