Metaphor of the day: idea

Posted by on April 17, 2011

Metaphors for ideas

An idea or theory is like a building or structure. Developing an idea is like building something, and destroying an idea is like destroying a building. For example:

  • It was a carefully constructed theory.
  • She completely demolished his argument.
  • The theory collapsed/fell apart after he produced new data.

An idea is also like a plant. Developing an idea is like helping a plant to grow, e.g.:

  • The idea grew in her mind until she could think of nothing else.
  • I had sown the seeds of doubt.
  • This belief quickly took root.
  • It was a fruitful line of research.

For more metaphor examples, see the word idea in Macmillan Dictionary.

James Geary covers the ‘ideas are food’ metaphor on his blog.

Can you think of more examples for any of these metaphors? If so, please add them below in a comment.

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