Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices
1. a discourse that is not part of an argument.
2. lectures heard only by disciples of a school, and not intended to be written down.
a spoken disquisition; a monologue.
Obsolete. 1. paronomasia.
2. alliteration. Also called agnomination, annomination.
a tendency to longwindedness. —aeolisdc, adj.
the repetition of a sound, especially a consonant, for rhetorical or poetic effect. Also called adnomination, agnomination, annomination. —alliterative, adj.
1. a particular or special way of speaking.
2. a formal address or speech.
in debate, an appeal by the speaker to his opponents or to the audience for an opinion of the point.
a device in which an unimportant word or the beginning of a phrase in one sentence is repeated in the following sentence, often with a change or extension of the sense. Cf. epanastrophe.
the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two or more successive verses or clauses, as the repetition of Blessed in the Beatitudes. Cf. epanaphora, epiphora. —anaphoral, adj.
a rhetorical device in which the usual word order of a phrase or sentence is reversed.
a rhetorical device in which the same word is repeated but with a different sense each time. See also grammar.
the switching of the terms of an antithesis.
the use of a word in a sense opposite to its proper meaning. —antiphrastic, antiphrastical, adj.
the proposing of opposing doctrines or contrasts. —antithetic, antithetical, adj.
a spoken or written figure in which an assertion is made in the midst of a denial, as in Mark Antony’s funeral speech for Caesar. Also called paralipsis. —apophasic, adj.
a sudden breaking off in the middle of a sentence as if unable or unwilling to proceed. —aposiopetic, adj.
a variety of personification in which the dead, absent, or inanimate are addressed as if present. —apostrophic, adj.
a manner of speech in which the speaker continually interrupts his train of thought and continuity of subject by interjecting subordinate ideas and comments. —apostrophist, n.
a manner of speech, writing, or architecture distinguished by excessive ornamentation or floridity. —Asiatical, adj.
resemblance of sound, particularly vowel sounds, occurring in words of close proximity.
polite and ingenious irony.
a rhetorical device in which conjunctions or other connecting words are omitted, produced a staccato, emphatic effect. —asyndetic, adj.
futile repetition in speech or writing.
a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as “flowers are lovely, love is flowerlike” (Coleridge). —chiastic, adj.
the art of dinner conversation. —deipnosophist, n.
a figure of rhetoric in which arguments are considered from different viewpoints and then turned to make one point.
Obsolete, an excuse or justification.
a rhetorical device in which an orator deals with things in terms of events and their consequences.
a sudden, inflamed exclamation, used for emphasis or to capture the attention.
1. the art of public speaking.
2. the manner or quality of a person’s speech.
3. Rare. the act of speech.
4. Obsolete, eloquence.
1. a person skilled at public speaking.
2. a teacher of elocution.
graceful, forceful, or persuasive speech. —eloquent, adj.
a figure of speech in which an orator or writer ends a sentence with the same word with which it was begun. Cf. anadiplosis.
1. the repeating of a phrase or sentence in reverse order.
2. a return to the main topic or heading after a digression.
repetition of the same word or phrase after other words have intervened.
a rhetorical device consisting of repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive sentences. Cf. anaphora.
a device in which the end of one clause is made the beginning of the next. Cf. anadiplosis.
a rhetorical device in which something just said is repeated and stronger or more apt words are substituted.
the repetition of a word or words at the end of two or more successive clauses, phrases, or verses, as “I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong.” Also called epistrophe. Cf. anaphora.
a manner of phrasing a question that presupposes an answer that is either a strong affirmative or, more often, a strong negative.
the beginning or introductory part of a book or other printed work, or of a discourse.
a high-flown, bombastic style of writing or speaking. —fustianist, n.
the immediate repetition of a word, phrase, sentence, etc., for emphasis and rhetorical effect.
an elaborate, florid, intricate style of writing, after Góngora y Argote.
a rhetorical device in which a complex idea is expressed by two substantives joined by a conjunction instead of by a substantive qualified by an adjective.
the art of sacred speaking; preaching. —homiletic, homiletical, adj.
a sermon or serious admonition. —homilist, homilete, n.
a rhetorical device consisting of the repetition of the same case endings, inflections, etc., at the end of phrases.
a device of rhetoric in which like-sounding words, syllables, or phrases are used at the end of succeeding sentences or lines.
the deliberate movement for effect and emphasis of one of a group of nouns from a more natural position to one less natural, as Virgil’s “the trumpet’s Tuscan blare” for “the Tuscan trumpet’s blare.” —hypallactic, adj.
a rhetorical device in which the usual or expected word order is inverted.
