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Characterise   Listen
Characterise

verb
1.
Be characteristic of.  Synonym: characterize.
2.
Describe or portray the character or the qualities or peculiarities of.  Synonyms: characterize, qualify.  "This poem can be characterized as a lament for a dead lover"






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"Characterise" Quotes from Famous Books



... is a Rabelaisian plainness of speech on certain subjects, which one must admit to be apt to characterise boys' conversation, which it is impossible to construct or include, and yet the omission of which subtracts considerable reality from the picture. Genius might triumph over all these obstacles, of course, but even a genius would find it very difficult to put himself ...
— The Upton Letters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... to describe Ossaroo; and he is worthy of a full description: but we shall leave him to be known by his deeds. Suffice it to say, that Ossaroo is a Hindoo of handsome proportions, with his swarth complexion, large beautiful eyes, and luxuriant black hair, which characterise his race. He is by caste a "shikarree," or hunter, and is not only so by hereditary descent, but he is one of the noted "mighty hunters" in the province to which he belongs. Far and wide is his name known—for Ossaroo possesses, what is somewhat rare among his indolent ...
— The Plant Hunters - Adventures Among the Himalaya Mountains • Mayne Reid

... brilliantly opened, became the common road to all departments of knowledge: and, to this moment, it has been pursued with an eagerness and almost epidemic enthusiasm which, scarcely less than its political revolutions, characterise the spirit of the age. Many and inauspicious have been the invasions and inroads of this new conqueror into the rightful territories of other sciences; and strange alterations have been made in less harmless points ...
— Hints towards the formation of a more comprehensive theory of life. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... often rises in a cloudless sky, shines for several hours with a brightness and warmth surpassing that of the British summer, and then sinks without a cloud behind the secondary ranges of the Maritime Alps, displaying in his setting the beautiful and varied succession of tints which characterise that glorious phenomenon of the refraction of light, asouthern sunset; when he imparts to the rugged mountains a softness of outline and a brilliancy of colouring which defy description. In the early stages of phthisis, and especially when the patient is young and active-minded, struck ...
— The South of France—East Half • Charles Bertram Black

... for the high standard of taste and excellent judgment that characterise their editing, as well as for the brilliancy of the literature that ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... minds of men, they strive to overbear or discountenance a good cause, their faults (so far as truth permitteth and need requireth) may be detected and displayed. For this cause particularly may we presume our Lord (otherwise so meek in His temper, and mild in His carriage towards all men) did characterise the Jewish scribes in such terms, that their authority, being then so prevalent with the people, might not prejudice the truth, and hinder the efficacy of His doctrine. This is part of that [Greek], that duty of contending earnestly for the faith, ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... was irresistible fascination in what it would be unfair to characterise as egotism, for it came natural to him to talk frankly and easily of himself. . . . He could never have dreamed, like Pepys, of locking up his confidence in a diary. From first to last, in inconsecutive essays, in the records of sentimental touring, in fiction and in verse, he ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... with rotation from the more rapidly moving centre, and would assume what appears to me to be their inherent normal condition, namely, spirality, as the prevailing character of their structure; and as that is actually the aspect which may be said to characterise the majority of those marvellous nebulae, as revealed to us by Lord Rosse's magnificent telescope, I am strongly impressed with the conviction that such reasons as I have assigned have been the cause of ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... prose. And yet, his own prose was rhythmical, and often as tumid as the worst bombast in Macpherson. He was too, on the whole, an artificial writer, while the best parts of Ossian are natural. He allowed himself therefore to see distinctly and to characterise severely the bad things in the book—where it sunk into the bathos or soared into the falsetto,—but ignored its beauties, and was obstinately blind to those passages where it rose into real sublimity or melted ...
— The Celtic Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1875 • Various

... the roots of his hair. He had hardly himself known what he had meant. But he mistrusted an Italian widow, because she was an Italian, and because she was a widow, and he mistrusted the whole connexion, because there had been in it none of that honourable openness which should, he thought, characterise all family doings in such a family as that of the Germains. "I don't know of what kind you mean," he said, shuffling, and knowing that he shuffled. "I don't suppose my brother would do anything really wrong. But it's a blot to the family—a ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... V. The Bars.—These characterise a set of closely allied groups, termed "inter-periodic." Fourteen bars (or seven crossed) radiate from a centre, as in iron (1 on Plate IV), and the members of each group—iron, nickel, cobalt; ruthenium, rhodium, palladium; osmium, iridium, platinum—differ ...
— Occult Chemistry - Clairvoyant Observations on the Chemical Elements • Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater

... lofty personifications of inanimate Nature only characterise her in her relation to another, and that not man but God. Nothing had significance by itself, Nature was but a book in which to read of Jehovah; and for this reason the Hebrew could not be wrapt ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... "it is certainly not for you to accuse me of crime, lack of decency, and what you are pleased to call disgraceful butchery, seeing who was the probable cause of the honourable encounter which you characterise in ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... Pleurotomaria, Murchisonia, Trochonema, &c. The oceanic Univalves (Heteropods) are represented mainly by species of Bellerophon; and the Winged Snails, or Pteropods, can still boast of the gigantic Thecoe and Conularioe, which characterise yet older deposits. The commonest genus of Pteropoda, however, is Tentaculites (fig. 73), which clearly belongs here, though it has commonly been regarded as the tube of an Annelide. The shell in this group is a conical tube, usually ...
— The Ancient Life History of the Earth • Henry Alleyne Nicholson

