This interesting article is on 100 metaphor examples and it’s helpful if you share with your children because there will learn alot and it will help them especially in secondary School. Just take your time read the article with understanding and read to the end because it will be helpful at last.
Metaphors, the language’s hidden gems, have the power to turn ordinary expressions into captivating imagery. In this guide, we delve into the realm of simple metaphor examples, demonstrating how a single comparison can breathe life into your words. From understanding the basics to crafting your metaphors, we provide insights and tips to help you wield this creative tool effectively. Elevate your communication and let your words paint vivid mental pictures with the magic of metaphors.
What is the Best Example of Simple Metaphor?
“The world is a stage” is one of the best examples of a simple metaphor. This metaphor compares the world to a stage, where people play various roles and interact, just like actors in a play. It vividly captures the idea that life is like a theatrical performance, with individuals taking on different roles and experiences. This popular metaphor is widely recognized and has been used for centuries to convey the complexities of human existence.
What is 100 Metaphor Examples Meaning?
Using metaphors is a cool way to show and compare parts of two phrases. The word metaphor comes from the Greek word metaphora, which means “to transfer”. They are types of language used in literature and poetry. Metaphors mix up ideas to make something interesting. This helps us understand things better.
People have used metaphors for a long time, and now we use them in our normal words too. Metaphors are being used in various situations including abstract ones. Abstract metaphors are comparisons that are not meant to be taken literally. We can see examples of this in movies like Parasite. In this movie, the main characters are compared to creatures that take wealth away from others. This movie won an Oscar.
Fun Fact: Some words started off as comparisons. For example, the word ‘Window’ was created by describing the object as a ‘Wind eye’. The flower ‘Daisy’ got its name because its petals open in the morning and close at night, just like an eye that sees the day.
What Is Metaphor?
A metaphor is when you compare something to another thing that is not related, but very familiar. A metaphor is when you compare things in a way that doesn’t make sense if you take it literally. And still, its message is usually very easy to understand.
“Love is a fruit in season at all times and in reach of every hand.” — Mother Teresa
Love is not a fruit; however, the meaning of the comparison is easily understood.
Here’s another example:
“She was the black sheep of the family.”
Illogical, right? But you get the meaning right away.
Okay, so that’s the meaning of metaphor…
What is Figurative Language?
Figurative language is a way to make your writing more exciting. It adds color, humor or life to what you write.
It helps you create strong images, emphasize your message, and convince your audience when you write.
We know that sunshine cannot actually stroke our face, but we can understand the feeling. Using descriptive words makes it more interesting than saying, “the sun woke me up.”
In simple words: Personification is when we give human qualities, like stroking, to things that are not human, like sunshine, to help explain them better. This is a way of comparing things that is often seen in metaphors.
There are many ways to use words in new and different ways. Some of these include comparing things using “like” or “as,” talking about something by using an example, using a word that is related to another word, and exaggerating. These are sometimes mixed up with comparing things using “is.”
What’s the Difference Between Metaphors and Similes, Analogies, or Hyperbole?
Simile Definition:A simile is like a close relative of the metaphor. A metaphor says something is something else, while a simile compares two things using “like” or “as.”
Example of Simile: “Elderly American ladies leaning on their canes listed toward me like towers of Pisa.” — from ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov
Difference Between Similes and Metaphors: A simile directly compares two things using “like” or “as” (“he was mad as hell”), while a metaphor implicitly states a comparison, without intending it to be taken literally (“he was boiling mad”).
In the second example, it’s clear that he wasn’t boiling because otherwise he would have died. If he were a kettle, he would be very angry with steam coming out from his ears and his lid would be rattling. That’s how angry he would be!
Analogy Definition: An analogy is a turbo-powered simile. While a simile compares two different things, an analogy explains the similarities or relationships between two different things.
Example of Analogy: “Longbottom, if brains were gold, you’d be poorer than Weasley, and that’s saying something.” — from ‘Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling
Difference Between Analogies and Metaphors: While a metaphor uses a word or phrase to represent an idea, an analogy uses narrative or comparisons to explain the idea.
