14 Words Even English Majors Aren’t Sure How To Pronounce

Just in case you want to work “synecdoche” into casual conversation.


Oeuvre (n): the works of a painter, composer, or author regarded collectively.


Synecdoche (n): a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something is used to refer to the whole of something, or vice-versa. For example, saying “nice wheels” when you’re really referring to the entire car.


Mimesis (n): imitation; mimicry.


Denouement (n): The final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work.


Exegesis (n): A critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text.


Mise-en-scène (n): the arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production. Also: environment, milieu.


Scansion (n): The analysis of poetic verse to show its meter.


Bildungsroman (n): A novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character.


Apotheosis (n): Elevation to divine status. Also: the perfect example; quintessence.


Deus ex machina (n): A person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.


Anagnorisis (n): the point in the plot especially of a tragedy at which the protagonist recognizes his or her or some other character’s true identity or discovers the true nature of his or her own situation.


Caesura (n): A usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse.


Metonymy (n): figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated (as “crown” in “lands belonging to the crown”).

Getty/Ethan Miller/Staff

Malapropism (n): The usually unintentionally humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase.

Check out more articles on!

Editor, Optimistic Grump
  Your Reaction?


    Here Are The Top Stories
    • President Obama unveiled a climate change plan on Monday that calls for federal limits on the amount of carbon power plants can produce.
    • Puerto Rico has failed to make a $58 million debt payment, and credit rating agency Moody's says the U.S. territory is in default.
    • The death penalty should still be considered for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, a jury decided.
    Get The News App

    Hot Buzz

    What Do You Wish Someone Had Told You About Dating In Your Twenties?


    What’s The Funniest Picture On The Internet?


    Now Buzzing