Commonly Used Figurative Devices Explained


Figurative devices are literary tools that writers use to go beyond the literal meaning of words and create a more vivid and imaginative picture in the reader’s mind. Here are explanations of some common figurative devices:

  1. Simile:

    • Definition: A simile is a figure of speech that compares two different things using the words “like” or “as.”
    • Example: Her smile was as bright as the sun.
  2. Metaphor:

    • Definition: A metaphor is a figure of speech that directly equates one thing to another by stating that one thing is another.
    • Example: Time is a thief.
  3. Personification:

    • Definition: Personification is a figure of speech in which human qualities are attributed to non-human entities or objects.
    • Example: The wind whispered through the trees.
  4. Alliteration:

    • Definition: Alliteration is the repetition of the same initial consonant sounds in a series of words within a phrase or verse.
    • Example: Sally sells seashells by the seashore.
  5. Onomatopoeia:

    • Definition: Onomatopoeia is the use of words that imitate the sound they describe.
    • Example: The bees buzzed around the flowers.
  6. Assonance:

    • Definition: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words.
    • Example: The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.
  7. Hyperbole:

    • Definition: Hyperbole is an exaggeration or overstatement used for emphasis.
    • Example: I’ve told you a million times to clean your room!
  8. Contrast:

    • Definition: Contrast involves highlighting the differences between two elements.
    • Example: The contrast between light and shadow created a dramatic effect.
  9. Paradox:

    • Definition: A paradox is a statement or situation that appears contradictory but may have some truth to it.
    • Example: This statement is false.
  10. Irony:

    • Definition: Irony is a literary device in which there is a discrepancy between what is said and what is meant, what is expected and what actually happens, or what appears to be true and what is actually true.
    • Example: The irony of the situation was that the fire station burned down.

These devices are powerful tools for writers, helping them convey complex ideas, evoke emotions, and engage readers more imaginatively. Each device brings a unique flavour to the language and contributes to the overall richness of the writing.

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