A-Z Popular Blog Thinking Search »
Thinking
 Advertisements
Design Thinking

Cognition

Cognitive Traits

Journals

Real World

Consciousness

Opinion

Salience

Practical Thinking

Creativity

Cognitive Biases

16 Types of Metaphor

 , updated on
A metaphor is an analogy that directly compares two or more things. The following are common types of metaphor.

Absolute Metaphor

A metaphor with no obvious similarity between the entities being compared. For example, "the world is a vampire." Absolute metaphors may be used to produce a dramatic or humorous effect.

Simile

A metaphor with a weakened comparison that uses a connecting word such as "like", "resembles" or "as a." This can be distinguished from a regular metaphor that uses more direct language such as "is a."
the world is like a vampire
they fought like cats and dogs
he is as drunk as a skunk

Antithesis

A comparison of opposites.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
To err is human; to forgive divine.
~ Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope
It's my experience that folks who have no vices have generally very few virtues.
~ Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln attributed this as a quote of a man he met on a stagecoach).

Tight Metaphor

A direct link between a subject and metaphorical meaning that is clear. For example, "she is cool." Also known as a simple metaphor.

Visual Metaphor

A visual representation that is meant to be interpreted as a metaphor. Often done to visualize abstract concepts. For example, Antonio Balestra's Justice and Peace Embracing.

Hyperbole

An exaggeration that is meant as a metaphor as opposed to a literal statement. For example, "this cat weighs a ton."

Metonymy

Referring to something or someone by the name of an associated thing. For example, referring to the banking industry as Wall Street.

Dead Metaphor

A term that was originally a metaphor that has lost its metaphorical meaning with time to become a regular word. For example, the wings of an airplane or the legs of a chair.

Dying Metaphor

A metaphor that has been mindlessly repeated until it has become cliche such as "think outside the box." This retains its metaphorical meaning. There is not necessarily any relationship between dead and dying metaphors except they are both typically old.

Active Metaphor

Any metaphor that is neither dead nor dying meaning that it retains its metaphorical effect and is not cliche.
A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it.
~ Jerry Seinfeld

Allegory

An extended metaphor that is used as the theme of a book, work of art or discourse. For example, Pompeo Batoni's War and Peace.

Complex Metaphor

Multiple metaphors in the same metaphor such as "that lends weight to the argument." Both "lend" and "weight" are metaphors that form a single metaphor.

Compound Metaphor

Multiple metaphors that describe the same entity. For example, "he's a big fish who's hungry for information."

Epic Metaphor

A metaphor that goes into unnecessary detail to produce a dramatic or humorous effect. For example, "this is a problem, this is a big problem, this is a 100-storey problem with a helicopter pad on the roof and a really fast elevator."

Implied Metaphor

A metaphor between two things where at least one of the things isn't explicitly mentioned.
Ian sailed through the test. (implies a sailboat)
Books nourish the mind. (implies food)
He was infected with hate. (implies a disease)

Thought Experiment

Analogies, including metaphors, are often used as thought experiments to solve problems by reducing extreme complexity to an example anyone can understand. For example, the infinite monkey theorem of probability theory that states that a monkey hitting a keyboard randomly for infinity will almost surely produce the complete works of William Shakespeare.
Overview: Metaphor
Type
Definition
An analogy that directly compares two or more things.
Related Concepts

Thinking

This is the complete list of articles we have written about thinking.
Abductive Reasoning
Abstract Thinking
Abstraction
Aesthetics
Analogy
Analysis Paralysis
Analytical Thinking
Anomie
Argument
Argument From Silence
Arrow Of Time
Assertions
Automaticity
Backward Induction
Base Rate Fallacy
Benefit Of Doubt
Big Picture
Brainstorming
Call To Action
Catch 22
Causality
Choice Architecture
Circular Reasoning
Cognition
Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive Biases
Cold Logic
Collective Intelligence
Complexity Bias
Concept
Consciousness
Constructive Criticism
Convergent Thinking
Counterfactual Thinking
Creative Tension
Creeping Normality
Critical Thinking
Culture
Curse Of Knowledge
Decision Fatigue
Decision Framing
Decision Making
Defensive Pessimism
Design Thinking
Divergent Thinking
Educated Guess
Emotional Intelligence
Epic Meaning
Essential Complexity
Excluded Middle
Failure Of Imagination
Fallacies
Fallacy Fallacy
False Analogy
False Balance
False Dichotomy
False Equivalence
First Principles
Formal Logic
Four Causes
Fuzzy Logic
Gambler's Fallacy
Generalization
Golden Hammer
Good Judgement
Grey Area
Groupthink
Heuristics
Hindsight Bias
Hope
Idealism
Ideas
If-By-Whiskey
Illogical Success
Imagination
Independent Thinking
Inductive Reasoning
Inference
Influencing
Informal Logic
Information
Information Cascade
Introspection
Intuition
Inventive Step
Learning
Lifestyle
Logic
Logical Argument
Logical Thinking
Ludic Fallacy
Magical Thinking
Meaning
Mental Experiences
Mental State
Mindset
Misuse of Statistics
Motivated Reasoning
Natural Language
Nirvana Fallacy
Norms
Not Even Wrong
Objective Reason
Objectivity
Opinion
Overthinking
Perception
Personal Values
Perspective
Positive Thinking
Practical Thinking
Pragmatism
Premise
Problem Solving
Proof By Example
Propositional Logic
Prosecutor's Fallacy
Radical Chic
Rational Thought
Realism
Reality
Reason
Reasoning
Red Herring
Reflective Thinking
Reification
Relativism
Salience
Scarcity Mindset
Scientism
Selective Attention
Serendipity
Situational Awareness
Sour Grapes
State Of Mind
Storytelling
Subjectivity
Systems Thinking
Thinking
Thought Experiment
Unknown Unknowns
Visual Thinking
Want To Believe
Whataboutism
Win-Win Thinking
Wishful Thinking
Worldview
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.
 

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.

Pessimism

The definition of pessimism with examples.

Groupthink

The definition of groupthink with examples.

Forward Thinking

The definition of forward thinking with examples.

Grey Area

Common examples of grey areas.

Automaticity

The definition of automaticity with examples.

Thinking

An overview of thinking with examples.

Angst

The definition of angst with examples.

Nostalgia

An overview of nostalgia with examples.

Rational Thought

The difference between rational thought and logic.

Benefit Of Doubt

The definition of benefit of doubt with examples.

Intrapersonal

The definition of intrapersonal with examples.

Introspection

The definition of introspection with examples.

Paradox

The definition of paradox with examples.

Abstract Concept

The definition of abstract concept with examples.

Logical Argument

An overview of logical arguments with examples.

Rational Choice Theory

The definition of rational choice theory with examples.

Reflective Thinking

The definition of reflective thinking with examples.

Reason

The definition of reason with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map