fig'ure of speech'
any expressive use of language, as a metaphor, simile, personification, or antithesis, in which words are used in other than their literal sense, or in other than their ordinary locutions, in order to suggest a picture or image or for other special effect. Cf. trope (def. 1).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.