The terminology of literary criticism



Here are approximately 900 terms and phrases used in literary criticism and figurative language. A facility to locate their definitions is below...

ab ovo, abcedarian poem, abissio, abominatio, abuse, acaloutha, acatalectic, accent, accentual verse, accismus, accumulatio, acephaly, acervatio, acrostic, acrostic poem, acyrologia, acyron, adage, adhortatio, adianoeta, adjudicatio, adjunct, adjunctio, admonitio, adnexio, adnominatio, adonic, adynaton, aeolic ode, aequipollentia, aeschrologia, aetiologia, affirmation, afflatus, aganactesis, aischrologia, alba, alcaic verse, alexandrine, allegory, alleotheta, alliteration, alliteration & assonance, alliterative verse, allusion, altar poem, alternate rhyme, amara irrisio, ambiguity, ambiguous, amphibologia, amphiboly, amphibrach, amphigouri, amphimacer, ampliatio, anacephalaeosis, anachronism, anachronism & a, anaclasis, anacoenosis, anacoloutha, anacoluthon, anacreontic, anacreusis, anacrusis, anadiplosis, anagoge or anagogy, analects or analecta, analogy, anamnesis, anangeon, anapest, anapestic, anaphora, anapodoton, anastrophe, anemographia, anesis, anisometric, antanaclasis, antanagoge, antenantiosis, anthimeria, anthology, anthropopatheia, anthypophora, antibacchius, anticategoria, anticipation, anticlimactical, anticlimax, antilogy, antimetabole, antimetathesis, antiphrasis, antiprosopopoeia, antiptosis, antirrhesis, antisagoge, antispast, antistasis, antisthecon, antistrophe, antithesis, antitheton, antonomasia, antonym, apagoresis, aphaeresis, aphaeresis or apheresis, aphesis, aphorism, aphorismus, apocarteresis, apocope, apodioxis, apodixis, apologue, apophasis, apophony, apoplanesis, aporia, aposiopesis, apostrophe, apothegm, appositio, approximate rhyme, ara, arcadia, archaism, archaism vs. neologism, argument, arsis, articulus, aschematiston, asphalia, assonance, assumptio, asteismus, astrothesia, asyndeton, aubade, aube, auxesis, avant-garde, bacchius, ballad, ballad meter, ballade, barbarism, bard, baroque, bathos, battologia, bdelygmia, benedictio, blank verse, bobbidy-dobbidy, bomphiologia, bouts-rimes, brachylogia, breton lay, broadside ballad, broken rhyme, bucolic, burden, burlesque, cacemphaton, cacophony, cacosyntheton, cacozelia, cadence, caesura, calliope, canon, canto, canzone, carmina figurata, carpe diem, catachresis, catacosmesis, catalectic, catalexis, catalog verse, cataphasis, cataphora, cataplexis, categoria, caudate rhyme, cento, chain rhyme, chain verse, chanson de geste, chant royal, chapbook, characterismus, charactonym, charientismus, chaucerian stanza, chiasmus, choree, choriamb, choric ode, chorographia, chreia, chronographia, cinquain, circumlocutio, classicism, clerihew, climax, clio, close rhyme, closed couplet, closet drama, closure, coenotes, common measure, commoratio, communicatio, companion poem, comparatio, complexio, comprobatio, conceit, concessio, concluding tercet:, conclusio, concrete poetry, conduplicatio, congeries, conjunctio, connotation, consonance, content, continuous form, contrarium, conventions, conversio, correctio, couplet, courtly love, crambo, cretic, criticaster, cross rhyme, cycle, dactyl, dactylic, dadaism, decameter, decasyllable, deesis, dehortatio, deinosis, dendrographia, denotation, deprecatio, descriptio, detested gravy., diacope, diaeresis, diaeresis or dieresis, dialogismus, dialysis, dianoea, diaphora, diaskeue, diastole, diasyrmus, diazeugma, dibrach, dicaeologia, diction, didactic poetry, digressio, diiamb or diamb, dilemma, dimeter, dipody, dipodic verse, dirge, dirimens copulatio, dispondee, dissonance, distich, distinctio, distributio, disyllabic rhyme, disyllable, dithyramb, ditty, divine afflatus, dochmius, dodecasyllable, doggerel, dorian ode, double ballade, double dactyl, double rhyme, dramatic monologue, dramatic poem, dysphemism, echo, echo verse, eclogue, ecphonesis, ecphrasis, ecthlipsis, edda, effictio, eidillion or eidyllion, ekphrasis or ecphrasis, elegiac, elegiac stanza, elegy, elenchus, elision, ellipsis, emblem poems, empathy, emphasis, enallage, enantiosis, enargia, encomium, end rhyme, end-stopped, energia, enigma, enjambment, ennoia, enthymeme, enumeratio, envelope, envoi or envoy, epanadiplosis, epanalepsis, epanaphora, epanodos, epanorthosis, epenthesis, epergesis, epexegesis, epic, epic simile, epicrisis, epigram, epigraph, epilogus, epimone, epinicion, epiphonema, epiphora, epiplexis, epistrophe, epitaph, epitasis, epithalamium, epithet, epitheton, epitrite, epitrochasmus, epitrope, epizeugma, epizeuxis, epode, epopee, epos, epyllion, equivoke or equivoque, erato, erotema, ethopoeia, ethos, eucharistia, euche, eulogia, eulogy, euphemism, euphemism vs. dysphemism, euphemismus, euphony, euphuism, eustathia, euterpe, eutrepismus, exact rhyme, example, excitatio, exclamatio, excursus, exergasia, exouthenismos, expeditio, expolitio, extended metaphor, exuscitatio, eye rhyme, fable, fabliau, facetiae, fatal flaw, feminine ending, feminine rhyme, fescennine verses, figurative language, figure of sound, figure of speech, fit or fytte, fixed form, foot, form, found poem, fourteener, free verse, galliambus, genre, geographia, georgic, ghazal, gleeman, gnome, goliardic poetry, gongorism, graecismus, grammatical rhyme, grave, haiku, half rhyme, hamartia, head rhyme, helicon, hemistich, hendecasyllable, hendiadys, heniadys, heptameter, heroic couplet, heterogenium, heterometric, heteronym, hexameter, hiatus, higgledy-piggledy, hokku, homeric simile, homiologia, homoeosis, homograph, homoioptoton, homoioteleuton, homonym, homophone, horatian