30 Metaphors for Waiting + Quiz


Waiting. It’s a universal experience that we’ve all encountered at some point in our lives. Whether we’re eagerly anticipating a long-awaited event or impatiently tapping our fingers in frustration, waiting is a part of the human condition.

But have you ever stopped to think about the metaphors we use to describe this often tedious and sometimes excruciating process?

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of metaphors for waiting, using vivid imagery and creative comparisons to shed light on this common human experience.

metaphors for waiting

What is a Metaphor for Waiting?

Before we delve into the world of metaphors for waiting, let’s briefly clarify what a metaphor is. A metaphor is a figure of speech that draws a comparison between two unrelated things, often for the purpose of creating a more vivid or imaginative description.


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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.”

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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 is an abbreviation?

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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:

16 / 20

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?

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“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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When it comes to waiting, metaphors can help us convey the emotions and sensations associated with this often intangible state of being.

Now, let’s take a journey through a list of metaphors for waiting, giving each one its own unique meaning and using them in sentences to illustrate their application.

Metaphor for WaitingMeaningSentence
Watching paint dryTediously slow and time-consumingAs I waited for the bus, it felt like watching paint dry in the sweltering heat of midday.
Slow-motion movieTime seems to stretch endlesslyThe minutes dragged on like a slow-motion movie as I sat in the dentist’s waiting room, anxiety building with each passing second.
Snail’s paceIncredibly slow and seemingly never-endingThe line at the amusement park moved at a snail’s pace, and I couldn’t help but feel impatient.
Ticking clockRelentless reminder of passing timeEach tick of the clock in the empty room echoed in my ears, magnifying the agony of waiting for news.
Stagnant pondFeeling stuck in one place, lack of movementThe office felt like a stagnant pond on that slow Friday afternoon, with everyone counting down the minutes until the weekend.
Frozen riverTime feels frozen with no progressThe anticipation of her arrival made the hours feel like a frozen river, unmoving and unyielding.
Dripping faucetIncessant and irritating passing of timeThe hours dragged on like a dripping faucet, each minute feeling more aggravating than the last.
Stuck elevatorFeeling trapped or immobilizedThe delay at the airport made me feel like I was in a stuck elevator, unable to move forward.
Suspended animationSense of suspension, time momentarily haltedThe anticipation was so intense that it felt like I was in a state of suspended animation, unable to move or breathe until the results were revealed.
Motionless breezeAbsence of change or movementThe room was filled with an eerie silence, and time passed like a motionless breeze, leaving us all in quiet contemplation.
Paused video gameAction and progress halted indefinitelyThe long wait at the doctor’s office made me feel like I was stuck in a paused video game, unable to advance to the next level of my day.
Dormant volcanoSimmering tension and anticipationThe hushed room was like a dormant volcano, with emotions bubbling beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to burst forth.
Sleepless nightRestless and uneasy, thoughts keep you awakeThe anticipation of the exam results turned the night into a sleepless one, with my mind racing with anxiety.
Deserted highwayFeeling alone and isolatedThe empty waiting room felt like a deserted highway, and I wondered if I was the only one left in this timeless space.
Delayed flightFrustration and impatienceThe hours of waiting for my friend felt like a delayed flight, filled with frustration and a sense of wasted time.
Rusting anchorFeeling burdensome and stagnantThe prolonged wait for the test results felt like a rusting anchor, weighing down my thoughts and emotions.
Closed bookShrouded in mystery, holding secretsThe anticipation in the room was like a closed book, with each moment bringing us closer to the revelation of its contents.
Silent screamEmotionally intense, unspoken but echoing withinThe tension in the courtroom was like a silent scream, with everyone on edge as they awaited the verdict.
Trapped birdFeeling of confinement, longing for freedomThe hours of waiting felt like a trapped bird, fluttering against the confines of time.
Motionless pendulumTime feels suspended, frozen in placeThe anticipation in the room made time feel like a motionless pendulum, frozen in place.
Tethered kiteFeeling of restraint, unable to soar freelyThe anticipation of the announcement kept me tethered to my seat, unable to break free from the waiting room.
Shadow on the wallLooming presence, always there but intangibleThe anticipation of the meeting cast a shadow on the wall of my thoughts, a constant presence in my mind.
Motionless shipFeeling stuck in one place, no progressThe hours of waiting made me feel like a motionless ship, anchored to the spot with no progress in sight.
Held breathSuspended anticipation, like holding one’s breathThe tension in the room was palpable, and it felt like we were all holding our breath, waiting for the final decision.
Stalled engineFrustrating and unproductiveThe wait for the repairman to arrive felt like a stalled engine, with every passing minute exacerbating my impatience.
Rooted treeFeeling rooted in one place, unable to moveThe anticipation of the news made me feel like a rooted tree, unable to move or escape my thoughts.
Paused songInterruption in the flow of timeThe minutes of waiting felt like a paused song, with no melody or rhythm to guide me.
Frozen waterfallStuck in a moment, unmovingThe anticipation of the announcement felt like a frozen waterfall, a suspended moment in time.
Suspended dreamUnrealized potential and anticipationThe anticipation of the job offer felt like a suspended dream, waiting to be fulfilled.
Locked doorFeeling shut out or denied accessThe hours of waiting felt like a locked door, keeping me from the answers I sought.

