Metaphor Examples

Enjoy these metaphor examples! Metaphors are an extremely useful literary device -- whether you are writing a funny poem, a serious poem, structured poetry or free verse. In fact, novelists and nonfiction writers alike use metaaphohr. To use metaphor is human, even if you are not a writer. Here's why . . .

Definition of Metaphor

A metaphor is a literary device that involves describing someone or something by comparing it to something else without use of "like" or "as." Comparisons that use "like" or "as" are similes , another well-used device.

Metaphors and similes are how symbolism gets into our writing. And humans love symbolism. We like to feel that things "mean something," and metaphors help satisfy that desire. Not only that, these similes and metaphorical comparisons paint a vivid picture in our minds.

Now, generally, when I'm writing, I don't consciously think, "Gee, I'd better pepper these babies with metaphors." Instead, metaphors happen when you relax and describe something in the most vivid way possible. For example, a metaphor can be a tight skirt, tantalizing, seamless and very brief.

short skirt

Specific Metaphor Examples

If you're interested in writing some metaphors yourself, perhaps these can rev you up and get you started on some metaphors of your own. (Please note that you were just compared to a car, "revving up," in what was not so obviously a subtle metaphor.)

His face was a blue moon pocked with craters.

Her eyes were darting searchlights, scanning the room for her rival.

The Ferrari was a personal jet, set to take off before dawn.

His teeth were hardened blue cheese nuggets, speckled with green and blue.

When he ate, he was a crocodile, opening wide and snapping his jaws suddenly for the kill.

Her purse was a soft-sided trash bin, filled to the top with bits of used tissues, crumpled papers, and a half-eaten apple.

Her house was a wild circus act, decked out in hot pink and lavender, coated with green dots.

She was a walking color wheel, always wearing just about every shade possible, all at once.

He was a stainless steel ruler, tall, straight and always measured in response.

Her hair was a fierce lion's mane, never washed and sticking out in wild directions.

Her elderly fingers were thin gnarled branches, twisting oddly from the stem of her palms.

Well, that was fun! I could write metaphors all day. The trick is to expand upon them to tell a story, or in my case, write a poem (or two or three or more). If you've enjoyed these metaphor examples, it's time move on to metaphor poems.

More tools to help you become a poet!

  • How To Write a Poem

    If you can talk, if you can tell a joke, you can learn how to write a poem. Learn about word play, rhyme, alliteration, similes, metaphors, and so much more.

  • A Place for Young Poets to Publish Poems!

    This is the place for young poets to publish poems -- and get their words out into the world!

  • Poetry Lessons

    Twelve Poetry Lessons designed to teach you how to write a poem. Read, write... and enjoy!

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