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What Are Clichés? (with Examples)

What Are Clichés? (with Examples)

A cliché is an overused and worn-out expression used to convey a popular thought or idea.

Examples of Clichés

  • The ball is in your court.
  • Think outside the box.
  • As useful as a lead balloon.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • Types of Clichés

    There are various types of clichés. For example:

    Proverbs.
    A proverb is a short, well-known saying which states a general truth or a piece of advice. For example:
    • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • A leopard cannot change its spots.
    Idioms.
    An idiom is commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal meaning of its word. For example:
    • I am over the moon.
    • You have a Sword of Damocles hanging over you.
    • I'll take any port in a storm.
    Catchphrases.
    A catchphrase is a well-known term, especially one that is associated with a particular famous person. For example:
    • "Come on down!" (The Price Is Right)
    • "Yabba dabba doo!" (Fred Flintstone)
    • "You're fired!" (Donald Trump or Alan Sugar from The Apprentice)
    Similes.
    A simile is a figure of speech which compares one thing with another to create an analogy. For example:
    • This is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
    • He drinks like a fish.
    Metaphors.
    A metaphor is a figure of speech which states one thing is another to create an analogy. For example:
    • That will put the final nail in the coffin.
    • I am banging my head against a brick wall here.

    Overused and Worn-out Expressions

    Remember, a cliché is a worn-out expression. It is one that has lost its effectiveness through over-usage. Not all proverbs, idioms, catchphrases, similes, and metaphors are clichés.
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