Striking Similes, Page 9 (U-V-W-Y)

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].)


Unbends like a loosened bow

Unbreakable as iron

Unconscious as an oak-tree of its growth

Under the willow-tree glimmered her face like a foam-flake drifting over the sea

Unheralded, like some tornado loosed out of the brooding hills, it came to pass

Unknown, like a seed in fallow ground, was the germ of a plan

Unmoving as a tombstone

Untameable as flies

Unutterable things pressing on my soul like a pent-up storm craving for outlet

Upcast like foam of the effacing tide

Uplifting the soul as on dovelike wings

Uplifting their stony peaks around us like the walls and turrets of a gigantic fortress

Urgent as the seas

Uttering wild cries like a creature in pain


Vague as a dream

Vague thoughts that stream shapelessly through her mind like long sad vapors through the twilight sky

Vanish into thin air, like ghosts at the cockcrow

Vanished like snow when comes a thaw

Vanished like vapor before the sun

Vibrations set quivering like harp strings struck by the hand of a master

Vociferous praise following like a noisy wave


Walking somewhat unsteadily like a blind man feeling his way

Waves glittered and danced on all sides like millions of diamonds

We left her and retraced our steps like faithless hounds

Weak and frail like the vapor of a vale

Wearing their wounds like stars

Weary wind, who wanderest like the world's rejected guest

When a draft might puff them out like a guttering candle

When arm in arm they both came swiftly running, like a pair of turtle-doves that could not live asunder day or night

When cards, invitations, and three-cornered notes fly about like white butterflies

When she died, her breath whistled like the wind in a keyhole

When the fever pierced me like a knife

Where a lamp of deathless beauty shines like a beacon

Where heroes die as leaves fall

Where the intricate wheels of trade are grinding on, like a mill

Where the source of the waters is fine as a thread

Whilst the lagging hours of the day went by like windless clouds o'er a tender sky

Whistled sharply in the air like a handful of vipers

White as a ghost from darkness

White as chalk

White as dove or lily, or spirit of the light

White as the driven snow

White as the moon's white flame

White as the sea-bird's wing

White clouds like daisies

White hands she moves like swimming swans

White hands through her hair, like white doves going into the shadow of a wood

White like flame

White sails of sloops like specters

Whose bodies are as strong as alabaster

Whose hair was as gold raiment on a king

Whose laugh moves like a bat through silent haunted woods

Whose little eyes glow like the sparks of fire

Whose music like a robe of living light reclothed each new-born age

Windy speech which hits all around the mark like a drunken carpenter

Winged like an arrow to its mark

With a sting like a scorpion

With all the complacency of a homeless cat

With an angry broken roar, like billows on an unseen shore, their fury burst

With hate darkling as the swift winter hail

With music sweet as love

With sounds like breakers

With strength like steel

With the whisper of leaves in one's ear

With words like honey melting from the comb

Wits as sharp as gimlets

Women with tongues like polar needles

Words as fresh as spring verdure

Words as soft as rain

Words like the gossamer film of the summer

Words sweet as honey from his lips distilled

Words were flashing like brilliant birds through the boughs overhead

Wordsworth, thy music like a river rolls

Worthless like the conjurer's gold

Wrangle over details like a grasping pawnbroker

Wrinkled and scored like a dried apple

Writhing with an intensity that burnt like a steady flame


Yielding like melted snow

Yonder flimsy crescent, bent like an archer's bow above the snowy summit

You are as gloomy tonight as an undertaker out of employment

You are as hard as stone

You gave me such chill embraces as the snow-covered heights receive from clouds

Your blood is red like wine

Your charms lay like metals in a mine

Your eyes are like fantastic moons that shiver in some stagnant lake

Your eyes as blue as violets

Your eyes they were green and gray like an April day

Your frail fancies are swallowed up, like chance flowers flung upon the river's current

Your hair was golden as tints of sunrise

Your heart is as dry as a reed

Your locks are like the raven

Your love shall fall about me like sweet rain

Your step's like the rain to summer vexed farmer

Your thoughts are buzzing like a swarm of bees

Your tongue is like a scarlet snake

Your voice had a quaver in it just like the linnet

Youth like a summer morn

Go back to the Main Page of Striking Similes.

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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