... connexion with their genius and their virtues. Perhaps, too, there was in this a tincture of the superstitions of the times: whatever it was, the fact ought not to have degraded the truth and dignity of historical narrative. We have writers who cannot discover the particulars which characterise THE MAN—their souls, like damp gunpowder, cannot ignite with the spark when it falls ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... than an inquisition into the sports and freaks of fancy? What more unsusceptible of detection or evidence? How many imperceptible shades of distinction between the guilt and innocence that characterise them!—Meanwhile the force and propriety of these terms will strikingly appear, if we refer them to the popular ideas of witchcraft. Witches were understood to have the power of destroying life, without ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... of Tannhaeuser is consistently maintained. The two elements war against each other without ever merging into one. Those parts of the music which characterise Elizabeth are full of noble pathos and a little sentimental. At the beginning of the second act she is not yet herself; she can still laugh like a light-hearted girl, but when she again succumbs to Tannhaeuser's unearthly (and to her fatal) charm, ...
— The Evolution of Love • Emil Lucka

... show it before company," were the words in which she announced one of her early discoveries about him. But she liked and ruled him, and came to him for comfort when she was hurt or when Lorena scolded. For the third wife did not hesitate to characterise the child as "ready-made sin," and to declare that it took all her spare time, "and a lot that ain't spare," to neat up the house after her. "And her paw—though Lord knows who her maw was—a-dressing her to beat the cars; while he ain't never made over me since the blessed day I married him—not ...
— The Lions of the Lord - A Tale of the Old West • Harry Leon Wilson

... person. This is undoubtedly Stevenson's friend Charles Baxter. See the quotation from a letter to him in our introductory note to this essay. Compare what Stevenson elsewhere said of him: "I cannot characterise a personality so unusual in the little space that I can here afford. I have never known one of so mingled a strain.... He is the only man I ever heard of who could give and take in conversation with the wit and polish of style that we find in Congreve's comedies." (Balfour's ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... pure or uncrossed forms.—Striking instances of this first class of cases were given in the sixth chapter, namely, of the occasional reappearance, in variously-coloured pure breeds of the pigeon, of blue birds with all the marks which characterise the wild Columba livia. Similar cases were given in the case of the fowl. With the common ass, as we now know that the legs of the wild progenitor are striped, we may feel assured that the occasional appearance of such stripes in the domestic ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2) • Charles Darwin

... determine some points the Westminster divines have wisely left undetermined.[136] The old Confession can advance no claim to the terse English style, the logical accuracy, the judicial calmness, and intimate acquaintance with early patristic theology which characterise that mature product of the faith and thought of the more learned Puritans of the south. I am not ashamed to avow that it has long appeared to me that there is somewhat to be said in favour of the opinion that Scottish presbyterianism gained quite as much as, nay, more than, it lost, by being ...
— The Scottish Reformation - Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders, and Distinctive Characteristics • Alexander F. Mitchell

... common controlling centre of their own, and by their unity form a constellation, a larger and grander mechanism. Throughout the whole constellation there is the same order, and harmonious working of part with part, that characterise the solar system. Then these constellations increasing in their aggregations form a still larger complexity of systems, called a Galaxy; and galaxy being added to galaxy, constellation to constellation, there is formed by such union, an ocean of suns and stars like our own Milky ...
— Aether and Gravitation • William George Hooper

... a vast store of relics of the Saxons, and for these we must search in the barrows which contain their dead. There are certain peculiarities which characterise these memorials of the race. The larger tumuli, whether belonging to Celt or Roman, usually stand alone, or in groups of not more than two or three, and were the monuments of distinguished people; whereas the Saxon barrows form a regular cemetery, each group being ...
— English Villages • P. H. Ditchfield

... curves of a mobile and expressive mouth. But it was not for charm she was looking, but for some signs of power quite apart from that of sex. Did her face express intellect, persistence and, above all, courage? The brow was good;—she would so characterise it in another. Surely a woman with such a forehead might do something even against odds. Nor was her chin weak; sometimes she had thought it too pronounced for beauty; but what had she to do with beauty now? And the neck so proudly erect! the heaving breast! the heart all ...
— Dark Hollow • Anna Katharine Green

... are you a man of sensitive perceptions as to the proprieties and dignities of dress and deportment which should characterise some great historical personage whose name you have held in profound veneration all your life long? Now, in the wayward drift of your imagination among the freaks of modern fashion, did it ever dare to present before your eyes St. Paul in strapped pantaloons, figured velvet vest, swallow-tailed ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... exist, the same delicacy of proportion, the same effeminacy of person, the same slenderness of hand and foot, which characterise the female of refined society; in despite too of the fact, that every laborious duty and every species of drudgery, are imposed on them from childhood. Their faces are broad, and between the eyes they are exceedingly wide; their cheek ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... man I should call you out." And Musa rose also. "And I should be right. As you are a woman I have told you the truth, and I can do no more. I shall not characterise your denial. I have no taste for recrimination. Besides, in such a game, no man can be the equal of a woman. But I maintain what I have said, and I affirm that I know it to be true, and that there is no excuse for your conduct. And so I respectfully take leave." He ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... One cannot characterise this attitude otherwise than as a piece of special pleading. The appointment, not merely of the Royal Commission, but of the Select Committees of 1865 and 1890, presupposed a disparity between the conditions in the two countries which not only ...
— Ireland and the Home Rule Movement • Michael F. J. McDonnell

