Literary Devices

Accumulation is a list of words with similar qualities or meanings, to emphasize the common quality.

Acrostic is a literary device in which the first letter of every verse consecutively forms a word or message.

Active Voice
Active Voice is a clause or sentence in which a subject directly performs an action.

Ad Hominem
Ad Hominem is a comment on or against an opponent, to undermine him personally, rather than his arguments.

Adage is a memorable saying that is based on fact, and is considered a veritable truth by most people.

Definition, Usage and a list of Adynaton Examples in common speech and literature. Adynaton is from a Greek word adunaton, which means impractical or impossible

Allegory is a figure of speech to abstract ideas into characters, figures and events.

Alliteration is a number of words with the same first consonant sound occurring together.

Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.

Ambiguity is a word, phrase, or statement which contains more than one meaning.

Amplification is used to embellish a sentence or statement by adding further information.

Anachronism is derived from a Greek word anachronous which means 'against time.'

Anacoluthon is derived from a Greek word anakolouthos which means 'lacking sequence.'

Anadiplosis is a Greek word which means 'to reduplicate.'

Anagnorisis is a moment in a plot where the main character recognizes his/her true nature.

Anagram is a form of word play in which letters of a word or phrase are rearranged in such a way that a new word or phrase is formed.

An analogy is a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it.

Anapest is a poetic device defined as a metrical foot in a line of a poem that contains three syllables wherein the first two syllables are short and unstressed

Anaphora is the deliberate repetition of a phrase, in order to achieve an artistic effect.

Anecdote is defined as a short and interesting story or an amusing event often proposed to support or demonstrate some point and make readers and listeners laug

Antagonist is a character or a group of characters which stand in opposition to the the main character.

Antanaclasis is a rhetorical device in which a phrase or word is repeatedly used.

Antecedent is an earlier clause, phrase or word to which a pronoun, another word or a noun refers back.

Anthimeria is the usage of a word in a new grammatical shape, often as a noun or a verb.

Anthology is a compilation of literary works, such as poems, plays, short stories, movies, and songs.

Anthropomorphism is a literary device that can be defined as a technique in which a writer ascribes human traits, ambitions, emotions or entire behavior.

Anti-climax is a rhetorical device which can be defined as a disappointing situation or a sudden transition in discourse from an important idea to a ludicrous

Anti-hero is a literary device used by writers for a prominent character in a play or book that has characteristics opposite to that of a conventional hero.

Antimetabole is derived from a Greek word which means 'turning about.'

Antiphrasis originated from a Greek word antiphrasis, which means opposite word.

Antistrophe is a derivative of a Greek word that means, 'turning back.'

Antithesis is a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect.

Aphorism is a statement of truth or opinion expressed in a concise and witty manner.

Aphorismus is borrowed from a Greek word that means marking off, banishment or rejection.

Aporia is a figure of speech wherein a speaker expresses to be in doubt regarding a question (often feigned) and asks the audience how he/she ought to proceed.

Aposiopesis is derived from a Greek word that means becoming silent.

Apostrophe is a figure of speech sometimes represented by exclamation 'O.'

Appositive is a literary device that appears before or after a noun or noun phrase.

Archaism is the derivative of a Greek word, archaïkós, which means beginning or ancient.

An archetype is a typical character, an action or a situation that seems to represent such universal patterns of human nature.

An argument is the main statement of an essay that usually appears as a point on which the writer will develop his work in order to convince his readers.

Aside is a short comment or speech that a character delivers directly to the audience or to himself, while other actors on the stage cannot listen.

Assertion is a stylistic approach or technique involving a strong declaration, a forceful or confident and positive statement regarding a belief or an fact.

Assonance takes place when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds.

Asyndeton is derived from a Greek word asyndeton which means unconnected.

Atmosphere is a type of feelings that readers get from a narrative based on details such as settings, background, objects and foreshadowing, etc.

Attitude is a behavior a person adopts toward other people, things, incidents or happenings.

Audience is the spectators, listeners and intended readers in a writing, performance or speech.

Auditory Imagery
Auditory imagery is used to explain things, ideas and actions using sounds that appeal to our sense of hearing.

Autobiography is an account of the life story of the book's author.

Balanced Sentence
A balance sentence has two segments equal in length, grammatical structure and meanings.

The word Ballad is a type of poetry or verse which was basically used in dance songs in the ancient France.

Bandwagon is a persuasive technique and a type of propaganda through which a writer persuades his readers agree with the argument of the writer.

