30 Metaphors for Emotions: Poetry in Our Feelings


You know, emotions are like the colors of our inner world, and sometimes, words alone can’t do them justice. That’s where metaphors come in, giving life and vividness to our feelings.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and explore how these metaphors paint our emotional landscapes in ways plain words can’t.

metaphors for emotions

What is a Metaphor for Emotions

First things first, what exactly is a metaphor for emotions? Imagine your feelings as a canvas, and metaphors are the brushstrokes that add depth and texture to this canvas.

They help us express and understand our emotions in a more relatable and tangible way. Metaphors for emotions are like bridges, connecting the abstract world of feelings to the concrete world around us.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

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Which of the following is a metaphor?

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What is an idiom?

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What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

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What is an adjective?

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Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

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What is a verb?

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Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

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Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

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Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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MetaphorMeaningExample Sentence
Waves of SorrowOverwhelming grief that comes and goes“Waves of sorrow washed over her, leaving her feeling adrift.”
Burning AngerIntense and consuming fury“His words ignited a burning anger within me.”
Heart of IceLack of empathy or warmth“She confronted the betrayal with a heart of ice.”
Joy like a RainbowBurst of happiness with many aspects“Joy like a rainbow filled me, vibrant and full of life.”
Love is a RoseBeautiful but complex, with potential for pain“Our love, like a rose, was beautiful but thorny.”
Fear like a ShadowEver-present sense of anxiety“Fear clung to her like a shadow, dark and persistent.”
Bubbling ExcitementLively enthusiasm“She was filled with bubbling excitement, unable to sleep.”
Sinking FeelingSudden apprehension or disappointment“A sinking feeling told her something was wrong.”
Inner DemonsPersonal struggles or mental conflicts“He fought his inner demons daily.”
Light as a FeatherFeeling carefree or unburdened“She felt light as a feather, free from stress.”
Tears like RaindropsCopious crying“Her tears fell like raindrops, relentless and cathartic.”
Stormy EmotionsTurbulent, intense feelings“Her heart was a tempest of stormy emotions.”
Laughter like MusicJoyful, pleasant laughter“Her laughter rang out like music.”
Nerves of SteelCourage in the face of fear“She showed nerves of steel, unshaken and determined.”
Heartstrings TuggedDeep emotional response or nostalgia“The old photograph tugged at her heartstrings.”
Smoldering ResentmentLingering, suppressed anger“Smoldering resentment was brewing beneath his calm.”
Thundering RageExplosive and loud anger“His injustice unleashed a thundering rage in her.”
Emotions in TurmoilEmotional confusion and disorder“Her mind was a whirlpool of emotions in turmoil.”
Butterfly in the StomachNervousness or excitement“A butterfly fluttered in her stomach before the stage.”
Melancholy DepthsDeep, reflective sadness“He sank into the melancholy depths of his thoughts.”
Lost in a Sea of ConfusionOverwhelmed with uncertainty“She felt lost in a sea of confusion with too many choices.”
Emotions on a RollercoasterRapid and unpredictable changes in feelings“Her emotions took her on a rollercoaster, up and down.”
Racing HeartExcitement or anxiety“At the sound of his voice, her heart started racing.”
Emotions as a BattlefieldInternal struggle with feelings“His emotions were a battlefield, each one fighting.”
Spark of InspirationSudden, creative insight“A spark of inspiration struck her unexpectedly.”
Emotional RollercoasterRapid and intense range of emotions“The month had been an emotional rollercoaster.”
Flood of HappinessOverwhelming joy“A flood of happiness washed over her with the good news.”
Cold as StoneLacking emotion or warmth“His response was cold as stone, giving nothing away.”
Warmth of AffectionComforting, loving feeling“In his embrace, she felt the warmth of affection.”
Emotions like a WildfireUncontrollable spread of strong feelings“Her emotions spread like a wildfire, fierce and uncontrolled.”

