: a reasoning test requiring a person examined to supply a final term in a proportion (as to supply darkness in the proportion day: light:: night: … )
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Digging Into the Most Common Meaning of Analogy
In its most common use, analogy has to do with comparison of things based on those things being alike in some way. For example, one can make or draw an analogy between the seasons of the year and the stages of life. People also reason by way of analogy, asserting, for example, that abandoning a project is like leaving a house partway built. Although an analogy can be summarized quickly, as in these examples, an analogy actually encompasses the comparison or inference itself, and is therefore different from figures of speech, like metaphors and similes, which are forms of expression.
Some tests ask you to identify analogies, finding the second of a pair that has the same relationship as a completed pair. Analogy tests often look like this:
ice : cold :: steel : ____
Because the relationship between ice and cold is that coldness is a quality of ice, the word that goes with steel is hard, since hardness is a quality of steel.
The word analogy (which comes from analogous) traces back by way of Latin to a Greek word meaning "proportionate." That word has a root in the Greek word logos, meaning "reason."