• WordNet 3.6
    • n simile a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as')
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Fac-Simile of Sketch Fac-Simile of Sketch

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Simile (Rhet) A word or phrase by which anything is likened, in one or more of its aspects, to something else; a similitude; a poetical or imaginative comparison. "A good swift simile , but something currish."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n simile In rhetoric, the comparing or likening of two things having some strong point or points of resemblance, both of which are mentioned and the comparison directly stated; a poetic or imaginative comparison; also, the verbal expression or embodiment of such a comparison.
    • n simile Synonyms Simile, Metaphor, Comparision, Allegory, Parable, Fable, similitude, trope. The first six words agree in implying or expressing likeness between a main person or thing and a subordinate one. Simile is a statement of the likeness in literal terms: as, man is like grass; Herod is like a fox. Metaphor taxes the imagination by saying that the first object is the second, or by speaking as though it were; as, “All flesh is grass,” Isa, xl. 6; “Go ye and tell that fox,” Luke xiii. 32. There are various combinations of simile and metaphor: as, “We all do fade as a leaf,” Isa. lxiv. 6;
    • n simile In these the metaphor precedes; in the following the simile is in the middle of the metaphor: “These metaphysic rights, entering into common life, like rays of light which pierce into a dense medium, are, by the laws of Nature, refracted from their straight line.” (Burke, Rev. in France.) In the same way the simile may come first. A comparison differs from a simile essentially in that the former fixes attention upon the subordinate object, while a simile fixes it upon the main one: thus, one verse of Shelley's “Ode to the Skylark“begins by saying that the skylark is like a poet, whose circumstances are thereupon detailed. Generally, on this account, the comparision is longer than the simile. The allegory personifies abstract things, usually at some length. A short allegory is Ps. Ixxx. 8–16. Spenser's “Faery Queene” is a series of allegories upon the virtues, and Bunyan's “Pilgrim's Progress” allegorizes Christian experiences. These are acknowledged to be the most perfect allegories in literature. The allegory is an extended simile, with the first object in the simile carefully left unmentioned. A parable is a story that is or might be true, and is used generally to teach some moral or religious truth: as. the three parables of God's great love for the sinner in luke xv. Socrates's story of the sailors who chose their steersman by lot, as suggesting the folly of a similar course in choosing the helmsman of the state, is a fine example of the parable of civil life. A fable differs from a parable in being improbable or impossible as fact, as in making trees choose a king, beasts talk, or frogs pray to Jupiter; it generally is short, and points a homely moral. See the definitions of apologue and trope.
    • simile In music, in the same manner; similarly. Compare sempre.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Simile sim′i-le something similar: similitude:
    • v.i Simile to use similitudes
    • n Simile sim′i-le (rhet.) a comparison to illustrate anything
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  • Matthew Prior
    “In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., from similis,. See Similar
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L., neut. of similis, like.


In literature:

P. S. Suppose you mended my Letter, and made a Simile about the Porcupine, but I submit that also.
"The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3" by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele
Kate was getting hold of certain significant similes.
"The Precipice" by Elia Wilkinson Peattie
In native poetry, it furnishes a simile for pretty eyes, and is held to be sacred to Vishnu.
"Flowers and Flower-Gardens" by David Lester Richardson
Direct statement, and even the higher speech of simile, fail to describe the Great Canon and the emotion which it produces.
"Overland" by John William De Forest
Yet the simile is at fault here: my father's heart was never a stone, but tender and true and constant ever, even if locked away.
"Miriam Monfort" by Catherine A. Warfield
The fishing simile so commonly used in the winning of men over to one's side is a peculiarly attractive, a matchless simile.
"Quiet Talks on Service" by S. D. Gordon
Her simile had struck him like a lash.
"The Air Trust" by George Allan England
Dante is copious in similes.
"Essays Æsthetical" by George Calvert
It is often said that "death is the end of a journey," but the aptness of the simile is realized most fully in Paris.
"Poor Relations" by Honore de Balzac
That is a good simile, except that I could not move.
"The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories" by Arnold Bennett

In poetry:

Sending a thrill that hurries me along
In faulty similes of childish skips,
Enthused with lithe contortions of a song
Performing on my lips.
"A Country Pathway" by James Whitcomb Riley
"If a simile ever you need,
You are welcome to make a wasp do;
But you ne'er should mix fiction indeed
With things that are serious and true."
"Wasps In A Garden" by Charles Lamb
"'To sing among the poets—we are nought:
We cannot drop a line into that sea
And read its fathoms off, nor gauge a thought,
Nor map a simile.
"Honours -- Part I" by Jean Ingelow
Never compel a simile that wont
Take service without forcing; if it don t,
As of itself, into your verses flow,
But true to liberty—and let it go.
"The Nevers of Poetry" by Charles Harpur
With similes of common things,
The lilies of the field, the salt
Which lost its savour; gently brings
A lesson, from the common fault
Of self-admiring Pharisee,
Of ostentatious piety.
"Echoes From Galilee." by Alfred Castner King
Are just a case of "penny in the slot."
You should reflect that no evasive bird
Is half so shy as is your fittest word;
And even similes, however wrought,
Like hares, before you cook them, must be caught;--
"The Friend Of Humanity And The Rhymer" by Henry Austin Dobson

In news:

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you often see in print.
Omewhere, in this sea of similes and long head-scratching sentences, is a simple story.
I'm not exactly sure what it is, but there's something about satirist George Saunders that sends the New York Times into grotesque fits of hysterical simile disease.
As a longtime writer of not only grammatically viable sentences but also the occasional full-length paragraph, I'm often asked about the proper role of similes in today's challenging writing environment.
Failed similes proliferated throughout the afternoon.
But we can start with the ruins of our similes , and let "like" move us toward something larger, some understanding of what "is.".
Wise words pour forth from Chris Smither — observations and aphorisms, similes and internal rhymes, run-on sentences and concise quips, all in a conversational flow.
Suddenly "God" is everywhere, as ubiquitous as American flags, spreading — as Dan Rather said in a spasm of simile-rapture to describe rumors following the Sept 11 attacks — "like mildew in a damp basement.".
Aren't clichés actually dead metaphors or similes.
Believe it or not, the following is a list of similes and metaphors used in essays by high school students in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Hip-hop rhymes and similes replace iambic pentameter in this Shakespeare 'ad-rap-tation'.
How does this simile describe the work of the code talkers .
Music teacher Genein Letford teaches students about similes to the beat of Duke Ellington using story, jazz solos, and improvisations.
She passed around "language therapy " to teachers that purportedly was the product of the nation's speech therapists collecting their "best similes" from clients, including.
Therapist 's similes deliver smiles.

In science:

In conclusion, slot 4 is conflict-free. A simil ar argument shows that slot 3 is conflict-free as well.
Online Permutation Routing in Partitioned Optical Passive Star Networks
Finally, a constrained t emplate was assumed, corresponding to the quantum efficiency (QE) curve of a CCD simil ar to the NEAT CCD used at Palomar but with a UV-sensitive fluorescent coating.
Rates and Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae
This method assumes that all selected lines of the intensity spectrum have a profile of simil ar shape.
Characterisation of the magnetic field of the Herbig Be star HD 200775
X-ray emission thus appears directly correlated with the optical line-pro file variations, a situation very simil ar to that observed for θ1 Ori C (Gagn ´e et al., 2005; Naz ´e et al., 2008b).
New findings on the prototypical Of?p stars
For the spin degenerate two-state quantum Hall system, the numerical similation suggests that there are three extended states .
Complex random matrix models with possible applications to spin- impurity scattering in quantum Hall fluids