WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
ˈfig•ure of ˈspeech,  n. [countable]
  1. Rhetorican expression in which words are used in a nonliteral sense, as in metaphor, in order to suggest vivid images or to heighten effect:When I said she was growing like a weed it was just a figure of speech.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
figure of speech, [Rhet.]
  1. Rhetoricany expressive use of language, as a metaphor, simile, personification, or antithesis, in which words are used in other than their literal sense, or in other than their ordinary locutions, in order to suggest a picture or image or for other special effect. Cf. trope (def. 1).
  • 1815–25

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
figure of speech n
  1. an expression of language, such as simile, metaphor, or personification, by which the usual or literal meaning of a word is not employed
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