Definition of "metaphor" []

  • A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in "a sea of troubles” or "All the world's a stage” ( Shakespeare). (noun)
  • One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol: "Hollywood has always been an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the crass, the materialistic, the shallow, and the craven” ( Neal Gabler). (noun)
  • A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote in order to imply a resemblance, for example he is a lion in battle (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "metaphor" in a sentence
  • "-- If what is begun as a metaphor is not completed as begun, but is completed by a part of another metaphor or by plain language, we have what, is called a _mixed metaphor_."
  • "How about "Lions Led By Asses" as a less-encumbered rephrasing of the title metaphor and is probably what the original Brit bon-moticist had in mind IMHO?"
  • "Never straying too far from the title metaphor, Sting depicts the rise and fall of human fortunes and emotions, the cycles of despair and hope as reliable as day after night, spring after winter, warm after cold."