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Figurative   /fˈɪgjərətɪv/   Listen
Figurative

adjective
1.
(used of the meanings of words or text) not literal; using figures of speech.  Synonym: nonliteral.
2.
Consisting of or forming human or animal figures.  Synonym: figural.  "The figurative art of the humanistic tradition"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Figurative" Quotes from Famous Books



... vice-governatore, and completely puzzled Vito Viti. The grave mariners at the other table, too, thought it odd, for in no other tongue is the language of the sea as poetical, or figurative, as in the English; and the term of boot-top, as applied to a vessel, was Greek to them, as well as to the other listeners. They conversed among themselves on the subject, while their two superiors ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... the individual expositors, is the literal rendering of Scripture in passages, which the number and variety of images employed in different places to express one and the same verity, plainly mark out for figurative. And lastly, add to all these the strange—in all other writings unexampled—practice of bringing together into logical dependency detached sentences from books composed at the distance of centuries, nay, sometimes a millennium from each other, under different dispensations, ...
— Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc. • by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... "little bit of a poem to Susie," which she had asked him for so long ago! She received him therefore with open arms,—not literally, of course, which would have been a breach of duty and propriety, but in a figurative sense, which it is hoped no reader ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... w. v., to enclose, to fence: þing gehegan, to mark off the court, hold court. Here figurative: inf. sceal ... āna gehegan þing wið þyrse (shall alone decide ...
— Beowulf • James A. Harrison and Robert Sharp, eds.

... demonstrate the folly of attempting to construct a system of ecclesiastical polity from such a highly-figurative portion of Scripture as the Apocalypse. In the angel of the Church some have believed they have discovered the moderator of a presbytery; others, the bishop of a diocese; and others, the minister of an Irvingite congregation. But the basis on which all such ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... feel herself a ridiculous toy to match the cottage piano, he was taking in the details around him with a keen and thoroughly kind sensibility. He remembered a home no longer than this on the outskirts of Bohemia; and in the figurative Bohemia too he had had large acquaintance with the variety and romance which belong to small incomes. He addressed Mrs. Meyrick with ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... fond of manly sport will readily perceive that Dandy was in the position of the frogs,—that what was fun to Archy was death to him, in a figurative sense. He did not have much fondness for the manly art. He had no moral views on the subject, but he hated the ...
— Watch and Wait - or The Young Fugitives • Oliver Optic

... You will perceive that the last sentence is figurative, and implies that I shall watch and fast over your proposition for forty- eight hours. But I couldn't on any account be so sneaky as to get up and recite poor old "Hanover" over again. Oh, no! If anything, it must be of the ...
— Authors and Friends • Annie Fields

... figurative language of David was not very intelligible, the sincere and steady expression of his eye, and the glow of his honest countenance, were not easily mistaken. Uncas pressed closer to his side, and regarded the speaker with a look of commendation, while his father expressed his satisfaction ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... remained in the dock. The days of the years of his pilgrimage were not few, and quite probably, except in a figurative sense, not evil. He was of sturdy build, quiet manners, and his countenance was indicative of great sincerity. In a voice extremely deferential he stated that he had once ministered to a dying Confederate, and it was impossible for him to take ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... Lamborn insists that the difference between the Van Buren party and the Whigs is that, although the former sometimes err in practice they are always correct in principle, whereas the latter are wrong in principle; and the better to impress this proposition he uses a figurative expression in these words, 'The Democrats are vulnerable in the heel, but they are sound in the heart and head.' The first branch of the figure—that is, the Democrats are vulnerable in the heel—I admit is not merely figuratively but literally true. Who that looks but for a moment ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... Australia, what is the master dream of adventurous and enterprising youth there? Australia, like Canada, has its call of the west and the north, with their appealing tale of untried potentialities. Canada has also, across its merely figurative and political southern border, a vast and teeming world, reaching down to the equator, and comprising almost every possible diversity of human effort and natural resource. Australia, the purely British island continent, is more isolated. But, broadly speaking, the very facts which make the enterprising ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... This figurative taxpayer personified for him the rural vote whose strength was his strength, and whose thought he made his own. He was hearkening to the murmur of the counties which the canal did not touch, but whose memory of its flagrant abuses was long, and ...
— The Henchman • Mark Lee Luther

... unspeakable, in feeling ourselves sheltered in our Saviour's arms, and taken even into himself. Assuredly, if we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall not make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof; such a warning would then be wholly unnecessary. Or, if we do not like language thus figurative, let us put it, if we will, into the plainest words that shall express the same meaning; let us call it praying to Christ, thinking of him, hoping in him, earnestly loving him; these, at least, are words without a figure, which all can ...
— The Christian Life - Its Course, Its Hindrances, And Its Helps • Thomas Arnold

... to listen to that "inextinguishable laughter" of the happy immortals of Olympus, ever mingling with all the voices of Nature and setting them to the still sweet music of humanity,—good, because so we are reminded how close we are to the outward world, and how all its developments are figurative expressions of our near relationships with the visible Beauty of things. Thus it is that the poetic truths of old religions exquisitely vindicate themselves; thus we find, even we moderns, with our ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... he has undertaken. A common and very simple reason for this disappointment is that most of us overrate our capacity. We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to, in virtue of our endowments. The figurative descriptions of the last Grand Assize must no more be taken literally than the golden crowns, which we do not expect or want to wear on our heads, or the golden harps, which we do not want or expect to hold in our hands. Is it not too true that many religious sectaries think of the last tribunal ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... caught him; others, "Eighteen Forty-two," the then year of our Lord; while Doctor Long Ghost remarked that he ought, by all means, to retain his original name,—Wymontoo-Hee, meaning (as he maintained), in the figurative language of the island, something analogous to one who had got himself into a scrape. The mate put an end to the discussion by sousing the poor fellow with a bucket of salt water, and bestowing upon him the ...
— Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas • Herman Melville

... with the cross, the consecration and giving of salt, which was entitled the sacrament of catechumens, repeated exorcisms, or prayers and adjurations to cast out the power of Satan, anointing with oil, and other mystical and figurative rites. In the course of many ages, when the Christian church had overspread the face of the world, and infidelity had become in most places extinct, the form of admission to the class of catechumens was from a veneration ...
— The Ceremonies of the Holy-Week at Rome • Charles Michael Baggs

... fraternity; the strong bearing the burdens of the weak; the rich cast down and the poor exalted; brother sharing with brother, according to their needs. We are accustomed to make ourselves complaisant with the reflection that these were figurative expressions, and not meant as literal commands. But if we consider candidly, we must confess that if it is the spirit of its Master's commands which the Church means to follow, it is very far, as a body, from reaching up to their full import. The love for one's fellow-men which ...
— Monopolies and the People • Charles Whiting Baker

... understand me, sir," said Denham quietly. "I was not speaking in a figurative way, but in plain, downright English. That really is part of an ancient gold-mine, in which the water has ...
— Charge! - A Story of Briton and Boer • George Manville Fenn

... tourist, but affording keen delight to the few enlightened travellers who sojourn within its borders. It is a field which has been neglected by anthologists and essayists; one of its few serious recognitions being in a certain "Treatise of Figurative Language," which says: "Nonsense; shall we dignify that with a place on our list? Assuredly will vote for doing so every one who hath at all duly noticed what admirable and wise uses it can be, and often is, put to, ...
— A Nonsense Anthology • Collected by Carolyn Wells

