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.
- Also met·a·phor·ic [met-uh-fawr-ik, -for-] /ˌmɛt əˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr-/ .
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use metaphorical in a sentence
The digital dashboard draws on metaphorical relationships to vehicular, military and executive dashboards.Covid-19 dashboards are vital, yet flawed, sources of public information | Jacqueline Wernimont | January 26, 2021 | Washington Post
Older generations know what a great team looks like and the younger ones are finding out, but the only embrace of this great team can be metaphorical.‘Bills Mafia’ waited a generation for a team like this. It’s had to embrace it from afar. | Adam Kilgore | January 7, 2021 | Washington Post
The true truth is always metaphorical, Barry once told a friend, and his greatest belief was in the power of stories, and these seem to be the paths to follow here.
As mathematical physics fed Pauli’s visions, which Jung connected with ancient symbolism, the two thinkers ended up weaving profound metaphorical connections between the two realms.The Synchronicity of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung - Issue 93: Forerunners | Paul Halpern | November 18, 2020 | Nautilus
In the typical retail horror story, Amazon lurks behind the door wielding the metaphorical chainsaw.PetSmart and Chewy are splitting three years after their tie-up | Lucinda Shen | October 23, 2020 | Fortune
The metaphorical closet door has been opened, proving just how rapidly the sport is growing and changing with the times.
I chose it for its metaphorical resonance, but the mosquito bite theory might be the worse.Ron Rosenbaum on Hitler, Hollywood, and Quantifying Evil | William O’Connor | July 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Time passed, and periodically a scholarly blog would raise a metaphorical eyebrow about the lack of test results.The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ is Still as Big a Mystery as Ever | Candida Moss | April 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Disclosure: This is where things become all about insects, and very metaphorical.
Inevitably, any anger and resentment we feel is contained within some kind of metaphorical exoskeleton.
The great use of metaphorical language is to convey, or to aggravate the impression or sentiment which an object creates.
In the use of metaphorical language, we are not disposed to lay down any strict canons of criticism.
We hope we shall not be accused of putting fetters upon genius, by refusing to admire this use of metaphorical language.
We always find that those are the greatest slaves to metaphorical language, who have but one set of metaphors.A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive | John Stuart Mill
Whether he regards the divine Justice, for instance, as a metaphorical term, a mere figure of speech?Aids to Reflection | Samuel Taylor Coleridge