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Defensible   Listen
adjective
Defensible  adj.  
1.
Capable of being defended; as, a defensible city, or a defensible cause.
2.
Capable of offering defense. (Obs.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Defensible" Quotes from Famous Books



... possession of a ticket of his own, to procure a volume on architecture. From timidity, from a singular false shame, he kept this volume in the attic, like a crime; nobody knew what the volume was. Evidence of a strange trait in his character; a trait perhaps not defensible! He argued with himself that having told his father plainly that he wanted to be an architect, he need do nothing else aggressive for the present. He had agreed to the suggestion about business training, and he must be loyal to his agreement. He pointed out to himself how right ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... of our voyage for none other ende, but onely to enrich them at their first arriuall, in as much as they shewed themselues much more giuen vnto couetousnesse, then vnto the seruice of their Prince: But seeing mine answere tended vnto none other ende but to make our Fortresse strong and defensible, they determined to trauaile in the worke, and made an ensigne of olde linnen, which ordinarily they bare vpon the rampart when they went to woorke, alwayes wearing their weapons, which I thought they had done to incourage themselues to worke ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of - the English Nation. Vol. XIII. America. Part II. • Richard Hakluyt

... territory wrested from Mexico. Douglas sprang at once to the President's defense. He would not presume to speak with authority in the matter, but an examination of the accessible official papers had convinced him that the course of the President and of the commanders of the army was altogether defensible. "In conducting the war, conquest was effected, and the right growing out of conquest was to govern the subdued provinces in a temporary and provisional manner, until the home government should establish a government in another form."[236] And more to this effect, uttered in the heated ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... if our boats were crippled, they would drop back with the current and escape capture. But a still greater advantage would be its tendency to cut the enemy's lines in two, by reaching the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, threatening Memphis, which lies one hundred miles due west, and no defensible point between; also Nashville, only ninety miles north-east, and Florence and Tuscumbia in North Alabama, forty miles east. A movement in this direction would do more to relieve our friends in Kentucky, and inspire the loyal hearts in East Tennessee, ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... Normandy's forgiveness, occurs three times. When it recurs for the last time, a change from the printed text is not only justifiable; it is demanded, in order to give additional intensity and power to the phrase, and to avoid the monotony caused by mere repetition. This modification is all the more defensible, as the composer has substituted the orchestra, with the strings tremolo, for the rhythmical harp-figure with which he accompanies the phrase on its first and second presentations. Here is the accepted ...
— Style in Singing • W. E. Haslam

... in political life. I am a politician because I cannot help myself; it is the trade I am fittest for, and ambition is my resource to make it tolerable. In politics we cannot keep our hands clean. I have done many things in my political career that are not defensible. To act with entire honesty and self-respect, one should always live in a pure atmosphere, and the atmosphere of politics is impure. Domestic life is the salvation of many public men, but I have for many years been deprived of it. I have now come to that point where increasing ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... proclaims. It is only the question of expense which has hitherto prevented the transference of the capital to another site, viz. Nikzic. Cetinje was chosen as the capital some hundreds of years ago—1484, to be pedantically correct—when a defensible position was the most important factor, which even to-day is a ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... we claim for ourselves we must grant to others. One man certainly has as defensible a right to work as another man has to be idle. In the legitimate exercise of personal freedom there is no effort at coercion, and in this case there shall be none. If you choose to quit, you will do so without let or hindrance from ...
— The Fat of the Land - The Story of an American Farm • John Williams Streeter

... running until he was in what seemed to him a strongly defensible position near Luna Island. Then he took cover, panting, ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... ten o'clock the same evening Kent was walking the floor of his room, trying vainly to persuade himself that virtue was its own reward, and wondering if a small dose of chloral hydrate would be defensible under the cruel necessity for sleep. He had about decided in favor of the drug when a tap at the door announced the coming of a bell-boy with a note. It ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... end they had at heart, to lose, so they simply abstained, as it were, from comment upon the detestable procedure which terminated in the rule absolute. I have often wondered whether the whole business would not have been more defensible if there had been on Judy's part any emotional spring for the leap they made. I offer my conviction that there was none, that she was only extravagantly affected by the ideals of the Quarter—it is a transporting atmosphere—and held ...
— The Pool in the Desert • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... difficult to withdraw, now," Will said. "It would shake the confidence of the men. I think, myself, that we ought to advance, and drive the enemy before us, till we take up some really defensible position; but I doubt if the Afghans would wait for that. In all our history, a British charge against an Indian enemy has always been successful, no matter how ...
— For Name and Fame - Or Through Afghan Passes • G. A. Henty

