figure of speech
- The definition of a figure of speech is an expression that means something different than the literal meaning of the words.
An example of a figure of speech is the saying "it's raining cats and dogs."
figure of speech definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
an expression, as a metaphor or simile, using words in a nonliteral sense or unusual manner to add vividness, beauty, etc. to what is said or written
figure of speech definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. figures of speech
An expression that uses language in a nonliteral way, such as a metaphor or synecdoche, or in a structured or unusual way, such as anaphora or chiasmus, or that employs sounds, such as alliteration or assonance, to achieve a rhetorical effect.