Simile - Explore Meaning, Definition, Usage and Examples

Are you as busy as a bee? Do you have a few minutes to spare? If you do, here is something you can learn that will help you make your language look and sound a lot more interesting than it already is. In this article, you will be introduced to a figure of speech called simile, its meaning, definition and how to use them effectively. There are also a number of examples given that you can make use of in your own writing or speech.

Table of Contents

What is a Simile? – Meaning and Definition

A simile is a figure of speech that is mainly used to compare two or more things that possess a similar quality. It uses words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’ to make the comparison.

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, a simile is defined as “a word or phrase that compares something to something else, using the words like or as.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines a simile as “an expression comparing one thing with another, always including the words as or like”. “A simile is an expression which describes a person or thing as being similar to someone or something else”, according to the Collins Dictionary. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a simile as “a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as.”

How to Use a Simile in a Sentence?

A simile is generally used in a sentence to make comparisons between two or more nouns and this is done with the use of words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’. The general idea of using a simile with the word ‘as’ is by using a noun that is known for a particular quality. For example: as proud as a peacock, as busy as a bee and so on. A simile is a direct comparison of two like or unlike things. A simile helps your reader or listener visualise, understand and have a better conception of the quality of the nouns being compared. It makes it a lot more vivid and descriptive. In other words, it can be said that similes can be used to provide a mental image to your reader or listener.

Examples of Similes

Here is a list of similes to help you understand how similes are formed and how they can be used in sentences.

Similes using ‘as’

  • As slow as a sloth
  • As busy as a bee
  • As innocent as a lamb
  • As proud as a peacock
  • As fast as a cheetah
  • As blind as a bat
  • As bold as brass
  • As cold as ice
  • As white as a ghost
  • As tall as a giraffe
  • As sweet as sugar
  • As strong as an ox
  • As old as the hills
  • As cool as a cucumber
  • As clear as a crystal
  • As tough as leather
  • As good as gold
  • As light as a feather
  • As thin as a rake
  • As deep as the ocean
  • As cunning as a fox
  • As clean as a whistle
  • As sharp as a razor
  • As gentle as a lamb
  • As bright as the moon

Similes using ‘like’

  • Jumps like a frog
  • Sings like a cuckoo
  • Runs like the wind
  • Nocturnal like an owl
  • Have eyes like a hawk
  • Runs like a horse
  • Swim like a fish
  • Climbs like a monkey
  • Sleeps like a baby
  • Fighting like cats and dogs
  • Fall like teardrops
  • Eat like a pig
  • Like a box of chocolates
  • Slept like a log
  • Chatters like a monkey
  • Move like a snail
  • Fit like a glove

Check Your Understanding of Similes

Identify the similes in the following sentences.

1. My love is like a red rose.

2. My brother and I fight like cats and dogs all the time.

3. Iniyan is always as busy as a bee.

4. My cousin chatters like a monkey.

5. Kitty is as proud as a peacock.

6. Sruthy works like a sloth.

7. My dog, Shadow, eats like a pig after I take him for a walk.

8. Stephen slept like a baby after working for ten long hours.

9. My father has eyes like a hawk. He finds out even the minutest of things.

10. Bob is as cunning as a fox.

Check your answers from the sentences given below.

1. My love is like a red rose.

2. My brother and I fight like cats and dogs all the time.

3. Iniyan is always as busy as a bee.

4. My cousin chatters like a monkey.

5. Kitty is as proud as a peacock.

6. Sruthy works like a sloth.

7. My dog, Shadow, eats like a pig after I take him for a walk.

8. Stephen slept like a baby after working for ten long hours.

9. My father has eyes like a hawk. He finds out even the minutest of things.

10. Bob is as cunning as a fox.

Frequently Asked Questions on Similes in English Grammar

What is a simile?

A simile is a figure of speech that is mainly used to compare two or more things that possess a similar quality. It uses words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’ to make the comparison.

What is the definition of a simile?

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, a simile is defined as “a word or phrase that compares something to something else, using the words like or as.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines a simile as “an expression comparing one thing with another, always including the words as or like”. “A simile is an expression which describes a person or thing as being similar to someone or something else”, according to the Collins Dictionary. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a simile as “a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as.”

Why should you use a simile in a sentence?

A simile is a direct comparison of two like or unlike things. A simile helps your reader or listener visualise, understand and have a better conception of the quality of the nouns being compared. It makes it a lot more vivid and descriptive. In other words, it can be said that similes can be used to provide a mental image to your reader or listener.

Give some examples of similes using ‘as’.

Here are a few examples of similes formed using ‘as’.

  • As tall as a giraffe
  • As sweet as sugar
  • As strong as an ox
  • As old as the hills
  • As cool as a cucumber

Give some examples of similes using ‘like’.

Here are a few examples of similes formed using ‘like’

  • Nocturnal like an owl
  • Have eyes like a hawk
  • Eat like a pig
  • Like a box of chocolates
  • Chatters like a monkey

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