What does Cliche Mean in Literature

Cliche means the expression that is overused in the literature and hence, it gradually loses its original meaning. A cliche can refer to an event or action based on the events occurred before. In brief, cliches are expressions and once these were fresh, but due to the extensive application in the literature, these became boring and repetitive. For instance, ‘as red as a rose’ is a cliche, but now it is too common to use in the content and hence, it had lost its charm. It is usually not added in the formal writing.

In this regard, we should remember that all expressions are not signified as cliche. Some typical expressions are commonly used in the festivals, courts and ceremonies.

What is a Cliche?
‘I now pronounce you man and wife’ — (It befits in wedding ceremony)
Some epithets connected with the church and the royal family are ‘Father’, ‘Your Highness’ and others and these words are not cliché.

Some common examples of cliché:

(To Describe Time)

A matter of time - To happen sooner or later.
Lost track of time - To stop giving attention to time.
Only time will tell - To get a clear picture over time.
In the nick of time - To happen just in time.
(To Describe Different Sentiments)
All is fair in love and war - Go to any extent to get love.
Haste makes waste - People make mistakes in a hurry.
The writing on the wall - Something clearly understood.
(To Describe People)
As clever as a fox- To refer a very clever person.
Fit as a fiddle - To refers a person with good shape.
A diamond in the rough - To refer a person with a bright future.

More cliches:
Fall head over heals
The quiet before the storm
Read between the lines
To end a story
Kid in a candy store

Cliche — at a glance:
Cliche is a form of human expression that is explained in words. Through cliche a person’s gesture, emotion, action and thoughts are explained, but due to repetitive use, it has lost its origin. It does not add any reflection on the meanings. However, it is often referred as a figure of speech.

Related Topics : What is a Cliche - Examples and Exercises