... obliged me to deliver one of my recommendatory letters, and the gentleman to whom it was addressed sent to look out for a lodging for me whilst I partook of his supper. As nothing passed at this supper to characterise the country, I shall here close ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... earth. It seems to me that it would be too much to expect the survival at the surface of any part of the first scum that cooled on that fiery ocean. It is more natural to suppose that millions of years of volcanic activity on a prodigious scale would characterise this early stage, and the "primitive crust" would be buried in fragments, or dissolved again, under deep seas of lava. Now, this is precisely what we find, The oldest rocks known to the geologist—the Archaean rocks—are overwhelmingly volcanic, especially in their lower ...
— The Story of Evolution • Joseph McCabe

... John Oxenham in 1575 undertook his own disastrous venture, [Footnote: The details of his story are familiar to all readers of Westward Ho.] which well illustrates the boldness of conception and audacity of execution that characterise the Elizabethan seamen. His plan was a development of Drake's Darien exploit. On reaching the Isthmus, he hid his ship and guns, crossed the mountains as Drake had done, built himself a pinnace, and first of all Englishmen sailed on the Pacific. ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... exquisite poetry had then just appeared. "Is not this wonderful?" said Godolphin, reciting some of those lofty, but refining thoughts which characterise the Pastor ...
— Godolphin, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Distinctly perceptible in it were those singular aurora-like coruscations which gave to the "tresses" of Charles V.'s comet the appearance—as Cardan described it—of "a torch agitated by the wind," and have not unfrequently been observed to characterise other similar objects. A consideration first adverted to by Olbers proves these to originate in our own atmosphere. For owing to the great difference in the distances from the earth of the origin and extremity of such vast effluxes, the light proceeding from their ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... rather than to consider it themselves. The Legislature is created to make laws and not to judge of constitutions. The Articles had not observed this canon of political science, but had been adopted by the State Legislatures. Less haste and more regularity were to characterise the consideration ...
— The United States of America Part I • Ediwn Erle Sparks

... then it spread out in every direction in numerous horizontal limbs, that forked and forked again until they became slender boughs. These branches were clad with the delicate pinnate leaves that characterise ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... for having intruded upon me at a moment when.... He does not characterise the moment; but I think he means to say a moment in which I happen to be without my cravat. It is not my fault, as you very well know. Maitre Mouche, who does not know, does not appear to be at all shocked, however. He is only afraid that he might ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... this action was, another exceeded it in ferocity. A father, irritated by the cries of his child, an infant in the cradle, snatched it up, and threw it into a vessel full of boiling whale-oil. These examples are sufficient to characterise this hateful people, who appear to be in every respect the ...
— A New Voyage Round the World, in the years 1823, 24, 25, and 26, Vol. 2 • Otto von Kotzebue

... do know on the evidence of these intelligent officers, evidence upon which I fully rely and which you have made no attempt to contradict, you have disgraced yourself and the hall of your kind hosts and employers by the use of language which I shall not characterise save by telling you that it would be comprehensible only in a citizen of the nation to which you have the misfortune to belong. Luckily you were not allowed to proceed for more than a moment with your vile harangue which (if I understand ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... well as for his youthful follies, by a life of austerity and piety. While his letters testify his great affection for Madame Recamier, they are entirely free from those lover-like protestations and declarations of eternal fidelity so characterise of her other masculine correspondents. He always addressed her as "amiable amis", and his nearest approach to gallantry is the expression of a hope that "in prayer their thoughts had often mingled, and might continue so to do." He ends a long letter of religious counsel with this grave ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... exaggeration, that there is not one good point in her whole composition. In a character like that of Alceste, love is not a fleeting sensual impulse, but a serious feeling arising from a want of a sincere mental union. His dislike of flattering falsehood and malicious scandal, which always characterise the conversation of Celimene, breaks forth so incessantly, that, we feel, the first moment he heard her open her lips ought to have driven him for ever from her society. Finally, the subject is ambiguous, and that is its greatest fault. The limits within which ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... ever effected. The causes that have produced these results have as certainly given birth to the dulness, the contracted views, the inveterate prejudices, the unbounded desire for, and deference to wealth which characterise ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... life, through experience. She was an expression of youth, of health, of beauty, and of the moral loveliness that comes from a fortunate combination of these; but beyond this she was elusive in a way that seemed to characterise her even materially. He could not make anything more of the mystery as he walked at her side, and he went thinking—formlessly, as people always think—that with the child or with her mother he would have had a community of interest ...
— Indian Summer • William D. Howells

... narrow eyes and contorted his wide, flat nostrils, his thick, blubber lips, and his unnaturally prominent chin and jaws; he was the very embodiment and picture of all the most savage and debasing passions that characterise the worst specimens of humanity, and reminded me of nothing so much as a combination of snake, tiger, and monkey clothed in the outward semblance of a human form. "Heaven have mercy upon the unfortunate who stirs this brute to anger!" thought I. He was undoubtedly well aware of the feelings ...
— A Middy of the King - A Romance of the Old British Navy • Harry Collingwood

... back the answer, with that faint, elusive suggestion of sadness in its tone which seems to characterise the human voice when heard in the midst of the lonely ocean on a night of darkness and calm. There followed a slight scuffling of feet, another subdued murmur of voices, a pause of a few moments, then the sharp clink of flint and steel, a tiny spark of light, ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... memorable pronouncement that he was "Apples abroad and crabs at home." This speech, being interpreted, meant that the noisy, boisterous good temper and high spirit which his acquaintances witnessed in him did not always characterise the deportment of the head of the house in the ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... French Cabinet, to suppose that they can be influenced by such efforts of visible despair, and that we have too much reverence for the honor of the American Congress to prostitute its authority, by filling our own newspapers with the same kind of invented tales, which characterise ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I • Various