Emotions are like a rollercoaster ride, with highs and lows that can make your heart race or leave you feeling dizzy. For more similes related to emotions, you can check out this resource: Similes for Emotions. Additionally, if you’re interested in idioms associated with emotions, you can explore them here: Idioms for Emotions.

Metaphors for Emotions

1. Waves of Sorrow

Meaning: Overwhelming grief that comes and goes in intensity.

In a Sentence: “After hearing the news, waves of sorrow washed over her, leaving her feeling adrift in a sea of grief.”

2. Burning Anger

Meaning: Intense and consuming fury.

In a Sentence: “His words ignited a burning anger within me, hot and unyielding.”

3. Heart of Ice

Meaning: A lack of empathy or warmth in feelings.

In a Sentence: “She confronted the betrayal with a heart of ice, devoid of any visible emotion.”

4. Joy like a Rainbow

Meaning: A burst of happiness with a multitude of aspects.

In a Sentence: “Seeing her after so long filled me with joy like a rainbow, vibrant and full of life.”

5. Love is a Rose

Meaning: Love is beautiful and complex, with potential for pain (thorns).

In a Sentence: “Our love, like a rose, was beautiful but thorny, teaching us about beauty and pain.”

6. Fear like a Shadow

Meaning: An ever-present, sometimes vague sense of anxiety or dread.

In a Sentence: “As she walked home alone, fear clung to her like a shadow, dark and persistent.”

7. Bubbling Excitement

Meaning: A lively, effervescent form of enthusiasm.

In a Sentence: “The night before the trip, she was filled with bubbling excitement, unable to sleep.”

8. Sinking Feeling

Meaning: A sudden onset of apprehension or disappointment.

In a Sentence: “When he didn’t answer the phone, a sinking feeling told her something was wrong.”

9. Inner Demons

Meaning: Personal struggles or mental conflicts.

In a Sentence: “He fought his inner demons daily, striving for a peace of mind.”

10. Light as a Feather

Meaning: Feeling carefree or unburdened.

In a Sentence: “After finishing her exams, she felt light as a feather, free from stress.”

11. Tears like Raindrops

Meaning: Copious and uncontrolled crying.

In a Sentence: “Overwhelmed by emotion, her tears fell like raindrops, relentless and cathartic.”

12. Stormy Emotions

Meaning: Turbulent, intense feelings.

In a Sentence: “Her heart was a tempest of stormy emotions, unpredictable and fierce.”

13. Laughter like Music

Meaning: Joyful, pleasant laughter.

In a Sentence: “Her laughter rang out like music, filling the room with warmth.”

14. Nerves of Steel

Meaning: Remarkable courage in the face of fear.

In a Sentence: “Facing the challenge, she showed nerves of steel, unshaken and determined.”

15. Heartstrings Tugged

Meaning: A deep emotional response or feeling of nostalgia.

In a Sentence: “The old photograph tugged at her heartstrings, bringing back a flood of memories.”

16. Smoldering Resentment

Meaning: A lingering, suppressed anger.

In a Sentence: “Beneath his calm exterior, smoldering resentment was brewing, waiting to erupt.”

17. Thundering Rage

Meaning: Explosive and loud anger.

In a Sentence: “His injustice unleashed a thundering rage in her, loud and unapologetic.”

18. Emotions in Turmoil

Meaning: A state of emotional confusion and disorder.

In a Sentence: “She lay awake, her mind a whirlpool of emotions in turmoil.”

19. Butterfly in the Stomach

Meaning: A fluttery feeling of nervousness or excitement.

In a Sentence: “Just before stepping onto the stage, she felt a butterfly fluttering in her stomach.”

20. Melancholy Depths

Meaning: A deep, often reflective sadness.

In a Sentence: “In the quiet of the night, he sank into the melancholy depths of his thoughts.”

21. Lost in a Sea of Confusion

Meaning: Overwhelmed with uncertainty or indecisiveness.

