METAPHOR

Metaphor: In general usage, an implied comparison in which the characteristics, qualities or actions of one thing are applied to another (e.g., speaking of God as shepherd).

A more sophisticated analysis of metaphor yields two elements: the tenor is the subject to which the metphoric word is applied; the vehicle is the metaphoric word itself (e.g., "God" is the tenor, and "shepherd" is the vehicle).

Patzia & Petrotta, Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies (2002), 79-80.