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Acuteness   /əkjˈutnəs/   Listen
Acuteness

noun
1.
A sensitivity that is keen and highly developed.
2.
A quick and penetrating intelligence.  Synonyms: acuity, keenness, sharpness.  "I admired the keenness of his mind"
3.
The quality of having a sharp edge or point.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Acuteness" Quotes from Famous Books



... in the second or the third generation any less industrious and prolific. They rest from their labors and their works do follow them. Their sermons and theological treatises are not literature, they are for the most part dry, heavy, and dogmatic, but they exhibit great learning, {347} logical acuteness, and an earnestness which sometimes rises into eloquence. The pulpit ruled New England, and the sermon was the great intellectual engine of the time. The serious thinking of the Puritans was given almost exclusively to religion; ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... in person, with a countenance which expresses, very obviously, the imbecility of his mind. His right hand is garnished with an extra diminutive thumb—the natural member being crooked and distorted. His mind, indeed, by his face, seems to be a chaos of confusion—without acuteness, without dignity, and without good sense. He can neither read nor write; is guided by the last speaker; and his advisers, as might be expected, are of the lower order, and mischievous from their ignorance and greediness. He is always talking, and generally joking; and the ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846 • Various

... symptoms my hospital experience was invaluable. I have since found that my greatest service at the beds of the sick is as an interpreter of symptoms rather than a vender of drugs. The friends of the sick read indications for good or bad with wonderful acuteness, as a rule; and I have rarely found myself mistaken in my ability to read the condition of patients in the faces of the friends, even before I enter ...
— The No Breakfast Plan and the Fasting-Cure • Edward Hooker Dewey

... stick in his hand about a foot taller than himself, and a small cutteau de chasse by his side, which he could handle with as much dexterity as his pen; an instrument in the use of which he had made such a contemptible proficiency, that it required as much acuteness to discover the meaning of his aukward scrawl, as to explain the hieroglyphick characters of the ancient Egyptians. What still increased the obscurity of every thing which Monsieur Fribble undertook the trouble of penning, was ...
— Vice in its Proper Shape • Anonymous

... as a youth with Sherman to the sea. After the war he married, crossed the plains in a "prairie schooner," and, eventually, took up six hundred and forty acres of Government land in San Lorenzo County. With incredible labour, inspired and sustained by his natural acuteness, he wrought a miracle upon a singularly arid and sterile soil. I have been told that he was the first of the foothill settlers to irrigate abundantly, the first to plant out an orchard and vineyard, the first, certainly, to create a garden out of a sage-brush ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... has absolute power over its actions, strove to explain human emotions by their primary causes, and, at the same time, to point out a way, by which the mind might attain to absolute dominion over them. However, in my opinion, he accomplishes nothing beyond a display of the acuteness of his own great intellect, as I will show in the proper place. For the present I wish to revert to those, who would rather abuse or deride human emotions than understand them. Such persons will, doubtless think it strange that I should attempt to treat of ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... Own Life as "a woman of singular merit, who though young and handsome devoted herself entirely to the rearing and education of her children." Mr. Burton says: "Her portrait, which I have seen, represents a thin but pleasing countenance, expressive of great intellectual acuteness;" and as Hume told Dr. Black that she had "precisely the same constitution with himself" and died of the disorder which proved fatal to him, it is probable that the qualities inherited from his mother had much to do with ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... of this mystery-mongering have been pointed out by Poe with his wonted acuteness in his criticism of 'Barnaby Rudge.' After retelling the plot of Dickens's contorted narrative, and after putting the successive episodes into their true sequence, Poe asserted that "the thesis of the novel ...
— Inquiries and Opinions • Brander Matthews

... the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," which was, in effect, a popular defense of the work of the Convention, especially as regards the division of the legislature into two houses. The paper shows rather zeal and fervor than acuteness, and seems to have been hastily written to serve some special and temporary purpose. It has a magniloquence not elsewhere found in his writings, as when he says: "This western world now beholds an aera important beyond conception, and which posterity will number with the age of the Czar of Muscovy, ...
— Noah Webster - American Men of Letters • Horace E. Scudder

... skeleton. Alone or in company," said the unfortunate invalid, "the presence of this last phantom never quits me. I in vain tell myself a hundred times over that it is no reality, but merely an image summoned up by the morbid acuteness of my own excited imagination and deranged organs of sight. But what avail such reflections, while the emblem at once and presage of mortality is before my eyes, and while I feel myself, though in ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... House and Village still bear. Leibnitz found her of an almost troublesome sharpness of intellect; "wants to know the why even of the why," says Leibnitz. That is the way of female intellects when they are good; nothing equals their acuteness, and their rapidity is almost excessive. Samuel Johnson, too, had a young-lady friend once "with the acutest ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. I. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Birth And Parentage.—1712. • Thomas Carlyle

... have gone even farther, and demanded for it a spark of that creative power which is genius. But it must not be inferred that all the difficult passages in Shakespeare can be thus explained away. Despite all learning, or acuteness, or genius, there remains a considerable number that have never yet been solved, and never will be, in general acceptation, till the crack of doom. These, however, bear so small a proportion to the vast mass of perplexing riddles that have been satisfactorily settled that, like an infinitely ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... honey and pollen; wax-making; life of the drone; life of the queen; democratic government; description of queen and drone; swarming; wildness of; favorite hives; mortality of; acuteness of sight. ...
— Locusts and Wild Honey • John Burroughs

