A simile is a number of decided that straight compares 2 unlike things. To do the comparison, similes most often use the connecting native "like" or "as," however can also use other words that show an clearly comparison. Eleanor Roosevelt"s line, "A mrs is choose a teabag—you never recognize how strong she is till she gets in warm water," is an instance of simile. Roosevelt compares two unlike things, women and also teabags, to describe how women expose the full degree of their toughness in difficult situations.

Some additional vital details about simile:

While many similes use the connecting indigenous "like" or "as" to establish the compare they"re making, similes can use various other words that create a direct comparison, consisting of other connecting words (such as, "so" or "than") or verbs of compare (such as, "compare" and "resemble"). some similes have come to be such a common part of daily speech that we barely an alert them, for instance, as soon as we say "I slept like a log" or "The news hit me choose a ton that bricks."

How to pronounce Simile

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

Simile vs. Metaphor

Similes and metaphors space both numbers of speech the involve the compare of unlike things. They are also both types of figurative language, due to the fact that they both create meaning beyond the literal sense of your words. However, simile and an allegory do not make a comparison in the same way. Some human being may describe the difference between simile and an allegory by discussing the structure of the language used in every one:

Similes use the indigenous "like" or "as" to establish their comparison: "The human being is like your oyster." Metaphors state the comparison without together connecting words: "The people is your oyster."

While the existence of a connecting word, such together "like" or "as," is generally a great rule of ignorance to determine similes versus metaphors, that doesn"t really obtain at the root of the difference in between the two numbers of speech. A deeper method to know the difference is through the nature of the comparison every one makes:

A simile provides an clear comparison through asserting the two different things space similar.

You are watching: A direct comparison between two unlike things

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

This isn"t to say the either a simile or metaphor is more powerful or much better than the other, simply that they space subtly different in the kind of comparison castle create, and this distinction affects how a reader imaginatively interacts with the text.

Is a Simile a kind of Metaphor?

There is also some debate about whether similes and metaphors are similar but different things, or even if it is simile is in reality a specialized form of metaphor. Debates on the object can come to be surprisingly heated, but all you require to recognize is the there are contending definitions the metaphor, and also whether a simile is a kind of an allegory depends ~ above the meaning of an allegory you"re using. For instance, the Oxford Companion to English Language gives two definitions of metaphor:

Metaphor: All figures of decided that attain their effect through association, comparison, and resemblance. Numbers like antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy, simile space all varieties of metaphor. Metaphor: A figure of speech which concisely to compare two points by saying the one is the other.

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

Simile Examples

Similes show up in all sorts the writing, from prose literature, come poetry, come music lyrics, and also beyond.

Examples the Simile in Literature

Writers use simile to add color and also feeling to their writing and also to enable readers to see something in a new method through the comparison the the simile creates. Simile deserve to be used to render the acquainted strange and also unusual, to do the strange it seems ~ familiar, or to draw a how amazing association between things the don"t seem to belong together.

Simile in F. Scott Fitzgerald"s The great Gatsby

In this instance from The great Gatsby, Nick Carraway explains Tom and also Daisy Buchanan"s mansion in long Island. Nick is from the midwest and also has never ever encountered the level of high-end he discovers top top his first visit to the Buchanans" home:

A breeze blew v the room, blew curtains in in ~ one end and out the various other like pale flags, twisting them up towards the frosted wedding cake the the ceiling—and climate rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it together wind go on the sea. The only totally stationary object in the room to be an enormous couch top top which two young women were buoyed up together though top top an anchored balloon. They were both in white and their costume were rippling and also fluttering as if they had just to be blown earlier in after a quick flight roughly the house. Ns must have actually stood for a couple of moments listening come the whip and also snap that the curtains and the groan the a snapshot on the wall. Then there to be a boom as Tom Buchanan close up door the behind windows and also the captured wind passed away out around the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the 2 young women ballooned gradually to the floor.

Not only does Fitzgerald"s use of simile convey Nick"s astonishment in ~ the level of the Buchanans" wealth, yet it additionally enlivens what could otherwise have been one unremarkable description. There is no simile, the i would review something like, "The wind blew through the room. It ruffled the women"s clothing. Tom closeup of the door the home window and the wind stopped." Fitzgerald"s similes carry the room come life.

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

No conversation of simile would certainly be finish without a reference to Shakespeare"s sonnets. One of his most popular similes is the opening line the Sonnet 18, "Shall ns compare thee come a summer"s day?" (That simile is also a an excellent example that a simile that consists of a native other 보다 "like" or "as" to establish its comparison.)

In Sonnet 97, the narrator to compare his separation native his beloved come a barren winter, also though the couple was actually separated throughout the summer. (The narrator admits this in the line, "And yet this time removed was summer"s time"):

How prefer a winter afoot my absence been from thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have a i felt, what dark work seen! What old December"s bareness everywhere! and also yet this time gotten rid of was summer"s time The teeming autumn large with affluent increase, Bearing the wanton burthen that the prime, choose widowed wombs after their lords" decease.

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

My mistress" eyes room nothing choose the sun; Coral is far much more red 보다 her lips" red; If eye be white, why then her breasts room dun; If hair be wires, black wires thrive on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and also white but no together roses see I in she cheeks; and also in part perfumes is there more delight than in the breath that from mine mistress reeks. I love come hear she speak, however well I recognize That music on foot a far much more pleasing sound; I give I never ever saw a goddess go; my mistress, as soon as she walks, treads top top the ground. And yet, by heaven, ns think my love together rare As any kind of she belied through false compare

In Sonnet 130, Shakespeare in reality comments ~ above the method similes function within conventional sonnets around love by turning all of the would-be similes right into negative similes. Instead of creating that his mistress" eye are favor the sun, the her lips are red together coral, she breasts together white as snow, and also so on, Shakespeare states that she eyes room "nothing favor the sun," and that, "coral is far an ext red" than her lips. It"s together though the he"s acknowledging the truth that many similes have come to be hackneyed or clichéd, and also he"s rather proposing to pay a more meaningful tribute come his love through inverting those similes and also treating her like a real-life woman.

