simile

play
noun sim·i·le \ˈsi-mə-(ˌ)lē\

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?

Recent Examples of simile from the web

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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

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


SIMILE Defined for English Language Learners

simile

play
noun sim·i·le \ˈsi-mə-(ˌ)lē\

Definition of simile for English Language Learners

  • 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


SIMILE Defined for Kids

simile

play
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.



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