Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor

Main Difference – Analogy vs Metaphor

Analogy and Metaphor both create a comparison between two unrelated and different objects or concepts. An analogy makes a comparison between two things in such a way that you can see the relationship between the two. Metaphors are one type of figures of speech that helps to make a comparison between the two things. In simple words, an analogy is a comparison between two things and metaphor is a tool that is used to make this comparison. This can be termed as the main difference between analogy and metaphor.

What is Analogy

An analogy is a comparison between two things that quite different and unrelated. In an analogy, one thing is described by examining its similarities with another thing. Similes and metaphors are literary devices that are used to draw an analogy, and an analogy is more extensive and elaborate than either of these literary devices.

“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

― Winston S. Churchill

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“He is like the fox, who effaces his tracks in the sand with his tail.

― Niels Henrik Abel

“Yeast is to flour as action is to ambition. Rising to success requires adding and alternating starters.”

― Ryan Lilly

In the above examples, you’ll note that literary devices like metaphors and similes have been used. But these quotes cannot be simply termed as a simile or metaphor because the comparison is further explained by their similar characteristics. It is more of a logical argument in which the reasons for the comparison are explained.

Writers often use analogies to explain a new or unfamiliar concept by using a common or familiar object. It helps the readers to understand the new idea better.

Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor

A sword is to a warrior as pen is to a writer.

What is Metaphor

A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unrelated things. A metaphor states that one thing is the other thing or that one thing is a substitute for another thing. This is different from the function of the simile, which states one thing is like another thing. This difference in meaning is achieved with the use of connecting words. A metaphor does not use connecting words such as ‘as’ and ‘like’, unlike a simile.

A metaphor usually focuses on a resemblance between two completely different things. The term metaphor actually comes from Greek metaphorá meaning to transfer. It can be said that a metaphor transfers meaning from one object to another so that the second object can be understood in a new way.

Given below are some famous quotes that contain metaphors.

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

― Virginia Woolf

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”

― Truman Capote

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

― Crowfoot 

Main Difference - Analogy vs Metaphor

Books are the mirrors of the soul.

Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor


Analogy is a comparison where an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it.

Metaphor is a literary device that compares two things without the use of connecting words “like” or “as.”


Analogy is more elaborate and extensive than a metaphor.

Metaphor is less elaborate and extensive than analogy.


Analogy uses literary devices like similes and metaphors.

Metaphors are used to create analogies.

Difference Between Analogy and Metaphor- infographic

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