Simile in Sherwood Anderson"s Winesburg, Ohio

"Hands," among the short stories in Sherwood Anderson"s Winesburg, Ohio, speak the tale of Winesburg resident soup Biddlebaum. Biddlebaum is a awkward old male who keeps to himself, however becomes animated and also talkative in the presence of his only friend, a reporter named George Willard:

The story of soup Biddlebaum is a story that hands. Their restless activity, favor unto the beating of the wings of one imprisoned bird, had provided him his name. Part obscure poet that the town had actually thought the it. The hand alarmed their owner. He wanted to store them concealed away and also looked with amazement in ~ the quiet inexpressive hand of other guys who functioned beside the in the fields, or passed, control sleepy groups on nation roads.

The "obscure poet"s" simile, i m sorry likens the "restless activity" the Wing"s hands "unto the beating the the wings of one imprisoned bird" is additionally the source of the character"s nickname. Further, wing Biddlebaum"s social function in the neighborhood is similar to the of an imprisoned bird, in the sense that he lives apart native the rest of the town, shut off from companionship.

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

In Zen and the arts of Motorcycle Maintenance, the narrator undertakes a cross-country motorcycle pilgrimage with his boy Chris, his girlfriend Sylvia, and also her husband John. The vehicle drivers pride themselves on taking scenic backroads that prolong their journey, but better suit your solitary, contemplative layout of traveling. Once they overcome a main road one Monday morning, Sylvia makes the following observation around the grim-looking commuters:

"It was every those human being in the cars coming the various other way...The an initial one looked so sad. And also then the next one looked exactly the very same way, and then the next one and the following one, castle were every the same...Its simply that lock looked therefore lost...Like castle were every dead. Prefer a funeral procession."

Sylvia to compare the drivers to members of a funeral procession since she feeling that, in rushing from suggest A to point B, the commuters are missing out the pleasure of life and also travel.

Simile in cut Vonnegut"s Slaughterhouse-Five

In this example from Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim increase from an underground slaughterhouse whereby he has actually been organized prisoner by the Germans throughout the deadly civilization War II firebombing the Dresden:

It wasn"t safe to come out of the shelter until noon the following day. When the Americans and their guards did come out, the skies was black through smoke. The sun was one angry tiny pinhead. Dresden was prefer the moon now, nothing but minerals. The stones were hot. Everybody rather in the community was dead.

Vonnegut to compare the bombed city the Dresden to the moon in stimulate to catch the totality of the devastation—the city is therefore lifeless the it is like the barren moon.

Note the Vonnegut likewise emphasizes the destruction of the city by exaggerating the air pollution created by the bombs ("the skies was black through smoke"). This type of exaggeration because that literary or rhetorical functions is called hyperbole, which have the right to sometimes overlap with simile. Come read an ext about the relationship in between the two numbers of speech, please view our page on hyperbole.

Examples that Simile in Music

Simile can develop vivid images, do language much more memorable and emotional. Because that this reason, musicians across genres regularly use simile in their tune lyrics.

Simile in "Gone" by Kanye West

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

I"ma open up up a keep for aspiring MCs Won"t market em no dream, yet the impetus is totally free But if they ever before flip sides choose Anakin You"ll sell everything including the mannequin

Simile in "Candle in the Wind" by Elton john

"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 being who was regularly preyed ~ above by those who made her famous.

And it seems to me you lived your life prefer a candle in the wind Never understanding who come cling to as soon as the rain set in and also I would have liked to have actually known you but I was just a kid Your candle burned out long prior to Your legend ever did

Simile in "Like a roll Stone" by Bob Dylan

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

Once ~ above a time friend dressed for this reason fine Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn"t you? people call to speak "beware doll, you"re bound come fall" You thought they were every kidding you You provided to laugh around Everybody the was hanging out currently you don"t speak so loud currently you don"t seem for this reason proud around having to be scrounging your next meal

How does it feel, how does that feel? to be there is no a residence Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Why do Writers use Simile?

Writers, and people in general, use simile to create memorable photos with language, which enable them come vividly recount experiences and emotions. Poets frequently use simile come make concepts or principles that are an overwhelming to grasp much more concrete, as in Langston Hughes" "A Dream Deferred":

What happens to a dream deferred?

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

Maybe it simply sags choose a heavy load.

See more: J&M Pawn Shops Lou Is There Any Pawn Shops Open On Sunday In Dallas, Tx

Or does that explode?

"A Dream Deferred" was released in Langston Hughes" collection Harlem, in i beg your pardon Hughes meditates top top the endure of black Americans. With the usage of simile in this specific poem, Hughes offers physical heft to the desires of black civilization living in Harlem and throughout the country—dreams i m sorry are regularly destroyed, postponed and also ignored together a an outcome of racial prejudice. By comparing desires to material things, such as "raisins" and also "rotten meat," Hughes implies that desires are a concrete component of reality not to be brushed aside, and that there are really real results to no pursuing them.

In addition, by using similes to to compare one thing or idea to a totally different thing, writers deserve to make readers watch the civilization in a brand-new way. Put another way, writers have the right to use the comparison created by a simile to disclose a figurative truth beyond the literal meaning truth.