Literary Terms with Examples

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LITERARY TERMS

The term "personification" means to give human characteristics to an inanimate object, an abstract quality or an animal. Example: “The Ocean danced in the moonlight”
The term "hyperbole" means deliberate exaggeration for emphasis or comic effect. Example: •“I’ve told you a million times”
The term "onomatopoeia" means the formation of a word based on the imitation of the sound associated with the object or the phenomenon. Example: “splash”
By "irony" we express the opposite of what we mean, which often has a humorous effect. Example: A man who is a traffic cop gets his license suspended for unpaid parking tickets "Symbol" is something that - by convention - stands for something else. Example: White stands for life and purity

The term "metaphor" means comparison without the use of words like or as. Example: Her eyes were fireflies.
"Simile" means comparison, usually indicated by words like or as. Example: sly as a fox
A "cliché" is a phrase which due to constant use is not original any longer and has lost much of its intended expressive force. Here you can see an example of a simile that has become a cliché, an overused expression. Example: the time of my life,

An "oxymoron" is a phrase that combines two words that seem opposite of each other. Example: a dark light, pretty ugly
The term "synecdoche" (Lat. pars pro toto) means the use of a part which is meant to represent the whole. Example: In Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven,” the speaker says, “Your limbs they are alive”. “Limbs” represent the entire body, so the narrator is trying to explain to the little girl that she is alive and breathing, unlike her two dead siblings
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