Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Beautiful as a fairy palace.

Bending her form towards him, like a torch when it indicates a gentle draught of air.

Calm as ice.

Clear as the mid-day sunshine.

Different an aim as a child’s first journey across a floor.

Docile as a pet spaniel.

He now dug into the poor clergyman’s heart, like a miner searching for gold; or, rather, like a sexton delving into a grave, possibly in quest of a jewel that had been buried on the dead man’s bosom, but likely to find nothing save mortality and corruption.

Durable as eternity.

Envious as a pretty woman is of another woman, as a banker is of another banker, as a political adversary is of a rival.

Extinguished, like a flame that sinks down hopelessly among the late decaying embers.

Fading away, like a pale English flower, in the shadow of the forest.

The fragrance of her rich and delightful character still lingered about the place where she had lived, as a dried rosebud scents the drawer where it has withered and perished.

Glittering like a lost jewel, which some ill-fated wanderer might pick up, and thenceforth be haunted by strange phantoms of guilt, sinkings of the heart, and unaccountable misfortune.

Glittered and sparkled as if diamonds had been flung against it by the double handful.

Glowed like a household fire.

Glows like a red flame in the dark.

Glowed like sunshine.

Hard as death.

Heavily, as sorrow-laden.

Heavy and lumpish … like a defunct nightmare, which had perished in the midst of its wickedness, and left its flabby corpse on the breast of the tormented one, to be gotten rid of as it might.

By nature as hostile to mystery as the sunshine to a dark corner.

Immovable, as if it were painted on the wall.

Indistinct as the premonition of calamity.

Ineradicable as sin.

Melancholy, like the voice of a child that was spending its infancy without playfulness.

Multitudinous tongues, like the whispering leaves of a wind-stirred oak.

Natural as bird-notes.

Natural as daylight.

As naturally as the descendant from a line of suicides thinks of killing himself.

As pleasant about the house as a gleam of sunshine, falling on the floor through a shadow of twinkling leaves, or as a ray of firelight that dances on the wall, while evening is drawing nigh.

Plump as a pudding.

Probing with a cautious touch, like a treasure-seeker in a dark cavern.

Provocative of tears as an onion.

Pure as the virgin who first led Agrippa.

Resolute as iron.

Shaking as with the cold fit of the Roman fever.

Pitiful sigh, like a gust of chill, damp wind out of a long-closed vault, the door of which has accidentally been set ajar.

Slyly as a wild deer.

Stared … like a detected thief.

As strong as instinct.

Sunlight is like the breath of life to the pomp of autumn.

Swept like a tempestuous sea.

Tenderly as Robin Redbreast covered the dead babes with forest leaves.

A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them.

Unawares, like the stroke of sudden death.

Unmanageable as a ton of iron ore.

Unsubstantial, like the teasing phantoms of a half-conscious slumber.

Vanish, as by the waving of an enchanter’s wand.

Vanish, like a glimmering light, that comes we know not whence, and goes we know not whither.

Vanish like ephemeral things.

Vanish out of life as completely as if … he lay at the bottom of the sea.

Wanders like an unfettered stream.

The spring of life warbled through her heart as a brook sometimes warbles through a pleasant dell.

Wholesome as Heaven.

Wild as a sea-breeze.