... one so strongly as of the marvels of old stained glass, that rich, pure kaleidoscope which has lived so long in the atmosphere of incense ascending from censer and from heart. The same scale, rich and simple, unafraid of unshaded colour, characterise both glass and tapestry. ...
— The Tapestry Book • Helen Churchill Candee

... coral isle, far removed from any of its fellows, and presenting none of those grand features which characterise the island on which the settlement of Sandy Cove was situated. In no part does it rise more than thirty feet above the level of the sea; in most places it is little more than a few feet above it. The coral reefs around it are numerous; and as many of them rise to within a few feet of the surface, ...
— Gascoyne, the Sandal-Wood Trader • R.M. Ballantyne

... more quietly and with more dignity than was likely from his previous conduct. "I will not allow you to characterise as folly what might be presumptuous on my part—I had no business to express myself so soon—but which in its foundation was true and sincere. That I can answer for most solemnly. It is possible, though it may not be a usual thing, for a man to feel ...
— A Dark Night's Work • Elizabeth Gaskell

... O'Dallaghy, who supported himself, as most of them do, by curing certain diseases of the people—miraculously! He had no other means of subsistence, nor, indeed, did he seem strongly devoted to life, or to the pleasures it afforded. He was not addicted to those intemperate habits which characterise "Blessed Priests" in general; spirits he never tasted, nor any food that could be termed a luxury, or even a comfort. His communion with the people was brief, and marked by a tone of severe contemptuous misanthropy. He seldom stirred abroad except during morning, or in the evening twilight, when ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... distinguished in the republic of letters, as well as the realm of politics; who assumed the guidance of the public mind, and, as the phrase runs, was looked up to. Mr. Rigby listened at first to the inquiries of Coningsby, urged, as they ever were, with a modesty and deference which do not always characterise juvenile investigations, as if Coningsby were speaking to him of the unknown tongues. But Mr. Rigby was not a man who ever confessed himself at fault. He caught up something of the subject as our young friend proceeded, and was perfectly prepared, ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... beautifully variegated skin, the carpet snake. The natives considered the latter very fierce and dangerous, saying it never ran away but always faced or pursued them. It had in fact the flat broad head and narrow neck which in general characterise the most venomous snakes, also large fangs hooked inwards, which the natives particularly pointed out. It had also, near the tail, two articulations with something like a toe and joint on each, such as I had not observed before in any other kind of snake. A smaller one ...
— Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 2 (of 2) • Thomas Mitchell

... extraordinary cleverness—which was to be read, more than half a century later, even by Wordsworth, with pleasure—confines himself to rural beauty in general, and declines to call up before us the peculiar beauties which characterise the ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... be thought that forests are an exception to this rule, since in the north-temperate and arctic regions we find extensive forests of pines or of oaks. But these are, after all, exceptional, and characterise those regions only where the climate is little favourable to forest vegetation. In the tropical and all the warm temperate parts of the earth, where there is a sufficient supply of moisture, the forests present the same variety of species as does the turf of our old pastures; and ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... the contrasts of light and shade, and conveys little of the mellowness and richness of atmospheric effect which characterise the original. Unlike the brilliance of colouring in the Castelfranco picture, dark reds, browns, and greens here give a sombre tone which is accentuated by the dullness of surface ...
— Giorgione • Herbert Cook

... Dunster turned at once and faced his questioner. He did so without haste—with a certain deliberation, in fact—yet his eyes were suddenly bright and keen. He was neatly dressed, with the quiet precision which seems as a rule to characterise the travelling American. He was apparently of a little less than middle-age, clean-shaven, broad-shouldered, with every appearance of physical strength. He seemed like a man on wires, a man on the ...
— The Vanished Messenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... ingeniously that the earth must be at the centre of the sphere. He proves that, unless this were the case, each star would not appear to move with the absolute uniformity which does, as a matter of fact, characterise it. In all these reasonings we cannot but have the most profound admiration for the genius of Ptolemy, even though he had made an error so enormous in the fundamental point of the stability of the earth. Another error of a somewhat similar kind seemed to ...
— Great Astronomers • R. S. Ball

... wines of the Rheingau may be enumerated Steinberg, Marcobrunner, and Johannisberg. With regard to the wines of the Rheingau, Mr. Henry Vizetelly observes: "Although the flavour and bouquet of the grand wines of the Rheingau are equally pronounced, it is exceedingly difficult to characterise them with precision. After gratifying the sense of smell with the fragrant odour which they evolve —and which is no mere evanescent essence vanishing as soon as recognised, but often a rich odour which almost scents the surrounding atmosphere—you ...
— The Art of Living in Australia • Philip E. Muskett (?-1909)

... women sit a number of men looking as worthy as clothes and beards can make them; one highly dignified old gentleman gazes with all his heart and all his soul at—the point of his quill. The same lack of significance, the same obviousness characterise the fresco representing the "Church Militant and Triumphant." What more obvious symbol for the Church than a church? what more significant of St. Dominic than the refuted Paynim philosopher who (with a movement, ...
— The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance - With An Index To Their Works • Bernhard Berenson

... caused by or causing the generation of worms. The symptoms of this fever, however, have led and continue to lead very many astray. This is not surprising, since they so closely resemble those which characterise the presence of worms, that an unprofessional person is almost sure to be misled by them. Amongst other symptoms, there is the picking of the nose and lips, offensive breath, occasional vomiting, deranged bowels, pain in the head and belly, with a tumid ...
— The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease. • Thomas Bull, M.D.

