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
Examples of simile in a sentence
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
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
“She's as fierce as a tiger” is a simile, but “She's a tiger when she's angry” is a metaphor.
What do you think of the author's use of simile?
simile vs. metaphor
Many people have trouble distinguishing between simile and metaphor. A glance at their Latin and Greek roots offers a simple way of telling these two closely-related figures of speech apart. Simile comes from the Latin word similis (meaning “similar, like”), which seems fitting, since the comparison indicated by a simile will typically contain the words as or like. Metaphor, on the other hand, comes from the Greek word metapherein (“to transfer”), which is also fitting, since a metaphor is used in place of something. “My love is like a red, red rose” is a simile, and “love is a rose” is a metaphor.
Origin and Etymology of simile
Middle English, from Latin, comparison, from neuter of similis
First Known Use: 14th century
SIMILE Defined for Kids
Definition of simile for Students
: 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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