Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Istiʿāra
(4,083 words)

Istiʿāra is used as a technical term in the Arabic linguistic and literary tradition for a figure of speech or mode of expression that is usually described as a metaphor in classical and modern rhetorical theory. The literal meaning of istiʿāra is ‘borrowing’, which in the given context means borrowing the name or an attribute of something to stand for something else, as in raʾaytu ʾasadan ‘I saw a lion’, ʾasad being borrowed to stand for a brave man, to cite the simplest form. This linguistic phenomenon may be found in Western manuals also under the heading of si…

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Udo Simon, “Istiʿāra”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 23 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_vol2_0034>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831



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