A simile is a comparison between two different things using the word “like” or “as” to make the comparison. Similes are generally easier to identify than metaphors, but not always. Sometimes a speaker or writer may use the word “like” or “as” and not make any comparison. These are not similes. For example if I said, “I like pizza.” I am expressing a preference for pizza not making a comparison.
By the time you finish working through these 100 examples of simile, you should have the hang of it. I have attempted to separate these similes into an “easy” and “hard” list. Here is the list of fifty easy similes:
Simile Examples for Intermediate Readers
Slashes indicate line-breaks.
- “Food?” Chris inquired, popping out of his seat like a toaster strudel.
- Grandpa lounged on the raft in the middle of the pool like an old battleship.
- If seen from above the factory, the workers would have looked like clock parts.
- The truth was like a bad taste on his tongue.
- The people who still lived in the town were stuck in place like wax statues.
- Cassie talked to her son about girls as though she were giving him tax advice.
- Alan’s jokes were like flat soda to the children, surprisingly unpleasant.
- My mother’s kitchen was like a holy place: you couldn’t wear your shoes, you had to sit there at a certain time, and occasionally we’d pray.
- The bottle rolled off the table like a teardrop.
- The handshake felt like warm laundry.
- She hung her head like a dying flower.
- Arguing with her was like dueling with hand grenades.
- The classroom was as quiet as a tongue-tied librarian in a hybrid car.
- Janie’s boyfriend appreciated her as an ape might appreciate an algebra book.
- The clouds were like ice-cream castles in the sky.
- The shingles on the shack shook in the storm winds like scared children.
- When he reached the top of the hill, he felt as strong as a steel gate.
- When the tree branch broke, Millie fell from the limb like a robin’s egg.
- She swam through the waters like she was falling through a warm dream.
- They children ran like ripples through water.
- Mikhail scattered his pocket change in front of the beggars like crumbs of bread.
- Her hair was as soft as a spider web.
- Each dollar bill was a like a magic wand to cast away problems.
- The man held the blanket like a memory.
- The ice sculptor’s hands fluttered like hummingbird wings.
- I’m about as awesome as a flying giraffe.
- You are soft as the nesting dove.
- Andre charged down the football field like it was the War of 1812.
- The stars looked like stupid little fish.
- Her laughter was like a warm blanket or a familiar song.
- The river flows like a stream of glass
- Blood seeped out of the wound like red teardrops.
- Paul carried his science project to school like he was transporting explosive glass.
- She looked at me like I was speaking in some strange alien tongue.
- The town square was buzzing like a beehive.
- Kelsey followed her dreams like most kids would follow a big sister.
- Kyle looked at the test with a stare as blank as his notebook.
- The robins are as thick today as flakes of snow were yesterday,
- Her eyes are like the eyes of statues.
- The gray moss drapes us like sages.
- The music burst like a bent-up flood.
- The curtains stir as with an ancient pain.
- But now her hands like moonlight brush the keys with velvet grace.
- I flitted like a dizzy moth.
- The flowers were as soft as thoughts of budding love.
- The gray of the sea, and the gray of the sky, / A glimpse of the moon like a half-closed eye.
- Yes, the doors are locked and the ashes are white as the frost.
- A mist about your beauty clings like a thin cloud before a star.
- She went like snow in the springtime on a sunny hill.
- Then I knew those tiny voices, clear as drops of dew.
Simile Examples for Advanced Readers
Here are fifty examples of similes for advanced readers. Remember: a simile is a comparison between two different things using like or as to make the comparison.
- I dream of silent verses where the rhyme glides noiseless as an oar.
- Though they knew it not, their baby’s cries were lovely as jeweled butterflies.
- He kissed her as though he were trying to win a sword fight.
- The paparazzi circled like vultures above a tottering camel.
- She was as distant as a remote tropical island, uncivilized, unspoiled.
- Our hearts, though stout and brave, still, like muffled drums, are beating funeral marches to the grave.
- He had hidden his wealth, heaped and hoarded and piled on high like sacks of wheat in a granary.
- Pieces of silver and of gold / Into the tinkling strong-box fell / Like pebbles dropped into a well;
- The cabin windows have grown blank as eyeballs of the dead.
- What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Each face was like the setting sun, / As, broad and red.
- Barefooted, ragged, with neglected hair, she was a thin slip of a girl, like a new moon.
- A fatal letter wings its way across the sea, like a bird of prey.
- I will sing a slumberous refrain, and you shall murmur like a child appeased.
- For she knows me! My heart, clear as a crystal beam / To her alone, ceases to be inscrutable.
- Leaf-strewing gales utter low wails like violins,
- He spit out his teeth like stones.
- Talk of your cold: through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
- Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
- Like winged stars the fire-flies flash and glance, / Pale in the open moonshine.
- The breath of her false mouth was like faint flowers, / Her touch was as electric poison.
- Then, as a hunted deer that could not flee, I turned upon my thoughts and stood at bay, wounded and weak and panting;
- There are thick woods where many a fountain, rivulet, and pond are as clear as elemental diamond.
- Years heap their withered hours, like leaves, on our decay.
- The ripples wimple on the rills, like sparkling little lasses.
- She was like a modest flower blown in sunny June and warm as sun at noon’s high hour.
- And the face of the waters that spread away / Was as gray as the face of the dead.
- As in depths of many seas, my heart was drowned in memories.
- Then like a cold wave on a shore, comes silence and she sings no more.
- And shout thy loud battle-cry, cleaving the silence like a sword.
- My soul is lost and tossed like a ship unruddered in a shoreless sea.
- The clouds like crowds of snowy-hued and white-robed maidens pass
- Dreams, like ghosts, must hide away; / ‘Tis the day.
- The evening stretches before me like a road.
- I would have hours that move like a glitter of dancers.
- Toby manipulated the people in his life as though they were chess pieces.
- And only to think that my soul could not react, but turned on itself like a tortured snake.
- There are strange birds like blots against a sky.
- She goes all so softly like a shadow on the hill, a faint wind at twilight.
- The horse-chestnuts dropped their buds like tears.
- They walk in awful splendor, regal yet, wearing their crimes like rich and kingly capes.
- Death is like moonlight in a lofty wood that pours pale magic through the shadowy leaves.
- I was sick of all the sorrow and distress that flourished in the City like foul weeds.
- As I read it in the white, morning sunlight, the letters squirmed like snakes.
- Oh, praise me not the silent folk; / To me they only seem / Like leafless, bird-abandoned oak.
- The windflowers and the lilies were yellow striped as adder’s tongue.
- I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep.
- For the world’s events have rumbled on since those days like traffic.
- And dance as dust before the sun, light of foot and unconfined.
- The fishes skim like umber shades through the undulating weeds.
- Gather up the undiscovered universe like jewels in a jasper cup.
Common Core State Standards Related to Simile
Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Simile
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
ELA Standards: Literature
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
ELA Standards: Language
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.5 – Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5a – Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5a – Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5b – Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5a – Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.