Waiting is like watching paint dry, a slow and tedious process that requires patience. For more similes related to waiting, you can check out this resource: Similes for Waiting. Additionally, if you’re interested in idioms associated with waiting, you can explore them here: Idioms for Waiting.

Metaphors for Waiting

1. Waiting is like watching paint dry.

Meaning: Waiting can feel excruciatingly slow and tedious, much like the process of watching paint dry, which seems to take an eternity.

In a Sentence: As I waited for the bus to arrive, it felt like watching paint dry in the sweltering heat of midday.

2. Waiting is like a slow-motion movie.

Meaning: Waiting can make time seem to stretch endlessly, just like scenes in a slow-motion movie where every moment is elongated.

In a Sentence: The minutes dragged on like a slow-motion movie as I sat in the dentist’s waiting room, anxiety building with each passing second.

3. Waiting is like a snail’s pace.

Meaning: Waiting can feel as if it’s moving at the speed of a snail, incredibly slow and seemingly never-ending.

In a Sentence: The line at the amusement park moved at a snail’s pace, and I couldn’t help but feel impatient.

4. Waiting is like a ticking clock.

Meaning: Waiting can be accompanied by the relentless sound of a ticking clock, which serves as a constant reminder of the passing time.

In a Sentence: Each tick of the clock in the empty room echoed in my ears, magnifying the agony of waiting for news.

5. Waiting is like a stagnant pond.

Meaning: Waiting can give the impression of being stuck in one place, much like a stagnant pond that lacks movement or change.

In a Sentence: The office felt like a stagnant pond on that slow Friday afternoon, with everyone counting down the minutes until the weekend.

6. Waiting is like a frozen river.

Meaning: Waiting can make time feel as if it’s frozen in place, with no progress or forward movement.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of her arrival made the hours feel like a frozen river, unmoving and unyielding.

7. Waiting is like a dripping faucet.

Meaning: Waiting can be as annoying as the incessant dripping of a faucet, each moment passing with an irritating regularity.

In a Sentence: The hours dragged on like a dripping faucet, each minute feeling more aggravating than the last.

8. Waiting is like a stuck elevator.

Meaning: Waiting can evoke the sensation of being trapped or immobilized, similar to the feeling of being stuck in an elevator.

In a Sentence: The delay at the airport made me feel like I was in a stuck elevator, unable to move forward.

9. Waiting is like a suspended animation.

Meaning: Waiting can create a sense of suspension, as if time has momentarily halted, much like the animation process that freezes moments in a sequence.

In a Sentence: The anticipation was so intense that it felt like I was in a state of suspended animation, unable to move or breathe until the results were revealed.

10. Waiting is like a motionless breeze.

Meaning: Waiting can be marked by an absence of change or movement, similar to a breeze that remains still and lacks its usual gentle sway.

In a Sentence: The room was filled with an eerie silence, and time passed like a motionless breeze, leaving us all in quiet contemplation.

11. Waiting is like a paused video game.

Meaning: Waiting can feel like hitting the pause button on a video game, with the action and progress halted indefinitely.

In a Sentence: The long wait at the doctor’s office made me feel like I was stuck in a paused video game, unable to advance to the next level of my day.

