Definition of Metaphor

1. Noun. A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.

Definition of Metaphor

1. n. The transference of the relation between one set of objects to another set for the purpose of brief explanation; a compressed simile; e. g., the ship plows the sea.

Definition of Metaphor

1. Noun. (uncountable figure of speech) The use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it isn’t, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described, but in the case of English without the words ''like'' or ''as'', which would imply a simile. ¹

2. Noun. (countable rhetoric) The word or phrase used in this way. An implied comparison. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Metaphor

1. a type of figure of speech [n -S]

Medical Definition of Metaphor

1. The application of a concept to which it is not literally applicable but which suggests a resemblance and invites comparison. Metaphors as figures of speech are a common literary device but in the history of medicine, metaphors lend a philosophical aura. Medical metaphors were widespread in ancient literature; the description of a sick body was often used by ancient writers to define a critical condition of the state, in which one corrupt part can ruin the entire system. (12 Dec 1998)

Metaphor Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Metaphor

metaphase II
metaphase i
metaphase plate
metaphor (current term)
metaphorical extension
metaphorical theism

Literary usage of Metaphor

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

1. Elements of Criticism by Henry Home Kames (1870)
"A metaphor differs from a simile in form only, not in substance : in ... in a metaphor, the two subjects are kept distinct in the thought only, ..."

2. An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures by Thomas Hartwell Horne (1825)
"A. metaphor is a trope, by which a word is diverted from its proper and genuine ... Of all the figures of rhetoric, the metaphor • is that which is most ..."

3. Semantics: Studies in the Science of Meaning by Michel Bréal, John Percival Postgate (1900)
"UNLIKE the preceding causes, which work slowly and imperceptibly, metaphor changes the meaning of words and creates new expressions on the spur of the ..."

4. The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language by William Dwight Whitney (1890)
"Л simple metaphor is contained in a single word or phrase, like those in italics above; a continued metaphor is one in which the figurative description or ..."

5. The Fortnightly Review (1866)
"I refer to the question of the use of metaphor, and what Mr. Ruskin has termed ... Yet here, he proceeds, in metaphor and pathetic fallacy, " is something ..."

6. Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts, 4-12 by Kelly Gallagher (2004)
"Using metaphor to Deepen Comprehension The activity Students are asked to create a metaphor to describe the boys' love for Miss Brown. ..."

7. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1825)
"What law is there to compel us to let our first metaphor, like our first wife, ... or what canon is there thus coupling metaphor and matrimony, ..."

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