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Characteristic   /kˌɛrəktərˈɪstɪk/   Listen
Characteristic

noun
1.
A prominent attribute or aspect of something.  Synonym: feature.  "Generosity is one of his best characteristics"
2.
A distinguishing quality.
3.
The integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2.
4.
Any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions.  Synonym: device characteristic.



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"Characteristic" Quotes from Famous Books



... who are better taught, in the streets of London. But acts of indelicacy are nevertheless very rare amongst the mountain tribes. I have seen Arab women at other occasions, on a cold day, standing athwart a smoking fire, with all the smoke ascending under their clothes. This may be expected, and is characteristic of the filthy habits of these wretched mountaineers. But cases of adultery are unknown amongst these ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... fair sex extended even to a dead queen. The record of this royal salute on his natal day is very characteristic. The story told him in Westminster Abbey appears to have been correct; for Neale informs us ("History of Westminster Abbey," vol. ii., p. 88) that near the south side of Henry V.'s tomb there was formerly a wooden chest, or coffin, ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... Maid's Tragedy.—One characteristic of the excellent old poets is, their being able to bestow grace upon subjects which naturally do not seem susceptible of any. I will mention two instances. Zelmane in the Arcadia of Sidney, and Helena in the All's Well that Ends Well of Shakspeare. ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... her two daughters quietly. Her emotions at seeing them go she concealed under that sweet, gentle reserve which was characteristic of ...
— The Fire People • Ray Cummings

... from the fire to Sheba. It was characteristic of him that he plunged straight at what he wanted ...
— The Yukon Trail - A Tale of the North • William MacLeod Raine

... talked with his hands, using his fingers to accentuate his words, and the way in which he shrugged his shoulders—the shrug of a Frenchman, although not a drop of their blood could be found in his veins—and in the quick lifting of the hand and the sidelong glance of the eye, all so characteristic of Richard when some new thought or theory reached his brain for the first time. Gradually and unconsciously she began to compare each feature of Oliver's face with that of the father who stood beside him: the alert blue, eyes; overhanging brow and soft silkiness of the hair—identically the name, ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... prevail, called the dry or east monsoon, is slightly warmer than the remaining six months which make up the rainy season. The heaviest rainfall is in the months of December, January, and February. The chief characteristic of the climate of Java is, therefore, not so much its heat as its equability: it is rarely wet all day long even in the wet season, and at least one shower may be expected each day ...
— A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore • W. Basil Worsfold

... much beyond those of a battle, that the loss of life, when the St. George, the Defence, and the Hero, were wrecked in the North Seas, in 1811, was far greater than that on the part of the English in any naval action of late years. In order to place the qualities of obedience and endurance—so characteristic of the British seaman—in the strongest light, and to show by contrast that the possession of them is the greatest security in danger, whilst the want of them ensures destruction, I commend the following statement to the attention of all who ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... It was characteristic of him that, having worked out his problem, he wasted no thought on futile regret or selfish repining at the fortune which had smiled on her. It should smile on him, too, and then, and not till then, he would ...
— The Fifth Ace • Douglas Grant

... been silenced by some sceptical bystander with the well-known quotation from a popular beast-fable: "'What has become of all the cats?' inquired the drunken mouse." Of the Caucasian beast-fables the following is a characteristic specimen: ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... which established themselves between Palstrey and The Kennel Farm were marked by two characteristic features. One of these was that Lord Walderhurst did not develop any warmer interest in the Osborns, and that Lady Walderhurst did. Having acceded to Emily's wishes, and really behaved generously in the matter of providing for his heir presumptive and his wife, Lord Walderhurst felt impelled ...
— Emily Fox-Seton - Being The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... a slight whimsical droop at the corner of his mouth as he spoke, which might have been thought characteristic of him. He was an odd-looking boy, not ill-made, though very thin and not tall. His pallor was clear and even, as though constitutional; the features were delicate, almost childlike, but they were ...
— The Conquest of Canaan • Booth Tarkington

... was sent to school and, "then sent back again," to use his own words. He was restive under what he called the "iron discipline." A number of years ago, he spoke of these early educational beginnings in phrases so picturesque and so characteristic that they ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... but with characteristic decision and wholly without excitement. Jack jumped, and threw back his head as if he had received a blow across the mouth. Swift ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... developments result from the wearing of the horn-like trimmings either in velvet or jet. If the face above which they flare has less of the spiritual than the coarse propensities in it, the grotesque turns and twists in the head-gear emphasize the animality in the lines characteristic of low-bred tendencies, and the whole countenance is vulgarized. One face acquires the look of a fox, another of a certain type of dog, and ...
— What Dress Makes of Us • Dorothy Quigley

... voluntarily attended by the principal Orators of the country with whom I renewed my rhetorical Exercises. The chief of them was Menippus of Stratonica, the most eloquent of all the Asiatics: and if to be neither tedious nor impertinent is the characteristic of an Attic Orator, he may be justly ranked in that class. Dionysius also of Magnesia, Aeschilus of Cnidos, and Xenocles of Adramyttus, who were esteemed the first Rhetoricians of Asia, were continually with me. Not contented with ...
— Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker. • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... vivid vignettes of the countryside which Mr. Fox knows so well, told with the utmost economy of speech and with a fine sense of atmospheric values. These stories are a happy illustration of the better regionalism that is characteristic of contemporary American fiction, and like "Ommirandy" will prove valuable records to a later generation of a life that even now is ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... was built by the bishop himself in 1520. Its style is not unlike the chantry of Bishop Fox at Winchester with octagonal shafts, (similar to those of the Salisbury Chapel at Christchurch,) which impart a semi-Oriental touch that is so characteristic of this final development of Gothic art. The images it once enshrined are lost, but the original rich colouring is still distinguishable on the fan tracery of the roof. The arms and initials of its founder ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the See of Sarum • Gleeson White

