People, Interaction

People, Interaction



  1. All her life she had looked for someone who would … settle her in the proper place like a cushion on a couch —Helen Hudson
  2. [Different types of people] all mixed up like vegetables in soup —Flannery O’Connor
  3. All the hurtful ugly things that happened between us got somehow wrapped around the sweetness like a hard rind around a delicate rare fruit. Like a flower garden completely surrounded with tangles of barbed wire —Harryette Mullen
  4. (Harris) always managed to make him feel … like the character in the commercial who uses the wrong kind of deodorant soap —Andrew Kaplan
  5. Avoid them like piranhas —Richard Ford


  6. Bitching patiently at each other like a couple married much too long —James Crumley

    The people doing the bitching in Crumley’s novel, The Wrong Case, are two farmers in a bar.

  7. Dealing with Valentine was like dealing with a king —Saul Bellow
  8. Distance between them … like the Persian Gulf —Robert Anderson
  9. Faced each other like scruffy bookends —Jonathan Gash
  10. Groups gathered a moment like flies —Bin Ramke
  11. Guided him by one elbow [to a seat] like a tugboat turning a tanker —Peter Benchley
  12. Hoisted her up like a parcel —Henri-Pierre Roche
  13. It was as if he could read my mind like an old tale he had learned by heart —George Garrett
  14. I want to lean into her [a daughter into her mother] the way wheat leans into wind —Louise Erdrich
  15. Lay side by side, like some old bronze Crusader and his lady on a sarcophagus in the crypt of some ancient church —MacDonald Harris
  16. (Take her by the lily white hand and) lead her like a pigeon —Anon American dance ballad, “Weevily Heart.”

    The ballad dates to the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century.

  17. Leaned on [another person] … like a wounded man —George Garrett
  18. Like the sun, his presence shone on her —Marge Piercy
  19. Live together like brothers and do business like strangers —Arab proverb
  20. Loneliness sifted between us, like falling snow —Judith Rascoe

    See Also: ALONENESS

  21. Our heart-strings were, like warp and woof in some firm fabric, woven in and out —Edna St. Vincent Millay
  22. People, like sheep, tend to follow a leader —occasionally in the right direction —Alexander Chase
  23. We seemed strangers [a group of three people sitting in room] waiting in a station to take a train to another city —Henry Van Dyke
  24. People sat huddled together [on street benches] like dark grapes clustered on a stalk —W. Somerset Maugham
  25. Read him like a label on a beer can —William H. Hallhan
  26. [Two men who don’t like each other] recoiling from one another like reversed magnets —Wyatt Blassingame
  27. Responded to each other nervously, like a concord of music —Lawrence Durrell
  28. Sat … like a pair of carefully-folded kid-gloves, bound up in each other —Charles Dickens
  29. She could feel the distance between them like a patch of fog —Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  30. She reads my silence like a page —Robert Campbell
  31. Sitting like strangers thrown together by accident —Ross Macdonald
  32. Something in her face spilled over me like light through a swinging door —Sue Grafton
  33. Students, their faces like stone walls around him [a college professor] —Helen Hudson
  34. [Many different kinds of people] swarmed around him like startled fish —Derek Lambert
  35. Tangled together like badly cast fish lines —Katherine Anne Porter
  36. They [a man and woman with child between them] lay like two slices of wheat bread with a peanut-butter center —Will Weaver
  37. They needed each other’s assistance, like a company, who, crossing a mountain stream, are compelled to cling close together, lest the current should be too powerful for any who are not thus supported —Sir Walter Scott
  38. They were … like two people holding on to the opposite ends of a string, each anxious to let go, or at least soon, without offending the other, yet each reluctant to drop the curling, lapsing bond between them —Hortense Calisher
  39. Took me about like a roast [to make introductions] —Mark Helprin

    This spotlights the importance of using a simile within an appropriate context. The character being taken about “like a roast” in Helprin’s story, Tamar, is the last arrival at a dinner party. If someone were being introduced in a business setting, being passed around “Like a special report or a memo” might better suit the situation.

  40. Touched him on the breast as though his finger were the fine point of a small sword —Charles Dickens
  41. Treated him like crows treat a scarecrow: they ignored him and avoided him —William H. Hallhan

    See Also: REJECTION

  42. Wanted me to share her pain like an orgasm, like lovers in poems who slit their wrists together —Max Apple
  43. Watching each other like two cats; and then, as cats do, turn away again, indifferently, as if whatever was at stake between them had somehow faded out —L. P. Hartley
  44. (The Heindricks) were making me feel like a specimen in a jar —Jonathan Gash

    See Also: DISCOMFORT

  45. We sat half-turned toward one another like the arms of a parenthesis —Cornell Woolrich
  46. You play my heart like a concertina —Harvey Fierstein
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Describe camp (people, interactions, and activities).

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