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Dullness   /dˈəlnəs/   Listen
Dullness

noun
(Written also dulness)
1.
The quality of being slow to understand.  Synonym: obtuseness.
2.
The quality of lacking interestingness.
3.
A lack of visual brightness.
4.
Lack of sensibility.  "Without him the dullness of her life crept into her work no matter how she tried to compartmentalize it."
5.
Without sharpness or clearness of edge or point.  Synonym: bluntness.



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"Dullness" Quotes from Famous Books



... law are partly due to the system of courts and partly to the dullness of court procedure. The inefficiency of the system of courts and judicial procedure is shown in the practical workings of the civil courts of New York City. The antiquated organization of all the courts is like a patchwork quilt ...
— The Man in Court • Frederic DeWitt Wells

... this is not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone: for always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.— How now, wit? ...
— As You Like It • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... and from outhouses, which to their smell are more fragrant than thyme. The approach and touch of these close up the interiors of their mind, and open the exteriors pertaining to the body, from which come their quickness in worldly things and their dullness in ...
— Spiritual Life and the Word of God • Emanuel Swedenborg

... Were I to aid your plans with a single penny in the hope of withdrawing one inhabitant of Glaston from the preaching of Mr. Wingfold, a man who speaks the truth and fears nobody, as I, alas! have feared you, because of your dullness of heart and slowness of understanding, I should be doing the body of Christ a grievous wrong. I have been as one beating the air in talking to you against episcopacy when I ought to have been preaching against dishonesty; ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... preceding symptom will generally be found, instead of that natural brilliance of expression in the eyes and countenance, an unnatural dullness and vacantness altogether foreign to childhood. This is ...
— Plain Facts for Old and Young • John Harvey Kellogg

... old men recommend, and say, that formerly their greatest chieftains observed a constant rule in their diet, and seldom ate of any animal of a gross quality, or heavy motion of body, fancying it conveyed a dullness through the whole system, and disabled them from exerting themselves with proper vigour in their martial, civil, and religious duties." The Zaparo Indians of Ecuador "will, unless from necessity, in most cases not eat any heavy meats, such as tapir and peccary, but confine themselves to birds, ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... Mirrors.—To clean a French mirror which has grown dull, rub with a cloth soaked in alcohol; follow this by rubbing with a dry cloth. The dullness will vanish, and the mirror will look like new. This method is used for cut glass with ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... anybody whom Georgiana Longestaffe had despised from her youth upwards it was George Whitstable. He had been a laughing-stock to her when they were children, had been regarded as a lout when he left school, and had been her common example of rural dullness since he had become a man. He certainly was neither beautiful nor bright;—but he was a Conservative squire born of Tory parents. Nor was he rich;—having but a moderate income, sufficient to maintain a moderate country house and no more. When first there came ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... not know how to answer, master. We are sure to see curious things, and for the last two months we have not had time for dullness. The last marvel is always the most astonishing; and, if we continue this progression, I do not know how it will end. It is my opinion that we shall never again see the like. I think then, with no offence to master, that a happy year would be one in ...
— Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea • Jules Verne

... went the price of food, and lower and lower sank the hopes of her people. Their momentary joy under the influence of such events as the Morgan reception was like the result of a stimulant or narcotic, quickly over and leaving the body lethargic and dull. But this dullness had in it ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... and spirit, and readiness for an encounter. To leave off contention before it is meddled with does not command any very general admiration; it is too quiet a virtue, with no striking attitudes, and with lips which answer nothing. This is too often mistaken for dullness, and want of proper spirit. It requires discernment and superior wisdom to see a beauty in such repose and self-control, beyond the explosions of anger and retaliation. With the multitude, self-restraining meekness under provocation is a virtue which ...
— Friends and Neighbors - or Two Ways of Living in the World • Anonymous

... moment as he asks his eyes glitter with a gleam of hope—when you shake your head he simply trudges on over the rocks and scrub with the same fatigued and sullen dullness which we all suffered. ...
— At Suvla Bay • John Hargrave

... said the queen, 'have not the courage to take the lead in the conversation; one cannot be very intellectual when sad at heart, and I fear my dullness ...
— Queen Hortense - A Life Picture of the Napoleonic Era • L. Muhlbach

... all the other passengers, and now that everyone was settled down and had got over the excitement of departure, they had time to greet one another. They were delighted to have Liza among them, for where she was there was no dullness. Her attention was first of all taken up by a young coster who had arrayed himself in the traditional costume—grey suit, tight trousers, and ...
— Liza of Lambeth • W. Somerset Maugham