... had been fortified by the English, who had enclosed it with a double range of strong palisades, forming a rectangle, flanked by bastions at the four corners, and surrounded by an outer fence of tall poles. The place was not defensible against cannon and mortars; and the four hundred warriors belonging to it had been but slightly reinforced from the other tribes of the confederacy, each of which feared that the French attack might be directed ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... existence of this spirit, which is entirely negligible outside two or three large towns, is not surprising; although it advocates a passive resistance it is the direct descendant of the party which advocated physical force in the past, and in so far as it proposes to use morally defensible weapons it is likely to have the more driving power. The consistent opposition which the Catholic Church offered to revolutionary violence and her sympathy with constitutionally-expressed Parliamentary agitation have resulted in ...
— Ireland and the Home Rule Movement • Michael F. J. McDonnell

... there is no chance left of stopping war. Indeed she thinks, considering the progress of revolution in the Duchies, and the daily increase of military strength of France and financial exhaustion of Austria, that it would not be morally defensible to try to restrain Austria from defending herself ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861 • Queen of Great Britain Victoria

... a good capital for the new king, for it was a defensible position, in the centre of his own tribe, and sacred by association with the patriarchs. Established there, David was recognised as king by his fellow-tribesmen, and by them only. No doubt, tribal jealousy was partly the cause of this limited recognition, but probably the ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... according to his thinking, with Sir Felix out of it than in it. But still the young man was his cousin and a Carbury, and to such a one as John Crumb he was bound to defend any member of his family as far as he might be defensible. 'They says as how he was groping about Sheep's Acre when he was last here, a hiding himself and skulking behind hedges. Drat 'em all. They've gals enough of their own,—them fellows. Why can't they ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... own family. What would be said of a man who introduced poison in any degree into the food or drink of his child? Is the poisoning of the household atmosphere by the ignorant, thoughtless, or selfish smoker morally more defensible? Tobacco injures health through hereditary influence. The tobacco user begets, more certainly than the non-user, puny children with disordered nervous conditions. Luckily for our race, the women, who have the most important prenatal influence in guarding its physical ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 711, August 17, 1889 • Various

... till it was even, and came to Whitwall before the shutting of the gates and rode into the street, and found it a fair and great town, well defensible, with high and new walls, and men-at-arms ...
— The Well at the World's End • William Morris

... services. They had been embodied into battalions, and when the army prepared to take the field they were placed in garrisons in New York and other places, thus permitting the employment of the whole of the British force in the field. The Americans had occupied themselves in strongly fortifying the more defensible positions, especially those in a mountain tract of country called the Manor of Courland. This was converted into a sort of citadel, where large quantities of provisions, forage, and stores of all kinds were collected. About fifty miles from New York, up the North River, was a ...
— True to the Old Flag - A Tale of the American War of Independence • G. A. Henty

... overseas on expeditions, was in reality made necessary by our position as the island center of a great and scattered Empire. We had increased that Empire enormously by the possession of a voluntarily serving army. Whether this vast increase of the Empire has been always defensible I am not discussing. What I am saying is that we owe the actual increases largely to this, that we were the only Power in the world that was ready to step in at short notice and occupy vacant territory. We always had a much larger Expeditionary Force available for this special purpose than Germany ...
— Before the War • Viscount Richard Burton Haldane

... statistical proof that members of minority groups were given equal treatment and opportunity,[15-19] and such assurances, of course, demanded racial determinations on the records. Still, not all the reasons for retaining the racial identification entry were so defensible. The Army, for example, had to maintain accurate statistics on the number of Negroes inducted because of its concern with a possible unacceptable rise in their number and the President's promise to reimpose the quota to prevent such an increase. Whatever the reasons, it was obvious ...
— Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 • Morris J. MacGregor Jr.

... unquestionable gift of novelty. Lord Beaconsfield's Lady Montfort said she preferred a new book, even if bad, to a classic. That was a strong saying, but there are points of view from which it is perfectly defensible. ...
— By-ways in Book-land - Short Essays on Literary Subjects • William Davenport Adams

... perturbation. My motives had indeed been mixed enough to justify some uneasiness, but this was allayed by the instinctive feeling that it is more venial to defraud an institution than a man. Since Mrs. Fontage had to be kept from starving by means not wholly defensible, it was better that the obligation should be borne by a rich institution than an impecunious youth. I doubt, in fact, if my scruples would have survived a night's sleep, had they not been complicated by some uncertainty as to my own future. It ...
— Crucial Instances • Edith Wharton

