• WordNet 3.6
    • n metaphor 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
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n metaphor mĕt"ȧ*fôr` or mĕt"ȧ*fẽr (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.☞ The statement, “that man is a fox,” is a metaphor; but “that man is like a fox,” is a simile, similitude, or comparison.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n metaphor A figure of speech by which, from some supposed resemblance or analogy, a name, an attribute, or an action belonging to or characteristic of one object is assigned to another to which it is not literally applicable; the figurative transfer of a descriptive or affirmative word or phrase from one thing to another; implied comparison by transference of terms: as, the ship spread its wings to the breeze; “Judah is a lion's whelp,” Gen. xlix. 9. If Jacob had said, “is like or resembles a lion's whelp,'' the expression would have been a simile instead of a metaphor. A simple metaphor is contained in a single word or phrase, like those in italics above; a continued metaphor is one in which the figurative description or characterization is maintained throughout a variety of phrases or applications. See simile and trope.
    • n metaphor Synonyms Comparison, Allegory.etc. See simile.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Metaphor met′a-fur a transference of meaning, the putting of one thing for another which it only resembles, as when words are said to be bitter: an implicit simile
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  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.”
  • Robert Frost
    “An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor.”
  • Paul De Man
    Paul De Man
    “Metaphors are much more tenacious than facts.”
  • Georg C. Lichtenberg
    “A good metaphor is something even the police should keep an eye on.”
  • Diane Ackerman
    Diane Ackerman
    “A poem records emotions and moods that lie beyond normal language, that can only be patched together and hinted at metaphorically.”
  • Timothy Leary
    Timothy Leary
    “Science is all metaphor.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. métaphore, L. metaphora, fr. Gr. metafora`, fr. metafe`rein to carry over, transfer; meta` beyond, over + fe`rein to bring, bear
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—Gr. metaphorametaphereinmeta, over, pherein, to carry.


In literature:

There is clearly a metaphor here, both in the word 'access' and in that other one 'stand.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)" by Alexander Maclaren
They seemed metaphorically to defy all Europe and America.
"The Siege of Kimberley" by T. Phelan
Metaphors too, though poetic and fine, are not individualized.
"The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and Modern Times" by Alfred Biese
A METAPHOR is founded on the resemblance which one object bears to another; or, it is a comparison in an abridged form.
"English Grammar in Familiar Lectures" by Samuel Kirkham
On the metaphorical stage of life the complaint and the implied demand are just the reverse.
"Prose Fancies (Second Series)" by Richard Le Gallienne
So it is, and I do not claim to discuss otherwise than by metaphor.
"Tragic Sense Of Life" by Miguel de Unamuno
The metaphorical use is common in Cicero; cf.
"Cato Maior de Senectute" by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Except for purposes of rhetoric the metaphor that seemed so clever fails.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece" by John Addington Symonds
The only function those traditional metaphors have is to shield confusion and sentimentality.
"The Life of Reason" by George Santayana
No longer might we coin the woodland into metaphors of our own joys and sorrows.
"Prose Fancies" by Richard Le Gallienne
That book is chiefly prophetic; and therefore expressed in the metaphors of prophetic style.
"Sermons on Various Important Subjects" by Andrew Lee
The ruler of a country steers the ship of state, but he is a pilot only metaphorically.
"Recent Developments in European Thought" by Various
These metaphors suggest that the doctrine of transmigration or reincarnation does not promise what we call personal immortality.
"Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3)" by Charles Eliot
As a matter of fact, he was simply jealous of my brilliant metaphor!
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
This seems to some of us a literal-minded, Western way of interpreting an Oriental metaphor.
"Crowds" by Gerald Stanley Lee
Such as our limits are, we can express them only in metaphors.
"The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3" by Various
Lucidity and brilliancy are assigned to him, not (as it would seem) in a mere metaphorical sense.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 3. (of 7): Media" by George Rawlinson
A metaphor, no matter how consistently carried out, explains nothing.
"Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1" by Various
Sin is called the father of the gods, but in a metaphorical rather than in a real sense.
"The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria" by Morris Jastrow
Let us discard this metaphor, which may lead to illusion.
"The Mind and the Brain" by Alfred Binet

In poetry:

The wanton lover in a curious strain
Can praise his fairest fair;
And with quaint metaphors her curl'd hair
Curl o'er again:
"Dulnesse" by George Herbert
For metaphors of man we search the skies,
And find our allegory in all the air.
We gaze on Nature with Narcissus-eyes,
Enamour'd of our shadow everywhere.
"Epigrams" by William Watson
And when the atmosphere was in a whirl,
And language metaphorical ran riot,
He’d calmly tender sixpence to the girl,
And drink his poison—solus—nice and quiet.
"Jimmy Wood" by Barcroft Henry Boake
Ay, note that Potter's wheel,
That metaphor! and feel
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,—
Thou, to whom fools propound,
When the wine makes its round,
"Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day!"
"Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning
TANS. He speaks in similitude or metaphor; as you would say, cruel was
one who did not allow a full enjoyment, and who lives more in the desire
than in possession, and who, partially possessing, is not content, but
desires, faints, and dies.
"The Heroic Enthusiasts - Part The First =Fourth Dialogue.=" by Giordano Bruno
Friendship, when a friend meant a helping sword,
Faithfulness, when power and life were its fruits, hatred, when
the hated
Held steel at your throat or had killed your children, were more
than metaphors.
Life and the world were as bright as knives.
"No Resurrection" by Robinson Jeffers

In news:

The metaphorical Mr and Mrs Watanabe account for around 30% of the foreign-exchange market in Tokyo by value and volume of transactions, according to currency traders, double the share of a year ago.
The opening of Capital Repertory Theatre's Superior Donuts is the perfect metaphor for the state America is in today.
All the vampire metaphors in the world aren't making vampire power consumption less of a problem.
At Saturday night's anti-bullying and suicide awareness event, Darrin Bidwell didn't bring a prepared speech, but he had a powerful metaphor.
Marketers can sell anything, it seems, even metaphors.
The hit list of metaphors from Microsoft Researcher Bill Buxton.
A trove of early ceramics shows the mindset of ancient humans: More metaphor, less blood.
A city, a walk, a metaphor.
Ana Asensio as one of the metaphors.
I am always noticing metaphors, symbols, patterns.
Book series a metaphor for family's experience.
A city, a walk, a metaphor .
Heading the metaphor off at the pass.
Let's take a look at the metaphorical complexity of "fiscal cliff" and how the metaphors that comprise it fit together.
Leadership metaphors are often parables that narrate, illustrate and teach a lesson.

In science:

The unpredictable opening and closing of books, and random nature of production and degradation in our metaphorical cities, are inevitable consequences of the random dynamics in cells: in biology, these processes all involve chance collisions and rearrangements of molecules within the chaotic interiors of cells.
The chaos within: exploring noise in cellular biology
In the metaphor in the main text, this process is represented by the opening of library books which are interpreted to produce blueprints, which are distributed and assembled to produce machinery. B.
The chaos within: exploring noise in cellular biology
Contrary to Bayesian claims, these error probabilities have nothing to do with the temporal or the physical dimension of the long-run metaphor associated with repeated samples.
Why the Decision Theoretic Perspective Misrepresents Frequentist Inference: 'Nuts and Bolts' vs. Learning from Data
The reason for this metaphor will be explained in time.
Possible Implications of the Quantum Theory of Gravity
It is now possible to explain the metaphor I have chosen in the title meduso-anthropic.
Possible Implications of the Quantum Theory of Gravity
In russian, this word means companion, but it is also a metaphor for a pioneering, outstanding achievement.
Classical Chaos and its Quantum Manifestations
Pursuing this metaphor, the aim of resummations, as illustrated by (3), is to extend these analyses into a region where the different pictures, in terms of different degrees of freedom overlap.
Summary: Working Group on QCD and Strong Interactions
That the corresponding mathematical inverse problem had a solution, provided (speaking metaphorically) that the quantum state has been probed from a sufficiently rich set of directions, had also been known for many years.
An invitation to quantum tomography
Metzler (Eds.), Complexity, Metaphors, Models and Reality, Addison-Wesley, Santa Fe 1994.
Around the gap between sociophysics and sociology
Just as the 1/Nc approximation helped explain why the valence-quark approximation could be taken seriously, we may find that even limited results point to new metaphors and new analysis tools for the real quantum chromodynamics.
Theoretical Perspectives: XLIII Rencontres de Moriond - QCD
Let us begin with the Prisoner ’s Dilemma, which has a long tradition as a mathematical metaphor to analyze the problem of cooperation [4, 5].
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics
Metaphorically speaking: The negative energy states in H− are “rotated” by the interaction term −iα · ~A + A0 of the Dirac Hamiltonian H A and develop components in the positive energy subspace H+ as soon as the field acts.
Time Evolution of the External Field Problem in QED
We respect the metaphor here since it brings us the very interesting property of handling the dynamics.
Different goals in multiscale simulations and how to reach them
The meta-theological metaphor is pursued by Luhmann by grounding his theory on the operation of the distinction (that is, on a paradox).
Luhmann's Communication-Theoretical Specification of the 'Genomena' of Husserl's Phenomenology
Three sources of uncertainty can no longer be envisaged within a single metaphor.
Luhmann's Communication-Theoretical Specification of the 'Genomena' of Husserl's Phenomenology