Cec Murphy is running a series on his blog discussing confusing words. It is worth the trip over there to read his articles.
I read and hear metaphor used with a variety of meanings. A metaphor is a figure of speech applied to something to which it’s not literally applicable. Worse, the two words get tossed around as if they mean exactly the same thing.
A simile is a metaphor, but not all metaphors are similes. That is, metaphor is a broader term, and a literary device that transfers the qualities or aspects from one object to another. Example: I tried to write but my mind was an empty screen. Read more.
Nancy and Kelly