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Practicality   Listen
noun
Practicality  n.  The quality or state of being practical; practicalness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Practicality" Quotes from Famous Books



... But even the new majority will not change everything of course. Grass will grow, water will run down hill, smart men will lead fools, wise men will have the places of honour and power, in proportion to the practicality of their wisdom. But for all that, we shall have in a rather large and certainly in a keenly interesting degree a new heaven ...
— The Martial Adventures of Henry and Me • William Allen White

... constitution, which they know how to use. But they never deeply interest us, unless they lift a corner of the curtain, or betray never so slightly their penetration of what is behind it. 'Tis the charm of practical men, that outside of their practicality are a certain poetry and play, as if they led the good horse Power by the bridle, and preferred to walk, though they can ride so fiercely. Bonaparte is intellectual, as well as Csar; and the best soldiers, sea-captains, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... one instance of Mr. Dalmaine's having interested himself in an individual; he had no thought of anything but his own profit in doing so, but none the less he had made a mortal happy. You observe the beneficence that lies in practicality. ...
— Thyrza • George Gissing

... that one must be a critic, to a degree, to thoroughly appreciate the art of painting, but that is another thing. The common people in France are universally fond of pictures, much more so than the English. The Americans are next to the French in ideality, notwithstanding their great practicality. The common people of England are far behind those of America in their fondness for the beautiful—at least I judge so from a pretty fair experience. America as yet, to be sure, can show few works of art, but the vast number of enlightened Americans who continually ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... than for what he was,—the inconspicuousness of his achievements. The "just folks" level of his mind, his small town man's caution, his sense of the security of the past, his average hopes and fears and practicality, his standardized Americanism which would enable a people who wanted for a season to do so to take ...
— The Mirrors of Washington • Anonymous

... interest on the capital invested. Of course it is necessary to keep an oil-motor to provide for windless days or nights and also to keep a reserve of electrical power on hand, but this is but another evidence of the practicality and the extreme cleverness of the Dutch. The cows that browse around the windmills of Schiedam are of the same spotted black and white variety that one sees on the canvasses of the Dutch painters. If you are not fortunate enough to see ...
— The Automobilist Abroad • M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield

... sports, where it would seem that convention would rest practically at the zero point, the bugbear of good form, although mashed and disguised, rises up to confuse the directed practicality. The average man is wedded to his theory. He has seen a thing done in a certain way, and he not only always does it that way himself, but he is positively unhappy at seeing any one else employing a different method. From the swing at golf to ...
— The Forest • Stewart Edward White

... Shrewd practicality trod hard upon the heels of romantic fancy in the mind of Spotswood. His Order of the Knights of the Horseshoe had a fleeting existence, but the Vision of the West lived on. Frontier folk in growing numbers were encouraged to make their way from ...
— Pioneers of the Old South - A Chronicle of English Colonial Beginnings, Volume 5 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Mary Johnston

... place as Burymouth, when he might have chosen money and unrest in New York, she on her side saw what her husband meant in liking the shrewd, able fellow who had such a vein of gay romance in his practicality, and such an intelligent and respectful sympathy ...
— A Pair of Patient Lovers • William Dean Howells

... methods of diversion in such small areas, but necessity is the mother of invention, and the children of the city become expert in outwitting those whose business it is to keep them within bounds. This kind of education has a smack of practicality in that it sharpens the wits for the struggle for existence that makes up much of the experience of city folk, but it also tends to develop a crookedness in mental and moral habits through the constant effort to get ahead of the ...
— Society - Its Origin and Development • Henry Kalloch Rowe