... come the twentieth of July," said he. His eyes were on hers, his characteristic smile on his lips. It was a challenge ...
— Tristram of Blent - An Episode in the Story of an Ancient House • Anthony Hope

... Adelaide Lacey in the paper, with her hair done this way. She's going to marry a duke, you know." It was characteristic of Rosetta Muriel thus to excuse her lapse into simplicity, but though the ingenuous explanation was the truth, it was not the whole truth. Even Rosetta Muriel was not quite the same girl for having come in contact ...
— Peggy Raymond's Vacation - or Friendly Terrace Transplanted • Harriet L. (Harriet Lummis) Smith

... faded roses of the chintz, the delicate curve of her cheek towards him, as she swayed gently back and forth and seemed to gaze peacefully out of the window at the hollyhocks blooming against the green hill. It was characteristic of the man's dreams that the girl's face in them was turned a little from him. She never saw him when he entered, she never broke the sweet silence of her own dreams within dreams, for him, and he never, even in dreams, touched the soft curve of that averted cheek, or even ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... necessity of this truism, that if our painters and sculptors would not be mere imitators of the exponents of another age, there would be soon established a national school of art. We do not mean by this a mere conventional type in finish and mode of treatment, but certain marked, characteristic excellences and features that would identify it with the history of our country and the peculiarities of our people. There are a few native artists who have struggled to achieve this consummation, and preeminent among these is Erastus D. ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol V. Issue III. March, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... about 5.30, and lay awake reading. I had drawn the blinds up, but kept the candle in as long as it was required. At intervals between twenty minutes to six o'clock and ten minutes past I heard the sounds characteristic of No. 8., viz., footsteps of a man, and pattering of a dog. Miss Moore awoke, and heard the later sounds. About 6.10 we both heard the thud, which seems to occur generally beyond the wardrobe nearer ...
— The Alleged Haunting of B—— House • Various

... figure and a face with the contours and expression, the fresh color, of a pleasant and apple-like boy; and Peyton. They had been at their university together; and, Lee Randon saw, they were making, with a characteristic masculine innocence, an effort to secure their wives in the same bond of ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US and the third-largest economy in the world after the US and China, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. One notable characteristic of the economy has been how manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors have worked together in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment ...
— The 2008 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... life to the language—so also it gives repose to the action; but it is that beautiful and lofty repose which is the characteristic of a true work of art. For the mind of the spectator ought to maintain its freedom through the most impassioned scenes; it should not be the mere prey of impressions, but calmly and severely detach itself from the emotions which it suffers. The commonplace objection ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... the need of defense in immemorial cities on the east and south shores of the Mediterranean, was carried thence by the Moors to Spain, to go in turn with the conquerors of the New World, and became a characteristic of the civic and ecclesiastical architecture of Latin America. Hence it is not without meaning and reason that this historic architectural form, the blank exterior of the walled city, has found its finest ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... letter, on evil in general, he observes, that, "it is the solution of this important question, whence came evil? alone, that can ascertain the moral characteristic of God, without which there is an end of all distinction between good and evil." Yet he begins this inquiry by this declaration: "That there is a supreme being, infinitely powerful, wise, and benevolent, the great creator and preserver of all things, is a truth ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... 1902, he entered the office as assistant editor of Outing. Here was a new field and another opportunity for testing his fitness. He threw himself into the work with characteristic energy and enthusiasm, and his influence on the magazine was marked from the first. He soon succeeded in projecting into it something of his own passionately human personality. In the fall of that year a noted angler commented to him on the change ...
— A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador • Mina Benson Hubbard (Mrs. Leonidas Hubbard, Junior)

... take place? How, and through what transitions? Have no books ever treated of this subject in England? Have none of your great writers, philosophers, politicians, or historians, ever noticed this characteristic and pregnant fact, tried to account for it, and ...
— Correspondence & Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834 to 1859, Vol. 2 • Alexis de Tocqueville

... paragons of diligence and promise. In their school books and college text books everything German was lauded in the superlative; everything foreign was decried as inferior, undesirable. Nearly every human discovery, invention, improvement, was somehow traced to a Teuton origin. Even characteristic German vices were held to be better than many virtues in ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... progress was slow through the scrub and trees in the darkness, but little relieved by the light of a waning moon. Feeling sure that I had gone far enough, I was preparing to rest awhile and find our camp in the morning, when the welcome glow of a fire shot up through the branches. Jim and Paddy, with characteristic thought and resource, had climbed to the top of two tall and dead gum trees and there built fires, fanned by the fierce draught through the hollow trunks, knowing well at what a short distance ...
— Spinifex and Sand - Five Years' Pioneering and Exploration in Western Australia • David W Carnegie

