Let's Compare Allegory and Analogy


Allegory is a device in which characters or events represent or symbolize ideas and concepts. Allegory has been used widely throughout the history of art, and in all forms of artwork.

allegory n 1: a short moral story (often with animal characters) [syn: {fable}, {parable}, {apologue}] 2: a visible symbol representing an abstract idea [syn: {emblem}] 3: an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances; an extended metaphor

117 Moby Thesaurus words for "allegory": Marchen, Western, Western story, Westerner, adventure story, allusion, analogy, apologue, arcane meaning, assumption, balancing, bedtime story, charactery, cipher, coloration, comparative anatomy, comparative degree, comparative grammar, comparative judgment, comparative linguistics, comparative literature, comparative method, compare, comparing, comparison, confrontation, confrontment, connotation, contrast, contrastiveness, conventional symbol, correlation, detective story, distinction, distinctiveness, emblem, fable, fabliau, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, figuration, folk story, folktale, gest, ghost story, hint, horse opera, iconology, ideogram, implication, implied meaning, import, inference, innuendo, intimation, ironic suggestion, legend, likening, logogram, logotype, love knot, love story, matching, meaning, metaphor, metaphorical sense, mystery, mystery story, myth, mythology, mythos, nuance, nursery tale, occult meaning, opposing, opposition, overtone, parable, parallelism, pictogram, presumption, presupposition, proportion, relation, romance, science fiction, shocker, simile, similitude, space fiction, space opera, subsense, subsidiary sense, suggestion, supposition, suspense story, symbol, symbolic system, symbolism, symbolization, symbology, thriller, tinge, token, totem, totem pole, touch, trope of comparison, type, typification, undercurrent, undermeaning, undertone, weighing, whodunit, work of fiction

Allegory \Al"le*go*ry\, n.; pl. {Allegories}. [L. allegoria, Gr. ?, description of one thing under the image of another; ? other + ? to speak in the assembly, harangue, ? place of assembly, fr. ? to assemble: cf. F. all['e]gorie.] 1. A figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in its properties and circumstances. The real subject is thus kept out of view, and we are left to collect the intentions of the writer or speaker by the resemblance of the secondary to the primary subject. [1913 Webster] 2. Anything which represents by suggestive resemblance; an emblem. [1913 Webster] 3. (Paint. & Sculpt.) A figure representation which has a meaning beyond notion directly conveyed by the object painted or sculptured. [1913 Webster] Syn: Metaphor; fable. Usage: {Allegory}, {Parable}. ``An allegory differs both from fable and parable, in that the properties of persons are fictitiously represented as attached to things, to which they are as it were transferred. . . . A figure of Peace and Victory crowning some historical personage is an allegory. ``I am the Vine, ye are the branches'' [--John xv. 1-6] is a spoken allegory. In the parable there is no transference of properties. The parable of the sower [--Matt. xiii. 3-23] represents all things as according to their proper nature. In the allegory quoted above the properties of the vine and the relation of the branches are transferred to the person of Christ and His apostles and disciples.'' --C. J. Smith. [1913 Webster] Note: An allegory is a prolonged metaphor. Bunyan's ``Pilgrim's Progress'' and Spenser's ``Fa["e]rie Queene'' are celebrated examples of the allegory. [1913 Webster] ||

Allegory used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes use of it allegorically. Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there is a beautiful allegory: "Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt," etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical description of old age.


Analogy (from Greek ἀναλογία, analogia, "proportion") is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process.

analogy n 1: an inference that if things agree in some respects they probably agree in others 2: drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect; "the operation of a computer presents and interesting analogy to the working of the brain"; "the models show by analogy how matter is built up" 3: the religious belief that between creature and creator no similarity can be found so great but that the dissimilarity is always greater; language can point in the right direction but any analogy between God and humans will always be inadequate [syn: {doctrine of analogy}] [ant: {apophatism}, {cataphatism}]

121 Moby Thesaurus words for "analogy": accordance, affinity, agent, agreement, alignment, alikeness, allegory, alliance, alternate, alternative, ambiguity, aping, approach, approximation, assimilation, backup, balancing, change, changeling, closeness, coextension, collineation, community, comparability, comparative anatomy, comparative degree, comparative grammar, comparative judgment, comparative linguistics, comparative literature, comparative method, compare, comparing, comparison, concurrence, conformity, confrontation, confrontment, contrast, contrastiveness, copy, copying, correlation, correspondence, counterfeit, deputy, distinction, distinctiveness, double, dummy, equal, equidistance, equivalent, equivocation, equivoque, ersatz, exchange, fake, fill-in, ghost, ghostwriter, identity, imitation, likeness, likening, locum tenens, makeshift, matching, metaphor, metonymy, mimicking, nearness, next best thing, nondivergence, opposing, opposition, parallelism, parity, personnel, phony, pinch hitter, proportion, proxy, relation, relief, replacement, representative, resemblance, reserves, ringer, sameness, second string, secondary, semblance, sign, similarity, simile, similitude, simulation, spares, stand-in, sub, substituent, substitute, substitution, succedaneum, superseder, supplanter, surrogate, symbol, synecdoche, tergiversation, third string, token, trope of comparison, understudy, utility player, vicar, vice-president, vice-regent, weighing

Analogy \A*nal"o*gy\, n.; pl. {Analogies}. [L. analogia, Gr. ?, fr. ?: cf. F. analogie. See {Analogous}.] 1. A resemblance of relations; an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus, learning enlightens the mind, because it is to the mind what light is to the eye, enabling it to discover things before hidden. [1913 Webster] Note: Followed by between, to, or with; as, there is an analogy between these objects, or one thing has an analogy to or with another. [1913 Webster] Note: Analogy is very commonly used to denote similarity or essential resemblance; but its specific meaning is a similarity of relations, and in this consists the difference between the argument from example and that from analogy. In the former, we argue from the mere similarity of two things; in the latter, from the similarity of their relations. --Karslake. [1913 Webster] 2. (Biol.) A relation or correspondence in function, between organs or parts which are decidedly different. [1913 Webster] 3. (Geom.) Proportion; equality of ratios. [1913 Webster] 4. (Gram.) Conformity of words to the genius, structure, or general rules of a language; similarity of origin, inflection, or principle of pronunciation, and the like, as opposed to {anomaly}. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • allegory: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • allegory: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • allegory: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • allegory: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
  • analogy: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • analogy: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • analogy: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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