Metaphor definition

mĕtə-fôr, -fər
Frequency:
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.
noun
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One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol.
noun
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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”)
noun
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The derivation of metaphor means "to carry over." For example, the "desktop metaphor" means that the office desktop has been simulated on computers. See paradigm.
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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.

noun
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(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.
noun
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(countable, rhetoric) The word or phrase used in this way. An implied comparison.
noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
metaphor
Plural:
metaphors

Origin of metaphor

  • Middle English methaphor from Old French metaphore from Latin metaphora from Greek transference, metaphor from metapherein to transfer meta- meta- pherein to carry bher-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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")

    From Wiktionary