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AP lit terms and definitions


multiple meanings, intentional or unintentional, of a word, phrase, sentence or passage


figure of speech in which opposing ideas are balanced against each other in parallel syntax


commonplace expression that is no longer effective because it is used too often


implied or suggested meaning of a word or expression


literal or dictionary meaning of a word


planting of important clues in a play or story to prepare the reader for the events that are to come

dramatic irony

fact or events are unknown to a character but known to the reader, audience or other characters


nouns that name physical objects; include details that relate to the topic


more agreeable or less offensive substitute for an unpleasant word or concept


comparison between unlike objects without using "like" or "as"

extended metaphor

comparison between unlike objects without using "like" or "as" that is developed to great lenghts


comparison between unlike objects using "like" or "as"


figure of speech that incorporates obvious exaggeration


person or thing that has meaning but suggests further meaning


figure of speech which gives human qualities to an inanimate thing


state of mind or feeling created in the reader by the literary work


statement which appears contradictory and may be true


work that mimics an author's style or thought usually by humor or trivial theme


genre that refers to fiction or nonfiction, written in ordinary language, resembles everyday speech


writing that presents things as they actually exist in real life without romantic or idealistic coloring

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