A simile () is a figure of speech that directly compares two things through the explicit use of connecting words (such as like, as, so, than, or various verbs such as resemble). Although similes and metaphors are sometimes considered as interchangeable, similes acknowledge the imperfections and limitations of the comparative relationship to a greater extent than metaphors. Metaphors are subtler and therefore rhetorically stronger in that metaphors equate two things rather than simply compare them. Similes also hedge/protect the author against outrageous, incomplete, or unfair comparison. Generally, metaphor is the stronger and more encompassing of the two forms of rhetorical analogies.