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figure of speech

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Definition language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense; e.g., metaphors, similes, and hyperbole
  • "Figure of speech," he said.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • I think the following rules will cover most cases: (i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    George Orwell  --  Politics and the English Language
  • And fatal is no figure of speech; for anything written with that conscious bias is doomed to death.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Room of One's Own
  • "Figure of speech, dear boy," said the smee.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression, when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels  --  The Communist Manifesto
  • 'You've used the word commando several times, I assume not as a figure of speech.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • "A metaphor, or simply a figure of speech?" he says, also frowning.
    Veronica Roth  --  Insurgent
  • "Figure of speech, Davie," quipped Connor with a wink.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • "That .... that was just a figure of speech," Lawson explained, blinking, "I was speaking metaphorically."
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • "That," I snarled at him, "was a figure of speech.
    Megan Whalen Turner  --  The Thief
  • Poor is sometimes a figure of speech.
    Gail Carson Levine  --  Ella Enchanted
  • It's just a figure of speech.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls
  • This is no figure of speech: he knew the veld he lived from as the natives know it.
    Doris Lessing  --  The Grass is Singing
  • "Entropy is a figure of speech, then," sighed Nefastis, "a metaphor.
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • That's a figure of speech ... isn't it?
    Tom Stoppard  --  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  • It's just a figure of speech.
    Haruki Murakami  --  After Dark
  • He always called Vixen a woman, and seemed to have lost all consciousness that he was using a figure of speech.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • A figure of speech, forget it.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • I heerd him!" and I nodded at the old gentleman until it is no figure of speech to declare that I absolutely could not see him.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • A figure of speech; his studio's at the end of the corridor, but it is a holy sacristy.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity

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