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What is a figure of speech?

A figure of speech is a word or phrase possessing a figurative meaning that is different from its literal definition; metaphor, simile, and irony are all examples of figures of speech.

Figure of Speech

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Last Updated May 25, 2023.

A figure of speech is a word or phrase possessing a figurative meaning that is different from its literal definition. Metaphor, simile, and irony are all examples of figures of speech. 

Figure originates from the Latin word figura, meaning “form, shape, quality, style, figure of speech.” Speech derives from the Old English word sprecan, meaning “to speak.”

see: analogyallegoryalliterationallusion

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