Simile: Figure of explication in which two things that share at least one attribute are explicitly associated with each other; an overt comparison between two unlike things as though they were similar -- usually with the words "like" or "as".


"Behold a republic gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor in the world's progress and the accepted arbiter of the world's disputes -- a republic whose history, like the path of the just, 'is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.'"

-- William Jennings Bryan, Imperialism

"I've had some long nights in the stir. Alone in the dark with nothing but your thoughts, time can draw out like a blade. That was the longest night of my life."

-- delivered by Morgan Freeman (from the movie The Shawshank Redemption)

"So now, I win the Heisman Trophy. Well what was so funny about it, I didn't think I deserved it. 'Cause we got [John] Elway, we got Eric Dickerson, we got Dan Marino, Anthony Carter....And I remember doing my acceptance speech and I said, 'Guys I feel like the Susan Lucci of the Heisman Trophy.' And they [didn't] like that. And I just read, just the other day, Eric Dickerson tweeted that he should've won the Heisman Trophy. And I told Eric we can fight about it -- and I haven't heard from him no more...."

-- Herschel Walker, Army Suicide Prevention Week Address, 2012


Seinfeld: "Take what?"

Kramer: "The board, Jerry. We've been playing at Newman's for six hours but he's gotta go."

Seinfeld: "So why don't you leave it at Newman's?"

Newman: "I wanted to. He won't let me."

Kramer: "We have to put the board in a neutral place where no one will tamper with it."

Seinfeld: "So that's here?"

Kramer: "Yes, yes, you're like Switzerland."

Seinfeld: "I don't wanna be Switzerland."

-- delivered by Michael Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, and Wayne Knight

Note: At a meta-level, Seinfeld mistakes Kramer's simile for a metaphor in this wacky Seinfeldian exchange.

"But His strong love stands like a granite rock unmoved by the hurricanes of our inequity."

-- The Immutability of God [originally delivered by Charles Haddon Spurgeon]

"People in the streets see it now. They're running towards the East River -- thousands of them dropping in like rats. Now the smoke's spreading faster. It's reached Times Square. People are trying to run away from it, but it's no use. They're falling like flies."

-- delivered by Orson Wells (from the original radio broadcast of War of the Worlds)

"Henry was 18 when we met and I was queen of France. He came down from the north to Paris with a mind like Aristotle's and a form like mortal sin. We shattered the commandments on the spot."

-- delivered by Katherine Hepburn (from the movie The Lion in Winter)

Note: Also an instance of hyperbole

"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. It's like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark and thinking that there's one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down through the air and there's a sickly moment of dark surprise."

-- delivered by Jude Law (from the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events)

"Rain, somebody said, is like confetti from heaven. So even the heavens are celebrating this morning, joining the rest of us at this wonderful commencement ceremony."

-- USSC Justice John Roberts, Cardigan Commencement Address

"Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. I took the mission. What the hell else was I gonna do?"

-- delivered by Martin Sheen (from the movie Apocalypse Now)

"For the Waterberg’s rhino, an inability to lift their heads above shoulder height, combined with poor eyesight, means they must rely mainly on their sense of smell and hearing to detect threats. Big ears move independently, focusing in on the direction of sounds like huge satellite dishes."

-- YouTube Nature 2018 Documentary

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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