Bathos is a literary term derived from a Greek word meaning 'depth'.

Bias is as an undue favor, support or backing extended to a person, group or race or even an argument against another.

Bildungsroman is a special kind of novel that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of its main character from his or her youth to adulthood.

A biography is simply a bio that gives an account or detailed description about the life of a person.

Black Humor
Black humor is a literary device used in novels and plays to discuss taboo subjects while adding an element of comedy.

Blank Verse
Blank verse is an un-rhyming verse written in iambic pentameter.

Cacophony points to a situation where there is a mixture of harsh and inharmonious sounds.

Cadence is derived from a Latin word 'cadentia' that means 'a falling'.

A caesura is a rhythmical pause in a poetic line or a sentence.

Canon is a collection of writings by one author, or a style of classical writing.

Canto is a subdivision in a narrative or epic poem, consisting of five or more lines.

Caricature is a device used in descriptive writing and visual arts where particular aspects of a subject are exaggerated to create a silly or comic effect.

Catachresis is a figure of speech in which writers use mixed metaphors in an inappropriate way to create rhetorical effect.

Catalog or Catalogue is a literary device used in poetry and prose to give a list of things and create a rhetorical effect.

Catastrophe is a final resolution that appears in a narrative plot or a long poem.

A Catharsis is an emotional discharge through which one can achieve a state of moral or spiritual renewal or achieve a state of liberation from anxiety.

Character is a person, a figure, an inanimate object, or animal that drives the story forward.

Characterization is a literary device that is used step by step in literature to highlight and explain the details about a character in a story.

Chiasmus is a rhetorical device in which clauses are balanced against each other by the reversal of their structures in order to produce an artistic effect.

Circumlocution is a rhetorical device that can be defined as an ambiguous or paradoxical way of expressing things, ideas or views.

Claim is a statement essentially arguable but used as a primary point to support or prove an argument.

Cliché refers to an expression that has been overused to the extent that it loses its original meaning or novelty.

A cliffhanger is a type of narrative or a plot device in which the end is curiously abrupt so that the main characters are left in a difficult situation without

Climax, a Greek term meaning 'ladder', is that particular point in a narrative at which the conflict or tension hits the highest point.

Coherence refers to logical connections, which listeners or readers perceive in an oral or written text.

In literature, colloquialism is the use of informal words, phrases or even slang in a piece of writing.

Comedy is a literary genre and a type of dramatic work that is amusing and satirical in its tone, mostly having cheerful ending.

Comic Relief
Comic relief is a literary device used in plays and novels to introduce light entertainment between tragic scenes.

Comparatives are a form of adjective or adverb that compares two or more people, places, or things.

Comparison is a rhetorical or literary device in which a writer compares or contrasts two people, places, things, or ideas.

Conceit is a figure of speech in which two vastly different objects are likened together with the help of similes or metaphors.

Concession is a literary device used in argumentative writing where one acknowledges a point made by one’s opponent.

In literature, a conflict is a literary element that involves a struggle between two opposing forces usually a protagonist and an antagonist.

Connotation refers to a meaning that is implied by a word apart from the thing which it describes explicitly.

Consonance refers to repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase.

Context is the background, environment, or setting in a literary work.

Contrast is a rhetorical device through which writers identify differences between two subjects, places, persons, things or ideas.

A couplet is a literary device which can be defined as having two successive rhyming lines in a verse and has the same meter to form a complete thought.

Critique is a literary technique that means to critically evaluate a piece of literary work, a political or philosophical theory in detail, or a piece of artwor

Cumulative Sentence
Cumulative Sentence starts with an main clause, adding other elements later.

Dactyl is a metrical foot, or a beat in a line, containing three syllables in which first one is accented followed by second and third unaccented syllables.

Deductive Reasoning
Deductive reasoning is defined as a way of building an argument from general premises to a conclusion.

Denotation is generally defined as literal or dictionary meanings of a word in contrast to its connotative or associated meanings.

Denouement is derived from a French word called 'denoue' that means 'to untie'.

Deus Ex Machina
Deus ex machina refers to the circumstance where an implausible concept is introduced into a storyline for the purpose of resolving its conflict.

Diacope is a repetition of a phrase or word broken up by other intervening words.

Dialect is the language used by the people of a specific area, class, district or any other group of people.

A dialogue is a literary technique in which writers employ two or more characters engaged in conversation with each other.

Diatribe is a violent or bitter criticism on someone. It is a rhetorical device used as a verbal attack against a person, group, institution, or behavior.

