A trope is a play on words, a word used in something other than what is considered its literal or normal form. It comes from the greek word, tropos, which means a "turn", as in heliotrope, a flower which turns toward the sun. We can imagine a trope as a way of turning a word away from its normal meaning, or turning it into something else.
There are four kinds of tropes:
- metonymy as in association.
- irony as in contraries.
- metaphor as in comparatives.
- synecdoche as in the distribution of the whole into the part.