Dictionary for Literary Devices These are not in alphabetical order, but rather in order of difficulty in writing. Many of these could be used to identify literary devices in reading. Onomatopoeia: Onomatopoeic words represent the sounds of the things they describe, for example, crunch, crackle, and bang. Alliteration and Assonance: Alliteration is a string of words with the same initial consonant sound. Sally’s savory sweets. Assonance is a string of words with the same vowel sound. Awesome authors Simile: A simile compares two ideas using as or like. Sly as a fox. Rhyming: Words that follow the same ending sound. Repetition: Phrases or words that repeat throughout the story. Metaphor: A metaphor compares two ideas without using like or as. He was a lion in the race. She is a diamond in the rough. Exaggeration (hyperbole): The mountain of paperwork lay untouched on the teacher’s desk. Puns: Word play…Knock, knock jokes. Foreshadowing: Leading the reader to believe something is going to happen. A cliffhanger. Leads readers to predict. Personification: The assigning of human characteristics to a nonhuman object or animal. The moon peeked shyly through the clouds. Oxymoron: A phrase that contains words that are opposite in meaning, but when put together result in a special idea. A thundering silence, a bright darkness Flashback: Bringing the reader back to a different time or place. Paralleling: When two stories are interwoven throughout one story.