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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun allegory:

Video footage: An iron ball on the chain is hit a brick wall. Wrecking Ball hit the wall to demolish her. Allegory, illustration.
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Definition of the noun allegory

What does allegory mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: allegories

  1. a short moral story (often with animal characters)
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of allegory: apologue / fable / parable
    • more generic word: story = a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events
    • more specific term: Aesop's fables = a collection of fables believed to have been written by the Greek storyteller Aesop
    • instance: Pilgrim's Progress = an allegory written by John Bunyan in 1678
  2. a visible symbol representing an abstract idea
  3. an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic terms: expressive style / style = a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period

Alternative definition of the noun allegory


  1. The representation of abstract principles by characters or figures.
  2. A picture, book, or other form of communication using such representation.
  3. A symbolic representation.


  1. "Allegory" is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Filippino Lippi, executed around 1498. It is now housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence.
    • completed in (518 years ago)
  2. "Allegory" a.k.a. "Vision of a Knight" or The Dream of Scipio or Allegory is a small egg tempera painting on poplar by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, finished in 1504-1505. It is in the National Gallery in London. It probably formed a pair with the Three Graces panel, also 17 cm square, now in the Château de Chantilly museum.


  1. "Allegory" is a musical album of Divinity.
    • released on (8 years ago)
  2. "Allegory" is a musical single of The Cabriolets.
  3. "allegory" is a composition.


"Allegory" is a video game.

  • developer: See Games
  • genres: Strategy video game, Action game
  • publisher: See Games
  • released on (5 years ago)


Allegory: In the mathematical field category theory, an allegory is a category that has some of the structure of the category of sets and binary relations between them. Allegories can be used as an abstraction of categories of relations, and in this sense the theory of allegories is a generalization of relation algebra to relations between different sorts. Allegories are also useful in defining and investigating certain constructions in category theory, such as exact completions.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Allegory

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewStories, Meaning, and Experience (2015)

Narrativity and Enaction by Yanna B. Popova

Allegory is the model rhetorical figure in Paul de Man's (1979) poststructuralist Allegories of Reading because it exemplifies for him the...

Google previewOther People's Stories (2010)

Entitlement Claims and the Critique of Empathy by Amy Shuman

Allegory is a primary trope for translating experience. Allegory in personal narrative is remarkable because although it is deeply contextual, depending on its occasion, listeners, and larger communicative situation for meaning, its meaning is ...

Google previewBombs Away! (2006)

Representing the Air War Over Europe and Japan by Wilfried Wilms, William Rasch

By contrast, allegory is a marker of an absent wholeness and unity, hence Walter Benjamin's famous remark linking allegory and...

the importance of allegory is that it...

Allegory is an indication not only of what once was, but of what will be.

Google previewHarm's Way (2010)

Tragic Responsibility and the Novel Form by Sandra Macpherson

For Benjamin, as for Jameson after him, allegory is a critical operation whose similarity with the ontologic of...

Google previewThe Voice of truth; or, Strict baptists' magazine (1867)

An allegory is a figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal subject is...

The most perfect form of inspired allegory is the eightieth Psalm, and the Song of Solomon ; and perhaps the most ...

Google previewLogical Approaches to Computational Barriers (2006)

Second Conference on Computability in Europe, CiE 2006, Swansea, UK, June 30-July 5, 2006, Proceedings by Arnold Beckmann, Ulrich Berger, Benedikt Löwe, John V. Tucker

Formally, an allegory is a category such that, for each pair of objects A and B, the class of arrows of type A←B forms an ordered set. In addition there is a converse operation on arrows and a meet (intersection) operation on pairs of arrows of ...

Google previewEnglish Grammar (1846)

Style, Rhetoric, and Poetry ; to which are Added, Preparatory Logic ; And, Advice to the Student, on the Improvement of the Understanding by Richard Hiley

An Allegory is a continuation of metaphors, and represents one subject by another which is analogous to it. The subject thus represented...

Google previewThe Language of Landscape (1998)

by Anne Whiston Spirn

An allegory is an extended metaphor, a story that can be read on more than one level, whose purpose is to enlighten...

"the allegory is that you must have a hazardous journey if you are to reach" paradise.33 The secret garden, "the heart of ...

Google previewArchispeak (2004)

An Illustrated Guide to Architectural Terms by Tom Porter

Allegory An allegory is a story where figures, in the form of humans, animals or superhumans (gods and fantasy figures) are used to illustrate abstract concepts, qualities or situations. Showing one thing and meaning another, allegory is a ...

Google previewInterpreting Translation (2005)

Studies on the LXX and Ezekiel in Honour of Johan Lust by Marc Vervenne, Brian Doyle

Jonah, the sailors, the Ninevites, the ship, are all metaphors; but an allegory is a specific genre. An allegory is a sort of blank exercise in which every metaphor can be filled in so that the story reveals its true content. The "good shepherd" in the ...

