noun \ˈsi-mə-(ˌ)lē\

grammar : a phrase that uses the words like or as to describe someone or something by comparing it with someone or something else that is similar

Full Definition of SIMILE

:  a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses) — compare metaphor

Examples of SIMILE

  1. She's as fierce as a tiger is a simile, but She's a tiger when she's angry is a metaphor.
  2. What do you think of the author's use of simile?
  3. But Dickens finds the unexpected detail, the vivid simile. Think of Joe Gargery in Great Expectations, with eyes of such a very undecided blue that they seemed to have somehow got mixed with their own whites. Or, in David Copperfield, Dora's cousin in the Life-Guards, with such long legs that he looked like the afternoon shadow of somebody else. —James Wood, New Republic, 14 Dec. 1998

Origin of SIMILE

Middle English, from Latin, comparison, from neuter of similis
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics

Rhymes with SIMILE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Figure of speech involving a comparison between two unlike entities. In a simile, unlike a metaphor, the resemblance is indicated by the words “like” or “as.” Similes in everyday speech reflect simple comparisons, as in “He eats like a bird” or “She is slow as molasses.” Similes in literature may be specific and direct or more lengthy and complex. The Homeric, or epic, simile, which is typically used in epic poetry, often extends to several lines.


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