Mind, Defined

Mind, Defined

  1. The mind is a city like London, smoky and populous —Delmore Schwartz

    This simile is a follow-up to a poem’s title, The Mind Is an Ancient and Famous Capital.

  2. As the fire-fly only shines when on the wing, so it is with the human mind; when at rest, it darkens —Letitia Landon
  3. The brain is like the hand. It grows with using —Judge Louis D. Brandeis
  4. The brain, like Rhenish wine, should be chilled, not iced to be at its best —A. J. Liebling
  5. The brain of man is filled with passageways like the contours and multiple crossroads of a labyrinth … in its curved folds like the imprint of thousands of images, recordings of millions of words —Anaĩs Nin
  6. Brains to the sluggard are like wings to the ant, or a torch to the blind, an added load of no use or aid —Jediah Bedersi
  7. A brilliant mind without faith is like a beautiful face without eyes —Shalom Cohen
  8. A child’s mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education, and reflects here a flower, there a bush and yonder a fleecy cloud —Helen Keller
  9. The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of the subconscious from which it rises —Sigmund Freud
  10. The cultivation of the mind is a kind of food supplied for the soul of man —Cicero
  11. The human mind is kind of like … a pñata. When it breaks open, there’s a lot of surprises inside —Jane Wagner
  12. The human mind … is like a pendulum, which the moment it has reached the limit of its swing in one direction goes inevitably back as far as the other side and so on forever —James Russell Lowell
  13. The human mind should be like a good hotel … open the year round —William Lyon Phelps
  14. Many minds are like low-grade ores, there is gold in them, but it takes a vast deal of labor to get it out —John Alfred Spender
  15. The mind is an iceberg … it floats with only one-seventh of its bulk above water —Sigmund Freud, quoted in New York Times obituary, September 24, 1939
  16. The mind is like a bow, the stronger for being unbent —Ben Jonson
  17. The mind is like a mechanical instrument that plays a great variety of tunes, but it must play them in succession —William Hazlitt
  18. The mind is like an ocean. The surface layers of the mind function actively while the deeper levels remain silent —Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  19. The mind is like a sheet of white paper … the impressions it receives oftenest and retains the longest are black ones —Julius Charles and August William Hare
  20. The mind is like a slate, one thing gets rubbed out for another —Sam Slick
  21. The mind is like the stomach. It is not how much you put into it that counts, but how much it digests —Albert Jay Nook
  22. The mind like any other organism, gradually shapes itself to what surrounds it, and resents disturbance in the form which its life has assumed —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  23. The mind of man is like a clock that is always running down, and requires to be as constantly wound up —William Hazlitt
  24. The mind of the people is like mud, from which arise strange and beautiful things —Walter J. Turner
  25. Minds are like parachutes … they only function when open —Lord Thomas Dewar
  26. Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort —Charles Dickens
  27. A mind without occupation is like a cat without a ball of yarn —Samuel Willoughby Duffield
  28. Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order —John Adams
  29. Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters no matter how uncomfortable our nets get with all that metal in them —Thomas Merton
  30. Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite —Quintilian
  31. The shapes which the mind assumes are like those great forms, born of undifferentiated water, which assail or replace each other on the surface of the deep; each concept collapses, eventually, to merge with its opposite, like two waves breaking against each other only to subside into the same single line of white foam —Marguerite Yourcenar
  32. Some minds are like concrete: thoroughly mixed and permanently set —Anon
  33. The state of a man’s mind is as much a fact as the state of his digestion —Baron Charles Synge Christopher Bowen

    The simile was used in reference to the legality of intent in an 1885 law case.

  34. A weak mind is like a horoscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones —Lord Chesterfield

    The letter to Chesterfield’s son from which this was culled addresses the question of taking a balanced view towards keeping track of expenditures. The comparison of the weak mind to a horoscope is used to underscore the author’s statement that “A strong mind sees things in their true proportions.”

Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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