One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly derogatory. A person who (especially in relation to 16th cent. controversy about the nature of the Eucharist) challenges the literal meaning of Scripture or some passage of Scripture by explaining it as tropes or figurative language; an adherent of Reformed (non-Lutheran) Protestantism. Hence (more generally): a Protestant. See "tropic". Now historical.
2A person who uses tropes or metaphors.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Norton. From trope + -ist, in sense 1 after post-classical Latin tropista.
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