... a poor shoemaker of Araya, but a white man, and of noble Castilian race, had been enabled to give us something which, on the other side of the sea,* was sought for as very precious. (* 'Por alla,' or, 'del otro lado del charco,' (properly 'beyond,' or 'on the other side of the great lake'), a figurative expression, by which the people in the Spanish colonies denote Europe.) I here acquit myself of the promise I made to this worthy man, who disinterestedly refused to accept of the slightest retribution. The Pearl Coast presents the same aspect of misery as the countries of gold and diamonds, ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America • Alexander von Humboldt

... to examine how far my pregnant interpretation of the word will apply to its figurative use in two cases—Polish of Style, and Polish of Manners. The two might be treated together, seeing that Style may be called the manners of intellectual utterance, and Manners the style of social utterance; but it is more convenient ...
— A Dish Of Orts • George MacDonald

... Accordingly the original Roman worship had no images of the gods or houses set apart for them; and although the god was at an early period worshipped in Latium, probably in imitation of the Greeks, by means of an image, and had a little chapel (-aedicula-) built for him, such a figurative representation was reckoned contrary to the laws of Numa and was generally regarded as an impure and foreign innovation. The Roman religion could exhibit no image of a god peculiar to it, with the exception, perhaps, of the double-headed Ianus; and Varro even in his time derided the desire ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... always the natural expression. He himself composed, three times or oftener, his famous answers to the Parliament which he banished. But in his letters he was negligent, and always incorrect. Simplicity was the characteristic of the King's style; the figurative style of M. Necker did not please him; the sarcasms of Maurepas were disagreeable to him. Unfortunate Prince! he would predict, in his observations, that if such a calamity should happen, the monarchy would be ruined; and the next day he would consent in Council to the very measure ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... drop all figurative expression, what hopes can we ever have of engaging mankind to a practice which we confess full of austerity and rigour? Or what theory of morals can ever serve any useful purpose, unless it can show, by a ...
— An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals • David Hume

... Hurry. It was a Divine object lesson of perfect law, perfect plan, perfect order, perfect method. Six days of work carefully planned, scheduled and completed were followed by,—rest. Whether we accept the story as literal or as figurative, as the account of successive days or of ages comprising millions of years, matters little if we but ...
— The Majesty of Calmness • William George Jordan

... vessels are evidently those employed at sea. According to their own traditions, they colonized in a remote age. They themselves laid claim to Danaus: and the mythus of the expedition of Osiris is not improbably construed into a figurative representation of the spread of Egyptian civilization by the means of colonies. Besides, Egypt was subjected to more than one revolution, by which a large portion of her population was expelled the land, and scattered over the neighbouring ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... form, the fall of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a disastrous lustre on his name. In the execution of the work, as intricacy of plot could not have been attempted without a gross violation of recent facts, it has been my sole aim to imitate the impassioned and highly figurative language of the French Orators, and to develope the characters of the chief actors on ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... mostly in its dismal words and tune. Then the terrible moment arrived, the lowering of the coffin and the sound of the first earth upon it; for, formerly the company awaited this last act. This was not the formal dust to dust, a verbal and figurative act, but some shovelfuls of real earth that for a few moments rattled and pounded the top of the coffin with a heart-rending sound. The minister shook hands with the chief mourners, every one took his way ...
— Confessions of Boyhood • John Albee

... lady too literally at her word. Permit me to remind you, however, that the circumstances are too serious for anything in the nature of—let us say, an exaggeration or a joke. You shall hear what I propose, without further preface.' He paused, and resumed his figurative use of the fly imprisoned in his hand. 'Here is Mr. Armadale. I can let him out, or keep him in, just as I please—and he knows it. I say to him,' continued the doctor, facetiously addressing the fly, 'Give me proper security, Mr. Armadale, that no proceedings ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... of a decayed grocer. Nevertheless, I bought a pound of dates (getting short weight by reason of immense flights of harpy flies who pursued and lighted upon their prey even in the very scales), which purchase I made not only with an eye to the little ones at home, but also as a figurative reproof of that too frequent habit of my mind, which, forgetting the due order of chronology, will often persuade me that the happy sceptre of Saturn is stretched over this Astraea-forsaken ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... Select any figurative expression and give its meaning. "Thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave." The blow which separation from Benjamin would involve will cause the aged father to die of a ...
— Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature • Ontario Ministry of Education

... of figurative language is also an aid to clearness and to force. Simile, metaphor, personification, antithesis, balance, climax, rhetorical question, and repetition are all effective aids in the presentation of argument. The speeches of great orators ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... people." You recognize women as people, for you count them in the basis of representation. Half our Congressmen hold their seats to-day as representatives of women. We help to swell the figures by which you are here, and too many of you, alas, are only figurative representatives, paying little heed to our rights ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... be encumbered with existing prejudices, which in the nature of things might more or less interfere with expressing an honest opinion about the Association football player of the past or his colleagues and successors, I will introduce them to you, and in figurative language allow them to tell their own unvarnished tale. My last advice, however, to you, my old friends, before leaving you to the tender mercies of a scribbler, is not to answer all the questions he thinks proper to put. Please don't tell ...
— Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches • David Drummond Bone

... every stage and process of the social training of men. Things long hidden appeared discovered with an amazing clearness and nakedness. These men who had awakened, laughed dissolvent laughs, and the old muddle of schools and colleges, books and traditions, the old fumbling, half-figurative, half-formal teaching of the Churches, the complex of weakening and confusing suggestions and hints, amidst which the pride and honor of adolescence doubted and stumbled and fell, became nothing but a curious and pleasantly faded ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... rather remote manner "one of us," and had about her, very faint and dim, like an antique lavender bag, the odour of Ashbridge. She lived like the lilies of the field, without toiling or spinning, either literally or with the more figurative work of the mind; indeed, she can scarcely be said to have had any mind at all, for, as with drugs, she had sapped it away by a practically unremitting perusal of all the fiction that makes the average reader wonder why it was written. In fact, she supplied the answer to that ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... to speak), a figurative representation conveying a meaning other than and in addition to the literal. It is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric, but the medium of representation is not necessarily language. An allegory may be addressed to the eye, and is often ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... through the natural and figurative senses, it will be proper to subjoin the poetical sense of each word, where it differs from that which is in common use; as wanton, applied to any thing of which the motion is irregular ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume V: Miscellaneous Pieces • Samuel Johnson

... unsoundness, to denote a particular state of disordered mind, which is supposed to differ from idiotcy and lunacy, has been the source of considerable perplexity to medical practitioners; and, in my own opinion, opens an avenue for ignorance and injustice. The application of figurative terms, especially when imposed under a loose analogy, and where they might be supplied by words of direct meaning, always tends to ...
— A Letter to the Right Honorable the Lord Chancellor, on the Nature and Interpretation of Unsoundness of Mind, and Imbecility of Intellect • John Haslam

