A simile is a figure of speech that compares two different things in an interesting way. The object of a simile is to spark an interesting connection in a reader's or listener's mind. A simile is one of the most common forms of figurative language. Similes can be found just about anywhere from poems to song lyrics and even in everyday conversations.
Similes and metaphors are often confused with one another. The main difference between a simile and metaphor is that a simile uses the words "like" or "as" to draw a comparison and a metaphor simply states the comparison without using "like" or "as". An example of a simile is: She is as innocent as an angel. An example of a metaphor is: She is an angel.
Similes are used in literature to make writing more vivid and powerful. In everyday speech they can be used to convey meaning quickly and effectively, as many commonly used expressions are similes. For example, when someone says “He is as busy as a bee,” it means he is working hard, as bees are known to be extremely busy. If someone says "I am as snug as a bug in a rug," they mean that they feel very comfortable and cozy or are tucked up tight in bed.
Some other well-known similes you will often hear are:
As with a lot of figurative language, when talking to someone from another region or who's not speaking in their native language they might not get the meaning of many similes.
Similes can make our language more descriptive and enjoyable. Writers, poets, and songwriters make use of similes often to add depth and emphasize what they are trying to convey to the reader or listener. Similes can be funny, serious, mean, or creative.
Following are some more examples of similes regularly used in writing:
Examples of similes can be seen in classic literature, such as in the poem "A Red, Red Rose" by Robert Burns:
O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.
Another example of a simile can be found in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo talks to Mercutio before the Capulets' party, he makes the following comparison about love:
"Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn."
Similes can often be found in song lyrics, as they let you convey deeper meaning with fewer words. For example:
You can even find similes in popular ads and company slogans such as:
Similes are a great tool to use in creative language and are fun to come up with. They not only make what you are writing or saying more interesting, but they can often intrigue the reader as well. When creating your own similes, watch out for cliches though and try to go beyond the obvious comparisons.