Hello. This is Heather Kamins for About.com, and today I'm going to explain what a simile is.A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things to highlight some similarity between them. And when I say directly compares, I mean that it uses the word like or as to make that comparison. So for example, when you say that someone is as stubborn as a mule, you're comparing that person's stubbornness to that of a mule.Similes can incorporate other types of elements from other figures of speech. For example, hyperbole or exaggeration. You could say something is as a big as a mountain. That's a simile that uses exaggeration. Or your simile could incorporate irony, where what you're expressing has the opposite meaning of the literal meaning of the word. For example, if you say something is as interesting as watching paint dry, that means it's not very interesting.Most similes use as or like to make the comparison. But they can also use other words such as than or as if. So for example, if you say truth is stranger than fiction, you're actually highlighting the difference, you're saying that the truth is even more strange than fiction.When you're using similes in your own writing, do be aware that some common similes are considered cliches, unoriginal or overused. But you can always make up your own. For example, instead of saying he's as stubborn as a mule, you could say as stubborn as an itch, or something else that you think is stubborn.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.