• WordNet 3.6
    • n trope language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Trope (Rhet) The use of a word or expression in a different sense from that which properly belongs to it; the use of a word or expression as changed from the original signification to another, for the sake of giving life or emphasis to an idea; a figure of speech.☞ Tropes are chiefly of four kinds: metaphor metonymy synecdoche, and irony. Some authors make figures the genus, of which trope is a species; others make them different things, defining trope to be a change of sense, and figure to be any ornament, except what becomes so by such change. "In his frequent, long, and tedious speeches, it has been said that a trope never passed his lips."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n trope In rhetoric, a figurative use of a word; a word or expression used in a different sense from that which properly belongs to it, or a word changed from its original signification to another for the sake of giving spirit or emphasis to an idea, as when we call a stupid fellow an ass, or a shrewd man a fox. Tropes are chiefly of four kinds: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony; but to these may be added allegory, prosopopœia, hyperbole, antonomasia, and some others. Tropes are included under figures in the wider sense of that word. In a narrower sense, a trope is a change of meaning, and a figure any ornament except what becomes so by such change.
    • n trope In Gregorian music, a short cadence or closing formula by which particular melodies are distinguished. Also called differentia and distinctio.
    • n trope In liturgics, a phrase, sentence, or verse occasionally accompanying or interpolated in the introit, Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei in different parts of the Western Church. Since the sixteenth century tropes have no longer been used.
    • n trope A geometrical singularity, the reciprocal of a node. In the case of a plane curve, it is a multiple tangent; in the case of a torse, a multiple plane; in the case of a surface, either a plane having a conic of contact or a torse bearing two or more lines of contact.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Trope trōp (rhet.) a word or expression changed from its proper sense for emphasis, a figure of speech—-metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony: a short cadence peculiar to Gregorian melodies—also Differentia and Distinctio: formerly, a phrase occasionally interpolated in different parts of the mass:
    • n Trope trōp (geom.) the reciprocal of a node
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. tropus, Gr. , fr. to turn. See Torture, and cf. Trophy Tropic Troubadour Trover
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. tropus—Gr. tropostrepein, to turn.


In literature:

These tropes are not the substance of Holy Writ; they are simply its color.
"Damn!" by Henry Louis Mencken
These same tropes recur in American languages in the same connection.
"The Myths of the New World" by Daniel G. Brinton
It is an odd thing that men made animal by fury often use that trope.
"The Stowaway Girl" by Louis Tracy
It must be he-li-o-trope.
"Pages for Laughing Eyes" by Unknown
It is a violent trope to apply either of these words to senseless matter.
"A Theory of Creation: A Review of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation'" by Francis Bowen
Though we could well have spared that KEMBLEIAN dying trope, his rising up and falling again.
"The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor" by Samuel James Arnold
This was a trope used by Snowball on the occasion, regardless of its physical absurdity.
"The Ocean Waifs" by Mayne Reid
John Evelyn himself began the dreary round of tropes and primitives almost as early.
"Highways and Byways in Surrey" by Eric Parker
His tropes and images rise directly out of his subject or his feelings.
"Hazlitt on English Literature" by Jacob Zeitlin
The intellect is stimulated by the statement of truth in a trope, and the will by clothing the laws of life in illusions.
"The Voice of Science in Nineteenth-Century Literature" by Various

In poetry:

Trope that itself not scans
Its huge significance,
Which tries
Cherubic eyes.
"Any Saint" by Francis Thompson
But, male for female is a trope,
Or rather bold misnomer,
That would have startled even Pope,
When he translated Homer.
"On A Mistake In His Translation Of Homer" by William Cowper
Observe but in these neighbouring lands
The different use of mouth and hands:
As men reposed their various hopes,
In battles these, and those in tropes.
"Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind. In Three Cantos. - Canto II." by Matthew Prior
Dare not, like some, to mince the matter,
Nor dazzling tropes and figures scatter,
Nor coarsely speak nor basely flatter,
Nor grovelling go:
But let plain truths, as Life's pure water,
Pellucid flow.
"Epistle To A Young Clergyman" by Patrick Branwell Bronte
Lysander talks extremely well;
On any subject let him dwell
His tropes and figures will content ye
He should possess to all degrees
The art of talk; he practises
Full fourteen hours in four-and-twenty.
"The Pedant" by Matthew Prior
"You now object as if afraid;
These points are answer'd soon as made:
Ne'er let a word of Latin fly
While any Latin scholar's by;
But, when he's absent, 'mong the mopes
Let borrow'd Latin fly in tropes.
"Receipt To Make A Priest" by William Hutton

In news:

They want to deal with the black tradition, and the black community, and black tropes.
All the "Lynchian" tropes are already here on his first feature film soundtrack.
Seven Psychopaths gleefully guts crime-movie tropes.
This is one of the most annoying tropes in existence, on both the left and the right.
Pope to soap offending trope .
The 'X-Files' Conspiracy Trope Is Dead.
Failed policies' and the Ghost Train as a trope .
TV Tropes Brought to Life Through Interactive Narrative.
Now McCrory has also adopted John McCain's anti-elitism trope.
A Sturdy 'Collection' Of Horror's Goriest Tropes.
Creators avoid established tropes in favor of a noir influence and original drama.
I don't hang out with Billy Bob, so I can't vouch for his perspective on the marriage, but it feel like the " intimidating women" trope might at least partially distract from some deeper truths.
There is little worse in the world of mainstream film than movies designed to "inspire" or "uplift" through cheesy clichéd tropes of some poor jerk rising above the impossible through sheer pluck and magical, hidden talents.
Turn on the damn lights — Horror flick filled with shadowy tropes.
Brown's brilliant debut novel, Six , turns the trope upside down.