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pl n
(someone's) opinions or ideasthe things that someone thinks aboutto be thinking of another person as he or she she goes through a difficult time, esp a bereavement
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




  1. Common thoughts on common things, which time is shaking, day by day, like feathers from his wings —John Greenleaf Whittier
  2. Each was in his own thoughts, like a sleeping-bag —William Mcllvanney
  3. Every thought is like dough; you have only to knead it well; you can make anything you like out of it —Ivan Turgenev
  4. Exceptions [to theories] would crowd into her mind like a mob of unruly children —Peter Meinke
  5. (He succeeded in starting) a familiar train of thought … like a brackish taste in his mouth —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  6. Great thoughts, like great deeds, need no trumpet —P. J. Bailey
  7. Heavy on my mind, like a lump of soggy yeast dough, expanding, suffocating, blotting out all other thoughts —Mignon F. Ballard
  8. Her thought ran like a barge along a river —Marianne Wiggins
  9. Her thoughts ran round and round like dogs trapped behind a fence —Marge Piercy
  10. Her thoughts rose as a veil before her vision —Charles Johnson
  11. Her thoughts seemed to lead backwards and forwards like a shuttle weaving the moments, hours, days together in a pattern —Rumer Godden
  12. (Booksellers were like dope-pushers to him.) He was like a junkie on thought —Saul Bellow

    Bellow’s simile describes an avid reader.

  13. His thoughts like wild animals fed upon themselves —Charles Johnson
  14. His thoughts went round and round like rats in a cage —Stephen Vincent Benét
  15. Human thought is not a firework, ever shooting off fresh forms and shapes as it burns; it is a tree growing very slowly —Jerome K. Jerome
  16. Human thought, like God, makes the world in its own image —Adam Clayton Powell
  17. I have thought about you until I feel like a bee —William Diehl
  18. I will not go so far as to say that to construct a history of thought without profound study of the mathematical ideas of successive epochs is like omitting Hamlet from the play which (was) named after him … but it is certainly analogous to cutting out the part of Ophelia —Alfred North Whitehead
  19. Meditative … like the chirping of a solitary little bird —Eudora Welty
  20. Meditative, like a girl trying to decide which dress to wear to a party —O. Henry
  21. Men’s thoughts are thin and flimsy like lace; they are themselves pitiable like the lacemakers —Soren Kierkegaard
  22. My mind paddles away like a wooden spoon in a bowl of dough —Richard Maynard
  23. My thoughts are like sprouts, like sprouts on the branch of your brain —Edna O’Brien
  24. My thoughts are whirled like a potter’s wheel —William Shakespeare

    A variation in common use: “My head is spinning like a merry-go-round.”

  25. My thoughts turn over like a patchwork quilt —Diane Wakoski
  26. Our thoughts are always happening … like leaves floating down a stream or clouds crossing the sky, they just keep coming —Ram Dass and Paul Gorman
  27. Preoccupied in following his own thought, like someone out to net a butterfly —William Mcllvanney
  28. Reasoning comes as naturally to man as flying to birds —Quintilian
  29. Reflective as an old sextant —Richard Ford
  30. Ripe in her thought like a fresh apple fallen from the limb —Karl Shapiro
  31. Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose —John Keats
  32. Thinking is like loving and dying. Each of us must do it for himself —Josiah Royce
  33. Thinking was like a fountain. Once it gets going at a certain pressure, well, it is almost impossible to turn it off —Walter De La Mare
  34. Thought ascends, and buds from the brain, as the fruit from the root —Victor Hugo
  35. A thought as neat and final as though a ticker tape had fed it into his brain and left off with a row of dots —Kaatje Hurlbut
  36. The thought … clanged like pipes in my mind —Scott Spencer
  37. The thought kept beating in her like her heart —Wallace Stevens

    The World as Meditation, from which this is taken, follows the simile with this sentence: “The two kept beating together.”

