All terms

What is a Simile?

A comparison between two things using "like" or "as".

Similarity in comparison: Exploring the Simile

Derived from the Latin word similis, meaning 'like' or 'similar,' a simile is a literary technique that compares two different things to create a vivid, imaginative image in the reader's mind.

What distinguishes the simile from other comparison techniques is that it uses 'like' or 'as' to draw parallels between two seemingly unconnected objects. For example, 'her eyes were like diamonds in the sun' is a simile that compares the brightness and shine of someone's eyes to diamonds.

The simile can add depth and nuance to creative writing by making characters and settings feel more realistic and relatable. It can also help to create mood and atmosphere by using comparisons that trigger specific emotions in the reader.

However, it is important to use similes judiciously and with care, as overuse can lead to a sense of cliché or hackneyed writing. A well-placed and creative simile, on the other hand, can make a piece of writing memorable and powerful.

A World of Comparisons: Simile Examples in Literature

Similes are commonly used in literature to help create vivid images that draw the reader into the story and make it more engaging.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

'In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.' - This simile gives the reader a sense of how people came and went in Gatsby's parties, flitting around like moths and adding to the surreal and dreamlike atmosphere of the scene.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

'She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.' - This simile gives the reader a clear image of how Scout's teacher looked like and adds humor to the passage that follows.