Trope (linguistics)

Trope (linguistics)

In linguistics, trope is a rhetorical figure of speech that consists of a play on words, i.e., using a word in a way other than what is considered its literal or normal form. The other major category of figures of speech is the scheme, which involves changing the "pattern" of words in a sentence.

Trope comes from the Greek "τρόπος" ("tropos"), "a turn, a change", related to the root of the verb "τρέπω" ("trepō"), "to turn, to direct, to alter, to change". We can imagine a trope as a way of turning a word away from its normal meaning, or turning it into something else.


*metonymy — a trope through proximity or correspondence, for example referring to actions of the U.S. President as "actions of the White House."
*irony — creating a trope through implying the opposite of the standard meaning, such as describing poverty as "good times."
*metaphor — an explanation of an object or idea through juxtaposition of disparate things with a similar characteristic, such as describing a courageous person as having a "heart of a lion."
*synecdoche — related to metonymy and metaphor, creates a play on words by referring to something with a related concept: for example, referring to the whole with the name of a part, such as "hired hands" for workers; a part with the name of the whole, such as "the law" for police officers; the general with the specific, such as "bread" for food; the specific with the general, such as "cat" for a lion; or an object with the material it is made from, such as "bricks and mortar" for a building.
*antanaclasis — is the stylistic trope of repeating a single word, but with a different meaning each time. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun, and like other kinds of pun, it is often found in slogans.
*allegory - A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse. For example "The ship of state has sailed through rougher storms than the tempest of these lobbyists." [1]

ee also

*Scheme (linguistics)
*Trope (disambiguation)
*Tropological reading


#Silva Rhetorica (

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