[n] a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
\Met"a*phor\, n. [F. m['e]taphore, L. metaphora, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to carry over, transfer; meta` beyond, over + fe`rein to bring, bear.] (Rhet.) The transference of the relation between one set of objects to another set for the purpose of brief explanation; a compressed simile; e. g., the ship plows the sea. --Abbott & Seeley. ``All the world's a stage.'' --Shak. Note: The statement, ``that man is a fox,'' is a metaphor; but ``that man is like a fox,'' is a simile, similitude, or comparison.