... later, in the French Revolution, the same officer, then a Vice-Admiral, again distinguished himself by his bearing in face of great odds, bringing five ships safe off, out of the jaws of a dozen. It illustrates how luck seems in many cases to characterise a man's personality, much as temperament does. Cornwallis, familiarly known as "Billy Blue" to the seamen of his day, never won a victory, nor had a chance of winning one; but in command both of ships and of divisions, he repeatedly distinguished himself by successfully facing odds ...
— The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence • A. T. Mahan

... shoddy newspaper correspondent without the necessary faculty of style. And yet the story touches home; and if you are of the weeping order of mankind, you will certainly find your eyes filled with tears, of which you have no reason to be ashamed. There is only one way to characterise a work of this order, and that is to quote. Here is a passage from a letter to a mother, unknown to Whitman, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... special to South Africa, as is also in some degree the inadequate railway system; and these constitute conditions which modify the local application of general principles. Two factors, however, have appeared in this war which, while they characterise it especially, are gravely significant to those who would fain seek in current events instruction for the future, whether of warning or of encouragement. These are the almost complete failure of the British Government and people to recognise at the beginning ...
— Story of the War in South Africa - 1899-1900 • Alfred T. Mahan

... is perfect proportion in all parts of their form, and their supple, pliant, lithe figures are often models of symmetry. There is about the young Oraon a jaunty air and mirthful expression that distinguishes him from the Munda or Ho, who has more of the dignified gravity that is said to characterise the North American Indian. The Oraon is particular about his personal appearance only so long as he is unmarried, but he is in no hurry to withdraw from the Dhumkuria community, and generally his first youth is passed before ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV - Kumhar-Yemkala • R.V. Russell

... attributable in a great measure to the cheerfulness of his nature. He was, indeed, a most happy-minded man. It will be remembered that, when a boy, he had been known in his valley as "Laughing Tam." The same disposition continued to characterise him in his old age. He was playful and jocular, and rejoiced in the society of children and young people, especially when well-informed and modest. But when they pretended to acquirements they did not possess, he was quick to detect and see through them. ...
— The Life of Thomas Telford by Smiles • Samuel Smiles

... little about them, and in no way guides himself according to them or their fashions. So far as the outer world comes to him, it is by the channel of the newspapers. He has all the boundless curiosity, the thirst for knowledge miscellaneous, pulpy, and piquant, which characterise those that dwell remote. When he gets hold of you he flies at you, hugs you, gets every blessed thing he can out of you. "Favourable specimen," you will say. That is true; but, as regards the independence and primitive state of mind, what I say applies ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... Creatures, were incapable of any Comfort, and looked on themselves, from the first Moment of their being attacked, as destined to certain Death. But that which deserves to be well observed, and which has always seemed to characterise and distinguish this Disease from all others, is, that almost all had at the Beginning, or in the Progress of this Distemper, very painful Buboes, situated commonly below the Groin, sometimes in the Groin or Arm-pits, or in the Parotide, ...
— A Succinct Account of the Plague at Marseilles - Its Symptoms and the Methods and Medicines Used for Curing It • Francois Chicoyneau

... is rather scornful of these metaphysical definitions of Pre-Raphaelitism; "for to characterise a Pre-Raphaelite picture by saying that it was inspired by the Oxford movement, is like attempting to explain the mechanism of a lock by describing the political opinions of the locksmith." [10] He himself proposes, as the ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... estimate its value as a product of the human mind. It is to early Buddhism that we must look for this. What are we to judge of this religion without gods, and based on the assertion that all life is suffering, and that the chief good is altogether to escape from life? It is not true to characterise it as a religion in which there is no joy, and which deliberately refuses to have anything to do with joy. The Arahat, in whom desire is vanquished, and who has no further birth to anticipate, is filled with a deep joy and triumph as of a victor who has conquered ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... hemmed thrice, and began with much humour; though, as his tale proceeded, the memories it roused seemed to carry him farther than he at first intended, and reckless and light-hearted ease gave way to that fierce and varied play of countenance and passion of gesture which characterise the ...
— Zanoni • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... Front-de-Boeuf, a hard and griping man, avarice was predominant; and he preferred setting church and churchmen at defiance, to purchasing from them pardon and absolution at the price of treasure and of manors. Nor did the Templar, an infidel of another stamp, justly characterise his associate, when he said Front-de-Boeuf could assign no cause for his unbelief and contempt for the established faith; for the Baron would have alleged that the Church sold her wares too dear, that the spiritual freedom which she put up to sale was only to be bought like that of ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... Pepys's frankness, I have little doubt that he would echo the diarist's condemnation of Shakespeare in his poetic purity, of Shakespeare as the mere interpreter of human nature, of Shakespeare without flying machines, of Shakespeare without song and dance; he would characterise undiluted Shakespearean drama as "a mean thing," or the most tedious entertainment that ever he ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... his own struggles, nor could he appeal to Christ's example in respect of works of human charity. Monophysitism considers only the religious nature of man, and takes no account of his other needs. We must therefore characterise the ...
— Monophysitism Past and Present - A Study in Christology • A. A. Luce

