Reference > Quotations > Frank J. Wilstach, comp. > A Dictionary of Similes
Frank J. Wilstach, comp.  A Dictionary of Similes.  1916.
George Meredith
  Amiable as the surface of parchment.  1
As anxious as a maid
To show a decent dress.
  Bare as hop-stakes in November’s mists.  3
  Bellow like a rascal trooper strung up for the cat.  4
  Blissful as a leap to daylight out of a nightmare.  5
  Blushing like the dogwood crimson in October.  6
  Calm as a statue of Memnon in prostrate Egypt.  7
  Cheering as a suburban London Sunday’s promenade.  8
  Chill as aconite.  9
  Chill as a dull face frowning on a song.  10
  Circled … like flight of doves.  11
  Clamouring like a brazen bell.  12
  Clean as a red-hot poker.  13
  Clean as the bright from the black.  14
  Clear as a race course.  15
  Clear as widowed sky.  16
  Cold as a fish.  17
  Cold as a mountain in its star-pitched tent.  18
  Constant in intercommunication as are the sun and earth.  19
  He told me that he thought one’s country like one’s wife: you were born in the first, and married to the second, and had to learn all about them afterwards,—ay, and make the best of them.  20
  Cracked as a cocoa-nut bowled by a monkey.  21
Craved the trumpets eager note,
As the bridled earth the spring.
  A cry as wild as any coming of madness.  23
  Dead as last year’s clothes in a fashionable fine lady’s wardrobe.  24
  Delicately, like the tap of a fingernail on a vase.  25
  Different as the two hemispheres in the time of Columbus.  26
  Dim as the shades in the angry shower.  27
  Direct as the arrow of logic.  28
  Distant as the horizon sail.  29
  Drives like rain to the roots.  30
  Drooped like a yacht with idle sails struck by a sudden blast, that dips them in the salt.  31
  Drooping like crystals in the gulf of time.  32
  Dull as a tract.  33
  Dumb as pillar-posts.  34
  Dwarfed … like starved plants under Greenland skies.  35
  Eager as a cry for life.  36
  Eager for it as a hound.  37
  In earnest as a mouse in a trap.  38
  Enthusiasm, like a bottle rid of the cork.  39
  Evident as light in dark.  40
  Faithful as the hands of a clock to the springs.  41
  Fast as windy flames devour.  42
  Firm as a pillar.  43
  Hands firm as driven stakes.  44
  Fits like a kid glove.  45
  Flung up like a fortress lifted by powder.  46
  Floundered, like a silly creature chasing a marsh-lamp.  47
Like a smoke melted thinner than air,
That the vacancy doth disown.
  Fragrant as the frosted blossom of a May night.  49
  Fresh as the orchard apple.  50
                Seen no more,
Gone, like the wind that raised the wave,
The spent wave on the shore.
  Gossipin’ about like a cracked bell-clapper.  52
  Gossip must often have been likened to the winged insects bearing pollen to the flowers; it fertilizes many a vacuous reverie.  53
  Grave as an eye dwelling on blood.  54
  Green as jealousy.  55
  Hang like a tail.  56
  Heaving … like the sea in the background of a marine piece at the theatre.  57
Hoary as the glacier’s head
Faced to the moon.
                Holds him fast
As a night-flag round the mast.
        Her arms the master hold,
As on wounds the scarf winds tight.
  Horrible as viper-bitten bodies.  61
  Ignorant as a raw kitchen wench.  62
  Illuminated him as the burning taper lights up consecrated plate.  63
  Inferences are like shadows on the wall—they are thrown from an object, and are monstrous distortions of it.  64
  Knowing it as the moon her traditional influence upon the tides.  65
  Light as the flying seed-ball.  66
Light as a bubble that flies from the tub,
Whisked by the laundry-wife out of her suds.
  Loud as cavalry to the charge.  68
  Manageable as chess-pieces.  69
  Meek as a dove.  70
  Meek as gruel.  71
  Mild as an evening heaven around Hesper bright.  72
  Misty as a shape in a dream.  73
  Natural as dunghill steam.  74
  Neat as a postman’s knock.  75
  Noisy as at a fair.  76
  Obedient as a puppet.  77
  Open as a plate.  78
Open-mouthed as a young child
Wondering with a mind at fault.