... the ship, where none of the sentries were immediately placed, the object being to guard the access to the shore more especially. Once in the water he had only to strike out quietly for the shore, trusting the dullness of the sentries and the favoring darkness of the night to enable him to reach ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... the chief Beauties and Excellencies of David's Poetry will be omitted and lost, which if not reviv'd again, or recompenc'd by some lively or pathetic Expression in the English, will necessarily debase the Divine Song into Dullness and Contempt: And hereby also it becomes so far different from the inspired Words in the Original Languages, that it is very hard for any Man to say, {243} that the Version of Hopkins and Sternhold, the New-England or the Scots Psalms, are in a strict Sense the Word of God. Those ...
— A Short Essay Toward the Improvement of Psalmody • Isaac Watts

... without her. He lived the life of the human animals frequenting the society of their kind from a gregarious instinct, and for common yet opposing self-ends. He had begun to assume the staidness, if not dullness, of the animal whose first youth has departed, but he was only less frolicsome, not more human. He was settling down to what he had made himself; no virtue could claim a share in the diminished rampancy of his vices. What a society is that which will regard as reformed the man whom assuaging ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... very upright in her chair, "I confess to loneliness. The sameness of life in this castle oppresses me, and in its continuous dullness I grow old before my time. I wish to enjoy a month or two in Frankfort, and, as doubtless you have guessed, I send you forth as my ambassador to spy out ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... Jimmy, did not mean to allow his light to remain hidden, as May apparently intended it should be; consequently, dinner had scarcely begun before she started to draw him out scientifically, and, after the dullness of the last few days, her guest was not loath to talk. He was always interesting, but this time he was almost brilliant; and when Ethel gave the signal to the other ladies, she left the room feeling that ...
— People of Position • Stanley Portal Hyatt

... sure I wish he could! Anything to relieve this hideous dullness. What's the matter with him, ...
— Ladies-In-Waiting • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... pretend that this Work on Clothes entirely contents us; that it is not, like all works of genius, like the very sun, which, though the highest published creation, or work of genius, has nevertheless black spots and troubled nebulosities amid its effulgence,—a mixture of insight, inspiration, with dullness' double-vision, and even ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... in time! A new age is dawning, the people are marching on us all, a powerful, health-giving storm is gathering, it is drawing near, soon it will be upon us and it will drive away laziness, indifference, the prejudice against labour, and rotten dullness from our society. I shall work, and in twenty-five or thirty years, every man will have to work. ...
— Plays by Chekhov, Second Series • Anton Chekhov

... partly by luck and partly by his own effort. He was the sport of the forces that break out so ungovernably in this haphazard world. As the "high-browed gentleman living at Highbury" explains: "Nothing can better demonstrate the collective dullness of our community, the crying need for a strenuous, intellectual renewal, than the consideration of that vast mass of useless, uncomfortable, under-educated, under-trained, and altogether pitiable people we contemplate when we use that inaccurate and ...
— H. G. Wells • J. D. Beresford

... young people feel that they have the best of homes and yet that they will go crazy if they must remain in them. If the training of earlier years has been good, guidance by command may now safely give way to that by ideals, which are sure to be heroic. The one unpardonable thing for the adolescent is dullness, stupidity, lack of life, interest, and enthusiasm in school or teachers, and, perhaps above all, too great stringency. Least of all, at this stage, can the curriculum school be an ossuary. The child must now be taken into the family councils and find the parents interested in all that ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... merit they possessed. If a French painter lacked force and originality, he could at least portray with elegance and charm a group of fine ladies angling in an artificial pool. Elegance, indeed, redeemed the eighteenth century from imitative dullness and stupid ostentation: elegance expressed more often in perfumes, laces, and mahogany than in paint or marble. The silk-stockinged courtier accompanying his exquisitely perfect bow with a nicely worded compliment was surely as much an ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... end about three hundred shops signed up, but of these at least a hundred were lost during the first year. This was due, the workers say, partly to the terrible dullness in the trade following the strike, and partly to the fact that they ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... thing to him, clearly in the ear, that he may not fail to hear it: 'The morning may break grey, and the midday be dark and stormy; but the glory of the evening's sunset may wash out for ever the remembrance of the morning's dullness, and the darkness of the noon. So that all men shall say, 'Ah, for the beauty of that day!'—For the stream that has once descended there is no path upwards.—It is never too late for the ...
— Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland • Olive Schreiner

