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Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.


Dead as Chelsea.

Dead as a man after two doctors have visited him.

Dead as leaves on a painted canvas.

Dead as mackerel.

Dead as the nail in a coffin.

Dead as the Roman Empire.

Dead as the wholesale district on Sunday.

Dead as Aristophanes.
—William Archer

My sweetest child,
Which like a flow’r crush’d with a blast, is dead.
—Sir John Beaumont

Dead as a buried vestal whose whole strength
Goes when the grate above shuts heavily.
—Robert Browning

As dead to the life I once lived as if the Styx rolled between it and me.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton

As dead to you as the dust of your fathers.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Dead as a herring.
—Samuel Butler

Dede as stoon.
—Geoffrey Chaucer

Dead as Scrooge’s partner.
—Henry A. Clapp

Dead as Julius Cæsar.
—Joseph Conrad

Dead as Pharaoh.
—Charles Dickens

Dead as a salmon in a fishmonger’s basket.
—George Farquhar

Dead as charity.
—Nathaniel Field

Dead as a perished delight.
—Josiah Gilbert Holland

Dead as the bulrushes round little Moses,
On the old banks of the Nile.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes

Dead to sounds, as a ship out of soundings.
—Thomas Hood

Dead as bricks.
—Thomas Hood

More dead than Morpheus’ imaginings.
—John Keats

Ded as a dore-nayle.
—William Langland

Ded as dore-tree.
—William Langland

Lies dead,
As a corse on the sea-shore, whose spirit has fled.
—Henry W. Longfellow

Dead as last year’s clothes in a fashionable fine lady’s wardrobe.
—George Meredith

The Dead are like the stars by day;
Withdrawn from mortal eye,
But not extinct, they hold their way
In glory through the sky.
—James Montgomery

Dead as wood.
—Lewis Morris

Dead as desire in the dead.
—Sydney Munden

Dead as mutton.
—Charles Reade

Dead as a dog that lieth in a ditch.
—Samuel Rowlands

Dead as earth.
—William Shakespeare

Death lies on her, like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
—William Shakespeare

Dead as night when stars wax dim.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

Dead as dreams of days that were
Before the new-born world lay bare
In heaven’s wide eye.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

Dead as the carver’s figured throng.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

Dead as the dawn’s grey dew
At high midnoon of the mounting day that mocks the might of the dawn it slew.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

Dead as yesterday.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

As dead and sapless as last month’s leaves.
—Sir Henry Taylor

Dead as dreams.
—William Watson

Dead as smelts.
—Daniel Webster

Dead as the ropes of roses on St. James street.
—Israel Zangwill