Simile

From Teflpedia

A simile (/sɪmɪli:/) is a figure of speech that directly makes compares two things using a adjective phrase or an adverbial phrase (specifically a manner adverbial).[1] These are often, though not necessarily, idioms.

A simile uses "like" or "as+as". Negative similes can use "unlike", not as +as or not so+as.

Form Adjective Adverb
Positive example Negative example Positive example Negative example
like "He was, like a fox, very cunning" "He was, unlike a fox, not very cunning." "He thought like a fox, very cunningly" "He thought unlike a fox, very stupidly."
as+as "He was as cunning as a fox". "He was not as cunning as a fox" He behaved as cunningly as a fox He didn't behave as cunningly as a fox
not so+as - "He was not as cunning as a fox" - "He didn't behave so cunningly as a fox"


A simile differs from a metaphor because a metaphor uses direct comparison.

Fixed phrases[edit | edit source]

There are a number of fixed phrases which are commonly used. Many of these are idioms, and several use alliteration. Note that use of these in literary register may be considered cliches to be avoided in certain registers.[2]

  • as blind as a bat
  • as busy as a bee
  • as cheap as dirt
  • as clean as a whistle
  • as cool as a cucumber
  • as dead as a dodo
  • as fit as a fiddle
  • as hot as hell
  • as large as life
  • as poor as dirt
  • as pretty as a picture
  • as white as a ghost

References[edit | edit source]