... Adrian's figurative speech, instructed Austin that the baronet was waiting for his son, in a posture of statuesque offended paternity, before he would receive his daughter-in-law and grandson. That was what Adrian meant by the efforts of the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... metaphysical theories of their own to support. The image of a vinculum juris colours and pervades every part of the Roman law of Contract and Delict. The law bound the parties together, and the chain could only be undone by the process called solutio, an expression still figurative, to which our word "payment" is only occasionally and incidentally equivalent. The consistency with which the figurative image was allowed to present itself, explains an otherwise puzzling peculiarity of Roman legal ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... courage is "the lion of the tribe of Juda," the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams in 514:12 the forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in "green pastures, . . . beside the still waters." In the figurative transmission from the 514:15 divine thought to the human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance are likened to "the cattle upon a thousand hills." They carry the baggage of stern resolve, and 514:18 keep pace with highest purpose. Tenderness accompa- nies all the might imparted by Spirit. The ...
— Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures • Mary Baker Eddy

... is the tendency of the short story toward simplicity that even figures of speech are to be avoided. This does not mean that we are carefully to discard any expression which savors of the figurative: such a thing would be absurd, for literature and everyday speech abound in figurative language which passes current unquestioned. But figures which are introduced simply for literary effect are unnatural, and so are to be avoided. They are really digressions, excrescences—beautiful ...
— Short Story Writing - A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story • Charles Raymond Barrett

... he, in that strong figurative language so frequently used by the Irish, when under the influence of deep, emotion; "Bridget, wife of my heart, you are removed from the thrials and throubles of this world—from the thrials and throubles that have come ...
— The Emigrants Of Ahadarra - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... The cries and figurative language of Pippo attracted the attention of the multitude, who were additionally amused by the mixture of dialects in which he uttered his appeals. The least important trifles, by giving a new direction to popular sympathies, frequently become the parents of grave events. ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... to the child about things he cannot understand. Let him hear from you no descriptions, no eloquence, no figurative language, no poetry. Sentiment and taste are just now out of the question. Continue to be clear, unaffected, and dispassionate; the time for using another language will come only ...
— Emile - or, Concerning Education; Extracts • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... address we find no loose use of words. The character of the address does not of course admit of ornament or figurative language, but any subject, however simple, admits of digressions and mental excursions by the illogical and careless writer. Of these there is not a trace. Even in the most informal letters and telegrams, ...
— Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections) • Abraham Lincoln

... it at its rising, lighting up the whole apartment with an effulgence that seemed more than natural, and which was reflected back from the golden ornaments with which the walls and ceiling were everywhere in crusted. Gold, in the figurative language of the people was "the tears wept by the sun," 17 and every part of the interior of the temple glowed with burnished plates and studs of the precious metal. The cornices, which surrounded the walls of the sanctuary, were of the ...
— History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William Hickling Prescott

... self-reliance, self-control, and right thinking formed through the years of childhood will indeed help now. But there awakens for the first time a new force: the child is, in a literal as well as figurative sense, being born anew. At this new birth, which is sometimes very difficult, he enters into a hitherto unknown world of interests and feelings. While the change from child to adult may proceed as a gradual ...
— The Renewal of Life; How and When to Tell the Story to the Young • Margaret Warner Morley

... will avoid all ornaments as something injurious to his subject, and should bear in mind the saying of the first king of Great Britain respecting a sermon which was excellent in doctrine but overcharged with poetical allusions and figurative language, "that the tropes and metaphors of the speaker were like the brilliant wild flowers in a field of corn—very pretty, but which did very much hurt the corn." In announcing even the greatest and most ...
— Consolations in Travel - or, the Last Days of a Philosopher • Humphrey Davy

... winning than he who has none, though in his hand may be all the aces of the others, diamonds included. But, lest I go too far beyond the analogy—as I might ignorantly do, being unskilled in the many games of cards—I will drop the figurative.... Keep your heart for faith, love, friendship, for God, your country, and truth. And where the heart is given, it should be unreservedly. Its allegiance is too often withheld where it is due, yet ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. II. July, 1862. No. 1. • Various

... nature of that felicity may not be defined, are illustrated by every image that can swell the imagination; while the misery of the lost, in its unutterable intensity, though the language that describes it is all necessarily figurative, is there exhibited as resulting chiefly, if not wholly, from the withdrawment of the light of God's countenance, and a banishment from his presence! best comprehended in this world by reflecting on the desolations, ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... the incident of the leper, Tertullian argues that the prohibition of contact with a leper was figurative, applying really to the contact with sin. But the Godhead is incapable of pollution, and therefore Jesus touched the leper. It would be in vain for Marcion to suggest that this was done in contempt of the law. For, upon his own (Docetic) theory, the body of Jesus was phantasmal, ...
— The Gospels in the Second Century - An Examination of the Critical Part of a Work - Entitled 'Supernatural Religion' • William Sanday

... of the hoary past, when language was figurative, and often pictorial, had recourse to a system of symbols to express abstract truths and ideas. In order to impress the minds of pupils with a true concept of the attributes of the celestial forces, we call planets, they personified ...
— The Light of Egypt, Volume II • Henry O. Wagner/Belle M. Wagner/Thomas H. Burgoyne

... Balder, the details of the story suggest that it belongs to that class of myths which have been dramatized in ritual, or, to put it otherwise, which have been performed as magical ceremonies for the sake of producing those natural effects which they describe in figurative language. A myth is never so graphic and precise in its details as when it is, so to speak, the book of the words which are spoken and acted by the performers of the sacred rite. That the Norse story of ...
— Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. • Sir James George Frazer

... said, "baggage gone since you make such fuss about it, though I 'spect they try to give me Bean for this job" (here he spoke not in figurative English slang, but of the Calabar bean, which is a favourite native poison). "Well, dinner gone and girls gone, and we tired, so best go to bed. Think we all private here now, though in Gold House never can be sure," and he looked round him suspiciously, ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... confession also be pleasing in Thine eyes, wherein I confess unto Thee, that I believe, O Lord, that Thou spokest not so in vain; nor will I suppress, what this lesson suggests to me. For it is true, nor do I see what should hinder me from thus understanding the figurative sayings of Thy Bible. For I know a thing to be manifoldly signified by corporeal expressions, which is understood one way by the mind; and that understood many ways in the mind, which is signified one way by corporeal expression. Behold, the single love of God and ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... is heard to the end of the play in Macbeth's less poetic speeches, and leaves the same impression of burning energy, though not of imaginative exaltation, as his great speeches. In these we find either violent, huge, sublime imagery, or a torrent of figurative expressions (as in the famous lines about 'the innocent sleep'). Our impressions as to the diction of the play are largely derived from these speeches of the hero, but not wholly so. The writing almost throughout leaves an impression ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... ALL WINDS. This is not a figurative Statement. Michael knows by experience whether the sound and direction of the wind forebode storm or fair weather,—precisely the practical kind of knowledge which a herdsman ...
— Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson • William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson

... words of the night before seemed more than a little fantastic; but perhaps he had not understood, or perhaps she had spoken figuratively. "The nations of the world in the hollow of his hand"—that, of course, was figurative. And, equally of course, Vard's plan would come to nothing. But it would be interesting to know more ...
— The Destroyer - A Tale of International Intrigue • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... judge the quality of literature, distinguishing with ease between what is literal and what is imaginative, or figurative, or humorous. When they read that the rope with which the powerful Fenris-Wolf was bound was "made out of such things as the sound of a cat's footsteps, the roots of the mountains, the breath of a fish and the sinews of a bear, and nothing could break it," [Footnote: Hamilton Mabie's Norse Myths, ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... Winterly," said Tin Philosopher. "Though a purely figurative statement, that bit about rising through the air always gets me—here." He rapped his midsection, which gave off a high ...
— Bread Overhead • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... opposing the constant degradation of language by those who use it carelessly, he will not treat coloured glass as if it were clear; and while half the world is using figure unconsciously, will be fully aware not only of all that latent figurative texture in speech, but of the vague, lazy, half-formed personification—a rhetoric, depressing, and worse than nothing, [21] because it has no really rhetorical motive—which plays so large a part there, and, as in the case of more ostentatious ornament, ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... played to an audience. But there were other intelligent races throughout the galaxy, most of whom had remained as neutral as possible during the Earth-Karn war. They had no intention of sticking their figurative noses into a battle between the two most powerful races ...
— In Case of Fire • Gordon Randall Garrett

... daughter is the porcupine. In the family history an ichneumon, an elephant, a monkey and an eland all figure. The Bushmen have also solar and lunar myths, and observe and name the stars. Canopus alone has five names. Some of the constellations have figurative names. Thus they call Orion's Belt "three she-tortoises hanging on a stick," and Castor and [v.04 p.0873] Pollux "the cow-elands." The planets, too, have their names and myths, and some idea of the astonishing wealth of this Bushman folklore and oral literature may be formed from the ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... learned talking upon paper. Lord Shaftesbury, on the contrary, who aimed at the same easy, degage mode of communicating his thoughts to the world, has quite spoiled his matter, which is sometimes valuable, by his manner, in which he carries a certain flaunting, flowery, figurative, flirting style of amicable condescension to the reader, to an excess more tantalising than the most starched and ridiculous formality of the age of James I. There is nothing so tormenting as the affectation of ease and freedom ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... run about the braes And pu'd the gowans' fine —in a figurative point of view—on several occasions. I am not exactly aware,' said Mr. Micawber, with the old roll in his voice, and the old indescribable air of saying something genteel, 'what gowans may be, but I have no doubt that Copperfield and ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... to conceive events precisely as they were likely to have happened; not to idealise them into forms artfully impressive to the spectator. But in so far as he was compelled to retain, or did not wish to reject, the figurative character of the Byzantine symbols, he stands opposed to succeeding realists, in the quantity of meaning which probably lies hidden in any composition, as well as in the simplicity with which he will probably treat it, in order to enforce or guide ...
— Giotto and his works in Padua • John Ruskin

... behold one's Soul, or, a sort of double existence is realised in consequence of which the Soul becomes an object of internal survey to the Soul itself. Very probably, writers on yoga employ this language in a figurative sense. ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... used the word "gig" in a figurative sense. It was a power launch that put smartly away from the "Reed" and was speedily alongside. Dan waved his hand to his chum, who was leaning over ...
— Dave Darrin After The Mine Layers • H. Irving Hancock

... figurative speech. The old chief wished to take Gretchen to his wigwam for a month, and have her play the violin on the great night of the Potlatch. He hoped that the influence of the music would aid him in preventing the Dance of the Evil Spirits, and a massacre of the white ...
— The Log School-House on the Columbia • Hezekiah Butterworth

... the frequent success that attended such efforts is their highest praise. He seldom attempted an ambitious flight, and when he did his best friends felt it was not his true line. He dealt but little in figurative language, except when argument failed him; still he has left some specimens of much beauty in this style. In his great speech introducing Catholic Emancipation in 1829, he told Parliament it had but two courses to follow—to advance or to recede; to advance by conceding ...
— The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) - With Notices Of Earlier Irish Famines • John O'Rourke

... who when the whole people of Rome had resolutely divided themselves from the Senate, with apparent show of utter ruin: though he were (for that time) an excellent orator, came not among them upon trust of figurative speeches, or cunning insinuations: and much less, with far-fetched maxims of philosophy, which (especially if they were Platonic [Footnote: Alluding to the inscription over the door of Plato's Academy: No entrance here without Geometry.)], ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... which was to assure you, that I know you as well as the mother who did not bear you, for MacDuff's peculiarity sticks to your whole race. You are not born of woman, unless, indeed, in that figurative sense, in which the celebrated Maria Edgeworth may, in her state of single blessedness, be termed mother of the finest family in England. You belong, sir, to the Editors of the land of Utopia, a sort of persons for whom I have the highest ...
— The Monastery • Sir Walter Scott

... Saviour. Others again, who had been brought up in the practice of the ablutions which have to be performed by those who are initiated into the deeper secrets of the heathen mysteries, regarded baptism as an act of purification, a mystical process of happy augury, or at the best a figurative purification of the soul, and crowded to receive it. Here, in Alexandria, the number of these deluded ones is especially great; for where could any superstition find a more favorable soil than in this seat of philosophical ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... feelings, it seems incredible, that I should ever believe that I believed in transubstantiation. But my conqueror oppressed me with the sacramental words, 'Hoc est corpus meum,' and dashed against each other the figurative half-meanings of the Protestant sects; every objection was resolved into omnipotence; and, after repeating at St. Mary's the Athanasian creed, I humbly acquiesced in the mystery ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... bright wood-fire blazed on the ample hearth, lighting up with a ruddy glow the heavy panelings and the time-worn tapestries. Dinner was just over, the dessert was on the table, and two gentlemen were sitting over their wine—though this is to be taken rather in a figurative sense, for their conversation was so engrossing as to make them oblivious of even the charms of the old ancestral port of rare vintage which Lord Chetwynde had produced to do honor to his guest. ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... events in the life of that savage region, the author violates no probability in putting into his mouth the most strange and characteristic stories. The whole are told with a fictitious reproduction of the teser and somewhat monotonous, yet figurative style, proper to all savages. La Grande Kabylie recounts the personal experiences of the author in that yet unconquered country of the Arabs, whither he went with Marshal Bugeaud in his last expedition. Kabylia he describes as a picturesque and productive ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... course, supreme. It is hardly too much to say that intellectual progress has only pursued a steady and consistent course when men's minds have been in touch with the Greek. The sense of beauty in all the arts, intellectual and figurative, was the prerogative of the Hellenic communities, or, rather, of Athens, for only in Athens was perfection in the arts achieved. The Greek was the best, as he was the first, director and teacher. It is true that the artists of Florence, Umbria, Lombardy, and Venice equalled the Greeks in some ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... "seven stars and seven candlesticks" is then explained to John. The word, "are," is used in a figurative sense, and not to be taken literally. It means here, symbolize, represent or signify. It is to be interpreted in the same sense as in the following places of sacred Scripture:—"It is the Lord's passover." (Exod. xii. 11.) "That rock was Christ." (1 ...
— Notes On The Apocalypse • David Steele

... the dying boast of Dutugaimunu that he had lived "a slave to the priesthood." The expression was figurative in his case; but so abject did the subserviency of the kings become, and so rapid was its growth, that Bhatiya Tissa, who reigned A.D. 8, rendered it literal, and "dedicated himself, his queen, and two sons, ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... live to mount the throne, will sway the sceptre of these realms in moderation and justice, and be a pious and benevolent man, and a merciful sovereign.' Fortunately, the time has long since passed when swaying the sceptre of these realms had any but a figurative meaning, or when Englishmen who obeyed their country's laws depended on the mercy of any man, or when even bad citizens were judged by princes. But we still prefer that princes should be well-mannered ...
— Myths and Marvels of Astronomy • Richard A. Proctor