... been shown that he was one precociously convinced of the necessity of managing mankind, by studying their tempers and humouring their weaknesses. Cleveland turned from the Book of Nature with contempt, and although his was a mind of extraordinary acuteness, he was, at three-and-thirty, as ignorant of the workings of the human heart as when, in the innocence of boyhood, ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... scarce landed, when unfortunately the wind changed to the eastward, and a second time destroyed all hopes of coming up with our game; for the Kamtschadales assured us, that it was in vain to expect to meet with bears, whilst we were to the windward, owing to their being possessed of an uncommon acuteness in scenting their pursuers, which enabled them, under such circumstances, to avoid the danger, whilst it is yet at a very great distance. We returned therefore to the boat, and passed the night on the beach, having brought a tent with us for that purpose, and the next day, by the advice ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 • Robert Kerr

... which is to emancipate? He replies by a criticism of the Jewish religion, he analyses the religious antagonism between Judaism and Christianity, he explains the nature of the Christian State, and all this with boldness, acuteness, spirit, and thoroughness, in a style as precise as it is ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... volume now published, Professor Tyndall has presented a noble illustration of the acuteness and subtlety of his intellectual powers, the scope and insight of his scientific vision, his singular command of the appropriate language of exposition, and the peculiar vivacity and grace with which he unfolds ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... practice. More depends upon the ear than upon anything else; but no person, however talented, has a sufficiently acute perception to tune perfectly without some culture. Some practice in tuning is necessary to bring the ear to that acuteness of perception so indispensable in certain portions of the instrument. It may also be said that no extraordinary talent for music is absolutely necessary, since many of the best tuners are not musicians ...
— Piano Tuning - A Simple and Accurate Method for Amateurs • J. Cree Fischer

... requires little acuteness to see that some communities of men are miserable exponents of the social will. They are deplorably governed. Read Slatin's fascinating book, "Fire and Sword in the Soudan,"—it is better than any novel,—and ...
— A Handbook of Ethical Theory • George Stuart Fullerton

... to those others. It is necessary that there should be a ground equally familiar to the writer and to his readers. If there be no such common ground, they will certainly not come into full accord. There have been recusants who, by a certain acuteness of their own, have partly done so,—wilful recusants; but they have been recusants, not to the extent of discarding grammar,—which no writer could do and not be altogether in the dark,—but so far as to have created ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... not conceal from himself: Elsie had some new cause of indifference, at least, if not of aversion to him. With the acuteness which persons who make a sole business of their own interest gain by practice, so that fortune-hunters are often shrewd where real lovers are terribly simple, he fixed at once on the young man up at the school where the girl had been going of late, ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... at Frome, in Somersetshire, they were acquitted, not without difficulty, by the exertion of the better reason of the presiding judge, Lord Chief Justice Holt. Fortunately for the accused, Lord Chief Justice Holt was a person of sense, as well as legal acuteness; for he sat as judge at a great number of the trials in different parts of the kingdom. Both prosecutors and juries were found who would willingly have sent the proscribed convicts to death. But the age ...
— The Superstitions of Witchcraft • Howard Williams

... memory of Bishop Jeremy Taylor soon after his death, in ascribing to him a work entitled Contemplations of the State of Man in this Life, and in that which is to come, and which Archdeacon Churton, in A Letter to Joshua Watson, Esq., has shown, with great acuteness and learning, was in reality a compilation from a work written by a Spanish Jesuit, named John Eusebius Nieremberg. The treatise Holy Living and Dying is unquestionably Bishop Taylor's, and forms Vol. III. of his works, now in the course of publication under the editorship ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 64, January 18, 1851 • Various

... Exaltation of the mental faculties, especially of the senses: increased acuteness of vision, hearing, touch, memory, and the mental functions generally. By reason of this great "exaltation," hypnotized patients may get suggestions from the experimenters which are not intended, and discover their intentions when every effort is made to conceal them. Often ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... level of brutes, from a deficiency of excitements, than that they would be raised to the rank of philosophers by the possession of leisure. In those countries where nature is the most redundant in spontaneous produce the inhabitants will not be found the most remarkable for acuteness of intellect. Necessity has been with great truth called the mother of invention. Some of the noblest exertions of the human mind have been set in motion by the necessity of satisfying the wants of the body. Want has not unfrequently given wings to the imagination of the poet, pointed the flowing ...
— An Essay on the Principle of Population • Thomas Malthus

... inward surprise; for while unwilling, through jealousy of an amateur, to flatter the barrister by a visible compliment, yet he silently admitted that Denzil had made his discoveries and profited by them with much acuteness. What annoyed him, however, was that the young man had pushed his inquiries to the uttermost limit; and that there was no chance of any glory accruing to himself by prosecuting them further. Still, on the possibility that something might come of it, he went over the ...
— The Silent House • Fergus Hume

... by the name of sentimental. He applies the definition of real evil to bodily sufferings exclusively—and rejecteth all others as imaginary. He is affected by the sight, or the bare supposition, of a creature in pain, to a degree which I have never witnessed out of womankind. A constitutional acuteness to this class of sufferings may in part account for this. The animal tribe in particular he taketh under his especial protection. A broken-winded or spur-galled horse is sure to find an advocate in him. An over-loaded ass is his client for ever. He is the apostle to ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... common and characteristic deformity is an abnormal antero-posterior curvature, with its convexity backwards. The situation, extent, and acuteness of the bend vary with the region of the spine affected, the situation of the disease in the bone, and the number of vertebrae implicated. When the disease has destroyed the bodies of one or two vertebrae, a short, sharp, angular deformity results; ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... woman already mentioned, who was bereft of reason, but who at times, as often happens in such cases, seemed gifted with preternatural acuteness. ...
— Paul Prescott's Charge • Horatio Alger

