[ met-uh-fawr-ik-lee, -for- ]

  1. in a way that constitutes a metaphor, a figure of speech that refers to one thing in terms of another, suggesting a resemblance between the two: The native Romani word “drakhalin,” whose literal meaning is “grapevine,” is often used metaphorically to mean the internet.

  2. figuratively speaking; not literally: We are metaphorically on top of the world over his success and look forward to his return.

  1. as a symbol or emblem representing something else: In various biblical contexts, salt is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, value, and purification.

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Origin of metaphorically


Other words from metaphorically

  • non·met·a·phor·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·met·a·phor·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • sub·met·a·phor·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby metaphorically Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use metaphorically in a sentence

  • “Fibrous” applies metaphorically to mental qualities; it means strong, sinewy—high talents, just below genius.

    Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
  • Hence, terms strictly applicable only to the government of the one, are metaphorically applied to the control of the other.

  • The shopman lays himself at the feet of his lady customers—metaphorically only, fortunately, Á los pies de V., Señora!

    Spanish Life in Town and Country | L. Higgin and Eugne E. Street
  • Sat sweating here, literally and metaphorically, from morn till dewy eve.

  • One and all metaphorically shook hands and made common cause together.