vocabulary #1-100

100 terms by carlie_fassey 

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Absolute

a word free from limitations or qualifications ("best", "all", "unique", "perfect")

Adage

a familiar proverb or wise saying

ad hominem argument

an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue

Allegory

a literary work in which characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions

Alliteration

the repetition of initial sounds in successive or neighboring words

Allusion

a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize

Analogy

a comparison of two different things that are similar in some way

Anaphora

the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences

Anecdote

a brief narrative that focuses on a particular incident or event

Antecedent

the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers

Antithesis

a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced

Aphorism

A concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance

Apostrophe

a figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction

Archetype

a detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response

Argument

a statement of the meaning or main point of a literary work

Asyndeton

a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions

Balanced Sentence

a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast

Bathos

insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity

Chiasmus

a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary")

Cliche

an expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off

Climax

the point of highest interest in a literary work

colloquialism

informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing

complex sentence

a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause

compound sentence

a sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions

conceit

a fanciful, particularly clever extended metaphor

concrete details

details that relate to or describe actual, specific things or events

connotation

the implied or associative meaning of a word

cumulative sentence

a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases

declarative sentence

a sentence that makes a statement or declaration

deductive reasoning

reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case

denotation

the literal meaning of a word

dialect

a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region

dialogue

conversation between two or more people

diction

the word choices made by a writer

didactic

having the primary purpose of teaching or instructing

dilemma

a situation that requires a person to decide between two equally attractive or equally unattractive alternatives

dissonance

harsh, inharmonious, or discordant sounds

elegy

a formal poem presenting a meditation on death or another solemn theme

ellipsis

the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deducted from the context

epic

a long narrative poem written in elevated style which presents the adventures of characters of high position and episodes that are important to the history of a race or nation

epigram

a brief, pithy, and often paradoxical saying

epigraph

a saying or statement on the title of a page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work

epiphany

a moment of sudden revelation or insight

epitaph

an inscription on a tombstone or burial place

epithet

a term used to point out a characteristic of a person. Homeric ones are often compound adjectives that become an almost formulaic part of a name. They can be offensive or abusive but are not so by definition.

eulogy

a formal speech praising a person who has died

euphemism

an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant

exclamatory sentence

a sentence expressing strong feeling, usually punctuated with an exclamation mark

expletive

an interjection to lend emphasis; sometimes a profanity

fable

a brief story that leads to a moral, often using animals as characters

fantasy

a story that concerns an unreal world or characters; it may be merely whimsical, or it may present a serious point

figurative language

language employing one or more figures of speech

flashback

the insertion of an earlier event into the normal chronological order of a narrative

flat character

a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story

foreshadowing

the presentation of material in such a way that the reader is prepared for what is to come later in the work

frame device

a story within a story

genre

a major category or type of literature

homily

a sermon, or a moralistic lecture

hubris

excessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy

hyperbole

intentional exaggeration to create an effect

hypothetical question

a question that raises a hypothesis, conjecture, or supposition

idiom

an expression in a given language that cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in the expression; or, a regional speech or dialect.

imagery

the use of figures of speech to create vivid images that appeal to one of the senses.

implication

a suggestion an author or speaker makes without stating it directly.

inductive reasoning

deriving general principles from particular facts or instances

inference

a conclusion one draws based on premises or evidence

invective

an intensely vehement, highly emotional verbal attack

irony

the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs

jargon

the specialized language or vocab of a particular group or profession

juxtaposition

placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast

legend

a narrative handed down from the past, containing historical elements and usually supernatural elements

limerick

light verse consisting of 5 lines of regular rhythm in which the first, second, and fifth lines (each consisting of 3 ft) rhyme, and the 3rd and 4th lines (each consisting of 2 ft) rhyme

limited narrator

a narrator who presents the story as it is seen and understood by a single character and restricts info to what is seen, heard, thought, or felt by that one character

literary license

deviating from normal rules or methods in order to achieve a certain effect (intentional sentence fragments)

litotes

a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture")

malaproprism

a mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar (The food is malicious).

maxim

a concise statement, often offering advice; an adage
GRAB THE BULL BY THE HORNS

metaphor

a direct comparison of 2 different things

metonymy

substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it (the pen [writing] is mightier than the sword [war/fighting]).

mood

the emotion atmosphere of a work

motif

a standard theme, element, or dramatic situation that recurs in various works

motivation

a character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which compels a character to act.

myth

a traditional story presenting supernatural characters in episodes that help explain natural events

narrative

a story or narrated account

narrator

the one who tells the story; may be the 1st or 3rd person, limited or omniscient.

non sequitur

an inference that does not follow logically from the premises (literally does not follow)

omniscient narrator

a narrator who is able to know, see, and tell all including the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters

onomatopoeia

a word formed from the imitations of natural sounds

oxymoron

an expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined

parable

a simple story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson

paradox

an apparently contradictory statement that actually contains some truth

parallelism

the use of corresponding grammatical or syntactic forms

paraphrase

a restatement of a text in a different form or in different words, often for the purpose of clarity

Parody

a humorous imitation of a serious work

Parenthetical

a comment that interrupts the immediate subject, often to qualify or explain

Pathos

the quality in a work that prompts the readers to feel pity

Pedantic

characterized by an excessive display of learning or scholarship

Personification

endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics

Philippic

a strong verbal denunciation. The term comes from the orations of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedonia in the fourth century

Plot

the action of a narrative or drama

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