Google previewGrasping God's Word (2012)

A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible by J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays

An allegory is a story that uses an extensive amount of symbolism. It is similar to a parable but generally has a greater degree of correspondence — that is, most or many of the details in the story represent something or carry some specific ...

Google previewAnomalous Propagation

by robert cheatham

Allegory as Concealment “Allegory is the name of a figure whose emphasis is concealment, and so it is the preeminent figure of the veil of words, the more so when it becomes clear that concealment is not quite the right word for the kind of ...

Google previewA Mieke Bal Reader (2006)

by Mieke Bal

Allegory is a historical reading attitude.

Google previewA Blake Dictionary (2013)

The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake by S. Foster Damon

ALLEGORY is a literary device in which abstractions are personified. "Allegories are things that Relate to Moral Virtues. Moral Virtues do not Exist; they are Allegories 8c dissimulations” ( U, ...

Google previewChristine de Pizan 2000. (2000)

by John Campbell, Nadia Margolis, Angus J. Kennedy

But for Christine, allegory is a principle as well as a literary technique. It invites serial interpretations while binding them together;

Google previewRomantic Writings (1996)

by Stephen Bygrave

Allegory is a mode of writing which has its origins in Greek literary forms and in the religious tradition of the Old and New Testament. In the late...

Google previewVoice of Masonry (1896)

An allegory is a figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in its properties or circumstances. An allegory differs from an apologue and a parable, in that the properties of persons ...

Google previewAlgebraic and Coalgebraic Methods in the Mathematics of Program Construction (2003)

International Summer School and Workshop, Oxford, UK, April 10-14, 2000, Revised Lectures by Roland Backhouse, Roy Crole, Jeremy Gibbons

Formally an allegory is a category such that, for each pair of objects A and B, the class of arrows of type A←B forms an ordered set. In addition there is a converse operation on arrows and a meet (intersection) operation on pairs of arrows of ...

Google previewPoetry Dictionary (2006)

by John Drury

ALLEGORY (al'-eh-gore-ee; Greek, combining the words for "other" and "speak," meaning to speak of one thing in terms of something else) 1. Figurative language in which characters, images, and events stand for something abstract.

Google previewThe Westminster Dictionary of New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Rhetoric (2003)

by David Edward Aune

Plato Apollonius Rhodius Xenophon Aratus Aeschines Philiscus Aristotle Homer the Younger Theophrastus Lycophron Nicander Theocritus Allegory, a transliteration of the Greek word dkknyopia meaning “ figurative or ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Literary Devices (1991)

Gradus, A-Z by Bernard Marie Dupriez

ALLEGORY A literary image in which the relationship between vehicle and tenor applies not globally, as in simile* or metaphor*, but element by element , with accompanying personification*. See Cuddon, Frye, Girard, Lanham, Littre, ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature (1992)

by David L. Jeffrey

ALLEGORY "the analogy of the faith," harmony of divine teaching with that of other canonical books. Prudentius's Psycho- machia has been regarded as the first allegory completely modern in form; it features the hellum intestinum ...

Google previewA dictionary of terms in art (1870)

by Frederick William Fairholt

ALLEGORY. Properly, a figure having another meaning besides the risible one ; therefore, in a general sense, the intentional notification of a thing by means of another resembling it ; in a more limited sense, the declaration of an abstract idea ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Terms in Art. Edited and illustrated by F. W. F. (1870)

ALLEGORY. Properly, a figure having another meaning besides the visible one; therefore, in a general sense, the intentional notification of a thing by means of another resembling it; in a more limited by means of an imagc,-—the rendering ...

Google previewThe New American Cyclopaedia: a Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge (1863)

by George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana

ALLEGORY are with those of pure intellect, and can therefore make one of these classes of objects serviceable to convey a more vivid apprehension of the other. Hence the allegory must always run from the world of sense to the world of ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Allegory

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Small photo of Labyrinth with stone walls and stormy sky. Allegory of our lifeSmall photo of CROATIA ZAGREB, 7 MAY 2017: a stamp printed in Equatorial Guinea shows Allegory of Love, Painting by Paolo Veronese, Italian Painter, circa 1978Small photo of RUSSIA KALININGRAD, 12 NOVEMBER 2016: stamp printed by Yugoslavia, shows the allegory of freedom, circa 1919Small photo of RUSSIA KALININGRAD, 12 NOVEMBER 2016: stamp printed by Yugoslavia, shows allegory of freedom, circa 1919Small photo of Statue of liberty in Remedios, Cuba. Freedom and justice allegory. Black and white vintage style.Small photo of an old pendulum clock and a basket of dried flowers on a chair. Allegory of time. vintage processingSmall photo of RUSSIA KALININGRAD, 19 APRIL 2017: stamp printed by Paraguay, shows Painting Allegory of the Town of Madrid by Francisco de Goya, circa 1978 More...

Video language resources about Allegory

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Quotes about Allegory

An allegory is not meant to be taken literally. There is a great lack of comprehension on the part of some readers. (Naguib Mahfouz)
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Scrabble value of A1L1L1E1G2O1R1Y4

The value of this 8-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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