... "foreshadowing without forestalling." But before we can judge of the merits of M. Sarcey's theory, we must look into it a little more closely. I shall try, then, to state it in my own words, in what I believe to be its most rational and defensible form. ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... She made him, all unconsciously to be sure, first in war. She saved him, consciously, from the fate of an unsuccessful rebel. And she made it possible for him to be first in peace. These are all defensible theses, however much or little credit France may deserve in ...
— The French in the Heart of America • John Finley

... is even more important for debating than for written argument. In a written argument if you have a question which has two defensible sides, it does not make much difference whether one is easier to defend than the other: in a debate such a difference might destroy the usefulness of the subject. Though to some older minds the abolition of football is a debatable question, before an audience of undergraduates who ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... as we saw in the bishops' reply, they considered their practice in these respects wholly defensible.—See Reply of the Bishops, ...
— History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II. • James Anthony Froude

... Would Better. This is not defensible as an idiom, as those who always used it before their attention was directed to it take the trouble to point out. It comes of such contractions as he'd for he would, I'd for I would. These clipped words are erroneously restored as "he had," "I had." So we have such monstrosities ...
— Write It Right - A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults • Ambrose Bierce

... 'and I will look to points which can be made defensible; and the old powder-plot boys could not have made a more desperate resistance than we shall. Redgauntlet,' continued he, 'I see some of our friends are looking pale; but methinks your nephew has more mettle in his eye now ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... one, regret that (if you are going to have an aristocracy) it did not remain a logical one founded on the science of heraldry; a thing asserting and defending the quite defensible theory that physical genealogy is the test; instead of being, as it is now, a mere machine of Eton and Oxford for varnishing anybody rich enough with ...
— A Miscellany of Men • G. K. Chesterton

... heirs, and without payment of the price, the estate of Ellangowan was again thrown upon the hands of Mr. Godfrey Bertram's creditors, the right of most of whom was however defensible, in case Henry Bertram should establish his character of heir of entail. This young gentleman put his affairs into the hands of Mr. Pleydell and Mr. Mac-Morlan, with one single proviso, that though he himself should be obliged again to go to India, every debt, justly and honourably ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... adopting it, was thinking particularly of Colin Clout—that he intended, that is, to call his poems 'the calender of the shepherd' (see first line of postscript), rather than 'the calender for shepherds.' I have therefore adopted the singular form. 'Calender' is, I think, a defensible spelling. ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... business of the powders, which so many have censured, is, I am relieved to say, not mine at all but the Brownies'. Of another tale, in case the reader should have glanced at it, I may say a word: the not very defensible story of OLALLA. Here the court, the mother, the mother's niche, Olalla, Olalla's chamber, the meetings on the stair, the broken window, the ugly scene of the bite, were all given me in bulk and detail as I have tried to write them; to this I added only the external scenery ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... old system of punctuation may be less defensible, but I have retained it because it may now and then be of use in determining a point of syntax. The absence of a comma, for example, after the word hearse in the 58th line of the Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester, ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... an equal partition of its benefits and evils should, caeteris paribus, be preferred: but so long as we conceive that a wanton expenditure of human labour, not for the necessities, not even for the luxuries of the mass of society, but for the egotism and ostentation of a few of its members, is defensible on the ground of public justice, so long we neglect to approximate to the redemption ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... form of fatality, or fatal justice, is less defensible, and less acceptable too, than the ancient and elementary power, which, being general and undefined, and offering no too strict explanation of its actions, lent itself to a far greater number of situations. In the special case ...
— The Buried Temple • Maurice Maeterlinck

... the rival position. In a serious controversy the right is seldom or never all on one side; and in the normal course of events both theories undergo some modification through the influence of their opponents, until a compromise, not always logically defensible, brings to an end the acute stage of the controversy. Such a tension of rival movements is very apparent in the religious thought of our day. The quickening of spiritual life in our generation has taken two ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... Folco's privilege to possess, a garden which, it was said, had belonged in old time to a great noble of the stately Roman days. This colonnade, be it noted, for all it looked so open and amiable, could be shut off, if need were, by sliding doors, so as to make the room defensible whenever the war-cries rattled in the streets and Guelph and Ghibelline or Red and Yellow ...
— The God of Love • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... wrote the word in three syllables, adding the letter "e" after the "t" merely to make sure that the "o" should be pronounced long. It seems certain that Morgan never pronounced the word as "O-te-sa-ga." This form of the name, however, when the third syllable carries the accent and a broad "a," is defensible on the ground of its majestic euphony, for it should be permitted to take some liberties with a name that has been spelled by high authorities in a ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... coming up on the flanks; forts were to be erected on Jones', Bayard's, and Lispenard's hills, north of the town, covering the approach by land from that direction; the roads obstructed to artillery; and redoubts, redans, and fleches thrown up at defensible points throughout the entire island, as far as King's Bridge.[24] "I must observe," said Lee to the Committee of Safety, "that New York, from its circumstances, can with difficulty be made a regular tenable ...
— The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn • Henry P. Johnston

