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Rhetorical Schemes and Definitions


Similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases or clauses.


Use of parallel elements similar not only in structure, as in parallelism, but in length (that is, the same number of words or even syllables).


Sentence consisting of three parts of equal importance and length, usually three independent clauses. Sometimes called the "rule of threes."


The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, often in parallel structure.


Inversion of the natural or usual word order. (Yoda speak)


Insertion of some verbal unit in a position that interrupts the normal syntactical flow of a sentence


Placing side by side two coordinate elements, the second of which serves as an explanation or modification of the first.


The arrangement of words in order of increasing importance


The arrangement of words in order of decreasing importance


Deliberate omission of a word or group of words which are readily implied by the context. From the Greek for "to leave out" or "to fall short."


Deliberate omission of conjunctions between a series of related words, phrases, or clauses.


The deliberate use of many conjunctions. From the Greek for "bound together."


Repetition of initial consonants in two or more adjacent words. From the Latin "putting letters together."


The repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants. From the Latin for "sound."


Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginnings of successive clauses. From the Greek for "carrying back."


The repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses. From the Greek for "return."


The repetition of the final consonant sounds of accented syllables or important words. From the Latin for "agree" + "sounds."


The repetition of the same word or phrase at the end of successive clauses. From the Greek for "return."


Repetition at the end of a clause of the word(s) that occurred at the beginning of the clause. From the Greek for "repetition."


Repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause


Repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order.


Reversal of grammatical structure in successive phrases or clauses (literally, "the criss-cross"). Like antimetabole, but without the repetition. Think "reverse parallelism."


Repetition of words derived from the same root. Similar to word play, but the words do not lose their original meaning.


Needless repetition; or a statement that is unconditionally true by virtue of its form alone. From the Greek for "redundant."

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