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Literary Terms Defined- shortened

Literary Terms
Allusion- a reference to a statement, person, place, event or thing that is known from literature, history,
religion, mythology, politics, sports, science, or popular culture
Antonyms - words that mean the opposite of each other hot-cold
Audience- the person or people for whom the work is written or presented
Chronological order – in order according to time
Cliché- an overused expression or metaphor
Connotative meaning - the ideas associated with a word. (similar to symbolism) a black cat will be bad
luck; a marriage means people live together, share their money and often have children together.
Denotative meaning –the actual definition of a word
Flashback- a “scene” in a movie, film or story that interrupts the present time of the story and returns to
an earlier time
Foreshadowing- clues in a story that hint at what will happen later in the story. These clues may be
misleading, so the reader believes in an outcome that doesn’t happen, surprising the reader.
Hyperbole – exaggeration used for effect
Imagery (of taste, sight, hearing, touch, smell)- language that appeals to the senses
Inference - a guess based on the text and your experience
Irony- a contrast between what is expected and reality
Dramatic irony- when the audience knows something important that a character in the play does
not know
Metaphor - a comparison when one thing becomes another or takes on the properties of another. The
boxer floated across the ring.
Onomatopoeia – a word whose sound suggests its meaning
Open-ended Response- a TAKS and STAAR technique for writing short answers that requires you to
Answer the question, Cite Evidence and Explain the comnection between the evidence and your
answer. (ACE)
Personification - when something not living acts alive. The mountain looked down upon us
Setting- when and where a story takes place
Simile- a figure of speech comparing two seemingly unlike things using a connective words such as like,
as, then, or resembles
Symbolism - using a picture to represent an idea. roses indicate love; a scale indicates justice
Synonyms - words that have the same meaning. couch, sofa
Theme - what the story is about; the “deep” meaning
Wordplay- clever or unusual use of words