Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “metaphor”

See all translations

metaphor

noun [C or U] uk   /ˈmet.ə.fɔːr/ us    /ˈmet̬.ə.fɔːr/
C2 an expression, often found in literature, that describes a person or object by referring to something that is considered to have similar characteristics to that person or object: "The mind is an ocean" and "the city is a jungle" are both metaphors. Metaphor and simile are the most commonly used figures of speech in everyday language.
Translations of “metaphor”
in Spanish metáfora…
in French métaphore…
in German die Metapher…
in Chinese (Traditional) 隱喻, 暗喻…
in Russian метафора…
in Turkish mecaz, benzetme…
in Chinese (Simplified) 隐喻, 暗喻…
in Polish metafora, przenośnia…
(Definition of metaphor from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of metaphor?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “metaphor” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More