A simile is a number of speech that straight compares 2 unlike things. To make the comparison, similes most often use the connecting words "like" or "as," but can also use various other words that indicate an clearly comparison. Eleanor Roosevelt"s line, "A mrs is like a teabag—you never recognize how strong she is till she gets in hot water," is an example of simile. Roosevelt compares two unlike things, women and also teabags, to define how women expose the full level of their stamin in hard situations.

Some additional key details about simile:

While many similes usage the connecting words "like" or "as" to create the comparison they"re making, similes deserve to use various other words that create a straight comparison, including other connecting words (such as, "so" or "than") or verb of to compare (such as, "compare" and also "resemble"). some similes have end up being such a common component of daily speech that we barely notification them, because that instance, once we speak "I slept choose a log" or "The news struggle me like a ton of bricks."

How to express Simile

Here"s just how to pronounce simile: sim-ih-lee

Simile vs. Metaphor

Similes and also metaphors space both figures of speech that involve the comparison of unequal things. They are additionally both types of figurative language, since they both create an interpretation beyond the literal sense of your words. However, simile and an allegory do not make a compare in the exact same way. Some human being may define the difference in between simile and an allegory by discussing the framework of the language supplied in each one:

Similes usage the words "like" or "as" to create their comparison: "The world is like her oyster." Metaphors state the comparison without together connecting words: "The civilization is her oyster."

While the presence of a connecting word, such as "like" or "as," is normally a great rule of ignorance to determine similes versus metaphors, it doesn"t really obtain at the source of the difference in between the two numbers of speech. A deeper means to recognize the distinction is with the nature the the comparison each one makes:

A simile renders an explicit comparison by asserting the two different things are similar.

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A simile sets thing A and thing B side by side to to compare them. In the sentence "The civilization is like your oyster," the listener is asked to mentally visualize and compare "the world" and "an oyster"—as though he or she were holding one in each hand—and attract a comparison in between the two. A an allegory asserts an implicit comparison through stating that one point is the various other thing. Instead of setup two reality A and also B next by side with the usage of connecting words, an allegory superimposes them. The an allegory "The civilization is her oyster" asks the leader to imagine his or her connection to the people as being the relationship of one oyster to the space inside that shell.

This isn"t to say the either a simile or an allegory is more powerful or far better than the other, just that they space subtly various in the kind of comparison lock create, and this difference affects how a reader imaginatively interacts through the text.

Is a Simile a form of Metaphor?

There is additionally some debate about whether similes and also metaphors are comparable but various things, or even if it is simile is actually a committed form that metaphor. Debates on the object can end up being surprisingly heated, but all you require to know is the there are competing definitions of metaphor, and whether a simile is a type of metaphor depends ~ above the definition of metaphor you"re using. Because that instance, the Oxford Companion to English Language provides two interpretations of metaphor:

Metaphor: All numbers of speech that attain their result through association, comparison, and also resemblance. Figures like antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy, simile are all varieties of metaphor. Metaphor: A number of speech which concisely to compare two things by saying that one is the other.

Under the first, broad an interpretation of a metaphor, a simile is a form of metaphor. Under the second, narrow definition, the isn"t.

Simile Examples

Similes appear in every sorts the writing, from prose literature, come poetry, come music lyrics, and also beyond.

Examples that Simile in Literature

Writers use simile to include color and feeling to their writing and to enable readers to watch something in a new way through the comparison that the simile creates. Simile deserve to be provided to render the familiar strange and also unusual, to make the strange it seems ~ familiar, or to draw a surprising association in between things the don"t seem to belong together.

Simile in F. Scott Fitzgerald"s The an excellent Gatsby

In this instance from The good Gatsby, Nick Carraway describes Tom and Daisy Buchanan"s mansion in lengthy Island. Nick is from the midwest and has never encountered the level of high-end he discovers ~ above his very first visit to the Buchanans" home:

A breeze blew v the room, blew curtains in in ~ one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting castle up toward the frosted wedding cake that the ceiling—and climate rippled end the wine-colored rug, do a zero on it together wind walk on the sea. The only completely stationary thing in the room to be an massive couch on which 2 young women were lifebuoy up together though ~ above an anchored balloon. They to be both in white and also their costume were rippling and also fluttering together if they had just been blown ago in after ~ a brief flight about the house. Ns must have stood because that a few moments listening to the whip and also snap that the curtains and the groan the a picture on the wall. Then there was a eight as Tom Buchanan closeup of the door the behind windows and the captured wind died out about the room, and also the curtains and the rugs and the 2 young women ballooned slowly to the floor.