In a Sentence: “Faced with too many choices, she felt lost in a sea of confusion.”

22. Emotions on a Rollercoaster

Meaning: Rapid and unpredictable changes in feelings.

In a Sentence: “The week’s events took her emotions on a rollercoaster, up and down without warning.”

23. Racing Heart

Meaning: A physical sensation of excitement or anxiety.

In a Sentence: “At the sound of his voice, her heart started racing, a mix of nervousness and anticipation.”

24. Emotions as a Battlefield

Meaning: An intense internal struggle with feelings.

In a Sentence: “Inside, his emotions were a battlefield, each one fighting for dominance.”

25. Spark of Inspiration

Meaning: A sudden, creative insight.

In a Sentence: “In the quiet of the morning, a spark of inspiration struck her, bright and unexpected.”

26. Emotional Rollercoaster

Meaning: Experiencing a rapid and intense range of emotions.

In a Sentence: “The past month had been an emotional rollercoaster, leaving her both drained and exhilarated.”

27. Flood of Happiness

Meaning: An overwhelming sense of joy.

In a Sentence: “Upon hearing the good news, a flood of happiness washed over her, leaving no room for doubt.”

28. Cold as Stone

Meaning: Lacking emotion or warmth.

In a Sentence: “His response was cold as stone, giving nothing away.”

29. Warmth of Affection

Meaning: A comforting, loving feeling.

In a Sentence: “In his embrace, she felt the warmth of affection, soothing and genuine.”

30. Emotions like a Wildfire

Meaning: Rapid and uncontrollable spread of strong feelings.

In a Sentence: “In the heat of the moment, her emotions spread like wildfire, fierce and uncontrolled.”

Here are 10 quiz questions about the metaphors discussed in the article:

  1. Multiple Choice:
    “Burning Anger” is a metaphor for:
    a) Intense joy
    b) Overwhelming sadness
    c) Intense and consuming fury
    d) Excitement
    Answer: c) Intense and consuming fury
  2. Fill in the Blank:
    “A sudden onset of apprehension or disappointment can be described as a __ feeling.”
    Answer: Sinking
  3. True or False:
    “Heart of Ice” metaphorically describes a state of immense joy.
    Answer: False (It describes a lack of empathy or warmth)
  4. Short Answer:
    What does the metaphor “Emotions like a Wildfire” signify?
    Answer: It signifies rapid and uncontrollable spread of strong feelings.
  5. Multiple Choice:
    Which metaphor describes a deep, often reflective sadness?
    a) Light as a Feather
    b) Melancholy Depths
    c) Bubbling Excitement
    d) Laughter like Music
    Answer: b) Melancholy Depths
  6. Fill in the Blank:
    “Facing a challenge with remarkable courage can be described as having ‘nerves of __.’”
    Answer: Steel
  7. True or False:
    “Laughter like Music” implies a feeling of nervousness.
    Answer: False (It implies joyful, pleasant laughter)
  8. Short Answer:
    What does the metaphor “Butterfly in the Stomach” typically represent?
    Answer: It represents a fluttery feeling of nervousness or excitement.
  9. Multiple Choice:
    “Waves of Sorrow” metaphorically represent:
    a) Constant happiness
    b) Overwhelming grief that comes and goes
    c) Emotional stability
    d) Calmness
    Answer: b) Overwhelming grief that comes and goes
  10. Fill in the Blank:
    “An overwhelming sense of joy can be described as a ‘flood of __.’”
    Answer: Happiness

These questions cover a variety of formats, including multiple-choice, true or false, fill in the blank, and short answers, providing a comprehensive understanding of the metaphors used to describe emotions.

Conclusion

And there you have it – a little lexicon of metaphors for emotions. Each one is a tiny window into the complex world of our feelings, helping us understand and express ourselves better.

Remember, emotions are the language of the soul, and metaphors are how we turn that language into art. So next time you’re at a loss for words, think of these metaphors, and let your feelings paint the picture for you.

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