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A figure of speech related to hyperbole that emphasizes the inexpressibility of some thing, idea, or feeling, either by stating that words cannot describe it, or by comparing it with something (e.g. the heavens, the oceans) the dimensions of which cannot be grasped. An example from Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby is ‘Language was not powerful enough to describe the infant phenomenon.’ It is often a rhetorical index of the sublime.

Subjects: Literature.

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