... too often, like Angelica in the enchanted palace of Atlante, she is sought for in vain. [Footnote: Curran used to say laughingly, "When I can't talk sense, I talk metaphor."] His attempts, indeed, at the florid or figurative style, whether in his speeches or his writings, were seldom very successful. That luxuriance of fancy, which in Burke was natural and indigenous, was in him rather a forced and exotic growth. It is ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... mine in the figurative and colloquial sense, not as the investor knows it," he answered. "That is, the plant on which it grew is priceless. Where is the plant, ...
— Allan and the Holy Flower • H. Rider Haggard

... discourse, that the Sovereign of heaven and earth, who accepted not the persons of men, makes no distinction between the right and left foot. The envious man and his wife alleged that his discourse was not figurative enough, and that he did not make the rocks and mountains to dance with ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... being reflected and concentrated, for its production, as if on the surface of a mirror. Such concrete character, however, Greek poet or sculptor, from time to time, impressed on the vague world of popular belief and usage around him; and in the Bacchanals of Euripides we have an example of the figurative or imaginative power of poetry, selecting and combining, at will, from that mixed and floating mass, weaving the many-coloured threads together, blending the various phases of legend—all the light and shade of the [54] subject—into a shape, substantial and firmly set, through which ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... less solemn. He hissed through his teeth in unexpectedly figurative style that it would take a lot to persuade him to "push under the head of a poor devil of a girl quite sufficiently plucky"—and snorted. He was still gazing at the distant quarry, and I think he was affected ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... poetry, can say that Milton felt his theme with less intensity than Homer? Milton is not so close to his fighting angels as Homer is to his fighting men; but the war in heaven is an incident in Milton's figurative expression of something that has become altogether himself—the mystery of individual existence in universal existence, and the accompanying mystery of sin, of individual will inexplicably allowed to tamper with the divinely universal will. Milton, of course, ...
— The Epic - An Essay • Lascelles Abercrombie

... observed however that it often proves a very difficult matter to trace the connexion between the figurative and the literal sense of the stanza. The essentials in the composition of the pantun, for such these little pieces are called, the longer being called dendang, are the rhythmus and the figure, particularly the latter, which they consider as the ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... Bible, there is a certain Black Cape. Far be it from me to attempt a description, but I can say with some assurance that it also occupies a shrine. It may not be in the inner sanctuary, but it certainly occupies a goodly part of the outer porch of the temple. All this, of course, is figurative, for the cape hangs just inside the closet door on a hanger, with a white cloth over the shoulders to keep off the dust. For the vanities of the world enter even such a sanctuary as this. I wish, indeed, that you could see Miss Aiken ...
— Adventures In Friendship • David Grayson

... that needs the fullest sympathy, Granville had no true companionship. He went out alone to parties and the theatres. Nothing in his house appealed to him. A huge Crucifix that hung between his bed and Angelique's seemed figurative of his destiny. Does it not represent a murdered Divinity, a Man-God, done to death in all the prime of life and beauty? The ivory of that cross was less cold than Angelique crucifying her husband under the plea of virtue. This it was that lay at the root of their woes; the young wife saw ...
— A Second Home • Honore de Balzac

... would sleep in comfort that night. Pink, therefore, withdrew his challenge to the bunch, and laid his billiard cue down with a sigh and the remark that all he lacked was time, to have the scalps of every last one of them hanging from his belt. Pink was figurative in his speech, you will understand; and also a bit vainglorious over beating Andy Green and Big Medicine ...
— Flying U Ranch • B. M. Bower

... imaginative. The war-song—the death-song—the song of victory—the cradle-chant—the lament for the slain—these are the overflowings of the essential poetry of their untaught souls. Their eloquence is proverbially soaring and figurative; and in spite of all that renders gross and mechanical their ordinary mode of marrying and giving in marriage, instances are not rare among them of love as true, as fiery, and as fatal, as that of the most exalted hero of romance. They, indeed, live poetry; it should ...
— Dahcotah - Life and Legends of the Sioux Around Fort Snelling • Mary Eastman

... conditions. The gray ancestral houses of England are the beautiful symbols of the permanence of family and of caste. They are the embodiments of traditional institutions and culture. When we speak of the House of Stanley or of Howard, the expression is not wholly figurative. We do not mean simply the men and women of these families, but the whole complex of this manifold environment which has descended to them and in the midst of which they have grown up,—no more to be separated from it than the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... climes and under whatever rule, quoth I, internally, as I listened to these wordy disputants; for, to do messieurs the pilots justice, the matter was conducted in a manner more worthy the courts, better argued, and in language less offensively figurative, than similar disputes at which it has been my chance to assist between angry members of ...
— Impressions of America - During the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Tyrone Power

... that we have no real authority for the reveries to which it is owing. We are told nothing distinctly of the heavenly world; except that it will be free from sorrow, and pure from sin. What is said of pearl gates, golden floors, and the like, is accepted as merely figurative by religious enthusiasts themselves; and whatever they pass their time in conceiving, whether of the happiness of risen souls, of their intercourse, or of the appearance and employment of the heavenly powers, is entirely the product of their ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... sprang across to Joe's side of the car, and shook him almost out of his seat, as she shouted, "Joe! you've shook de lion's paw!" This was her phrase for having entered on the dominions of England. But Joe did not understand this figurative expression. Then she shook him again, and put it more plainly, "Joe, you're in Queen Victoria's dominions! You're ...
— Harriet, The Moses of Her People • Sarah H. Bradford

... mysteries of religion under emblems, by which they would be able to maintain the devotion of the soldier, and protect themselves from the incursion of those who were their enemies, after the example of the Scriptures, the style of which is figurative. Those zealous brethren chose Solomon's temple for their model. This building has strong allusions to the Christian church. Since that period they (Masons) have been known by the name of Master ...
— The Mysteries of Free Masonry - Containing All the Degrees of the Order Conferred in a Master's Lodge • William Morgan

... morning. Ballantyne blames the Ossianic monotony of my principal characters. Now they are not Ossianic. The language of the Ossianic poetry is highly figurative; that of the knights of chivalry may be monotonous, and probably is, but it cannot be Ossianic. Sooth to say, this species of romance of chivalry is an exhaustible subject. It affords materials for splendid description ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... image-worship. On this point Aristotle and the Bible are in accord. The inference is that in the Holy Scriptures there are many metaphors and words with a double or allegoric sense. Such is the case with the word "image." It has two meanings, the one usual and obvious, the other figurative. Here the word must be taken in its figurative sense. God is conceived as the highest Reason, and as reason is the specific attribute which characterizes the human mind, it follows that man, by virtue of his possession of ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... aspects: but in a figurative light it may be regarded as a true symbol of benevolence. Under its outspread roof, thousands of otherwise unprotected animals, nestling in the bed of dry leaves which it has spread upon the ground, find shelter and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... Jones himself was not likely to fall into that error. He speaks against it most emphatically. "Either," he says, "the first eleven chapters of Genesis—all due allowance being made for a figurative Eastern style—are true, or the whole fabric of our national religion is false; a conclusion which none of us, I trust, would wish to be drawn. But it is not the truth of our national religion ...
— Chips From A German Workshop, Vol. V. • F. Max Mueller

