metaphor [Gr.,=transfer], in rhetoric, a figure of speech in which one class of things is referred to as if it belonged to another class. Whereas a simile states that A is like B, a metaphor states that A is B or substitutes B for A. Some metaphors are explicit, like Shakespeare's line from As You Like It: "All the world's a stage." A metaphor can also be implicit, as in Shakespeare's Sonnet LXXIII, where old age is indicated by a description of autumn:

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
  Where yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
  Bare ruined choirs, where once the sweet birds sang.

A dead metaphor, such as "the arm" of a chair, is one that has become so common that it is no longer considered a metaphor.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Metaphor: Selected full-text books and articles

Metaphor: A Practical Introduction
Zoltán Kövecses.
Oxford University Press, 2002
The Language of Metaphors
Andrew Goatly.
Routledge, 1997
Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure
Eva Feder Kittay.
Clarendon Press, 1989
Metaphor: Implications and Applications
Jeffery Scott Mio; Albert N. Katz.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge
Sabine Maasen; Peter Weingart.
Routledge, 2000
The Depictive Image: Metaphor and Literary Experience
Phillip Stambovsky.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1988
Investigating English Discourse: Language, Literacy and Literature
Ronald Carter.
Routledge, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Metaphor and Creative Risks"
Metaphor and Symbol
L. C. Knights; Basil Cottle.
Butterworths Scientific, 1960
The Myth of Metaphor
Colin Murry Turbayne.
Yale University Press, 1962
Metaphor and Emotion: Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling
Zoltán Kövecses.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters
Annette Kolodny.
University of North Carolina Press, 1975
Metaphor and Truth in History
McCullagh, C. Behan.
CLIO, Vol. 23, No. 1, Fall 1993
In Sickness and in Health: Disease as Metaphor in Art and Popular Wisdom
Laurinda S. Dixon; Gabriel P. Weisberg.
University of Delaware Press, 2004
Metaphor and Religious Language
Janet Martin Soskice.
Clarendon Press, 1987
God and the Creative Imagination: Metaphor, Symbol, and Myth in Religion and Theology
Paul Avis.
Routledge, 1999
Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor, and Ideology
Martin J. Medhurst; Robert L. Ivie; Philip Wander; Robert L. Scott.
Michigan State University Press, 1997 (Revised edition)
A War of Words in the Discourse of Trade: The Rhetorical Constitution of Metaphor
Philip Eubanks.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000
Objects of Metaphor
Samuel Guttenplan.
Clarendon Press, 2005
Using Metaphors for High-Performance Teaching and Coaching
Gassner, Gregory Jay.
JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 70, No. 7, September 1999
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