A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using "like" or "as." The compared items are different enough that a literal connection is unlikely. Similes are one of the most common forms of figurative language and are used to make writing more imaginative and memorable.
Consider the following simile:
He is as strong as an ox.
While a person and an ox can both be strong, there is no literal similarity between the two. However, it paints a picture of the strength of the individual.
Some famous and popular examples of common similes used in everyday speech include the following:
Examples sentences with similes using "like":
Examples sentences with similes "as":
Due to their role in helping create a mental image, readers can find examples of similes in many major literary works:
|Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare||“Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, / too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like / thorn.”||Love to a thorn|
|A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens||"Old Marley was dead as a doornail."||Marley to a doornail|
|To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee||"The Radley Place fascinated Dill. In spite of our warnings and explanations it drew him as the moon draws water, but drew him no nearer than the light-pole on the corner, a safe distance from the Radley gate."||Dill's fascination to the moon drawing water (tide)|
Many poets use similes to add imagery and depth without increasing length.
An example is found in the poem "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" by Jan Taylor. In this poem, the star is said to be "...like a dimond in the sky," comparing the star to a diamond.
Another example is found in "A Red, Red Rose" by Robert Burns. The line "O my Luve is like a read, red rose" is an obvious simile comparing his love to a red rose.
Simile and metaphors are similar. A metaphor is a literary device authors use either to make a direct comparison between two objects, ideas, or actions or to imply a similarity between the two. While a simile also provides a comparison, it uses the words "like" or "as."
Learn more about the difference between a metaphor, simile, and analogy.
After working your way through this lesson and video, you have learned:
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