\ ˈtrōp How to pronounce trope (audio) \

Definition of trope

1a : a word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech
b : a common or overused theme or device : cliché the usual horror movie tropes
2 : a phrase or verse added as an embellishment or interpolation to the sung parts of the Mass in the Middle Ages

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Examples of trope in a Sentence

a screenplay that reads like a catalog of mystery-thriller tropes

Recent Examples on the Web

This continues to be a trope as the characters try to catch the Black Hood. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 "Riverdale" Plot Holes That Will Keep You Up at Night," 3 May 2019 In this op-ed, writer Taylor Crumpton explains the ways in which Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fell short with its characterization of Prudence Night, and unpacks the harmful tropes inherent in Prudence's storyline. Taylor Crumpton, Teen Vogue, "How "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Failed Prudence Night," 1 Nov. 2018 These couples have been a staple on TV for decades,but the trope has become less popular lately, and more tiresome. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "How 'Superstore' helped make 'will they/won't they' couples fun again," 3 May 2018 In the crowd of thousands, people repeated the tropes that have long been a staple of Russian nationwide state TV and are now amplified by the operation in Crimea. Anton Troianovski,, "Crimea's propaganda machine fans fear in closing days of Putin's campaign," 16 Mar. 2018 Octopath Traveler rarely sports the classic good-versus-evil tropes of its genre peers. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "In Octopath Traveler, jobs define more than just gameplay mechanics," 22 Aug. 2018 Still, as much as Gambino juggles the tropes of hip-hop and R&B, no one can resist the draw of making a summer hit. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Childish Gambino and the Search for the Summer Anthem," 12 July 2018 The exhibition at Regen Projects will premiere a new video work and will feature paintings inspired by the art historical trope of the bather. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Portraits of peers, collages inspired by the African diaspora and art for feline lovers," 14 June 2018 Tasked with revitalizing the historic brand, the Belgian designer found joy in reimagining Western fashion tropes, like the delicate piping of a men’s cowboy shirt or the fluttering hem of a gingham prairie skirt. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Penultimate Is a New American Fashion Fantasy, Written By a Chinese Immigrant," 26 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of trope

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for trope

Latin tropus, from Greek tropos turn, way, manner, style, trope, from trepein to turn

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More Definitions for trope



English Language Learners Definition of trope

technical : a word, phrase, or image used in a new and different way in order to create an artistic effect

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Comments on trope

What made you want to look up trope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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