ode, horismus, hovering accent, hudibrastic verse, hydrographia, hymn, hypallage, hypallage/transfered epithet, hyperbaton, hyperbole, hyperbole vs. meiosis, hypercatalectic, hypermetrical, hypocorisma, hypotyposis, hypozeugma, hypozeuxis, hysterologia, hysteron proteron, iamb, icon, ictus, idealism, identical rhyme, idyll or idyl, imagery, imagery, image, imagism, imitation, imperfect rhyme, impressionism, improvisatore, in medias res, incremental repetition, indignatio, initial rhyme, insinuatio, inter se pugnantia, interior monologue, interlocking rhyme, internal rhyme, interrogatio, intimation, invective, inversion, invocation, ionic, irony, irony/sarcasm, isocolon, isometric, italian sonnet, jingle, jongleur, kenning, king's english, lai, lament, lampoon, lay, leonine verse, light verse, limerick, line, list poem, litotes, lyric verse, macaronic verse, macaronicism, macrologia, madrigal, malapropism, marinism, martyria, masculine rhyme, maxim, measure, medela, meiosis, meistersingers, melic verse, melpomene, membrum, mempsis, merismus, mesarchia, mesodiplosis, mesostich, mesozeugma, metabasis, metalepsis, metallage, metaphor, metaphysical, metaplasm, metastasis, metathesis, meter or metre, metonymy, metre, metrical foot, metrical pause, metrics, metrist, middle rhyme, miltonic, mimesis, minnesingers, minstrel, minstrelsy, mixed metaphor, mock-epic or mock-heroic, modulation, molossus, monody, monometer, monorhyme, monostich, monosyllable, mood, mora, mosaic rhyme, motif, muse, mycterismus, narrative, near rhyme, neologism, noema, nonce word, nonceword, nonsense poetry, numbers, numen, nursery rhyme, objectivism, occasional poem, octameter, octave, octet, octosyllable, ode, odeon or odeum, oeonismus, off rhyme, ominatio, onedismus, onomatopoeia, open couplet, optatio, orcos, ottava rima, oxymoron, paean, paenismus, paeon, palilogia, palindrome, palinode, panegyric, pantoum, parabola, paradiastole, paradiegesis, paradigma, paradox, paraenesis, paragoge, paralipsis, parallelism, paramythia, parathesis, pardox, parecbasis, paregmenon, parelcon, parembole, parenthesis, pareuresis, parnassian, parody, paroemia, paroemion, paromoiosis, paromologia, paronomasia, paronym, parrhesia, pasquinade, pastiche, pastoral elegy, pastoral poetry, pastourelle, pathetic fallacy, pathopoeia, pathos, pattern poetry, pause, pentameter, perclusio, perfect rhyme, periergia, period, peripharsis, periphrasis, perissologia, peristasis, permutatio, persona, personification, petrarchan sonnet, philophronesis, phonetic symbolism, picaresque, pierian, pindaric verse, play on words, pleiad or pleiade, pleonasm, ploce, ploce/polyptoton, poem, poems of chance, poesy or poesie, poet, poet laureate, poetaster, poetic diction, poetic license, poetics, poeticule, poetry, poets' corner, polymnia, polyphonic prose, polyptoton, polyrhythmic verse, polysyllable, polysyndeton, portmanteau word, poulter's measure, pragmatographia, procatalepsis, proceleusmatic, procephalic, proclees, prodiorthosis, proecthesis, prolepsis, prosapodosis, prose, prose poem, proslepsis, prosody, prosonomasia, prosopographia, prosopopeia, prosopopoeia, prosphonesis, prothalamium, protherapeia, prothesis, protrope, proverb, prozeugma, pun, pun/paranomasia, pyrrhic, pysma, quantitive verse, quatorzain, quatrain, queen's english, quintet or quintain, ratiocinatio, realism, reduplicated words, refrain, repetend, repetitio, repetition, repotia, resonance, restrictio, rhapsody, rhetoric, rhetorical question, rhopalic, rhyme, rhyme royal, rhyme scheme, rhymester, rhyming slang, rhythm, rich rhyme, ricochet words, riding rhyme, rime, rime enchainée, rime riche, romance, romanticism, rondeau, rondel, rondelet, roundel, roundelay, rune, run-on couplet, run-on lines, sapphic verse, sarcasmus, satire, scan, scansion, scesis onomaton, schematismus, scheme, scop, senryu, sense pause, sententia, septenarius, septet, serenade, sermocinatio, serpentine verses, sestet, sestina, shaped verse, sight rhyme, sigmatism, sijo, simile, skald, skeltonics, skotison, slant rhyme, society verse, solecism, solecismus, soliloquy, sonnet, sonneteer, soraismus, sorites, sotadic or sotadean, sound devices, sound symbolism, speaker, spenserian sonnet, spenserian stanza, split rhyme, spondee, sprung rhythm, stanza forms, stanza, stanzaic, stave, stich, stichomythia, stornello verses, strain, stream of consciousness, stress, strophe, style, subjectio, sustentatio, syllabic verse, syllable, syllepsis, syllogismus, symbol, symbolism, symperasma, symploce, synaeresis, synaeresis or syneresis, synaloepha, synaloepha or synalepha, synathroesmus, synchoresis, synchysis, syncopation, syncope, syncrisis, synecdoche, synesthesia or synaesthesia, synesthetic metaphor, syngnome, synoeciosis, synonym, synonymia, syntax, synthesis, syntheton, synzeugma, systole, systrophe, tagalied, tail rhyme, tanka, tapinosis, tasis, tautologia, tautology, taxis, telestich, tenor, tension, tenson, tercet, terpsichore, terza rima, tetrabrach, tetrameter, texture, thaumasmus, theme, thesis, tmesis, tone, topographia, topothesia, traductio, tragedy, tragic hero, transitio, transplacement, tribrach, tricolon, trimeter, triolet, triple rhyme, triplet, trisyllable, trochaic meter, trochee, troilus verse, trope, troubadour, trouvere, true rhyme, understatement, vehicle, vers de societe, vers libre, verse, verse paragraph, verset, versicle, versification, versifier, villanelle, virelay, visual poetry, voice, volta, vowel length, vowel rhyme, wedge verse, well-versed, whimsy or whimsey, wordsmith, wrenched accent, zeugma




