Guide to Literary Terms Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are literary terms? I really need help figuring out what literary terms are. So if you would please leave a clear definition and an example of a literary term than that will be great. thanks (:

Expert Answers info

flrobbins eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write3 answers

starTop subject is Literature

To put it simply, the word "term" is another word for, well, word. Ultimately, literary terms are words used to describe devices used in literature. For example, we might call the main character of a story the protagonist. Protagonist is the literary term for main character. Similarly, antagonist would be the literary term for the opposing character in a story. As noted in the other answers, there are numerous literary terms.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

kimfuji eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write289 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

There are many, many literary terms. Literary terms are used to describe how literature works, or how the author constructed the story or novel. For example, point-of-view is a literary term, meaning the perspective from which the story is written. In addition, narration is a literary term. Symbolism is a literary term. Symbolism refers to another of layer of meaning if a story that is more than the literal meaning.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

nsnyder | Student

Hello Misslady!

Literary terms are words such as personification, simile, hyperbole, metaphor, and so on. They are used to describe various forms of writing by an author. Let's take a look at personification. The word "personification" is just that, a word or a literary term. The definition of personification is an object, thing, or nonhuman character having human traits. Authors may use examples of personification in their writings. An example of personification used may be "The wind howled through the trees." The wind is the nonhuman and the howling is something that a human may do. Thus, the wind has a human characteristic or is an example of personification.

Let's take a look at another literary term: onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the literary term. The definition is words that have sounds. An example of an onomatopoeia is, "The phone buzzed in my pocket." The word "buzz" is an example of an onomatopoeia because the word "buzz" sounds like the sound buzz.

Hope this helps. Let me know.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial
krishna-agrawala | Student

Literary terms are words used in, and having specific meaning  in discussion, review, criticism and classification of literary works such as stories, poetry, drama, and essays. There is no authorised list of such words. Words that are used frequently for the purposes described above come to be recognized as literary terms. Different lists of literary terms have been compiled by different people. Some of such lists may list more than thousand terms.

Please see our guide here at eNotes linked below!

check Approved by eNotes Editorial