Difference between simile and metaphor


In this article we will provide you the key difference between simile and metaphor

It derives from a Latin word ‘Similis’ (similar, like). It is a figure of speech that directly expresses the similarity between two different things to make a clear and emphatic description. Use the link words “like” or “like”. Simile explicitly compares two different things, for example: “The realization hit me like a bucket of cold water.” Similes are often used in poetry to compare the dead and the living. It may be in terms of comparison and humorous purpose. It can also be seen in literature, for example, «O My Luve’s like a red, red rose». by Robert Burns. Here, ‘A Red, Red Rose’ is a simile. Sometimes the simile also serves as an epic simile, in which the simile contains many lines of detailed comparison, namely: “As when a Wolf on the prowl, Driven by hunger to seek a new place for his prey, Watching where the shepherds imprison their flocks the day before In Cotes fenced in, the field safe, Leaps the fence with ease in the corral: …….. … …. Then place this first great thief in God’s fold.” By John Milton, Paradise Lost .

The simile becomes a cliché when it is an overused expression that ceases to be interesting. These should be avoided in our writings because they are considered trivial unless they are used deliberately for special effects. Creative writing shouldn’t contain so many clichés, otherwise an editor might reject it. For example, relax like a cucumber.

It is used as a resource for the description of the similar characteristics that an object, person or situation may have with another in particular. It is the oldest rhetorical element because it is the simplest, and it does not require elaborate descriptions. Difference between simile and metaphor

The simile can be established between terms of the same or of a different category. That is, comparisons can be made between a situation and an object, or between a place and a person. For example, a person is as warm as the summer sun or as cold as snow.

The simile or comparison is a literary figure that compares two similar terms with each other, does not replace them, but only compares them. An example of a simile would be: “your eyes are as bright as the sky and the stars.” As you can see, two similar elements are usually compared (it is so, it is like, it is the same as …), in this case, the brightness of a person’s eyes is compared with the brightness of celestial bodies such as the stars, the sky, the stars … Since they both shine. Another example of simile we would have “your lips are as red as burning fire.” Here we compare the burning and the color of the fire with the color of the lipstick.


The metaphor expresses the differences that certain terms may contain. His description has a certain level of complexity since in order to be valid the metaphor, the differences must be sustainable and of a greater degree of importance than the existing similarities.

The use of metaphor integrates ironies, both logical and illogical comparisons allowing a degree of creativity that allows the concise description of the differences between realities.

An example of a metaphor would be: “And in combat, I faced the mountain.” In this case, we would substitute a big man for a mountain, since a mountain is big, powerful, tall, just like a big man. Another example would be “the fire of your eyes“, a phrase in which we say fire making a metaphor for passion, intensity, brightness, something that fire does.

What are 5 examples of metaphor?

Metaphors of everyday life

  • John’s suggestion was just a cure-all for the problem.
  • The cast on his broken leg was a plaster cast.
  • Laughter is the music of the soul.
  • America is a melting pot.
  • Her beautiful voice was music to his ears.
  • The world is a stage.
  • My son’s room is a disaster area.
  • Life is a roller coaster.

What are some famous metaphors?

famous metaphors

  • “The big explosion.” …
  • “All the world is a stage, and all men and women are just players. …
  • “Art washes the dust of everyday life from the soul.” …
  • “I am the good shepherd,… and I lay down my life for the sheep.” …
  • “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” …
  • “Chaos is a friend of mine.”

Key Differences

  1. The simile establishes the similarities or relationships between objects.
  2. The metaphor expresses the greatest number of differences between the realities.
  3. The simile does not require elaborate descriptions, so it can be a single idea or several common characteristics.
  4. The metaphor must be supported by a number of differences that have a significant value between the references.
  5. The simile is guided by the similarities that are found with the naked eye, although it can also delve into particularities. Difference between simile and metaphor
  6. The metaphor uses irony and looks for exaggerated differences to sustain itself, as well as to defend its story.

Comparative board

Simile Metaphor
A comparison between two different types of things and replaces the word with another and uses the word like or like. A comparison between two different kinds of things and replaces the word with another.
As innocent as a baby. Life is a battlefield.
direct comparison indirect comparison
It is made
Easy More complex
like or like no link word
Paint a picture and give an example. Paint a picture for a reader.
The subject is like or like another. The subject is said to be another.

We hope that you have noted the difference between simile and metaphor.

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