... adumbrate; nay, in time, as he grew zealous in the cause, his self-interest and personal ambition would be conquered, or at least would be so blended and fused with the nobility of the cause as to lose any grossness or meanness which might be thought to characterise them in an uncompounded condition. All this might be achieved if only the great idea could be made to seem great enough and the potentialities which lay in its realisation invested with enough pomp and dignity. After all was not such a blend of things ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... Cuvier devotes a special section to the "Division of Organised Beings into Animals and Vegetables," in which the question is treated with that comprehensiveness of knowledge and clear critical judgment which characterise his writings, and justify us in regarding them as representative expressions of the most extensive, if not the profoundest, knowledge of his time. He tells us that living beings have been subdivided from the earliest times into animated beings, which possess sense and motion, ...
— Discourses - Biological and Geological Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... has said of Augustine's "City of God" that it is the earliest serious attempt to write a philosophy of history, and another has spoken of it as the encyclopaedia of the fifth century. These two remarks together characterise the work excellently. It is a huge treatise in twenty-two books, begun in the year 413, and finished in 426, and was given to the public in sections as these were completed. Augustine (see LIVES AND LETTERS) himself ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... but the feeling in Ulster is strong and immovable. The tens of thousands of Protestants thickly scattered over other provinces feel more strongly still; as well they may, for they have not the numbers, the organisation, the unity which is strength, that characterise the province of Ulster. They hold that Home Rule is at the bottom a religious movement, that by circuitous methods, and subterranean strategy, the religious re-conquest of the island is sought; that the ignorant peasantry, composing the large majority ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... Badawi women are generally supported by three parallel rows of poles lengthways and crossways (the highest line being the central) and the covering is pegged down. Thus the outline of the roofs forms two or more hanging curves, and these characterise the architecture of the Tartars and Chinese; they are still preserved in the Turkish (and sometimes in the European) "Kiosque," and they have extended to the Brazil where the upturned eaves, often painted vermilion below, at ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 7 • Richard F. Burton

... transports itself down the North Shore scarcely further than Manchester at the furthest; but there are more courageous or more detachable spirits who venture into more distant regions. These contribute somewhat toward peopling Bar Harbour in the summer, but they scarcely characterise it in any degree; while at Campobello they settle in little daring colonies, whose self-reliance will enlist the admiration of the sympathetic observer. They do not refuse the knowledge of other colonies of other ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... singular respect, and to which my remark particularly applies. There are many other books, and some which very properly aspire to the tile of History, which are, in fact and practically, books of reference, and of little value if they have not the completeness and accuracy which should characterise that class of works. Now it frequently happens to people whose reading is at all discursive, that they incidentally fall upon small matters of correction or criticism, which are of little value to themselves, but would ...
— Notes And Queries,(Series 1, Vol. 2, Issue 1), - Saturday, November 3, 1849. • Various

... we assert that these excellencies, which have thus been succinctly exhibited, characterise the mental constitution of Burke, we do not mean that others have not, in their degree, possessed similar endowments. Such an inference would be an absurd extravagance. But what we mean to affirm is—the ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... is. He accumulates experiment after experiment, till they amount to a considerable volume. It is not till he has passed successive lustres, that he attains that firm step, and temperate and settled accent, which characterise the man complete. He then no longer doubts, but is ranged on the full level of the ripened members of ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... English people were not an artistic nation, and instead of getting better, they appeared to be rapidly getting worse. The author of the present day was losing the sincerity and the individuality which ought to characterise him.—Daily Paper."] ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, February 18, 1893 • Various

... care to characterise the 'heads I win, tails you lose' policy of a Governor-General who thus shuffled off his responsibility upon two soldiers who previously had been sedulously restricted within narrow if varying limits. Their relief from those trammels set them free, and it was ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... regulative and constitutive of not only our thoughts but our very perceptions, and the operation of which is antecedent to and sovereign over all our mental processes; which principles are denominated the categories of thought; the name is also employed to characterise every system which grounds itself on a belief in a supernatural of which the natural is but the embodiment and ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... verse will undoubtedly characterise what we say, For LONGFELLOW'S longest lines skip along when we've long longed for ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, December 24, 1892 • Various

... face is of a peculiar mould, broad; the cheekbone remarkably prominent, chin small, mouth wide, with thick lips, the upper covered with beard; the body strongly built and muscular. They appear destitute of the amiable qualities which characterise the Crees. Whenever we met any of them on our route, and asked for fish or meat, "Budt hoola,"[1] was the invariable answer; yet no Indians were ever more importunate than they in begging for tobacco. On the contrary, when we fell in with Crees, they allowed ...
— Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory • John M'lean

... has really gone smoothly, then I say that the points of the marble slab constitute a Euclidean continuum with respect to the little rod, which has been used as a " distance " (line-interval). By choosing one corner of a square as " origin" I can characterise every other corner of a square with reference to this origin by means of two numbers. I only need state how many rods I must pass over when, starting from the origin, I proceed towards the " right " and then " upwards," in order to arrive at the corner of the square under consideration. These ...
— Relativity: The Special and General Theory • Albert Einstein