... derivation. Many have been distorted by corruption, and these are the most difficult to trace: to which may be added, that the terms we now employ to express our feelings and passions, and all that depicts mind and its operations, are of a figurative or metaphorical origin. Instead of any word being insignificant, there is no one but may become the keystone in a sentence; and therefore a word blotted out in a perspicuous, that is, a properly constructed sentence, would render it unintelligible. To the composition of ...
— On the Nature of Thought - or, The act of thinking and its connexion with a perspicuous sentence • John Haslam

... our Confessions, is that a passage of Scripture is always to be taken in its natural, plain and literal sense, unless there is something in the text itself, or in the context, that clearly indicates that it is intended to convey a figurative sense. ...
— The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church • G. H. Gerberding

... draw out the man had caused her figurative feet to make a faux pas, in fact she felt that her pedestal had tilted ever so slightly, causing the drapery of decency, and courtesy, to swing aside for one moment, exposing a particle of clay upon the ivory of her beautiful feet to the eyes of the man ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... himself said of them: "Perhaps not more than nine-tenths stand straight on their legs; the remainder are in quite angular attitudes; a few even sprawl out helplessly on all sides, quite broken-backed and dismembered." There is no modern writer who possesses so large a profusion of figurative language. His works are also full of the pithiest and most memorable sayings, such as ...
— A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2 (of 2) • John Miller Dow Meiklejohn

... are the remains of tyranny on one part and slavery on the other; and the name of the Creator ought not to be introduced to witness the degradation of his creation; or if taken, as is already mentioned, as figurative of the nation, it is in this place redundant. But whatever apology may be made for oaths at the first establishment of a government, they ought not to be permitted afterwards. If a government requires ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... but these are sometimes compensated by lateral processes or abortive branchlets. A tuft of mould is in miniature a forest of trees. Although such a definition may be deemed more poetic than accurate, more figurative than literal, yet few could believe in the marvellous beauty of a tuft of mould if they never saw it as exhibited under the microscope. In such a condition no doubt could be entertained of its vegetable character. But there is a lower phase ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... hills and valleys bordering the Bay, which have inspired more than one Welsh literary itinerant to rhapsody, and furnished Mr. Lloyd George with many a homely and figurative peroration, have proved no mean asset to the proprietors of a railway, whose traffic consists so largely of tourists. To the shareholders of the Cambrian has come the satisfaction of knowing that a concern, which was born under, and for many years continued ...
— The Story of the Cambrian - A Biography of a Railway • C. P. Gasquoine

... vivid picture (for example, Canto I, stanzas 11, 12), and examine the language to see what kind of words are most effective: specific or general, concrete or abstract, figurative or literal. ...
— Teachers' Outlines for Studies in English - Based on the Requirements for Admission to College • Gilbert Sykes Blakely

... morning, June 7, 1847) in reference to my saying on the general question of miracles: Why these dubious miracles?—such as curing blindness that may have been cured by a process?—since the unity given to the act of healing is probably (more probably than otherwise) but the figurative unity of the tendency to mythus; or else it is that unity misapprehended and mistranslated by the reporters. Such, again, as the miracles of the loaves—so liable to be utterly gossip, so incapable of being watched or examined amongst a crowd of 7,000 people. Besides, were ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... bunker, if you can, That beetles o'er a deadly ditch, Where any but the bogey-man Is practically bound to pitch; Plant me beneath a hedge of thorn, Or up a figurative tree, What matter, when my love has sworn To halve the ...
— The Battle of the Bays • Owen Seaman

... describe the event as the "voice of the Lord" ("kallam el Allah"), having spoken unto the person; or, that God appeared to him in a dream and "said," &c. Thus much allowance would be necessary on the part of a European reader for the figurative ideas and expressions of the people. As the Arabs are unchanged, the theological opinions which they now hold are the same as those which prevailed in remote ages, with the simple addition of their belief in ...
— The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia • Samuel W. Baker

... your finger due north from the Bay of Fonseca, straight to the Bay of Honduras, and it will pass, in a figurative way, through the notch I have described, and through the pass of which we were in search. You will see, if your map be accurate, that in or near that pass two large rivers have their rise; one, the Humuya, flows almost due north into the Atlantic, and the other, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... conventional art is, that it puts no bounds to the fancy of the designer. It is a figurative language in which he may get away from commonplace statement. What has always seemed to me a very logical employment of convention appears in the Punch cartoons of Sir John Tenniel and Mr. Lindley Sambourne. Even in those ...
— Pen Drawing - An Illustrated Treatise • Charles Maginnis

... God, may I not say a literal God, a God that wouldst be understood literally and according to the plain sense of all that thou sayest? but thou art also (Lord, I intend it to thy glory, and let no profane misinterpreter abuse it to thy diminution), thou art a figurative, a metaphorical God too; a God in whose words there is such a height of figures, such voyages, such peregrinations to fetch remote and precious metaphors, such extensions, such spreadings, such curtains of allegories, such third heavens of hyperboles, so harmonious elocutions, so retired and ...
— Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions - Together with Death's Duel • John Donne

... though a very silly one, he were to say that he believed in Puritanism without its theology, and were to repeat this idea also to himself until it became instinctive and familiar, such a man might take up a pen, and under the impression that he was saying something figurative indeed, but quite clear and suggestive, write some such sentence as this, "You will not get the godless Puritan into your white taverns," and no one in the length and breadth of the country could form the remotest notion of what he could mean. So it would have been in any example, for ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... often taken to mean unreal, fanciful, figurative. For man is earthly in his views as well as in his feelings, and therefore regards visible and material things as the emphatic realities. Hence he employs material objects as the ultimate standard, by which he measures ...
— Sermons to the Natural Man • William G.T. Shedd

... beautiful diction, it will always be found that it consists in this happy relation between external freedom and internal necessity. The principal features that contribute to this freedom of the imagination are the individualizing of objects and the figurative or inexact expression of a thing; the former employed to give force to its sensuousness, the latter to produce it where it does not exist. When we express a species or kind by an individual, and portray a conception in a single case, we remove from fancy the chains which the understanding ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... knew it to have no very fine edge) making a long, abominable gash. Then he plucked it out and dashed it again several times into the face of the likeness, exactly as if he were stabbing a human victim: it had the oddest effect—that of a sort of figurative suicide. In a few seconds more the Colonel had tossed the dagger away—he looked at it as he did so, as if he expected it to reek with blood—and hurried out of the place, closing the ...
— A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly • Henry James

... Parga, which he now saw for the third time since he had obtained it, when his secretaries informed him that only the rod of Moses could save him from the anger of Pharaoh—a figurative mode of warning him that he had nothing to hope for. But Ali, counting on his usual luck, persisted in imagining that he could, once again, escape from his difficulty by the help of gold and intrigue. Without discontinuing the pleasures in which he was ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - ALI PACHA • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... parents, for example, is at least original. Deirdre, the heroine, frankly despised her mother, to whom she owed a marriage with the man whom she hated. The gift of a country cottage enabled her to escape from him to rabbits (figurative) and the simpler life. There, however, she fell in with Rollo, who loved her at sight, and whose daughter, Hyacinth, adored her father, but quite blandly deceived him about her own amorous adventures. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, June 20, 1917 • Various