Dichotomy is a literary technique that divides a thing into two equal and contradictory parts or between two opposing groups.

Diction can be defined as style of speaking or writing determined by the choice of words by a speaker or a writer.

Didacticism refers to a philosophy in literature that emphasizes the idea that different forms of literature ought to convey information along with pleasure.

Digressions are sudden interruptions in the main action of the story, which provides him background information, establish his interest.

Dilemma is a rhetorical device in which a conflicting situation arises for a person to choose between right and wrong where both seem of equal worth.

Direct Characterization
Direct Characterization is a writer's revelation of a character's traits, through descriptive language.

Definition, Usage and a list of Discourse Examples in common speech and literature. Foucault presents possibly the best definition of discourse.

Dissonance is the use of impolite, harsh-sounding and unusual words in poetry.

Distortion is a literary device that twists, exaggerates, and changes things to be different from what it actually is.

Doppelganger, meaning “look-alike” or “double walker”, originally meant a ghost or shadow of a person but now refers to a person that is a look-a-like.

Double Entendre
A double entendre is defined as a figure of speech that might have multiple interpretations or that could be understood in two different ways.

Drama is a mode of fictional representation through dialogue and performance.

Dramatic Irony
Dramatic irony is an important stylistic device that is commonly found in plays, movies, theaters and sometimes in poetry.

Dramatic Monologue
Dramatic monologue means self-conversation, speech or talks which includes interlocutor presented dramatically.

Dynamic Character
A dynamic character undergoes changes, learning from his experiences.

Dysphemism is originated from a Greek word “dys” means miss or none and “pheme” means reputation or speech.

Dystopia is a world in which everything is imperfect and everything goes terribly wrong.

Elegy is a form of literature which can be defined as a poem or song in the form of elegiac couplets, written in honor of someone deceased.

An elision is the removal of an syllable, consonants, or letters from phrase to decrease the number of letters or syllables in order to mix words together.

Ellipsis is used in narratives to omit some parts of a sentence or event, which gives the reader a chance to fill the gaps while acting or reading it out.

End Rhyme
End rhyme occurs when last syllables or words in two or more lines rhyme with each other.

End-Stopped Line
An end-stopped line is a poetic device in which a pause comes at the end of a syntactic unit; this pause can be expressed in writing as a punctuation mark.

Enjambment, derived from a French word enjambment, means to step over or put legs across.

Enthymeme is an argumentative statement in which the writer omits one of the major premises, does not clearly pronounce it, or keeps this premise implied.

Enumeration is used for listing the details or a process of mentioning words step by step.

An epic is a long narrative poem that to heroic deeds of a person of an unusual courage.

Epigram is a rhetorical device that is a memorable, brief, interesting and surprising satirical statement.

An epigraph is a literary device in the form of a sentence usually placed at the beginning of a document which belongs to another writer.

An epilogue or epilog is a chapter at the end of a work of literature which concludes the work.

Epiphany is derived from the Greek word “epiphaneia”, epiphany means “appearance” or “manifestation.

Epiphora, also known as epistrophe, is a stylistic device in which a word or a phrase is repeated at the end of successive clauses.

An epistle is a letter in the form of prose or poetry to a particular person or group.

Epistolary is a literary genre pertaining to letters, in which writers use letters, journals and diary entries in their works.

Epistrophe is derived from a Greek word that means turning upon, which indicates the same word returns at the end of each sentence.

Definition, Usage and a list of Epitaph Examples in common speech and literature. Epitaph is an inscription written on a tombstone.

Epithet is a descriptive literary device that describes a person in such a way that it helps in making the characteristics of a person more prominent.

Epizeuxis is derived from a Greek word epizeugnumi that means fastening together.

Eponym is a name of a legend or real person that writers associate with some other person, object, institution or thing.

Eristic is a derivative of a Greek word eris that means to create strife or to wrangle.

An essay is a short form of literary composition based on a single subject matter, and often gives personal opinion of an author.

In rhetoric, ethos represents credibility or an ethical appeal which involves persuasion by the character involved.

A eulogy is a literary device that is a laudatory expression in a speech, or a written tribute to a person deceased recently.

The term euphemism refers to polite, indirect expressions which replace words and phrases considered harsh and impolite or which suggest something unpleasant.

The literary device euphony is derived from the Greek word 'euphonos' that means sweet-voiced.

Evidence is a type of literary device that appears in different categories of essays and theses in the form of paraphrase and quotations.

Exact Rhyme
Exact rhyme is a poetic device used to repeat the same stressed vowel sounds as well as consonant sounds that follow the vowel.

