A form of expression using “like” or “as,” in which one thing is compared to another which it only resembles in one or a small number of ways.
Example: Her hair was like silk.
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison.
Example: He’s a tiger when he’s angry.
From the Manbottle Library:
Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual similes and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are one year’s winners:
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a ThighMaster.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007, at 2:16 am10 Comments on Similes and Metaphors