... be also social centers, places for "dates" and telephone flirtations and dalliance. Much of their doings was the merest silly time-killing, but generally the youthful patrons welcomed all this because it was a change from the empty dullness of homes that had missed the home secret, and from the still duller and wasting monotony ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... music nor cards, scandal nor love-making; no news of the fashions, no visits from silk-mercers or jewellers, no Monsu to curl her hair and tempt her with new lotions, or so much as a strolling soothsayer or juggler to lighten the dullness of the long afternoons. The only visitors to the castle were the mendicant friars drawn thither by the Marchioness's pious repute; and though Donna Laura disdained not to call these to her chamber ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... himself being used so lovingly for a sorrow which he was hardly feeling. But he said to himself that sorrow must come unbidden, and that it was no sorrow that was made with labour and intention. He was a little angered with himself for his dullness—but then song was so beautiful, that he could think of nothing else; he ...
— Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories - Reprinted from The Hill of Trouble and The Isles of Sunset • Arthur Christopher Benson

... bed. At night she did not sleep at all, but she never barked without sufficient cause, like some stupid house-dog, who, sitting on its hind-legs, blinking, with its nose in the air, barks simply from dullness, at the stars, usually three times in succession. No! Mumu's delicate little voice was never raised without good reason; either some stranger was passing close to the fence, or there was some suspicious sound or rustle somewhere. . . . In ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Russian • Various

... that does not fully account for his indifference to those philanthropies which his literary friends shared; for, as a party man, he was not zealous. His nature was torpid in all these ways; there was dullness of temperament, indifference to all except the one thing in which he truly lived, his artistic nature; and here he was an observer, using an objective method with as little indebtedness to personal experience as ever artist had. His reserve amounted to suppression; and, in fact, his personal life ...
— Nathaniel Hawthorne • George E. Woodberry

... we can imagine an artist confining himself to this single issue, relying on no finenesses outside it, then we might have a work of art which men and women, representing in other respects any degree of imagination and dullness, might all almost equally enjoy. In practice it is seldom that an artist is content to confine himself so exclusively to this issue; it is not in the nature of the imaginative temperament to limit ...
— Personality in Literature • Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

... note how happily Mr. Higginson, in securing an amazing compactness by his condensation, has avoided alike superficiality and dullness."—Boston Transcript. ...
— Bridge Disasters in America - The Cause and the Remedy • George L. Vose

... Lionel Carden. "As I make Carden out," he wrote about this time, "he's a slow-minded, unimaginative, commercial Briton, with as much nimbleness as an elephant. British commerce is his deity, British advantage his duty and mission; and he goes about his work with blunt dullness and ineptitude. That's his mental calibre as I read him—a dull, ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... become antiquated in the present day. Scholars have discovered that it blunders here and there, perhaps is prejudiced, perhaps extravagant. Newer writers, therefore, base a new book upon the old one, not changing much, but paraphrasing it into deadly dullness by their efforts after accuracy. Thanks to our introduction we can revive the more spirited account, and, while pointing out its value to the reader, can warn him of its errors. Thus he secures in briefest form the results of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1 • Various

... a time when nonsense, dullness, lewdness, and all manner of profaneness and immorality are daily practised on the stage, I have prevailed on my modesty to offer to your lordship's protection a piece which, if it has no merit to recommend ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... knows, as a rule, nothing but this imported rubbish. However, a real Italian work was discoverable, and, together with the unfriendly sky, it kept me at home. I am sorry now, as for many another omission on my wanderings, when lack of energy or a passing mood of dullness has caused me to miss what would be so pleasant in ...
— By the Ionian Sea - Notes of a Ramble in Southern Italy • George Gissing

... all marched in state up the staircase with the gilt balustrades, and come tumbling down again presently.—Well, I won't give you an historical disquisition in the Titmarsh manner upon this, but reserve it for Punch—for whom on Thursday an article that I think is quite unexampled for dullness even in that journal, and that beats the dullest Jerrold. What a jaunty, off-hand, satiric rogue I am to be sure—and a gay young dog! I took a very great liking and admiration for Clough. He is a real poet, and a simple, affectionate creature. ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... effect of beauty is when combined with poverty or wealth in a particular soul, and what are the good and evil consequences of noble and humble birth, of private and public station, of strength and weakness, of cleverness and dullness, and of all the natural and acquired gifts of the soul, and the operation of them when conjoined; he will then look at the nature of the soul, and from the consideration of all these qualities he will be able to determine which is the better and which is the worse; and so he will ...
— The Republic • Plato