... having done so; and a slip is scarcely made in India without the fact being duly recorded. What pleases me most is that the kind words he uses about myself should be embedded in the exposition of his own opinions upon Indian questions—opinions full of acuteness, justice, and knowledge. It is these that will really make the article interesting to your readers, and consequently give a greater importance to what he has said about me than otherwise would have been the case. I have obeyed your orders in regard to sending a copy of my ...
— Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L. - In Two Volumes. VOL. II. • John Knox Laughton

... it with a hesitation that did not escape the acuteness of the child. Whether moved only by her ordinary freakishness, or because an evil spirit prompted her, she put up her small forefinger and touched the ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... so that the act done is contrary to the agent's will. Nevertheless the act may be the agent's, and the will therefore divided against itself. Aristotle is aware of the seriousness and difficulty of the problem, but in spite of the vividness with which he pictures, and the acuteness with which he analyses, the situation in which such action occurs, it cannot be said that he solves the problem. It is time that he rises above the abstract view of it as a conflict between reason and passion, recognising that passion is involved in the knowledge which in conduct ...
— Ethics • Aristotle

... this trivial and diluted form in order to understand them. This is one of the most prevalent and most dangerous errors, for these Introductions or Explanations, easily-comprehended Treatises, Summary Abstracts, are, because of their want of originality and of the acuteness which belongs to it, much more difficult to understand than the standard work itself from which they drain their supplies. Education must train the youth to the courage which will attempt standard works, and it must not allow any such miserable preconceived opinions to grow ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... by the future, when, better instructed as to the why and wherefore of things than now, and supplementing our feeble senses by means of science, we shall succeed in rivalling, however imperfectly, the sensorial acuteness of the lower animals. ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... remains only the difficulty arising from God's co-operation with the actions of the creature, which seems to concern more closely both his goodness, in relation to our evil actions, and our freedom, in relation to good actions as well as to others. M. Bayle has brought out this also with his usual acuteness. I will endeavour to throw light upon the difficulties he puts forward, and then I shall be in a position to conclude this work. I have already proved that the co-operation of God consists in giving us continually all that is real in us and in our ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... what thoughtful men had to say with regard to his race, Ensal leaned back in his chair, determined to give earnest attention to this observer of American life, whose very hostility assured the acuteness of ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... stolen to an abundant meal obtained honestly. They would rather fight than eat, and prized a penny obtained by lies more than dollars secured by telling the truth. Some were stupid as donkeys; but others possessed minds of surprising acuteness. I once asked one of these why he was ...
— The Gentleman from Everywhere • James Henry Foss

... received; nor is it owing to the particular organization of the integuments, that in the Indians the sting is followed by less of swelling and inflammatory symptoms; it is on the nervous irritability of the epidermis that the acuteness and duration of the pain depend. This irritability is augmented by very warm clothing, by the use of alcoholic liquors, by the habit of scratching the wounds, and lastly, (and this physiological observation ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... no doubt useless to recall here the elementary fact that if manners change with the times, man himself is quite as strangely modified. If, according to education, and the manner of life, such or such a sense may develop an acuteness which confounds common experience—hearing in the musician, touch with the blind, etc.—we may estimate by this how much sharper certain senses may have been then than now. Several centuries ago visual delusion was with adults what it ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... swift acuteness, "maybe I'm not as bad a fellow as you think. Why can't you trust me with this story—of what brought you to Hunston, and what made you run away this morning and hide? If it's really something that ...
— Captivating Mary Carstairs • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... the young men among whom his youth was passed. He writes: "They were freer than their forefathers in dress and living, and spent more in other kinds of excesses, consuming their time and money in idleness, gaming, and women; their chief aim was to appear well dressed and to speak with wit and acuteness, whilst he who could wound others the most cleverly was thought the wisest." In a letter to his son Guido, Machiavelli shows why youth should avail itself of its opportunities for study, and leads us to infer that his own youth had been so occupied. He writes: "I have received your letter, ...
— The Prince • Niccolo Machiavelli

... her hand on her eyes, as if to shut out the horrid certainty; the temporary deprivation of sight but increased the acuteness of her impression, consequently, her uneasiness. She felt the need of space, of good, clean air. The fine drawing-room seemed to confine her being; she hurried to the door in order to escape. Directly she opened it, she found Parkins, the over-dressed maid, ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... which he had already lost in committee. His censure was extended this time to the whole board of admiralty, and he was ably seconded by Mr. Pitt, who went through an accurate detail of naval events in the preceding year, and commented on each with remarkable acuteness and great force of reasoning. His speech appears to have had a great effect upon the house, for on a division the motion was lost by a majority on the part of ministers, of nineteen only. Encouraged by the decreasing majorities of administration, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... was in one way favorable for treatment: the patient, an educated and intelligent man, helped in every way, carrying out minutely all orders, and had the good sense to begin treatment early. But the acuteness and rapidity of onset of the tabetic symptoms were so great that in a little more than two years they had reached a condition which most cases only attain in from five to ten years, and this makes the prognosis ...
— Fat and Blood - An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria • S. Weir Mitchell