... 'Robinson Crusoe,' have succeeded in passing themselves off for veritable narratives. The 'Memoirs of Captain Carleton' long passed for De Foe's, but the Captain has now gained admission to the biographical dictionary and is credited with his own memoirs. In either case, it is as characteristic that a genuine narrative should be attributed to De Foe, as that De Foe's narrative should be taken as genuine. An odd testimony to De Foe's powers as a liar (a word for which there is, unfortunately, no equivalent that does not imply ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... it for a chief characteristic of Captain Price— his quiet, unresting watchfulness. Forty years of sun and brine had bunched the puckers at the corners of his eyes and hardened the lines of his big brown face; but the outstanding thing about him was still that silent wariness, as of a man who had warning of something ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... the political balance, which had been the characteristic of its first two years; but its position was much changed. Since its last coup-d'etat, it could no longer be an impartial government, because it was no longer a constitutional government. With these pretensions of isolation, it dissatisfied every one. Yet it lived on in this way till ...
— History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 • F. A. M. Mignet

... the Veiled Being might be indicated without impropriety. Mr. Wells, as we have seen, hints that his reticence may be due to the fact that he does not know. In that case this "modern" God is suspiciously like all the ancient Gods, whose most unfortunate characteristic was that they never knew anything more than their worshippers. The reason was not far to seek—namely, that they were mere projections of the minds of these worshippers, fashioned in their own image. But Mr. Wells assures us that this is not the ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... justify it, but everything to condemn it. The person subject to it evinces a mind devoid of the breadth, strength, and independence characteristic of true manhood; and the sooner he disposes of rumour and ignorance as the creator of words on his tongue, the better for his reputation. Before he speaks of persons or things he will act wisely to "come and see" by ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... market-place, reminded me more of the shady groves of Oxford than of anything which I have observed on the Continent. Count Thun, moreover, having visited England, and seen and justly appreciated, the magnificent parks which form the characteristic charm of our scenery, seems willing, as far as the different situations of the two countries will allow, to walk in our foot-steps. He has enclosed a rich meadow that runs by the bank of the Elbe, and treats it as his demesne. All this is the more ...
— Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary, Visited in 1837. Vol. II • G. R. Gleig

... literary studies, according to Professor Gates, is the appreciative critic; and he it is who shall fulfill the true function of criticism. He is to consider the work of art in its historical setting and its psychological origin, "as a characteristic moment in the development of human spirit, and as a delicately transparent illustration of aesthetic law." But, "in regarding the work of art under all these aspects, his aim is, primarily, not to explain, and not to judge or dogmatize, but to enjoy; to realize ...
— The Psychology of Beauty • Ethel D. Puffer

... for the information about Gray's Ode, I send an entertaining and very characteristic circumstance told in Mrs. Bigg's (anonymous) Residence in France (edited ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 32, June 8, 1850 • Various

... earlier disturbances in Spain a party of Carlists were sent to the Philippine Islands; they were welcomed by the reactionary Spaniards, for devotion to King Carlos had been their characteristic ever since the days when Queen Isabel had taken the throne that in their opinion belonged to the heir in the male line. Rizal frequently makes mention of this disloyalty to the ruler of Spain on the part of those who claimed to be most ...
— Lineage, Life, and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot • Austin Craig

... churchyard where we had left the old man's unlamented grave, and Paragot, as usual, was washing his throat with beer. It must be noted, not to his glorification, that about this time a chronic dryness began to be the main characteristic of Paragot's throat, and the only humectant that seemed to be of no ...
— The Beloved Vagabond • William J. Locke

... The New Chemical Light (17th century) says: "Simplicity is the seal of truth.... Nature is wonderfully simple, and the characteristic mark of a childlike simplicity is stamped upon all that is true and noble in Nature." In another place the same author says: "Nature is one, true, simple, self-contained, created of God, and informed with ...
— The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry • M. M. Pattison Muir

... the low eastern plains, and when now tempted down by high wages to the gold-washings, they suffer a frightful rate of mortality. Nevertheless Mr. Forbes found a few pure families which had survived during two generations: and he observed that they still inherited their characteristic peculiarities. But it was manifest, even without measurement, that these peculiarities had all decreased; and on measurement, their bodies were found not to be so much elongated as those of the men on the high plateau; whilst their femora had ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... a moment. Unequivocal as the confession was, Miss Rebecca, reluctant to believe her ears, asked with characteristic bluntness: ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant

... a curious, old-world picture that the two children made, but the scene was quite characteristic of the age. ...
— Historic Boyhoods • Rupert Sargent Holland

... should have mentioned it," said the doctor above his soup plate. The rudeness of the reply was characteristic ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... Love.—This is the highest and most distinctive feature of the divine personality. It is the sum of all the others; as well as the special characteristic of the Fatherhood of God as revealed by Christ. 'God is love' is the crowning statement of the Gospel and the fullest expression of the divine nature. The essential of all love is self-giving; and the peculiarity of God's love is the communication and imparting ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... proceed to discuss the types of aliphatic compounds; then, the characteristic groupings having been established, an epitome of their derivatives will be given. Carbocyclic rings will next be treated, benzene and its allies in some detail; and finally ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1 - "Chtelet" to "Chicago" • Various