Exaggeration is a statement that makes something worse, or better than it really is.

Exemplum is a rhetorical device that is defined as a short tale, narrative, or anecdote used in literary pieces and speeches to explain a doctrine or emphasize

Existentialism is a philosophy that focuses on the existence of mankind.

Expletive is a grammatical construction that starts with the words like 'it, here and there', etc.

Explication is a literary technique in criticism used for a close analysis of an excerpt.

Exposition is a literary device used to introduce background information about events, settings, characters etc. to the audience or readers.

Extended Metaphor
Extended metaphor refers to a comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem.

External Conflict
External conflict is a struggle that between the main character and outside forces.

Eye Rhyme
Eye rhyme is a poetic device in which two words are spelled similarly but pronounced differently.

The word fable is derived from a Latin word 'fibula' which means a story that is a derivative of a word 'fari' which means to speak.

Fairy Tale
A fairy tale is a children’s story in a magical setting about imaginary characters that include fairies, dwarfs, witches, angels, trolls, and talking animals.

A fallacy is an erroneous argument dependent upon an unsound or illogical contention.

Falling Action
Falling action occurs right after the climax, when the main problem of the story resolves.

Fantasy is a form of literary genre in which a plot cannot occur in the real world.

A farce is a literary genre and the type of a comedy that makes the use of highly exaggerated and funny situations aimed at entertaining the audience.

Feminine Rhyme
Feminine rhyme is an unstressed two syllable rhyme followed by another unstressed syllable rhyme.

Fiction is the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

Figurative Language
Figurative language means language in which figures of speech are used to make it effective, persuasive and impactful.

Figure of Speech
Figure of speech is a phrase or word having different meanings than its literal meanings.

Flash-forward or prolepsis is which the plot goes ahead of time i.e. a scene that interrupts and takes the narrative forward in time from the current time.

Flashback is: 'an interruption of the chronological sequence (as of a film or literary work) of an event of earlier occurrence'.

Flat Character
A flat character is a type of character in fiction that does not change too much.

A foil is a character that shows qualities that are in contrast with the qualities of another character with the objective to highlight the traits of the others

Folklore is a collection of fictional stories about animals and people, of cultural myths, jokes, songs, tales and even quotes.

Foot is a unit of measure in poetry, made of stressed and non-stressed syllables, which create rhythm.

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story.

Frame Story
Frame story is a story set within a story, narrative or movie told by the characters.

Free Verse
Free verse is a literary device that can be defined as poetry that is free from limitations of regular meter or rhythm and does not rhyme with fixed forms.

Genre means the type of art, literature or music characterized by a specific form, content and style.

A haiku poem has three lines, where the first and last lines have five moras, while the middle line has seven.

Half Rhyme
Half rhyme is one of the major poetic devices. It is also called an imperfect rhyme, slant rhyme, near rhyme or oblique rhyme.

Hamartia is a personal error in a protagonist’s personality that brings about his tragic downfall in a tragedy.

A hero can be defined as the principal character of a literary work.

Homily is a sermon or speech that a religious person or priest delivers before a group of people to offer them moral correction.

The word homograph originated from the Greek word homos that means “the same” and graph means “to write”, and it is used extensively in language.

A homophone can be defined as a word that when pronounced seems similar to another word but has a different spelling and meaning.

Hook is a literary technique that grabs the reader's attention within the first few sentences.

Hubris is extreme pride and arrogance shown by a character that ultimately brings about his downfall.

Humor is a literary tool that makes audience laugh, or that intends to induce amusement or laughter.

Hyperbaton has been derived from a Greek word that means inversion in the arrangement of common words.

Hyperbole, derived from a Greek word meaning “over-casting” is a figure of speech, which involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.

Hypophora is a figure of speech in which a writer raises a question and then immediately provides an answer to that question.

Hypotaxis is subordination of one clause to another, or when the clauses are coordinated or subordinated to one another within sentences.

Hypothetical Question
Hypothetical Question is a question based on supposition, opinion, or conjecture, and not fact.

An iamb is a literary device that can be defined as a foot containing unaccented and short syllables followed by a long and accented syllable.

Iambic Pentameter
Iambic Pentameter is one of the most commonly used meters in English poetry.

Idiom refers to a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words.

Illusion is a false illustration of something, a deceptive impression, or a false belief.

Imagery means to use figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses.

Imperative Sentence
Imperative Sentence is one that gives instructions or advice, or expresses a command.

