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16 terms

MOST COMMON LITERARY TERMS

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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
ANAPHORA
the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences
ANTITHESIS
a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced
EUPHEMISM
an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant
FORESHADOWING
the presentation of material in such a way that the reader is prepared for what is to come later in the work
HYPERBOLE
intentional exaggeration to create an effect
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
METAPHOR
a direct comparison of two different things
ONOMATOPOEIA
a word formed from the imitaiton of natural sounds
OXYMORON
an expression in which two words that contradict each other are joined
PARALLELISM
the use of corresponding grammatical or syntactical forms
PERSONIFICATION
endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics
SATIRE
the use of humor to emphasize human weaknesses or imperfections in social institutions
SIMILE
a comparison of two things using "like", "as", or other specifically comparative words
UNDERSTATMENT
the deliberate representation of something as lesser in magnitude than it actually is; a deliberate under-emphasis