... without a purpose. The peasant had a son, to whom the flame had been passed on; for he aimed at the priesthood. This has ever been a refuge of ambitious minds that cannot rise by any other means above the dullness of the peasant's life, which is the more endurable the more the man is able to place himself upon the animal level of his plodding ox. The son was being educated in a seminary, but he was now home for the holidays. Presently he appeared. ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... of life, they go to a Zoorph. It is not nice to speak of, what they are and what they do. To us, it is like death, only worse. Yet we have them, as ants have pets, as dogs have lice, as your people have disease. It is a custom. It is a kind of escape from life and life's dullness—but it is escape into madness, for the Zoorph has an art that is utter degradation, and few realize how bad they are for us. You must never ...
— Valley of the Croen • Lee Tarbell

... the mutual enforcement of words and music. And the words owe a courtesy to the music; for if a balance be struck between the words and music of hymns, it will be found to be heavily in favour of the musicians, whose fine work has been unscrupulously altered and reduced to dullness by english compilers, with the object of conforming it in rhythm to words that are unworthy of any music whatever. The chief offenders here are the protestant reformers, whose metrical psalms, which the melodies ...
— A Practical Discourse on Some Principles of Hymn-Singing • Robert Bridges

... garden. Just so at her words and her look his heart suddenly filled, as if it came from afar, with the youthful passion he had felt toward Miss Bood, but which, he knew not exactly when or how, had been gradually overgrown with the dullness of familiarity and had lapsed into an indolent affectionate habit. The warm, voluptuous pulse of this new feeling—new, and yet instantly recognized as old—brought with it a flood of youthful associations, and commingled the far past with the present in a confusion more complete ...
— A Summer Evening's Dream - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... may I be careful of getting weary and missing the best through the need of rest. Intensify my desire for the songs and glorious ways, that I may not settle into dullness and slumber, while others pass on in the light. I pray for a keener sense of the possessions made possible by the deeds and cares of ...
— Leaves of Life - For Daily Inspiration • Margaret Bird Steinmetz

... appearance fulfilled the promise of his voice over the telephone. A sort of nervous dullness wrapped ...
— The Adventures of Sally • P. G. Wodehouse

... discourse the liability to failure lies in the direction of dullness, monotony, lack of vitality and warmth. This is because the feeling is deep and still; is an undercurrent, strong but unseen. This restrained, repressed feeling is the most difficult fittingly to express. In this kind of speech some marring of ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... cud, and would cheerfully hang his protege for the sake of being rid of him. My sympathies are entirely enlisted for this soldier; he has neither the joy of being acquitted, nor the excitement of being tried. He is quite a sizable man by himself, but Payne overhangs him, and the dullness of the trial quite stultifies him. The few points of law which are admitted here are not so evident to this soldier as the point of his bayonet. I see ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... do you expect me to take?" was the retort in the listless voice. Yet, now, in the dullness ran a faint ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... and it had been very pleasant—oh, yes, very dear to him. He wondered if she was finding the day as interminable as it seemed to him, and if the interval before they saw each other again would seem as long as his impatience would make it for him. Finally, the restless dullness became intolerable. He sallied forth into the weather and went to his club, having been on non-resident footing during his absence, and, finding some men whom he knew, spent there the rest ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... endeavors to decipher the mutilated inscription on some old monument, you build up a history on a gesture or on a word! These are the stirring sports of the mind, which finds in fiction a relief from the wearisome dullness of the actual. ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... it die an easy death in the columns of the journal which first had the temerity to publish it. If the world could always know, as it may in this case, why a book is printed, it would look with kindlier eyes on dullness bound in muslin. It would say, with honest Sancho Panza: "Let us not look the ...
— Daisy's Necklace - And What Came of It • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... the bad with the good," said Andy, in reply to Matt's remark concerning the dullness of trade. "We cannot expect to make money wherever we go. If that was to be done, I reckon there would be many other auctioneers ...
— Young Auctioneers - The Polishing of a Rolling Stone • Edward Stratemeyer

