Implied metaphor  A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things, without using the word "like" or "as." An implied metaphor is subtle comparison in which the terms being compared are not specifically explained. For example, to describe a stubborn man unwilling to leave, one could say that he was "a mule standing his ground." This is a fairly explicit metaphor; the man is being compared to a mule. But to say that the man "brayed his refusal to leave" is to create an implied metaphor, because the subject (the man) is never overtly identified as a mule. Braying is associated with the mule, a notoriously stubborn creature, and so the comparison between the stubborn man and the mule is sustained. Implied metaphors can slip by inattentive readers who are not sensitive to such carefully chosen, highly concentrated language.(See also, metaphor.)

The definitions in this glossary were adapted from The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Sixth Edition, by Michael Meyer