... this," answered Charles, "I cannot think religious parties defensible on the considerations which justify political. There is, to my feelings, something despicable in ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... calculated to throw light on the proper motions of the stars. Flamsteed's work may, indeed, be regarded as the origin of all subsequent catalogues, and the nomenclature which he adopted, though in some respects it can hardly be said to be very defensible, is, nevertheless, that which has been adopted by all subsequent astronomers. There were also a great many errors, as might be expected in a work of such extent, composed almost entirely of numerical detail. ...
— Great Astronomers • R. S. Ball

... thus conforming to the typical pueblo arrangement. The numerous exceptions to this arrangement seen in Tusayan are due to local causes. The general view of Mashongnavi given in Pl. XXVII shows that the site of this pueblo, as well as that of its neighbor, Shupaulovi, was not particularly defensible, and that this fact would have weight in securing adherence in the first portion of the pueblo built to the defensive inclosed court containing the ceremonial chamber. The plan strongly indicates that the other ...
— Eighth Annual Report • Various

... July 1st the Germans had not been idle. They had had time to profit from the lesson of the attack with additions and improvements. They had deepened dugouts and joined them by galleries; they had Box and Cox hiding-places; nests defensible from all sides which became known as Mystery Works and Wonder Works. The message of that gashed and spaded hillside was one ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... other name in the case, to the best of my recollection. But had she any right to bear it? And even supposing they had married, what had happened to the second husband? Widow or no widow, second marriage or no second marriage, defensible or indefensible, was this the right friend for a lad still fresh from Eton, the only son of his mother, who had sent me in secret ...
— No Hero • E.W. Hornung

... carrying out of this project all the ridges mentioned above came gradually into the possession of Praneste, as natural, expedient, and unquestioned domain, and on the ends of those ridges which were defensible, dependent towns grew up. There was also a town at Cavamonte above the Maremmana road, probably a village out on the Colle dell'Oro, and undoubtedly one at ...
— A Study Of The Topography And Municipal History Of Praeneste • Ralph Van Deman Magoffin

... midst of the city, in order to exclude the market-place from the garrison, which was in the citadel, and by that means to hinder them from any plenty of provisions; and moreover, to make the fortresses that were in the country much stronger and more defensible than they were before. And when these things were approved of by the multitude, as rightly proposed, Jonathan himself took care of the building that belonged to the city, and sent Simon away to make the fortresses ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... could be employed, were kept at work from early dawn until darkness closed the labors of the day. With all this the fort was not completed until the supplies grew so short that further delay in obtaining more could not be thought of. By the latter part of April the work was in a partially defensible condition, and the 7th infantry, Major Jacob Brown commanding, was marched in to garrison it, with some few pieces of artillery. All the supplies on hand, with the exception of enough to carry the rest of the army to Point Isabel, were left with ...
— Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete • Ulysses S. Grant

... was important; but it did not become of supreme importance until, firstly, Shere Ali became our enemy, and, secondly, showed unmistakable signs of having a close understanding with Russia. Thenceforth it became a matter of vital import for India to have a frontier readibly defensible against so strong a combination as ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... line of defence, and the plateau in front their battle-ground. This decision the General in command seems to have arrived at, as the flaming telegrams in the Dailies, in the course of a day or two, announced that the Rebels were discovered in great force, strongly posted in a most defensible position. After the lapse of an hour or two, the order for the homeward march was given, and strange to say, that although marching by the flank the last man had disappeared from their view, behind the cover of the wood, before they opened fire. They then ...
— Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals - As Seen From the Ranks During a Campaign in the Army of the Potomac • William H. Armstrong

... first visit was to her, and much to his surprise he found her both undefended and deserted. Landing with four of his men he next proceeded to the plantation, as it was called, where some ten or twelve substantial buildings surrounded with a stockade established a very defensible position, but here again neglect and suicidal folly ...
— Standish of Standish - A story of the Pilgrims • Jane G. Austin

... hand came the men into the Dale, and the very first stead they came to was Wethermel, for it lay first on their road. And now was Wethermel a well-manned stead, for besides Stephen the Eater, there were twelve carles defensible dwelling there, whereof five were sons of men ...
— The Sundering Flood • William Morris

... terminations. But I intreat you to observe the utmost silence on this point, as it may lead me into an awkward situation; for I have acted solely on my own responsibility, and without orders; the causes and reasoning on which, upon general principles, may be defensible, but as applying to our own country, may not be borne out, the old ...
— The Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth • Edward Osler

