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A simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things, often introduced with the words "like" or "as". A simile is different from a metaphor, in that the writer makes it clear that a comparison is being made.

The following example, from the poem Meta Metaphor, uses a simile to describe similes:

Meta Metaphor
The simile is like an actor's prop
That dresses up a bare and hardwood stage

(Copyright 2010 by Douglas Twitchell)

The use of the word "like" warns the reader that a comparison is made. The comparison is that just as a prop makes the stage more interesting, a simile makes a poem more interesting.

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