Not only does Fitzgerald"s usage of simile convey Nick"s astonishment at the extent of the Buchanans" wealth, yet it also enlivens what can otherwise have actually been one unremarkable description. Without simile, the passage would review something like, "The wind blew through the room. The ruffled the women"s clothing. Tom closeup of the door the home window and the wind stopped." Fitzgerald"s similes lug the room to life.

Simile in Shakespeare"s Sonnet 18, Sonnet 97, and Sonnet 130

No conversation of simile would be complete without a referral to Shakespeare"s sonnets. One of his most well-known similes is the opened line that Sonnet 18, "Shall ns compare thee come a summer"s day?" (That simile is likewise a great example that a simile that has a native other than "like" or "as" to establish its comparison.)

In Sonnet 97, the narrator compares his separation from his beloved come a barren winter, even though the couple was in reality separated during the summer. (The narrator admits this in the line, "And yet this time gotten rid of was summer"s time"):

How like a winter afoot my lack been indigenous thee, the satisfied of the fleeting year! What freezings have a i felt, what dark job seen! What old December"s bareness everywhere! and yet this time removed was summer"s time The teeming autumn huge with well-off increase, Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime, favor widowed wombs after their lords" decease.

In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare obstacles the traditional duty of similes and also the conventions that love poetry:

My mistress" eyes space nothing choose the sun; Coral is far more red 보다 her lips" red; If snow be white, why then she breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires prosper on she head. I have actually seen roses damasked, red and white however no together roses view I in her cheeks; and also in some perfumes is there more delight than in the breath the from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, however well I understand That music on foot a far an ext pleasing sound; I give I never saw a goddess go; my mistress, when she walks, treads ~ above the ground. And also yet, by heaven, ns think my love as rare As any type of she belied v false compare

In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare in reality comments top top the means similes function within standard sonnets about love by turning all the the would-be similes into negative similes. Instead of writing that his mistress" eye are choose the sun, the her lips space red together coral, she breasts as white together snow, and also so on, Shakespeare states that her eyes are "nothing prefer the sun," and that, "coral is far much more red" than her lips. It"s together though the he"s acknowledging the reality that many similes have become hackneyed or clichéd, and he"s rather proposing to salary a more meaningful tribute to his love by inverting those similes and treating her like a real-life woman.

Simile in Sherwood Anderson"s Winesburg, Ohio

"Hands," among the quick stories in Sherwood Anderson"s Winesburg, Ohio, speak the tale of Winesburg resident wing Biddlebaum. Biddlebaum is a shy old man who keeps come himself, however becomes animated and also talkative in the presence of his just friend, a reporter called George Willard:

The story of soup Biddlebaum is a story that hands. Your restless activity, choose unto the beating that the wings of one imprisoned bird, had given him his name. Part obscure poet of the town had thought of it. The hand alarmed your owner. He want to save them concealed away and looked v amazement in ~ the quiet inexpressive hands of other guys who functioned beside that in the fields, or passed, steering sleepy teams on country roads.

The "obscure poet"s" simile, which likens the "restless activity" of Wing"s hand "unto the beating that the wing of an imprisoned bird" is additionally the source of the character"s nickname. Further, wing Biddlebaum"s social function in the ar is similar to that of one imprisoned bird, in the sense that he stays apart indigenous the rest of the town, shut turn off from companionship.

Simile in Robert M. Pirsig"s Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In Zen and also the arts of Motorcycle Maintenance, the narrator undertakes a cross-country motorcycle trip with his kid Chris, his girlfriend Sylvia, and also her husband John. The drivers pride us on taking scenic backroads that expand their journey, but far better suit your solitary, contemplative style of traveling. Once they cross a key road one Monday morning, Sylvia provides the adhering to observation about the grim-looking commuters:

"It was every those civilization in the cars coming the various other way...The very first one looked so sad. And then the next one looked precisely the same way, and also then the following one and also the next one, castle were every the same...Its just that they looked therefore lost...Like castle were all dead. Prefer a funeral procession."