... to the point, which was not whether there were, or could be, witches; but whether the methods Mather was attempting, in the case of Margaret Rule, and which had been used in Salem, the year before, were legitimate or defensible. He was determined not to suffer the ...
— Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather - A Reply • Charles W. Upham

... reasoning; it is the foundation of every act of the will. It is based upon the broadest induction, and it is verified by the most constant, regular, and universal of deductive processes. But we must recollect that any human belief, however broad its basis, however defensible it may seem, is, after all, only a probable belief, and that our widest and safest generalisations are simply statements of the highest degree of probability. Though we are quite clear about the constancy of the order ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... twenty leagues from Paris which the Assembly had fixed for the limit of the royal journeys; while yet, in case of the worst, it was likewise within easy distance of the coast. An able engineer officer had pronounced it to be thoroughly defensible; and the Count d'Hervilly, with other officers of proved courage and presence of mind, undertook the arrangement of all the military measures necessary for the safe escort of the entire royal family, which they themselves were willing to conduct, with the aid of some detachments of the Swiss Guards; ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... respects fascinating link between the bygone and the present. Old St. Ives seems to derive entirely from the little headland known as The Island. It was just one of those places that the ancients loved to fortify, almost insular and easily defensible. The dry-stone defence known as the Two Edges was probably constructed by men of the Stone Age; it is certainly pre-Celtic. Other strongholds of the same date may be found at Gurnard's Head, at Trencrom, and at Bosigran, to name ...
— The Cornwall Coast • Arthur L. Salmon

... the 16th, in pursuance of Sir Bindon Blood's orders, Brigadier-General Jeffreys moved out of his entrenched camp at Inayat Kila, and entered the Mamund Valley. His intentions were, to chastise the tribesmen by burning and blowing up all defensible villages within reach of the troops. It was hoped, that this might be accomplished in a single day, and that the brigade, having asserted its strength, would be able to march on the 17th to Nawagai and take part in the attack ...
— The Story of the Malakand Field Force • Sir Winston S. Churchill

... Vico's are the least defensible, though they seem to rest on a deep knowledge of antiquity. No Christian can accept his view of a universal savage state of society after the Flood; and his explanation of the origin of aristocratic races, and of the plebeians, their slaves, is purely the work of ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... a curiously convenient, undiscriminating epithet. I use it here. The Dixville Notch is, briefly, picturesque,—a fine gorge between a crumbling conical crag and a scarped precipice,—a pass easily defensible, except at the season ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... by the same pedagogic rules of numeration and mensuration which they would apply to the general question of the order and succession of his collective works. This vivisection of a single poem is not defensible as a freak of scholarship, an excursion beyond the bounds of bare proof, from which the wanderer may chance to bring back, if not such treasure as he went out to seek, yet some stray godsend or rare literary windfall ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... states it is best to bend the present state by degrees, viz., Whether it be best to lessen or enlarge the present city? In order whereunto, we inquire (as to the first question) which state is most defensible against foreign powers, saying, that if the above- mentioned housing, and a border of ground, of three-quarters of a mile broad, were encompassed with a wall and ditch of twenty miles about (as strong as ...
— Essays on Mankind and Political Arithmetic • Sir William Petty

... proposed alteration in certain existing arrangements; and by comparing the situation which actually exists to-day with that which the proposed alteration, if carried into effect, would produce, we shall see whether the alteration is workable and practically defensible or no. Let us begin with the situation which actually exists to-day, confining ourselves to those features of it which are vital to ...
— A Critical Examination of Socialism • William Hurrell Mallock

... halt at this position is intelligible and defensible. While binding by strict sanctions the States to submit all disputes to the pacific machinery that is provided, to await the conclusion of the arbitral and conciliatory processes, and even to accept the legal awards of arbitration, it leaves ...
— The Unity of Civilization • Various

... is not destined to a Restoration, if the Jewish Mission is the propagation of an idea, on what ground is the continued existence of Israel as a separate organisation defensible or justified? Israel is indestructible, said Jehuda Halevi in the twelfth century; certainly Israel is undestroyed. When Frederick the Great asked what should make him believe in God, he received in answer, 'the survival of the Jews.' Dr. Guttmann of Breslau not long ...
— Judaism • Israel Abrahams

