from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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 "All the world's a stage” ( Shakespeare).
- n. One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol: "Hollywood has always been an irresistible, prefabricated metaphor for the crass, the materialistic, the shallow, and the craven” ( Neal Gabler).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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.
- n. The word or phrase used in this way. An implied comparison.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The transference of the relation between one set of objects to another set for the purpose of brief explanation; a compressed simile; e. g., the ship plows the sea.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A figure of speech by which, from some supposed resemblance or analogy, a name, an attribute, or an action belonging to or characteristic of one object is assigned to another to which it is not literally applicable; the figurative transfer of a descriptive or affirmative word or phrase from one thing to another; implied comparison by transference of terms: as, the ship spread its wings to the breeze; “Judah is a lion's whelp,” Gen. xlix. 9.
- n. Synonyms Comparison, Allegory.etc. See simile.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
Middle English methaphor, from Old French metaphore, from Latin metaphora, from Greek, transference, metaphor, from metapherein, to transfer : meta-, meta- + pherein, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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") (Wiktionary)