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From Middle English allegorie, from Old French allegorie, from Latin allegoria, from Ancient Greek ἀλληγορία (allēgoría), from ἄλλος (állos, other) + ἀγορεύω (agoreúō, I speak).


  • IPA(key): /ˈæl.ɘˌɡoʊɹ.i/, /ˈæl.ɘˌɡɔɹ.i/
  • (file)


allegory (countable and uncountable, plural allegories)

  1. (rhetoric) The representation of abstract principles by characters or figures.
    • [1835, L[arret] Langley, A Manual of the Figures of Rhetoric, [], Doncaster: Printed by C. White, Baxter-Gate, OCLC 1062248511, page 5:
      Allegory Metaphors continues still,
      Which with new graces every sentence fill.
  2. A picture, book, or other form of communication using such representation.
  3. A symbolic representation which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, usually a moral or political one.
  4. (mathematics, category theory) A category that retains some of the structure of the category of binary relations between sets, representing a high-level generalisation of that category.

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