... this it is which makes the present state of things so deplorable. It is the vague restlessness, the fierce extravagance, the neglect of home, the indolent fine-ladyism, the passionate love of pleasure which characterise the modern woman, that saddens men, and destroys in them that respect which their very pride prompts them to feel. And it is the painful conviction that the ideal woman of truth and modesty and simple love and homely living has somehow faded away under the paint and tinsel ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... to imagine anything further removed, from what we may term the "divinity of human nature," than one of these. Vulgar and brutal, cunning and cruel, are ordinary epithets; and altogether too weak to characterise such a creature. Some of the "twelves" and of the "seventies" may lack one or other of these characteristics. In most cases, however, you may safely bestow them all; and if it be the chief of the sect—the President himself—you may add such other ugly appellatives as your fancy ...
— The Wild Huntress - Love in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... certain things which to all others are left permissive. It will be easy to every attentive student to discern and point out the prescriptions of this class, as their very nature is sufficient to characterise them; we shall have, however, occasion to mention them, after we shall have endeavoured to place in a clear light the three principal ...
— A Guide for the Religious Instruction of Jewish Youth • Isaac Samuele Reggio

... talent, but genius. Besides, they were friends, neighbours; he would like to give her a chance of distinguishing herself—the chance which she was seeking. All the time he could not but realise that, however he might accentuate and characterise the part of the sentimental girl, Rose would not be able to do much with it. To bring out her special powers something strange, wild, or tragic was required. But of what use thinking of what was not to be? Having made some alterations and additions he folded his papers up, and addressed them to ...
— Vain Fortune • George Moore

... office were salaried agents, by whom the nation wrought its will. Authority submitted to public opinion, and left to it not only the control, but the initiative of government. Patience in waiting for a wind, alacrity in catching it, the dread of exerting unnecessary influence, characterise the early presidents. Some of the French politicians shared this view, though with less exaggeration than Washington. They wished to decentralise the government, and to obtain, for good or evil, the genuine expression of popular sentiment. Necker ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... bands who belong to no tribe are the most dangerous bandits in Arabia, especially upon the northern frontier. Burckhardt, who suffered from them, gives a long account of their treachery and utter absence of that Arab "pundonor" which is supposed to characterise Arab thieves. ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... is not her real name, but she is the daughter of an English peer of very ancient family. Her father having married a second time, Dorothea was exposed to the persecutions of a low-minded vulgar woman, whose whole ideas were of that mean and mercenary description which characterise the Caucasian race. Naomi Shekles was the offspring of a Jew, and she hated, whilst she envied, the superior charms of the noble Norman maiden. But she had gained an enormous supremacy over the wavering intellect of the elderly Viscount; and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, No. 382, October 1847 • Various

... the interior life; but it has the further claim to notice that it is the signal expression of the spirit of its time, though we can no longer call it the modern spirit. The book perfectly renders the disillusion, languor and sentimentality which characterise a self-centred scepticism. It is the record, indeed, of a morbid mind, but of a mind gifted with extraordinary acuteness and with the utmost delicacy of perception. Amiel wrote also several essays and poems, but it is ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... inadvertences which characterise him could hardly be better instanced than in his calling the eminent O'Donovan Rossa "le depute-martyr de Tipperary." In English, if not in French, a "deputy-martyr" is ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... "The history of science hardly presents so striking an instance of youthfulness of mind in advanced life as is shown by this abandonment of opinions so long held and so powerfully advocated; and if we bear in mind the extreme caution, combined with the ardent love of truth which characterise every work which our author has produced, we shall be convinced that so great a change was not decided on without long and anxious deliberation, and that the views now adopted must indeed be supported by arguments of overwhelming force. If for no other reason than that Sir Charles Lyell ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II • Francis Darwin

... it was necessary first of all to distinguish the imagination from our other faculties; and in the next place to characterise those original forms or properties of being, about which it is conversant, and which are by nature adapted to it, as light is to the eyes, or truth to the understanding. These properties Mr. Addison had reduced to the three general classes ...
— Poetical Works of Akenside - [Edited by George Gilfillan] • Mark Akenside

... irritation is a branch of Jacobinism? It is with pain, Sir, that I have heard arguments manifestly of this tendency, and having heard them, I hear with redoubled suspicion of the assertions, that Jacobinism is extinct. By what softer name shall we characterise the attempts to connect the war by false facts and false reasoning with accidental scarcity? By what softer name shall we characterise appeals to the people on a subject which touches their feelings, and precludes their reasoning? It is this, Sir, which makes me say, that those whose ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... to be preserved in it, as far as the material events are concerned—with the usual exception of such occasional dilatations and compressions of time as are required in dramatic composition. And notwithstanding the limited imagination and the too artificial passion which characterise it, Philip van Artevelde is in very many respects a noble work, as it certainly is its author's chef-d'oeuvre. It has been pronounced by no mean authority the superior of every dramatic composition of modern times, including the Sardanapalus of Lord Byron, the Remorse of Coleridge, ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 422, New Series, January 31, 1852 • Various

... to characterise Rousseau's deism with as much precision as it allows. It was a special and graceful form of a doctrine which, though susceptible, alike in theory and in the practical history of religious thought, of numberless wide varieties of significance, is commonly designated by the name of deism, ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... made for the spiritual need of the people, or when, as in the same country in later years, "a system is pursued which would seem to indicate an utter indifference on the part of those who dispense the national treasure, whether truth or falsehood shall characterise the religious creeds of any of the colonists."[225] And thus, while the sum total of religious provision is very insufficient, that little is divided in a kind of scramble among various parties, so that Irish Roman Catholics, who cry up the voluntary system at home, are tempted to glory in being ...
— Australia, its history and present condition • William Pridden

... Similarly we may confidently characterise the locomotive engine as an invention belonging to the first half of the nineteenth century, although tramways on the one hand, and steam-engines on the other hand, were ready for the application of steam transport, and the only work that remained to be ...
— Twentieth Century Inventions - A Forecast • George Sutherland

