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Types of word or phrase

acrostic

noun

a number of lines of writing, for example a poem or a word puzzle, in which particular letters from each line form a word or phrase

Americanism

noun

a word or phrase used in US English

anagram

noun

a word or phrase that you can make from another word or phrase by putting the letters in a different order. For example ‘mean’ is an anagram of ‘name’.

anglicism

noun

a word that is used in British English but not in other types of English

anglicism

noun

an English word that is used in another language

archaism

noun

an old word or phrase that is no longer used

borrowing

noun

a word or phrase that comes from another language

calque

noun

a word or expression used in a language that has been translated from another language

catch-all

noun

a word, phrase, or group that includes a lot of different things

chant

noun

a word or phrase that people keep shouting or singing many times

chiasmus

noun

a statement in which you repeat a phrase in a sentence but with the words in the opposite order. For example ’some people eat to live, and others live to eat’.

clue

noun

a word or phrase that helps you to guess another word or phrase

coinage

noun

a word or phrase that has recently been used for the first time

colloquialism

noun

a colloquial word or expression

context

noun

the words surrounding a particular word that help to give it its meaning

double entendre

noun

a word or phrase that you use deliberately, knowing that it has two meanings, one of which is rude or funny because it refers to sex

double negative

noun

a sentence in which two negative words such as ‘not’, ‘don’t’, or ‘no one’ are used when only one would be correct, for example in the sentence ‘I don’t want no dinner.’

endearment

noun

a word or phrase that you say to someone you love, for example darling or sweetheart

epithet

noun

a word or phrase that describes the main quality of someone or something

euphemism

noun

a word or expression that people use when they want to talk about something unpleasant or embarrassing without mentioning the thing itself

exclamation

noun

something that you say suddenly and loudly because you are surprised, impressed, angry etc

expression

noun

a word or phrase

heading

noun

a word or phrase that gives a general description of a type of person or thing

incantation

noun

words that are repeated together several times because they are thought to have special power

incantation

noun

the activity of saying these words

interrogative

adjective

an interrogative word or phrase is one that you use for asking a question

jargon

noun

special words and phrases that are only understood by people who do the same kind of work

label

noun

a word or phrase that is used to describe someone or something, especially one that is not completely fair or true

leitmotif

noun

a word, phrase, or idea that is repeated several times in something such as a speech or book and is important for understanding the speech or book correctly

mantra

noun

something repeated again and again

metaphor

noun

a word or phrase that means one thing and is used for referring to another thing in order to emphasize their similar qualities

mixed metaphor

noun

a combination of metaphors that sounds silly because it creates a strange image in your mind

mnemonic

noun

a sentence or short poem that you use for helping you to remember something

mouthful

noun

a word or phrase that is very long or hard to pronounce

neologism

noun

a new word or expression, or an existing word used with a new meaning

onomatopoeia

noun

the use of words such as ‘buzz’ and ‘thud’ that sound like the sound which they refer to

palindrome

noun

a word or phrase that is the same whether you read it forwards or backwards, such as ‘noon’ or ‘not a ton’

parenthesis

noun

a word, phrase, or sentence that is not directly related to what you are saying or writing but is added to give more information

password

noun

a secret word or phrase that you need in order to get into a room, building, or area

rallying cry

noun

a particular word or phrase that you use for referring to an issue or situation in order to make people want to take action

reference

noun

a word or phrase that comes from a book or a poem

salutation

noun

a standard word or phrase that is used at the beginning of a letter, for example ‘Dear Sirs’ or ‘Dear Julia’

simile

noun

a phrase that describes something by comparing it to something else using the word ‘like’ or ‘as’, for example ‘He eats like a pig’

slang

noun

words or expressions that are very informal and are not considered suitable for more formal situations. Some slang is used only by a particular group of people

the spoken word

noun

things that people say, not things that they write

synecdoche

noun

the use of a word or phrase, when a part of something is used in order to refer to the whole of it. For example, you can use the word ‘wheels’ to mean a car.

tmesis

noun

the separation of a word or phrase into two parts, with another word being said between it, used mainly in informal speech for emphasis, for example ’any old how’, in which the word ’old’ comes in the middle of the word ’anyhow’

superlative

noun

an expression or word used for saying that something is extremely good

sweet nothings

noun

romantic words

tag

noun

a name or phrase that is used as a way of describing someone

term

noun

a word or phrase used for referring to something

term

noun

a word or phrase used as a name or for describing someone

tongue twister

noun

a word or phrase that is difficult to say because it contains many difficult sounds, especially ones that are very similar

translation

noun

a word or phrase that means the same thing as a word or phrase in a different language

utterance

noun

a word or phrase that someone speaks

watchword

noun

a word or phrase that expresses someone’s attitude or intention

wh-question

noun

a question that begins with any of the words ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘what’, ‘why’, or ‘how’

words

noun

someone’s words are things that they say

zeugma

noun

the use of a word twice in the same sentence but with different meanings. The sentence ‘She broke the record and her leg’ is an example of zeugma.

protologism

a new word or phrase invented in the hope that it will become generally used

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

garbage patch

a collection of debris, mostly consisting of plastic, which moves around in the sea …

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