- 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.
metaphor definition by Webster's New World
Origin: French métaphore ; from Classical Latin metaphora ; from Classical Greek ; from metapherein, to carry over ; from meta, over (see meta-) plush pherein, to bear
metaphor definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- 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: Middle 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.
- metˌa·phorˈic , metˌa·phorˈi·cal adjective
- metˌa·phorˈi·cal·ly adverb
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.
metaphor - Cultural Definition
The comparison of one thing to another without the use of like or as: “A man is but a weak reed”; “The road was a ribbon of moonlight.” Metaphors are common in literature and expansive speech. (Compare simile.)