... a vehicle for expressing definite thought as the Greek language, and that on the most momentous subject of which He ever spoke to men. It is a canon of interpretation, according to Alford, that "a figurative sense of words is never admissible except when required by the context." The context, in most cases, is not only directly unfavorable to a figurative meaning, but in innumerable instances in Christ's teaching Life is broadly contrasted with Death. In the teaching of the apostles, again, ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... Crows are famed for possessing a Billingsgate vocabulary of unrivalled opulence, and for being by no means sparing of it whenever an occasion offers. Indeed, though Indians are generally very lofty, rhetorical, and figurative in their language at all great talks, and high ceremonials, yet, if trappers and traders may be believed, they are the most unsavory vagabonds in their ordinary colloquies; they make no hesitation to call a spade a spade; and when they once undertake to call hard names, the ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... critic, who is not sufficiently versed in philological literature to discriminate between the various qualities of diction—to distinguish the language of the schools from that of the multitude—the polished diction of refinement from the coarse style of household colloquy—the splendid, figurative, and impressive combination of terms adapted to poetry, from those plain and familiar expressions suited to the sobriety of prose; and finally, to form a just estimate of a poet's pretensions to that delicacy in the selection of words which constitutes ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Volume I, Number 1 • Stephen Cullen Carpenter

... though familiar to students of philosophy, is strange to the popular understanding, and hence has arisen the complaint of his obscurity. Moreover, he apprehended and expressed these ideas as a poet, in figurative and emotional language, and not as a metaphysician, in a formulated statement. His own position in relation to systematic philosophers is described in what he says of Plato, in his series of sketches entitled Representative Men, 1850: "He has not a system. The ...
— Initial Studies in American Letters • Henry A. Beers

... benevolent man helps indigent beggars. Studious scholars learn many long lessons. Wealthy merchants own large ships. The heavy ships bear large burdens; the lighter ships carry less burdens. Just poets use figurative language. Ungrammatical expressions offend a true critic's ear. Weak critics magnify trifling errors. No composition is perfect. The rabble was tumultuous. The late-washed grass looks green. Shady trees form a delightful arbor. The setting sun makes a beautiful appearance; the ...
— English Grammar in Familiar Lectures • Samuel Kirkham

... the typical instrument of the restraint or subjection necessary in a nation—either literally, for its evil-doers, or figuratively, in accepted laws, for its wise and good men. You have to choose between this figurative and literal use; for depend upon it, the more laws you accept, the fewer penalties you will have to endure, and the fewer punishments to enforce. For wise laws and just restraints are to a noble nation ...
— The Two Paths • John Ruskin

... Language has well been described as "a book of faded metaphors." The history of language has been to a large extent the assimilation and habitual mechanical use of words that were, when first used, strikingly figurative. ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... the equilibrium of his mind. Such passions as anger, hatred, jealousy, sorrow, worry, grudge, and fear always untune one's mood and break the harmony of one's mind. They poison one's body, not in a figurative, but in a literal sense of the word. Obnoxious passions once aroused never fail to bring about the physiological change in the nerves, in the organs, and eventually in the whole constitution, and leave those injurious impressions that make ...
— The Religion of the Samurai • Kaiten Nukariya

... Judgment upon me for this, give me Leave to put you in Mind of Two Things, which I take to be undeniably true. The First is, that the Kingdom of Christ is not of this World; and that the last-named is the very Thing a true Christian ought to renounce: I mean, that when we speak of the World in a figurative Sense, as the Knowledge of the World, the Glory of the World; or in French, Le beau Monde, le grand Monde; and when in a Man's Praise we say, that he understands the World very well; that, I say, when we use the Word in this Manner, it signifies, and we understand by ...
— A Letter to Dion • Bernard Mandeville

... The Dissenters' Usual Pleas for Comprehension, Toleration, and the Renouncing the Covenant, Considered and Discussed. Non Quis sed Quid. London. 1680. 12mo. Second Edition. Pp. 184. (With a figurative frontispiece, representing ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 223, February 4, 1854 • Various

... opposite political party at one time during a campaign, Lincoln said: "My opponent uses a figurative expression to the effect that 'the Democrats are vulnerable in the heel, but they are sound in the heart and head.' The first branch of the figure—that is the Democrats are vulnerable in the heel—I admit is not merely figuratively but literally true. Who that ...
— Lincoln's Yarns and Stories • Alexander K. McClure

... figurative," said Louis, unable to restrain an emotion of peevishness; "I am a dull, blunt man, Sir of Comines. I pray you leave your tropes, and come to plain ground. What does your ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... trust the money out of his own possession. It had been hidden in the cellar, hidden in the parlor, hidden in the kitchen, and hidden in his chamber; but no place seemed to be safe, and the miser trembled when awake, and trembled when asleep, in his dreams, lest the figurative description of riches should be realized, and his gold should take to itself ...
— Freaks of Fortune - or, Half Round the World • Oliver Optic

... and gall the wounded sufferer. Their smartness is pleasant, and delights the company; and those that are pleased with the saving seem to believe the detracting speaker. For according to Theophrastus, a jeer is a figurative reproach for some fault or misdemeanor; and therefore he that hears it supplies the concealed part, as if he knew and gave credit to the thing. For he that laughs and is tickled at what Theocritus said to one whom he suspected of a design upon his clothes, and who asked him ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... explicit authority for regarding the whole Man as compounded of BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT. The Farewell Address, in a lower and figurative sense, is likewise so compounded. If these were divisible and distributable, we might, though not with full and exact propriety, allot the SOUL to Washington, and the SPIRIT to Hamilton. The elementary body is Washington's, also; ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... point of view they were decidedly dirty. But it being obvious that Mr Scadder offered them for examination in a figurative sense, as emblems of his moral character, Martin hastened to pronounce them ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... between all Christian men and that heavenly City. It not merely exists, but we belong to it in the measure in which we are Christians. All these figurative expressions about our citizenship being in heaven and the like, rest on the simple fact that the life of Christian men on earth and in heaven is fundamentally the same. The principles which guide, the motives which sway, the tastes and desires, affections ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Oneida nation is deemed to be a comparatively recent offshoot from the Caniengas. The difference of language is slight, showing that their separation was much later than that of the Onondagas. In the figurative speech of the Iroquois, the Oneida is the son, and the Onondaga is the brother, of the Canienga. Dekanawidah had good reason to expect that it would not prove difficult to win the consent of the Oneidas to the proposed scheme. But delay and deliberation ...
— The Iroquois Book of Rites • Horatio Hale

