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Figures of Speech —
the Simile


the SimileA simile, from the Latin word meaning "like," is an expressed comparison between unlike things having some characteristic in common.

We compare something known, and introduce it by such words as as, like, so, and the comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs. The simile differs from the literal comparison in that the literal comparison is between things of the same class, while in the simile we compare things of different classes that have one aspect of similarity.

Not all expressed comparisons, however, are similes. "The horse ran as fast as the car" is simply a comparison with no suggestion of figurative resemblance. Each of the sentences given below is a simile.

EX.— My heart is racing like a frightened rabbit.
EX.— Watching that movie was like watching paint dry.
EX.— This sauce is as hot as the sun.
EX.— The air was as cold as the inside of a freezer.
EX.— As cute as a kitten
EX.— As agile as a monkey
EX.— As bright as a button

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