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Similes can be found just about anywhere; from the printed word to oral conversation; in language, literature, and music. A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things that are alike in some way. To help you identify a simile, know that the words “like” or “as” are typically used.
Well-known similes are:
- “cute as a kitten,” comparing the way someone looks to the way a kitten looks
- “as busy as a bee” comparing someone’s level of energy to a fast-flying bee
- "as snug as a bug in a rug" comparing someone who is very cozy to how comfortable a bug can be in a rug
- "as happy as a clam" comparing someone's happiness to the contentment of a clam
- "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." comparing the uncertainty of life to the uncertainty of choosing a chocolate from a box
- "as agile as a monkey" implying someone can move as well as a monkey does
- "as black as coal" comparing the color of something dark to the very-dark coal color
- "as blind as a bat" indicating that the person cannot see any better than a bat
Similes Add Depth to Language
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 examples of similes:
- My love is like a red, red rose.
- You were as brave as a lion.
- They fought like cats and dogs.
- He is as funny as a barrel of monkeys.
- This house is as clean as a whistle.
- He is as strong as an ox.
- Your explanation is as clear as mud.
- Watching the show was like watching grass grow.
- That is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.
- This contract is as solid as the ground we stand on.
- That guy is as nutty as a fruitcake.
- Don’t just sit there like a bump on a log.
- That went over like a lead balloon.
- They are as different as night and day.
- She is as thin as a toothpick.
- Last night, I slept like a log.
- This dress is perfect because it fits like a glove.
- They wore jeans, which made me stand out like a sore thumb.
- My love for you is a deep as the ocean.
- I am so thirsty, that my throat is as dry as a bone.
- As bold as brass
- As bright as a button
- As shiny as a new pin
- As cold as ice
- As common as dirt
- As cool as a cucumber
- As hard as nails
- As hot as hell
- As innocent as a lamp
- A large as life
- A light as a feather
- As tall as a giraffe
- As tough as nails
- As white as a ghost
- As sweet as sugar
- As sure as death and taxes
For more examples, check out Simile Examples for Kids.
The uses of similes can be confusing to people who are not fluent in a given language because they will interpret the words literally. Also, similes can change from region to region, and even among groups of people, like musicians or teenagers.
Language can change quickly, thanks to mass media and the Internet, so being fluent in a language is an ongoing process for everyone.