12. Waiting is like a dormant volcano.

Meaning: Waiting can contain a simmering tension and anticipation, akin to a dormant volcano that may erupt at any moment.

In a Sentence: The hushed room was like a dormant volcano, with emotions bubbling beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to burst forth.

13. Waiting is like a sleepless night.

Meaning: Waiting can be as restless and uneasy as a sleepless night when thoughts and worries keep you awake.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of the exam results turned the night into a sleepless one, with my mind racing with anxiety.

14. Waiting is like a deserted highway.

Meaning: Waiting can give you the sensation of being alone and isolated, much like driving on a deserted highway with no other travelers in sight.

In a Sentence: The empty waiting room felt like a deserted highway, and I wondered if I was the only one left in this timeless space.

15. Waiting is like a delayed flight.

Meaning: Waiting can be marked by frustration and impatience, similar to the irritation that comes with a flight delay.

In a Sentence: The hours of waiting for my friend felt like a delayed flight, filled with frustration and a sense of wasted time.

16. Waiting is like a rusting anchor.

Meaning: Waiting can feel burdensome and stagnant, akin to the weight of a rusting anchor that keeps you firmly in one place.

In a Sentence: The prolonged wait for the test results felt like a rusting anchor, weighing down my thoughts and emotions.

17. Waiting is like a closed book.

Meaning: Waiting can be shrouded in mystery, much like a closed book that holds its secrets until it’s finally opened.

In a Sentence: The anticipation in the room was like a closed book, with each moment bringing us closer to the revelation of its contents.

18. Waiting is like a silent scream.

Meaning: Waiting can be emotionally intense, akin to a scream that remains unspoken but echoes within.

In a Sentence: The tension in the courtroom was like a silent scream, with everyone on edge as they awaited the verdict.

19. Waiting is like a trapped bird.

Meaning: Waiting can evoke a sense of confinement, similar to a bird trapped in a cage, longing for freedom.

In a Sentence: The hours of waiting felt like a trapped bird, fluttering against the confines of time.

20. Waiting is like a motionless pendulum.

Meaning: Waiting can make time feel as if it’s suspended, with the back-and-forth motion of a pendulum coming to a standstill.

In a Sentence: The anticipation in the room made time feel like a motionless pendulum, frozen in place.

21. Waiting is like a tethered kite.

Meaning: Waiting can create a feeling of restraint, much like a kite tethered to the ground, unable to soar freely.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of the announcement kept me tethered to my seat, unable to break free from the waiting room.

22. Waiting is like a shadow on the wall.

Meaning: Waiting can feel like a looming presence, similar to a shadow cast on the wall, always there but intangible.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of the meeting cast a shadow on the wall of my thoughts, a constant presence in my mind.

23. Waiting is like a motionless ship.

Meaning: Waiting can evoke the sensation of being stuck in one place, similar to a ship that has come to a standstill in calm waters.

In a Sentence: The hours of waiting made me feel like a motionless ship, anchored to the spot with no progress in sight.

24. Waiting is like a held breath.

Meaning: Waiting can create a sense of suspended anticipation, much like holding one’s breath in anticipation of an outcome.

In a Sentence: The tension in the room was palpable, and it felt like we were all holding our breath, waiting for the final decision.

25. Waiting is like a stalled engine.

Meaning: Waiting can be frustrating and unproductive, similar to a stalled engine that refuses to start.

In a Sentence: The wait for the repairman to arrive felt like a stalled engine, with every passing minute exacerbating my impatience.

26. Waiting is like a rooted tree.

Meaning: Waiting can make you feel rooted in one place, much like a tree firmly anchored to the ground.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of the news made me feel like a rooted tree, unable to move or escape my thoughts.

27. Waiting is like a paused song.

Meaning: Waiting can be marked by an interruption in the flow of time, similar to a song that suddenly pauses.

In a Sentence: The minutes of waiting felt like a paused song, with no melody or rhythm to guide me.

28. Waiting is like a frozen waterfall.

Meaning: Waiting can give the impression of being stuck in a moment, much like a frozen waterfall that remains still and unmoving.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of the announcement felt like a frozen waterfall, a suspended moment in time.

