Definition of Dead metaphor

1. Noun. A metaphor that has occurred so often that it has become a new meaning of the expression (e.g., 'he is a snake' may once have been a metaphor but after years of use it has died and become a new sense of the word 'snake').

Exact synonyms: Frozen Metaphor
Generic synonyms: Metaphor

Definition of Dead metaphor

1. Noun. (linguistics) A former metaphor which has in effect lost its metaphorical status and become literal, e.g. "electric current" (electricity was at first thought to be analogous to water). Not to be confused with stale metaphor (a type of cliché), although it often is. ¹

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Dead Metaphor Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Dead Metaphor

dead load
dead mail
dead man
dead man's brake
dead man's brakes
dead man's hand
dead man's switch
dead man's switches
dead man walking
dead march
dead marine
dead meat
dead media
dead men
dead men tell no tales
dead metaphor (current term)
dead nerve
dead nettle
dead of night
dead on
dead on arrival
dead on target
dead or alive
dead person
dead president
dead presidents
dead pulp
dead reckoning
dead ringer
dead ringers

Literary usage of Dead metaphor

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Philosophy of History: An Introduction to the Philosophical Study of Politics by Alfred Henry Lloyd (1899)
"The difference in genera' between art and science is that between a real or living metaphor and a dead metaphor. Thus, science succeeds art in the life of a ..."

2. Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4-12 by Kelly Gallagher (2004)
"... metaphor Implied metaphor dead metaphor Simile Personification Metonymy Synecdoche A figure of speech that makes a connection between two unlike things. ..."

3. The King's English by Henry Watson Fowler, Francis George Fowler (1906)
"... or one consistent with it, or (b) un- metaphorical, or dead metaphor; literal abstract nouns, for instance, instead of metaphorical concretes. ..."

4. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage by Inc. Merriam-Webster (1994)
"You will be less likely to puzzle your readers if you do. palpable Fowler 1926 considers palpable a dead metaphor that can be brought to “angry life” by ..."

5. Expressive English by James Champlin Fernald (1918)
"Under the quickening touch of imagination, even the dead metaphor comes to life. To compare a young girl to a flower, for instance, is a sufficiently ..."

6. The King's English Abridged for School Use by Henry Watson Fowler, Francis George Fowler (1918)
"... the successive attributes keenness and impelling force are too severe a test; the dead metaphor is resuscitated, and a perceptible confusion results. ..."

7. The Classical World by Classical Association of the Atlantic States (1916)
"The dead metaphor "now that peace reigns" translates the Latin in pace. Livy is "master of his own language"; and "the great feature of Livy's style is his ..."

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