... puritanical expression, an irritable temperament corrected by habit and discipline. Or in modern times, he is something between Franklin and Charles Fox, with the comfortable double-chin and sleek thriving look of the one, and the quivering lip, the restless eye, and animated acuteness of the other. His eye is quick and lively; but it glances not from object to object, but from thought to thought. He is evidently a man occupied with some train of fine and inward association. He regards the people about him no more than the flies of a summer. He meditates ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... mouth and his head were filled with terrible sensations of pain, as though he had been forced to chew thousands of sharp, red-hot nails, he took some water into his mouth from an earthen jug—for a minute the acuteness of the pain subsided, his teeth twitched and swayed like a wave, and this sensation was even pleasant as compared ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... and practised acuteness, ran over all the circumstances in his mind; and his conclusion, unavoidable, as he felt it, was that the Marchese must have done the deed. That the criminal authorities would come to the same conclusion he could not feel ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... General who, on the return journey, was made to serve Miss Boyson's gift for monopoly. She took possession of him in a business-like way, inquiring into his engagements in Washington, his particular friends, his opinion of the place and the people, with a light-handed acuteness which was more than a match for the Englishman's instincts of defence. The General did not mean to give himself away; he intended, indeed, precisely the contrary; but, after every round of conversation Miss Boyson felt herself more and ...
— Marriage a la mode • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... you really care to have the little photograph? Here it is with all my heart. I wonder I dare be so frank this morning, however, for a note just rec'd from Isa mentions an instance of your acuteness, that strikes me with a certain awe. "Kate," she says, "persists that the 'Curse for a Nation' is for America, and not England." You persist, do you? No doubt against the combined intelligence of our friends who show such ...
— The Brownings - Their Life and Art • Lilian Whiting

... he found Dr. Paltravi still alive, but very low and very much troubled because he had not heard from Jaqui. The latter soon perceived it would be utterly useless to try to deceive or in any way to mislead the old man, who, although in sad bodily condition, still preserved his acuteness of mind. Jaqui had to tell him everything, and he began with Florino and ended with himself, not omitting to tell how the lady had recognized the situation, and what she had said. Then, fearing the consequences of this revelation, ...
— John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein • Frank R. Stockton

... "Your cursed acuteness told you what I should do. Well, leave me here a week—and there's another problem for you. Do ...
— The Prisoner of Zenda • Anthony Hope

... reality in life is pain," is the sign not of philosophical acuteness but of bodily under-vitalization. The nervous system is too feeble for the body it has to move. To act is to make the environment your servant. Its pressure is no longer pain but joy. The concessions which life has made to time and space are the ...
— The Philosophy of Despair • David Starr Jordan

... the inherent attribute of all savages to be far in advance of the whites in the alertness and acuteness of two or three of the senses, the baby Pawnee was wonderfully so. He could hear the footsteps of a bear or the scratching of a panther, or even the tramp of a horse's hoof on the soft sod, long before ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... bethought myself of my old friend and fellow-student, John Thorndyke, now an eminent authority on Medical Jurisprudence. I had been associated with him temporarily in one case as his assistant, and had then been deeply impressed by his versatile learning, his acuteness and his marvellous resourcefulness. Thorndyke was a barrister in extensive practice, and so would be able to tell me at once what was my duty from a legal point of view; and, as he was also a doctor of medicine, ...
— The Mystery of 31 New Inn • R. Austin Freeman

... Her dignity as a married woman, and the reality of her grief, revolted against the shallow acuteness of the schoolgirl. But she found herself no better able to resist Agatha's domineering than she had been in her childhood, and much more desirous of obtaining her sympathy. Besides, she had already learnt to tell the story herself rather than leave its narration to others, whose accounts ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... class of men, that they commonly contribute, by their personal manners, no less than by the sale of their wares, to the refinement of the people among whom they travel. Their dealings form them to great quickness of wit and acuteness of judgment. Having constant occasion to recommend themselves and their goods, they acquire habits of the most obliging attention, and the most insinuating address. As in their peregrinations they have opportunity ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... remember that such had been the aims of several Popes before him. Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII had similarly aimed at founding dynasties in Romagna for their families, but, lacking the talents and political acuteness of Alexander and a son of the mettle and capacity of Cesare Borgia, the feeble trail of their ambition is apt to escape attention. It is also to be remembered that, whatever Alexander's ulterior motive, the immediate results of the ...
— The Life of Cesare Borgia • Raphael Sabatini

... of this description is the most disagreeable thing in existence, and is rendered only the more so, from any talent or natural acuteness it may happen to possess, since that never fails to give a spice of sin to what would otherwise be mere folly. The thinking mind shudders at the airs of infantine coquetry and malicious sneers, which are merely ludicrous to another stander-by; ...
— The Barbadoes Girl - A Tale for Young People • Mrs. Hofland

