Metaphor and Cliches -8examples of cliche


Metaphor and Cliches

This is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not applicable. It can also be referred to as poetically calling things something else.

It is sometimes compared with other figurative languages such as antithesis, hyperbole, metonymy and simile.

Examples of metaphor:

  1. It’s raining cats and dogs.
  2. Love is a battlefield.
  3. Walls have ears.
  4. You light up my life.
  5. He broke my heart.
  6. She was fishing for compliments.
  7. I’m drowning in a sea of grief.
  8. Time is a thief.
  9. He is the apple of my eye.
  10. I’m feeling blue.
  11. She has such a bubbly personality.
  12.  He reeks of infidelity.
  13. I feel the stench of failure coming on.
  14. This is the icing on the cake.
  15. His words cut deeper than a knife.
  16. The moonlight sparkled brighter than a gipsy.
  17. The key to success is hard work.
  18. The newspaper is a plague.
  19. Your uncle is a tortoise.
  20. There is a garden in her face.

Recommend: Personification -meaning, importance and 45 examples


  1. Absolute metaphor: the comparison of two things that are not connected. E.g there is a garden in her face.
  2. Dead metaphor: These metaphors are the overused everyday figurative language. E.g she is the apple of my eyes.
  3. Extended metaphors: these are elongated metaphors meant to resonate deep comparisons. E.g she is a rose, beautiful to behold, fragrant to spiky and uneasy to pluck.
  4. Implied metaphors: these metaphors compare two things without using specific terms. E.g a warning was barked at him.
  5. Root metaphors: these metaphors are similar to dead metaphors. They are used in our everyday language that we hardly identify them as a metaphor. E.g time waits for no one.
  6. Visual metaphor: metaphors here are used to compare a thing and a visual image. These are commonly used in advertising. E.g a yoghurt drink manufacturing company picturing their latest yoghurt drink alongside an image of a cow. The metaphor is used to suggest the drink is as sweet and fresh as cow milk.
  7. Mixed metaphor: the comparison of metaphors that are not compatible. E.g a watched clock never boils.

Also See: Onomatopoeia and 48 examples


1. Metaphors must be image-driven to paint a picture immediately after it is thought about.
2. Metaphors should inculcate everyday language, not necessarily Shakespearean language.
3. Metaphors must be original and not plagiarized.

Also Read: Word – Meaning, Categories And 20 Examples


Metaphors and simile are closely related to figurative language and tend to be misunderstood. Here are a few examples to recognize the use of each.

  1. A simile uses like or as for comparison.
  2. Similes are obvious.
  3. Objects compared in simile often have something in common.
  4. Metaphors make direct comparisons.
  5. Objects compared in metaphors often times not related.


Metaphors that are commonly confused with cliches are called dead metaphors. Dead metaphors are metaphors that have been so overused that they’ve lost their figurative qualities. Cliches, on the other hand, rely on overly familiar language, whether figurative or literal.

They’re a string of words that have been overused.
Examples of cliches are:

  1. Actions speak louder than words.
  2. The grass is always greener on the other side.
  3. You can’t judge a book by its cover.
  4. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  5. Ignorance is bliss.
  6. Time heals all wound.
  7. I’m like a kid in a candy store.
  8. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Metaphors should be used when creatively writing because of their over-reliance on figurative expression. They are not clear words and may sound obsolete for formal work or writing. The use of metaphor in formal work is rarely done. When used in formal work it is subtly used in other not to make a caricature of the formal work.


1. Metaphors create last impressions.
2. Metaphors conveys thought deeply than ordinary statements.
3. Metaphors make use of exaggeration to draw a clear picture.


1. Metaphors are not to be used in substitution for real understanding.
2. Metaphors are not to be used in coding language.
3. The unbridled use of metaphor makes the user look imprecise.

Do you have a suggestion or comment on Metaphor and Cliches? Kindly use the comment section and we will get back to you.

Igbaji Ugabi Chinwendu, from Cross River State, Nigeria. As a Business Educator, he is profoundly interested in teaching and managing business. Started blogging 2010 and officially 2013. He holds the esteemed positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director at Freemanbiz Communication and Writers King LTD, demonstrating his leadership and expertise in the field.


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