Allegoresis – Definition & Meaning

Allegoresis is a term that is often used in literary analysis and criticism. It refers to the interpretation of a text or work of art as an allegory, which means that the work is seen as representing something else. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of allegoresis, its origin, and its associations.


Allegoresis is a term that is used to describe the process of interpreting a text or work of art as an allegory. It is a method of literary analysis that involves looking for hidden meanings and symbols in a text. Allegoresis is often used in the study of literature, art, and religious texts.


The term allegoresis comes from the Greek words “allos” meaning “other” and “agoria” meaning “to speak.” It has been used in literary analysis since ancient times, and was particularly popular during the Middle Ages when religious texts were often interpreted allegorically.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, allegoresis is “the interpretation of a narrative or work of art as an allegory.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the interpretation of a text or work of art as an allegory, especially a religious one.”


Allegoresis is often associated with religious texts, particularly those from the Middle Ages. Many of these texts were written in allegorical form, with the stories and characters representing deeper spiritual truths. Allegoresis is also associated with literary analysis, where it is used to uncover hidden meanings and themes in works of literature.


Synonyms for allegoresis include allegorization, interpretation, and symbolism.


Antonyms for allegoresis include literalism, realism, and straightforwardness.

The same root words

Other words that have the same root as allegoresis include allegory, allusion, and analogy.

Example Sentences

  • The scholar used allegoresis to uncover the hidden meanings in the medieval text.
  • The painting was open to allegoresis, with many different interpretations possible.
  • The religious text was written in allegorical form, requiring allegoresis to fully understand its meaning.
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