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Looking for different types of figurative language? Some common figures of language include simple, metaphors, hyperbole, personification assonance, and more.

Come along with us as we explore these everyday sayings, discovering the magic they bring to our language with their creativity and beauty.

What is Figurative Language?

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Figurative language is like creatively using words. It goes beyond their usual meanings to make communication more interesting. Instead of saying things directly, it uses expressions to create a deeper and more vivid message.

It helps writers and speakers stir emotions, create vivid images, and explain abstract ideas in a captivating and memorable manner. It makes communication more lively and expressive by sparking the imagination and engaging the senses.

Where To Use Figurative Language?

The language is commonly used in various forms of communication. Here are some common uses:

  • Literature and Poetry: Writers use figurative language to enhance their work with metaphors, similes, and symbolism.
  • Everyday Conversation: People use expressions like "raining cats and dogs" or "time flies" to add color and emphasis.
  • Advertising: Advertisers incorporate metaphors and catchy phrases to make products more appealing.
  • Music Lyrics: Songwriters use metaphors, similes, and personification to convey emotions and engage listeners.
  • Speeches and Oratory: Public speakers use metaphors and similes to captivate audiences and make messages memorable.
  • Education and Explanation: Figurative language is used in education to explain complex concepts through relatable analogies.


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A simile is one of the figures of language that involves comparing two unlike things using the words "like" or "as." It serves to create vivid and imaginative descriptions by drawing parallels between different elements.

It is a powerful tool in language that helps writers and speakers bring out clear pictures, emotions, or characteristics in a relatable and interesting way. It adds depth and impact to communication, making it more rich and engaging.

Examples of Figurative Language:

  • Her laughter echoed through the room, as melodious as a songbird in the morning.
  • The old man's wisdom was like a well-worn book, its pages filled with the stories of a lifetime.
  • The city streets at night were as busy as a beehive, with people buzzing around like industrious workers in a hive.


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A metaphor is a potent literary device where a direct comparison is made between two unrelated things, suggesting that they share common characteristics. Unlike a simile, a metaphor asserts that one thing is another.

It is a tool that helps us express complex ideas and emotions more colorfully and imaginatively. Instead of just saying something is similar to another thing, a metaphor boldly declares that they are the same.


  • Her smile was a ray of sunshine, brightening even the gloomiest of days.
  • The city streets were rivers of people, flowing in a constant stream of movement.
  • His words were arrows, piercing through the defenses of indifference with pinpoint accuracy.


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Personification is like giving superpowers to things that aren't human and making them talk, think, and feel as if they were. It's when we treat objects, animals, or ideas like they're one of us, with emotions and actions.

By bringing non-human stuff to life, personification adds a touch of magic to words. It's a way of making the everyday world more interesting, helping us connect with the world around us in a way that feels familiar and, sometimes, a bit enchanted.

Figurative Languages Examples:

  • The wind sighed through the trees, sharing nature's secrets.
  • The stubborn door refused to open as if it had a mind of its own.
  • The sun dipped below the horizon, bidding the world a warm goodnight.


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It involves extreme exaggeration to make a point or create emphasis. Hyperbole is like cranking up the volume of our words, making things sound much bigger, grander, or more intense than they are. 

This exaggeration is not meant to be taken literally but serves to convey strong feelings, emphasize a situation, or add a touch of humor. It adds drama, humor, and impact to language by deliberately overstating things.


  • I've got a million things to do before the deadline.
  • This book weighs a ton; it feels like lifting a boulder.
  • My backpack is so heavy; it's like carrying a small elephant on my shoulders.


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Understatement is like when you talk about something, but you make it sound less important or intense than it really is. It's not about exaggerating, it's about downplaying to create a subtle effect.

Instead of saying something directly, you kind of make it sound smaller or less serious. It's a way of talking that makes people think a bit more because there's often more to the situation than what's said.


  • I only ran a marathon, no big deal.
  • The concert was alright; the band played a few good songs.
  • Fixing the leaky faucet was a minor plumbing challenge.


