Figures of speeches

Figure of Speech Examples

figure of speech is a word or phrase that has a meaning something different than its literal meaning. It can be a metaphor orsimile that is designed to further explain a concept. Or, it can be a different way of pronouncing a word or phrase such as withalliteration to give further meaning or a different sound.

Examples of Figures of Speech

Using Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of beginning sounds. Examples are:
  • Sally sells seashells.
  • Walter wondered where Winnie was.
  • Blue baby bonnets
  • Nick needed notebooks.
  • Fred fried frogs.

Using Anaphora

Anaphora is a technique where several phrases or verses begin with the same word or words. Examples are:
  • I came, I saw, I conquered – Julius Caesar
  • Mad world! Mad kings! Mad composition! King John – William Shakespeare
  • We laughed, we loved, we sang
  • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, – Abraham Lincoln
  • We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. – Winston Churchill

Using Assonance

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in words that are close together. Examples are:
  • A – For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore (Poe)
  • E – Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee (Coleridge)
  • I – From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire (Frost)
  • O – Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn (Wordsworth)
  • U – Uncertain rustling of each purple curtain (Poe)

Using a Euphemism

Euphemism is a word or phrase that replaces a word or phrase to make it more polite or pleasant. Examples are:
  • A little thin on top instead of bald
  • Homeless instead of bum
  • Letting him go instead of fired him
  • Passed away instead of died
  • Put to sleep instead of euthanize

Using Hyperbole

Hyperbole uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect. Examples are:
  • I’ve told you a hundred times
  • It cost a billion dollars
  • I could do this forever
  • She is older than dirt
  • Everybody knows that

Using Irony

Irony is using words where the meaning is the opposite of their usual meaning. Examples are:
  • After begging for a cat and finally getting one, she found out she was allergic.
  • A traffic cop gets suspended for not paying his parking tickets.
  • The Titanic was said to be unsinkable.
  • Dramatic irony is knowing the killer is hiding in a closet in a scary movie.
  • Naming a Chihuahua Brutus

Using Metaphor

Metaphor compares two unlike things or ideas. Examples are:
  • Heart of stone
  • Time is money
  • The world is a stage
  • She is a night owl
  • He is an ogre

Using Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like what it is describing. Examples are:
  • Whoosh
  • Splat
  • Buzz
  • Click
  • Oink

Using Oxymoron

Oxymoron is two contradictory terms used together. Examples are:
  • Peace force
  • Kosher ham
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Small crowd
  • Free market

Using Personification

Personification is giving human qualities to non-living things or ideas. Examples are:
  • The flowers nodded
  • Snowflakes danced
  • Thunder grumbled
  • Fog crept in
  • The wind howled

Using Simile

Simile is a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as.” Examples are:
  • As slippery as an eel
  • Like peas in a pod
  • As blind as a bat
  • Eats like a pig
  • As wise as an owl

Using Synecdoche

Synecdoche is when a part represents the whole or the whole is represented by a part. Examples are:
  • Wheels – a car
  • The police – one policeman
  • Plastic – credit cards
  • Coke – any cola drink
  • Army – a soldier

Using Understatement

Understatement is when something is said to make something appear less important or less serious. Examples are:
  • It’s just a scratch – referring to a large dent
  • It is sometimes dry and sandy – referring to the driest desert in the world
  • The weather is a little cooler today – referring to sub-zero temperatures
  • I won’t say it was delicious – referring to terrible food
  • The tsunami caused some damage – referring to a huge tsunami