... forward, and these may be situated at the tips of long sometimes branching processes, which recall the thoracic gills of the aquatic pupae mentioned a few pages above. Adaptations, various and beautiful, to special modes of life, are thus seen to characterise pupae as ...
— The Life-Story of Insects • Geo. H. Carpenter

... an epigram not uncommon in human history; his fame is all the more deserved because he never deserved it. The firm foundations of common sense, the shrewd shots at uncommon sense, that characterise all the Fables, belong not him but to humanity. In the earliest human history whatever is authentic is universal: and whatever is universal is anonymous. In such cases there is always some central man who had first the trouble of collecting them, and ...
— Aesop's Fables • Aesop

... imitators, he exaggerated the defects of his master. So far as it is possible to group under one head so vast and varied an amount of composition, produced by men of the most diverse casts of mind, and extending over so long a period as a hundred years, one may perhaps fairly characterise the typical eighteenth century sermon as too stiff and formal, too cold and artificial, appealing more to the reason than to the feelings, and so more calculated to convince the understanding than to affect the heart. 'We have no sermons,' ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... (1702) was Tamerlane, in which, under the name of Tamerlane, he intended to characterise King William, and Louis the Fourteenth under Bajazet. The virtues of Tamerlane seem to have been arbitrarily assigned him by his poet, for I know not that history gives any other qualities than those which make a conqueror. The fashion, however, of the time was to accumulate upon Louis all that ...
— Lives of the Poets: Gay, Thomson, Young, and Others • Samuel Johnson

... all, and its revival in some, of these spring and midsummer ceremonies, there are features in some of them which can hardly be explained on this hypothesis alone. The solemn funeral, the lamentations, and the mourning attire, which often characterise these rites, are indeed appropriate at the death of the beneficent spirit of vegetation. But what shall we say of the glee with which the effigy is often carried out, of the sticks and stones with which it is assailed, and ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... that these Nereids are punctilious among themselves, and observe different ranks according to the commodities they deal in. One experienced dame was heard to characterise a younger damsel as "a puir silly thing, who had no ambition, and would never," she prophesied, "rise above the ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... been beautifully confirmed by a distinguished physiologist (Denis), who has succeeded in converting fibrine into albumen, that is, in giving it the solubility, and coagulability by heat, which characterise ...
— Familiar Letters of Chemistry • Justus Liebig

... But if the various sciences—I mean the positive sciences—divide different objects thus between them, philosophy cannot, in its turn, come forward as a particular science, having a distinct object, the designation of which would be sufficient to characterise and circumscribe it. Such was always the traditional conception: such will ours continue to be. For, as a matter of fact, every object has a philosophy and all matter can be regarded philosophically. In short, philosophy is chiefly a way of perceiving ...
— A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson • Edouard le Roy

... inversion, the vision of a drawing-room in Addison Gardens, occupied by his mother and sisters, engaged with whatever may be Kensington's substitutes at the moment for the spinet and the tambour frame; and he had a disturbed sense that they might characterise such a statement differently, if, indeed, they would consent to characterise it at all. He looked at the wall as if, being a solid and steadfast object, it might correct the qualm—it was really something like that—which the wide ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... reciprocal as his dealings with his fellow citizens. But on the other hand though the existence of the gods is never doubted for a moment, the gods themselves are an unknown quantity; hence out of the formal relationship an intimacy never developed, and while it is scarcely just to characterise the early cult as exclusively a religion of fear, certainly real affection is not present until a much later day. The potentiality of the gods always overshadowed their personality. But this was not all loss, for the absence of personality ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... in bud fold up somewhat in the same manner as those of the Celsia, but on expansion they appear widely different; their shape indeed then becomes truly singular, resembling a half-formed imperfect corolla, its filaments are short and want the hairs which in part characterise the Celsia; its seed-vessels also are far from being round: its antherae are large and close together, somewhat like those of the Solanum, and there is so little of inequality in them, that few students would be induced to refer its ...
— The Botanical Magazine, Vol. 6 - Or, Flower-Garden Displayed • William Curtis

... a Chinese chair at Columbia University naturally suggests the acquisition of a good Chinese library. At the University of Cambridge, England, there is what I can only characterise as an ideal Chinese library. It was not bought off-hand in the market,—such a collection indeed would never come into the market,—but the books were patiently and carefully brought together by my ...
— China and the Chinese • Herbert Allen Giles

... which I have endeavoured to characterise was now to be thrown into the vortex of the revolutionary wars. The surpassing dramatic interest of the French Revolution has tended to obscure our perception of the continuity of even English history. It has been easy ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... so suspiciously before us.[61] An approximation to the truth may be obtained if, rejecting as improbable the accusations of devil-worship and its concomitant rites which, invented to amuse the vulgar, characterise the proceedings, we admit the probability of a secret understanding with the Turks, or the possibility of infidelity to the religion of Christ. Their destruction had been predetermined; the slender element of truth might soon be exaggerated and confounded with ...
— The Superstitions of Witchcraft • Howard Williams

... of which, Mr Shaw seems to think, they scarcely grow at all. We need not here go through the entire detail of these experiments.[23] In October (twenty-one months) they measured six inches in length, and had lost those lateral bars, or transverse markings, which characterise the general family in their early state. At this period they greatly resembled certain varieties of the common river-trout, and the males had now attained the age of sexual completion, although none of the females had matured the roe. This physiological ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various



Words linked to "Characterise" :   distinguish, differentiate, characterisation, qualify, character, characterize, mark, stamp, remember, define, think of, individuate



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