Skip to main content
Select Source:

SIMILE

SIMILE. A FIGURE OF SPEECH, in which a more or less fanciful or unrealistic comparison is made, using like or as. Some dogs are like wolves is a realistic comparison and not a simile, but The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold (Byron) is a simile because neither savagery nor the Assyrian is physically like a wolf. Everyday usage is rich in similes, many of them idiomatic: (1) With like: spread like wildfire, sell like hot cakes, like a fish out of water (said of a person uneasy in an unfamiliar situation). (2) With asas: as thick as thieves (of people cooperating closely), as strong as an ox (of someone very strong). See FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE, METAPHOR.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"SIMILE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"SIMILE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simile

"SIMILE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simile

simile

simile (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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"simile." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"simile." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simile

"simile." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simile

simile

sim·i·le / ˈsiməlē/ • n. a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g., as brave as a lion, crazy like a fox). ∎  the use of such a method of comparison.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"simile." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"simile." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/simile-0

"simile." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/simile-0

simile

simile Figure of speech comparing two things. It differs from ordinary comparisons in that it compares, for effect, things usually considered dissimilar and sharing only one common characteristic, as, for example, in the phrase “his fleece was white as snow”. See also metaphor

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"simile." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"simile." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simile

"simile." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/simile

simile

simile, simili (It.). The same. Composer's direction in score to indicate that phrase, etc., is to be perf. in same manner as parallel preceding phrase, thus avoiding copying expression marks at each repetition.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"simile." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"simile." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/simile

"simile." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/simile

simile

simileBillie, billy, Chile, chilli (US chili), chilly, Dili, dilly, filly, frilly, ghillie, gillie, Gilly, hilly, Lillee, lily, Lyly, papillae, Philly, Piccadilly, piccalilli, silly, skilly, stilly, Tilly, willy, willy-nilly •Ridley, tiddly •Brindley, spindly •sniffly •giggly, niggly •jingly, shingly, Zwingli •prickly, sickly •crinkly, tinkly, twinkly, wrinkly •dimly •Finlay, inly, McKinlay •musicianly •kingly, tingly •Shipley • pimply •bristly, gristly •princely • fitly •drizzly, grisly, grizzly, Sisley •Kingsley • Cybele • hillbilly • jubilee •rockabilly • bodily •bibliophily, cartophily, toxophily •Galilee • family • stepfamily •subfamily •Emily, Semele •facsimile, simile •homily • contumely •cicely, Sicily •icily • volatile • Maithili • weevily

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"simile." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"simile." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/simile

"simile." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/simile