Hyperbole Definition: Hyperbole is an exaggeration that is not intended to be taken literally. It’s most commonly used for emphasis, humor, or drama.
Example of Hyperbole: “I was helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was quaking from head to foot, and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far.” — from “Old Times on the Mississippi” by Mark Twain
Difference Between Hyperbole and Metaphors: There is a gray area between the two and it’s often debated. But here are the facts: Hyperbole always uses exaggeration, whereas metaphors sometimes do.
If a metaphor is clearly an exaggeration, it can be described as a hyperbolic metaphor. An example would be, “cry me a river.” Obviously, no one can possibly shed that many tears. On the other hand, “your suitcase weighs a ton” is hyperbole (not a metaphor).
Types of 100 Metaphor Examples with Meaning
1. Common Metaphors
A common metaphor is a way of comparing things that is easy to understand because the connection is clear.
“He was a fish out of water at his new school.”
We understand what the writer is saying, even though it doesn’t make sense to compare a student to a fish.
Vincent Van Gogh said that a person’s conscience is like a compass. This is an example. We don’t really get why, but we know what it means.
Other examples of common metaphors are “night owl”, “cold feet”, “beat a dead horse”, “early bird”, “couch potato”, “eyes were fireflies”, “apple of my eye”, “heart of stone”, “heart of a lion”, “roller coaster of emotions”, and “heart of gold.”
2. Implied Metaphors
The use of implied metaphors makes you imagine things. This way of using words to describe something isn’t like saying two things are the same. It’s more hidden. Instead, it suggests a comparison without stating it directly.
“She was a dog with a bone” is a common metaphor. The dog-like comparison is stated.
“She tucked her tail between her legs and ran away,” on the other hand, is an implied metaphor — the comparison to a dog is implied, but not stated outright.
3. Extended Metaphors (aka Sustained Metaphors)
Extended metaphors are long comparisons that make more impact than shorter ones. They can be obvious or hidden. They can go on for a few sentences, a few paragraphs, or more. A book called Animal Farm by George Orwell is like a story that tells about the Russian Revolution in 1917. Many people think it is a way of explaining what happened during that time.
Writers use extended metaphors in poems and stories when they want to show strong feelings about an idea.
Here’s a famous example from “I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou:
But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.
And here’s an extended metaphor from “Hope is the Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
4. Dead Metaphors
A dead metaphor is a common expression that people have said for a long time and it does not work anymore.
Phrases like “it’s raining cats and dogs”, “melting pot”, and “you are the light of my life” have morphed from metaphors into trite banalities and should be avoided.
5. Mixed Metaphors
Mixed metaphors are when two or more sayings don’t make sense when put together. This can be funny.
If you purposely combine different ideas in your speech, it can work well to get your message across. If someone uses a mixed metaphor incorrectly, it can be confusing and messy.
Stuart Pearce, who used to coach soccer in the UK, shared something valuable with us.
“I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.”
6. Sensory Metaphors
Sensory metaphors help us imagine things using descriptive words that make us think of our senses, like what we see, hear, smell, taste, or feel. So, they are easy to recognize and bring up strong images.
“His voice was silky smooth.”
“Her smile lit up the room.”
Further Reading: 581 Sensory Words to Take Your Writing from Bland to Brilliant is the definitive guide on sensory words, sensory details, and sensory language. If you would like a huge list of sensory metaphors, it should be your go-to resource.
Up to this point, you’ve already seen quite a few metaphor examples as we’ve explained the different types of metaphors and gone over several definitions.
Now, let’s get to the meat of the post. Here are 100 metaphor examples from content marketing, English literature, great poems, speeches, movies, television shows, songs, and more:
Metaphor Examples from Content Marketing
As a content marketer, you fight a constant battle for attention. You need your words to leap off the page and galvanize your readers into action.
Using metaphors is a great way to do that. Especially if you weave the metaphorical theme through your post. It helps give your writing a more intriguing creative tone. It makes your message sticky and memorable.