  38. The thought [of women] … once it came it usually tended to stay for several hours, filling his noggin like a cloud of gnats —Larry McMurtry
  39. Thoughts buzzing in his head like crazy flies —H. E. Bates
  40. (His) thoughts drove in like a night-cloud —Stevie Smith
  41. Thoughts … fall from him like chantering from an abundant poet —Wallace Stevens
  42. Thoughts flickering like heat lightning —F. van Wyck Mason
  43. Thoughts floating like light clouds through the upper air of his mind —George Santayana
  44. Thoughts … flowing in unison, like a mountain-stream and a lake-stream meeting, but not yet merging, in a single river —George Santayana
  45. Thoughts ground each other as millstones grind when there is no corn in between —Rudyard Kipling
  46. Thoughts like fleas jump from man to man, but they don’t bite everybody —Anon
  47. The thought … slipped through his mind like a dot of quicksilver —Stanley Elkin
  48. (Foolish) thoughts play in her mind like firelight and shadow in a dim room —George Garrett
  49. Thoughts ran like squirrels in the boy’s head —Conrad Richter
  50. Thoughts rising like fish to the fluid surface of his mind —Ellen Glasgow
  51. (Lying awake with her) thoughts running round and round inside her skull like trapped mice —Josephine Tey
  52. Thoughts spinning and tumbling like a week’s wash —Julia Whedon
  53. Thoughts that peel off and fly away at breathless speeds like the last stubborn leaves ripped from wet branches —John Ashbery
  54. Thoughts … tied up in knots like snakes, squeezing and suffocating them —V. S. Pritchett
  55. Thoughts … twisting like snakes through his brain —Alice Walker
  56. Thoughts … untidily stacked like dishes slanting (in) a full sink —Lincoln Kirstein
  57. Thoughts … vague and pale, like ghosts —Jean Rhys
  58. Thoughts veering through her like a flight of birds —Anon
  59. Thoughts went on, coming and going like leaves blown in the wind —Ellen Glasgow
  60. Thoughts wheeled like a flight of bats in her mind —Ellen Glasgow
  61. Thoughts which moved, like the clouds, slowly, shedding dim yet vivid light —Iris Murdoch
  62. Thoughts … whirling around on themselves, like the apocryphal snake seizing its own tail and then devouring itself —Stanley Elkin
  63. Unusable and contradictory thoughts filled Quinn’s mind with almost physical duress as though his poor head were a golf ball which, slashed open, shows its severed rubber filaments snapping and racing about in confusion —Thomas McGuane
  64. When thought grows old and worn with usage it should, like current coin, be called in, and from the mint of genius, reissued fresh and new —Alexander Smith
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
If there is one thing that may be said, in the popular estimation, to characterize mind, that one thing is "consciousness." We say that we are "conscious" of what we see and hear, of what we remember, and of our own thoughts and feelings.
Afterwards when he recalled those thoughts Pierre was convinced that someone outside himself had spoken them, though the impressions of that day had evoked them.
Instead of giving way to thoughts of the worst he actually found he was trying to believe in better things.
The walls of rude minds are scrawled all over with facts, with thoughts. They shall one day bring a lantern and read the inscriptions.
- In the morning I took the Bible; and beginning at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it, and imposed upon myself to read a while every morning and every night; not tying myself to the number of chapters, but long as my thoughts should engage me.
However, on second thoughts, she made up her mind to go on: 'for I certainly won't go BACK,' she thought to herself, and this was the only way to the Eighth Square.
Her thoughts ran away to her girlhood with its passionate longing for adventure and she remem- bered the arms of men that had held her when ad- venture was a possible thing for her.
As he gazed at her and listened, his thoughts grew daring.
"The girl who wrote those lines little knew the value that I should set upon the scrap of paper that holds her thoughts. This is the last cry that pain wrung from me," he added, taking up a second letter; "I will lay it before you directly.
"Yes, I can see all but your thoughts, and were you a Barsoomian I could read those."
Our lady readers will pardon us if we pause for a moment to seek what could have been the thought concealed beneath those enigmatic words of the archdeacon: "This will kill that.
He thought of going to lunch at the tea-shop, but he was certain there would be many people there then, and Mildred would not be able to talk to him.