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


All ablaze like poppies in the sun.

As accurately as a bugler knows the notes of the reveille.

Beaten like a Turco that pawns his musket.

As beautiful as sorceress.

Brilliant as stars.

Careless as the young flower tossing on the summer breeze.

Comfortless as a truss of straw.

Convictions will come to you in an active career, as the muscles develop in a gymnasium.

Crash as if rock were hurled upon rock.

Crumbled like a house of sand.

Dancing like a Bacchante.

Darted like a flight of hawks.

Dauntless as an ibis.

Dishonor is like the Aaron’s Beard in the hedgerows; it can only poison if it is plucked.

As dissimilar as the pure, white, gleaming lily of the hothouse is unlike the wind-tossed, sand-sustained, yellow leaf downtrodden in the mud.

Dry as flame.

Eating, sharply as aqua-fortis into brass, into the metal of her vanity—and her pride.

Exhaustless as the ocean.

Eyes flashed like the sun playing on water.

Eyes like blue heavens in a night of frost.

Eyes shining like the planets.

Her eyes were of a deep brown hue, like the velvety brown of a stag’s throat.

Fearful, like a dog an old master drives away, and which fears the new one.

She … fell from her full height as a stone drops from a rock into the gulf below.

She had flirted as far and wide as the butterfly flirts with the blossoms, as it flutters on through the range of a Summer day.

Helpless and flurried as a fish landed on a grassy bank with a barbed hook through his gills.

Flew like the swift and dazzling flight of gold-winged orioles.

Houses are like friendship; there is hardly one in a thousand worth a long lease.

Gay as mischief.

Glancing like a sabre’s gleam.

Glistening like satin.

Glittering as steel.

Glorified like the illuminated figures in the painted chronicles.

Jewels … glowing like sunbeams.

Green as an arum leaf.

Happy as a young lamb.

Hard as a sheet of brass.

Helpless as a lame beggar.

Helpless and flurried as a fish landed on a grassy bank with a barbed hook through its gills.

Heroic as martyrdom.

Hot as flame.

Houses are like friendship; there is hardly one in a thousand worth a long lease.

Impenetrable as granite.

Impenetrable as rhinoceri.

Impervious as a statue to all sight and sound.

Inborn, as fragrance in the heart of flowers.

As indifferently as a boy plucks down a cranberry bough.

Inexhaustible as the deep sea.

Instinctive in her as its song to a bird, as its swiftness to a chamois.

Joyless as the winter days which bound the earth under bands of iron and let no living thing or creeping herb rejoice or procreate.

Keen of glance as a falcon.

Keen as steel.

Languidly, as voluptuously, as a water-lily at rest on the water’s breast.

Life is, after all, like baccarat or billiards…. It is no use winning unless there be a gallery to look on and applaud.

Lightly as a kite rushes through the gloom of the dawn.

As like him as an eagle to an eagle.

Lonely, as sovereigns are.

Lovely as adolescence.

It lulled like the lull in a storm.

Merciless as Othello.

Mischievous as a marmoset.

In morals as in metals … you cannot work gold without supporting it with alloy.

Obediently bent as a willow wand.

Opposition to a man in love is like oil to fire.

Paled, as a candle by the sun.

Pirouetted like a bit of fantoccini.

Pitiless as the strokes of an iron hammer.

Poisoned his life, as a rusted nail driven through an oak-tree in its prime corrodes and kills.

As readily as a child takes sweetmeats at Mardi Gras.

Refreshed, as men in barren lands in drought are soothed by hearing the glad fall of a welcome rain.

Rousing as a bugle.

Scandals are like dandelion seeds,—they are arrow-headed and stick where they fall, and bring forth and multiply fourfold.

There are less worthy offerings, than the first scruple of an unscrupulous life. It is like the first pure drops that fall from a long turbid and dust-choked fountain.

Shook like custards.

Shrink as though some cowardly sin were between them.

Silently as the winds of the desert sweep upward and northward over the plains.

As slowly, as sadly, as a hare that the greyhounds have coursed drags itself through the grasses and ferns.

Soilless as pearls.

Sorrowful as death.

Sparkling … like a coquette in a vaudeville.

Sparkled like a jewel in the light.

Stung like a bee in the warm core of a rose.

Storm like a mad thing.

Strenuously as ever Cavalier strove for the White Rose.

Strong as a young goat.

Supple as Damascus steel.

Sure-footed as a goat.

Sweeping the country like locust-swarm.

Sweet, like a silver whistle.

Thick as the fleeces of the winter snows.

Timid as a sheep.

Tossing like a flower’s head.

Trembling like a leaf in a hurricane.

As trippingly as a shepherdess’s feet in a pastoral.

Unerring as a leopard’s leap.

Untiring as an Indian on trail.

Continuous wail, like the moaning of a winter wind.

Wet as the slush of a quagmire.

Whir like the noise of an eagle’s wings.

A yell as of wild beasts in their famine.

Yellow as corn in the sun.