Etymology
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metaphoric (adj.)

"pertaining to or of the nature of a metaphor; not literal," 1590s, from metaphor + -ic. Greek metaphorikos meant "apt at metaphors." Related: Metaphorical (1550s) "of or characterized by metaphor;" metaphorically.

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gushy (adj.)

1845, from gush in the metaphoric sense + -y (2). Related: Gushily; gushiness.

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insularity (n.)

1755, "narrowness of feelings," from insular in the metaphoric sense + -ity. Sense of "state of being an island" (from the classical sense) attested from 1784, in reference to explorations of Australia and New Zealand.

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feeding (n.)

"act of taking food," Old English feding, verbal noun from feed (v.). Feeding frenzy is from 1989, metaphoric extension of a phrase that had been used of sharks since 1950s.

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shepherd (v.)

1790, "to tend, guard, and watch sheep," from shepherd (n.). The metaphoric sense of "watch over or guide" is attested by 1820. Related: Shepherded; shepherding.

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backlash (n.)

1815, of machinery, "reaction of wheels on each other produced by an inconstant load," from back (adj.) + lash (n.) "a blow, stroke." In the metaphoric sense, it is attested from 1929.

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syllepsis (n.)

use of a word at once in both a literal and metaphoric sense, 1570s, from Late Latin syllepsis, from assimilated form of Greek syn "together" (see syn-) + lepsis "a taking," related to lambanein "to take" (see lemma). Related: Sylleptic.

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flak (n.)

1938, "anti-aircraft gun," from German Flak, condensed from Fliegerabwehrkanone, literally "pilot warding-off cannon." Sense of "anti-aircraft fire" is from 1940; metaphoric sense of "criticism" is c. 1963 in American English. Flak jacket is by 1956.

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hidebound (adj.)

1550s, from hide (n.1) + past tense of bind (v.). Original reference is to emaciated cattle with skin sticking closely to backbones and ribs; metaphoric sense of "restricted by narrow attitudes, obstinately set in opinion" is first recorded c. 1600. The rare hide-bind (v.) is a back-formation.

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stifle (v.)

late 14c., "to choke, suffocate, drown," of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of Old French estouffer "to stifle, smother" (Modern French étouffer), itself of uncertain etymology, perhaps from a Germanic source (compare Old High German stopfon "to plug up, stuff"). Metaphoric sense is from 1570s. Related: Stifled; stifling.

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