Figure Name adianoeta
Source Quintilian 8.2.20; Silva Rhetoricae (
Earliest Source None
Etymology None
Type Trope
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. An expression that, in addition to an obvious meaning, carries a second, subtle meaning (often at variance with the ostensible meaning). (Silva Rhetoricae)


1. In the following example, what is meant is that a man tore his own limbs with his teeth. This is hinted at obscurely (if at all) in the phrase meant to communicate this:

The man laid upon himself (Silva Rhetoricae)

Kind Of Similarity
Part Of irony
Related Figures irony, allegory
Notes Adianoeta is a kind of irony, since it uses terms that imply a different meaning than they denote; however, adianoeta counts on carrying both its meanings, playing off how different audiences will understand the same locution (one, literally; the other, ironically). Like adianoeta, allegory employs both the surface meaning or literal use of words as well as the symbolic meanings of words.
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ashley Rose Kelly
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes fixed title, fixed source
Reviewed Yes
Reviewer Ashley Rose Kelly