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).

    • ‘We would run through the text looking for Australian spelling, any Australian slang and sayings, and other ‘Australianisms’ including Australian-specific metaphors or similes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is told in the high formal style, filled with rhetorical speeches, invocations, elaborate similes, and long ‘catalogues’ of names, places, and armies.’
    • ‘But the greatest fun of the book comes from the rhyming sentences that bear many vivid metaphors, similes and puns.’
    • ‘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.’
    metaphor, metonymy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The use of similes as a method of comparison.
      ‘his audacious deployment of simile and metaphor’
      • ‘In those early books, the poems feel like perfectly calibrated contraptions of metaphor and simile.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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