Take these examples of metaphors from some of the internet’s best content marketing blogs:
Metaphor Examples for Kids
When we are young, our brains can learn things more quickly than grown-ups. When we use creative examples to explain metaphors to children, it helps them learn new ways of thinking about concepts, ideas, and things. To show kids how metaphors work, you can make up fun examples that kids can remember easily. Here are the best 100 metaphor examples with meaning.
- Heart of stone: Cruel or stern nature
My teacher has a heart of stone.
- The Zoo metaphor: Crowded and noisy
The classroom turns into a zoo during recess.
- A might lion: Huge, powerful
The thunder at night was a mighty lion.
- Apple of my eye: Someone you are fond of or cherish above others
You are the apple of my eye.
- Sunshine metaphor: Happy, warm people or something radiating happiness or warmth
His smile is my sunshine.
- White blanket: Snow compared to a blanket as it covers everything
The snow is a white blanket.
- Melting pot: Different cultures coming together
Canada is a melting pot of cultures.
- Music of my ears: Exactly what you want to hear
His voice is music to my ears.
- Hard work is the key to success: Hardwork is what you need to achieve success
You must always remember that hard work is the key to success.
- Walking Encyclopedia: Very knowledgeable about everything
Joey is a walking encyclopedia.
- Time is money: The value of time is as important as money itself.
Time is money, my friend!
- Tall tree: Taller in height like a giant
He is a tall tree.
- A computer brain: Very good at calculations
Karen’s brain is a computer.
- Laughter is the best medicine.: Laughing keeps you healthy
Every doctor must know that laughter is the best medicine.
- Mirror: Reflective and clear like glass
The serene lake was a mirror.
- Stars as little pearls: White pearls are like a metaphor for stars
The stars are twinkling little pearls.
- Life is a dance: Dance as a metaphor for life
Life is a dance, so let your feet up!
- An angel: Someone nice and kind
She helped me with my homework, she is an angel!
- Disaster: A mess
My sister’s room is a disaster!
- Clouded: Confused, not clear about something
My memory is a little clouded about yesterday.
List of Common 100 Metaphor Examples with Meaning
- The wind screamed in his face while he was riding the bike.
Meaning: The wind is compared with a scream to emphasize on how furiously it blew.
- Go for a walk or you’ll become a couch potato.
Meaning: Here, the person is told that he/she will turn fat and bulgy like a potato if they avoid exercising.
- Her heart of stone was the result of the previous unfortunate events in her life.
Meaning: In this sentence, the heart is symbolised by a stone, emphasizing on the lack of empathy she developed.
- Her mom warned her about the monsters in the world.
Meaning: The denotation of the bad, wicked people is made by monsters.
- He was a diamond among the sea of glass.
Meaning: The man (diamond) is said to be unique like a diamond among other ordinary men (sea of glass).
- You’re sitting on a winning lottery.
Meaning: The term winning lottery is used to emphasize on a golden opportunity.
- She started with a new chapter by choosing him.
Meaning: A major new phase in the girl’s life is denoted by a new chapter which is void of the unnecessary past associations.
- He was a cheetah in the race.
Meaning: The runner’s speed is being attributed to the speed of a cheetah.
- You’ll be left in the dust.
Meaning: Here leaving one in the dust, implies being left far behind.
- The professor was a guiding light for him.
Meaning: The professor is compared with light, so as to help him pave his way easily.
- The curtains of life fell.
Meaning: The phrase ‘curtains of life’ are compared to that of a show which has fallen denoting that the person’s life is over.
- Life is a maze.
Meaning: Life is being said to have its own navigation as you move ahead with surprises at every turn.
- There’s a rat among us.
Meaning: Rats are said to be sneaky animals and are associated with betrayal.
- Her heart sank on hearing the terrible news.
Meaning: The sinking of the heart is termed to emphasise on deep sorrow.
- Laughter is the best medicine.
Meaning: Laughter is compared with medicine so as to help you heal or recover from an event.
- India’s culture is a salad bowl.
Meaning: Salad bowl is a common cultural idea to reflect India’s multiple cultures, yet having their own individual identities.
- His heart was made of gold.
Meaning: Here, gold is used to indicate abundance and generosity.
- She was drowning in grief.
Meaning: Drowning is used to emphasize the amount of sorrow or problems in a person’s life.
