- The definition of a metaphor is a word or phrase used to compare two unlike objects, ideas, thoughts or feelings to provide a clearer description.
An example of a metaphor is calling the dependable father a rock.
Origin of metaphorFrench métaphore ; from Classical Latin metaphora ; from Classical Greek ; from metapherein, to carry over ; from meta, over (see meta-) + pherein, to bear
- A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in “a sea of troubles” or “All the world's a stage” (Shakespeare).
- One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol: “Hollywood has always been an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the crass, the materialistic, the shallow, and the craven” (Neal Gabler).
Origin of metaphorMiddle English methaphor, from Old French metaphore, from Latin metaphora, from Greek, transference, metaphor, from metapherein, to transfer : meta-, meta- + pherein, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
- met′a·phor′ic , met′a·phor′i·cal
(countable and uncountable, plural metaphors)
- (uncountable, rhetoric) 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.
- What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and; anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins. — Friedrich Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense, 1870, translated by Daniel Beazeale, 1979.
- (countable, rhetoric) The word or phrase used in this way. An implied comparison.
From Latin metaphora, from Ancient Greek μεταφορά (metaphora), from μεταφέρω (metapherō, “I transfer, apply”), from μετά (meta, “with, across, after”) + φέρω (pherō, “I bear, carry”)
metaphor - Computer Definition
The derivation of metaphor means "to carry over." Thus the "desktop metaphor" as so often described means that the office desktop has been brought over and simulated on computers.