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What is the difference in meaning between analogous and analogical?

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“Analogous” means “comparable or similar”. For example, “most clothing worn by humans is analogous to a peacock's feathers: useless except for social signalling”.

“Analogical” means “of or pertaining to an analogy”, and is close in meaning to “metaphorical”. For example:

  • “Many common English sayings are analogical in nature.”
  • “While her statement was intended to be taken literally, many in the audience mistakenly believed it was analogical.”
  • “Great scientists have used analogical thinking to notice the underlying relationships between natural phenomena.”
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  • Thanks, I understand 'analogous', but I'm still a bit not clear about 'analogical'. Could you maybe give some examples? Apr 23, 2013 at 4:17
  • “Great scientists have used analogical thinking to notice the underlying relationships between natural phenomena.” “While her statement was intended to be taken literally, many in the audience mistakenly believed it was analogical.”
    – wilkox
    Apr 23, 2013 at 4:21
  • These examples would be a good addition to the answer, especially the latter one. Apr 23, 2013 at 4:50
  • Good idea, I've updated the answer.
    – wilkox
    Apr 23, 2013 at 5:28

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