A simile is a figure of speech that compares two different things in an interesting way using the word "like" or "as." The purpose 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. Simile examples can be found just about anywhere, from poems to song lyrics and even in everyday conversations.
Examples of Similes
Similes in Everyday Language
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. Many commonly used expressions (idioms) 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. Explore some phrases that represent examples of similes.
- as cute as a kitten
- as happy as a clam
- as bold as brass
- as bright as a button
- as shiny as a new pin
- as common as dirt
- as big as a house
- as hot as hell
- as innocent as a dove
- as thin as a rail
- as tough as nails
- as white as a ghost
- as sweet as sugar
- swims like a dolphin
- grows like a weed
- has a voice like a foghorn
- runs like the wind
- climbs like a monkey
- rain fell like teardrops
- love is like a rose
Similes Add Depth to Creative Writing
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 in a vivid way. Similes can be funny, serious, mean, or creative. Similes are often used in creative writing.
Following are some more examples of similes regularly used in writing:
- 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 quicksand.
- That guy is as nutty as a fruitcake.
- This cot is as comfortable as a bed of nails.
- Well, that went over like a lead balloon.
- They are as different as night and day.
- She is as thin as a rake.
- Last night, I slept like a baby.
- This dress is perfect because it fits like a glove.
- He could hear like an owl.
- My love for you is as deep as the ocean.
- I am so thirsty that my throat is as dry as the Sahara desert.
- The dancer moved like a gazelle.
Similes in Classic Literature
Examples of similes can be seen in classic literature, including poems and plays.
A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns
In "A Red, Red Rose," poet Robert Burns says that love is "like a red, red rose" and that it is "like the melodie."
"O my Luve is like a red, red rose / That's newly sprung in June; / O my Luve is like the melodie / That's sweetly played in tune."
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Another example of a simile can be found in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo talks to Mercutio before the Capulets' party, he talks about the pain of love, saying that it "pricks like thorn."
"Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, / too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn."
Similes in Song Lyrics
Similes can often be found in song lyrics, as they let you convey deeper meaning with fewer words.
- "My heart is like an open highway" - It's My Life, Bon Jovi
- "It's been a hard days night/ And I've been working like a dog" - A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles
- "And it seems to me you lived your life/ Like a candle in the wind" - Candle in the Wind, Elton John
- "You're as cold as ice." - Cold As Ice, Foreigner
- "Steady as a preacher/ Free as a weed" - American Honey, Lady A
Similes in Advertising Slogans
Similes have often been used in popular ads and catchy company slogans over the years. Explore a few classic favorites.
- Chevrolet trucks - "Like a rock"
- Doritos snack chips - "Tastes like awesome feels"
- State Farm insurance - "Like a good neighbor"
- Almond Joy/Mounds candy - "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."
- Honda cars - "The Honda's ride is as smooth as a gazelle in the Sahara. Its comfort is like a hug from Nana."
Metaphor vs. Simile Examples
Similes and metaphors are often confused with one another. The main difference between a simile and a 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.
Do you see the difference? The simile makes a direct comparison, the metaphor's comparison is implied but not stated.
Get Creative With Similes
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 and try to go beyond the obvious comparisons.
As with a lot of figurative expressions, it's best to avoid similes when writing to an audience that may include people for whom English is not their native language. They might not understand the meaning of many similes since they don't translate literally. For a long list of common similes, check out the easy-to-remember examples at simile examples for kids. Then, explore great examples of similes used to good effect in poems. When you've finished your simile education, explore other uses for like and as.