- The mind is an ocean.
Meaning: The mind is attributed to its endless capacity and also to characterize calmness.
- Her heart melts when she sees him.
Meaning: The melting of the heart means to be sympathetic and compassionate.
- Your words cut deeper than a knife.
Meaning: The phrase is used to emphasize the intensity of a certain hurtful speech.
- You’re a firework.
Meaning: The word firework is used to characterize ample potential and to make the best out of your talents.
- She’s a walking dictionary.
Meaning: Walking dictionary implies knowledge or facts known to the person.
- She’s the man of the house.
Meaning: The word ‘man’ is used to draw a parallel with being the responsible person or the bread earner of the house.
- His fear became his prison.
Meaning: Prison here is used to denote the walls created by the person due to their fears.
- The news of the accident was a dagger in her heart.
Meaning: The word dagger is used to emphasise the depth of the agony suffered.
- The world is your oyster.
Meaning: The world is said to hold endless opportunities for you to explore and find your pearl.
- She was an angel in disguise.
Meaning: The word angel is used to draw a parallel with the altruistic nature of the person.
- He has got the eye of the tiger.
Meaning: The eye of the tiger reflects the intensity of focus and strength of a person.
- She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Meaning: The term silver spoon is used to highlight privilege.
- His anger was a wildfire waiting to ignite.
Meaning: The wildfire is used to denote the characteristic of extreme enrage.
- He’s the diamond in the rough.
Meaning: The above sentence shows that the boy is unpolished but has potential and talent.
- The stormy ocean was a raging bull.
Meaning: The ocean is being compared to a raging bull which highlights danger.
- Teachers mould their students for their future.
Meaning: The word Mould is used to draw a parallel with development and growth of the student.
- His lawyer is a shark.
Meaning: The lawyer being compared to a shark means the implication of vicious or ruthless behaviour.
- He thinks that the world revolves around him.
Meaning: Here, the ‘world revolving around someone’ is used to describe a self-centred person or behaviour.
- The mind is a computer.
Meaning: The mechanisms of the computer are compared to the brain.
- Sarojini Naidu is the nightingale of India.
Meaning: The attribution of poetry and a melodious voice is associated with the nightingale and hence, the comparison.
- A friend is a treasure.
Meaning: The friend is given the attributes of a treasure being precious and hard to find.
- Love is a rose.
Meaning: Rose is used to characterize both- beauty and hardships (Petals and thorns).
- Her smile lights up my world.
Meaning: To light up one’s world means to seek pleasure and happiness from the act and to illuminate their mood.
- She’s an early bird.
Meaning: Early bird indicates to wake up early or arrive early to an event/place.
- His anger bottled up inside.
Meaning: Anger is shown to be repressed inside.
- Life is no bed of roses.
Meaning: This sentence describes the nature of life being filled with hardships and sacrifice.
- I’ll make sure she pays for her doings.
Meaning: Here, paying for something means to fix or pay redemption.
- I’m the master of my sea.
Meaning: The sentence emphasizes the fact that the person is the master of his own world and his own fate.
- See the world from a different lens.
Meaning: Different lens indicates a different perspective.
- The classroom was a zoo.
Meaning: The comparison of a classroom with a zoo is used to imply that the students were misbehaving in class.
- Life isn’t black and white.
Meaning: The term ‘black and white’ is used to highlight the ambiguous nature of life.
- Her soul is black.
Meaning: The soul being called black or dark describes the insensitive nature of a person.
- He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Meaning: A huge amount of trouble is emphasized by the weight of the world.
- The police officer was digging up details about the suspects.
Meaning: The constant search about the suspects is shown by the word ‘digging’
- His irresponsible behaviour made his health turn south.
Meaning: Here, ‘turn south’ means that his behaviour worsened.
- She wears different hats to earn a livelihood.
Meaning: Wearing different hats means doing different jobs to earn a living.
- The complex case landed the detectives barking up the wrong tree.
Meaning: Barking up the wrong tree is used to indicate that the detectives ended up at the wrong conclusion.
- The good news about the profit made lifted his spirits.