... affirmative that the Scripture is true; that Jesus did mean all, and even more than he said or deemed it safe to say at that time. His [5] words are unmistakable, for they form propositions of self-evident demonstrable truth. Doctrines that deny the substance and practicality of all Christ's teachings cannot be evangelical; and evangelical religion can be established on no other claim than the authenticity of [10] the Gospels, which support unequivocally the proof that Christian Science, ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... little ten-pound gigs for market—and nice flowers, and birds—cocks and hens I mean, because they be useful," continued Gabriel, feeling balanced between poetry and practicality. ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... could not even know where the geese were, or get at the geese! If he spent his time in splenetic atrabiliar reflections on his own misery, his ill usage by Nature, Fortune and other Foxes, and so forth; and had not courage, promptitude, practicality, and other suitable vulpine gifts and graces, he would catch no geese. We may say of the Fox too, that his morality and insight are of the same dimensions; different faces of the same internal unity of vulpine life! These things are worth stating; for the contrary of them acts ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... fixedly adhered to. They like to hear arguments suited to this intellectual haze. So far from caution or hesitation in the statement of the argument striking them as an indication of imbecility, it seems to them a sign of practicality. They got rich themselves by transactions of which they could not have stated the argumentative ground—and all they ask for is a distinct though moderate conclusion, that they can repeat when asked; something which they feel NOT to be abstract argument, but abstract argument diluted and dissolved ...
— The English Constitution • Walter Bagehot

... one may believe of the feasibility of the carrying out of Fourier's doctrines of united industry or the practicality of any of his theories, they must stand amazed at the bold and often extremely beautiful conceptions of his brain; such as the actual forecasting of the development theory before Darwin, Spencer and Huxley were born— though not exactly ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... was passing the great yellow mansion where James Reardon lived. Reardon, of Irish blood and American public school training, had been Jeffrey's intimate, the sophisticated elder who had shown him, with a cool practicality that challenged emulation, the world and how it was to be bought. When there were magnates in Addington, James had been a poor boy. There were still magnates, and now he was one of them, so far as club life went and monetary transactions. He ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... America are advancing hand in hand, and however much one may deplore the necessity for such work, one cannot but see in the common impulse which prompts and directs it a symptom of the deep-seated unity of the two peoples. Nothing I saw in America impressed me more than the thorough practicality as well as the untiring devotion which was apparent in the work carried on by Miss Addams in Chicago and Miss Lillian D. Wald in Henry-street, New York. And in both Settlements I recognised the same atmosphere of culture, the same spirit of plain living, ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... tale, Captain.... A Dacian, calling himself Urban, asked audience of me one day, and being admitted, said he was an artificer of cannon; that he had plied his art in the foundries of Germany, and from study of powder was convinced of the practicality of applying it to guns of heavier calibre than any in use. He had discovered a composition of metals, he said, which was his secret, and capable, when properly cast, of an immeasurable strain. Would I furnish him the materials, and a place, with appliances ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... undoubtedly partook somewhat of the nature of an Eastern myth in this little New England village. Although with the uncompromising practicality of their natures the people had given it a name so directly significant as to make it lose all poetical glamour, and render it the very commonplace of ghastliness, it still ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... time coming for him. Conscious of great mental and bodily strength, with that bright outlook that industry and honor always give a man, he was perfectly secure of ultimate success. His plans mingled in a singular manner the bright enthusiasm of the youthful dreamer and the eminent practicality of the man of affairs. At one time, his mind was fixed on Mexico,—not with the licentious dreams that excited the ragged Condottieri who followed the fated footsteps of the "gray-eyed man of Destiny," in the wild hope of plunder and power,—nor with the vague reverie ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 45, July, 1861 • Various

... month of May," "Shepherds all and maidens fair," "It was a lover and his lass," "Phoebus arise, and paint the skies," et cetera. Animated by the fire, in the silence of the winter night the loving horde gathers and ministers to the mind afflicted with much hard practicality and the strain of keeping up with modern inexorable times. This sweet procession on the walls, thanks be to lovely art, needs no keeping up with, merely asks to scatter joy and to soften the asperities of a too ...
— The Tapestry Book • Helen Churchill Candee

... you," laughed Mrs. Tascher. "You have thirty years upon your head, and a vast amount of hard practicality in it: Dr. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... The practicality which showed itself in his general aims appeared also in his mode of working. Caesar, it was observed, when anything was to be done, selected the man who was best able to do it, not caring particularly who or what he might be in other ...
— Caesar: A Sketch • James Anthony Froude

... command, "Raise the dead," most concerns mankind. It implies such an elevation of the understanding as will enable thought to apprehend the living beauty of Love, its practicality, its divine energies, its health-giving and life-bestowing qualities,—yea, its power to demonstrate immortality. This end Jesus achieved, both ...
— Retrospection and Introspection • Mary Baker Eddy

... absence from the Washington city directory of 1877 is perhaps explained by this work he was doing on his patent. While this was completed to Hopkins' satisfaction, it still fell short of Merritt's idea of practicality, and the latter abandoned the idea of manufacturing the watch;[13] what had started out as a very simple watch of few parts grew, with every effort to make it workable, more and more complicated by involved and expensive ...
— The Auburndale Watch Company - First American Attempt Toward the Dollar Watch • Edwin A. Battison

... (this was, incidentally, the beginning of the expression of the terms Left and Right to denote ideological preferences, but I digress). Uniform in all the fortress was the architecture, it being a strange mix between elegant and gentle arches and curves and brute practicality, for while the ceilings were high and open, and the walls wide, they were rendered homely by their plain surfaces and the absence of small triflings, conditions that were necessitated because of its ...
— The Revolutions of Time • Jonathan Dunn

... was nearer to them than their own leaders, though he would not perhaps have liked to be told so. His man-of-the-world, political shrewdness had been superimposed by life on a nature whose prime strength was its practicality and lack of imagination. It was his business to be efficient, but not strenuous, or desirous of pushing ideas to their logical conclusions; to be neither narrow nor puritanical, so long as the shell of 'good form' was preserved intact; to be a liberal ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... "Practicality is not altogether bad. It is often necessary in this practical world. What case is Mr. Kendrick likely to put in your hands which you ...
— Thankful's Inheritance • Joseph C. Lincoln

... given Harriet carte blanche to go ahead and fit it up before he and Rose came back from the seashore, and the layette was a monument to Harriet's thoroughgoing practicality. There had been a wild day of supplementing of course, when it was discovered that there were ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... regardless of his success, is looked upon as an enthusiast, or worse, and even the citizen who modestly accepts the theory of possible mind-healing, is regarded as credulous and visionary by those who pride themselves upon their practicality. Why does this prejudice exist, when advancement in physical science uniformly meets ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891 • Various

... The practicality of this suggestion charmed Sarah beyond words, and the pig was immediately christened. "Bony" he became in that hour and "Bony" he remained, with the use of his full name on state occasions, long after he was as plump as any of his more fortunate ...
— Rainbow Hill • Josephine Lawrence

... open to conviction. To him, truth had no stereotyped forms. His mind never became a petrifaction, but was ever growing and vital. At first he was opposed to civil service reform; but after a study of the subject, he was convinced of its reasonableness and practicality, and became ever afterwards a hearty upholder of this method of selecting the servants of government, in the nation, the State, and ...
— Charles Carleton Coffin - War Correspondent, Traveller, Author, and Statesman • William Elliot Griffis

... least interesting feature of the orations is the combination of idealism and practicality, which they reveal in the minds of the contestants. Truly, these young men "have hitched their wagon to a star," the star of ...
— Prize Orations of the Intercollegiate Peace Association • Intercollegiate Peace Association

... principal papers of the country had attachs aboard on the first trip to the Pacific; but that all parties—the government, the editors, together with De Ary and himself—were agreed that the matter should be kept strictly private, until its practicality and value should be established ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... so far as to avail himself of the "eyesore," as he called it, to excuse his constant absence from home, and as a pretence for shutting himself up in his dear college, with his cherished Latin authors. It was partly for the sake of avenging himself on his mother, whose decisive practicality jarred the delicate music of a nature extravagantly ideal, that he so severely criticised all that she held sacred; and his strictures fell heaviest on the bow window, looking somewhat like a temple with its small pilasters ...
— A Mere Accident • George Moore

... parties in the common strife of political thinking. He believed the best government to consist in a patriotic aristocracy, ruling for the good of the people. By birth an Irishman, he had the innate practicality which commonly lies beneath the flash and colour of Irish forcefulness and rhetoric. That, and his historical training, which influenced him in the direction of conceiving every institution as the culmination of an evolutionary development, sent him directly counter to ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... there are letters of John Borrow's extant. Fragments of these will be found in Dr. Knapp's book. These show a keen intelligence, great practicality, and common sense. George—in 1829—had asked his brother as to joining him in Mexico. 'If the country is soon settled I shall say "yes,"' John answers. With equal wisdom he says to his brother, 'Do not enter ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... whispered, until now, the advocates of scientific education have met with opposition of two kinds. On the one hand, they have been pooh-poohed by the men of business who pride themselves on being the representatives of practicality; while, on the other hand, they have been excommunicated by the classical scholars, in their capacity of Levites in charge of the ark of culture and monopolists of ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... men, and such is Governor Cox. But practicality need not, and does not, imply a lack of vision. There is such a thing as ideality in vision and a practical hand to make good the picture of the mind. The combined qualities are considered as essentials to the adequate man of the times, for a ...
— The Progressive Democracy of James M. Cox • Charles E. Morris

... she came sharply back to the practical, brought herself ruthlessly back to it, as if fearing it was her practicality he would question. "Besides, Karl's work is the more important. Nobody is going to die for a water colour or an oil painting; people are dying every day for the things Karl can give. But, doctor,"—far ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... on man's life, apart from the essential soundness of the impulse which drove her to make it, lay then in its directness and practicality. She began by asking to be educated in the same way that man educated himself. Preferably she would enter his classroom, or if that was denied her, she would follow the "just-as-good" curriculum of the ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... boy, in the back settlements of the Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful Sunday school simplicity and practicality prevailed, the 'Yankee' (citizen of the New England States) was hated with a splendid energy. But religion had nothing to do with it. In a trade, the Yankee was held to be about five times the match ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... Christianity. This universality of his mind is interesting. These elements have not been unattractive to some portions of his following. One wearied with the Philistinism of the modern popular urgency upon practicality turns to Schleiermacher, as indeed sometimes to Spinoza, and says, here is a man who at least knows what religion is. Yet nothing is further from the truth than to say that Schleiermacher had no sense for the meaning of religion in the outward life ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... was to be attempted. There was Alexander Hamilton, indifferent or hostile to the democratic idea but intensely patriotic, and bent above all things upon the formation of a strong central authority; Franklin with his acute practicality and his admirable tact in dealing with men; Gerry, the New Englander, Whiggish and somewhat distrustful of the populace; Pinckney of South Carolina, a soldier and the most ardent of the Federalists, representing, by a curious irony, the State which was to be the home of ...
— A History of the United States • Cecil Chesterton

... apparent absence of anything in it approximate to the present occasion—was beginning to affect Harkutt with a vague uneasiness. Providentially a resumed onslaught of wind and rain against the panes effected a diversion. "Come," he said, with brisk practicality, "you'd better hurry on to Rawlett's before it gets worse. Have your clothes dried by his fire, take suthin' to eat, and you'll be all right." He rubbed his hands cheerfully, as if summarily disposing of the situation, and incidentally of all 'Lige's troubles, and ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... them with the wealthier classes; the clergy associate with the gentry and not with the artisans. We must acknowledge with deep penitence that we are on wrong lines. For himself, the Bishop admits that he has 'a permanently troubled conscience' in the matter. Then, with that admirable courage and practicality which is the secret of much of his influence, he proceeds to indicate four 'lines of hopeful recovery.' First, the Church must get rid of the administration of poor relief. Where the charity of the ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... at once everything was spoiled, for her fairy castle of illusion or a higher reality was demolished, and that not by any blow of practicality, but by pity and sentiment. Ellen was a woman-child, and suddenly she struck the rock upon which women so often wreck or effect harbor, whichever it may be. All at once she looked up from the dazzling mosaic ...
— The Portion of Labor • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... a perpendicular stick casts a shadow equal to its own length. Obviously the tree or monument would also cast a shadow equal to its own height at the same moment. It remains then but to measure the length of this shadow to determine the height of the object. Such feats as this evidence the practicality of the genius of Thales. They suggest that Greek science, guided by imagination, was starting on the high-road of observation. We are told that Thales conceived for the first time the geometry of lines, and that this, indeed, constituted ...
— A History of Science, Volume 1(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... had no one to help him in his schemes, or to advise and infuse a little more practicality into him. His family could never have been anything but a burden and drag on him in his struggle, and his disaster probably resulted from his romantic and over-sanguine temper, which made him the husband of his wife and caused ...
— Far Away and Long Ago • W. H. Hudson