... sixteenth century still seems to linger here, and one can easily believe that nothing herein has been changed since the great Cardinal used it daily. Near this is a long gallery which is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Queen Catharine Howard. After the dullness of the State Apartments, this possessed great interest for the boys, and they lingered here as long as Mrs. Pitt would allow. They were forced to come away disappointed, however, without having heard even one ...
— John and Betty's History Visit • Margaret Williamson

... for a little while drifted perilously near to the shores of dullness, again bobbed merrily on the waters of farce. What a lot of funny things there were, all waiting to be done! This that Urquhart suggested should certainly, if possible, be one ...
— The Lee Shore • Rose Macaulay

... not much interested, driver," cried Dalny, turning at last to the man who held the lines. "We are bored with this dullness, when Naples holds so much that may be seen by night. Take us ...
— Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service - or, With Dan Dalzell on European Duty • H. Irving Hancock

... having led to a promise to edit for him a life of the celebrated clown Grimaldi. The manuscript had been prepared from autobiographical notes by a Mr. Egerton Wilks, and contained one or two stories told so badly, and so well worth better telling, that the hope of enlivening their dullness at the cost of very little labor constituted a sort of attraction for him. Except the preface, he did not write a line of this biography, such modifications or additions as he made having been dictated by him to his father; whom I found often in the supreme enjoyment of the ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... His dilated pupils became more normal, his restless hands grew quiet. K.'s even voice, the picture he drew of life on the island, the stillness of the little hotel in its mid-week dullness, seemed to quiet the boy's tortured nerves. He was nearer to peace than he had been for many days. But he smoked incessantly, lighting one cigarette ...
— K • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... beginning of the reaction from the stormy excitements of the Great Awakening, nothing had seemed to arouse the New England churches from a lethargic dullness; so, at least, it seemed to those who recalled those wonderful days of old, either in memory or by tradition. We have a gauge of the general decline of the public morals, in the condition of Yale College at the accession of President Dwight in 1795, as described in the reminiscences ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... was already, through his father, the Archduke Philip, the lord of Burgundy and of the Netherlands, and the heir of Austria. His election as emperor made him, at the age of nineteen, the {427} greatest prince of Christendom. To his gigantic task he brought all the redeeming qualities of dullness, for his mediocrity and moderation served his peoples and his dynasty better than brilliant gifts and boundless ambition would have done. "Never," he is reported to have said in 1556, "did I aspire to universal monarchy, although it seemed well within my power to attain it." Though ...
— The Age of the Reformation • Preserved Smith

... of Domenichino did not develop themselves so early as in many other great painters. He was assiduous, thoughtful and circumspect; which his companions attributed to dullness, and they called him the Ox; but the intelligent Annibale Caracci, who observed his faculties with more attention, testified of his abilities by saying to his pupils, "this Ox will in time surpass you all, and be an honor to the art ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects, and Curiosities of Art, (Vol. 2 of 3) • Shearjashub Spooner

... recorded of the infancy of Chatterton, parents may be satisfied that an inaptness to learn in childhood, is far from being a prognostic of future dullness. At the age of five years, he was sent to the school of which his father had been master, and was found so incorrigibly stupid, that he was rejected by the teacher, whose name was Love, as incapable of profiting by his instruction. His mother, as most mothers ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... not a success. The dullness of the passing hours led to his drinking harder than ever. But he did succeed in doing something. He gave a name rich with meaning ...
— Winesburg, Ohio • Sherwood Anderson

... of Kishkindhya! I regard that worst of monkeys on earth to be highly ungrateful, for, O Lakshmana, that wretch hath now forgotten me who am sunk in such distress! I think he is unwilling to fulfil his pledge, disregarding, from dullness of understanding, one who hath done him such services! If thou findest him lukewarm and rolling in sensual joys, thou must then send him, by the path Vali hath been made to follow, to the common goal of all creatures! ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... performers could not. The poems of Sedley and Rochester are as abundant in indelicacy as they are deficient in humour. The epigram of Sedley to "Julius" gives a more correct idea of his character than of his usual dullness. ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... glad to see the little man; for almost the first time in his life he realised that sometimes dullness and short-sightedness are a blessing in disguise. Apparently to Driver there was nothing odd in this mad rush over to Paris; his expressionless eyes saw the untidiness of his master' ...
— The Phantom Lover • Ruby M. Ayres

