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For other uses, see Simile (disambiguation).

A simile (/ˈsɪməli/) is a rhetorical figure expressing comparison or likeness that directly compares two objects through some connective word such as like, as, so, than, or many other verbs such as resembles. Although similes and metaphors are generally seen as interchangeable, similes acknowledge the imperfections and limitations of the comparative relationship to a greater extent than metaphors. Similes also hedge/protect the author against outrageous, incomplete, or unfair comparison. Generally, metaphor is the stronger and more encompassing of the two forms of rhetorical analogies.


In literature[edit]

Using "like"[edit]

A simile can explicitly provide the basis of a comparison or leave this basis implicit. In the implicit case the simile leaves the audience to determine for themselves which features of the target are being predicated. It may be a type of sentence that uses "as" or "like" to connect the words being compared.

Using "as"[edit]

The use of "as" makes the simile more explict

The song Everything at Once by Lenka is also notable for the use of 18 similes with "as" in every verse.[5]

Without 'like' or 'as'[edit]

Sometimes similes are submerged, used without using comparative words ('like' or 'as').[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steinbeck, John (1937), Of Mice and Men, Sprangler, ISBN 0-14-017739-6 .
  2. ^ Heart of Darknes = Conrad, Blackwood's Magazine, 1902 .
  3. ^ {{citation|title = [[Julius Caesar (play)|Julius Caesar] Act I Scene II]|first = William|last == William Shakespeare|year = 1623}}.
  4. ^ Carroll, Lewis (1865), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Macmillan .
  5. ^
  6. ^ A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices

External links[edit]