Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

abstract

An style (in writing) that is typically complex, discusses intangible qualities like good and evil, and seldom uses examples to support its points.

absurd hero

Their outlook is this: determined to continue living with passion even though life appears to be meaningless.

academic

As an adjective describing style, this word means dry and theoretical writing. When a piece of writing seems to be sucking all the life out of its subject with analysis.

accent

Refers to the stressed portion of a word.

aesthetic

An adjective meaning "appealing to the senses."

allegory

A story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning outside the tale itself.

alliteration

The repetition of initial consonant sounds.

allusion

A reference to another work or famous figure.

classical allusion

A reference to Greek and Roman Mythology such as, The Iliad.

topical allusion

Refers to a current event.

popular allusion

Refers to something from popular culture, such as a reference to a television show or a hit movie.

anachronism

Derived from Greek, It means, "misplaced in time."

analogy

A comparison. Usually analogies involve two or more symbolic parts, and are employed to clarify an action or a relationship.

anaphora

The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs.

anecdote

A short narrative, story.

antecedent

The word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to.

anthropomorphism

When inanimate objects are given human characteristics.

anticlimax

Occurs when an action produces far smaller results than one had been led to expect.

antihero

A protagonist who is markedly unheroic: morally weak, cowardly, dishonest, or any number of unsavory qualities. The character lacks the qualities of the hero: skill, grace, honesty, courage, truth.

aphorism

Short and usually witty saying.

apostrophe

A figure of speech wherein the speaker talks directly to something that is nonhuman, or absent.

apothegm

A terse, witty, instructive saying; a maxim.

archaism

The use of deliberately old-fashioned language.

archetype

The original model from which something is developed or made; in literary criticism, those images, figures, character types, settings, and story patterns that are usually shared by people across cultures.

aside

A speech (usually just a short comment) made by an actor to the audience, as though momentarily stepping outside of the action on stage.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set