Implied Metaphor
Implied metaphor is a literary device used in prose and poetry to compare two unlikely things, with common characteristics without mentioning one of the objects

In Medias Res
In Medias Res means narrating a story from the middle after supposing that the audiences are aware of past events.

Inciting Incident
Inciting incident is an event that sets the protagonist to pursue the mission.

Induction is known as a conclusion reached through reasoning.

Inference is a literary device used commonly in literature and in daily life where logical deductions are made based on premises assumed to be true.

Innuendo can be defined as an indirect or a subtle observation about a thing or a person.

Internal Rhyme
Internal rhyme is a poetic device which can be defined as metrical lines in which its middle words and its end words rhymes with each other.

Intertexuality is a sophisticated literary device used in writing.

Invective denotes speech or writing that attacks, insults, or denounces a person, topic, or institution.

Inversion, also known as anastrophe, is a literary technique in which the normal order of words is reversed in order to achieve a particular effect of emphasis

Irony uses words in a way that the intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words.

Isocolon is a rhetorical device that involves a succession of sentences, phrases and clauses of grammatically equal length.

Jargon is a literary term that is defined as a use of specific phrases and words by writers in a particular situation, profession or trade.

Juxtaposition is a technique in which two or more ideas, places, characters and their actions are placed side by side in a narrative for comparison.

A Kenning is derived from Norse and Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Kinesthesia is a type of imagery which is used as a poetic device.

Definition and a list of Lampoon examples from literature. Lampoon is a form of virulent satire.

A legend is a narrative, which focuses on a historically or geographically specific figure.

Limerick is a comic verse, containing five anapestic (unstressed/unstressed/stressed) lines.

Line Break
A line break is a poetic device which is used at the end of a line and the beginning of the next line in a poem.

Litotes, derived from a Greek word meaning 'simple', is a figure of speech which employs an understatement by using double negatives.

Logos is a literary device that can be defined as a statement, sentence or argument used to convince or persuade the targeted audience by employing reason/logic

Lyric is a collection of verses and choruses, making up a complete song, or a short and non-narrative poem.

Lyric Poem
A lyric poem or lyrical poem in literature is a poem in which the poet either expresses his feelings and emotions.

Main Idea
Main Idea includes the overall message of the text that a writer intends to convey to the audience.

Malapropism, from French mal a propos (inappropriate), is a use of an incorrect word in place of a similar sounding word that results in a nonsensical and humor

A literary device, maxim is a simple and memorable line, quote or rule for taking action and leading a good life.

The word meiosis originated from the Greek word 'meioo' that means 'to diminish' or 'to make smaller'.

Melodramas deal with sensational and romantic topics that appeal to the emotions of the common audience.

Definition, Usage and a list of Memoir Examples in literature. Memoir is a written factual account of somebody’s life.

Metalepsis is derived from a Greek word metōnymia, which means substitution or sharing.

Metaphor is a figure of speech which makes an implicit, implied or hidden comparison between two things.

Metaphysical is a philosophical concept used in literature to describe the things that are beyond the description of physical existence.

Meter is a stressed and unstressed syllabic pattern in a verse or within the lines of a poem.

It is a figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated.

Monologue is the speech or verbal presentation that a single character presents in order to express her collection of thoughts and ideas aloud.

In literature, mood is a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions.

Moral means a message conveyed or a lesson learned from a story, a poem, or an event.

Motif is an object or idea that repeats itself throughout a literary work.

In literature, "motivation" is the reason behind a character's specific action or behavior.

Myth is a legendary or a traditional story that usually concerns an event, or a hero, with or without using factual or real explanations.

Narrative is a report of related events presented to the listeners or readers in words arranged in a logical sequence.

Narrative Poem
A narrative poem in literature is a poem which tells a story.

Naturalism is a literary genre that started as a literary movement in late nineteenth century in literature, film, theater and art. It is a type of extreme real

Nemesis refers to a situation of poetic justice where the good characters are rewarded for their virtues and the evil characters are punished for their vices.

Neologism is a new word created from new and old words, often combined to express something new.

Non Sequitur
Non sequiturs include the statements, sayings and conclusions that do not follow the fundamental principles of logic and reason.

Nostalgia is a feeling of pleasure or sadness caused by remembering the past.

A Novel is a long narrative work of fiction with some realism.

Novella is a prose fiction that is shorter than full length novels and longer than short stories.

O Me! O Life!
Poem analysis of Walt Whitman's O Me! O Life! through the review of literary techniques, poem structure, themes, and the proper usage of quotes.

