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metaphor

[met-uh-fawr, -fer] /ˈmɛt əˌfɔr, -fər/
noun
1.
a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”.
Compare mixed metaphor, simile (def 1).
2.
something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin metaphora < Greek metaphorá a transfer, akin to metaphérein to transfer. See meta-, -phore
Related forms
metaphorical
[met-uh-fawr-i-kuh l, -for-] /ˌmɛt əˈfɔr ɪ kəl, -ˈfɒr-/ (Show IPA),
metaphoric, adjective
metaphorically, adverb
metaphoricalness, noun
hypermetaphoric, adjective
hypermetaphorical, adjective
nonmetaphoric, adjective
nonmetaphorical, adjective
nonmetaphorically, adverb
semimetaphoric, adjective
semimetaphorical, adjective
semimetaphorically, adverb
submetaphoric, adjective
submetaphorical, adjective
submetaphorically, adverb
Can be confused
metaphor, simile.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for metaphorically
  • Perhaps the neurons become desensitized and need more and more to produce the high-to put out pixie dust, metaphorically speaking.
  • Virtually all the rest of your post is, metaphorically, noise.
  • The answer is to invent a language and/or transform the problem metaphorically.
  • Astronomers have been looking through the wrong end of the telescope, metaphorically.
  • He was metaphorically on his knees in penitence, and confessed himself a miserable sinner in the loveliest manner possible.
  • It looked uncommonly small-not only physically but metaphorically as well.
  • Not kind of about him, not metaphorically about him, but actually about him.
  • The coolest thing about the characters in these games is how they manage to stay alive, realistically or metaphorically.
  • In this case it has turned land into sea, metaphorically speaking.
  • So unless your encryption actually makes the information look decrypted while it is not, you're metaphorically screwed.
British Dictionary definitions for metaphorically

metaphor

/ˈmɛtəfə; -ˌfɔː/
noun
1.
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote in order to imply a resemblance, for example he is a lion in battle Compare simile
Derived Forms
metaphoric (ˌmɛtəˈfɒrɪk), metaphorical, adjective
metaphorically, adverb
metaphoricalness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from Greek metaphora, from metapherein to transfer, from meta- + pherein to bear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for metaphorically

metaphor

n.

late 15c., from Middle French metaphore (Old French metafore, 13c.), and directly from Latin metaphora, from Greek metaphora "a transfer," especially of the sense of one word to a different word, literally "a carrying over," from metapherein "transfer, carry over; change, alter; to use a word in a strange sense," from meta- "over, across" (see meta-) + pherein "to carry, bear" (see infer).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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metaphorically in Culture

metaphor definition


The comparison of one thing to another without the use of like or as: “A man is but a weak reed”; “The road was a ribbon of moonlight.” Metaphors are common in literature and expansive speech. (Compare simile.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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