Metaphor Examples for English Language

By reviewing these metaphor examples in the list of metaphors, you'll see that they offer a fun little twist to our english language. It is this bit of mind bending that has made them so popular as a Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP) tool... they make us think and process information differently.

Inspiring Stories and Metaphors
101 Inspiring Metaphor Stories for Business and Life
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You'll see by looking at the list of metaphor examples below that in it's most common form, a metaphor likens one thing to another.

Although... it does not use the words 'like' or 'as'. It basically says one thing 'is' another.

Most often, the subjects have no major similarities between one another. The comparison may be based on one particular aspect, and on a less obvious quality.

By comparing or likening two diverse things, our minds are called to process information in a new way. We are offered a new dimension to understanding, and given the opportunity to see the world in a new light.
This is a potent gift of sensory language, and an attribute that has made metaphors so popular as a neuro linguistic programming (NLP) tool.

Play around with the concept and think up some of your own. Put in your two cents towards NLP and english language teaching, and share your examples of metaphors. I'll add them to the list.

More subtle forms of metaphors include 'dead metaphors' and 'complex metaphors'. Both of these types are evident in simple sensory language.

List of Metaphor Examples
Likening Human Attributes To Something Else

The babies eyes are deep pools of potential.

Her light curly hair was a golden crown topping her good looks.

His temper boiled over.

His joy is a bright light to everyone he meets.

His positive attitude is a lighthouse for the hopeful.

His advice is a valuable guiding light.

Her ideas mushroomed, expanding and multiplying quickly.

He crossed the bridge from judging those around him, to supporting them.

The fearful man is a snake in the grass… laying low and ready to strike at any provocation.

The closet of her mind had tightly closed the doors on change.

Her past mistakes were potholes she wanted to miss in the future.

Their marriage was a new chapter in their lives.

His sarcasm was just the kick in the pants that she needed to move forward.

She didn’t dally; she took the escalator from self righteousness to humility.

New ideas blossomed in her mind.

His presentation lit a fire under them, and their motivation soared.

She’s a butterfly still in her cocoon.

Her son’s birth was a new sunrise in her life.

Her self worth is a personal diamond.

His plans were rock solid.

Her young voice was a melodious song.

His deep booming voice was a steamroller driving his point home.

He has a monkey mind… his thoughts darting from one thing to another and never resting.

The children were an obedient little flock of sheep, following their teachers every move.

Her grisly manner was a yellow caution light to everyone she met.

They are money magnets… riches simply fall into their laps.

Inner peace is a stairway to heaven.

Fading memories are footprints in sand.

Knowledge is a seedling for freedom.

Asking questions is priming the pump of understanding.

Your thoughts are the seeds of creation.

His dreams are bright stars that he is racing towards.


List of Metaphor Examples Likening One Thing To Another

The coastal highway is a winding river of cars on the weekend.

The full moon is a perfect saucer.

The rich green lush rain forest is an invitation to dream.

The wind in the trees is the voice of the spirits.

Skyscrapers are totems of a modern society reaching to heaven for meaning.

Tools are the stepping stones for advancing technology.

Money is a gateway to possibilities.

Inspiring Quotes That Have Metaphor Examples

Failure… is a temporary detour, not a dead end.
Denis Waitley

Procrastination is the thief of time.
Edward Young

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare

When you are inspired with a dream, God has hit the ball into your court.
Robert H Schuller

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.
Mother Teresa

"Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her. But once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game."
Voltaire

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.
Mother Teresa

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
Albert Einstein

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars.
Henry Ford

When and How To Use Metaphors - Create Your Own

Write Your Own Metaphor Stories

Definitive Guidebook to Writing Metaphor Stories for Business and Life
Great for teaching others how to use metaphors too!

It is great to use a variety of metaphors in your everyday speech. It's fun, and it helps paint a bigger and brighter picture for people's understanding.

The book on the right, A Sprinkling of Magic, uses everyday metaphor examples to guide you through the elements that make up a great metaphor. Then, step by step you are taken by the hand to formulate your own powerful metaphor stories!

Some of the occasions when metaphors add effectiveness to your meaning include when you are:


"You don't see something until you have the
right metaphor to let you perceive it."
Robert Stetson Shaw

"Yes, metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive."
Gregory Bateson

Share Your Metaphor Examples and Comments

"This is awesome! Really a amazing read. This reading made me to search for more about Metaphors and I stumbled upon a book with ready to use Metaphors in Kindle store. Thought of sharing with all with hope that it may also help others as this post did to me. It is a book of short stories and metaphors (see link to right). The metaphors given in book are really interesting and price is value for money."
John

"The internet is a highway, not a garbage dump."
Anonymous

"Her love is a beautiful butterfly just now coming alive."
Heather Davis

"The sun is a golden coin."
Anonymous

"Your room is a pigsty!"
Anonymous

"Her beauty is the brightness of the earth."
Anonymous

"The skunk is a little symphony of the night."
Anonymous

"Life is a race that you can win or lose."
Tharuna

  • i have a lot on my plate today
  • he was a skyscraper
  • he stabbed a thorn in to my delicate heart
  • sado
"The baby bird hatching is a flower bud blooming."
Anonymous

"And She's Buying a Stairway to Heaven"
By Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
Anonymous

Personal Development Articles from Metaphor Examples

Personal Development Home from Metaphor Examples

Your Personal Development Comments

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Inspiring jewelry...
Symbolic and Sacred

Around the world in a Jewel ... That's the challenge that artist David Weitzman has successfully taken up when designing his jewels. From the Egyptian Ankh to the Tibetan Aum, each jewel is based on a powerful symbol of life and (inner) peace, spanning different cultures and times.

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