... will keep us at peace during the continuance of the present convulsion." In reply to Adams' despatch, Seward wrote on July 21, the day after his interview with Lyons, arguing at great length the American view that the British Proclamation of Neutrality in a domestic quarrel was not defensible in international law. There was not now, nor later, any yielding on this point. But, for the present, this was intended for Adams' eye alone, and Seward prefaced his argument by a disclaimer, much as stated to Lyons, of any ill-will ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... instead of a hero as he had been. Moreover, the foundations of a university were laid in the town of Corte, which was the hearthstone of the liberals because it was the natural capital of the west slope, connected by difficult and defensible paths with every cape and bay and intervale of the rocky and broken coast. The Genoese were gradually driven from the interior, and finally they ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... personal survival has thus a position defensible on grounds of reason as being that of the inherent permanence of self-conscious truth, it also calls to its aid and indefinitely elevates the most powerful of all the emotions, love. This, as I have shown in the second chapter, is the sentiment ...
— The Religious Sentiment - Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and - Philosophy of Religion • Daniel G. Brinton

... concealed. He expressed a noble contempt of all his enemies, who would have induced him to retract the cause of virtue and truth. He entered upon a high encomium of Huss; and declared he was ready to follow him in the glorious track of martyrdom. He then touched upon the most defensible doctrines of Wickliffe; and concluded with observing that it was far from his intention to advance any thing against the state of the church of God; that it was only against the abuse of the clergy he complained; and that he could not help saying, it was certainly impious that the patrimony of the ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... the community; and every Government that pretended to adhere to the Treaty of 1852 was denounced as recreant to the cause of Germany. In this state of affairs the Governments of Austria and of Prussia took a somewhat singular and not very defensible course. In the beginning they declared in the Diet that, having a majority in favour of this declaration, they would proceed to Federal Execution—thereby, to all appearance, making the present King of Denmark responsible for that which was done by the late King, and to all intents and ...
— Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914 • Edgar Jones

... medieval castle was the fortified residence of a king or baron. Fort is the common military term for a detached fortified building or enclosure of moderate size occupied or designed to be occupied by troops. The fortifications of a modern city usually consist of a chain of forts. Any defensible place, whether made so by nature or by art, ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... French right, under Reille, but at last got possession of the great Bayonne road. Thenceforward a retreat of the French army, partly encircled, became inevitable, but it was conducted at first in good order and with frequent halts at defensible points. The only outlet left open was the mountain road to Pamplona, and this was not only impracticable for heavy traffic but obstructed by an overturned waggon. The orderly retreat was soon converted into a rout; the flying throng ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... most important of all the Phoenician colonies, Carthage. The advantages of the locality are indicated by the fact that the chief town of Northern Africa, Tunis, has grown up within a short distance of the site. It combined the excellences of a sheltered situation, a good soil, defensible eminences, and harbours which a little art made all that was to be desired in ancient times and with ancient navies. These basins, partly natural, partly artificial, still exist;[591] but their communication with the sea is blocked up, as also is the ...
— History of Phoenicia • George Rawlinson

... in her corresponding to his own; now that his own foothold was strengthening, his longing for a new union was overpowering that old dread. The proselytising instinct may be never quite morally defensible, even as between husband and wife. Nevertheless, in all strong, convinced, and ardent souls it exists, ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Peel, made the country in 1859 richer by more than sixteen per cent, than it had been in 1853. It was this finance, that by clinching the open questions that enveloped the income-tax, and setting it upon a defensible foundation while it lasted, bore us through the struggle. Unluckily, in demonstrating the perils of meddling with the structure of the tax, in showing its power and simplicity, the chancellor was at the same time providing the easiest means, if not also the most direct ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... land and capital is not defensible on grounds of justice, or on the ground that it is an economical way of producing what the community needs. But the chief objections to it are that it stunts the lives of men and women, that it enshrines a ruthless possessiveness in all the respect which is given to success, ...
— Political Ideals • Bertrand Russell

... the cause of evolution is a proposition that can be entertained so long only as no attempt is made to unite in thought its two terms in the alleged relation. That it should be accepted as a matter of faith may be a defensible position, provided good cause is shown why it should be so accepted; but that it should be accepted as a matter of understanding—as a statement making the order of the universe comprehensible—is a ...
— A Candid Examination of Theism • George John Romanes

... to be attacked when on the march. They must halt in some place favourable for defence. There was no such place within sight, but Macora believed he might find a more defensible position on the bank of the river; and towards that ...
— The Giraffe Hunters • Mayne Reid

... prevent Athens from giving assistance. The neglect of Athens was a great mistake, for Amphipolis commanded the passage over the Strymon, and shut up Macedonia from the east, and was, moreover, easily defensible by sea. Deprived of aid from Athens, the city fell into the hands of Philip, and was an acquisition of great importance. It was the most convenient maritime station in Thrace, and threw open to him all the country ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... Bassein lies about twenty-eight miles north of Bombay, and afterwards became the northern capital of Portuguese India, almost rivalling Goa in splendour and prosperity. At Bassein the Portuguese built a fort, but the place was not naturally defensible, and Nuno da Cunha set his heart on the possession of the rocky island of Diu, which had been one of the spots designed by ...
— Rulers of India: Albuquerque • Henry Morse Stephens

