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These verbs mean to cause to move ahead or progress, as toward a goal: advance a worthy cause; forwarding their own interests; fostered friendly relations; furthering your career; efforts to promote sales.
- Advanced like armies —Anon
This is used to describe forward sweeps in a figurative as well as literal sense. For example, book critic Anatole Broyard used it about William Faulkner’s sentences in a New York Times Book Review, May 17, 1987.
- (The terrible old miser) advanced, like the hour of death to a criminal —Honor de Balzac
- Advance like the shadow of death —John Ruskin
- Approached … as stealthily as a poacher stalking a hind —Donald Seaman
- Bearing down like a squad of tactical police —Marge Piercy
- Bearing down like a tugboat busily dragging a fleet of barges —Frank Swinnerton
- Came on like a last reel of a John Wayne movie —Line from “L. A. Law,” television drama segment, 1987
The simile describes a sexually aggressive woman.
- Came [toward another person] … like a tidal wave running toward the coast —Isak Dinesen
- Came with slow steps like a dog who exhibits his fidelity —Honor de Balzac
- Come down, like a flock of hungry corbies, upon them —George Garrett
Garret is comparing the corbies to a group of beggars.
- Come like a rolling storm —Beryl Markham
- Coming after me … like a wave —Calder Willingham
- Coming at him like a fullback —Wallace Stegner
- (She’d seen it) coming like a red caboose at the end of a train —Denis Johnson
- (Cancer) coming like a train —William H. Gass
- Coming like a truck —James Crumley
Here the strong advance describes an aggressive woman.
- (People) converged upon them, like a stream of ants —Hortense Calisher
- (Faith’s father) descended … like a storm —Charles Johnson
- Descend on me like age —Margaret Atwood
- Forges ahead, lashing over the wet earth like a whipcrack —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- Glide toward them, as softly and slyly as a fly on a windowpane —Donald Seaman
- He was upon them like a sun-flushed avalanche —Frank Swinnerton
- Invade like weeds, everywhere, but slowly —Margaret Atwood
- Leaned forward like a magnificent bird of prey about to swallow its victim whole —Mike Fredman
- Like a figurehead on the prow of a foundering ship his head and torso pressed forward —John Updike
- Like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering, out came the children running —Robert Browning
- Moved forward [towards an attractive woman] like so many iron filings to a magnet —J. B. Priestley
- (He was) moving toward me like a carnivorous dinosaur advancing on a vegetarian sibling —Joan Hess
- Pressing forward like the wind —Sir Walter Scott
- Pushed forward like the nervous antennae of a large insect —Rita Mae Brown
- [An odor] roll up … like fog in a valley —C.D.B. Bryan
- Slid forward slowly as an alligator —Rudyard Kipling
- (He could hear the roar of darkness) sweeping toward him like a fist —Jay Mclnerney
- Swooped like chickens scrambling for a grain of corn —Aharon Megged
- Went firmly on as if propelled —Stephen Crane