What Is an Analogy? (with Examples)

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What Is an Analogy? (with Examples)

An analogy is the comparison of two similar ideas in order to explain one.

Examples of Analogies

Here are some examples of analogies:

  • This is not considered a good course of action; it would be like throwing the pilot out to make the plane lighter.
  • Selling lucky heather in these hills is like trying to sell sand to the Arabs.
  • Similes and Metaphors

    The most common form for an analogy is a simile or a metaphor.

    Simile. A simile is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. For example:
    • She is as solid as a rock.
    • She sings like an angel.
    • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
    Read more about similes.

    Metaphor.A metaphor is a figure of speech which asserts that one thing is something that it literally is not. For example:
    • She is a rock.
    • As a singer, she's a crow.
    • Her vocabulary is worse than mine. Hers is...whatever.
    Read more about metaphors.


    Used sparingly in business writing (e.g., once in a document), analogies can:
    • Be used to simplify ideas.
    • Be memorable.
    • Be impactful.
    Here is an example of how an analogy might look in a business document:
    • Plan A would be the most profitable in the short term, but it is building house on a flood plain.