... downstairs the other thirty pupils were enjoying themselves with a zest all the greater for the dullness of the weeks which had gone before. The floor had been sponged with milk until it was quite smooth and slippery, a table supplied with such refreshments as lemonade, ginger-beer, and sweet biscuits, was placed outside the door, and the violin pupils took it ...
— Pixie O'Shaughnessy • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... to get out of commonplace,' he said; 'but it isn't play, my dear. If you set about doing what God would have you to do with yourself, there will be no dullness in your life, and no lack of ...
— Wych Hazel • Susan and Anna Warner

... the prairie seemed to speak of the very desolation of dullness. After sweeping over the vast monotony of the lakes to come to this monotony of land, with all around a limitless horizon,—to walk, and walk, and run, but never climb, oh! it was too dreary for any but a Hollander to bear. How the eye greeted ...
— Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 • S.M. Fuller

... tradition. So it would. And he's a long way keener on order and tradition than he is on spiritual progress. A born Pharisee, he is really, and yet with Christianity struggling in him here and there; and that's why he's rather interesting, in spite of his dullness. ...
— Potterism - A Tragi-Farcical Tract • Rose Macaulay

... steady heavy fall upon the bright hair of one and the smooth cap of the other. They had not spoken to each other all that while, unless an unfinished word or two of Mrs. Derrick's reached ears that did not heed them. It was Faith herself who first moved, perhaps reminded by the increasing dullness that her mother was feeling it too. She took her hand from the gate, and passing the other round Mrs. Derrick, led her into the house, and into the sitting-room and to a chair; and then went for wood and kindling and built up a fire. She went to the ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... even one to love him unreservedly, all the inner beauty and brightness of his character would have blown and expanded in that genial warmth. He once thought that in Walter he had found such an one, but when he saw that his dullness bored Walter, and that his listless manners and untidy habits made him cross, he shrank back within himself. He was thankful to Walter as a protector, but did not look upon him as a friend in whom he could implicitly ...
— St. Winifred's - The World of School • Frederic W. Farrar

... boys, who, discontented at home, leave it for something more congenial to their feelings and tastes, do so simply because of the excessive dullness, and want of interest in objects to attract them there, and keep them contented. Boys, in America at least, are apt to be smart. So their parents think, at all events; and too smart they prove, to stay at home, ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... were joined by the archdeacon on the gravel before the vicarage, they descended again to grave dullness. Not that Archdeacon Grantly was a dull man; but his frolic humours were of a cumbrous kind; and his wit, when he was witty, did not generally extend itself to his auditory. On the present occasion, ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... Granger in recommending him to the Antiquarian Society. I dropped my attendance there four or five years ago, from being sick of their ignorance and stupidity, and have not been three times amongst them since. They have chosen to expose their dullness to the world, and crowned it with Dean Milles's(20) nonsense. I have written a little answer to the last, which you shall see, and then wash my hands ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... wanted a second plate, and couldn't eat it all, he was punished by being sent to the garden, there to remain till he had gulped down the last morsel, even though he fairly choked; at teatime, bread and salt, or warm beer and slices of bread; all day, studies of interminable length and dullness;—but, best of all, fencing exercises wound ...
— Blood and Iron - Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its - Founder, Bismarck • John Hubert Greusel

... ago a little boy entered Harrow school and was put in a class beyond his years, wherein all the other boys had the advantage of previous instruction. His master used to reprove his dullness, but all his efforts could not raise him from the lowest place in the class. The boy finally procured the elementary books which the other boys had studied. He devoted the hours of play and many of the hours of sleep to mastering the elementary principles of these ...
— How to Succeed - or, Stepping-Stones to Fame and Fortune • Orison Swett Marden

... own dullness of apprehension to blame for this? Would another man in my position have discovered what I had failed ...
— The Two Destinies • Wilkie Collins

... poets felt themselves the guardians of a new light amidst the dullness and barbarism which oppressed them. They readily believed each other's productions to be immortal, as every band of youthful poets does, and dreamt of a future of poetic glory for Steyn by which it would vie with ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... than sentimental. Hamlet had a shrewd judgment, a lively and caustic wit, an exacting standard, and a turn for satire. He was fond of question and debate, an enemy to all illusion, impatient of dulness,[typo for dullness?] and not indisposed to alarm and bewilder it; and he had brought with him from Wittenberg a philosophy half stoical and half transcendental, with whose eccentricities he would torment the wisdom of the Court. He looked upon the machinery ...
— The Contemporary Review, January 1883 - Vol 43, No. 1 • Various

