Simile Examples and Video: Keeping Similes Simple

Updated on February 2, 2018
Keeping Similes Simple - As easy as pie!
Keeping Similes Simple - As easy as pie! | Source

A Simile Compares Two Unlike Things Using "Like" or "As"

Traditionally the items being compared share some form of characteristics. Therefore, whenever we are teaching or learning similes it is best to keep it simple before analyzing or introducing classical poetry. Always get your basics down first.

Some Basic Comparisons:

Notice how the following common similes share a simple characteristic;

He is as stubborn as a mule (mules are known to be stubborn - therefore, he is also stubborn)

He is as strong as an ox (an ox is known to be strong - therefore, he is also strong)

She is as sharp as a tack (a tack is of course sharp - here sharp means smart or dresses well - therefore, she is sharp)

She swims like a fish (fish obviously know how to swim - therefore, she is a great swimmer)

Easy right?

Once you have a basic understanding of similes you can move on to more complex comparisons. Complex similes are known to truly compare two UNLIKE things.

For example, in Emily Dickinson's "Nature XXVI" the opening verse reads as follows;

There came a wind like a bugle;

  1. The word "like" is the first clue that this is a simile.
  2. What are the two items being compared? "Wind" and "bugle."
  3. Initially, it seems that the wind and the bugle have nothing in common other than moving air.
  4. This poem is basically describing an approaching storm. A bugle is an instrument similar to a trumpet. When wind approaches it is known to howl or swish—to make a sound. Dickinson is using the bugle as a sensory detail for us to "hear" the wind.

As tall as a giraffe - Simile Poster
As tall as a giraffe - Simile Poster | Source
This pizza is as cold as ice - Simile Poster
This pizza is as cold as ice - Simile Poster | Source

Basic Definition of a Simile

A simile is a comparison of two things that have something in common, but are really very different.

Here is another example, although it is cliché:

Life is like a stage.
  1. Life is compared to a stage - two different things, it would seem.
  2. However, in life we have to perform well. Our family, friends and peers are our constant audience. Our personal and professional performance is almost always up for review. Thus, life is like a stage.
  3. Get it?

Tip, if you ever get stuck on trying to figure out what a simile means, always analyze and determine what the characteristics of the objects are - then try to make the connection.

Remember, it must compare using LIKE or AS - otherwise it's a METAPHOR.

Simile Quiz: Choose the Correct Answer, What Is Being Compared to Whhat?

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Simile Quiz: Complete the Simile

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Simile Quiz: Identify Whether the Sentence Has a Simile or a Metaphor.

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Simile Video

Simile Posters come in handy
Simile Posters come in handy | Source

© 2011 Marisa Hammond Olivares


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    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      shakeel, thank you for stopping by to read - glad you enjoyed it

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thank,s msdora i,m really enjoy......

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      stessily - Smiles are beautiful and so are similes :)

      I'm glad you enjoyed my hub and I'm as happy as a clam that you stopped by to read. Thanks for your wonderful comment.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      missolive, As with inaniLoquence, I clicked on this hub, having misread "similes" as "smiles"! No problem. I love similes, so I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. Similes liven up writing, just as smiles enliven our day. The rules are simple; similes, like smiles, may be found everywhere.

      Well done.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thank you MsDora - you made my morning! :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're such a good teacher. Thanks!

    • alvinalex profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting Hub! voted up with simple :)

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 

      8 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Thanks for the links....

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great reading from you "As sure as Night follows Day."

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      life is full of happy surprises :)

      Your smile is like a ray of sunshine

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I also thought this hub was about smiles...I learned more about similes....fantastic! Thank you! :)

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @ InaniLoquence

      hehe well, you are not the first. I have many students that "INSIST" it says "smile"

      Regardless, I'm glad you found it refreshing

    • inaniLoquence profile image


      8 years ago from Singapore

      When I clicked on the hub, I thought it was about SMILES and how to keep them simple and friendly. However, much to my surprise, it's actually about SIMILES. :) I think my eyes are tricking me now... But I did enjoy reading through; A great refresher for budding authors like me. Thanks!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      well aren't you one with words?! I think I blushed!

      Thank you epi

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      ..well there is always happy reading when I visit the hubfantastic hubs of the supreme and radiant Miss Olive

      as you have the inimitable gift of a teacher's pedigree in your writing - and it's always good to learn something new - and I certainly learn from you~!

      lake erie time 9:07pm ontario canada


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