... our literature, the wretched Guido, at the point of death, cries out in the last extremity not upon God or the Virgin, but upon his innocent and murdered wife—"Abate,—Cardinal,—Christ,—Maria,—God, ... Pompilia, will you let them murder me?" Thus we can imagine Browning, with his characteristic perception of the profound significance of a circumstance or a single word even, having written of the knocking at the door in "Macbeth," or having used, with all its marvellous cumulative effect, ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... with a good grace, though she seemed dejected and sad. As they were leaving the Tournelles, she stopped to let Mary go before her, saying, "Pass on, madame; it is your turn to take precedence now." Mary went before her, but she stopped in her turn, with a sweetness of disposition so characteristic of her, to let Queen Catharine enter first into the carriage which awaited them at ...
— Mary Queen of Scots, Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... can only be judged by noting how far it has succeeded in reproducing the original tone, colors, style, the delicacy of sentiment, the force of inert strength, the peculiar expressions native to the language with which the original is written, or whatever is its marked characteristic. The ablest can do no more, and to want more than this will be demanding something impossible. Strictly speaking, the only way one can derive full benefit or enjoyment from a foreign work is to read the original, for any ...
— Botchan (Master Darling) • Mr. Kin-nosuke Natsume, trans. by Yasotaro Morri

... invited forty people to hear Mrs. Farrinder speak, and now Mrs. Farrinder wouldn't speak. But she had such a beautiful reason for it! There was something martial and heroic in her pretext, and, besides, it was so characteristic, so free, that Miss Birdseye was quite consoled, and wandered away, looking at her other guests vaguely, as if she didn't know them from each other, while she mentioned to them, at a venture, the excuse for their disappointment, confident, evidently, that they would agree with her ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... generally cut their way have, for the most part, been the beds of immense natural lakes;[17] and there rivers sink so deep into their beds, and leave such ghastly chasms and ravines on either side, that their waters are hardly ever available in due season for irrigation. It is this characteristic of the rivers of Central India that makes such lakes so valuable to the people, particularly in seasons of drought.[l8] The river Nerbudda has been known to rise seventy feet in the course of a couple ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... was seated in his own comfortable arm-chair before the fire, in his own cheerful little parlour, in his own snug house, at Red River, with his own highly characteristic breakfast of buffalo steaks, tea, and pemmican before him, and his own beautiful, affectionate daughter Kate presiding over the tea-pot, and exercising unwarrantably despotic sway over a large gray cat, whose sole happiness seemed to consist in subjecting Mr. Kennedy ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... that knowledge should not arise when its means, i.e. the texts conveying knowledge, are once present. And we observe that even when there exists an antagonistic imagination (interfering with the rise of knowledge), information given by competent persons, the presence of characteristic marks (on which a correct inference may be based), and the like give rise to knowledge which sublates the erroneous imagination. Nor can we admit that even after the sense of texts has been apprehended, the view of plurality may continue owing ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... his chimney corner or tended his cattle. Few thought of fertilizing their land; terracing against rains and floods was almost unknown, and for most farmers plowing was done up and down the hills, which only hastened the washing-away process so characteristic of the Southern agriculture. Very few farmers thought it worth while to rotate their crops when fresh lands were to be had at a few dollars an acre. The area of the United States seemed limitless, and hardly a tenth of its ...
— Expansion and Conflict • William E. Dodd

... the time when he should realize his ambition to work beside his father in the glass factory. Maria, too, was growing up: already her fingers were almost as deft as her mother's in making lace, under whose guidance she could even fashion the beautiful roses, the special characteristic of Venetian point. ...
— Chico: the Story of a Homing Pigeon • Lucy M. Blanchard

... hesitation. It was common enough for the pickets on either side to grow friendly both before and after those terrific but indecisive battles so characteristic of the Civil War, a habit in which the subordinate officers sometimes shared while those of a higher rank closed their eyes. It did no military injury, and contributed somewhat to the smoothness and grace of life. The thunder of the guns, each coming ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... characteristic. It was officered entirely by women; not a man was allowed to sit on the platform, to speak, or vote. Never did men so suffer. They implored just to say a word; but no; the President was inflexible—no man ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... have no longer the verisimilitude which is characteristic of the Phaedrus and the Timaeus, or even of the Statesman. We can hardly suppose that an educated Athenian would have placed the visit of Epimenides to Athens ten years before the Persian war, or have imagined that a war with Messene prevented the Lacedaemonians ...
— Laws • Plato

... tried, I presume that nitrogen is absorbed by the glands; but the modified, brownish, more or less shrunk, and aggregated contents of the oblong glands were never seen by me or by my son to undergo those spontaneous changes of form characteristic of protoplasm. On the other hand, the contents of the larger spherical glands often separated into small hyaline globules or irregularly shaped masses, which changed their forms very slowly and ultimately coalesced, forming a central shrunken ...
— Insectivorous Plants • Charles Darwin

... this, from an unwillingness to affront them, they were uneasy and dissatisfied till I had given them something in return, though their hands were full of the presents which I had just made them. Selfishness is, in fact, almost without exception their universal characteristic, and the main-spring of all their actions, and that, too, of a kind the most direct and unamiable that ...
— Journal of the Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West Passage • William Edward Parry

... case with the brutes or not, something quite different occurs in us. No particular experience can satisfy us; we accordingly say, not "I am an experience," but "I have an experience." To be able to throw off the bondage of the moment is the distinctive characteristic of a person. When Shelley watches the skylark, he envies him his power of whole-heartedly seizing a momentary joy. Then turning to himself, and feeling that his own condition, if broader, is on that very account more liable to ...
— The Nature of Goodness • George Herbert Palmer

... common characteristic by which the NORMAN style is distinguished, is the semicircular or segmental arch, though this is to be met with also in the rare specimens of Anglo-Saxon masonry; but the Norman arches were more scientifically constructed: in their early state, indeed, quite plain, but generally concentric, ...
— The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed. • Matthew Holbeche Bloxam

