Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

What Is a Simile? (with Examples?)

What Is a Simile? (with Examples?)

A simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. This is usually achieved by the use of the word like or as.

Examples of Similes

Here are some examples of similes:
  • I am as poor as a church mouse.
  • He is hungry like a wolf.
  • She sings like an angel.

Famous Similes (Examples)

Here are some similes by famous people:
  • A room without books is like a body without a soul.
  • (Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 BC - 43 BC)
  • Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
  • (Credited to English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello)
  • Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.
  • (American novelist Edna Ferber, 1887-1968)

Funny Similes (Examples)

Here are some funny similes:
  • He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  • Duct tape is like the force — it has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together. (Carl Zwanzig)
  • Dealing with network executives is like being nibbled to death by ducks. (Eric Sevareid)
  • I'm as pure as the driven slush. (Tallulah Bankhead, 1903-1968)
  • Her vocabulary was like, yeah, whatever.
Interactive Test
 
 

Take the metaphors test.
Top Tip

Similes Can Be Impactful

Used sparingly in business writing, similes can:
  • Be memorable.
  • Make an impact.
  • Be used for emphasis.
  • Make you look confident.
Here is an example of how a simile might look in a business document:
  • Option 1 is like throwing the pilot from a stricken aircraft to make it lighter.
Beware

Overusing Similes

While a simile can be a great way to clarify or promote a concept in business correspondence, overusing similes looks flippant (especially if they're cliches, i.e., tired). Use similes very sparingly to ensure they remain impactful.