... what was going on below. The banks were fringed with graceful alders and poison-oak bushes, vivid in crimson and yellow leaves, while delicate maiden-hair ferns grew in miniature forests between the crevices of the rocks; yet, with the practicality of Chinese human nature, Hop Yet used all this beauty for ...
— A Summer in a Canyon: A California Story • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... width of sympathy, his practicality, his range of interests were in nothing more seen than in his contributions to the history of Samoa, as specially exhibited in A Footnote to History and his letters to the Times. He was, on this side, in no sense a dreamer, but a man of acute ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... waiting for the chance," said Whyland heartily. "You don't often find talent and real practicality combined in one girl as they are in Miss Giles. ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... they spread a sort of giant umbrella over the circle of stones, and elaborately hung curtains between them, so as to turn the old Druid temple into a sort of patchwork pavilion. In one sense there is much more vandalism, and in another sense much more practicality; but it is a practicality that always stops short of the true creative independence of going off and building a house of their own. That is the attitude of the Arab; and it runs through all his history. ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... was a tremendously alert-minded man at all times, so alert-minded that at no time was he given to vain imaginings, and to be alone for long together chafed and irritated him to a degree. His life was something more than practicality; it was vigor in an extreme sense. He must be doing; he must be going ahead. And it mattered very little to him whether he was using vigor of mind or body. Just now he was using the former to a purpose. ...
— The Twins of Suffering Creek • Ridgwell Cullum

... chosen to speak to the shop girls at noon meetings on the subject of good taste, health, and morality in women's dress. My daughter Gladys is one of them. In this way, we hope to convince them that simplicity, and practicality, and neatness are the only proper notes in the costume of the working girl. Occupying as you do a position unique in the business world, Mrs. Buck, we expect much from your cooperation with us ...
— Emma McChesney & Co. • Edna Ferber

... a pause. Then Houghton spoke. "I can't tell you how much this disappoints me, Brainard. The fact is, for years I have tried to shut my eyes to the development of college training. In my time there was not the call for practicality that there is today. Yet it seems to me that the training in our colleges has grown less and less practical. Why do the colleges turn out men who spend their time in personal gossip ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... Loring's grandfather had been one of its founders—founding it in revolt against the cramping sectarianism of another college. He had gloried in the spirit which gave it birth, and it was he who, through the encroachings of problems of administration and the ensnarements and entanglements of practicality, had fought to keep unattached and unfettered that spirit of freedom ...
— Lifted Masks - Stories • Susan Glaspell

... conceit, this unassuming practicality, the sort of thing with which Gargoyle's mind had been carefully inoculated for a long time, baffled, while it reassured Mrs. Strang. Also the sense of sacred trust placed in her hands made her ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... since 1713 lay in its premonition and appreciation of the principle of mechanism even before it became common to all the world. Organization and improvement, the war machine and money, science, practicality and conscientiousness—all this is clearly mechanization seen from ...
— The New Society • Walther Rathenau

... special kill the giant with," said Eliza in an argumentative tone of voice. "Do you reckon He tooken the strength away from David the next morning, Deacon, or let him keep it to use all the time?" Eliza's extreme practicality showed at all times, even in those ...
— The Road to Providence • Maria Thompson Daviess

... contestants for college honors. Griffin Hall was then chapel, museum, laboratories, and recitation-rooms; East, South, and West Colleges, with Kellogg Hall, on the West lawn,—"factories of the muses," in Lowell's expressive phrase,—stood forth in their naked practicality much as they stand to-day. Lawrence Hall library, in its earlier, wingless character of colossal ink-pot, Jackson Hall[2] and the little magnetic observatory, still standing, completed the catalogue ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... man. A man of great virility. A man of undoubted courage. An honest man, honest with himself and with the public. A man of good judgment and entire practicality. A generous, kind-hearted, and thoughtful man. Thoughtful of his subordinates, generous to his adversaries, and cordial to his equals. A man whose head has not been turned by the honors thrust upon him. A plain, everyday, ...
— Modern Americans - A Biographical School Reader for the Upper Grades • Chester Sanford



Words linked to "Practicality" :   impractical, viability, pragmatism, usefulness, realism, functionality, utility



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