Striking Similes, Page 6 (M-N-O-P)

This section of focuses on similes. Writers and speakers use similes to make descriptions more emphatic and vivid.

Similes, figures of speech that are a subset of metaphors, involve comparing one thing with another thing of a different kind, using the words "like" or "as". Writers and speakers use similes to make descriptions more emphatic or vivid.

Study these similes to better understand what these figures of speech are and how you might use them. Consider using these similes or those of your own creation in creative writing.

(A good source on why and how to use metaphors -- include their subset similes -- in creative writing is Purdue University's Online Writing Lab [OWL].)


March on my soul nor like the laggard stay

Me on whose heart as a worm she trod

Meaningless as the syllables of an unknown tongue

Men moved hither and thither like insects in their crevices

Mentality as hard as bronze

Mentally round-shouldered and decrepit

Merge imperceptibly into one another like the hues of the prism

Meteors that dart like screaming birds

Milk-white pavements, clear and richly pale, like alabaster

More variegated than the skin of a serpent

Motion like the spirit of that wind whose soft step deepens slumber

Motionless as a plumb line

Mountains like frozen wrinkles on a sea

Moving in the same dull round, like blind horses in a mill

Mute as an iceberg

My age is as a lusty Winter

My body broken as a turning wheel

My breath to Heaven like vapor goes

My head was like a great bronze bell with one thought for the clapper

My heart is as some famine-murdered land

My heart is like a full sponge and must weep a little

My heart like a bird doth hover

My heart will be as wind fainting in hot grass

My life floweth away like a river

My life was white as driven snow

My love for thee is like the sovereign moon that rules the sea

My love's like the steadfast sun

My lungs began to crow like chanticleer

My mind swayed idly like a water-lily in a lake

My muscles are as steel

My skin is as sallow as gold

My soul was as a lampless sea

My spirit seemed to beat the void, like the bird from out the ark

My thoughts came yapping and growling round me like a pack of curs

My thoughts ran leaping through the green ways of my mind like fawns at play


Night falls like fire

No longer shall slander's venomed spite crawl like a snake across his perfect name

Now every nerve in my body seemed like a strained harp-string ready to snap at a touch

Now like a wild nymph she veils her shadowy form

Now like a wild rose in the fields of heaven slipped forth the slender figure of the Dawn

Now memory and emotion surged in my soul like a tempest

Now thou seemest like a bankrupt beau, stripped of his gaudy hues


Obscured with wrath as is the sun with cloud

Odorous as all Arabia

Often enough life tosses like a fretful stream among rocky boulders

Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud

Old as the evening star

Old happy hours that have long folded their wings

Once again, like madness, the black shapes of doubt swing through his brain

One bleared star, faint glimmering like a bee

One bright drop is like the gem that decks a monarch's crown

One by one flitting like a mournful bird

One deep roar as of a cloven world

One winged cloud above like a spread dragon overhangs the west

Oppressed by the indefiniteness which hung in her mind, like a thick summer haze

Or shedding radiance like the smiles of God

Our enemies were broken like a dam of river reeds

Our hearts bowed down like violets after rain

Our sail like a dew-lit blossom shone

Overhead the intense blue of the noonday sky burst like a jewel in the sun


Pale and grave as a sculptured nun

Pale as a drifting blossom

Passed like a phantom into the shadows

Passive and tractable as a child

Peaceful as a village cricket-green on Sunday

Peevish and impatient, like some ill-trained man who is sick

Perished utterly, like a blown-out flame

Philosophy evolved itself, like a vast spider's loom

Pillowed upon its alabaster arms like to a child o'erwearied with sweet toil

Polished as the bosom of a star

Poured his heart out like the rending sea in passionate wave on wave

Pouting like the snowy buds o' roses in July

Presently she hovered like a fluttering leaf or flake of snow

Pride and self-disgust served her like first-aid surgeons on the battlefield

Proud as the proudest of church dignitaries

Pure as a wild-flower

Pure as the azure above them

Pure as the naked heavens

Pure as the snowy leaves that fold over the flower's heart

Purple, crimson, and scarlet, like the curtains of God's tabernacle

Put on gravity like a robe

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Go to the Next Page: Striking Similes, Page 7 (Q-R-S).

Editor's note: This section of is excerpted and adapted from Project Gutenberg's Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases, by Grenville Kleiser.

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