Famous metaphors

Here is a list of famous metaphors or famous sayings / quotes that are metaphors.

The Big Bang.
Fred Hoyle

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.
William Shakespeare

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Pablo Picasso

I am the good shepherd, … and I lay down my life for the sheep.
The Bible, John 10:14-15

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
Albert Einstein

Chaos is a friend of mine.
Bob Dylan

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.
Khalil Gibran

If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
Mother Teresa

America has tossed its cap over the wall of space.
John F. Kennedy

A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.
Groucho Marx

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
Benjamin Franklin

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
Walt Whitman

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.
George Orwell

Dying is a wild night and a new road.
Emily Dickinson

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
William Wordsworth

Conscience is a man’s compass.
Vincent Van Gogh

Know some other good examples? Leave them for us in the comments and we will add them to the list.

Comments (9)
  • […] Famous metaphors Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, an amazing book by Alicia Ostriker, which was recommended by another of my mentors, Jeanne Marie Beaumont. Ostriker’s book is a must read for any poet, woman, or person interested in contemporary issues. Barnstone Metaphor-Image Exercise […]

    Posted by Bald-faced Hornets | The Quality of Light on 26th August, 2012
  • Very interesting metaphors. I’d like to see more examples.

    Posted by SiJae on 8th November, 2012
  • These are very……….interesting. I like some but now all especially mine :)

    Posted by Albert Einstein on 20th February, 2013
  • […] I found Jane Hirshfield’s delicious lesson on The Art of the Metaphor, together with the animation by Ben Pearce, really brought home the immediacy and physicality a metaphor can have. Very inspiring. The door image at the end is fantastic and so evocative that I started writing on the spot. No brilliant metaphors at my fingertips, sadly. But I did find some great metaphors by famous authors here. […]

    Posted by It’s All In The Metaphor | Susi Lovell on 14th May, 2013
  • […] Examples of Popular Metaphors […]

    Posted by List of Metaphors with Examples for Kids | toofin.org on 12th June, 2013
  • […] reveals an eye for detail.  There are many goods ones in the world of literature.  My thanks to MacMillan Dictionary Blog and Wikihow for providing the examples below (and they also provide Metaphor v Simile […]

    Posted by Similes and Metaphors | D. James Fortescue on 1st July, 2013
  • […] can be effective, poetic, beautiful and illustrative – here are some great examples. They can also be mangled. Which is of course where the fun starts. My […]

    Posted by Mangled metaphors | Wordy goodness on 18th November, 2013
  • […] the fishing boat, I ask myself; What makes a really good one? Well I internet surfed my way over to http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/famous-metaphors and did a little “looks” for myself. You see everyone from the likes of Van Gogh to JFK […]

    Posted by metaphorically speaking… | thoughtsbydavetoday on 6th May, 2014
  • […] metaphor is a comparison between two apparently unlike things. The best metaphors are meaningful, memorable, and helpful for clarifying thinking, but even ridiculous metaphors can help to define […]

    Posted by Origins of “Sing Surf Knit” | Sing Surf Knit (SSK) on 11th July, 2014
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