Simile

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Simile'

Simile Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    simile n : a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')
Simile Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Simile \Simi"*le\, n.; pl. Similes. [L., from similis. See Similar.] (Rhet.) A word or phrase by which anything is likened, in one or more of its aspects, to something else; a similitude; a poetical or imaginative comparison. A good swift simile, but something currish. --Shak.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Simile'


A simile is a figure of speech that indirectly compares two different things by employing the words "like", "as", or "than". Even though similes and metaphors are both forms of comparison, similes indirectly compare the two ideas and allow them to remain distinct in spite of their similarities, whereas metaphors compare two things directly. For instance, a simile that compares a person with a bullet would go as follows: "Chris was a record-setting runner and as fast as a speeding bullet." A metaphor might read something like, "When Chris ran, he was a speeding bullet racing along the track."

A mnemonic for a simile is that "a simile is similar or alike."

Similes have been widely used in literature for their expressiveness as a figure of speech:

Dickens, in the opening to "A Christmas Carol," says "But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile."

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