... not fling away his honored name To gain so poor a thing, a maiden's love. A life where spins the sun from year to year, And where each day is ever like the next— A beauteous but unending sameness, is For woman only, but for manly souls, And most for thine, it's quiet, weary dullness. Thou thrivest best where storms are raging round. On foaming pacers o'er the heaving sea, And on thy tossing plank, come life or death, Thou mayest fight with peril for thine honor. The beauteous ...
— Fridthjof's Saga • Esaias Tegner

... we are going back to Moscow, and then I am returning home." A spirit of devilment was in her. Nearly always it had been he who regulated things, and now it was her turn. She had been so very unhappy, and had only the outlook of dullness and regret. Tonight she would retaliate, she would do ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... propriety, requires a degree of firmness and of cool attention, which does not always attend the higher gifts of the mind. Yet, difficult as nature herself seems to have reduced the task of regularity to genius, it is the supreme consolation of dullness, to seize upon those excesses, which are the overflowings of faculties they never enjoyed."[111] Are not the gifts of imagination mistaken here for the strength of passions? Doubtless, where strong ...
— Thaumaturgia • An Oxonian

... went—walked along the pavement, turned down the close, and put the sun, I believe, into her pocket when she disappeared, so suddenly did dullness and darkness sink down on the square, when she was no longer visible. I stood for a moment as if I had been senseless, not recollecting what a fund of entertainment I must have supplied to our watchful friends on the other side of ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... of the great spectacle of English life upon which I have touched, it might be supposed that Newman passed a great many dull days. But the dullness of his days pleased him; his melancholy, which was settling into a secondary stage, like a healing wound, had in it a certain acrid, palatable sweetness. He had company in his thoughts, and for the present he wanted no other. He had no desire to make acquaintances, ...
— The American • Henry James

... the deities are in armour, even Venus; so in Shakspeare all the characters are strong. Hence real folly and dullness are made by him the vehicles of wisdom. There is no difficulty for one being a fool to imitate a fool; but to be, remain, and speak like a wise man and a great wit, and yet so as to give a vivid representation of a veritable fool,—'hic labor, hoc opus est'. A drunken constable is not uncommon, ...
— Literary Remains, Vol. 2 • Coleridge

... deep in a fresh game a few moments later, and Paul went outside. He was glad to see them so interested, because he knew that otherwise the curse of dullness might ...
— The Forest Runners - A Story of the Great War Trail in Early Kentucky • Joseph A. Altsheler

... this mighty mass of dullness spring, Which in such loads thou to the stage dost bring? Is't all thine own? Or hast thou from Snow Hill The assistance of some ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. III • Aphra Behn

... horse-racing as an ideal study for young boys and girls. The sole objection to it is that it is so engrossing; it might absorb the whole energies of the child. The safety of Latin grammar lies in its dullness. No child is tempted by it into forgetting that there are other duties in life besides mental gymnastics. Horse-racing, on the other hand, comes into our lives with the effect of a religious conversion. It is the greatest monopolist among the pleasures. It affects men's conversation. ...
— The Pleasures of Ignorance • Robert Lynd

... churches, and libraries, and meetings for young people, you would make country life a paradise, and I tell you what you would do, too; you would empty the slums of the cities. It is the slowness and dullness of country life, and not their poverty alone, that keep the poor in dirty lanes and tenement houses. They want stir and amusement, too, poor souls, when their day's work is over. I believe they would come to the country if it were made more ...
— Beautiful Joe • Marshall Saunders

... was time long ago) I should sever This chain—why I wear it I know not—forever! Yet I cling to the bond, e'en while sick of the mask I must wear, as of one whom his commonplace task And proof-armor of dullness have steeled to her charms! Ah! how lovely she looked as she flung from her arms, In heaps to this table (now starred with the stains Of her booty yet wet with those yesterday rains), These roses and lilies, and—what? let me see! Then was off in a moment, but turned with a glee, That lit her ...
— Poems of Henry Timrod • Henry Timrod

... spoken opinion of any matter,—oftentimes the force of dullness can no farther go. You stand silent, incredulous, as over a platitude that borders on the Infinite. The man's Churchisms, Dissenterisms, Puseyisms, Benthamisms, College Philosophies, Fashionable Literatures, are unexampled in this world. Fate's prophecy is fulfilled; you call the ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... wavered and went out, but still the dull eyes of Elizabeth were steady enough. Though perhaps that dullness was from pain. And Kate, waiting eagerly, was chagrined to see that she had not broken through to any softness of emotion. One sign of grief and trembling was all she wanted before she made her appeal; but there was no weakness in Elizabeth ...
— Black Jack • Max Brand

... would give an author's subject, but, when I gave some new and sudden turn to the plot of the story, often grew interested and even excited in listening to hear what kind of a denouement I would bring about. But I am sure this was not due to dullness, for I made rapid progress in both ...
— The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man • James Weldon Johnson

... symbols of the winter that is dead. But the bleak and barren picture very shortly now will pass, For the halls of life are ready for their velvet rugs of grass; And the painters now are waiting with their magic to replace This dullness with a beauty that no mortal ...
— A Heap o' Livin' • Edgar A. Guest

... sights which a voyage of this kind brought before him. The Nemesis steamer under weigh puzzled him at first—he then thought it was "all same big cart, only got him shingles** on wheels!" He always expressed great contempt for the dullness of comprehension of his countrymen, "big fools they," he used often to say, "blackfellow no good." Even Malays, Chinamen, and the natives of India, he counted as nothing in his increasing admiration of Europeans, until he saw some sepoys, when he altered his opinion ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... age is the same as his chronological age, he is just average, neither bright nor dull. If his mental age is much above his chronological, he is bright; if much below, dull. His degree of brightness or dullness can be measured by the number of years his mental age is above or below his chronological age. He is, mentally, so many years ...
— Psychology - A Study Of Mental Life • Robert S. Woodworth

... one had ever imagined in connection with Desolation. Its power to kill with its own hand. To gently destroy, sucking the vitality like a vampire and fanning the victim to dullness with its wings. ...
— The Beach of Dreams • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... taken even unusual sharpness; her self-command was giving way. Instead of helping, she had been positively an injury to Allie March; first by the sharpness of her reprimands, and then by sarcastic comments on her extreme dullness. ...
— The Chautauqua Girls At Home • Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden

... During the respectful, appreciative buzz of voices that followed the speech, General Montero raised a pair of heavy, drooping eyelids and rolled his eyes with a sort of uneasy dullness from face to face. The military backwoods hero of the party, though secretly impressed by the sudden novelties and splendours of his position (he had never been on board a ship before, and had hardly ever seen the sea except ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... back through the bolt hole. The beach of gravel-sand had vanished save for a narrow ribbon of land just at the foot of the cliffs, where the water curled in white lace about the barrier of boulders. There was no change in the dullness of the sky; no sun broke through the thick lid of clouds. And the green of the sea was ashened to gray which matched that overcast until one could strain one's eyes trying to find the horizon, unable to mark the dividing line ...
— Storm Over Warlock • Andre Norton

... remembered, through the woods. The excessive hilarity of the morning had faded from her spirits. There was something indescribable about Mittie that annoyed and pained her. The gleam of kindness with which she had greeted her had all gone out, and left dullness and darkness in its stead. She could not get near her heart. At every avenue it seemed closed against her, and resisted the golden key of affection as effectually ...
— Helen and Arthur - or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel • Caroline Lee Hentz

... work that afternoon with a droop to his head, and a dullness about his dark eyes, which Jim noticed with vague discomfort, and which made him wish heartily that he had not confided to the postmaster the story of Billings and the brake. He had quarreled with Gertrude—everything else seemed insignificant to Allison beside that. He had quarreled with ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... he hastes to prevent you. Therefore he is awake, and on the watch against us; he courts certain people, Thebans, and people in Peloponnesus of the like views, who from cupidity, he thinks, will be satisfied with the present, and from dullness of understanding will foresee none of the consequences. And yet men of even moderate sense might notice striking facts, which I had occasion to quote to the Messenians and Argives, and perhaps it is better they ...
— The Olynthiacs and the Phillippics of Demosthenes • Demosthenes

... logs blazed out suddenly, lighting up the form of a man who appeared just beyond the fire, so that I saw the face distinctly. Then he, too, was gone, following the way the Indian girl had taken, until he lost himself in the misty dullness of ...
— Vanguards of the Plains • Margaret McCarter



Words linked to "Dullness" :   dreariness, mat, brightness, uninterestingness, insensibility, callousness, insipidness, visual property, shape, dimness, lusterlessness, jejunity, tiresomeness, flatness, dull, vapidity, conformation, form, matte, insipidity, contour, tedium, boringness, configuration, stupidity, vapidness, oscitance, subduedness, tameness, matt, lustrelessness, hardness, tediousness, jejuneness, sharpness, oscitancy, callosity, unfeelingness



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