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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Not surprisingly, dead metaphors as a rule present fewer problems to foreign learners of a language than idioms do.
▪ This is a dead metaphor in the standard language, and so will attract little notice.
▪ That we influence the world around us is not simply a poetic metaphor.
▪ They do not exhibit the semantic indeterminacy characteristic of poetic metaphors.
▪ Compared with poetic devices like metaphor, they are probably rather mundane.
▪ For Kane a poetic metaphor became a literal truth.
▪ Geographical paralysis becomes a bitter metaphor for their entire existence.
▪ Fire here becomes a metaphor for the suddenness of the event.
▪ This property is responsible for the hologram becoming a popular metaphor for human memory.
▪ The debate of butter-side-up versus butter-side-down becomes a metaphor for many of the conflicts in the classroom.
▪ I have mixed metaphors for all occasions.
▪ Like the Curate's Egg, though, not everything in this particular garden is brambles, to mix metaphors.
▪ To draw and write on skin provides its own metaphor of the corporeal and the transcendent.
▪ By using metaphors and similes you allow the readers to associate their own experiences, memories, or connotations.
▪ We use this metaphor to characterize local authorities' responses to care programming.
▪ You use two metaphors there, Audley, one financial, one medical.
▪ The economic and the political are out of kilter; to use a homely metaphor, it is like bike gears crunching.
▪ On this subject, in 1858, Lord Elphinstone used a significant metaphor.
▪ To use yet another metaphor, moulding of form can be thought of as metalworking; patterning like painting.
▪ Of course, Raskin did not use a munitions metaphor.
▪ She was a caged bird, to use her own metaphor, that had to break free.
▪ Through metaphor and symbolism, Thoreau discusses the importance of nature.
▪ That is not a metaphor, it is the plain truth.
▪ The rule of thumb for making good use of a metaphor is to compare what is said with what is meant.
▪ There are more ways than one in which a metaphor can mislead.
▪ There are only so many metaphors any choreographer can come up with for anomie.
▪ Think of the torturous metaphors and similes that the readers would be spared.
▪ Various metaphors have illustrated this fact of spiritual life.
▪ We use this metaphor to characterize local authorities' responses to care programming.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

metaphor \met"a*phor`\ (m[e^]t"[.a]*f[^o]r` or m[e^]t"[.a]*f[~e]r), n. [F. m['e]taphore, L. metaphora, fr. Gr. metafora`, fr. metafe`rein to carry over, transfer; meta` beyond, over + fe`rein to bring, bear.] (Rhet.) 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.
--Abbott & Seeley. ``All the world's a stage.''

Note: The statement, ``that man is a fox,'' is a metaphor; but ``that man is like a fox,'' is a simile, similitude, or comparison.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 15c., from Middle French metaphore (Old French metafore, 13c.), and directly from Latin metaphora, from Greek metaphora "a transfer," especially of the sense of one word to a different word, literally "a carrying over," from metapherein "transfer, carry over; change, alter; to use a word in a strange sense," from meta- "over, across" (see meta-) + pherein "to carry, bear" (see infer).


n. 1 (context uncountable figure of speech English) 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. 2 (context countable rhetoric English) The word or phrase used in this way. An implied comparison. 3 (cx countable GUI English) The use of an everyday object or concept to represent an underlying facet of the computer and thus aid users in performing tasks.


n. 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

Metaphor (disambiguation)

Metaphor can mean:

  • Metaphor in literature and rhetoric, an analogy between two objects or ideas, conveyed by using a word instead of another word
  • Conceptual metaphor, metaphors in cognitive linguistics, understanding one idea or conceptual domain in terms of another
  • Interface metaphor, metaphors in computer science, for example an icon of a filing cabinet for "filestore"
  • "Metaphor", a song by In Flames from their album Reroute to Remain

A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect, to one thing by mentioning another thing. It may provide clarity or identify hidden similarities between two ideas. Where a simile compares two items, a metaphor directly equates them, and does not use "like" or "as" as does a simile. One of the most commonly cited examples of a metaphor in English literature is the " All the world's a stage" monologue from As You Like It:

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances[...]

