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noun sim·i·le \ˈsi-mə-(ˌ)lē\

Simple Definition of simile

  • 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of simile

  1. :  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 in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. After the internship year, doctors assume greater responsibility for directing patient care. Dr. Shockcor at West Virginia offered a homely simile: “It's like working in a factory, putting doors on cars. I'm now responsible that the doors get put on right, whereas as an intern I had to make sure I had a door in my hands and didn't miss a car going by.” —Michael Harwood, New York Times Magazine, 3 June1984

  3. She's as fierce as a tiger is a simile, but She's a tiger when she's angry is a metaphor.

  4. What do you think of the author's use of simile?

Origin of simile

Middle English, from Latin, comparison, from neuter of similis

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

Rhymes with simile

SIMILE Defined for Kids


noun sim·i·le \ˈsi-mə-ˌlē\

Definition of simile for Students

  1. :  a figure of speech comparing two unlike things using like or as <“Their cheeks are like roses” is a simile. “Their cheeks are roses” is a metaphor.>

Seen and Heard

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expressing little or no emotion

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