Octave is a verse form that contains eight lines, which usually appear in an iambic pentameter.

Definition, Usage and a list of Ode Examples in common speech and literature. An ode is a form of poetry such as sonnet or elegy, etc.

Omniscient is a literary technique of writing narrative in third person in which a narrator knows the feelings and thoughts of every character in the story.

Onomatopoeia is defined as a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing.

Ordinal Number
Ordinal Number is a number that indicates the position or order of things, such as first, second, third, and so on.

Overstatement is an act of stating something more than it actually is in order to make the point more serious or important or beautiful.

Oxymoron, plural oxymora, is a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect.

Definition and a list of Pacing examples from literature. Pacing is a stylistic device, which shows how fast a story unfolds.

A palindrome is defined as a word or sentence that can be read forward as well as backward or in reserve order with the same effects and meanings.

A parable is a figure of speech, which presents a short story typically with a moral lesson at the end.

Definition and Examples of Paradox in common speech and literature. Paradox means contrary to expectations, existing belief or perceived opinion.

Paralipsis is from the Greek word paraleipein that means to omit or to leave something on one side.

Parallel Structure
Parallel structure has two or more clauses with similar grammatical form and length.

Parallelism is the use of components in a sentence that are grammatically the same; or similar in their construction, sound, meaning or meter.

To paraphrase is to express an idea or somebody’s message in our own words by maintaining the meaning of original material.

Definition, Usage and a list of Paraprosdokian Examples in common speech and literature. Paraprosdokian is a derivative of a Greek word, which means beyond expe

Definition, Usage and a list of Parataxis Examples in common speech and literature. Parataxis is derived from a Greek word which means to place side by side.

Parenthesis is a qualifying or explanatory sentence, clause or word that writers insert into a paragraph or passage.

Parody is an imitation of a particular writer, artist or a genre, exaggerating it deliberately to produce a comic effect.

Paronomasia is a rhetorical device which can be defined as a phrase intentionally used to exploit the confusion between words having similar sounds but differen

Parrhesia is borrowed from a Greek word, which means to speak boldly, freely or with bombastic bluntness.

Passive Voice
Passive Voice is a clause in which an action is emphasized rather than its subject.

Pastiche is a literary piece that imitates another famous literary work of another writer.

Pathetic Fallacy
Pathetic fallacy is a literary device that attributes human qualities and emotions to inanimate objects of nature.

Pathos is a quality of an experience in life or a work of art that stirs up emotions of pity, sympathy and sorrow.

A pedantic is someone who is concerned with precision, formalism, accuracy, minute details in order to make an arrogant and ostentatious show of learning.

Pentameter is a literary device that can be defined as a line in verse or poetry that has five strong metrical feet or beats.

Periphrasis originates from a Greek word periphrazein which means talking around.

The term persona means the mask of an actor, and is therefore etymologically linked to the dramatis personae which refers to the characters in a play or drama.

Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes.

Play is a literary form of writing for theatre, which narrates a story with elements of conflicts, tensions, and actions through dialogues of characters.

Definition, Usage and a list of Pleonasm Examples in common speech and literature. Pleonasm is derived from a Greek word that means “excess”.

Plot is a literary term used to describe the events that make up a story or the main part of a story.

A poem is a collection of spoken or written words that expresses ideas or emotions in a powerfully vivid and imaginative style.

Poetic Justice
Poetic justice is an ideal form of justice in which the good characters are rewarded and the bad characters are punished by an ironic twist of their fate.

Point of View
Point of view is the angle of considering things, which shows us the opinion, or feelings of the individuals involved in a situation.

Polyptoton is a rhetorical repetition of the same root word, however, each time the word is repeated in a different way such as the words Iuppiter, lovi, love.

Polysyndeton is a stylistic device in which several coordinating conjunctions are used in succession in order to achieve an artistic effect.

Portmanteau is a literary device in which two or more words are joined together to coin a new word.

Definition and a list of Procatalepsis examples from literature. Procatalepsis is when the speaker repeats the objection of an opponent.

The prologue, Greek prologos (meaning: before word), is an opening of a story that establishes the setting and gives background details.

Propaganda is spreading of rumors, false or correct information, or an idea in order to influence the opinion of the society.

Definition, Usage and a list of Prose Examples in common speech and literature. Prose is a form of language that has no formal metrical structure.

Definition, Usage and a list of Prosody Examples in literature. Prosody is the study of meter, intonation and rhythm of a poetic work.

