I want to know what is the structure art word of connection the visible expressions with abstract ideas and words?

What do we call this kind of structure?

For instance,

  • my friend’s answers were exposed to suspicion

Here we use expose in something abstract rather than saying

“His injuries were exposed to bacteria”

Here in this sense we can see something visible rather than invisible

I want to know what is the word that can describe the case when we use visible actions to describe the invisible actions!

  • 1
    Are you asking about the verb expose (and others like it) and how they work with things that actually exist and can be seen (e.g. bacteria, sunlight, rain) as well as intangible things (e.g. suspicion, ridicule)? Do you have verbs of Latin origin in mind, or any verb?
    – TimR
    Dec 26, 2018 at 10:34
  • Yes, you understood my point. I want to know to what extent or is it always possible to use all the tangible words with abstract and intangible ideas? Dec 27, 2018 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


Possible choices:
abstract ideas

Not quite as good, however related ideas:


When the verb is formed from pieces, as verbs from Latin often are, the original meaning is concrete and yet very basic, so that it is amenable to a variety of analogical figurative (non-concrete) meanings. Compare expose:

ex = out, outside, out in the open
pose = to put, to place, to set

It means to set something out in the open.

When out in the open, things are visible for all to see. So we get the transitive meaning "to reveal".

When out in the open, things have no protection. So we get the transitive meaning "to make vulnerable" and the adjectival meaning "unprotected" of the past participle "exposed". But things are also freed of that which they had been beneath or behind, so we get the meaning "to give something access to something".

The newspaper reporter exposed the politician's nefarious practices.

If you remove the bandage, you will expose the cut to bacteria.

You should remove the old bandage and expose the cut to sunlight.

The soldiers moved out into the clearing where they felt exposed.

This process is not limited to verbs of Latin origin, of course.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .