AP Vocab up to Juxtaposition

Absolute
a word free from limitations or qualifications (“best,” “all,” “unique, “perfect”)

Adage
a familiar proverb or wise saying

Ad Hominem Argument
an argument attacking an individual’s character rather than his or her position on an issue

Allegory
a literary work in which characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions

Alliteration
The repetition of initial sounds in successive or neighboring words

Allusion
A reference to something literary, mythological, or historical the author assumes the reader will recognize

Analogy
A comparison of two different things that are similar in some way

Anaphora
The repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive lines or sentences

Anecdote
a brief narrative that focuses on a particular incident or event

Antecedent
the word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refers

Antithesis
a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced

Aphorism
a concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance

Apostrophe
A figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction

Archetype
A detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response

Argument
a statement of the meaning or main point of a literary work

Asyndeton
a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions

Balanced sentence
A sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast

Bathos
insincere or overly sentimental quality of writing/speech intended to evoke pity

Chiasmus
A statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed (“Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary”)

Cliché
An expression that has been overused to the extent that its freshness has worn off

Climax
the point of highest interest in a literary work

Colloquialism
informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing

Complex sentence
A sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause

Compound sentence
A sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions

Conceit
a fanciful, particularly extended metaphor

Concrete details
details that relate to or describe actual, specific things or events

Connotation
The implied or associative meaning of a word

Cumulative sentence
A sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases

Declarative sentence
A sentence that makes a statement or declaration

Deductive reasoning
Reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case (The sun rises every morning; therefore, the sun will rise on Tuesday morning.)

Denotation
The literal meaning of a word

Dialect
a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region

Dialogue
conversation between two or more people

Diction
the word choices made by a writer

Didactic
having the primary purpose of teaching of instructing

Dilemma
a situation that requires a person to decide between two equally attractive or equally unattractive alternatives

Dissonance
harsh, inharmonious, or discordant sounds

Elegy
A formal poem presenting a meditation on death or another solemn theme

Ellipsis
the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from the context (“Some people prefer cats; others, dogs”)

Epic
a long narrative poem written in elevated style which presents the adventures of characters of high position and episodes that are important to the history of a race or nation.

Epigram
a brief, pithy, and often paradoxical saying

Epigraph
a saying or statement on the title page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work.

Epiphany
a moment of sudden revelation or insight

Epitaph
an inscription on a tombstone or burial place

Epithet
a term used to point out characteristics of a person. (Homeric epithets are often compound adjectives that become an almost formulaic part of a name. Epithets can be abusive or offensive but are not so by definition. For example, athletes may be proud of their given epithets)

Eulogy
a formal speech praising a person who has died.

Euphemism
an indirect, less offensive way of saying, something that is considered unpleasant

Exclamatory sentence
a sentence expressing strong feeling, usually punctuated with an exclamation mark

Expletive
an interjection to lend emphasis; sometimes, a profanity

Fable
a brief story that leads to a moral, often using animals as characters

Fantasy
a story that concerns on an unreal world or contains unreal characters (a fantasy may be merely whimsical, or they may present a serious point)

Figurative language
language employing one or more figures of speech (similes, metaphors, imagery, etc.)

Flashback
the insertion of an earlier event into normal chronological order of a narrative

Flat character
a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story

Foreshadowing
the presentation of material in such a way that the reader is prepared for what is to come later in the work

Frame device
a story within a story, An example is Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, in which the primary tales are told within the “frame story” of the pilgrimage to Canterbury.

Genre
a major category or type of literature

Homily
a sermon, or moralistic lecture

Hubris
excessive pride or arrogance that results in the down fall of the protagonist of a tragedy

Hyperbole
intentional exaggeration to create effect

Hypothetical question
a question that raises a hypothesis, conjecture, or supposition

Idiom
an expression in given language that cannot be understood from the literal meaning the words in the expressions or, a regional speech or dialect

Imagery
the uses of figures of speech to create vivid images that appeal to one of the senses

Implication
A suggestion an author or speaker makes (implies) without stating it directly.(Note: the author/speaker implies, the reader/audience infers.)

Inductive reasoning
deriving general principles from particular facts or instances (“Every cat I have ever seen has four legs; cats are 4-legged animals.)

Inference
a conclusion one draws (infers) based on premises or evidence

Invective
an intensely vehement, highly emotional, verbal attack

Irony
the uses of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs

Jargon
the specialized language or vocabulary of a particular group or profession.

Juxtaposition
placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast.