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Monstrosity   Listen
noun
Monstrosity  n.  (pl. monstrosities)  The state of being monstrous, or out of the common order of nature; that which is monstrous; a monster. "A monstrosity never changes the name or affects the immutability of a species."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Monstrosity" Quotes from Famous Books



... elaborate monstrosity and mockery at Nature was here. There were espaliers of fruit-trees, a pear-tree in the shape of a pyramidal poplar, spherical oaks and lime-trees, an apple-tree in the shape of an umbrella, plum-trees ...
— The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... The monstrosity of the idea stood fully revealed only now on that beach where there was nothing but sand, nothing but rocks, nothing but gulls. Close in now Bompard let go the sheet and they unstepped the mast, the boat rocking ...
— The Beach of Dreams • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... the bewitchment of the two men as they stared at the monstrosity, that they did not hear the slight clashing of horn that accompanied a swift movement of one of the ...
— The Raid on the Termites • Paul Ernst

... little Fritz be nourished into a Friedrich the Great; while irrational man-mountains, of the beaverish or beaverish-vulpine sort, take such a price to fatten them into monstrosity! The Art-manufacture of your Friedrich can come very cheap, it would appear, if once Nature have done her part in regard to him, and there be mere honest will on the part of the by-standers. Thus Samuel Johnson, too, cost next to nothing in the ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume IV. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Friedrich's Apprenticeship, First Stage—1713-1728 • Thomas Carlyle

... of which are not in tune individually, and with each other, is a monstrosity; the conductor, therefore, should take the greatest care that the musicians tune accurately. But this operation should not be performed in presence of the public; and, moreover, every instrumental noise—every ...
— The Orchestral Conductor - Theory of His Art • Hector Berlioz

... fifty years Europe will be either republican or Cossack.] It found the solution in the "republique cosaque." [2 Cossack republic.] No Circe distorted with wicked charms the work of art of the bourgeois republic into a monstrosity. That republic lost nothing but the appearance of decency. The France of to-day was ready-made within the womb of the Parliamentary republic. All that was wanted was a bayonet thrust, in order that the bubble burst, and the ...
— The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte • Karl Marx

... letters. As a work of architecture, for instance, "Virgin Soil" bears the same relation to the "Mill on the Floss" that the Capitol at Washington bears to the Capitol at Albany. The one is a rounded-out thing of beauty, the other an angular monstrosity. Walter Scott in England, and Mr. Howells in America, are the only English writers of fiction who possess that sense of form which makes Turgenef's art consummate; unfortunately, Walter Scott has long since been discarded ...
— Lectures on Russian Literature - Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenef, Tolstoy • Ivan Panin

... of a Tartar; it was true nihilism pushed to extreme practical conclusions. It was, in a word, the applied philosophy of chance, the indeterminateism of anarchy. Monstrous it may be, but grand in its monstrosity. ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume III (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... largely upon the mass of opinion. Twenty years ago, for instance, an accusation of bribery brought against some professional politician would have been thought a monstrosity, and, however true, would nearly always have given the political lawyers, his colleagues, occasion for violent repression. To-day the thing has become so much a commonplace that all appeals to the old illusion would fall flat. The presiding lawyer could not put on an air of shocked ...
— The Free Press • Hilaire Belloc

... Jacobi—"the patriarch of German poetry," Klopstock, the author of the Messias.[190] Since his childhood, the name of Klopstock had been familiar to Goethe. To his conservative father, the Messias, as written in unrhymed verse, was a monstrosity in German literature, and he refused to give it a place in his library. Surreptitiously introduced into the house, however, Goethe had read it with enthusiasm and committed its most striking passages to memory. And he had retained his ...
— The Youth of Goethe • Peter Hume Brown

... had bitten the apple; ever since which hapless epoch, her daughters have chiefly been engaged in a desperate and unavailing struggle to get rid of it. But the dirt of a poverty-stricken English street is a monstrosity unknown on our side of the Atlantic. It reigns supreme within its own limits, and is inconceivable everywhere beyond them. We enjoy the great advantage, that the brightness and dryness of our atmosphere keep everything clean that the sun shines upon, converting ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... me to see a great many wonderful sights in this municipal monstrosity of yours, but I don't believe one of them has interested me as much as this parade. I've worn three fat men on my toes for an hour to get a chance to watch it, but it was worth the agony. Think of it—at home we are doing well ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... from insufficient nutriment, and are old and decrepit while yet in the bud of youth; the tenements are crowded to suffocation, breeding pestilence and death; while the wages paid to labor hardly serve to satisfy the exactions of the landlord—a monstrosity in the midst of civilization, whose very existence is a crying protest ...
— Black and White - Land, Labor, and Politics in the South • Timothy Thomas Fortune

... vulgarity of your character,—and tell me whether a woman like Aniela ought to remain true to you for an hour! How did you manage to get her, you spiritual and physical upstart? Is it not an unnatural monstrosity that you are her husband? Dante's Beatrice, marrying a common Florentine cad, ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... "Like a monstrosity going to a fair," he said. "And I shall go with you. I will even lunch with you at the station—a station steak and a beery table. There is only one room at the station for those who eat and those who await their trains. So that the eaters eat ...
— The Vultures • Henry Seton Merriman

... fluttered between light and extinction, ceased to flicker and became mere fading specks of glowing red in a vast obscurity. In ten seconds the extinction was accomplished, and there was only this roaring darkness, a black monstrosity that had suddenly swallowed up those glittering myriads ...
— When the Sleeper Wakes • Herbert George Wells

... clamped the skull down in the earth. Then he leaned his little body and huge head on the great handle of the spade, that stood up stiffly in the earth, and his eyes were empty and his forehead full of wrinkles. "If one could only conceive," he muttered, "the meaning of this last monstrosity." And leaning on the large spade handle, he buried his brows in his hands, as men do ...
— The Innocence of Father Brown • G. K. Chesterton

... full, plain skirt and an ill-fitting basque, which failed to accomplish a meeting with the skirt at the usual trysting-place. Over this she had a shawl of the most royal shade of purple imaginable, and instead of looking like a pretty, graceful Indian girl, she appeared to be a variegated monstrosity. ...
— Six Days on the Hurricane Deck of a Mule - An account of a journey made on mule back in Honduras, - C.A. in August, 1891 • Almira Stillwell Cole

... meekly, mercifully, merchant-like, memorial, mercenary, mention, memorandums, mercurial, metropolis, miserably, mindful, meridian, medal, metaphysics, ministration, mimic, misapply, misgovernment, misquote, misconstruction, monstrously, monster-like, monstrosity, mutable, moneyed, monopoly, mortise, mortised, muniments, to moderate, and mother-wit These words, and five thousand more equally excellent, which have remained part of the language of the English-speaking world for three centuries since Shakespeare, and will ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XXVI., December, 1880. • Various

... In the case of the quotations in which my notes abound I have not thought it needful in the Index to refer to the book unless the eminence of the author required a separate and a second entry. My labour would have been increased beyond all endurance and my Index have been swollen almost into a monstrosity had I always referred to the book as well as to the matter which was contained in the passage that I extracted. Though in such a variety of subjects there must be many omissions, yet I shall be greatly disappointed if actual errors are discovered. Every entry I have made myself, and every entry ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... the broken sidewalks, the permitted insolence of the railroad, the presence and power of that Spirit, the Ally, and many other things and conditions in Corinth, with the lack of as many other things and conditions, are all due to the influence of what he calls "that hideous, cast-iron monstrosity." By this it will be seen that the Doctor is something ...
— The Calling Of Dan Matthews • Harold Bell Wright

... real height of monstrosity when, concealing its identity under an assumed name, it entitled itself capital. Then its action was not limited to individual incitation to theft and murder but extended to the entire human race. With one word ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... It was not written. Schindler wrote to Moscheles in London about Beethoven in the last weeks of his life: "He said much about the plan of the tenth symphony. As the work had shaped itself in his imagination it might have become a musical monstrosity, compared with which his other symphonies ...
— Beethoven: the Man and the Artist - As Revealed in his own Words • Ludwig van Beethoven

... experiments until, what with orchids as big as a barrel, and geraniums which could be reached only by a ladder, he had converted the silvery strand of the dreamful domain into a forest of atrocious color and floral monstrosity. ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... harebrained suggestion. Japan's advice received the secret blessing of both French and English who knew the situation, though in our case we had to admit that the British Premier had stood sponsor for this international monstrosity. This gave Japanese diplomacy its first clear hold upon Russian patriotism and enabled her to appear as a true ...
— With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia • John Ward

... representative of a civilized Chartered Company, dueling to the death with swords with a barbarian king for a throne he had promised to another barbarian, or of what could happen on Uller if he allowed this four-armed monstrosity ...
— Uller Uprising • Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr

... off wood—and these iron curls were not delicate; they were thick, solid, unpliant ringlets, that would have formed a suitable decoration for the fair brow of a locomotive, or, perhaps, a chignon—supposing that any locomotive could have been prevailed on to adopt such a wild monstrosity! ...
— The Iron Horse • R.M. Ballantyne

... becoming oppressive and infectious each to his neighbor, in the smoking mass of decay. The resulting modes of mental ruin and distress are continually new; and in a certain sense, worth study in their monstrosity: they have accordingly developed a corresponding science of fiction, concerned mainly with the description of such forms of disease, like ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... woman's body, exquisitely slim and young, with the breasts of a virgin. Very chaste in attitude, she holds in her hand a long-stemmed lotus flower, but by a contrast that nonplusses and paralyses you the delicate shoulders support the monstrosity of a huge lioness' head. The lappets of her bonnet fall on either side of her ears almost down to her breast, and surmounting the bonnet, by way of addition to the mysterious pomp, is a large moon disc. Her dead stare gives to the ferocity of her visage something unreasoning ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... that liberty and light were breaking in upon Sardinia. If there was an unsuccessful attempt to murder the Grand Duke, we lifted up our voices to celebrate the faith and sufferings of the dear persecuted Tuscans, and the record of some apocryphal monstrosity in Naples would only reveal to us a glorious opening for Gospel energy. My Father celebrated the announcement in the newspapers of a considerable emigration from the Papal Dominions by rejoicing at 'this outcrowding of many, throughout the harlot's ...
— Father and Son • Edmund Gosse

... there is a subtle element of apology in it. These spiritual advantages may outweigh the secular pain; may even justify God's share in the great catastrophe. I have examined, and will discuss more fully in the next chapter, the theistic side of this plea. Intellectually, it borders on monstrosity: it is the survival of an ancient and barbaric conception. The notion that "the approach of Christ to the soul" is felt especially in time of affliction is merely a statement of a certain type of emotional experience, while the revelation of "the ...
— The War and the Churches • Joseph McCabe

... about some nasty young man who was born in seventeen something, and lived in a place called Atlantic View, and wore curls and a choky stock, and fought at Waterloo, and lies in the village church under a stone monstrosity. Don't tell me facts, because I know they will bar me for ever out of my House by the ...
— This Is the End • Stella Benson

... Virtue, and Intellect thronged the house. Nothing could have been more cordial than the temper of the gallery. All were eager to applaud the new Romeo. Presently, when the varlets of Verona had brawled, there stepped into the square—what!—a mountebank, a monstrosity. Hurrah died upon every lip. The house was thunderstruck. Whose legs were in those scarlet pantaloons? Whose face grinned over that bolster-cravat, and under that Charles II. wig and opera-hat? From whose shoulders hung that ...
— The Works of Max Beerbohm • Max Beerbohm

... his worst would be entitled to say to his amiable Crown Prince what Charles II. said when his brother warned him of the plots of assassins: "They will never kill me to make you king." Others, of greater monstrosity of mind, have suggested that he should be sent to St. Helena. So far as an estimate of his historical importance goes, he might as well be sent to Mount Calvary. What we have to deal with is an elderly, nervous, not unintelligent ...
— The Crimes of England • G.K. Chesterton

... Sweet Waters the sultan has his own kiosk, a gilded monstrosity of architecture, and at its window, worn, pallid, haggard, gazing out with lacklustre and indifferent eye upon the scene below, this shadow of the Prophet might frequently be seen a few years since. It was etiquette for him to come sometimes, so he did it as a duty, not a pleasure; for the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25. • Various

... But the very monstrosity of appearances silenced Anthony after the first exclamation; and young Powell felt himself pierced through and through by the overshadowed glance of his captain. Anthony advanced quietly. The first impulse of Mr. Powell, when discovered, had been to dash the glass on ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... from a mere loose rudiment of a single digit to a completely double hand—the occasional appearance of additional digits in the salamander after a limb has been amputated—these various facts appear to indicate mere fluctuating monstrosity; and this perhaps is all that can be safely said. Nevertheless, as supernumerary digits in the higher animals, from their power of regrowth and from the number thus acquired exceeding five, partake of the nature of the digits in the lower vertebrate animals;—as they occur by no means rarely, ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2) • Charles Darwin

... been failure to be bankrupt, dishonoured, pilloried, hanged; it was failure not to be anything. And so, in the dark valley into which his path had taken its unlooked-for twist, he wondered not a little as he groped. He didn't care what awful crash might overtake him, with what ignominy or what monstrosity he might yet he associated—since he wasn't after all too utterly old to suffer—if it would only be decently proportionate to the posture he had kept, all his life, in the threatened presence of it. ...
— The Beast in the Jungle • Henry James

... in ancient times, we toil steeply up here, with the dead upon his bier; for not often in Tiverton do we depend on that uncouth monstrosity, the hearse. It is not that we do not own one,—a rigid box of that name has belonged to us now for many a year; and when Sudleigh came out with a new one, plumes, trappings, and all, we broached the idea of emulating her. But the project fell through after ...
— Tiverton Tales • Alice Brown

... scarcely likely to meet with more serious consideration than the steel girder to which he refers, which has neither web plate nor diagonals, but only verticals connecting the top and bottom flanges. This style of girder has been considered by American engineers rather as a curiosity, if not a monstrosity. If vertical stirrups acted to reinforce little vertical cantilevers, there would have to be a large number of them, so that each little segment of the ...
— Some Mooted Questions in Reinforced Concrete Design • Edward Godfrey

... a creature with monstrosity during the period of its power is simply to expose one's self to popular jeers. Having immense respect for majorities in this country, we only venture obscurely to hint, that, of all arts, none before has ever ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... very great share the business and finance of armament manufacture has played in bringing about the present horrible killing, and no one who has read accounts of the fighting can doubt how much this industry has enhanced the torment, cruelty, and monstrosity of war. ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... ramp' recoiled alike 'baptized and infidel'—Christendom on the one side, strong by her intellect and her organization, and the 'Barbaric East' on the other, with her unnumbered numbers? The match was a monstrous one; but in its very monstrosity there lay this germ of encouragement, that it could not be suspected. The very hopelessness of the scheme grounded his hope, and he resolved to execute a vengeance which should involve as it were, in the unity of a well-laid ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... the path which he has laid down for himself, to get rid of the cumbersome spectacular element and let the action develop itself naturally from within. With all its unrivalled beauties the Ring as a drama is a monstrosity. It turns upon motives which are not apparent from the actions and have to be explained in dreary and most undramatic length. Its very foundation is wrong; its central figure, the prime author of the new and more blessed world which is to follow, is the offspring of an incestuous ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... blotting pad, three virgin quill pens (it was one of Adrian's whimsies to write always with quills), lying in a brass dish, and an office stationery case closed and aggressively new. The sight of this last monstrosity, I thought, would play the deuce with my imagination and send it on a devastating tour round the Tottenham Court Road, but not having the artistic temperament and catching a glance of challenge from Doria, I forebore to ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... who have exhibited human nature by means of dialogue, stands Shakespeare. His variety is like the variety of nature, endless diversity, scarcely any monstrosity. The characters of which he has given us an impression, as vivid as that which we receive from the characters of our own associates, are to be reckoned by scores. Yet in all these scores hardly one character is to be found which deviates ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... what he might have become. I was going to America, and I paid an angry and reluctant visit to my London tailor thirty-six hours before I was to start. A suit of clothes had been sent home which, after an effective trying-on, was a monstrosity. I went straight to my tailor, put on the clothes and bade him look at them. He was a great tailor-he saw exactly what I saw, and what I saw was bad; and when a tailor will do that, you may be quite sure he is a good and a great man. He said the clothes were as bad as they could ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... the yoke of obligation; had he been Shakespeare he would then have written TROILUS AND CRESSIDA to brand the offending sex; but being only a little dog, he began to bite them. The surprise of the ladies whom he attacked indicated the monstrosity of his offence; but he had fairly beaten off his better angel, fairly committed moral suicide; for almost in the same hour, throwing aside the last rags of decency, he proceeded to attack the aged also. The fact is worth remark, showing, as it does, that ethical laws are common both ...
— Memories and Portraits • Robert Louis Stevenson

... face again, this time in its full lopsided monstrosity, and turned to Dick, clutching him and hiding her ...
— Ambrotox and Limping Dick • Oliver Fleming

... wind, Vermillion, the fungus of trees, burnt and ground, common charcoal, deer tallow, and spruce gum are used for this purpose. Labrets—pieces of wood, bone or shell, from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in length—are worn by a few old females, but this hideous, monstrosity is now never found upon the young women. Many of the middle-aged, however, pierce the centre of the lower lip and insert a small silver tube, which projects about a quarter of an inch. Both sexes perforate the septum of the nose for rings, but I have only seen two worn by the Hydas, and these ...
— Official report of the exploration of the Queen Charlotte Islands - for the government of British Columbia • Newton H. Chittenden

... as the sun slid into the position described, impressed me very much as I have been impressed, when a boy, by the concluding scene of some well-arranged theatrical spectacle or melodrama. Not even the monstrosity of color was wanting; for the sunlight came out through the chasm, tinted all orange and purple; while the vivid green of the grass in the valley was reflected more or less upon all objects from the curtain of vapor that still hung overhead, as if loth to take its total ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... impossible, quite impossible," says the little man, sort of gaspy, "to imagine such a horrible monstrosity!" ...
— Santa Fe's Partner - Being Some Memorials of Events in a New-Mexican Track-end Town • Thomas A. Janvier

... post an attack in the "Gardeners' Chronicle" by Harvey (a first-rate botanist, as you probably know). (95/4. In the "Gardeners' Chronicle" of February 18th, 1860, W.H. Harvey described a case of monstrosity in Begonia frigida, which he argued was hostile to the theory of Natural Selection. The passage about Harvey's attack was published in the "Life and Letters," II., page 275.) It seems to me rather strange; he assumes ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... does not believe these things; if it comes to that, he might be the Bearded Lady dressed up as a man. But these prodigies are quite a different thing from any mere calculation of numbers. People who hold these views are not a minority, but a monstrosity. But of these universal dogmas that have full democratic authority the only test is this test of anybody. What you would observe before any newcomer in a tavern—that is the real English law. The first man you see from the window, he is ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... thy brain: I'VE been the brain that lit thy dull concavity! The human race Invest MY face With thine expression of unchecked depravity, Invested with a ghastly reciprocity, I'VE been responsible for thy monstrosity, I, for thy wanton, blundering ferocity— ...
— The Bab Ballads • W. S. Gilbert

... his freak, By a Narrabri beak, He was jawed with a deal of verbosity; For his only appeal Was 'professional zeal' — He wanted another monstrosity. ...
— Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... What a monstrosity an ordinary Sunday School Scripture Catechism is, with its statements of received doctrines, to which are appended proof-texts drawn from Genesis and Isaiah and Paul; i.e., from some pre-historic tradition, from a Hebrew states, man's oration and from a Christian apostle's ...
— The Right and Wrong Uses of the Bible • R. Heber Newton

... go away and take your monstrosity with you," said the mother, pushing away her daughter with pretended sternness, and turning to the visitor she added: "She ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... London were put out with the tailors, and could rarely get suited, on account of the loose cutting and the want of "style." But "style" is the hiatus that threatens to swallow us all one of these days. About the only monstrosity I saw in the British man's dress was the stove-pipe hat, which everybody wears. At first I feared it might be a police regulation, or a requirement of the British Constitution, for I seemed to be about the only man in the kingdom ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... uncouth. In a field, as Millet has shown us, he possesses a beauty, dignified and touching. It is not impossible, therefore, that an artist who had the opportunity of entering into the life of a rhinoceros, as Millet had of entering into the life of a peasant, might discover beauty even in that monstrosity. This, however, I allow is ...
— The Heart of Nature - or, The Quest for Natural Beauty • Francis Younghusband

... out of the streets of London (Plate XIII. Vol. I., Stones of Venice), and see what there is in it to make us any of the three. Let him remember that the men who design such work as that call St. Mark's a barbaric monstrosity, and let ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... received than the drama, as is indicated by this criticism by Hanslick: "Perhaps in a few years Ibsen's Peer Gynt will live only through Grieg's music, which, to my taste, has more poetry and artistic intelligence in every number than the whole five-act monstrosity of Ibsen." Among other notable orchestral and chamber music numbers may be mentioned a setting of Bjoernson's Sigurd the Crusader, Bergliot, based upon the sagas of the Norse kings, a suite composed for the two hundredth anniversary of Ludwig ...
— Norwegian Life • Ethlyn T. Clough

... you, you stolid and flesh-fettered ox, you monstrosity of over-weening and perennial health and joy, what do you think of it?" ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... some moments of cruel reflection, the Gascon exclaimed, "It is inexplicable that a woman should be in love with a man such as this one appears to be; with two, for this is evident; although it is an enormity! But it is impossible that she should love three at the same time; this descends to monstrosity—it is worthy of the lower regions. How! Blue Beard, linked to a buccaneer, and a filibuster, also has a frightful fancy for this cannibal who eats missionaries, without taking into account in addition that she proposes to me to marry her! ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... rest of the mechanism, it was all concealed. I rightly surmised the monstrosity to be ...
— Mr. Hawkins' Humorous Adventures • Edgar Franklin

... that the spores of smut travel from the manure and seed of the previous crop in the circulation of the plant to the capsule, and thus convert the grain into a puff-ball, so also the ears of corn, the oats, and rye. This monstrosity on the rye grains is called ergot, or spurred rye, and when it is eaten by chickens or other fowls their feet and legs shrivel or perish with dry gangrene, not because the spores of the fungus which produced the spurred rye circulate in the blood of ...
— Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 3, January 19, 1884. - A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside • Various

... taking up the pen on his behalf. The friends meant well, and there was nothing else they could do; but at the time their efforts resulted in nothing. He published the words of the Mastersingers and of the Ring, and the consequence was only that a professor publicly implored him not to set such a monstrosity as the second to music. It is hard to say who did him the greatest amount of harm—his French friends, his German friends, or his enemies on either side of wherever the frontier was in those far-off days. Whatever was ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... the case, and all these artificial clouds will roll away at once. We have an evil heredity behind us in this matter, for we have inherited all kinds of funereal horrors from our forefathers, and so we are used to them, and we do not see the absurdity and the monstrosity of them. The ancients were in this respect wiser than we, for they did not associate all this phantasmagoria of gloom with the death of the body—partly perhaps because they had a much more rational method of disposing of the body—a method which was not only infinitely ...
— Thought-Forms • Annie Besant

... cold night, and he must have been asleep when Antonia screamed. When I turned, he was lying in long loose waves, like a letter 'W.' He twitched and began to coil slowly. He was not merely a big snake, I thought—he was a circus monstrosity. His abominable muscularity, his loathsome, fluid motion, somehow made me sick. He was as thick as my leg, and looked as if millstones couldn't crush the disgusting vitality out of him. He lifted his hideous little head, and rattled. I didn't ...
— My Antonia • Willa Cather

... could not help looking upon her as a poor, wild, foolish girl, unworthy of consideration. She magnified her faults and crudities, she paraded before her inner vision her fecent improprieties, as they had been disclosed to her, until she saw herself a sort of monstrosity at which all mankind was gazing with disgust. Life seemed dry and shriveled, a mere jaundiced shadow, while her love for Beverley took on a new growth, luxuriant, all-embracing, uncontrollable. The ferment of spirit going on in her breast was the inevitable process of self-recognition which ...
— Alice of Old Vincennes • Maurice Thompson

... some reason it seemed to attract Sir Robert Aylward, for he halted to stare at it, then stretched out his hand and switched on another lamp, in the hard brilliance of which the thing upon the pedestal suddenly declared itself, leaping out of the darkness into light. It was a terrible object, a monstrosity of indeterminate sex and nature, but surmounted by a woman's head and face of extraordinary, if devilish loveliness, sunk back between high but grotesquely small shoulders, like to those of a lizard, so that it glared upwards. The workmanship of the thing was rude yet strangely ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... together to find the Chippendale bookcase; and on its shelves stood books that had formed a bond between us, and copies of old reviews containing my fugitive contributions. A spurious Japanese dragon in faence, an inartistic monstrosity dear to her heart, at which I had often railed, grinned forgivingly at me from the mantel-piece. I have never realised how closely bound up with my habits was this drawing-room of Judith's. I stopped ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... the most remarkable productions in this way was the ponderous monstrosity invented by one Dr. Nicholson (Fig. 43). This hideous and unwieldy weapon was put forth by its inventor as the only correct form for a violin bow! It had to be haired with precisely 150 horse hairs dyed red. The reasons for this ...
— The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use - 'The Strad' Library, No. III. • Henry Saint-George

... jaws of the hideous monstrosity had snapped together, the people, hilarious and excited, sprang to their feet exhorting their great deity to send his fiercest vengeance upon us, the intruders, that our sinews might be withered and that we might rot by the road-side like cattle ...
— The Great White Queen - A Tale of Treasure and Treason • William Le Queux

... hospitals, by cooking and eating them. This was an extravaganza, though really bolder and more coarsely practical than mine, which did not provoke any reproaches even to a dignitary of the supreme Irish church; its own monstrosity was its excuse; mere extravagance was felt to license and accredit the little jeu d'esprit, precisely as the blank impossibilities of Lilliput, of Laputa, of the Yahoos, &c., had licensed those. If, therefore, any man thinks it worth his while to tilt against so mere a foam-bubble of gaiety ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... after two days; a priest, who had been a favourite of the exemplary Dubois, and by turns used to tickle him by the imposition of penance, or by the repetition of a tale from the recueil of Noce, or La Fare. All his appetites were wasted and worn; only some monstrosity would galvanise them into momentary action. He was in that effete state to which many noblemen of his time had arrived; who were ready to believe in ghost-raising or in gold-making, or to retire into monasteries ...
— Catherine: A Story • William Makepeace Thackeray

... approached nearer, that they might share in the excitement of the departure for "meeting." Gay clamored to go, but was pacified by the gift of a rag-doll that Samantha had made for her the evening before. It was a monstrosity, but Gay dipped it instantly in the alembic of her imagination, and it became a beautiful, responsive little daughter, which she clasped close in her arms, and on which she showered the ...
— Timothy's Quest - A Story for Anybody, Young or Old, Who Cares to Read It • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... direction of the sound and presently there hove in sight a colossal something of behemoth proportions;—something the like of which I had never seen or heard of in all my life, and I was stricken dumb with amazement. A monstrous monstrosity climbed its way without let or hindrance, up, over, along and across every obstacle in its path. Presently it reached the top of Pozieres Ridge; every man who could see had his eyes glued on it. It came down the ridge at about five miles an hour with two ...
— S.O.S. Stand to! • Reginald Grant

... readers how soundly our hero slept in his shelter tent that night, nor how his slumbers were disturbed by a horrid rebel with a bowie-knife, and a horrid feminine monstrosity which seemed to be called Sue by her attendant demons; but he slept as a ...
— The Young Lieutenant - or, The Adventures of an Army Officer • Oliver Optic

... ideas, Mr. Blacker. Don't get the wrong idea about our city ordinances. We got statutes that cover this kind of thing. If you don't want to be a victim of one of them, turn that damned monstrosity off!" ...
— Get Out of Our Skies! • E. K. Jarvis

... Versailles. To hold one man responsible for the whole War and to bring him to trial, his enemies acting as judge and jury, would have been such a monstrous travesty of justice as to provoke a moral revolt throughout the world. On the other hand it was also a moral monstrosity, which would have deprived the Treaty of Versailles of every shred of dignity. If the one responsible for the War is the Kaiser, why does the Entente demand of the German people such enormous ...
— Peaceless Europe • Francesco Saverio Nitti

... conglomerate of conditions so absurd, of aspirations so futile, of imaginary delights so fantastically unreasonable, that if the ideal state of which the chained dreamers rave were realized but for one moment, humanity would start in amazement at the first glimpse of so much monstrosity, and by and by would hold its sides with laughter at the folly of its deluded fellows. In most countries where liberty is talked of it is but a dream, and such a dream as could only occur to the ...
— An American Politician • F. Marion Crawford

... very outset, the system of slavery untouched, and twenty years' respite given to the slave-trade to feed and foster it, there began, with 1787, that system of bargaining, truckling, and compromising with a moral, political, and economic monstrosity, which makes the history of our dealing with slavery in the first half of the nineteenth century so discreditable to a great people. Each generation sought to shift its load upon the next, and the burden rolled on, until a generation ...
— The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America - 1638-1870 • W. E. B. Du Bois

... thoughts, wild thoughts which you and I can never understand, because we are white, and all white. Delphine is neither white nor black, neither red, nor white, nor black. She is a product of race amalgamation, a monstrosity, a horror, the germ of a national destruction. She is a queen—a queen ...
— The Law of the Land • Emerson Hough

... virtually expresses regret that he had not himself, from the beginning, imagined an earlier date for the action. But he fears that to change the time, now that the piece is finished, will result in making it a monstrosity, a 'crow ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... de S. are fair game. They are the apes of a sinister jungle and are treated as their grimaces deserve. As to Nikita—nicknamed Necator—he is the perfect flower of the terroristic wilderness. What troubled me most in dealing with him was not his monstrosity but his banality. He has been exhibited to the public eye for years in so-called "disclosures" in newspaper articles, in secret histories, ...
— Notes on My Books • Joseph Conrad

... The very idea seems preposterous, for one cannot but associate the charms of a "find" with the horrors of "going to ground" in an omnibus, or the fox being headed by a great Dr. Eady placard, or some such monstrosity. Mr. Mayne,[6] to be sure, has brought racing home to every man's door, but fox-hunting is not quite so tractable a sport. ...
— Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities • Robert Smith Surtees

... sir. It served his purpose for the moment, I grant you. I was unhinged. The indignity, the very monstrosity of it, the baselessness, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... an Ardea, he triumphs, the thief who should by rights be a convict!.... But we shall see. Will not all the other Roman princes who have no blots upon their escutcheons, the Orsinis, the Colonnas, the Odeschalchis, the Borgheses, the Rospigliosis, not combine to prevent this monstrosity? Nobility is like love, those who buy those sacred things degrade them in paying for them, and those to whom they are given are no better than mire.... Princess d'Ardea! That creature! Ah, what a disgrace!.... But we must remember our engagement relative to that brave ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... gave evidence enough of having a mind and a way of his own. My mother took him at his mother's valuation, and both she and my father have expressed admiration of the whole Browning tribe in their published journals. Mrs. Browning seemed to me a sort of miniature monstrosity; there was no body to her, only a mass of dark curls and queer, dark eyes, and an enormous mouth with thick lips; no portrait of her has dared to show the half of it. Her hand was like a bird's claw. Browning was a lusty, ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... gain? We are told that our glorying is idle vanity and unadulterated blasphemy. The moment we abase ourselves and give in to the rage of our opponents, Papists and Anabaptists grow arrogant. The Anabaptists hatch out some new monstrosity. The Papists revive their old abominations. What to do? Let everybody become sure of his calling and doctrine, that he may boldly say with Paul: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than ye have received, let him ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... circumstances, gave it as their opinion that the occurrence was an unfortunate impurity, and that it could only result to the disadvantage of Rome, unless she at once took steps to purify herself of such a monstrosity, with the conclusion that the androgyne should be first exiled from Roman soil, and then drowned in the depths of the sea. The unfortunate being was accordingly inclosed in a chest and put on board a galley, ...
— History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present - Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance • Peter Charles Remondino

... people—as we have already noticed—the Fighting Nigger, it must be owned, was something of a long-winded boaster, with a proneness to slide off into the fabulous, when blowing his own trumpet for the entertainment of his colored admirers, who bolted whatever monstrosity he might choose to toss into their greedy chops. But let us be just. It was with no direct intention of hoaxing or deceiving his hearers that he played the fabler; it was simply a way he had of holding up a magnifying-glass, ...
— Burl • Morrison Heady

... fishing, shooting, or sailing purposes. Alas! poor "Yellow Boy," I shall never see your like again! (neither probably will anyone else!) She answered my purpose admirably, but as a model of naval construction she was an absolute monstrosity, and would have made an object of great interest in a naval exhibition. I deeply regretted her loss, as I wanted to take her home as a great curiosity to open the eyes of the Yarmouth fishermen; but it was not to be, and I turned sadly away; my chief occupation (that ...
— Jethou - or Crusoe Life in the Channel Isles • E. R. Suffling

... term "variety" is almost equally difficult to define; but here community of descent is almost universally implied, though it can rarely be proved. We have also what are called monstrosities; but they graduate into varieties. By a monstrosity I presume is meant some considerable deviation of structure, generally injurious, or not useful to the species. Some authors use the term "variation" in a technical sense, as implying a modification directly due to the physical conditions of life; and "variations" in this ...
— On the Origin of Species - 6th Edition • Charles Darwin

... this weird monstrosity the balance of the herd had fed quite close to me and I now saw that while many had the smaller specimens dangling from them, not all were thus equipped, and I further noted that the little ones varied in size from what appeared to be but tiny unopened buds an inch in ...
— The Gods of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... cone-shaped mass about seven feet in height. From the base of this came the neck and head of the snake, flat on the ground, with beady eyes staring at us as we slowly advanced and stopped. The snake was coiled, forming an enormous pile of round, scaly monstrosity, large enough to crush us all to death at once. We had stopped at a distance of about fifteen feet from him, and looked at each other. I felt as if I were spellbound, unable to move a step farther or even to think or ...
— In The Amazon Jungle - Adventures In Remote Parts Of The Upper Amazon River, Including A - Sojourn Among Cannibal Indians • Algot Lange

... short-haired women who wish to see how British babies are reared, peace cranks and freaks of other kinds[73]. Our Government apparently won't let plain, honest, normal civilians come over, but if a fellow comes along who wants to investigate some monstrosity then one half of the Senate, one half of the House of Representatives, and a number of the executive offices of the Government give him the most cordial letters. Now there are many things, of course, that I don't know, but it has been my fate to have a pretty ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... that I was staring with much apparent interest, though indeed, had that same curly-horned monstrosity been changed by some enchanter's wand into a green dragon or griffin, or swan with two necks, the chances are that I should have continued ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... a little greyhound, but it sickened and died. Remembering that a comrade-in-arms possessed a Turkish dwarf with an abnormally large head, he cast about to procure some such monstrosity for her amusement. He sent her jewellery—necklaces torn by his soldiers from the breasts of ladies in surrendered towns, rings wrested ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... abounding in false prettiness, painfully childish, with no really human touch in it, no tone, and no sincerity. And the architect, who was wound up, could not stop, but went on to express his disgust with the buildings of new Lourdes, the pitiable disfigurement of the Grotto, the colossal monstrosity of the inclined ways, the disastrous lack of symmetry in the church of the Rosary and the Basilica, the former looking too heavy, like a corn market, whilst the latter had an anaemical structural leanness with no kind of ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... in drawing grotesque heads, and even "declared that he could not draw a pretty face."[104] But his grotesqueness is never the mere comic oddness which sometimes assumes the name. It is a kind of monstrosity produced not by whimsical mutilations, but by a riot of exuberant power. And he has also a grave and tragic use of the grotesque, in which he stands alone. He is, in fact, by far the greatest English master of grotesque. Childe Roland, where the natural ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... a great train rolled into the Grand Central Station of New York at half-past six at night, and from it stepped a monstrosity—a young man without a heart. He had left all of it, more than he had thought he owned, in Kentucky. But he had brought back with him memories which gave him more joy than ever the heart had done, to his best knowledge, in all the years. ...
— The Militants - Stories of Some Parsons, Soldiers, and Other Fighters in the World • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... stones outside, where aboriginal dogs have never been heard to bark, where birds are found covered with hair, and where mammals jump about like frogs! If these are shown to be literal facts, the mind is thereby well prepared for any animal monstrosity: and it staggers not in unbelief (on evidence of honest travellers) even when informed of a creature with a duck's bill and a beaver's body: it really amounted in Australia ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... expanse. We must come out of our cave. We must link our pursuits to those of humanity. Breadth and robustness given to the mental constitution in its early training shall go far through life to save us from partial paralysis or monstrosity. ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... is certainly not one of them. It would be much nearer the truth to put the thing in the bold and bald terms of the old Irish song, and to call him "The anti-Irish Irishman." But it is only fair to say that the description is far less of a monstrosity than the anti-English Englishman would be; because the Irish are so much stronger in self-criticism. Compared with the constant self-flattery of the English, nearly every Irishman is an anti-Irish Irishman. But here again popular phraseology hits the right word. ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... remains—Reims is or was a typical thirteenth-century building; and, like most thirteenth-century buildings, is or was, to my feeling, of no great artistic significance. That it is a venerable focus of sentiment no one denies; so, I suppose, is the monstrosity of Cologne and the Albert Memorial. I am not concerned with sentiment, but with art. Therefore, I must note that of such artistic value as the cathedral ever possessed the greater part was not destroyed by the German bombardment: it ...
— Pot-Boilers • Clive Bell



Words linked to "Monstrosity" :   miscreation, monstrous, mutant, monster, variation, malformation, lusus naturae, mutation



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