Prosthesis is a literary device that involves the addition of an extra sound or syllable to the beginning of a word that helps in making it easier to pronounce.

A protagonist is the central character or leading figure in poetry, narrative, novel or any other story.

Proverb is a brief, simple and popular saying, or a phrase that gives advice and effectively embodies a commonplace truth based on practical experience or commo

A pun is a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests more meanings or by similar sounding words with different meanings

A quatrain is a verse with four lines, or even a full poem containing four lines, having an independent and separate theme.

Realism definition with examples of Realism in literature. Realism is a 19th century movement in art and literature to insert what is real.

Rebuttal refers to an attempt to disapprove, contradict or argue to overcome an opposing reasoning or evidence by introducing another reasoning and evidence.

Red Herring
Red herring is a kind of fallacy that is an irrelevant topic introduced in an argument to divert the attention of listeners or readers from the original issue.

Reductio ad Absurdum
Definition, Usage and a list of Reductio ad Absurdum Examples in common speech and literature. Reductio ad absurdum a Latin term which means to reduce something

Refrain is a verse, a line, a set, or a group of some lines that appears at the end of stanza, or appears where a poem divides into different sections.

Refutation denotes that part of an argument where a speaker or a writer encounters contradicting points of view.

Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer.

Definition and a list of Resolution examples from literature. Resolution means the unfolding or solution of a complicated issue in a story.

Rhetoric is a technique of using language effectively and persuasively in spoken or written form.

Rhetorical Devices
Rhetorical devices are literary elements used to convince or persuade audiences using logos, pathos, and ethos.

Rhetorical Question
A rhetorical question is asked just for effect or to lay emphasis on some point discussed when no real answer is expected.

A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounding words occurring at the end of lines in poems or songs.

Rhyme Scheme
Definition, Usage and a list of Rhyme Scheme Examples in literature. Rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyme at the end of each verse or line in poetry.

Rhythm is a literary device which demonstrates the long and short patterns through stressed and unstressed syllables particularly in verse form.

Riddle is a question, a puzzle, a phrase or a statement devised to get unexpected or clever answers.

Rising Action
Rising action in a plot is a series of relevant incidents that create suspense, interest and tension in a narrative.

In literature, Romance means romantic stories with chivalrous feats of heroes and knights.

Romanticism is one of the recurring themes that are linked to either imagination, idealism, inspiration, intuition, or individualism.

Round Character
A round character is a major character in a story, who exhibits complex behaviors and understanding.

Run-On Sentence
A run-on sentence is a combination of two independent clauses, joined together without a conjunction or punctuation mark.

Sarcasm is a rhetorical device that is meant to mock with often satirical or ironic remarks with a purpose to amuse and hurt someone or some section of society.

Satire is a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual by using humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule.

Scansion means to divide the poetry into feet by pointing out different syllables.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Self-fulfilling prophecy is defined as any expectation about a situation that affects an individual behavior in that it causes that expectation to be fulfilled.

Semantics deals with interpretation and meaning of the words, sentence structure and symbols, while determining the reading comprehension of the readers.

Sensory Language
Sensory Language is a word(s) used to invoke mental images and visualize the story or poem.

Sesquipedalian is derived from a Latin word sesquipedalis that means the words which are a foot and a half long.

Definition and a list of Sestet examples from literature. Sestet is be a poem or stanza of six lines.

Sestina is a type of a poem that contains six stanzas, each stanza having six lines, while concluding seventh stanza having three lines.

Setting is an environment or surrounding in which an event or story takes place.

Short Story
A short story is a fully developed story which is shorter than a novel and longer than a fable.

Sibilance is a literary device where strongly stressed consonants are created deliberately by producing air from vocal tracts through the use of lips and tongue

A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things.

Simple Paragraph
Simple Paragraph definition with examples. Simple Paragraph is a group of sentences intertwined to discuss or explain a central idea.

Situational Irony
Situational Irony occurs when incongruity appears between expectations of something to happen, and what actually happens instead.

Slangs are words that are not a part of standard vocabulary or language and are used informally.

Snark is a combination of two words; 'snide' and 'remark', which means a sarcastic comment.

Solecism is derived from a Greek word soloikismos, which means to speak incorrectly.

A soliloquy is a popular literary device often used in drama to reveal the innermost thoughts of a character.

Sonnet means a small or little song or lyric. In poetry, a sonnet has 14 fourteen lines and is written in iambic pentameter.

Sound Devices
Sound devices are literary elements used in prose and poetry to stress certain sounds and create musical effects.

