Figurative and literal language. Words and phrases can have both literal and figurative meanings and we all use words with both kinds of meanings every day of our lives. Literal and figurative language is a distinction within some fields of language analysis in particular stylistics rhetoric and semantics. He felt sickâ figurative language refers to language not used literallyâit is used abstractly indirectly and often evocativelyâ the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table. Figurative language refers to words that go beyond the usual meaning of literal words and exaggerates and alters words to provide extra layers of meaning.
Figurative language is when you use a word or phrase that does not have its normal everyday literal meaning. Figurative language is any figure of speech which depends on a non literal meaning of some or all of the words used. Further evidence of the need to read ideas not simply words comes from the use of figurative language. Figures of speech such as metaphors similes and allusions go beyond the literal meanings of the words to give readers new insights.
Definition of figurative language. Much of what we read is literalâ the evening sky was dark. Literal language uses words exactly according to their conventionally accepted meanings or denotation. Definition of figurative written for english language learners from the merriam webster learners dictionary with audio pronunciations usage examples and countnoncount noun labels.