... which, stripped of their justifying reasons, and converted into mere artifices of connexion or ornament, constitute the characteristic falsity in the poetic style of the moderns; and as far as he has, with equal acuteness and clearness, pointed out the process by which this change was effected, and the resemblances between that state into which the reader's mind is thrown by the pleasureable confusion of thought from an unaccustomed train of words and images; and that state which is induced by ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... a pedlar from his youth, and was in no way distinguished from men of his class but by his acuteness and the mystery which enveloped his movements. Those movements were so suspicious that ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... gratitude for having escaped the various dangers, that had pursued her, since she quitted it, and for the good, which she yet possessed; and, though she once more wept over her father's grave, with tears of tender affection, her grief was softened from its former acuteness. ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... most original political philosopher who had arisen since Machiavelli, and he devoted all his learning and acuteness to crushing the rising scepticism on the subject of witches. The truth is that in those ages ability was no guarantee against error; for the single employment of the reason was to develop and expand premises that were furnished by the Church. ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... of the perambulating young officer, (he was a class-mate of Rossitur's,) was extremely plain in feature, even more than ordinary. This plainness was not, however, devoid of sense, and it was relieved by an uncommon amount of good-nature and kindness of heart. In her son the sense deepened into acuteness, and the kindness of heart retreated, it is to be hoped, into some hidden recess of his nature; for it very rarely showed itself in open expression; that is, to an eye keen in reading the natural signs of emotion; ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... another man praised by a woman. Possibly—she was not sure of this—possibly Sir Seymour had noticed that she was interested in the stranger. He was very sharp in all matters connected with her. His affection increased his natural acuteness. She resolved to be very careful, even very ...
— December Love • Robert Hichens

... the son doubly anxious not to abuse such kindness, and to do everything in his power to deserve the confidence which made his life so rich and happy. Though, as I have said, Captain Carstens lacked the acuteness to discover how much he owed to Lady Clare, he acknowledged himself in quite a different way her debtor. He had never really been aware what a splendid specimen of a boy his son was until he saw him on the back of that spirited mare, which cut up with him like the Old ...
— Boyhood in Norway • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... Williams, whether educated or not, they had a man of no ordinary acuteness to deal with; they realised that, though apparently free as air to act as they pleased, an unceasing watch was being kept upon them, and they felt that henceforth they must not place any dependence upon the hope of help from without. They ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... so much astonished at this change of deportment, from the sensitive acuteness of agony which attended the beginning of his narrative, that he stepped back two paces, and gazing on the Constable with wonder, mixed with admiration, exclaimed, "We have heard of martyrs in. ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... the yellow slip of paper as the symbol of problems that reappeared with burning acuteness in his mind. It smiled at him in the satire of John Prather triumphing in Little Rivers. It visualized pictures of lean ranchers who had brought him flowers in the days of his convalescence; of children ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... that Jones was insane, probably led thereto by his lonely life; that he was wandering about in the bush in the neighbourhood of the hut, which he continued to visit, as they had seen, and that he had, with a madman's acuteness, purposely misled the hutkeeper about his going to England. Smith and his companion feared to mention their suspicions to the hutkeeper, believing that he would not remain alone on the station if he thought that a maniac was about. ...
— Five Years in New Zealand - 1859 to 1864 • Robert B. Booth

... followed. Nettie, with all her feminine acuteness, could not divine that this calm way of treating a business which had wrought her companion into such a pitch of passion, was the most humiliating and mortifying possible to a man in whose bosom love and pride were so combined. He tried ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... emotions of pity, sorrow, gratitude, and affection with which it is associated. The reason why Pope is not a high poet—or perhaps a poet at all in the best sense of the word—is indicated by Coleridge with his usual acuteness and profundity in a sentence already quoted; that Pope's poetry both in matter and diction was "characterised not so much by poetic thoughts, as by thoughts translated ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... the lisp of leaves on a distant hill, trickled into his ears. Ordinarily he would have given up such a station in disgust, and waited for the air to clear. Now he wanted to establish his ability, to demonstrate the acuteness of hearing for which ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... health, though worn, not broken, and of a spirit in similar condition; I might still; in comparison with many people, be regarded as occupying an enviable position. An embarrassing one it was, however, at the same time; as I felt with some acuteness on a certain day, of which the corresponding one in the next week was to see my departure from my present abode, while with another I was ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... Johnson published an octavo volume of more than four hundred pages, entitled, "Grammatical Commentaries; being an Apparatus to a New National Grammar: by way of animadversion upon the falsities, obscurities, redundancies and defects of Lily's System now in use." This is a work of great acuteness, labour, and learning; and might be of signal use to any one who should undertake to prepare a new or improved Latin grammar: of which, in my opinion, we have yet urgent need. The English grammarian may also peruse it with advantage, if he has a good knowledge of Latin—and without such knowledge ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... (d. 1173). A Scottish theologian, Prior of St. Victor. A mystic of considerable acuteness. ...
— Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus • Robert Steele

... he was, with his wits sharpened into preternatural acuteness in some respects, in others Tony was guileless and easily imposed upon; and for a moment he stared at Theodore in dismay, but presently doubt and suspicion again obtained ...
— Uncle Rutherford's Nieces - A Story for Girls • Joanna H. Mathews

... that he should give his closest attention to the shore he was skirting, confident that that was the only direction whence danger could come. So, while the canoe skimmed the water, he held his gaze on the bank, and watched and listened with the acuteness of long training. ...
— The Phantom of the River • Edward S. Ellis

... man, with the most fervent imagination, with the most diligent study, with the happiest powers of memory, and with an understanding that apparently took in every thing, and arranged every thing, at the same time that by its acuteness it seemed able to add to the accumulated stores of foregone wisdom and learning new treasures of its own; and yet this man shall pass through the successive stages of human life, in appearance for ever active, ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... of settling these questions—adjudication and compromise. The difficulties of adjudication were great; I think insuperable. Whatever acuteness and diligence could do has been done. One person in particular, whose talents and industry peculiarly fitted him for such investigations, and of whom I can never think without regret, Mr Hyde Villiers, devoted himself to the examination with an ardour ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... first sight the different passions of mankind, which seizes upon the different forms they assume, and, remarking the objects of their notice, discovers at the same time the means by which they are attained." If this be a true statement, the acuteness of feminine observation has gained but little in the progress of the centuries, and her literary sisters of the present era can hardly hope to eclipse the penetration of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866 • Various

... accepted neither title nor order, and thus to have preserved a far more respectable independence. He doubtless owes much to the good advice of his extremely amiable and judicious wife, who excels him in tact and knowledge of the world, though not, perhaps, in acuteness and ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... frankly aware of the fact that a detective is just a common man earning (or pretending to earn) a common living by common and obvious means. Yet in spite of ourselves we are accustomed to attribute superhuman acuteness and a lightning-like rapidity of intellect to this vague and romantic class of fellow-citizens. The ordinary work of a detective, however, requires neither of these qualities. Honesty and obedience are his chief requirements, and if he have intelligence as well, so much the ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... pretending to be in a rage, Olthakus rode off to Lucullus, who gladly received him, for there was a great report of him in the Roman army; and Lucullus, after some acquaintance with him, was soon pleased with his acuteness and his zeal, and at last admitted him to his table and made him a member of his council. Now when the Dandarian thought he had a fit opportunity, he ordered the slaves to take his horse without the ramparts, and, as it was noontide and the soldiers were lying in the ...
— Plutarch's Lives, Volume II • Aubrey Stewart & George Long

... so that merely scientific draughtsmen caricature a third part of Nature, and miss two-thirds. The best scholar is he whose eye is so keen as to see at once how the thing looks, and who need not, therefore, trouble himself with any reasons why it looks so: but few people have this acuteness of perception; and to those who are destitute of it, a little pointing out of rule and reason will be a help, especially when a master is not near them. I never allow my own pupils to ask the reason of anything, because, as I watch their work, I can always show them how the thing ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... cannot stand, as mere writing, beside the letters of Cowper, or of Lamb. They are just the common-sense epistles of a man who to his last day remained too modest to believe in the extent of his own genius. The letters in this collection which show most acuteness on literary matters are not Scott's, but Lady Louisa Stuart's, who appreciated the Novels on their appearance (their faults as well as their merits) with a judiciousness quite wonderful in a contemporary. Scott's literary ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... senior class of girls and boys in a School for the deaf and dumb were invited to put any questions they wished to the Teacher; amongst others, the following (which show considerable acuteness and reflection) were proposed to him:—Who made God? Were there any angels before the world was made? Before the world was made, how was God eternal? Do you know, are there houses in the moon which people ...
— Anecdotes & Incidents of the Deaf and Dumb • W. R. Roe

... as he saw more of her, she seemed the most remarkable woman he had ever known. Her loss of sight had been more than compensated by an extraordinary acuteness of mental vision. The world about her might now be one of darkness, but she had a precise comprehension of its nature, its manifestations, its complexities. He had always taken blindness as a synonym for helplessness, a matter of uncertain groping, of timidities, of despair. ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... The acuteness of her moral sense occasioned her, in fact, to feel much distress, and the impression of religious sanction early inculcated upon a mind naturally so gentle and innocent as hers, cast by its solemn influence a deep gloom over the brief history of their ...
— Jane Sinclair; Or, The Fawn Of Springvale - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... is a powerful spring of elasticity in the mind, and an inexhaustible treasury of hope; also it is true that Mrs. Copley was not wrong in her estimate of Dolly when she adjudged her to have plenty of "wit;" otherwise speaking, resources and acuteness. That was all true; nevertheless, Dolly's seventeen-year-old heart and head were greatly burdened with what they had to carry just now. Experience gave her no help, and the circumstances forbade her to depend upon the experience of her mother. Mrs. Copley's nerves ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... was believed by the ancients, from the acuteness of its sight, to have the power of seeing through stone walls; and amongst other absurdities then gravely maintained were these: that the Elephant had no joints, and being unable to lie down, was obliged to sleep leaning against a tree; that Deer lived several hundred ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19. Issue 539 - 24 Mar 1832 • Various

... Americans grew indignant at hearing that the victory of the "Constitution" had been won by the prowess of British seamen? But before many days had passed, a victory was recorded for the stars and stripes, which not even the acuteness of an English naval historian could ascribe to any cause other than the naval superiority ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 1 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... footstep will be able to make correct distinctions which simply do not exist for anyone less actively interested in that particular lady. Concentration enables any sense to become more acute. This increased acuteness naturally gives its possessor the power to receive impressions which would otherwise escape record. In the sense of not being usual, this acute sensitiveness of the artist is thus an abnormality: but it is only a variation in the ...
— Spirit and Music • H. Ernest Hunt

... you mean that the position in which they are develops a kind of cunning rather than acuteness or cleverness?-Yes; it fosters a sort of low cunning. The system having been continued, one might almost say, for centuries has fostered that element ...
— Second Shetland Truck System Report • William Guthrie

... catholic, even to latitudinarianism; not from any want of acuteness, but from a disposition to be easily satisfied. He was quick to discern the smallest glimpse of merit; he was indulgent even to gross improprieties, when accompanied by any redeeming talent. When he said a severe thing, ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... boatswain, Henry, is a wise counselor," remarked Ichi, proving the acuteness of his hearing. "You are to be congratulated, Mr. Blake. One does not usually recover with such admirable quickness from the effects of the cervical plexus hold my man, Moto, practised upon you. And you, my good boatswain—it is with great pleasure that I perceive ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... although she was so young. She had a large but charming face, full of the sweetest placidity; her eyes, as blue as the sky, looked out upon the world with amiable assent to all its conditions. It required no acuteness to predict this as an ideal spouse for a man of a nervous and irritable temperament; that there was in her nature that which could supply cushioned fulnesses to all the exactions of his. She sat on a high stool and sipped her ice-cream soda with simple absorption in the pleasant sensation. She ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... keeping nearly due west, and daylight found me pursuing my way with unflagging speed. At last I struck what I took to be a branch of the Nebraska river. A wood was not far-off on the other side. "I'll try if a white man cannot manage to deceive the acuteness even of a red-skin," I thought to myself. The wind had blown the snow completely off the ice on the river. I crossed the river and made towards the wood. I stirred up the snow in a way which I knew would puzzle the Indians, and then treading backwards on my footmarks, I once more ...
— Dick Onslow - Among the Redskins • W.H.G. Kingston

... better than the Noctes can make him. Lockhart gives a delightful account of his first visit to Walter Scott in Castle Street—his first visit, mind you. He is shown into the drawing-room and finds Mrs. Scott, disposed, a la Madame Recamier, on a sofa. His acuteness comes to the aid of his bewilderment, and he is quick to extend himself in similar fashion upon the opposite sofa. In the dining-room he was much more at his ease. Before the end of the meal he had his host as "Wattie" and his hostess as ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... mistake of Spanish critics, who believe that Rabbi Santob, indisputably the author of Consejos, became a convert to Christianity, and wrote, after his conversion, the didactic poem on doctrinal Christianity, and perhaps also the first "Dance of Death."[43] It was reserved for the acuteness of German criticism to expose the error of this hypothesis. Of the three works, only Consejos belongs to Rabbi Santob, the others were accidentally bound with it. In passing, the interesting circumstance may ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... singular interest he felt in the pardon and liberation of this youth; adding, that if Angustus Glinski died upon the scaffold, he feared the life of his daughter. But even this was unavailing. The old monarch thought he was displaying a great acuteness when he detected, as he imagined, in this plea of a daughter's happiness, a scheme of selfish aggrandizement. "Ha! ha!" said he, "so the wind sits in that quarter. A good match—duchess of Lithuania! I would rather you asked for the dukedom yourself, and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... severe that his limited sagacity was fully occupied in obtaining food and shelter; many thousands of years must have passed away before he evolved any idea of weapons other than stones and clubs. When he arrived at a psychical acuteness that originated traps, spears, bows and arrows, his struggle for existence became easier and he had leisure to notice the various natural phenomena by which he was surrounded. Man evolved a belief in a god long before ...
— Religion and Lust - or, The Psychical Correlation of Religious Emotion and Sexual Desire • James Weir

... part of gaoler. She smiled, half in sadness, when she told me of the girl's simplicity in thinking she could hoodwink a person of Lady Crawford's age, experience, and wisdom. The old lady took great pride in her own acuteness. The distasteful task of gaoler, however, pained good Aunt Dorothy, whose simplicity was, in truth, no match for Dorothy's love-quickened cunning. But Aunt Dorothy's sense of duty and her fear of Sir George impelled her to keep good and ...
— Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall • Charles Major

... a reasonable chance that he will come home alive, what is the use of one's going to Europe after his senses have lost their acuteness, and his mind no longer retains its full measure of sensibilities and vigor? I should say that the visit to Europe under those circumstances was much the same thing as the petit verre,—the little glass of Chartreuse, or Maraschino, or Curacoa, or, ...
— Our Hundred Days in Europe • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... pre-eminent endowment of poetic gifts. The Italian nation, however, was not and is not one of these. The Italian is deficient in the passion of the heart, in the longing to idealize what is human and to confer humanity on what is lifeless, which form the very essence of poetic art. His acuteness of perception and his graceful versatility enabled him to excel in irony and in the vein of tale-telling which we find in Horace and Boccaccio, in the humorous pleasantries of love and song which are presented in Catullus and in the good popular ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... Dr. Jeremy Taylor, English bishop and author (1613-1667). One writer assigns to him "the good humour of gentleman, the eloquence of an orator, the fancy of a poet, acuteness of a schoolman, the profoundness of a philosopher, the wisdom of a chancellor, the sagacity of a prophet, reason of an angel, and the piety of a saint." Why should a man so ...
— Selections From American Poetry • Various

... it from you?" inquired the policeman with that acuteness in the art of cross-examination for which the police are in all countries so ...
— A Cigarette-Maker's Romance • F. Marion Crawford

... future, and this is disquieting to any one. "Here at this moment," she often said to herself, "my world is flooded with sunshine—a static world in appearance. But how will it be ten years from now? The clock ticks, the sun passes, the universal sway of death extends." With the same acuteness with which she read other minds she read her own; but knowing that such imaginings were unnatural and distressing, she fought against them; yet they came in spite of herself. And the picture of Bertha standing there beside Ben filled her with a prophetic ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... it more trying was the conduct of the day boys, who, with an acuteness which did them credit, seemed to have discovered our delicate situation, and resolved to make the ...
— Tom, Dick and Harry • Talbot Baines Reed