Meaning: Here, lift someone’s spirits means to make someone feel carefree.
- Taxes are a minefield for people who are careless.
Meaning: Here, ‘minefield’ is used to denote the presence of dangerous consequences and problems the person is in.
- She soon realized that she had been taken for a ride.
Meaning: Taken for a ride means that she had been tricked.
- She followed her instincts and changed tack.
Meaning: Here, changed tack means try a different way/method.
- Her new job helped her wipe the slate clean.
Meaning: Here, wipe the slate clean means to start something in a fresh manner and forget the past mistakes.
Common Metaphor Examples in Literature
Metaphors are used by authors, writers, speakers, and poets as interesting devices. They used such metaphors to emphasize an event, situation, or a sensitive matter by using a much stronger concept fit for comparison.
Here are the most common metaphor Examples with Meaning in Literature:
- “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.” – Robert Frost
- “Hold fast to dreams, For when dreams go
Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow.” – Langston Hughes
- “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.” William Shakespeare
- “Hope is the thing with feathers.” – Emily Dickinson
- “The sun was a toddler insistently refusing to go to bed: It was past eight-thirty and still light.” —Fault in Our Stars, John Green
- “Wishes are thorns, he told himself sharply. They do us no good, just stick into our skin and hurt us.” ―A Face Like Glass, Frances Hardinge
- “Love is a battlefield.” – Pat Benatar
- “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” – William Shakespeare
- “Each friend represents a world in us.”– Anais Nin
- “If wits were pins, the man would be a veritable hedgehog.” ―Fly by Night, Frances Hardinge
Common Metaphors of Life
We often say many metaphors in our everyday life and routine without even realising that we are using them. Here are the most common metaphors used in everyday life:
- Life is a race and we never realise that we are running towards nothing!
- He is the light of my life.
- For this whole year, this room has become my prison.
- Love is a fine wine!
- My heart’s a stereo and it beats for you!
- She is happy as a clam.
- My mind becomes an ocean with calm waves when I meditate.
- Yesterday was a roller-coaster!
- She was fit as a fiddle!
- Doesn’t matter, he is an old flame!
Examples in Poems
Metaphor Examples for Intermediate Readers
The slashes indicate line breaks.
- The detective listened to her tales with a wooden face.
- She was fairly certain that life was a fashion show.
- The typical teenage boy’s room is a disaster area.
- What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep.
- The children were roses grown in concrete gardens, beautiful and forlorn.
- Kisses are the flowers of love in bloom.
- His cotton candy words did not appeal to her taste.
- Kathy arrived at the grocery store with an army of children.
- Her eyes were fireflies.
- He wanted to set sail on the ocean of love but he just wasted away in the desert.
- I was lost in a sea of nameless faces.
- John’s answer to the problem was just a Band-Aid, not a solution.
- The cast on Michael’s broken leg was a plaster shackle.
- Cameron always had a taste for the fruit of knowledge.
- The promise between us was a delicate flower.
- He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone.
- He pleaded for her forgiveness but Janet’s heart was cold iron.
- She was just a trophy to Ricardo, another object to possess.
- The path of resentment is easier to travel than the road to forgiveness.
- Katie’s plan to get into college was a house of cards on a crooked table.
- The wheels of justice turn slowly.
- Hope shines–a pebble in the gloom.
- She cut him down with her words.
- The job interview was a rope ladder dropped from heaven.
- Her hair was a flowing golden river streaming down her shoulders.
- The computer in the classroom was an old dinosaur.
- Laughter is the music of the soul.
- David is a worm for what he did to Shelia.
- The teacher planted the seeds of wisdom.
- Phyllis, ah, Phyllis, my life is a gray day
- Each blade of grass was a tiny bayonet pointed firmly at our bare feet.
- The daggers of heat pierced through his black t-shirt.
- Let your eyes drink up that milkshake sky.
- The drums of time have rolled and ceased.
- Her hope was a fragile seed.
- When Ninja Robot Squad came on TV, the boys were glued in their seats.
- Words are the weapons with which we wound.
- She let such beautiful pearls of wisdom slip from her mouth without even knowing.
- Scars are the roadmap to the soul.
