Poetry Terms

Words are weapons. Your words can change the way people look at the world and even inspire action. Browse some ideas for ways you can use a poem to make a difference.

What is Alliteration?

Alliteration is the repetition of the same first letter or sound in a group of words.

What is Allusion?

An allusion is an indirect reference to something.

What is Anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism is when anything non-human, such as an animal or object, is given human qualities including emotions and actions.

What is Assonance?

Assonance occurs in a sentence when two or more words near each other have the same vowel sounds but start with different consonants.

What is Chiasmus?

Chiasmus is a figure of speech that has two phrases that are parallel and opposite.

What is Connotation?

Connotation is the association you automatically make with a word, including how the word makes you feel.

What is Deus Ex Machina?

Deus ex machina is when an unlikely character, object, ability, or idea is introduced into a story in order to quickly end the conflict and solve any lingering problems.


Epistrophe is the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses, sentences, or verses.

What is Euphemism?

Euphemism is when harsh words or phrases with more mild ones to soften the blow of something that could have a more negative connotation otherwise.

What is Hyperbole?

Hyperbole is when certain words are used in a phrase to exaggerate an idea.

What is Imagery?

Imagery is the process of using vivid, descriptive words to give the reader a detailed picture of what is going on in your writing so that they can easily picture, or visualize, it in their own mind.

What is Juxtaposition?

Juxtaposition is when two (sometimes completely opposite) words are placed near one another, creating a comparison/contrast effect. 

What is a Litote?

A litote is a nice, almost secretive understatement saying something negative or unpleasant without any negative/unpleasant words used in the statement.

What is Malapropism?

Malapropism occurs when a word that fits the context of a sentence is substituted with another, incorrect word.


What is a metaphor?

metaphor is when a word or phrase for one thing is used in place of another in order to make a comparison between two unlike things and suggest a similarity.

What is Metonymy?

Metonymy occurs when a word or phrase is replaced with a different one which it is associated with.

What is Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia occurs when the sound a word makes mimics what the word means.

What is an Oxymoron?

Oxymoron occurs when two contradictory words are placed next to one another.

What is Repetition?

Repetition is when a word or sentence is used more than once within a poem.

What Is Rhyme Scheme?

Rhyme scheme refers to the particular lines in a piece of poetry that rhyme, usually by using words at the end of each line that sound similar.

What is a Simile?

simile is a figure of speech using "like" or "as" to compare one thing to another thing of a different kind. 



What is Synecdoche?

Synecdoche is when a part of something represents the whole, or vice versa.

What is a Synonym?

A synonym is a word with the same or close to the same meaning as another word.

What is Verisimilitude?

Verisimilitude refers to when a piece of work appears true and realistic.