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Anaphora - The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive
verses, clauses, or paragraph.


1)“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the
fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills” (Winston S. Churchill).

2) "It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants
setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong
Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a
funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too."

2. Polysndedton - The repetition of conjunctions in close succession for rhetorical effect, as in the
phrase here and there and everywhere.


1) "We lived and laughed and loved and left."

(James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, 1939)

2) "Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war--not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice,
nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government--not any
other thing. We are the killers."

3. Asyndeton - A style that omits conjunctions between words, phrases, or clauses (opposite of


1) "They dove, splashed, floated, splashed, swam, snorted."

2) "Why, they've got ten volumes on suicide alone. Suicide by race, by color, by occupation,
by sex, by seasons of the year, by time of day. Suicide, how committed: by poisons, by
firearms, by drowning, by leaps. Suicide by poison, subdivided by types of poison, such
as corrosive, irritant, systemic, gaseous, narcotic, alkaloid, protein, and so forth. Suicide
by leaps, subdivided by leaps from high places, under the wheels of trains, under the
wheels of trucks, under the feet of horses, from steamboats. But Mr. Norton, of all the
cases on record, there's not one single case of suicide by leap from the rear end of a
moving train."
4. Antithesis - The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases or clauses.


1) "Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing."

2) "You're easy on the eyes
Hard on the heart."
3) We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
4) "Hillary has soldiered on, damned if she does, damned if she doesn't, like most powerful
women, expected to be tough as nails and warm as toast at the same time."
5) "The more acute the experience, the less articulate its expression."

5. Euphemism - Substitution of an inoffensive term (such as "passed away") for one considered
offensively explicit ("died").


1) Paul Kersey: You've got a prime figure. You really have, you know.
Joanna Kersey: That's a euphemism for fat.
2) Dr. House: I'm busy.
Thirteen: We need you to . . .
Dr. House: Actually, as you can see, I'm not busy. It's just a euphemism for "get the hell
out of here."

6. Apostrophe - A figure of speech in which some absent or nonexistent person or thing is

addressed as if present and capable of understanding.


1) "O western wind, when wilt thou blow

That the small rain down can rain?"
2) "O stranger of the future!
O inconceivable being!
whatever the shape of your house,
however you scoot from place to place,
no matter how strange and colorless the clothes you may wear,
I bet nobody likes a wet dog either.
I bet everyone in your pub,
even the children, pushes her away."
3) "O stranger of the future!
O inconceivable being!
whatever the shape of your house,
however you scoot from place to place,
no matter how strange and colorless the clothes you may wear,
I bet nobody likes a wet dog either.
I bet everyone in your pub,
even the children, pushes her away."

7. Pun - A play on words, either on different senses of the same word or on the similar sense or
sound of different words.


1) "When it rains, it pours."

2) "What food these morsels be!"]
3) "Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight"
4) A vulture boards a plane, carrying two dead possums. The attendant looks at him and
says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.

8. Irony - The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; a statement or situation
where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea.


1) "He's handsome if you like rodents."

2) And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine--we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,

And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.

9. Metonymy - A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with
which it is closely associated (such as "crown" for "royalty"). Metonymy is also the rhetorical
strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it, such as describing
someone's clothing to characterize the individual.


1) "I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn't do me any good. All
they did was make me think of Silver Wig, and I never saw her again."
2) "Detroit is still hard at work on an SUV that runs on rain forest trees and panda blood.
3) "The suits on Wall Street walked off with most of our savings.
10. Synecdoche - A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole, the whole for a
part, the specific for the general, the general for the specific, or the material for the thing made
from it. Considered by some to be a form of metonymy.


1) All hands on deck.

2) Give us this day our daily bread.
3) "Take thy face hence."

11. Epizeuxis - Repetition of a word or phrase for emphasis, usually with no words in between.


1) I undid the lantern cautiously--oh, so cautiously--cautiously."

2) "I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly."
12. Antanaclasis - One word used in two contrasting (and often comic) senses.


1) "Death, tho I see him not, is near

And grudges me my eightieth year.
Now I would give him all these last
For one that fifty have run past.
Ah! He strikes all things, all alike,
But bargains: those he will not strike."
2) "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."
3) "And there's bars on the corners and bars on the heart."

13. Epistrophe – (a.k.a Epiphora) Repetition of a word or phrase at the end of several clauses.


1) "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as child."

2) "I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, we're a Pepper. Wouldn't you like to be a
Pepper, too? Dr. Pepper."

14. Symploce - The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or
sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase
at the end of each element in this series.

1) "Against yourself you are calling him,

against the laws you are calling him,
against the democratic constitution you are calling him"

15. Epanalepsis - Repetition at the end of a clause or sentence of the word or phrase with which it


1) "He is noticeable for nothing in the world except for the markedness by which he is
noticeable for nothing.”
2) "Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me . . .."
3) "Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed."

16. Anadiplosis - Repetition of the last word of one line or clause to begin the next. Anadiplosis
often leads to climax.


1) "At six o'clock we were waiting for coffee,

waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb . . ."
2) "All service ranks the same with God,
With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
Are we."
3) "Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task."

17. Isocolon - A succession of clauses of approximately equal length and corresponding structure.


1) "Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get."

2) "It takes a licking, but it keeps on ticking!"
3) Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and
constant in human sufferings and unites it with the sufferer. Terror is the feeling which
arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings
and unites it with the secret cause."
18. Tautology - is an unnecessary or unessential (and usually unintentional) repetition of meaning,
using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice (often originally
from different languages).


1) "It's déjà vu all over again."

2) "The most unkindest cut of all."

19. Litotes - A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed

by negating its opposite.


1) "The grave's a fine a private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace."
2) "'Not a bad day's work on the whole,' he muttered, as he quietly took off his mask, and
his pale, fox-like eyes glittered in the red glow of the fire. 'Not a bad day's work.'"
3) "for life's not a paragraph
And death I think is no parenthesis"
20. Simile – A figure of speech in which two fundamentally unlike things are explicitly compared,
usually in a phrase introduced by like or as.


1) "He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow."
2) "She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat."

21. Metaphor - A figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike
things that actually have something in common.


1) "The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner."

2) "A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind."
3) "The rain came down in long knitting needles."

22. Hyperbole-A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; an
extravagant statement.

1) "O for the gift of Rostand's Cyrano to invoke the vastness of that nose alone as it cleaves
the giant screen from east to west, bisects it from north to south. It zigzags across our
horizon like a bolt of fleshy lightning."
2) "Ladies and gentlemen, I've been to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and I can say
without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together."

23. Alliteration-The repetition of an initial consonant sound.


1) "The soul selects her own society."

2) "A moist young moon hung above the mist of a neighboring meadow."

24. Oxymoron – A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side;
a compressed paradox.


1) "O brawling love! O loving hate! . . .

O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this."
2) "O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches!"
3) "That building is a little bit big and pretty ugly."

25. Assonance - Identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in neighbouring words.


1) "Those images that yet

Fresh images beget,
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea."
2) "Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light."
3) "The spider skins lie on their sides, translucent and ragged, their legs drying in knots."

26. Onomatopoeia - The formation or use of words (such as hiss or murmur) that imitate the sounds
associated with the objects or actions they refer to.

1) "Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
2) "Bang! went the pistol,
Crash! went the window
Ouch! went the son of a gun.
I don't want to see ya
Speaking in a foreign tongue."