[ met-uh-fawr-i-kuhl, -for- ]
See synonyms for metaphorical on
  1. involving, invoking, or intended to be taken as a metaphor, something used symbolically to represent something else, suggesting a comparison or resemblance: Our foreign policy blunder has given the insurgents a metaphorical green light to engage in violent tactics in pursuit of their imperial ambitions.

Origin of metaphorical

First recorded in 1560–70; metaphor + -ical
  • Also met·a·phor·ic [met-uh-fawr-ik, -for-] /ˌmɛt əˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr-/ .

Other words from metaphorical

  • met·a·phor·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • met·a·phor·i·cal·ness, noun
  • hy·per·met·a·phor·ic, hy·per·met·a·phor·i·cal, adjective
  • non·met·a·phor·ic, non·met·a·phor·i·cal, adjective
  • sem·i·met·a·phor·ic, sem·i·met·a·phor·i·cal, adjective
  • sub·met·a·phor·ic, sub·met·a·phor·i·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use metaphorical in a sentence

  • After thousands of years the lines of metaphoric advance are still shown, and in many cases actually retained in the meaning.

    Instigations | Ezra Pound
  • Frederick's nerves were in a state of tension, not in a mere metaphoric sense.

    Atlantis | Gerhart Hauptmann
  • This and other apocryphal stories illustrate the evolution of Haggadoth out of metaphoric allusions.

  • I should say to the ordinary bookbuyer, in metaphoric language, Avoid the kickshaws and stick to the solids!

    By-ways in Book-land | William Davenport Adams
  • Metaphoric strength of expression will burst even from vulgar and illiterate minds when they are agitated.