Speaker is the voice that speaks behind the scene, expressing a writer's feelings or a situation.

Spondee is a beat in a poetic line which consists of two accented syllables (stressed/stressed) or DUM-DUM stress pattern.

In poetry, a stanza is a division of four or more lines having a fixed length, meter or rhyming scheme.

Static Character
Definition and a list of Static Character examples from literature. A static character is one that does not undergo inner changes.

Straw Man
Straw man is a form of informal fallacy used in arguments and debates; a rhetorical device that refutes an opponent.

Stream of Consciousness
Stream of consciousness is a method of narration that describes in words the flow of thoughts in the minds of the characters.

The style in writing can be defined as the way a writer writes and it is the technique which an individual author uses in his writing.

Subjective is a point of view based on one's opinions, perspectives, beliefs, discoveries, desires, and feelings.

Subplot is a secondary plot, or a strand of the main plot that runs parallel to it and supports it.

Superlative is a literary device which is usually an adjective or adverb used to distinguish an object from three or more others of its type.

Surrealism tries to integrate the confused realms of imagination and reality.

Suspense is a feeling of anticipation that something risky or dangerous is about to happen.

Syllogism is a rhetorical device that starts an argument with a reference to something general and from this it draws conclusion about something more specific.

Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.

Syncope is the contraction or the shortening of a word by omitting sounds, syllables or letters from the middle of the word such as bos’n for the word boatswain

Synecdoche is a literary device in which a part of something represents the whole or it may use a whole to represent a part.

Synesis is a conventional grammatical term derived from a Greek word, which means unification, sense, meeting or realization.

Synesthesia refers to a technique adopted by writers to present ideas, characters, or places in such a manner that they appeal to more than one sense.

Definition, Usage and a list of Syntax Examples in common speech and literature. Syntax is a set of rules in a language.

Tautology is a repetitive use of phrases or words which have similar meanings.

Tercet definition with examples. Tercet is a three-lined verse, or a group, or unit of three lines, commonly used in poetry.

Theme is defined as a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work which may be stated directly or indirectly.

A thesis is a statement in a non-fiction or a fiction work that a writer intends to support and prove.

Definition, Usage and a list of Tmesis Examples in common speech and literature. Tmesis is derived from a Greek word tmēsis that means 'to cut'.

Tone, in written composition, is an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience.

Tragedy is kind of drama that presents a serious subject matter about human suffering and corresponding terrible events in a dignified manner.

Tragic Flaw
Tragic flaw is a literary device that can be defined as a trait in a character leading to his downfall and the character is often the hero of the literary piece

Tragic Hero
Tragic Hero is a courageous protagonist that eventually faces his own downfall.

Definition, Usage and a list of Tragicomedy Examples in common speech and literature. Tragicomedy is a literary device used in fictional works.

Transitions are words and phrases which provide a connection between ideas, sentences and paragraphs.

Tricolon is a rhetorical term that consists of three parallel clauses, phrases or words.

Trimeter is a poetic device that is defined as a meter or a line that consists of three iambic feet.

Trochaic an adjective of trochee is a metrical foot composed of two syllables; stressed followed by an unstressed syllable.

Trope is a figure of speech through which speakers or writers intend to express meanings of words differently than their literal meanings.

Truism is a literary device defined as a statement that is based on self-evidence or factual evidence.

An understatement is a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is.

Definition and a list of Undertone examples from literature. Undertone is an attitude that lies under the ostensible tone of a literary work.

The literary term utopia denotes an illusionary place that projects the notion of a perfect society to the reader.

Verbal Irony
Verbal irony occurs when a speaker speaks something contradictory to what he intends to.

In a literary work, verisimilitude is likeness to the truth i.e. resemblance of a fictitious work to a real event even if it is a far-fetched one.

Vernacular is a literary genre that uses daily used language in writing and speaking.

Verse denotes a single line of poetry.

Vignette is a short essay, a fiction, or nonfiction work focusing on one particular moment or giving impression about an idea, character, setting,

Villanelle is defined as a poetic device which requires a poem to have 19 lines and a fixed form.

A voice in literature is the form or a format through which narrators tell their stories.

Definition, Usage and a list of Volta Examples. A turn of thought or argument in poetry is called the Volta.

Wit is a literary device used to make the readers laugh, through the use of clever expressions.

Zeugma is a figure of speech in which a word, usually a verb or an adjective, applies to more than one noun, blending together grammatically different ideas.

Zoomorphism is a derivative of a Greek word zōon that means animal and morphē means form or shape.