... believed to be a divine elephant who takes this course through the heavens. The elephant eats so much grain that only a comparatively rich man can afford to keep one; and hence it is easy to understand how the attribute of plenty or of wealth was associated with the divine elephant as his special characteristic. Similarly the rat is connected with overflowing granaries, because when there is much corn in a Hindu house or store-shed there will be many rats; thus a multitude of rats implied a rich household, and so this animal too came to be a symbol ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II • R. V. Russell

... barbarism disappear. Everything would bear witness to this barbarism to whosoever should look closely. One would see that the number vingt comes from viginti, and that formerly this g and this t were pronounced with a roughness characteristic of all the northern nations; of the month of Augustus has been made the month of aout. Not so long ago a German prince thinking that in France one never pronounced the term Auguste otherwise, called King Auguste of Poland ...
— Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary • Voltaire

... rather annoyed by Mimi's tears, but in his dangerous characteristic desire to please, he could not keep kindness out of his tone, and Mimi, reassured and comforted, began feebly to smile, and also Mr. Prohack remarked that her mouth ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... through this summer better than the last, for his bodily frame had long been affected by the increased amount of toil in an ungenial atmosphere, and every access of cold weather had told on him in throat and chest attacks, which, with characteristic buoyancy, he would not believe serious. He never deemed himself aught but 'better,' and the invalid habits that crept on him by stealth, always seemed to his brave spirit consequent on a day's extra fatigue, or the last attention to a departing cough. Alas! when every ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... p. 285. "Insensible of the designs now forming by Philip."—Goldsmith's Greece, ii, 48. "The improved edition now publishing."—BP. HALIFAX: Pref. to Butler. "The present tense expresses an action now doing."—Emmons's Gram., p. 40. The distinguishing characteristic of this participle is, that it denotes an unfinished and progressive state of the being, action, or passion; it is therefore properly denominated the IMPERFECT participle. If the term were applied with ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... people, the railroad runs its trains for them. If there are only a few, though they be heroes and prophets, Dantes, Savonarolas, and George Washingtons, trains shall not be run for them. The railroad is the characteristic property and symbol of property in this modern age, and the entire value of a railroad depends upon its getting control of a crowd—either a crowd that wants to be where some other crowd is, or a crowd that wants a great many tons of something ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... therefore to read sive here, as did Turn. Lamb. Dav. and others. Quam nos ... probamus: cf. Introd. p. 62. Erit explicanda: for the separation of these words by other words interposed, which is characteristic of Cic., see 11, 17. I am surprised that Halm and Baiter both follow Ernesti in his hypercritical objection to the phrase explicare Academiam, and read erunt against the MSS., making illa plural. If erunt is read, erit must be supplied ...
— Academica • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... the subject invited Pennsylvania to furnish a block for the Washington Monument in this city, they asked also for a motto, to be inscribed upon it, which should express some idea characteristic of Pennsylvania. What was the motto selected in behalf of that great State? Did we go to Germantown and invoke the memories of the mighty dead? Did we ask the motto of Valley Forge? No, brothers, no! Pennsylvania stood by the side of the grave of Penn, the ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... insignificant. Indeed, his biographers have recorded the expression of his fancy in coats and small-clothes as patiently and enthusiastically as they have applauded his courage. And truly the love of magnificence, which he shares with all artists, is sincere and characteristic. When an accomplice of Jonathan Wild's robbed Lady M——n at Windsor, his equipage cost him forty pounds; and Nan Hereford was arrested for shoplifting at the very moment that four footmen awaited her return with ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... fully aware that a decisive battle would soon take place. Melas was rapidly, from all points, concentrating his army. The following laconic and characteristic order was issued by the First Consul to Lannes and Murat: "Gather your forces at the river Stradella. On the 8th or 9th at the latest, you will have on your hands fifteen or eighteen thousand Austrians. Meet them, and cut them to pieces. It will be so many ...
— Napoleon Bonaparte • John S. C. Abbott

... praise of ancestors—all these were not primitive customs in Rome, but were borrowed from the Greeks at a very early period, for in Cato's time these usages were already common and had in fact partly fallen into disuse again. We must therefore place their introduction in this period at the latest. A characteristic feature also was the erection of statues to "the wisest and the bravest Greek" in the Roman Forum, which took place by command of the Pythian Apollo during the Samnite wars. The selection fell—evidently ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... January, 1854, will be published, price Twopence, the First of a Series of Works, entitled ORR'S CIRCLE OF THE SCIENCES; consisting of Short Treatises on the Fundamental Principles and Characteristic Features of Scientific and Practical Pursuits. With ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 213, November 26, 1853 • Various

... promised. All the suffrage societies were working harmoniously for the same Bill and the Women's Liberal Federation were cooperating with the suffrage societies, when suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, Mr. Asquith dealt us a characteristic blow. In reply to a deputation from the People's Suffrage Federation early in November he announced his intention of introducing during the coming session of 1912 the Electoral Reform Bill which he had foreshadowed in 1908; ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI • Various

... mentioned show that to mere curiosity, the characteristic passion of our sex and so often its ruin, I am to ascribe the introduction, which was only prevented by events unparalleled in history from proving the most fortunate in my life as it is the most ...
— The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete • Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe

... hooked inwards: now, in rude sculpture, and even in some of the best of the Egyptians, we find little attempt at giving a character of decided variation; but, on the contrary, we see the foot split up with toes of an equal length and thickness; while, in Greek sculpture, these points characteristic of man are increased, that the affinity to animals may be diminished. In the Greek marbles, the great toe is large and apart from the others, where the strap of the sandal came; while the others gradually diminish ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXVIII. February, 1843. Vol. LIII. • Various

... results when they came to the adjoining Moki reservation. Here, however, they were happily disappointed, for they arrived at the pueblo of Oraibi, one of the prettiest villages on the mesa, on the eve of one of their characteristic snake dances, and decided to remain over night and see the performance. Now I am not sure but the "Snake Dance" was so opportune because Uncle John had a private interview with the native chieftain, at which the head Snake Priest and the head ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces and Uncle John • Edith Van Dyne

... curious characteristic of the press comments and magazine articles and book studies of the War during these months that while varied fighting was going on in the various Colonies of these Powers and in the case of Great Britain, notably, ...
— A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study - of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict • Logan Marshall

... best describe the characteristic quality of Four Blind Mice (LANE) as geniality. The scene of it is Burmah—astonishing, when you consider the host of novels about the rest of India, that so few should employ this equally picturesque setting—and it is quickly apparent that what Mr. C.C. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 15, 1920 • Various

... My Uncle Toby, if of any man, it might have been predicted that he would not hurt a fly. To me this trivial action of his is more than merely sentimental. But, be this as it may, I am sure it is honestly characteristic. ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... his mother attended evenings in his company, it was enough for him to recite a fable or get off some piece of learning characteristic of a studious child eager to bring his school work into the conversation, for the women to rush upon him ...
— The Torrent - Entre Naranjos • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... is a mistake for the pupil to narrow his purchase to a very few foods such as meat, potatoes, and pastry. Too often pupils get in the habit of choosing foods which furnish too little variety in composition. Learning to like many different foods is a characteristic one should strive to develop. When one abolishes food prejudices and "eats everything" that is wholesome, the possibility of securing a well-balanced meal to meet the needs ...
— School and Home Cooking • Carlotta C. Greer

... ego vel victor regno, vel morte tenebo Victus, humum.——The speeches (de Bell. Get. 479-549) of the Gothic Nestor, and Achilles, are strong, characteristic, adapted to the circumstances; and possibly not less genuine ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... quarter of the globe. This plan of a monarch's purchasing his own ransom and peace for his realm from a band of roaming robbers, by offering the leader of them his daughter for a wife, however strange to our ideas, was very characteristic of the times. Imogena must have found it a hard alternative to choose between such a husband and ...
— King Alfred of England - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... oppression and retaliation, though characteristic in the sense that they reveal the worst faults and the best excuses of the communal movement, were happily exceptional in Northern France; not because oppression was rare, but because rebellions defeated their own object. No seignorial concessions ...
— Medieval Europe • H. W. C. Davis

... Referring to this address of Jove, Coleridge remarks: "Although the supremacy of Jove comes far short of the true conception of almighty power, the characteristic point which seems to be fairly established is, that he is the active and ruling power of the popular mythology, the supreme and despotic chief of an aristocracy of weaker divinities, accustomed to consult with them and liable to their opposition and even violence, yet, upon ...
— The Iliad of Homer (1873) • Homer

... me) his astonishment that the Prime Minister should hold such language, and that, if he had an ambassador who was likely to act in such a manner so much at variance with his political views, he did not recall him or supersede him by a special mission. This, however, was very characteristic of Melbourne; and I told Clarendon, urging him to insist that some positive understanding should be come to, upon the conduct to be adopted by Ponsonby. There can be no doubt that Palmerston and Ponsonby between them will do all they can to embroil ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... directed by a grace that could neither be taught nor imitated. If any defect could be discovered in her face, it consisted in a somewhat undue thickness of the lips, especially of the lower lip, which had for some generations been the prevailing characteristic of her family. ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... adherents of the Reformed Dutch and German churches, and even a few Episcopalians. About the beginning of the nineteenth century sectarian ascendancy passed to the Methodists and Baptists, whose ranks were rapidly recruited by means of one of the most curious and characteristic of backwoods institutions, the camp-meeting "revival." The years 1799 and 1800 brought the first of the several great waves of religious excitement by which the West—especially Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee was periodically swept until ...
— The Old Northwest - A Chronicle of the Ohio Valley and Beyond, Volume 19 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Frederic Austin Ogg

... trembling like a captured bird. He threw up his office. Nature, in her indifference, or perhaps her irony, implants in people all sorts of faculties and tendencies utterly inconsistent with their means and their position in society; with her characteristic care and love she had moulded of Tihon, the son of a poor clerk, a sensuous, indolent, soft, impressionable creature—a creature fitted exclusively for enjoyment, gifted with an excessively delicate sense of smell and of taste...she had moulded him, ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Volume II • Ivan Turgenev

