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What's the difference between a metaphor and a simile?

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asked Jul 29, 2015 in Writing and Speaking by AndreaM (20,510 points)
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Similes and metaphors are actually related to one another. [1] A simile is one type of metaphor, but metaphors are not similes.

A metaphor is considered the broadest of the two. It is a literary device category that passes the meaning of one thing to another. An example of a metaphor: She is the black sheep of the family. While she is not a black sheep, she has characteristics that are similar to the black sheep.

A simile, while essentially the same thing, typically has the words "like" or its equivalents or "as." [2] It is considered much more direct when comparing unrelated items. [3] An example of a simile: She is as graceful as a swan. While she is not a swan, it is stated that she possesses the same grace as one.


[1]  http://www.dailywritingtips.com/what-is-the-difference-between-metaphor-and-simile/

[2] http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2015/whats-the-difference-between-a-simile-and-a-metaphor/

[3] http://literarydevices.net/simile/
answered Jul 29, 2015 by deviousdesigner (36,530 points)
selected Aug 5, 2015 by AndreaM
+3 votes

The difference between a metaphor and a simile is the fact that the latter uses "like" or "as" to make a comparison.




Metaphor: Life is a highway.

Simile: Life is like a box of chocolates.






answered Jul 29, 2015 by Johnresa (33,810 points)

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