Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “metaphorical”

metaphorical

adjective uk   /ˌmet.əˈfɒr.ɪ.kəl/ us    /ˌmet̬.əˈfɑːr-/ (also metaphoric)
describes language that contains metaphors: Her second novel is written in a very metaphorical style.Figurative use of language not having real existence but representing some truth about a situation or other subject: A metaphorical ocean (= extremely large area of disagreement) lies between the two groups. There is a danger that America's metaphoric 'war on drugs' may turn into a bloody reality.Figurative use of languageSigns, signals and symbolsSpecific signs and symbols
metaphorically
adverb uk   /-kəl.i/ us  
The phrase 'born again' is used metaphorically to mean that someone has suddenly become very religious. By leaving school without any qualifications, she has, metaphorically speaking, shot herself in the foot (= harmed her chances of success).Figurative use of language
(Definition of metaphorical from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of metaphorical?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “metaphorical”

Word of the Day

roost

When birds roost, they go somewhere to rest or sleep.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More