- The quarterback was throwing nothing but rockets and bombs in the field.
- We are all shadows on the wall of time.
- My heart swelled with a sea of tears.
- When the teacher leaves her little realm, she breaks her wand of power apart.
- The Moo Cow’s tail is a piece of rope all raveled out where it grows.
- My dreams are flowers to which you are a bee.
- The clouds sailed across the sky.
- Each flame of the fire is a precious stone belonging to all who gaze upon it.
- And therefore I went forth with hope and fear into the wintry forest of our life.
- My words are chains of lead.
- But into her face there came a flame; / I wonder could she have been thinking the same?
Metaphor Examples for Advanced Readers
Here are fifty more challenging examples of metaphors. The slashes indicate line breaks.
- The light flows into the bowl of the midnight sky, violet, amber and rose.
- Men court not death when there are sweets still left in life to taste.
- In capitalism, money is the life blood of society but charity is the soul.
- Whose world is but the trembling of a flare, / And heaven but as the highway for a shell,
- Fame is the fragrance of heroic deeds, / Of flowers of chivalry and not of weeds!
- So I sit spinning still, round this decaying form, the fine threads of rare and subtle thought.
- And swish of rope and ring of chain /
Are music to men who sail the main.
- Still sits the school-house by the road, a ragged beggar sunning.
- The child was our lone prayer to an empty sky.
- Blind fools of fate and slaves of circumstance, / Life is a fiddler, and we all must dance.
- Grind the gentle spirit of our meek reviews into a powdery foam of salt abuse.
- Laugh a drink from the deep blue cup of sky.
- Think now: history has many cunning passages and contrived corridors.
- You are now in London, that great sea whose ebb and flow at once is deaf and loud,
- His fine wit makes such a wound that the knife is lost in it.
- Waves of spam emails inundated his inbox.
- In my heart’s temple I suspend to thee these votive wreaths of withered memory.
- He cast a net of words in garish colours wrought to catch the idle buzzers of the day.
- This job is the cancer of my dreams and aspirations.
- This song shall be thy rose, soft, fragrant, and with no thorn left to wound thy bosom.
- There, one whose voice was venomed melody.
- A sweetness seems to last amid the dregs of past sorrows.
- So in this dimmer room which we call life,
- Life is the night with its dream-visions teeming, / Death is the waking at day.
- Then the lips relax their tension
and the pipe begins to slide, /
Till in little clouds of ashes,
it falls softly at his side.
- The olden days: when thy smile to me was wine, golden wine thy word of praise.
- Thy tones are silver melted into sound.
- Under us the brown earth / Ancient and strong, / The best bed for wanderers;
- Love is a guest that comes, unbidden, / But, having come, asserts his right;
- My House of Life is weather-stained with years.
- See the sun, far off, a shriveled orange in a sky gone black;
- Three pines strained darkly, runners in a race unseen by any.
- But the rare herb, Forgetfulness, it hides away from me.
- The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman
- Life: a lighted window and a closed door.
- Some days my thoughts are just cocoons hanging from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind.
- Men and women pass in the street glad of the shining sapphire weather.
- The swan existing is a song with an accompaniment.
- At night the lake is a wide silence, without imagination.
- The cherry-trees are seas of bloom and soft perfume and sweet perfume.
- The great gold apples of light hang from the street’s long bough, dripping their light on the faces that drift below, on the faces that drift and blow.
- From its blue vase the rose of evening drops.
- When in the mines of dark and silent thought / Sometimes I delve and find strange fancies there,
- The twigs were set beneath a veil of willows.
- He clutched and hacked at ropes, at rags of sail, / Thinking that comfort was a fairy tale,
- O Moon, your light is failing and you are nothing now but a bow.
- Life is a dream in the night, a fear among fears, / A naked runner lost in a storm of spears.
- This world of life is a garden ravaged.
- And therefore I went forth, with hope and fear / Into the wintry forest of our life;
- My soul was a lampless sea and she was the tempest.
Thanks for reading this great topic on 100 metaphor examples and I guest it’s amazing. Sharing it will interest others to read and benefits from it thanks