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Why use alliteration as a figurative language? Alliteration, with its playful repetition of initial consonant sounds, is a captivating and rhythmic device that elevates language to new heights.

By intentionally playing with similar sounds writers make language more enjoyable quality. It's not just about showing off language skills, it's a thoughtful choice that emphasizes points and creates a pleasing rhythm in expressions.


  • Sally sells seashells by the seashore.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • The wild winds whisked through the willow tree.


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Assonance is like a quiet yet strong player in the world of figurative language language. It brings a musical quality to words by repeating similar vowel sounds close to each other.

It's like weaving a subtle symphony that adds harmony and melody to language. This figurative technique, often employed in poetry and prose, adds a poetic cadence, heightening the emotional and aesthetic impact of language.


  • The pale moon's rays played on the lake, creating a serene scene.
  • The old oak grove echoed with the cooing of the doves.
  • The whispering winds carried secrets through the weeping willows.


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While diving into the world of language, consonance is an intriguing element of figurative expression. Unlike assonance, which repeats vowel sounds, consonance highlights the repetition of consonant sounds in nearby words.

It is like a quiet musical thread, stitching words together with shared consonants. Imagine it as a gentle hum beneath the surface of words, bringing unity and rhythm to the overall composition.


  • Toss the glass, boss.
  • It will creep and beep while you sleep.
  • He struck a streak of bad luck.


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It is like a linguistic echo that copies the real sounds linked to objects or actions. Instead of just using words, it lets language imitate the actual sounds, making communication more vivid and lifelike.

By using words that mimic real sounds, it creates a vivid auditory experience for the audience. It bridges the gap between language and the tangible world, inviting readers or listeners to engage in an immersive experience.


  • The flood water gushed through the town.
  • At night, the wind was howling in the darkness.
  • My teeth chattered as I stood in the snow.


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The irony is like a linguistic wink, a subtle play between expectation and reality, where words convey a meaning opposite to their literal interpretation. There are three main types of irony:

Verbal Irony: Occurs when someone says something but means the opposite.

  • Situation: It's pouring rain outside.
  • Statement: What a lovely day for a picnic!

Situational Irony: Involves a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually occurs.

  • Situation: A fire station burns down.
  • Comment: Well, that's one way to prove they weren't fireproof.

Dramatic Irony: Arises when the audience knows something that the characters in a story do not, adding tension and suspense.

  • Situation: In a play, the audience knows a character's secret, but the character remains unaware.
  • Dialogue: Two characters discussing a surprise party for one of them.
  • Audience awareness: The character being surprised has no idea about the party.


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An oxymoron combines contradictory or opposing ideas or terms to create a paradoxical effect. In other words, it involves using words that seem to contradict each other.

Despite the apparent contradiction, they're used to convey complex meanings, add depth to language, or create a striking and memorable expression. The mix of these opposing elements often brings a thought-provoking or humorous impact.


  • There is a real love hate relationship developing between the two of them.
  • You are clearly confused by the situation you have found yourself in.
  • Sorry, I can’t help you out right now, I am involved in my own minor crisis.


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This language involves referencing another work of literature, art, historical event, or cultural phenomenon. It's a brief and indirect mention meant to evoke certain ideas, associations, or emotions without explicitly stating them.

Allusions are often used to enrich the meaning of a text, create connections, or add layers of meaning for those familiar with the referenced source.


  • He was a real Romeo with the ladies.
  • Her smile was as mysterious as the Mona Lisa's.
  • His Achilles' heel was his overconfidence.


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Symbolism is a literary device where an author uses symbols, words, characters, objects, or concepts to represent something beyond their literal meaning. These symbols can carry rich layers of meaning.

It isn't limited to literature; it's widely present in art, religion, and culture. It lets creators express intricate ideas and themes in a subtle and layered way.


  • The Mockingbird in "To Kill a Mockingbird."
  • The Green Light in "The Great Gatsby."
  • Black is the symbol of death.