Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to simile: metaphor, figures of speech


(sĭm`əlē) [Lat.,=likeness], in rhetoric, a figure of speech in which an object is explicitly compared to another object. Robert Burns's poem "A Red Red Rose" contains two straightforward similes:
My love is like a red, red rose
  That's newly sprung in June:
My love is like the melody
  That's sweetly played in tune.
The epic, or Homeric, simile is an elaborate, formal, and sustained simile derived from those of Homer.



a category in stylistics and poetics; a figure of speech comparing two things that share a common feature. The aim of the simile is to reveal new and important attributes in the thing being compared. For example, the simile “The poet’s madness eternal/Is like a fresh spring amid the ruins” (V. Solov’ev) indirectly evokes an image of the unfailing “pulse” and “boundless” vital force of the poetic word against a background of “finite” empirical reality.

A simile is comprised of the thing being compared (the object of the simile), the thing with which it is juxtaposed (the means), and their common feature (the basis of the simile). The simile enhances a line’s literary effect by revealing the basic trait of the object of the simile and other attributes of the object as well.

The simile is widely used in folklore and poetry. It may be figurative, for example, “And their curls as white as morning snow on the glorious summit of a burial mound” (A. S. Pushkin), or emotive, for example, “Beautiful as an angel from heaven” (M. Iu. Lermonotov); it may also combine both functions. The conjunctions “as,” “like,” “as if,” and “similar to” generally join the parts of the simile.


References in periodicals archive ?
The crucial distinguishing features here are the work of overt simile and that of the simile embedded in personification.
Wisdom was likened to pheasant and its simile mode is putting the head in the dust and it is called posted and detailed similes.
Romantic and modernist preferences for metaphor could look, from this angle, like assertions of straight privilege, while the obvious artifice in simile (this is not really that, this [not equal to] that: it's only like that.
The researchers asked 24 men and women to indicate, while in a functional MRI scanner, whether they could understand a series of metaphors or similes.
The simile of Iliad 9 comes to an end just where we would expect it to narrate the subsequent loss of the nestlings and the bird's lamentation.
No plano da economia da narrativa, da-se a mudanca, sem duvida, no seguimento das accoes diferenciadas umas no encalco das outras, mas a cadencia repetida de retorno ao simile e a um novo deus que se insurge em cada acontecer garantem a estabilidade do sentido e a sua seguranca.
Write the words simile, metaphor, and personification on the board or interactive whiteboard.
Poets create moments of exploration by employing the building blocks of poetry--the simile and the metaphor.
And because he so returned--because, too, of a 1935 novel by a lushly rhetorical Whitmanesque writer who died in 1938 at the height of his fame (the fame has since been much reduced, alas)--this river was for many, in those years, a simile of the American experience.
Similes help us to see freshly; calling upon our knowledge from one realm of experience (say the natural world), they enable us to apply this knowledge to a region that may be more abstract or less familiar--human emotions, for example--thereby creating a new connection and allowing us to use what the simile reminds us we know to cast light on what we are only now learning.
Lastly I will argue that Catullus is entirely conscious of the irony of his simile and, although it seems prima facie that he uses Laodamia as an example of the ideal he envisions for Lesbia (and himself), he ironises the impossibility of such a comparison, of Lesbia as a bride.
After this, the famous simile told by Glaukos in Iliad 6 on how the generations of man are like leaves announces the theme that B.