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simile

[ sim-uh-lee ]
/ ˈsɪm ə li /
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See synonyms for: simile / similes on Thesaurus.com

noun

a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”Compare metaphor.
an instance of such a figure of speech or a use of words exemplifying it.

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WATCH NOW: This Or That: Simile vs. Metaphor

Simile vs. metaphor ... it’s the age-old question that none of us can keep straight. So, let’s try looking at it a different way ...

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Origin of simile

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin: image, likeness, comparison, noun use of neuter of similissimilar

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH simile

metaphor, simile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for simile

British Dictionary definitions for simile

simile
/ (ˈsɪmɪlɪ) /

noun

a figure of speech that expresses the resemblance of one thing to another of a different category, usually introduced by as or likeCompare metaphor

Word Origin for simile

C14: from Latin simile something similar, from similis like
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for simile

simile
[ (sim-uh-lee) ]

A common figure of speech that explicitly compares two things usually considered different. Most similes are introduced by like or as: “The realization hit me like a bucket of cold water.” (Compare metaphor.)

notes for simile

Some similes, such as “sleeping like a log,” have become clichés.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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