A notably addictive wiki where thousands of tropes and idioms throughout creative works are collected, defined, and expanded. Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz! What is a trope? Where in classical rhetoric, a trope refers to a specific figure of speech or literary device. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Bad Guys Wear Black: There's no reason villains have to dress in black. This trope occurs when "language drift"—natural changes in the common vocabulary—causes a word or phrase originally intended as wholly innocuous to be potentially taken as startling, confusing or just plain funny in a different time or place. For instance, if success in the time travel endeavor means that the condition you set out to change never happens, then you won't ever have had any reason to come back and try to change it. Trope has been in English about five centuries, and its meaning has been mostly consistent through this time. Constrained by their limited runtime, movies often rely heavily on tropes to convey maximum information to the viewer in the shortest possible time. “Trope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trope. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Find another word for trope. Trope definition is - a word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech. One of the major types of figures of speech, to trope with language is to twist the literal meaning of a word or phrase into meaning something else. something such as an idea, phrase, or image that is often used in a particular artist's work, in a particular type of art, etc. Players who assume this trope is in effect when told to hurry up may be shocked to find that the game really does mean it this time. Delivered to your inbox! As nouns the difference between trope and cliche is that trope is (literature) something recurring across a genre or type of literature, such as the ‘mad scientist’ of horror movies or ‘once upon a time’ as an introduction to fairy tales similar to archetype and but not necessarily pejorative while cliche is . These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trope.' The problem is that many common tropes are often confused with cliches. Look it up now! Definition of Trope. Here are a few you may spot in a theater near you. What is a trope? Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Again: Any sound and accurate trope definition will define trope simply as a device within a story. For example, good triumphs against evil is an archetype. Rhetoricians have analyzed a variety of "twists and turns" used in poetry and literature and have provided a list of labels for these poetic devices. Note: That doesn’t mean you can’t use tropes–in fact, it might be impossible to write a story without any tropes. In comedy, a movie trope might be used for laughs, for example. Trope: an idea or expression that has been used by many people. A time loop or temporal loop is a plot device in fiction whereby characters re-experience a span of time which is repeated, sometimes more than once, with some hope of breaking out of the cycle of repetition. Critics and scholars from the classical era through today have taken up the study of tropes, though over time the definition has changed somewhat. a word or phrase that is used in a way that is different from its usual meaning in order to create a particular mental image or effect. (art, literature) Something recurring across a genre or type of art or literature, such as the ‘mad scientist’ of horror movies or the use of the phrase ‘once upon a time’ as an introduction to fairy tales; a motif.quotations ▼ 1.1. Etymology: From tropus, from τρόπος. Look it up now! Also compared is Latin trepit, glossed as vertit "(s/he) turns," but as this form is only attested in the lexicon of the grammarian Sextus Pompeius Festus, it may be a reconstruction based on the Greek word. Or a thriller or drama might use a movie trope to play with audience expectations. Cantillation (from the Latin cantare, meaning “to sing”) is the practice of chanting from the biblical books in the Jewish canon.It is often referred to by the Yiddish word leyn.The practice goes back to the time of Ezra, when the Jewish people returned from their Babylonian exile following the destruction of the first Temple (about 510 B.C.E. A movie trope is a commonly used device or motif very familiar in both its conception and execution. Metaphors and similes are tropes. A trope typically refers to an overused situation or plot in fiction. You might think of an archetype as the mother to the trope. An ironic trope is one in which the meaning is the opposite of the literal meaning, such as describing a bad situation as "good times". A trope or tropus may refer to a variety of different concepts in medieval, 20th-, and 21st-century music.. Thus the redness of a particular billiard ball is a trope… Many people define trope with negative connotations, but to do so would be incorrect. Learn more. A film or TV trope is the consistent or expected use of certain characters, situations, settings, and time periods across a specific genre. The word trope comes from the Greek word tropos, meaning a turn or change of direction. Trope theory holds that properties and relations are themselves (unrepeatable) particulars. 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