Analogy vs Metaphor – What Are the Differences and Why?

Without a precise connection or direct comparison, distinguishing between an analogy and a metaphor can be difficult.

To make writing more enjoyable, writers employ a variety of literary strategies.

When making comparisons, people often utilize analogies and metaphors. However, the method used by each writer to make that comparison varies slightly.

When it comes to using analogies vs metaphors, keep in mind that they’re all comparisons.

Table of Contents

  1. Analogy
  2. Metaphor
  3. Difference Between Metaphors and Analogies
  4. Why Analogies and Metaphors Differ
  5. Conclusion


An analogy is used to draw comparisons between two or more things or ideas, that is, comparing something to something else with the goal to make a point or explain or clarify things further.

If you compare two items side by side, you’re using an analogy.

A side-by-by-side comparison can assist you in seeing the commonalities.

For the sake of completeness, analogies are described as being the most complex of the three literary devices (Metaphor, Simile and Analogy)

When you compare something to another, you might use a metaphor to help convey that idea. 

The use of analogies is critical when trying to explain complex topics and the connection between them.

Using them to make your argument can be highly effective.

Analogy Examples:

  • Ella is as light as a feather.
  • Jacob is as cold as a refrigerator.
  • He was as funny as a clown.

When to Use an Analogy:

An analogy is a crucial part of a well-crafted argument. Your persuading skills will improve because of it, and you’ll be able to connect with others on a more personal level.

Use it to create a vivid mental image in the reader’s head as you elaborate on a subject that might otherwise be too abstract or hard to convey.


We’ll now examine metaphors. A metaphor can be defined as a figure of speech that draws parallels between seemingly unrelated objects or concepts.

In contrast to an analogy, however, this is a direct comparison.

Metaphors’ use of rhetorical comparisons for emphasis can go deep and it does not include likeness or similarity. It’s a comparison because it compares one item to another.

The use of metaphor is a lyrical way to describe something as being like or being the same as something else.

A metaphor is distinguished by the fact that it is not taken literally.

You can’t be the ‘sunshine’ in a persons’ life in the strictest definition of the term.

Metaphors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to help the reader see something.

When two items are compared, a deeper level of comprehension or meaning is communicated.

When to employ a metaphor: Metaphors are common in literary works like poetry and novels, but you may utilize them in your blog or copy writing to great effect.

In order to provoke an emotional response or build an impressionistic picture, you’re ready to use metaphors.

Examples of Metaphors 

  • The football player is really putting the team on his back. (This is a formal expression of hard-work and dedication.)
  • The boy is an encyclopedia on the go (This metaphor suggests that the boy is extremely knowledgeable.)
  • Debbie has a heart of gold! (Debbie’s heart isn’t actually made of gold.)
  • Is there a black sheep in your family?
  • Laughter is the best medicine.

Using metaphors and analogies in your writing is a great way to help your readers grasp a concept.

An analogy is something that is expressed, while a metaphor expresses the idea.

Keep in mind however that analogy can be expressed in other ways besides metaphor. You may also make use of a simile.

Difference Between Metaphors and Analogies

Analogies compare two objects to convey a point, while metaphors provide a direct comparison. Even yet, these two terms aren’t interchangeable and their purposes are vastly different.

  • An analogy can incorporate a metaphor to improve and strengthen the comparison’s imagery, while the metaphors’ ability to evoke strong emotions increases the likelihood that readers will be interested in the logical conclusion.
  • Analogies are for feeling, while metaphors are used to aid in thinking.
  • A metaphor employs imagery to arouse an emotion or make the reader feel something, while an analogy uses imagery to arrive at a logical conclusion, or even think.
  • Using a metaphor implies that one thing is equivalent to another, while to make a point, an analogy compares two dissimilar concepts.
  • Examining the goal is the best way to spot and differentiate metaphors and analogies.

Why Analogies and Metaphors Differ

  • Metaphors describe abstract concepts in concrete terms, while analogies explain abstract concepts by comparing and contrasting concrete terms. 

When we use metaphors, we reduce a complex idea to a simple visual. In contrast to a metaphor, an analogy conveys a concept through the use of familiar concrete terms and images.

  • Metaphors create a sense of familiarity with the audience.
  • Metaphors trigger emotions, while analogy triggers logical end results.


Knowing the differences between an analogy vs metaphor is only part of what it takes to write effective copy.

Analogies and metaphors are similar but are not the same thing.

Keep in mind that you can use one term or phrase to refer to something different through the use of metaphor.

An analogy is more of a logical argument than a figure of speech; to indicate that two objects have some similarities.

The speaker of an analogy will frequently point out common traits between them to illustrate the similarities between the two disparate objects, but it is more difficult to use.

Don’t get them mixed up.

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