a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.” Compare metaphor.
an instance of such a figure of speech or a use of words exemplifying it.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin: image, likeness, comparison, noun use of neuter of similis similar

metaphor, simile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
simile (ˈsɪmɪlɪ)
Compare metaphor a figure of speech that expresses the resemblance of one thing to another of a different category, usually introduced by as or like
[C14: from Latin simile something similar, from similis like]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1393, from L. simile "a like thing," neuter of similis "like" (see similar). "A simile, to be perfect, must both illustrate and ennoble the subject." [Johnson].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
simile [(sim-uh-lee)]

A common figure of speech that explicitly compares two things usually considered different. Most similes are introduced by like or as: “The realization hit me like a bucket of cold water.” (Compare metaphor.)

Note: Some similes, such as “sleeping like a log,” have become clichés.
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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Example sentences
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to
  seeing in print.
He implies that this level of figurative ornament is a kind of self-censorship
  by simile.
There is more regard for the quaintness and unexpectedness of a simile than for
  its beauty or fitness.
It has done great good there, keeping down the phony simile, the woolly clause.
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