... elaborated metaphor is called an allegory; both are figurative representations, the words used signifying something beyond their literal meaning. Thus, in the eightieth Psalm, the Jews are represented under the symbol ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... technical and figurative expression beyond her, paused in her knitting and looked anxiously at Phoebe, to see how she would take it. After a moment of thought, the young ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... is something great in the half-success that has attended the effort of turning into an emotional religion, Bald Conduct, without any appeal, or almost none, to the figurative, mysterious, and constitutive facts of life. Not that conduct is not constitutive, but dear! it's dreary! On the whole, conduct is better dealt with on the cast-iron "gentleman" and duty formula, with as little fervour and poetry as possible; ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... supplied. His ear was well tuned, and his diction was elegant and copious. But his devotional poetry is, like that of others, unsatisfactory. The paucity of its topics enforces perpetual repetition, and the sanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction. It is sufficient for Watts to have done better than others what no man has done well. His poems on other subjects seldom rise higher than might be expected from the amusements of a man of letters, and have different ...
— Lives of the Poets: Gay, Thomson, Young, and Others • Samuel Johnson

... Persia, Turkey, Italy, and Spain. The cold countries, even the temperate ones, France, England and Germany, make no pretensions. He is acquainted with every language and speaks the most of them. His style, elevated, grand and figurative, leads me to believe that he is of Oriental origin, and that he has absorbed what he found good among the Europeans. He is passionately fond of music, wild over poetry, inquisitive about paintings, a connoisseur in everything—I cannot ...
— Life, Letters, and Epicurean Philosophy of Ninon de L'Enclos, - the Celebrated Beauty of the Seventeenth Century • Robinson [and] Overton, ed. and translation.

... But this great exaltation has not removed Him for a moment out of our possession; we have Him. He is now the great Minister, the supreme sacerdotal Functionary, of the heavenly sanctuary, "the true tabernacle," [Greek: tes skenes tes alethines], the non-figurative reality of which the Mosaic structure was only the shadow; the true scene of unveiled Presence and immortal worship, "pitched" by Him whose face makes Heaven, and makes it all one temple. But this sublimity of our Priest's ...
— Messages from the Epistle to the Hebrews • Handley C.G. Moule

... an enlightened body of electors to receive L10,000 decimated amongst them, and has in return the honour of sleeping in "St. Stephen's," and smoking in "Bellamy's," or, to be less figurative, who has been returned as their representative in Parliament, receives the foretaste of his importance in a "public dinner," which commemorates his election; or should he desire to express "the deep sense of his gratitude," like Lord Mahon ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... Methodist song calls it, carries many who would steer by the wake of their vessel. But there are many others who do not trouble themselves to look over the stern, having their eyes fixed on the light-house in the distance before them. In less figurative language, there are multitudes of persons who are perfectly contented with the old formulae of the church with which they and their fathers before them have been and are connected, for the simple reason that they fit, like old shoes, because they have been worn so long, ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... never appealed to heart or brain. Will God ever be more to me than a force in and through all nature? Shall we ever see His face? Shall we ever feel the cares of His hand and hear His voice, not in a figurative sense, but ...
— Story of Chester Lawrence • Nephi Anderson

... these is, no doubt, what led the worthy Hernandez to suppose that the Mayas had Trinitarian doctrines. When they said that the god of the merchants and planters supplied the wants of men and furnished the world with desirable things, it was but a slightly figurative way of ...
— American Hero-Myths - A Study in the Native Religions of the Western Continent • Daniel G. Brinton

... consider the appeal to the emotions, which is the distinguishing essence of eloquence, and the attempts at it. In part this appeal is through the appeal to principles and associations which are close to the heart of the audience, in part through concrete and figurative language, in part through the indefinable thrill and music of style which lies beyond definition ...
— The Making of Arguments • J. H. Gardiner

... the truth of our minor, and the first evidence we shall call is a Dublin shoeblack. He is not in circumstances peculiarly favourable for the display of figurative language; he is in a court of justice, upon his trial for life or death. A quarrel happened between two shoeblacks, who were playing at what in England is called pitch-farthing, or heads and tails, and in Ireland, head or harp. One ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... that St. Luke the Evangelist was early regarded as the great authority with respect to the few Scripture particulars relating to the character and life of Mary; so that, in the figurative sense, he may be said to have painted that portrait of her which has been since received as the perfect type of womanhood:—1. Her noble, trustful humility, when she receives the salutation of the angel (Luke i. 38); the complete and feminine surrender of her whole being to the higher, ...
— Legends of the Madonna • Mrs. Jameson

... have all the physical states observed in ordinary liquids, although these cannot be actually seen owing to its opaqueness. There is no doubt that pure lead at a temperature only a little above its melting-point can contain a large proportion of gold in such a manner that it may in a figurative way be spoken of as a clear solution. Any small portion withdrawn from the molten metal would afford a perfect sample. The same would be true of any pure alloy of lead and silver in which the silver does not exceed the proportion of 2-1/2 per cent.[33] ...
— A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. • Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer

... illustration of figurative oratory a good story is told of a barrister pleading before Lord Ellenborough: "My lord, I appear before you in the character of an advocate for the City of London; my lord, the City of London herself appears before you as a suppliant for justice. My lord, it is ...
— Law and Laughter • George Alexander Morton

... of his remarkable verbal and figurative power in conversation are forcible in the extreme. It is said, with what truth we know not, that on one occasion the venerable head of this institution ventured to "tackle" him in a religious argument. Bill, after listening with a deference ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... from the action of mind. The word action itself has no real significance, except when applied to the doings of an intelligent agent; we cannot speak of the doings of matter, as we could if the word action were applicable to it in any other than a figurative sense. Again, in speaking of the similarity of facts and the regularity of sequences, we refer them to a law of nature, just as if they were sentient beings acting under the will of a sovereign. Parts of pure matter—the chemical elements, ...
— A Theory of Creation: A Review of 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' • Francis Bowen

... such anxiety brings a man. Nothing tears us to pieces like foreboding care. Then our text forbids the same anxiety, as well as other fluctuations of feeling that come from setting our hopes and hearts on aught which can change; and its figurative representation of the misery that follows on fastening ourselves to the perishable, is that of the poor little skiff, at one moment high on the crest of the billow, at the next down in ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... know; the improvement of Mr. Braidwood's pupils is wonderful. They not only speak, write, and understand what is written, but if he that speaks looks towards them, and modifies his organs by distinct and full utterance, they know so well what is spoken, that it is an expression scarcely figurative to say, they hear with the eye. That any have attained to the power mentioned by Burnet, of feeling sounds, by laying a hand on the speaker's mouth, I know not; but I have seen so much, that I can believe more; a single ...
— A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland • Samuel Johnson

... social outlawry, proud man's contumely, and so forth; entirely without reference to the moral worth of the person most concerned. In a word, poverty is, in the eyes of the orthodox Christian, a hell in the hand, better worth avoiding than two hells in the book, which latter may be only figurative ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... assume with some probability that in the mind of the natives such resemblances are not purely figurative or symbolic, but that they are also magical in intention, being supposed not merely to represent the object of the supplicant's prayer, but actually, on the principle of homoeopathic or imitative magic, to contribute to its accomplishment. If that is so, we ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... be more distinct than the object it reflects; and if Mr. Clerk's version can be trusted (it appears to be more literal though less rhetorical than MacPherson's) the Gaelic is often concrete and sharp where MacPherson is general; often plain where he is figurative or ornate; and sometimes of a meaning quite different from his rendering. Take, e.g., the closing passage of the second "Duan," or book, ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers



Words linked to "Figurative" :   tropical, synecdochic, extended, analogical, representational, metonymical, synecdochical, metaphoric, nonliteral, metonymic, literal, metaphorical, rhetorical, poetic



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