Sylvia compares the drivers to members that a funeral procession because she feeling that, in rushing from allude A to point B, the commuters are lacking out the satisfied of life and also travel.

Simile in kurt Vonnegut"s Slaughterhouse-Five

In this example from Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim emerges from an secret slaughterhouse whereby he has been held prisoner through the Germans during the deadly civilization War II firebombing the Dresden:

It wasn"t safe to come the end of the sanctuary until noon the following day. When the Americans and also their guards walk come out, the skies was black through smoke. The sun was an angry small pinhead. Dresden was choose the moon now, nothing yet minerals. The stones were hot. Everybody rather in the neighborhood was dead.

Vonnegut compares the bombed city of Dresden come the moon in stimulate to catch the totality the the devastation—the city is therefore lifeless that it is prefer the barren moon.

Note the Vonnegut also emphasizes the destruction of the city by exaggerating the air pollution developed by the bombs ("the sky was black through smoke"). This type of exaggeration for literary or rhetorical objectives is referred to as hyperbole, which deserve to sometimes overlap v simile. Come read much more about the relationship in between the two figures of speech, please check out our web page on hyperbole.

Examples that Simile in Music

Simile can develop vivid images, making language an ext memorable and also emotional. For this reason, musicians throughout genres routinely use simile in their track lyrics.

Simile in "Gone" by Kanye West

In "Gone," Kanye west to compare disloyal aspiring MCs come Anakin Skywalker the Star Wars, who went bad and became Darth Vader.

I"ma open up a store for aspiring MCs Won"t market em no dream, yet the incentive is complimentary But if they ever before flip sides prefer Anakin You"ll sell every little thing including the mannequin

Simile in "Candle in the Wind" through Elton man

"Candle in the Wind" is Elton John"s tribute to Marylin Monroe. In referring to Marylin together a "candle in the wind," man portrays her as a vulnerable and also fragile human who was often preyed upon by those who made her famous.

And it appears to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind Never discovering who to cling to when the rain set in and I would have liked to have actually known you yet I was simply a boy Your candle burned out long before Your legend ever did

Simile in "Like a roll Stone" by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is many good things but "nice" is not one of them. In his many commercially effective release of every time, Dylan to compare the song"s addressee—presumably, one ex-girlfriend that is walking through difficult times—to a roll stone:

Once top top a time friend dressed therefore fine Threw the bums a dime in her prime, didn"t you? world call speak "beware doll, you"re bound come fall" You thought they were every kidding friend You provided to laugh about Everybody that was hanging out currently you don"t speak so loud now you don"t seem for this reason proud around having to it is in scrounging your following meal

How does the feel, exactly how does it feel? come be there is no a residence Like a complete unknown, choose a rolling stone

Why perform Writers use Simile?

Writers, and also people in general, usage simile to develop memorable images with language, which enable them to vividly recount experiences and emotions. Poets regularly use simile come make principles or ideas that are daunting to grasp an ext concrete, as in Langston Hughes" "A Dream Deferred":

What wake up to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up choose a raisin in the sun? Or fester prefer a sore— and then run? Does that stink like rotten meat? Or crust and also sugar over— choose a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

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Or does the explode?

"A Dream Deferred" was released in Langston Hughes" collection Harlem, in which Hughes meditates top top the suffer of black color Americans. With the use of simile in this certain poem, Hughes provides physical heft come the dreams of black human being living in Harlem and across the country—dreams which are regularly destroyed, postponed and ignored together a an outcome of gyeongju prejudice. Through comparing desires to material things, such together "raisins" and "rotten meat," Hughes implies that desires are a concrete component of reality not to it is in brushed aside, and also that over there are very real results to no pursuing them.

In addition, by making use of similes to compare one thing or idea to a totally different thing, writers can make readers check out the civilization in a brand-new way. Put an additional way, writers can use the comparison created by a simile to disclose a figurative truth beyond the literal meaning truth.