  Painful orderliness, like a city procession under the conduct of the police.  80
  Pale as the sister of death.  81
  Patiently as an old worn horse.  82
  Plain … as a rudimentary sum in arithmetic.  83
  Plump as a melon under a glass.  84
  Pounced like a falcon.  85
  Puffed like a swimmer in the breakers.  86
  Pushed, like a fish to its native sea.  87
  Quick as barrels popping at a bird.  88
  Quick as torrents run.  89
  Quick as wings.  90
  Rapidly as drummer-sticks.  91
  Red as murder.  92
  Red as the British Army.  93
  Relentless as an invalid.  94
  Remote and minute as the chief scene of our infancy.  95
  More repelling than an abyss.  96
  Resembles, as bottles bottles.  97
  Rosy as a victorious candidate.  98
  Run like fire in summer furze.  99
  Runs like the prey of the forest.  100
  Rushed out upon the wayfarers like ambushed bandits.  101
  Sacred as an unvoiced prayer.  102
  Sad as the last line of a brave romance.  103
  Scant as winter underwood.  104
  Scatter … as if they had been balloons in a wind.  105
  Scattered … like loose spray before the wind.  106
  Secure as the firmament.  107
  Serviceable as his inkstand.  108
  Sharp as a sickle is the edge of shade and shine.  109
  Sharp as the enchanter’s sword.  110
  Shattered like stormy spray.  111
Shifty as a huckster’s opening deal
For bargain under smoothest market face.
  Shrank as at a prick of steel.  113
  Shrank—like parchment at the touch of flame.  114
  Shuddered as at a swift cleaving of cold steel.  115
  Shy as the squirrel.  116
            Shyer than the forest doe
Twinkling slim through branches green.
  Sick as a Dover packet-boat.  118
  Silent as the evening sky.  119
  Silly as an owlish roysterer’s glazed stare at the young aurora.  120
  Snigger, like a yokel’s smile.  121
  Solemn as a parson’s clerk.  122
  Sounded like a felon’s heart in skeleton ribs.  123
  Splendid as a general’s plume at the gallop.  124
  Stood like a sentinel under inspection.  125
Stared, as one who would command
Sight of what has filled his ear.
Like the sea-rejected thing
Sea-sucked white.
  Stately as a palm-tree standing before the moon.  128
  Stiff as oak-leaves after frost.  129
  Stiff as logwood.  130
  Fall still as oak-leaves after frost.  131
  Stop progress, like a block in the pit entrance to a theater.  132
  Stout as bergs of Arctic ice.  133
  Fly straight as the emissary eagle back to Jove.  134
  Straight as the flight of the dove.  135
  Straight,—like a webfoot to water.  136
  Streaming like a flag of battle.  137
Streamed like curtain-rents
Fluttered by a wind.
  Supple as the Scythian’s bow.  139
  Sure as the date on a bill.  140
  Surely as musical ears are pained by a discord.  141
  Surely as the heavens are mirrored in the quiet seas.  142
  Sweet as Eden.  143
  Sweet as victory half-revealed.  144
  Swift as a blush in the cheeks of seventeen.  145
  Tender, like a mother’s dream of her child.  146
  Thick as feathers.  147
  Thin as a weasel.  148
  Thin as mist.  149
  Thin as the shell of a sound.  150
  Thundering like ramping hosts of warrior horse.  151
  Tight like teeth.  152
  Tossing like field-flowers in Spring.  153
  Tumbling about in her head like a world in disruption.  154
  Uncaressable as puppets.  155
  Uncorrected as outstretched swine.  156
  Unremonstrant as a fallen tree.  157
Vain … as to attempt to erase what
Time has written with the Judgment Blood.
  Vanish like a view caught out of darkness by lightning.  159
  Venice is like a melancholy face of a former beauty who has ceased to rouge, or wipe away traces of her old arts.  160
  Visible like evanescent grave-lights.  161
  A wail, as of a babe new-born.  162
  Wandering, like a leaf off the tree.  163
  Wayward as the swallow overhead at set of sun.  164
  Yellow as jaundice.  165
  Yielded, like bruised limb to leech.  166
  Young as old Homer’s song is young.  167
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