English

Definition of metaphor noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

metaphor

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˈmetəfə(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈmetəfər//
 
; BrE BrE//ˈmetəfɔː(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈmetəfɔːr//
 
[countable, uncountable] Linguistic devices
 
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a word or phrase used to describe somebody/something else, in a way that is different from its normal use, in order to show that the two things have the same qualities and to make the description more powerful, for example She has a heart of stone; the use of such words and phrases a game of football used as a metaphor for the competitive struggle of life the writer’s striking use of metaphor CollocationsLiteratureBeing a writer write/​publish literature/​poetry/​fiction/​a book/​a story/​a poem/​a novel/​a review/​an autobiography become a writer/​novelist/​playwright find/​have a publisher/​an agent have a new book out edit/​revise/​proofread a book/​text/​manuscript dedicate a book/​poem to…Plot, character and atmosphere construct/​create/​weave/​weave something into a complex narrative advance/​drive the plot introduce/​present the protagonist/​a character describe/​depict/​portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/​villain create an exciting/​a tense atmosphere build/​heighten the suspense/​tension evoke/​capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/​an idea/​an impression/​a sense of… engage the reader seize/​capture/​grip the (reader’s) imagination arouse/​elicit emotion/​sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/​emotion/​structure/​rhythmLanguage, style and imagery use/​employ language/​imagery/​humour/(especially US English) humor/​an image/​a symbol/​a metaphor/​a device use/​adopt/​develop a style/​technique be rich in/​be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/​achieve an effect maintain/​lighten the tone introduce/​develop an idea/​a theme inspire a novel/​a poet/​somebody’s work/​somebody’s imaginationReading and criticism read an author/​somebody’s work/​fiction/​poetry/​a text/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage review a book/​a novel/​somebody’s work give something/​get/​have/​receive a good/​bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​author provoke/​spark discussion/​criticism study/​interpret/​understand a text/​passage translate somebody’s work/​a text/​a passage/​a novel/​a poem compare simile Wordfinderalliteration, euphemism, figure of speech, hyperbole, image, litotes, metaphor, metonymy, onomatopoeia, paradox See related entries: Linguistic devices Word Origin late 15th cent.: from French métaphore, via Latin from Greek metaphora, from metapherein ‘to transfer’.Extra examples ‘This vale of tears’ is a metaphor for the human condition. He uses the metaphor of fire to represent hatred. The ladder metaphor works in several ways. an extended metaphor for human existence one of the central metaphors in the book the metaphor of life as a journey In the story, the game of football is used as a metaphor for the competitive struggle of life. The writer’s use of metaphor is striking.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: metaphor

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