Skip Nav

Glossary of literary terms

Literary Devices and Terms

❶Volume of Schweizer anglistische Arbeiten. In the same way as one cannot have the rainbow without the rain, one cannot achieve success and riches without hard work.

Navigation menu




The omission of conjunctions between clauses. An example is when John F. Kennedy said on January the 20th " Verse written in iambic pentameter without rhyme. Also known as "lexis" and "word choice," the term refers to the words selected for use in any oral, written, or literary expression. Diction often centers on opening a great array of lexical possibilities with the connotation of words by maintaining first the denotation of words. A line in poetry that ends in a pause—indicated by a specific punctuation, such as a period or a semicolon.

The continuing of a syntactic unit over the end of a line. Enjambment occurs when the sense of the line overflows the meter and line break. A long poem that narrates the victories and adventures of a hero. It can be identified by lofty or elegant diction. An interjected scene that takes the narrative forward in time from the current point of the story in literature, film, television, and other media. Prose written in a terse, haikai style, accompanied by haiku.

Broad genre comprising the related forms haiku haikai-renga and haibun. A line from a poem hat has six feet in its meter. Another name for hexameter is "The Alexandrine. In Japanese poetry , the opening stanza of a renga or renku haikai no renga. A figure of speech that alters the syntactic order of the words in a sentence or separates normally-associated words.

The term may also be used more generally for all different figures of speech that transpose the natural word order in sentences.

A term where different subordinate clauses are used in a sentence to qualify a single verb or modify it. A word that's tacked onto a sentence in order to add strong emotion.

It's grammatically unrelated to the rest of the sentence. They are usually followed by an exclamation point. Refers to the way in which different works of literature interact with and relate to one another to construct meaning.

In Japanese poetry, a seasonal word or phrase required in haiku and renku. In Japanese poetry, a "cutting word" required in haiku and hokku. Art for art's sake. Level stress even accent. A short poem with a song-like quality, or designed to be set to music; often conveying feelings, emotions, or personal thoughts.

A work that is characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization. A multi-lined strophic verse form which flourished in Islamic Spain in the 11th century, written in Arabic or Hebrew. Narrative point of view. A theory or practice in literature emphasizing scientific observation of life without idealization and often including elements of determinism.

The creation of new words, some arising from acronyms, word combinations, direct translations, and the addition of prefixes or suffixes. A genre of fiction that relies on narrative and possesses a considerable length, an expected complexity, and a sequential organization of action into story and plot distinctively. This genre is flexible in form, although prose is the standard, focuses around one or more characters, and is continuously reshaped and reformed by a speaker.

A lyrical poem, sometimes sung, that focuses on the glorification of a single subject and its meaning. Often has an irregular stanza structure. An ottava rima was often used for long narratives, especially epics and mock heroic poems. Combining of various syntactic units, usually prepositions, without the use of conjunctions to form short and simple phrases. A sequence of two or more words, forming a unit. Genre — type or category to which a literary work belongs.

Hyperbole — extreme exaggeration to add meaning. Imagery — language that appeals to the five senses. Metaphor — an implied comparison between dissimilar objects: Motif - a recurring feature of a literary work that is related to the theme.

Onomatopoeia — use of a word whose sound imitates its meaning: Oxymoron — phrase that consists of two words that are contradictory: Personification — figure of speech in which non-human things are given human characteristics.

Plot - The sequence of events in a literary work. Point of view - the vantage point or perspective from which a literary work is told….

Protagonist - the main character in a literary work. Rhyme — repetition of similar or identical sounds: Setting - The time and place of a literary work. Here you will find a list literary devices literary terms with definitions and examples.

Please feel free to post your thoughts and vote on your favorite literary device. An allegory is a symbolism device where the meaning of a greater, often abstract, concept is conveyed with the aid of a more corporeal object or idea being used as an example. Usually a rhetoric device, an allegory suggests a meaning via metaphoric examples. Faith is like a stony uphill climb: Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group.

Whether it is the consonant sound or a specific vowel group, the alliteration involves creating a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence.

Alliterations are also created when the words all begin with the same letter. The Wicked Witch of the West went her own way. An allusion is a figure of speech whereby the author refers to a subject matter such as a place, event, or literary work by way of a passing reference. It is up to the reader to make a connection to the subject being mentioned. Amplification refers to a literary practice wherein the writer embellishes the sentence by adding more information to it in order to increase its worth and understandability.

When a plain sentence is too abrupt and fails to convey the full implications desired, amplification comes into play when the writer adds more to the structure to give it more meaning.

Original sentence- The thesis paper was difficult. After amplification- The thesis paper was difficult: Anagrams are an extremely popular form of literary device wherein the writer jumbles up parts of the word to create a new word. From the syllables of a phrase to the individual letters of a word, any fraction can be jumbled to create a new form. Anagram is a form of wordplay that allows the writer to infuse mystery and a little interactive fun in the writing so that the reader can decipher the actual word on their own and discover a depth of meaning to the writing.

An analogy is a literary device that helps to establish a relationship based on similarities between two concepts or ideas.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

rows · The Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford Univ. Press, ISBN Chris Baldick. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford Univ. Press, ISBN X. Edwin Barton & G. A. Hudson. Contemporary Guide To Literary Terms. Houghton-Mifflin, ISBN Mark .

Privacy FAQs

Alliteration is a literary device where words are used in quick succession and begin with letters belonging to the same sound group. Whether it is the consonant sound or a specific vowel group, the alliteration involves creating a repetition of .

About Our Ads

Lit Terms for the Lanese Midterm! Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free. This webpage contains an alphabetical glossary of literary terms and their definitions. It focuses particularly on the material I most frequently teach (classical and medieval literature, the history of the English language, and science fiction narratives).

Cookie Info

Browse through our list of literary devices and literary terms with definitions, examples, and usage tips. Explore each device in depth through literature. Literary Terms. Essential Literary Terms. HAVERLING HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH DEPARTMENT'S OFFICIAL LIST. As it says, this list is official. Except for the first five terms, which belong in a group, it is alphabetized. There is a link to a printable version of this list at the bottom of the page.