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AP Lit Terms

Challenging AP Lit Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Adage a familiar proverb or wise saying
Ad hominem in an argument, this is an attack on the person rather than on the opponent's ideas
asyndeton a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions
bathos insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity
chiasmus A pattern of balanced sentences which involves a reversal (ask not what your country can do for you...)
elegy a sad or mournful poem
hubris excessive pride
jargon specialized technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject
litotes understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)
malapropism the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar
non sequitur (logic) a conclusion that does not follow from the premises
cacophony harsh, non-melodic, unpleasant sounding arrangement of words
euphony pleasant, easy to articulate words
enjambment describes a line of poetry in which the sense and grammatical construction continues on to the next line
anaphora repetition of the same word or words at the start of two or more lines
paradox statement or situation containing seemingly contradictory elements
synecdoche symbolism; the part signifies the whole, or the whole the part (all hands on board)
Euphemism The substitution of an agreeable inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant
Malapropism The usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase'; especially the use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in context
Aesthetics "Philosophical investigation into the nature of beauty and the perception of beauty especially in the arts; the theory of art or artistic taste."""
Asyndeton The omission of a conjunction from a list ('chips beans peas vinegar salt pepper')
Deus Ex Machina "An unrealistic or unexpected intervention to rescue the protagonists or resolve the conflict. The term means ""The god out of the machine"" and refers to stage machinery."
Exegesis "Critical interpretation of a text especially a biblical text; from the Greek ex- + egeisthai meaning ""to lead out."
Homily An inspirational saying or platitude.
Malapropism "is an incorrect usage of a word usually with comic effect. ""He is the very pineapple of politeness."""
Created by: barisaabir
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