Teaching & Learning
The definition of a metaphor is "a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another (Ex.: the curtain of night, “all the world's a stage”)."
There are two types of metaphors:
a simile, where two unlike things are compared followed by a figurative example.
an analogy, where a literal comparison is made between two things.
Both types of metaphors typically use the word like or as followed by the comparison. If this is confusing, take a look at some of these metaphor examples to get a better understanding of exactly what a metaphor is.
Metaphor: Situation vs. the Real Thing
You may have often heard expressions such as “he drowned in a sea of grief” or “she is fishing in troubled waters,” or “success is a bastard as it has many fathers, and failure is an orphan, with no takers.” All these expressions have one thing in common: a situation is compared to a real thing, although the situation is not actually that particular thing.
Sea of grief - How and where does one come across a sea that is filled not with water, but with grief?
Fishing - It is not used to mean that the person is actually fishing; it is an expression which is used to signify that the person is looking for something that is difficult to obtain.
Success is a sense of achievement, it is not an illegitimate child! - The saying is used to reinforce the age-old belief that everyone wants to take credit for something that became a success, either by fluke or by conscious effort. On the other hand, no matter how much effort or creativity may have gone into an enterprise, the moment it is considered a failure, no one wants to take responsibility for it, much like an abandoned infant.
Broken heart - Your heart is not literally broken into pieces; you just feel hurt and sad....