We call figurative language the use of a word or expression with a meaning other than the one usually assigned to it. The relationship of the term used with the idea that is being represented can be of a real similarity (in the sentence This house is an oven, it refers to the fact that the house is hot as an oven) or imaginary (in the sentence Your friend the is turning green the expression green has no meaning relationship with speaking ill of someone ). Figurative language examples and meaning
Figurative language is opposed to literal language, which consists of the use of a word or expression with its conventional meaning.
Sometimes, the use of figurative language gives rise to situations of semantic change, that is, the new meaning is added to the previous one (thus becoming a polysemic word) or displaces it. This occurs with bottleneck, treetop, mountain foot, cardinal (as a synonym for bruise ), table leg, chandelier (like a type of lamp), riverbed, etc. Figurative language meaning and examples
Figurative Language in Literature: Examples and Meaning
The figurative language in literature takes the form of stylistic resources and tropes such as metaphor or personification. Below are examples of each one with its meaning.
- The pegs of the roosters dig looking for the dawn. (Garcia Lorca) Figurative language meaning and examples
- The roosters’ crow at dawn.
- That her hair is of gold, her forehead of elysian fields, her eyebrows arched from the sky, her eyes is sun, her pink cheeks, her coral lips, pearls, her teeth, alabaster her neck, marble her chest, ivory her hands, her whiteness snow . (Miguel de Cervantes)
- His hair is blond; his forehead, smooth; his eyebrows arched; his eyes bright; her cheeks, rosy; her lips, red; his teeth white; his neck, chest, and hands, white; its whiteness, white.
- (…) your hair, burnished gold (…) (Luis de Góngora)
- Your blonde hair.
- So much pain is grouped in my side that because of pain it hurts even my breath. (Miguel Hernández).
- My side hurts a lot.
- There is no extension greater than my wound. (Miguel Hernandez)
- My wound is very big.
- (…) I resist with such fury (…) that a mountain placed on top would break. (Lope de Vega)
- I resist a lot. Figurative language meaning and examples
Figurative language in the common language: examples and meaning
The figurative language is not widely used in formal settings, but in colloquial speech because of the presence of cliches, exaggerations, and other expressions. For example, in the sentence Time is money by identifying time with gold through an attributive sentence, the most outstanding quality of gold, value, is applied to time. Therefore this expression means that Time is very valuable. In I don’t have a penny, an exaggeration is carried out, since what is meant is I have little money.
Here are some examples of figurative language along with its meaning :
1-As soon as he heard it, his face lit up.
As soon as she heard it, she was very happy. Figurative language meaning and examples
2-The news has been a bucket of cold water.
The news has been an unpleasant surprise.
3-Out of sight, out of mind.
If you don’t know what’s going on, it won’t affect you emotionally.
4-You are a lynx.
You are very insightful.
5-He was in the prime of life.
6-His eyes went wide.
His eyes widened.
7-I have butterflies in my stomach.
I’m in love. Figurative language meaning and examples
8-The girl had to bite her tongue and bite the bullet.
The girl had to shut up and put up with the situation.
9-You are missing a screw!
10-I am starving.
I am very hungry.
11-Not even God leaves here.
Nobody is leaving here.
12-Can you give me a hand, please?
Can you help me, please?
13-He was quiet as the grave, he didn’t say a peep.
He was very quiet, he didn’t say anything.
14-You’re a machine.
You are very good at it.