Language and Linguistics

What are word pictures metaphor metonymy comparison etc.

Word pictures

Also called semantic pictures or tropes, word pictures are:

  • metaphor;
  • metonymy;
  • comparison or simile;
  • periphrasis or antonomasia;
  • synesthesia;
  • synecdoche;
  • allegory;
  • catachresis.

Word pictures emphasize the semantic aspect of language, through word comparison, substitution and association.


The metaphor is characterized by the implicit comparison of two elements that have common characteristics. If there is no explicit comparative term, the comparison is implied.

Metaphor example : The truth will be a bucket of cold water.


Metonymy is characterized by the substitution of one word for another with similar meaning. The effect can be mentioned instead of the cause, the part instead of the whole, the brand instead of the product and the author instead of the work, among others.

Example of metonymy : Have you ever read Jorge Amado?

comparison or simile

The comparison, also called simile, is characterized by the comparison of two elements that have common characteristics. The comparison is established through a comparative connective (like, like, like,…).

Comparison examples : My son is stubborn as a mule!

Periphrasis or antonomasia

Periphrasis, also called antonomasia, is characterized by the use of a symbolic expression to indirectly indicate something that could be directly named with just one or a few words.

Examples of periphrasis : If I were an animal, I would want to be king of the jungle.


Synesthesia is characterized by the mixture of different sensations, coming from different senses. There is a combination of auditory, olfactory, gustatory, visual and tactile sensations.

Example of synesthesia : I drank the perfume of roses, remembering the garden of the old house.


The synecdoche is characterized by the replacement of a term by another that expands or reduces its meaning, establishing an unequal relationship. It may refer to the singular instead of the plural, the class instead of the individual, and the part instead of the whole (and vice versa).

Example of synecdoche : Cariocas love a good beach.


The allegory is characterized as a symbolic set created for the transmission of a connotative message that goes beyond the literal meaning of the words.

Example of allegory : In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.


Catachresis is characterized by the use of a word outside its original meaning to name something else due to lack of a specific term or even lack of knowledge of the appropriate term.

Example of catachresis : I had a very painful cramp in the calf.

Other figures of speech

Figures of speech are stylistic resources used in oral and written language to increase the expressiveness of the message.

In addition to figures of speech, figures of speech can also be classified into figures of syntax, figures of thought and figures of sound.

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