1. an obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “She’s as big as a house.” Cf. litotes. —hyperbolic, adj.
1. the use of hyperbole, or exaggeration.
2. a hyperbolic or exaggerated statement. —hyperbolist, n.
the use of colorful description or word-picturing.
a figure of speech in which what logically should come last comes flrst, as “bred and bom” and “thunder and lightning.” Also called hysterology.
a tendency to use few words to express a great deal; conciseness. —laconic, adj.
Archaic. 1. the use ofexcessively learned and bombastic terminology.
2. an instance of this language style. —lexiphanic, adj.
an understatement, especially one in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of the contrary, as in “it’s not unpleasant.”
a style of language in which Latin words are mixed with vernacular words, some of which have Latin endings affixed to them, as skato, slippere, falli, bumptum. macaronic , adj.
a discourse that is fruitless or in vain. —mataeologian, n. —mataeological, adj.
an expressive understatement, especially litotes. —meiotic, adj.
a transition from one subject to another. Also metabola, metabole. —metabatic, adj.
a rhetorical device in which a word that is used figuratively is taken through a succession of its different meanings or two or more tropes are united in the use of a single word. —metaleptic, adj.
a rhetorical or stylistic device in which one thing is named or referred to by the name of another, related thing; for example, the use of White House for the presidential administration. —metonym, n. —metonymous, metonymic, metonymical, adj.
a rhetorical device or figure of speech in which contradictory or opposite words or concepts are combined for effect. —oxymoronic, adj.
the immediate repetition of a word for emphasis, as “the living, the living, he shall praise thee” (Isaiah 38:19).
a concession made by a speaker to an opponent in order to strengthen his own position. —paromologetic, adj.
the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound for effect, as humor or ambiguity; punning. Also called adnomination, agnomination, annomination.
a speech, figure of speech, or rhetorical device aimed to stimulate the passions.
1. a roundabout way of speaking or writing; circumlocution.
2. an expression in such fashion. See also language. —periphrastic, adj.
the attribution of personality to an inanimate object or abstraction, as “the table tripped me.” Also called prosopopoeia. —personificative, adj.
an oration or declamation full of bitter and accusatory invective, named after the orations of Demosthenes attacking Philip of Macedon.
1. the use of unnecessary words to express an idea; redundancy.
2. an instance of this, as true fact.
3. a redundant word or expression. —pleonastic, adj.
the anticipating and answering of an opponent’s possible objections. —procataleptic, adj.
a preliminary remark or introduction, as to a speech; the foreword to a book or treatise. —prolegomenary, prolegomenous, adj.
1. a teacher of rhetoric.
2. one skilled in the art of rhetoric.
3. a speaker who overuses rhetorical devices, especially a bombastic or overelaborate orator.
a style of speaking or writing characterized by bitter, contemptuous, or scornful derision.
1. Ancient Greece. a teacher of rhetoric, philosophy, etc.; hence, a learned person.
2. one who is given to the specious arguments often used by the sophists.
1. the teachings and ways of teaching of the Greek sophists.
2. specious or fallacious reasoning, as was sometimes used by the sophists.
the use of a word with the same syntactic relation to two adjacent words, in a literal sense with one and a metaphorical sense with the other, as in “the ships collided, and the sailors and many dreams were drowned.” —sylleptic, adj.
the contraction of two adjacent vowels into one syllable, as by elision.
the making of a concession that will leave one’s opponent open to a sharp retort. —synchoretic, adj.
a rhetorical device that emphasizes the comparison of opposites; contrast.
the use of a part for a whole or a whole for a part, the special for the general or the general for the special, as in “a Rockefeller” for a rich man or “wheels” for transportation. —synecdochic, synecdochical, adj.
the style of speaking that utilizes synecdoche.
the setting forth of propositions or principles. —thetic, thetical, adj.
a trite, commonplace or hackneyed saying, expression, etc; a platitude.
a person who explains the Scriptures in terms of tropes, or figures of speech.
1. the use of flgurative language in writing.
2. a treatise on figures of speech or tropes. —tropologic, tropological, adj.
the use of a word grammatically related to two adjacent words, but inappropriate for one of them, as in “he loved both his wife and his wallet.” —zeugmatic, adj.