Metaphor | Metaphor Meaning, Definition, Examples


Metaphor | Metaphor Meaning, Definition, Examples

Metaphor Metaphor Meaning, Definition, Examples

Metaphor |Metaphor Meaning, Definition, Examples

Metaphor | Metaphor Meaning, Definition, Examples

The word ‘Metaphor’ comes from the Greek word ‘meta’ which means ‘change’ and ‘phero’ which means ‘I bear’. Therefore metaphor means the transfer of significance from one object to another in such a manner that comparison is implied though not explicitly stated. For example,

‘The camel is the ship of the desert.’

Here the metaphor consists of the implied similarity between the camel and the ship. The camel crosses the desert in the same manner as the ship crosses the sea. The similarity lies in the manner of moving ahead.

In other words, to say, a metaphor states that one thing is another thing. Here, in the above example, the camel is said to be a ship (another thing).

A metaphor may take the form of a noun, an adjective, and a verb. Example,

(a) Metaphor as Noun

  1. The wish is the ‘father’ to the thought.
  2. Life seems to be an utterly unimportant ‘by-product’. -Jeans
  3. Raja is in the ‘sunset’ of his days.
  4. The Lord is my‘ rock’ and my ‘fortress’.
  5. I have not a ‘shade’ of doubt about you.
  6. Sir Philip Sidney was the ‘flower’ of Knighthood.
  7. William Pitt was the ‘pillar’ of the state.
  8. Ram has no ‘ray’ of hope.
  9. The Vedas kindled the ‘light’ of knowledge in my heart.
  10. Life is a walking ‘shadow’, a poor ‘player’

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more; it is a ‘tale’

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing. –Shakespeare

(b) Metaphor as Verb

  1. His efforts were crowned with success.
  2. Hari ‘cultivated’ his neighbor’s acquaintance.
  3. We must learn to ‘bridle’ our passion.
  4. I will ‘drink’ life to the lees.
  5. I have ‘harboured’ no malice against him.
  6. A new thought suddenly ‘struck’ him.
  7. He‘swam’bravely against the stream of popular applause.
  8. Sita has ‘caught’ a bad cold.
  9. The city was ‘stormed’ after a long seizure.

(c) Metaphor as Adjective

  1. Radhika grabbed the‘ golden’ opportunity.
  2. Seema has a ‘stony’ heart.
  3. That was a ‘transparent’ falsehood.
  4. Lady Macbeth was a woman of ‘iron’ firmness.
  5. That was a ‘lame’ excuse.

There is both similarity and distinction between simile and metaphor. The similarity lies in the comparison but the distinction lies in the manner of comparison. In a simile, the manner of comparison is clearly stated by using words as ‘like, as, so’ etc. but in a metaphor, the comparison is not clearly stated; it is only implied. For example,

Your news hurts my heart in the manner as a dagger hurts a heart. (simile)

Your news is a dagger to my heart. (metaphor)

Note well that every simile can be compressed into a metaphor and every metaphor can be expanded into a simile. Example,

  1.  Afghanistan is the Switzerland of Asia. (metaphor)

Afghanistan is a mountainous country in Asia as Switzerland is in Europe. (simile)

  1.  The waves ‘thundered’ on the shore. (metaphor)

As the thunder produces a loud defeaning sound so the sea waves hitting on the shore produce a defeaning loud sound. (simile)

  1.  Kalidas is the Shakespeare of India.   (metaphor)

Kalidas is the greatest dramatist of India as Shakespeare is of England. (simile)

  1.  Variety is the ‘spice’ of life. (metaphor)

As spice flavours food so variety makes life pleasant. 0 0 0.

N. B. This article ‘Rhetoric | Rhetoric Meaning, Definition, Illustration’ originally belongs to the bookThe Rhetoricby Menonim Menonimus.


Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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