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What Is an Analogy? (with Examples)

What Is an Analogy? (with Examples)

An analogy is the comparison of two similar ideas in order to explain one.

Examples of Analogies

Here are some examples of analogies:

  • This is not considered a good course of action; it would be like throwing the pilot out to make the plane lighter.
  • Selling lucky heather in these hills is like trying to sell sand to the Arabs.
  • Similes and Metaphors

    The most common form for an analogy is a simile or a metaphor.

    Simile. A simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. For example:
    • She is as solid as a rock.
    • She sings like an angel.
    • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
    Read more about similes.

    Metaphor.A metaphor is a figure of speech which asserts that one thing is something that it literally is not. For example:
    • She is a rock.
    • As a singer, she's a crow.
    • Her vocabulary is worse than mine. Hers is...whatever.
    Read more about metaphors.

    Top Tip

    Analogies Are Useful

    Used sparingly in business writing (e.g., once in a document), analogies can:
    • Be used to simplify ideas.
    • Be memorable.
    • Be impactful.
    Here is an example of how an analogy might look in a business document:
    • Plan A would be the most profitable in the short term, but it is building house on a flood plain.