... brightest blue. Maraton watched them, at first idly and then with interest. Lady Elisabeth, in her cool muslin gown and simple hat, seemed to be moving in a world of her own, into which her companion's chatter but rarely penetrated. She walked with a slow and delicate grace, not without a characteristic touch of languor. Once or twice she looked around her—one might almost have imagined that she was seeking escape from her companion—and on one of these occasions her eyes met Maraton's. She stopped short. They were within a few feet of one another, and Maraton rose to his feet. She lowered ...
— A People's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... some form of public service by doing it as he went along has always been Ames' strongest characteristic. He had eyes for the homely, sometimes mean, job under his nose. There was an evangelism about him. Why? Because he was a citizen. Where did he live? In Montreal. No man can be a reforming citizen in Montreal unless he has plenty ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... and irregular streets. We found a cathedral there, not very large, but with a high and venerable interior, a nave supported by tall pillars, from the height of which spring arches. This loftiness is characteristic of French churches, as distinguished from those of Italy. . . . . We likewise saw, close by the cathedral, a large monument with four arched entrances meeting beneath a vaulted roof; but, on inquiry of an old priest and other persons, we could get ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... distinction can only be comprehended upon this basis. Shakespeare put no construction upon life, and by virtue of this very reserve accomplished an art of surpassing fidelity and vividness. The absence of philosophy in Shakespeare, and the presence of the most characteristic quality of his genius, may both be imputed by the one affirmation, that there is no ...
— The Approach to Philosophy • Ralph Barton Perry

... small dinners I had such a characteristic answer from an English diplomatist, who had been ambassador at St. Petersburg. He was really a charming talker, but wouldn't speak French. That was of no consequence as long as he only talked to me, but naturally all the people ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... history through a mutual friend, he decided, with his usual characteristic impulse, that here was the very man for him—a gentleman by birth, rumored to be an excellent scholar,—and he at once offered him the post he had in view,—that of private secretary at a salary of 200 pounds per annum. ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... two typical groups of ruins, viz, that of Canyon de Chelly, in northeastern Arizona, and that of the Chaco Canyon, of New Mexico; but it has been necessary for the writer to make occasional reference to these ruins in the present paper, both in the discussion of general arrangement and characteristic ground plans, embodied in Chapters II and III and in the comparison by constructional details treated in Chapter IV, in order to define clearly the relations of the various features of pueblo architecture. They belong to the same pueblo system illustrated by the villages of Tusayan and Cibola, ...
— Eighth Annual Report • Various

... the Athenaeum for these piquancies: they are in the right true Attic vein, and are therefore characteristic of that ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19, Issue 529, January 14, 1832 • Various

... proper delay, the king made his appearance in all the paraphernalia of African court-dress. A few fathoms of check girded his loins, while a blue shirt and red waistcoat were surmounted by a dragoon's cap with brass ornaments. His countenance was characteristic of Ethiopia and royalty. A narrow forehead retreated rapidly till it was lost in the crisp wool, while his eyes were wide apart, and his prominent cheek-bones formed the base of an inverted cone, ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... in greater amounts, in the skins of races who live in or near the tropics, gives rise to the characteristic coloring of the black, brown, and yellow races. The pigment, or coloring matter, is of exactly the same kind in all, from the negro to the white. The brown race having a little less of it than the negro, the yellow race a little less yet, and the white least of all, ...
— A Handbook of Health • Woods Hutchinson

... scurvy became developed at the end of January; and a few of several cases of cutaneous eruption under treatment at the time closely resembled the symptoms characteristic of that disease. the only anti-scorbutic dietary available, viz.,—preserved meats and potatoes, compressed vegetables and lemon juice, was issued at once, and continued on the salt-meat days for three weeks, when all the indications of scurvy having disappeared, the ...
— The Overland Expedition of The Messrs. Jardine • Frank Jardine and Alexander Jardine

... It was characteristic of Kate that she demanded the love and loyalty of her betrayed lover to the bitter end, false and heartless though she had been. The coquette in her played with him even now in the midst of the bitter pain she must have known she was inflicting. No word of ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... are a striking characteristic: they are palmated or flattened out like shovels, while along the edge rise the points or antlers. The width from horn to horn at their tops is often more than four feet, and the breadth of a single one, antlers included, is frequently above thirty inches. A single pair ...
— The Hunters' Feast - Conversations Around the Camp Fire • Mayne Reid

... characteristic of Dr. Latham's style is one that fits it admirably for the popular treatment of such topics. He is sparing of words, and goes direct to his point—expressing clearly and shortly all he has to say, and dwelling upon each part of his subject only so long as to shew ...
— The Ethnology of the British Islands • Robert Gordon Latham

... in characteristic language expressed his opinion of the whole Jensen tribe, while Harry calmly glanced through some letters ...
— The Calling Of Dan Matthews • Harold Bell Wright

... "The Young Man," Mr. William T. Stead hit off the prominent characteristic of the hero's life when he said: "General Gordon taught the world that it is possible to be good without being goody-goody. That it is possible to live like a Christ and to die like a Christ for your fellow-men, without going out of the world ...
— General Gordon - A Christian Hero • Seton Churchill

... gangway, where the children made a nest for themselves in a coil of rope, and the father and mother, she suckling the youngest, discussed family affairs as peaceably as if they were in perfect retirement. I think the most noticeable characteristic in the eight hundred as a mass, was their exemption ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... it. To come across anything with the slightest claims to literary merit, was so unusual, that this was a perfect feast to me. The brilliancy of the book, the succession of capital hits, lively and characteristic sketches, kept me in a constant state of pleasing sensations. It was far too good for a sailor. I could not expect such fine times to ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... the country; had had fears and doubts on the subject of his comfort. He was disturbed, as it were, only FOR him, and had positively gone away to ease him off, to let him down—if it wasn't indeed rather to screw him up—the more gently. Seeing him now fairly jaded he had come, with characteristic good humour, all the way to meet him, and what Strether thereupon supremely made out was that he would abound for him to the end in conscientious assurances. This was what was between them while the visitor remained; so far from having to go over old ground he ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... relief or sympathy? It must be in the general expression of his features, which seemed made only to mirror the emotions of a soul full of vitality and purpose—a soul which, if clouded by wrongs and embittered by heavy memories, possessed at least the characteristic of force and the charm ...
— The Forsaken Inn - A Novel • Anna Katharine Green

