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See also: -trope





From Latin tropus, from Ancient Greek τρόπος (trópos, a turn, way, manner, style, a trope or figure of speech, a mode in music, a mode or mood in logic), related to τροπή (tropḗ, turn; solstice; trope) and τρέπειν (trépein, to turn).


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trope (plural tropes)

  1. (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 cliché but not necessarily pejorative.
    • 2017 February 23, Katie Rife, “The Girl With All The Gifts tries to put a fresh spin on overripe zombie clichés”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      You have to give director Colm McCarthy, a Scottish TV veteran making his feature film debut, and writer Mike Carey, adapting his own novel, credit for attempting the seemingly impossible task of doing something new with the zombie subgenre. And by blending it with the common YA trope of a young female protagonist who leads the world into a new revolutionary era, they almost get there—largely thanks to newcomer Nanua, who presents her character’s grappling with complex themes of identity and original sin with a childlike guilelessness.
  2. A figure of speech in which words or phrases are used with a nonliteral or figurative meaning, such as a metaphor.
  3. (music) A short cadence at the end of the melody in some early music.
  4. (music) A phrase or verse added to the mass when sung by a choir.
  5. (music) A pair of complementary hexachords in twelve-tone technique.
  6. (Judaism) A cantillation pattern, or the mark that represents it.

Derived termsEdit



trope (third-person singular simple present tropes, present participle troping, simple past and past participle troped)

  1. To use, or embellish something with a trope.
  2. (often literature) To turn into, coin or create a new trope.
  3. (often literature) To analyze a work in terms of its literary tropes.
  4. (intransitive) To think or write in terms of tropes.


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Related termsEdit


Further readingEdit




trope m (plural tropes)

  1. (music, literature, linguistics) trope

Further readingEdit




  1. vocative singular of tropus