29. Waiting is like a suspended dream.

Meaning: Waiting can create a sense of unrealized potential and anticipation, similar to a dream that hangs in the balance.

In a Sentence: The anticipation of the job offer felt like a suspended dream, waiting to be fulfilled.

30. Waiting is like a locked door.

Meaning: Waiting can create a sense of being shut out or denied access, similar to a locked door that bars your way.

In a Sentence: The hours of waiting felt like a locked door, keeping me from the answers I sought.

Here are 10 quiz questions related to the metaphors used in the article about waiting:

  1. Question: What does the metaphor “Waiting is like watching paint dry” convey?
    • A) Waiting is fast-paced and exciting.
    • B) Waiting can feel slow and tedious.
    • C) Waiting is like a thrilling adventure.
    • D) Waiting is colorful and vibrant.
    Answer: B) Waiting can feel slow and tedious.
  2. Question: Which metaphor suggests that waiting is akin to being trapped in a confined space?
    • A) Waiting is like a slow-motion movie.
    • B) Waiting is like a stalled engine.
    • C) Waiting is like a motionless pendulum.
    • D) Waiting is like a rooted tree.
    Answer: B) Waiting is like a stalled engine.
  3. Question: What metaphor implies that waiting can be emotionally intense and restless?
    • A) Waiting is like a paused video game.
    • B) Waiting is like a silent scream.
    • C) Waiting is like a dormant volcano.
    • D) Waiting is like a frozen waterfall.
    Answer: B) Waiting is like a silent scream.
  4. Question: Which metaphor compares waiting to a sensation of being suspended in time?
    • A) Waiting is like a snail’s pace.
    • B) Waiting is like a ticking clock.
    • C) Waiting is like a suspended dream.
    • D) Waiting is like a shadow on the wall.
    Answer: C) Waiting is like a suspended dream.
  5. Question: Which metaphor suggests that waiting can make time seem to stretch endlessly?
    • A) Waiting is like a delayed flight.
    • B) Waiting is like a frozen river.
    • C) Waiting is like a dripping faucet.
    • D) Waiting is like a paused song.
    Answer: B) Waiting is like a frozen river.
  6. Question: What does the metaphor “Waiting is like a locked door” symbolize?
    • A) Waiting is open and accessible.
    • B) Waiting is filled with surprises.
    • C) Waiting can feel restrictive and limiting.
    • D) Waiting is an opportunity for exploration.
    Answer: C) Waiting can feel restrictive and limiting.
  7. Question: Which metaphor compares waiting to a sensation of being anchored and unmoving?
    • A) Waiting is like a rusting anchor.
    • B) Waiting is like a motionless ship.
    • C) Waiting is like a motionless breeze.
    • D) Waiting is like a held breath.
    Answer: A) Waiting is like a rusting anchor.
  8. Question: What does the metaphor “Waiting is like a suspended animation” suggest about the experience of waiting?
    • A) Waiting is fast-paced and dynamic.
    • B) Waiting is filled with unexpected events.
    • C) Waiting is a moment frozen in time.
    • D) Waiting is a continuous flow of activity.
    Answer: C) Waiting is a moment frozen in time.
  9. Question: Which metaphor indicates that waiting can be accompanied by an irritating and monotonous passing of time?
    • A) Waiting is like a ticking clock.
    • B) Waiting is like a snail’s pace.
    • C) Waiting is like a silent scream.
    • D) Waiting is like a paused video game.
    Answer: A) Waiting is like a ticking clock.
  10. Question: What does the metaphor “Waiting is like a shadow on the wall” imply about the nature of waiting?
    • A) Waiting is always visible and tangible.
    • B) Waiting is a mysterious and intangible presence.
    • C) Waiting is colorful and vibrant.
    • D) Waiting is a constantly changing phenomenon.
    Answer: B) Waiting is a mysterious and intangible presence.

These quiz questions test your understanding of the metaphors used in the article and their meanings in the context of waiting.

Conclusion

In the tapestry of human experience, waiting is a thread that runs through all our lives. It’s a thread that can be woven with frustration, anticipation, and even excitement.

As we’ve explored in this article, waiting is not just a passive act; it’s a canvas upon which we paint metaphors to convey the emotions and sensations that come with it.

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