... as well hear this, all of you, since I've called you to a council of war. I want you to realize"—and she gave each of us a look in turn: a lovely, characteristic "Mrs. Bal" look—"that I'm on my knees to you. I've thrown myself on your mercy. You've got to help me out. The truth is"—she began taking off her gloves and looking down at her own hands, her rings sparkling as the pink and white fingers were bared—"the truth is, I'm a little—a tiny ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... purpose to dwell further on incidents connected with the close of the war, as the book may be considered too long already. It only remains for me now to get all my people happy as soon as possible. Zany and Chunk 'make up,' and a good deal of their characteristic love-making will be worked in to relieve the rather sombre state of things at this stage. Whately returns with his empty sleeve, more of a hero than ever in his own eyes and his mother's. Miss Lou thinks him strangely thoughtful and considerate in keeping away, as he does, after a few short ...
— Miss Lou • E. P. Roe

... the demon of Socrates; the visions of Saint Anthony, and of many others; the vision which Lord Herbert of Cherbury describes himself to have seen; Colonel Gardiner's vision, as related in his life, written by Dr. Doddridge. All these may be accounted for by a momentary insanity; for the characteristic symptom of human madness is the rising up in the mind of images not distinguishable by the patient from impressions upon the senses. (Batty on Lunacy.) The cases, however, in which the possibility of this delusion exists are divided from the cases in which ...
— Evidences of Christianity • William Paley

... The little chick, for example, does not know the value of water when he sees it, as essential as water is to his life; but he depends upon imitation of his mother's drinking, or upon the mere accident of wetting his bill, to stimulate his partial instinct of drinking in the peculiar fashion characteristic of fowls, by throwing back the head. So in other functions which are peculiar to a species and upon which their very lives depend, we find the delicate adjustment between intelligent adaptation by conscious action and the partially formed ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... hope that a fine easterly breeze which had been blowing for some days would carry him well down channel and then chop round from the southward in good time to baffle his old friend during the passage of the Flying Cloud through the Downs. A somewhat curious and amusing characteristic of the friendly rivalry between the skippers was that, whilst each implicitly believed in his own ship, he affected a faith in the superior qualities of the other, and framed his remarks accordingly. So when the little farewell ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically-powerful economy in the world after the US and third-largest economy after the US and China. One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely-knit groups called keiretsu. A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... fertile imagination, of rhetorical and even poetical genius, and a powerful declaimer. Burr's ruling passion was an ardent love for military glory. Next to the career of arms, diplomacy, no doubt, would have been his choice, for which not only his courtly and fascinating manners, but every characteristic of his mind peculiarly adapted him. It is idle now to speculate upon what he might have been had Washington yielded to the importunities of Madison, Monroe, and others, and appointed him minister to the French republic. Our country, before which ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... every single thing you hear. The worst sin in a schoolgirl—at least, the worst minor sin—is to be breaking confidences. No schoolgirl with a shade of honor in her composition would ever do that, and certainly no girl trained at Haddo Court ought to be noted for such a characteristic. Now, Sibyl, you are no fool; and, when I talk to you, you are not to repeat things. I may possibly want to talk to you again, and then there'll be more chocolates and—and—other things; and as you are in the upper school, and are really quite a nice girl, I shouldn't be at all surprised ...
— Betty Vivian - A Story of Haddo Court School • L. T. Meade

... called Batrachians, as frogs or newts, which breathe, in the first stage, by gills, and afterward by gills and lungs, or by lungs only. The Batrachians, again, are the only exception to another great characteristic of the reptile class, the hard, dry covering of plates or scales. The reptiles all produce their young from eggs, or are "oviparous"—some hatch their eggs within the body, and produce their young alive, or are "ovo-viviparous." These are the characters belonging to all members of the reptile-class. ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... the Prometheus idea, it is not a man's senses, as in Tennyson's poem, but the outward necessity of things, the heavy and cruel powers of nature around him, that prove too much for his aspirations. In this respect the story is singularly characteristic of the Greek spirit. That spirit was always daring with truth, feeling the risks of knowledge and gladly taking them, passionately devoted to the love of knowledge for ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... The characteristic of Bontoc transportation is that the men invariably carry all their heavy loads on their shoulders, and the women as uniformly transport ...
— The Bontoc Igorot • Albert Ernest Jenks

... SHAHSTEAD (a gentleman of whose patronage he is proud) not a man you may take liberties with. For SCHEHERAZADE, taking mean advantage of a French agglomeration of letters which did not represent his name, to hail him as "JACK" was characteristic, and therefore undesirable. But, as everybody knows, DINARZADE, at the approach of each successive morning, was obliged to make this appeal to his brother, in order to circumvent the bloodthirsty designs of the Sultan (for particulars of which, see original). ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., December 27, 1890 • Various

... work, Nance threw herself into it with characteristic vehemence. Speed seemed to be the quality above all others that one must strive for, and speed she was determined ...
— Calvary Alley • Alice Hegan Rice



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