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:
The epic, or Homeric, simile is an elaborate, formal, and sustained simile derived from those of Homer.
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 Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.