— William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2/7

This quotation expresses a metaphor because the world is not literally a stage. By asserting that the world is a stage, Shakespeare uses points of comparison between the world and a stage to convey an understanding about the mechanics of the world and the behavior of the people within it.

The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1937) by I. A. Richards describes a metaphor as having two parts: the tenor and the vehicle. The tenor is the subject to which attributes are ascribed. The vehicle is the object whose attributes are borrowed. In the previous example, "the world" is compared to a stage, describing it with the attributes of "the stage"; "the world" is the tenor, and "a stage" is the vehicle; "men and women" is the secondary tenor, and "players" is the secondary vehicle.

Other writers employ the general terms ground and figure to denote the tenor and the vehicle. Cognitive linguistics uses the terms target and source respectively.

Metaphor (designers)

Metaphor is a London-based, global design firm that was founded in 2000 by Stephen Greenberg and Rachel Morris. Metaphor specialises in the re-presentation of museums, palaces, forts, landscapes and country houses through masterplanning and design. They work all over the world.

Over the last 50 years as museology has developed, so museum professionals have become more aware of the uses of design in making museum exhibits. Metaphor’s directors, who come out of architecture and novel writing, have developed new ways of seeing museums, breaking down the differences between exhibit and non-exhibit spaces and emphasising atmosphere, storylines and theatre. Also part of these new movements in museology is the way that Metaphor take a holistic view of museums, looking at everything from the big vision to the map in the visitors’ hands.

Metaphor’s projects illustrate these new movements.

Usage examples of "metaphor".

After all, if we coolly consider those arguments which have been bandied about, and retorted with such eagerness and acrimony in the house of commons, and divest them of those passionate tropes and declamatory metaphors which the spirit of opposition alone had produced, we shall find very little left for the subject of dispute, and sometimes be puzzled to discover any material source of disagreement.

As a metaphor, the window becomes the marker of authorial non-interference.

Seeking nothing, possessing nothing, lacking nothing, the One is perfect and, in our metaphor, has overflowed, and its exuberance has produced the new: this product has turned again to its begetter and been filled and has become its contemplator and so an Intellectual-Principle.

But for those women who share the fantasy - such as Cokie Roberts, apparently - gun control may provide a convenient and socially acceptable metaphor for an otherwise taboo act.

Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you-even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition.

In the metaphor of the triune brain, dreams are partially a function of the R-complex and the limbic cortex, but not of the rational part of the neocortex.

Actually Luken had been working on his metaphor for quite some time, having resigned himself to traveling along with these two.

For what is earth but cold and dry: a metaphor for the melancholic humor that prevails in these vampires.

Is it metaphor to say that the boy asked the servant to do this, or is it not rather pedantry to insist on the letter of a bond and deny its spirit, by denying that language passed, on the ground that the symbols covenanted upon and assented to by both were uttered and received by eyes and not by mouth and ears?

Sartre terms an alimentary philosophy, which presents consciousness as digesting contents, prefaces his own association of phenomenology with what might be called, by an extension of the metaphor, an emetic philosophy, which evacuates consciousness and throws it explosively into the world.

Frenesi and the Pisks had taken over what was left of the Death to the Pig Nihilist Film Kollective, based in Berkeley, a doomed attempt to live out the metaphor of movie camera as weapon.

United States where religious language has profound effects, and where those effects extend beyond believers, is in our choice of a unifying metaphor around which we can organize our lives and our behavior.

Even the quickest glance around the shelves of a Christian bookstore will make it unmistakably clear that the dominant unifying religious metaphor for the ordinary religious person is the Warrior.

First, can you identify a comparable unifying metaphor in your other language or languages?

Texture of Time, an investigation of its veily substance, with illustrative metaphors gradually increasing, very gradually building up a logical love story, going from past to present, blossoming as a concrete story, and just as gradually reversing analogies and disintegrating again into bland abstraction.