[syn: emblem, allegory]
3. an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor;
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Allegory \Al"le*go*ry\, n.; pl. Allegories. [L. allegoria, Gr.
?, description of one thing under the image of another; ?
other + ? to speak in the assembly, harangue, ? place of
assembly, fr. ? to assemble: cf. F. all['e]gorie.]
1. A figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal
subject is described by another subject resembling it in
its properties and circumstances. The real subject is thus
kept out of view, and we are left to collect the
intentions of the writer or speaker by the resemblance of
the secondary to the primary subject.
2. Anything which represents by suggestive resemblance; an
3. (Paint. & Sculpt.) A figure representation which has a
meaning beyond notion directly conveyed by the object
painted or sculptured.
Syn: Metaphor; fable.
Usage: Allegory, Parable. "An allegory differs both from
fable and parable, in that the properties of persons
are fictitiously represented as attached to things, to
which they are as it were transferred. . . . A figure
of Peace and Victory crowning some historical
personage is an allegory. "I am the Vine, ye are the
branches" [--John xv. 1-6] is a spoken allegory. In
the parable there is no transference of properties.
The parable of the sower [--Matt. xiii. 3-23]
represents all things as according to their proper
nature. In the allegory quoted above the properties of
the vine and the relation of the branches are
transferred to the person of Christ and His apostles
and disciples." --C. J. Smith.
Note: An allegory is a prolonged metaphor. Bunyan's
"Pilgrim's Progress" and Spenser's "Fa["e]rie Queene"
are celebrated examples of the allegory.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a short moral story (often with animal characters) [syn:
fable, parable, allegory, apologue]
2: a visible symbol representing an abstract idea [syn:
3: an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events
to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
117 Moby Thesaurus words for "allegory":
Marchen, Western, Western story, Westerner, adventure story,
allusion, analogy, apologue, arcane meaning, assumption, balancing,
bedtime story, charactery, cipher, coloration, comparative anatomy,
comparative degree, comparative grammar, comparative judgment,
comparative linguistics, comparative literature,
comparative method, compare, comparing, comparison, confrontation,
confrontment, connotation, contrast, contrastiveness,
conventional symbol, correlation, detective story, distinction,
distinctiveness, emblem, fable, fabliau, fairy tale, fantasy,
fiction, figuration, folk story, folktale, gest, ghost story, hint,
horse opera, iconology, ideogram, implication, implied meaning,
import, inference, innuendo, intimation, ironic suggestion, legend,
likening, logogram, logotype, love knot, love story, matching,
meaning, metaphor, metaphorical sense, mystery, mystery story,
myth, mythology, mythos, nuance, nursery tale, occult meaning,
opposing, opposition, overtone, parable, parallelism, pictogram,
presumption, presupposition, proportion, relation, romance,
science fiction, shocker, simile, similitude, space fiction,
space opera, subsense, subsidiary sense, suggestion, supposition,
suspense story, symbol, symbolic system, symbolism, symbolization,
symbology, thriller, tinge, token, totem, totem pole, touch,
trope of comparison, type, typification, undercurrent,
undermeaning, undertone, weighing, whodunit, work of fiction
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history
of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes
use of it allegorically.
Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses
David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there
is a beautiful allegory: "Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt,"
etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical
description of old age.