Rhetorical devices - with examples

  1. Hyperbole
    There are more reasons for NASA to fund a trip to Jupiter than there are miles in the journey.
  2. Understatement
    Leonardo da Vinci had a good idea or two.
  3. Litotes
    A cup of coffee would not be unwelcome.
  4. Antithesis
    War is not fought to achieve joy, but rather to avoid pain.
  5. Hypophora
    What then of the future? Let come what may, and we shall meet it without fear
  6. Rhetorical question
    Do you want a world in which those dearest to you can know peace and safety or a world in which every moment carries with it the constant fear of death?
  7. Procatalepsis
    It may be pointed out that the proposed tax plan adds a burden to a small number of families in the upper brackets. While this may be true, the benefits offered to those who are most in need must surely outweigh a small it of hardship to those who are not.
  8. Distinctio
    Communism, by which I mean the socialist communalism which comes after the centralized state, has yet to be tried anywhere in the real world.
  9. Simile
    The shower room, steamy like a Louisiana summer, rang with the athletes' jubilant laughter.
  10. Simile
    I slept calmly, as a sparrow finding shelter from the storm.
  11. Simile
    The man's joy at finding his wallet was no less than a lottery winner's claiming her prize.
  12. Metaphor
    The report was released yesterday, a beacon of hope in these troubled times.
  13. Metaphor
    Depression is a bottomless cup that can hold no liquid.
  14. Analogy
    As the endless waves wash eternally upon the shore, so does true love overwhelm the soul.
  15. Analogy
    Just as a parent is liable for damages caused by his minor children, so too should a dog owner be responsible for his dog.
  16. Allusion
    Scientists have reached further and further to unlock the secrets of the universe. But there are those who would argue that like Icarus, science ignores the ever-nearing sun at its own peril.
  17. Eponym
    A modern-day Moses, he led his nation to a new beginning.
  18. Sentenia
    We would all do well to remember, however, that all is fair in love and war.
  19. Exemplum
    People are often attracted to things which are forbidden to them. During the 1920's, for example, Prohibition in the United States caused illicit alcohol sales to skyrocket.
  20. Climax
    Caution can be a useful human emotion. fear tends to cloud our better judgement. Anger turns us away from what we know to be right. Hate overwhelms us and ultimately devours our humanity.
  21. Pallelism
    The manor-designed for beauty and grace, built for durability and strength, and located for privacy and safety-was the ideal home for those three children.
  22. Chiasmus
    He smiled happily and joyfully laughed.
  23. Anadiplosis
    In education we find the measure of our own ignorance; in ignorance we find the beginning of wisdom.
  24. Conduplicatio
    In life we must always keep aware of the constant ebb and flow. Life is a river, not a face of stone.
  25. Metabasis
    I have laid out for you neatly and in proper array the various flaws in the current system. Let me next offer you workable alternatives.
  26. Parenthesis
    This continued or many years-some would say far longer than it should have-before a new brand of politician put an end of it.
  27. Apostrophe
    So we near our conclusion, and I must ask you, my wise reader, to bear with me for one more small digression.
  28. Enumeratio
    I went to the mall, the park, the river, the salon, and, finally, home.
  29. Antanagoge
    The car might cost a bit more than other models when it's new, but it more than pays for itself by not breaking down nearly so often as cheaper ones.
  30. Epithet
    A healing wind blew through the diseased hospital
  31. Asyndeton
    Jockeying for room on the table were turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pies, rolls, butter, cranberry sauce, a cornucopia of vegetables.
  32. Polysyndeton
    His hair and face and eyes and mouth combined to form an image of absolute power.
  33. Zeugma
    On the same day, the judge tries the high-profile murder case and his wife's patience.
  34. Synecdoche
    The rancher boaster about how many head of cattle he owned.
  35. Metonymy
    The white house answered its critics.
  36. Hyperbaton
    Intentions profit nothing, only promises kept matter.
  37. Aporia
    I'm unsure whether to be in favor of harsher penalties or opposed to them, as the arguments on both sides seem very strong.
  38. Anaphora
    We look in toward the Milky Way, in toward the system of Sol, in toward the planet Earth, in toward the nation of China, and, finally, in toward a lonely hut on a lonely hill.
  39. Epistrophe
    In old age we laugh at our past, sigh for our past, cry out over our past.
  40. Symploce
    We enjoy life when we now ourselves to be free of temptation and sin, but we enjoy life also when we give ourselves completely to temptation and sin.
  41. Amplification
    It was a cold day, a wicked day, a day of biting winds and bitter frost
  42. Personification
    The cool wind gently bathed the runner's hot and tired body.
  43. Parataxis
    I came, I saw, I conquered.
Card Set
Rhetorical devices - with examples
Rhetorical Devices: A Handbook and Activities for Student Writing - terms from the book with examples