\ˈtrōp \

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

The anti-Semitic tropes have no place in the discourse. Eli Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Republicans attack Jewish candidates, including Kim Schrier, with an age-old caricature: fistfuls of cash," 6 Nov. 2018 Handled with less attention to detail, the love story at the center of A Star Is Born could have fallen victim to old tropes. Yolanda Machado, Marie Claire, "Why 'A Star Is Born' Feels More Like a Documentary Than a Remake," 4 Oct. 2018 In fact, in cases like Ford's, there's no excuse to resort to old victim-shaming tropes. Vanessa Grigoriadis, Glamour, "Read This Before Asking Why Christine Blasey Ford Waited To Tell Her Brett Kavanaugh Story," 18 Sep. 2018 Magazine The penchant for evocative artistry has been a staple of the architects’ catalog ever since—as has the gable, the closest thing H&dM has to a signature trope. Ian Volner, WSJ, "Swiss Architecture Firm Herzog & De Meuron Celebrates 40 Years," 4 Nov. 2018 While the architects and designers mentioned below may not have actual birthdays that correspond to your zodiac’s dates, their personalities and styles are spot-on matches to each sign’s tropes. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Based on your zodiac sign, what should your Halloween costume be?," 10 Oct. 2018 Why this trope has stood the test of time in the A Star Is Born universe is unclear. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "10 A Star Is Born Easter Eggs That You May Have Missed," 8 Oct. 2018 Houston attorney Henry Deaver's homecoming is an homage to yet another common King trope: confronting one's past childhood traumas. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The slow-burn psychological horror of Castle Rock makes for must-see TV," 4 Sep. 2018 The poached lobster tail, meanwhile, was a beautiful reminder of just how wonderful this once-tired trope of luxury fine-dining be. Craig Laban,, "Storied Bucks County inn now a destination for dinner," 3 May 2018

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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Statistics for trope

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trope

The first known use of trope was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of trope

: 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 move with a clumsy heavy tread

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