... in her house. If Forcheville and she scored a triumph by being down there together in spite of him, it was he who had engineered that triumph by striving in vain to prevent her from going there, whereas if he had approved of her plan, which for that matter was quite defensible, she would have had the appearance of being there by his counsel, she would have felt herself sent there, housed there by him, and for the pleasure which she derived from entertaining those people who had so often entertained her, it was ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... Germany, that its duties to civilization were so slight that it should support its ally, Austria, whether the latter were right or wrong. Such was its policy, and it carried it out with fatal consistency. To support its ally in actual war without respect to the justice of the quarrel may be defensible, but to support it in a time of peace in an iniquitous demand and a policy of gross discourtesy to friendly States offends every sense of ...
— The Evidence in the Case • James M. Beck

... all the Board of Trade regulations, and the injured passengers can get nothing. The real way to protect the passengers is to allow the company to make their own arrangements, and to compel them to pay heavily for killing and maiming passengers. This is quite defensible in theory, as in the case of manslaughter by an individual we give him some punishment out of our civilised respect for human life, though he may have been little to blame. Great cost is thrown on railway companies (i.e. much injury is done the public) by standing orders ...
— Speculations from Political Economy • C. B. Clarke

... you, Jacob, and we will forthwith set to work to render the place as defensible as ...
— Friends, though divided - A Tale of the Civil War • G. A. Henty

... the meshes, out of harm's way; unharmed, unscathed; on sure ground, at anchor, high and dry, above water; unthreatened[obs3], unmolested; protected &c. v.; cavendo tutus[Lat]; panoplied &c. (defended) 717[obs3]. snug, seaworthy; weatherproof, waterproof, fireproof. defensible, tenable, proof against, invulnerable; unassailable, unattackable, impenetrable; impregnable, imperdible|; inexpugnable; Achillean[obs3]. safe and sound &c. (preserved) 670;scathless &c. (perfect) 650[obs3]; unhazarded[obs3]; not dangerous &c. 665. unthreatening, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... So it must be confess'd that Sir Rupert had one; Being rather unthinking, He'd scarce sleep a wink in A night, but addict himself sadly to drinking; And what moralists say, Is as naughty—to play, To Rouge et Noir, Hazard, Short Whist, Ecarte; Till these, and a few less defensible fancies Brought the Knight to the end of ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... on the whole the least defensible of the concessions made in this matter concerned the African Slave Trade. That odious traffic was condemned by almost all Americans—even by those who were accustomed to domestic slavery, and could ...
— A History of the United States • Cecil Chesterton

... be defended; if indecent it should never have been published. To judge it indecent is to condemn, with the most severe condemnation, James Watson whom I respected, and Austin Holyoake with whom I worked. I hold the work to be defensible, and I deny the right of any one to interfere with the full and free discussion of social questions affecting the happiness of the nation. The struggle for a free press has been one of the marks of the Freethought ...
— Autobiographical Sketches • Annie Besant

... point of view, this seems to be the only defensible provision, as it would tend to discourage usury, a common evil in money transactions between Europeans and Natives; but because it interfered with Mr. Jabavu's personal aims, that is the only flaw. The cold-blooded evictions and the Draconian principle against ...
— Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since • Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje

... v. 9), Johnson noticed the difference of the pronunciation of great. 'Some words have two sounds which may be equally admitted as being equally defensible by authority. ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... wind, and then cloud; and when still more condensed, water and earth and stone; and all other things are composed of these; and he regards motion as eternal, and by this changes are produced." We have here a distinct adumbration of the atomic theory in its most defensible form— that is to say, a conception which makes the differences in various substances consist in differences in condensation or rarefaction of the particles of the primary substance. The simple normal condition of this substance he deemed to ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... "The place is paradise to-day, as you sagaciously remarked, Jerry, but if the Kawfirs come it'll be pandemonium to-morry. It's my opinion that we should get oursel's into a defensible camp as soon as we can, an' than gae aboot our wark wi' easy minds. Ye mind what Goliath and Hans Marais said before they left us, aboot ...
— The Settler and the Savage • R.M. Ballantyne

... so short in the Information of their Ignorance; or so unintelligible, to their Apprehensions; or so plainly contradictory of the most obvious Dictates of common Sense; that Religion (for the which they never think of looking beyond these Systems) appears to them indeed a thing not Built upon, or defensible by Reason: In consequence of which Opinion, the weakest attaques made against it, must needs render such Persons (at the least) wavering in their Belief of it; Whence those Precepts of Vertue, which they have receiv'd as bottom'd thereon, are, in a Time ...
— Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian life • Lady Damaris Masham

