from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A word or phrase that departs from straightforward, literal language.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It was now a mere figure of speech to call them so, though, in their home-talk, loving simplicity, they would neither have been ashamed nor annoyed at the epithet – these two tall lads, who in the dusk looked as man-like as their father.
This involves a figure of speech but does not yet, as K.W. contends, establish the meaning of "tribe" for
Off the wall, hyphenated as above when used as a compound modifier of the word it precedes, is a figure of speech that shows staying power.
The fresh figure of speech racing through the lingo of the edge-cutting calls up the image of a runner straining ahead, the tilt of the body throwing weight forward to aid acceleration.
Mostly it was just a figure of speech but now and then a child was beaten to death for his sneakers, a baby smothered because it cried,
Even so eminent an economist as Irving Fisher of Yale was lulled by the superficial evidences of prosperity into announcing that we were marching along a “permanently high plateau”—a figure of speech given a macabre humor by the fact that stocks fell off the brink of that plateau one week to the day after he made his statement.
Whether this be a mere figure of speech used by that scurrilous lampooner, or whether it indicates that the work was circulated by the religious professors of that period, I cannot determine.