... be an end or limit to this; one catches at one thing, another at another; each has his favourite fancy; pure and open light there is none; every one philosophises out of the cells of his own imagination, as out of Plato's cave; the higher wits with more acuteness and felicity, the duller, less happily, but with equal pertinacity. And now of late, by the regulation of some learned and (as things now are) excellent men (the former license having, I suppose, become wearisome), the sciences are confined ...
— Bacon - English Men Of Letters, Edited By John Morley • Richard William Church

... make people stare at their high flown bombast language, or to please their phantasies with foolish jugglings, and pedantic or boyish wit; or to be admired for their ability in dividing of an hair, their metaphysical acuteness, and scholastic subtilty, or for their doughty dexterity in controversial squabbles.' And I add, had you joined herewith, such as vilify and trample upon the blood of the Lord Jesus, preferring the ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... quite as much with the grinding monotony of his rheumatic pains as with their actual acuteness, the new discomfort of straining his eyes under the feeble rays of his night-light ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... diplomatic reputation of the age. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand seemed destined for the task of uniting the society of the old regime with the France of the Revolution. To review his life would be to review the Revolution. With a reforming zeal begotten of his own intellectual acuteness and of resentment against his family, which had disinherited him for the crime of lameness, he had led the first assaults of 1789 against the privileges of the nobles and of the clerics among whom his lot had perforce been cast. He acted as the head of the new "constitutional" clergy, and bestowed ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... antipathies between these general groups and between certain of their subdivisions will be found to be essentially fundamental, but they will also be found to present almost endless differences of degrees of actual and potential acuteness. Here elementary psychology also plays its part. One of the subdivisions of the Negro race is composed of persons of mixed blood. In many instances these are more white than black, yet the association of ideas has through ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... preliminary explanations, but plunged into the middle of things. In a quarter of an hour his auditor was acquainted with the facts of a highly unpleasant case, but exhibited no surprise when she heard what her secretary had to do with the matter. In fact, she rather appeared to admire his acuteness in turning such shady knowledge to his own advantage. At the same time, she considered that Agnes had behaved in a decidedly weak manner. "If I'd been in her shoes I'd have fired the beast out in double-quick time," said Miss Greeby grimly. "And I'd have ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... It is a common impertinence of the day in which I have no wish to join. It is not, I hope, an impertinence to say that only those who have, for their own purposes, been forced to follow closely in his tracks can have any just idea of the unwearying patience and acuteness with which he has examined the confused and so often conflicting records of that time, or of the incomparable skill with which he has brought them into a clear continuous narrative. To glean after Macaulay is indeed a barren task. So far, then, from affecting to cavil at his work, I must ...
— Claverhouse • Mowbray Morris

... utterance,—his voice was gone! ... his lips were moveless as the lips of a stone image! Stricken absolutely mute, but with his sense of hearing quickened to an almost painful acuteness, he stood erect and motionless,—rage and fear contending in his heart, enduring the torture of a truly terrific mystery of mind-despair, . . forced, in spite of himself, to listen passively to the love-thoughts of his own dead Past revived ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... and his rival, that there was another gentleman very attentive to Mrs. Middleton: this was Montagu, no very dangerous rival on account of his person, but very much to be feared for his assiduity, the acuteness of his wit, and for some other talents which are of importance, when a man is once permitted to ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... was his mastery over himself that the small wild game began to believe by and by that he was not alive. Birds sang freely over his head and the hare hopped through the undergrowth. Yet the hunter saw everything and his very stillness enabled him to listen with all the more acuteness. ...
— The Masters of the Peaks - A Story of the Great North Woods • Joseph A. Altsheler

... on snake-worship, in which a wonderful amount of metaphysical lore has been expended. Mr. Herbert Spencer devotes several pages to the snake, and the reason for its appearance in the religion of primitive peoples. He ascribes to savages a psychical acuteness that I am by no means willing to allow them, inasmuch as he makes them give a psychical causation for their adoption of the serpent as a deity, such as no ignorant and uncultivated savage could have possibly evolved. I am inclined to believe that, like all ...
— Religion and Lust - or, The Psychical Correlation of Religious Emotion and Sexual Desire • James Weir

... where, while growing up to manhood, he began to display good principles and good talents, becoming accomplished in literature to a degree quite sufficient for his fortune, displaying extraordinary acuteness in discovering matters of a doubtful and difficult complexion; being remarkable also for a marvellous memory, always eager to do good, and full of wise and honest counsel. A man, in short, who, if the ...
— The Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus • Ammianus Marcellinus

... [Greek: speiron] (Odyssey, II. 102; XIX. 147); yet, being, by the theory, a character of late Ionian, not of genuine old AEolic epic, she should have known better. It is manifest that if even the acuteness and vast erudition of Helbig can only find such invisible differences as these between the manners of the genuine old epic and the late Ionian innovations, there is really no difference, beyond such trifles as diversify ...
— Homer and His Age • Andrew Lang



Words linked to "Acuteness" :   obtuseness, sensibility, sensitivity, steel trap, intelligence, sensitiveness, sharpness, keenness, acute



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