simile (sĭmˈəlē) [key] [Lat., = likeness], in rhetoric, a figure of speech in which an object is explicitly compared to another object. Robert Burns's poem "A Red Red Rose" contains two straightforward similes:

My love is like a red, red rose
 That's newly sprung in June:
My love is like the melody
 That's sweetly played in tune.

The epic, or Homeric, simile is an elaborate, formal, and sustained simile derived from those of Homer.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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