Simile | 7 examples in literature| Simile V. Metaphor|

‘Simile’ is a direct comparison make between items of different classes. It is a figure of speech in which two dissimilar concepts are compared with each other by using ‘like’, ‘so’ or ‘as’. Here the readers will find about simile and examples of simile.


Originated from the Latin word ‘similus’ which means like or likeness.


‘Simile’ is a direct comparison make between items of different classes. It is a figure of speech in which two dissimilar concepts are compared with each other by using ‘like’, ‘so’ or ‘as’. It is used to explain some relation of one thing with something other essentially different.

This literary device is generally expressed by words as ‘like’ or ‘as’ but this does not mean that every sentence in which these words are used, the simile is present there. For example, when we say, “My goat is like yours” or “She is as intelligent as her sister”, there is no simile here. However, when one says “My horse runs like the speed of electricity” or “She is as beautiful as the flower”, the simile is present there.

In a sentence, ‘Simile’ is used for clearance and explanation of actions between two things. Writers use ‘simile’ in their writings in order to create rhetorical and poetical effect. It allows the readers to relate the feelings of a writer to their personal experiences. It also helps the readers to better understand the subject matter before them.

Importance of Simile:

• It makes the language vivid and descriptive.
• Writers use ‘simile’ in order to convey the depth meaning of what they want to share with the audience.
• Simile can be comic, serious or creative.
• It helps to create imagination and develops interest of the readers in a subject matter.
• It develops rhythm and lifelike quality in our daily communication.

Types of Simile:

‘Simile’ has two kinds, simple and Homeric.

Simple :

In ‘simple simile’ the comparison between the two things is made in a succinct way by using ‘likeness’ and detailed description of a thing is avoided.


He is as fat as an elephant

Here the comparison of weight between the two different entities has been made.

He fought like a lion in the wrestling match.

‘fought’ and ‘lion’ although two different aspects but bravery in these two things are similar object.

This news spread like a fire in the city.

Here the ‘news’ has been compared with ‘fire’. News spread so speedy as the fire spread.

Her eyes are blue like a sea

Here the similarity between the eye’s colour and colour of sea water has been described.

My new gloves fit like a shoe.

The ‘gloves’ and ‘shoe’ are two different entities. Here the similarity of shape and size of both these two things has been described.

The body of John is as solid as a hill.

Here the ‘body’ has been comparison with the hill, which too is solid.

Her cheeks are red like a watermelon.

“Cheeks’’ and ‘’Watermelon’’ are two different things. The colour of cheeks has been described with the colour of water melon.


It is called the developed simile. This type is influenced by the classical epics of Homer and Virgil, where the likeness is described in a descriptive form.

Examples of Homeric Simile:

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As one pursued with yell and blow
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

“Sohrab and Rustam” by Arnold

Like some young cypress, tall and dark, and straight,
Which in a queen’s secluded garden throws
Its slight dark shadow on the moonlit turf,
By midnight, to a bubbling fountains sound
So slender Sohrab seemed, so softly reared.

Use of Simile in Everyday Speech:

  1. Her simile is like a sun
  2. She walks like a deer
  3. This child is as sweet as sugar
  4. John is as cunning as fox
  5. His hands are as cold as ice
  6. Life is like a bed of thrones
  7. Last night, I slept like a log
  8. They fought like dogs and cats

Examples in Literature:

Simile is vividly used in literature. Poets and writers use simile to create a humorous effect. It has deep meaning through which the reader can understands the actual meaning what the writer wants to share.

Example No.1: George Orwell’s novel

He sat as still as a mouse, in the futile hope that whoever it was might go away after single attempt. But no, the knocking was repeated. The Words thing of all would be to delay. His heart was thumping like a drum, but his face, from long habit, was probably expressionless.

Here in the above passage, the underline words are shown the use of simile.

Example No.2: Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

“is love a tender thing?
It is too rough, too rude,
too boisterous, and it pricks the thorn.”

Romeo talks to Mercutio before the Capulet’s party, he makes the comparison about the love.

Example No.3: Lord Jim By Joseph Conrad

“ I would have given anything for the power to soothe
Her frail soul, tormenting itself in its invincible
Ignorance like a small bird beating about the cruel wires of a cage.”

The helplessness of the soul is being compared with the bird in a cage.

Example No.4: Othello by Shakespeare

Othello: She was false as water.
Emilia: Thou are rash as fire,

In the above two lines reflect the character of a person.

Example No.5: Daffodils by Wordsworth

“I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats’ on high over vales and hill’s,

Here the writer wants to show him a free cloud. Actually, the writer share his loneliness to the readers.

Example No.6: Will There Really Be a Morning? By Emily Dickinson

“Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?
Has it feet like water-lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries”.

Here the underline words are examples of simile which have been used to show the comparison between the two things.

Example No. 7: A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in june;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

Here the beauty writer describes the beauty of his beloved by comparing her to red rose, melody, tune etc.

Simile Vs. Metaphor

The two literary terms are closely associated with each other but have different functions. Both the literary terms are used for comparison. Here the examples will show the difference between these two terms.

‘Simile’ is the comparison between two things indirectly through connecting words ‘like’ and ‘as’. It is used to show quality of something by indirectly comparing one thing to other.

‘Metaphor’ is a literary device which is used for direct comparison between the two things. For example, ‘He is a night owl’ and “She is a shining Star’.

Further Reading

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