is denominated literary figures to certain forms to use the words in the sense that although they are used with its habitual meanings (aspect that them difference of tropos ), is accompanied by some phonic, grammar or semantic particularitities, move away that them of a normal use of the same, reason why finishes being especially expresivas. Due to this, its use is characteristic, although in no way exclusive, of literary works .

From colloquial form,, stylistic resources, rhetorical resources, rhetorical figures, figures of the speech, etc. also receive the name of literary resources.

figures, along with tropos, constitute within the scope of Rhetorical, one of the basic formantes of ornatus rhetorical, the main component of elocutio .

literary figures are divided in two great groups: diction figures and thought figures .

Figures of diction

diction figures fundamentally affect the form of the words, although sometimes they affect also the meaning. Four categories are distinguished: figures of metaplasmo, repetition figures, omission figures and position figures .

Figures of metaplasmo

figures of metaplasmo consist of the use of lexical forms that would be, in theory, incorrect in the ordinary language. The most known these figures metric licenses are .

figures of metaplasmo are the following: Prothesis, Epenthesis, Parágoge, aphaeresis, síncopa, Apócope, diastole or éctasis, sístole, Diéresis, Sinéresis, Sinalefa, Ecthlipsis and Metátesis .

  • In one second meaning, denominates metaplasmo to the change of sort ; thus, there is metaplasmo, for example, in sentry, or bridge, that is feminine in the old language and masculine today; more concretely, metaplasmo also usually is denominated with the word to the different sort from a word in plural singular and (Latin locus, masculine; crazy, neutral).

Figures of repetition

repetition figures consist of the use of linguistic elements ( Phonemes Syllables Morfemas Phrases orations…) that they had already been used in the same text. The repetition does not have why to be necessarily exact, reason why in many occasions cases of similarity occur.

repetition figures are the following: Alliteration, Onomatopeya, Homeotéleuton, Anaphora, Epífora, Complexio, geminación, Anadiplosis, Gradation, Epanadiplosis, Polisíndeton, Annominatio ( Paronomasia, Derivatio, etymological Figure, diáfora, Políptoton ), Traductio, Ambiguous / Antanaclasis, Parallelism (Rhetorical) ( Isocolon, Parison, Correlation ), Quiasmo and Commutatio / Retruécano .

Figures of omission

omission figures consist of the suppression of necessary a linguistic element, in theory, for the construction of the text. Its use tends to lighten the expression.

Figures of omission are the following: Asíndeton, elipsis, Zeugma, Silepsis and Reluctance / Aposiopesis .

Figures of position

position figures are those procedures that are based on the alteration of the normal order of the parts of Oration .

Figures of position are the following: Hipérbaton, Anástrofe, Tmesis and Synchysis / Mixtura verborum .

Figures of thought

thought figures mainly affect the meaning of the words. The following categories are distinguished: amplification figures, accumulation figures, figures logics, definition figures, oblique figures, dialog figures, dialectic figures (or of argumentation ) and fiction figures .

Figures of amplification

Although, in Latin, amplificatio, is not as much a development more by extensive of an idea but rather their enhancement (by a special use of Intonation, for example), actually amplification figures includes techniques of extension of the contents of a text.

amplification figures are the following: Expolitio, Interpretatio, Paraphrase, Isodinamia, Digresión and Epifonema .

Figures of accumulation

accumulation figures are procedures that look for the addition of complementary elements the set out ideas.

accumulation figures are the following: Enumeration, Distributio, Epífrasis and Epíteto .

Figures logics

figures logics are procedures that they have to do with the relations logics between the ideas within a text; of special form, the relation of is considered contradiction or antinomy, reason why the logical figure by Antonomasia is Antithesis . Like variants of this, they are cohabitation, Paradoxical and Oxímoron .

Figures of definition

definition figures (and description ) are used very linguistically to reflect the essence or appearance of the treated subjects (people, objects, concepts…).

figures of definition and description are the following: Definitio, Prosopografía, Etopeya, Pragmatografía, Topography, Cronografía and Evidentia / Demonstratio .

Oblique figures

oblique figures designate of indirect form a reality using the words in appropriate sense. They constitute the border with Tropos

oblique figures are the following: perífrasis / Circumlocution, Lítotes and Preterición .

Pathetic figures of dialog or figures

dialog figures are own of the direct Style, because they emphasize the communicative character of the speech. Pathetic figures are also denominated because they try to affect the adressee affectively.

dialog figures are the following: Apostrophe / Invocation, Exclamation, rhetorical Interrogation, Optación and Petition .

Dialectic figures

dialectic figures or of argumentation are the own ones of the dialectic debates ( disputatio, in Latin ); one is argumentative techniques.

dialectic figures are the following: Concessio, Correctio, Dubitatio, Communicatio, Conciliatio and Distinctio / Paradiástole ; the calls can, in addition, be included Probationes argumentative, or tests exhibited by the speaker to defend his here Argumentation : Simile, Argumentum and Sententia .

Fiction figures

fiction figures allow to present/display like real imaginary situations.

fiction figures are the following: Personification / Affectation, Sermocinatio / Idolopeya and Subiectio / Percontatio .

Alphabetical catalog of literary figures

With the intention of having a joint vision of literary figures, offers next a listing of the same by alphabetical order. Although properly they are not figures, also include in the listing tropos, because popularly they are included, along with those, under the generic label of " literary resources or estilísticos".


  • Aphaeresis, Allegory, Alliteration, Anacoluthon, Anadiplosis, Anaphora, Anástrofe, Animalización, Annominatio, Antanaclasis, Antiphrasis, Antithesis, Antonomasia, Apócope, Aposiopesis, Apostrophe, Argumentum, Asíndeton, Assonance .


  • Battology .


  • Cacophony, Calambur, Captatio Benevolentiae, Catachresis, Circumlocution, Climax, Cohabitation, Communicatio, Commutatio, Comparison, Complexio, Concatenation, Concessio, Conciliatio, Correctio, Correlation, Cosificación, Cronografía .


  • Datismo, Definitio, Demonstratio, Petition, Derivation, Derivatio, Diastole, Diéresis, Digresión, Distinctio, Distributio, Dubitatio .


  • Ecthlipsis, Enálage, Enjambment, Endíadis, Elipsis, Emphasis, Enumeration, Epanadiplosis, Epenthesis, Epífora, Epífrasis, Epíteto, Epifonema, Ambiguous, Etopeya, Euphemism, Evidentia, Exclamation, Expolitio .


  • pathetic Deceit, etymological Figure .


  • Geminación, Gradation .


  • Hipálage or transferred Epíteto, Hipérbaton, Hipérbole, Hipotiposis, Homeotéleuton .


  • Idolopeya, Interpretatio, rhetorical Interrogation, Invocation, Irony, Isocolon, Isodinamia .


  • Lítotes .


  • Metaphor, Metalepsis, Metátesis, Metonimia, Mixtura verborum .


  • Onomatopeya, Optación, Oxímoron .


  • Palindromía, Parabola, Paradiástole, Paradoxical, Paraphrase, Parágoge, Parallelism, Parison, Paronomasia, Percontatio, Perífrasis, Personification, Pleonasm, Polisíndeton, Políptoton, Pragmatografía, Preterición, Prosopografía, Affectation, Prothesis .


  • Quiasmo .


  • Repetition, Reluctance, Retruécano .


  • Sarcasm, Sententia, Sermocinatio, Silepsis, Similar, Simile, Sinalefa, Síncopa, Sinécdoque, Sinéresis, Sinestesia, Sístole, Subiectio, Synchysis .



  • Zeugma .

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