... extraordinary that has ever taken place between enemies of an equal degree of civilization. It was a war of a general with a small escort, but literally without an army, against able officers with thousands of disciplined troops and numerous defensible towns and positions, against enormous difficulties of country, against want and fatigue in every shape, and ...
— The Bravest of the Brave - or, with Peterborough in Spain • G. A. Henty

... General Gates' army, at Ticonderoga, thought proper to recross the lake, and leave us in quiet possession of those passes. General Gates, having left a proper force at Ticonderoga, and on the communication, retired with the rest of his troops. New York and its neighborhood not being defensible by an army singly against a strong land and sea force, acting in conjunction, was, of necessity, yielded to the enemy, after some contest, General Washington retiring, until the situation of the country above Kingsbridge no longer enabled ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I • Various

... half, the ends resting on the river. It was strengthened by thirty towers, and at its forts was a deep dry ditch. The town was largely built of wood. There were no heavy guns upon the walls, and the city, which was completely commanded by surrounding hills, was in no way defensible, but Barclay de Tolly ...
— Through Russian Snows - A Story of Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow • G. A Henty

... face upward, his resolute, handsome countenance still in the embrace of death. I told the men we would give him and his comrades a warrior's burial on the morrow, and returned to camp to make it defensible ...
— Captured by the Navajos • Charles A. Curtis

... because he was a twin" is a reasonable and intelligible utterance beside that of the man who should declare himself to be an infidel on the ground of denying his own belief. It may be logically, if not ethically, defensible that a Christian should call a Mahommedan an infidel and vice versa; but, on Dr. Wace's principles, both ought to call themselves infidels, because each applies the ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... poets, especially among the moderns, may be said to choose imperfect rimes deliberately, both as a fresh means of securing variety and avoiding the monotony of hackneyed rimes, and also as a means of subtly suggesting the imperfection and futility of life. A few famous examples, defensible and indefensible, are: Wordsworth's robin: sobbing, sullen: pulling; Tennyson's with her: together, valleys: lilies; Keats's youths: soothe, pulse: culls; Swinburne's lose him: bosom: blossom. Keats and Rossetti are noted for ...
— The Principles of English Versification • Paull Franklin Baum

... tool, and he was determined to be master of all the land. There was a contest for power, which ended in the coup d'etat of 1851. Victory waited on the heir of her old favorite. The contest was marked by many deeds, on both sides, not defensible on strict moral grounds, but which bear too close a resemblance to the ordinary course of French politics to admit of the actors being sweepingly condemned, as if they had poisoned a pure fountain. Neither ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... p. 114) tells how in 1745 he found 'Professor Maclaurin busy on the walls on the south side of Edinburgh, endeavoring to make them more defensible [against the Pretender]. He had even erected some small cannon.' See ante, iii, 15, for a ridiculous story ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... this type from the preceding one is to a certain extent arbitrary, as the location of a ruin is sometimes determined solely by convenience, and convenience may dictate the selection of a high and defensible site, when the tillable land on which the village depends is of small area, or when it is divided into a number of small and scattered areas; for it was a principle of the ancient village-builders that ...
— Aboriginal Remains in Verde Valley, Arizona • Cosmos Mindeleff

... informed by telegraph that Anderson had dismantled Fort Moultrie on the north side of the harbor, had spiked its guns, and had removed its garrison to the island fortress, Sumter, which was supposed to be far more defensible. At Charleston his action was interpreted as preparation for war; and all South Carolinians saw in it a violation of a pledge which they believed the President had given their congressmen, three weeks previous, in that talk which had not been written down. ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... Aristotelianism, with its consequences for thought and life, was filtering into Europe and forcing Christian thinkers to defend the bases of their faith. Since these, so far as defensible at all, depended upon the Platonic doctrine of universals, and this could be maintained only by dialectic, this science became extremely popular,—indeed, almost the rage. Little of the real Aristotle was at that time known in the West; but ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... genius, no longer accessible to that accomplished eloquence, which could charm the ears of a Roman, or a Grecian audience; he must have felt a pang of which none, or at least but few, besides himself, could be susceptible. Even I am unable to restrain my tears, when I behold my country no longer defensible by the genius, the prudence, and the authority of a legal magistrate,—the only weapons which I have learned to weild, and to which I have long been accustomed, and which are most suitable to the character of an illustrious ...
— Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker. • Marcus Tullius Cicero



Words linked to "Defensible" :   defend, defendable, invulnerable, defensibility



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