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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce metaphor (audio)

Dictionary definition of metaphor

A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
"The metaphor 'a storm is brewing' is used to suggest an impending conflict or trouble."

Detailed meaning of metaphor

It is a way of describing something by referring to something else, making an implicit comparison between the two. Unlike similes, which use "like" or "as" to make the comparison, a metaphor states that one thing is another thing. For example, "the world is a stage" is a metaphor because it states that the world is a stage, and not just similar to one. Metaphors can be powerful tools for expression and can help to convey complex ideas in a simple and memorable way. They are used extensively in literature, poetry, speeches, and everyday language, and they are often used to create imagery, to express emotions, and to make comparisons that help readers or listeners to better understand the subject being described.

Example sentences containing metaphor

1. The poet used a beautiful metaphor to describe the sunset.
2. They employed a clever metaphor to convey the complexity of human emotions.
3. The metaphor of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon symbolized transformation.
4. They used a sports metaphor to illustrate the importance of teamwork.
5. The writer employed a powerful metaphor to depict the ravages of war.
6. The metaphor of a broken heart captured the pain of lost love.

History and etymology of metaphor

The noun 'metaphor' has its roots in ancient Greek, where 'metaphora' meant 'a carrying over' or 'a transfer.' This term is derived from 'metapherein,' combining 'meta-' meaning 'over' or 'beyond' and 'pherein' meaning 'to carry' or 'to bear.' The etymology of 'metaphor' beautifully encapsulates its definition—a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is carried over or transferred from its literal meaning to describe something else in a symbolic or imaginative way. Metaphors serve as powerful linguistic tools, allowing us to convey abstract concepts, emotions, or ideas by drawing comparisons with more concrete or familiar elements. The etymology of 'metaphor' reflects its inherent ability to carry meaning beyond the literal, making it a fundamental aspect of poetic and expressive language.

Quiz: Find the meaning of metaphor

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Further usage examples of metaphor

1. They crafted a metaphor to highlight the fragility of life.
2. The metaphor of a ship sailing through rough waters represented their journey of resilience.
3. They appreciated the metaphor of life as a journey with twists and turns.
4. The teacher explained the concept of a metaphor using simple examples.
5. They found solace in the metaphor of a rainbow after a storm.
6. The metaphor of a key opening doors represented new opportunities.
7. They used a cooking metaphor to explain the creative process.
8. The metaphor of a puzzle piece missing symbolized a sense of longing.
9. They admired the poet's ability to weave intricate metaphors into their verses.
10. The metaphor of a garden flourishing conveyed the joy of personal growth.
11. They created a visual representation of the metaphor using drawings.
12. The metaphor of a marathon captured the perseverance required to achieve success.
13. They explored the metaphor of light and darkness in their artwork.
14. The author's use of metaphor added depth and richness to their storytelling.



analogy, literalism, reality, fact


Suffix -or, Analytical and Interpretive, Correspondence and Understanding, Complexity and Intricacy, Creativity and Originality, Words and Language, Language and Expression 1

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