Definition of simile in English:



  • 1A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g. as brave as a lion).

    • ‘By using irony, similes, and symbols, to name a few, Crane ‘paints’ a vivid picture of what life was like for the fragile Henry Fleming.’
    • ‘And he didn't apologize, it wasn't beautiful language, it wasn't all metaphors and similes and onomatopoeia, and it wasn't, you know, packed with symbolism that you had to analyze.’
    • ‘But the greatest fun of the book comes from the rhyming sentences that bear many vivid metaphors, similes and puns.’
    • ‘It is told in the high formal style, filled with rhetorical speeches, invocations, elaborate similes, and long ‘catalogues’ of names, places, and armies.’
    • ‘We would run through the text looking for Australian spelling, any Australian slang and sayings, and other ‘Australianisms’ including Australian-specific metaphors or similes.’
    metaphor, metonymy
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    1. 1.1mass noun The use of similes as a method of comparison.
      ‘his audacious deployment of simile and metaphor’
      • ‘A creative synthesis of imagery and symbol, simile and metaphor - ideal vehicles for the accommodative range of the stream of consciousness narrative mode - helps to unfold the character, plot and the denouement.’
      • ‘The entire paragraph, like this opening sentence, is much like a poem in its awareness of sound and rhythm, in its dependence upon simile and metaphor to imply a relationship among memory, writing, and music.’
      • ‘Neruda's incredible use of metaphor, simile and synecdoche, among other poetic techniques, frequently confronts the reader unprepared, jolted by the sudden flash of creative spontaneity.’
      • ‘In those early books, the poems feel like perfectly calibrated contraptions of metaphor and simile.’
      • ‘Like Pound's ‘In A Station of the Metro,’ Piombino uses juxtaposition rather than simile and metaphor; schools are never said to be machines or directly like machines.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, neuter of similis ‘like’.