A single click on one of the items in the listbox below will open a new window on the term at an online dictionary. Not every search will be successful, but the online dictionary will offer further suggestions. NOTE: some searches may be accompanied by advertising banners...




"We can hardly conclude even so desultory a survey of grammatical misdemeanours as this has been without mentioning ..

http://www.ss.ucalgary.ca/JArchibald/Anacoluthon.htm



Literary and Rhetorical Terminology

http://www.cyberpat.com/shakes/rhet.html



This online rhetoric, provided by Dr. Gideon Burton of Brigham Young University, is a guide to the terms of classical and renaissance rhetoric.

http://humanities.byu.edu/rhetoric/silva.htm



English Usage Site Map

Welcome page         Table of contents/About this site         Dictionary abbreviations         
Acronyms         Articles and essays         Names of colours         
Online dictionaries         ESL/EFL         The history of English         
Homework/composition help         Organizations and societies         Potpourri         
Punctuation marks         Phrase and word origins         Received pronunciation         
Recreation, creativity, offbeat         [ Literary criticism ]         Jargon, slang, and niche vocabularies         
Terms of endearment and flirting         The swot's corner         The whole nine yards         
9/11 Coinages         Archives         Downloads         
Guest articles and drafts         English forum         The alt-usage-english home page


Search the English Usage Site

To search the english-usage site, enter your keywords in the text area below, use the checkbox to signal an "exact match", and press the button to initiate your search. You will then be directed to a page containing your search results.



Click this to begin the search:   


Query the alt.usage.english newsgroup using Deja

The alt.usage.english (aue) archives extend back to the birth of the newsgroup (May, 1991). To query a past discussion about a word or phrase origin, enter it in the text box below and press the button. This will open a new browser window with your search results.



Reference information and site correspondence

Server: www.yaelf.com
Document: rhetoric.shtml
Modified: Wed Dec 31 18:00:00 1969
Your address: 54.211.212.174
Your agent: CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
Your language: en-us,en-gb,en;q=0.7,*;q=0.3
Our address: faq(at)english(dash)usage(dot)org
Please insert this information into any site correspondence