The Figurative Language List

  1. Figurative language: This is the use of words in a way that conveys meanings different from their usual definitions.
  2. Literal language: Words that mean exactly what they say.
  3. Denotation: This is the literal meaning of a word; this is its dictionary definition.
  4. Connotation: The idea or feeling a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning.
  5. Figure of speech: A figure of speech is a phrase or word having different meanings than its literal meanings. It conveys meaning by identifying or comparing one thing to another, which has connotation or meaning familiar to the audience.
  6. Similes: The comparison of two unlike things using “like” or “as.”
  7. Metaphor: The comparison of two unlike things without using “like” or “as.” Metaphors directly state the comparison.
  8. Personification: A figure of speech that gives human traits to something (animals, objects, etc.) that isn’t human.
  9. Symbolism: This is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense. Examples: The dove is a symbol of peace. A red rose or red heart is a symbol of love or romance.
  10. Idioms: This is an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up. The meaning of these expressions is understood and natural to native speakers within the country in which the expression is used. (
  11. Onomatopoeia: This is a word that sounds like what it means. ex. hiss, snip, thud, clonk, and pow.
  12. Hyperbole: This is an extreme exaggeration.
  13. Alliteration: This is the repetition of the first consonant sounds of the words in a sentence. It depends on the sounds the letters make and not the letters themselves.
  14. Allusion: This is when we refer to something without mentioning it directly. For example, calling someone “Scrooge” reminds us of the character in A Christmas Carol who was stingy with his money. When we hear this allusion, we know the person being called Scrooge is stingy with their money.
  15. Assonance: Assonance takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat the same vowel sound (e.g.: “The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father got a lot farther by working a lot harder), but start with different consonant sounds. 
  16. Consonance: This is the repetition of consonant sounds at any place in a phrase. Ex. A blessing in disguise

“The Interlopers” List

  1. Barbaric (bahr-BAR-ik) adjective; Something that is barbaric is very cruel and uncivilized.
  2. Canteen (kan-TEEN) noun; As it is used in the play, canteen means “a small container for carrying water or another liquid.”
  3. Contemplate (KON-tuhm-pleyt) verb; To contemplate is to think about something deeply, carefully, and at length.
  4. Decree (dih-KREE) noun or verb; To decree is to make a command or announce something in an official way, as in, “The President decreed that the third Monday of every January would be celebrated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
  5. Feud (fyood) noun or verb; A feud is a long-lasting fight between two people, groups, or families.
  6. Intervene (in-ter-VEEN) verb; If you intervene in a situation, you get involved in it in order to have an effect on what happens.
  7. Plunder (PLUHN-der) verb; To plunder is to steal things openly and by force, as in, “Pirates plundered the ship, taking everything of value while the ship’s crew watched helplessly.”
  8. Smirk (smurk) verb or noun; To smirk is to smile in a way that is not sincere and that is a bit smug and irritating to others. People smirk when they feel like they know something someone else doesn’t know or when they are happy about someone else’s misfortune.
  9. Snare (snair) noun or verb; A snare is a trap used to catch birds or animals.
  10. Irony (AHY-ruh-nee):
    1. dramatic irony, when the reader or audience member is aware of something that the characters are not aware of;
    2. situational irony, when something happens that is the reverse of what you expected;
    3. verbal irony, when the name or description of something implies the opposite of the truth (for example, calling a very tall person “Tiny”).

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