What are metaphors? - Can you give me some examples?


What is a metaphor?

1. 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, as in “a sea of troubles” or “All the world's a stage” (Shakespeare).

2. One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol: “Hollywood has always been an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the crass, the materialistic, the shallow, and the craven” (Neal Gabler).

Examples of metaphors

  1. Life is a journey.
  2. Purposes are destinations.
  3. Difficulties are obstacles.
  4. Choices are crossroads.
  5. A lifetime is a day.
  6. Death is sleep.
  7. A lifetime is a year, death is winter.
  8. Life is a precious possession, death is a loss.
  9. Time is a thief.

Source: More examples of metaphors

  1. His head was spinning with ideas.
  2. Her home was a prison.
  3. She has a heart of gold.
  4. It is raining cats and dogs.
  5. You had better pull your socks up.
  6. The noise is music to her ears.
  7. You light up my life with your presence.
  8. My memory is a little cloudy about that incident.
  9. He basted her with flattery to get the job.
  10. Keep your eyes peeled.
  11. Take a moment to digest the info.
  12. A rainbow of flavors.
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You're the top!  You're the Colosseum,
You're the top! You're the Louvre Museum,
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss,
You're a Bendel bonnet, a Shakespeare sonnet,
You're the Nile, You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa.
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop

Full list: Examples of metaphors


That is correct. 'As pale as the moon' is a simile not a metaphor. The metaphor version would be 'Her face was the moon', which doesn't make too much sense.

A simile makes a comparison, usually using like or as. A metaphor directly describes something in a way that it isn't in a literal sense.

For example:

'The goalkeeper was as solid as a rock' - simile
'The goalkeeper was a rock' - metaphor.
America is a melting pot.
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Metaphors vs Similes

The two are very similar. They are both nominal figurative statements that largely serve the same purpose. You say "The only difference is the word like." and while this is true, the difference in words is small but the difference is meaning is huge.

The difference is reflected in the way we feel after we read the words. Many times metaphors portray deeper meaning for the reader.

As for the second part of your response, using a simile and using the term "metaphorically speaking" is technically incorrect because it's simply redundant. People will use a metaphor and add "metaphorically speaking" to assure the listener that they are speaking figuratively not literally. When they use a simile it's already clear that it's figurative.

Someone could say:

"Your brother is a pig" then say "metaphorically speaking" to clear up the fact that we don't literally think the brother is a pig. 

When we say "Your brother is like a pig" the word "like" clears up the fact that we don't think he is a literal pig. Thus adding "metaphorically speaking" would only be redundant.

This is why I said it's technically incorrect.


Simile - a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses)

Metaphor - a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money) (Webster)


All the world's a stage.
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances.
You are the sunshine of my life


The world is like a stage.
It is as if people were like actors.
they come and go as though they were entering or leaving a stage.
Her presence warmed the room like the sun.

"She really ruffled his feathers" this is a metaphor, because we are talking about a woman annoying a man - not about a woman stroking a bird.

"The moon's a balloon" is a metaphor - of course the moon is not really a balloon
"The world is my oyster"
"She was a tigress when roused"

Similes and metaphors can be very similar, but you must remember the definition. You cannot substitute "comparable to" because you are not comparing, you are actually saying that one thing is like another.

Languages are not always logical, because they are full of idiosyncratic things - like metaphors, similes, idioms and proverbs.

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Regards, - A.
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I guess I am trying to really understand metaphorically speaking how to apply a couple situations regarding my life, family or friends. It seems now that I have a class starting soon, I need to write at least 5 examples of different metaphors.

I just need an example or two to get me to thinking.


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Say something happened to you or someone.

Example: I walked up on my so call friend as she was advancing sexual gestures at my husband. Her face was pale as the moon. As...
I thought a metaphor was a direct comparison between two things that does not use "like" or "as"????
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give me some more examples of metaphors?
"Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life.'"

"Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness."

"For if men do these things when the tree is green what will happen when it is dry?"
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