All about Metaphors -- 125+ Metaphor Examples
Using this Rhetorical Device for Good
Metaphors are everywhere! To help you understand this rhetorical device, here’s a big list of 125+ metaphor examples (plus tips for writers). But first, let’s talk about the engine of storytelling that make metaphors work.
All About Metaphors
We weave a web of words and live inside it, and call it world. That’s what human beings do. The connected threads of that great web of story are built of strands we call metaphor.
What is a metaphor?
A metaphor compares two dissimilar things by equating one thing as the other thing. By this comparison, our minds can bring one idea into the conceptual space of another idea. When you compare two objects, one of them is seen in a different light, illuminated and re-configured through that comparison.
The concrete becomes abstract, the ephemeral grounded momentarily, the unknown related to the known in a way that helps us understand. This tendency to compare two unlike things is a very human activity.
In fact, our brains are designed to think in metaphorical constructs. George Lakoff explains that “One of the fundamental findings of cognitive science is that people think in terms of frames and metaphors […] The frames are in the synapses of our brains, physically present in the form of neural circuitry. When the facts don’t fit the frames, the frames are kept and the facts ignored.” We see things differently when we look through the lens of metaphor.
Our minds weave ideas together continuously so that we can better understand events, objects, and even people and their motivations. Metaphors are not literal at all — in fact, they are intentionally told as figurative retellings of the world, laying a fabric of imaginative story over raw reality and transforming that reality into a mini-story.