Home  »  A Dictionary of Similes  »  Robert Browning

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

Robert Browning

Averse to change as flesh.

Away like a ghost at break of day.

Bite like finches when they bill and kiss.

Blaze like a wyvern flying round the sun.

Blind as the fool’s heart.

Ay, as a man would be inside the sun,
Delirious with the plentitude of life.

Blithe as a boblink.

Blithe as our kettle’s boiling.

Blue as a vein o’er the Madonna’s breast.

Many a thought did I build up on thought,
As the wild bee hangs cell on cell.

Burned like a spilth of light
Out of the crashing of a myriad stars.

Calm as a babe new-born.

Calm as beauty.

A calm as out of just-quelled noise.

Chatters like a jay.

As cheap as pearls are costly.

Clear as flint.

Clear as noon.

Clings like an octopus.

Fitting as close as fits the dented spine
Its flexible ivory outside-flesh.

Creaked like the implacable cicada’s cry.

Crooked runs
Like a Turk verse along a scimitar.

Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight.

Curled up like incense from a Mage-King’s tomb.

Curved like the Spring-months’ russet moon.

Dance like flame.

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

Deformed, like the mute dwarfs
Which wait upon a naked Indian queen.

Delicious as trickles of wine poured at mass-time.

Like cloud-obstruction when a bolt escapes.

Dread like the Day of Doom’s tick.

Drop like shot.

Easy as an old shoe.

Her eyes are dark and humid,
Like the depth on depth of lustre hid i’ the harebell.

With eyes, like fresh-blown thrush-eggs on a thread,
Faint-blue and loosely floating in his head.

Faint … like a lost star.

Fell like piled-up cards.

Fine as a skein of the casuist Escobar’s worked on the bone of a lie.

Fizzes like wildfire.

Flapping down behind him like the back-fin of a water-serpent.

Lay flat like an anvil’s face.

Flourished … like scripture-trees called bay.

Free as a babe from cheating.

Free as cloud and sunbeam are.

Frequent as figs at Kaunos.

Fresh as from Paradise.

Lips to lips
Fresh as the wilding hedge-rose-cup there slips
The dewdrop out of.

Fretting as fire frets.

Gay … like a Swiss guard off duty.

Like gates of hell.

Gleamed like Saint Sophia’s dome when all the faithful troop to morning prayer.

Glib as glass.

Glide away
Like a ghost at break of day.

As glossy and black as a scarab.

Cheeks glow red as tomatoes.

Quite gone … like a lost star.

Grand as a Greek statue.

Grim as a Swiss guard.

Harsh as blame on ear unused to aught save Angels’ tongues.

Helter-skelter … like a crowd of frightened porpoises a shoal of sharks pursue.

Howled like a just-lugged bear.

Innocent as a babe.

Intense as a trumpet sounding in the knights to tilt.

Leap such leap
As lands the feet in Heaven.

Leapt like a tongue of fire that cleaves the smoke.

Light as a feather whisk.

Lightly and softly,
As a queen’s languid and imperial arm
Which scatters crowns among her lovers.

As like as hand to another hand.

Like as twins.

Lamp like cut vine-twig.

Lithe as leech.

As needs must Samson when his hair is shorn.

Lounged like a boy of the South.

Lustrous, thick like horsehairs.

Mix as mists do.

Obvious as noonday sun.

Opposed as two poles.

Pellucid as a pearl.

Points like death’s lean lifted finger.

Proud as the Pope behind the peacock-fans.

Punctual as Springtide.

Pure as chalk.

Pure as the Arctic fox that suits the snow.

Quenched … like torch-flame choked in dust.

Quiet as despair.

Rave like an epileptic dervish.

Refines as by fire.

Round and sound as a mountain apple.

Sailed skyward, like burnt onion-peelings.

Scant as hair in leprosy.

Scorched like a drop of fire from a brandished torch.

Scratching like a death-watch-tick.

Shrink up like a crushed snail.

Shun him like the plague.

Like a blade sent home to its scabbard.

Slumbers as in a grave.

Smiling like a fiend who has deceived God.

Smoked like a herring.

A healthy spirit like a healthy frame craves aliment in plenty.

Sprang, like an uncaged beast.

Stained like pale honey oozed from topmost rocks
Sun-bleached the lifelong summer.

Mortals stare aghast
As though heaven’s bounteous windows were slammed fast

Stung like bees unhived.

Stupid as a stone.

Surely as the starry multitude
Is numbered by the sailors.

Sweep like a sea, barred out from land.

Swept like surge, i’ the simile
Of Homer.

She lies in my hand as tame
As a pear late basking over a wall.

Buds tenderly …
Like a smile striving with a wrinkled face.

Thick like a glory round a Stagirite.

As stars which storm the sky on Autumn nights.

Through you, as through a breast of glass, I see.

Thunder like a whole sea overhead.

Tired as tombstones.

A titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight.

Trembling like a tub of size.

True as that heaven and earth exist.

Sharp eyes twinkled,
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled.

As unexpected as a serpent comes.

Upward tending although weak,
Like plants in mines which never saw the sun.

Each with an aspect never twice the same,
Waxing and waning as the new-born host of fancies, like a single night’s hoar-frost.

Wasted like well-streams.

Weep like a cut vine-twig.

White with coming buds, like the bright side of a sorrow.

White as a curd.