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al·le·go·ry (ălĭ-gôrē)
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n. pl. al·le·go·ries
1.
a. The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.
b. A story, picture, or play employing such representation. John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick are allegories.
2. A symbolic representation: The blindfolded figure with scales is an allegory of justice.

[Middle English allegorie, from Latin allēgoria, from Greek, from allēgorein, to interpret allegorically : allos, other; see al-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + agoreuein, to speak publicly (from agorā, marketplace; see ger- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]

alle·gorist n.
(click for a larger image)
allegory
early 1790s self-portrait by Angelica Kaufmann (1741-1807) entitled The Artist Hesitating Between the Arts of Music and Painting

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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