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Ghastliness   /gˈæstlinəs/   Listen
Ghastliness

noun
1.
The quality of being ghastly.  Synonyms: grimness, gruesomeness, luridness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Ghastliness" Quotes from Famous Books



... whole assembly. These meetings were the substitutes for all other social diversions or emotions. There was a revival preacher by the name of Knapp, whose lurid eloquence in this vein made him famous, and whose imagery was equal in ghastliness to anything that the Catholic Church could produce. I remember one of his most dramatic bits, borrowed from a much earlier preacher, a passage in his description of hell. In hell, he said, there ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... afternoon when we arrived. Legrand had been awaiting us in eager expectation. He grasped my hand with a nervous EMPRESSEMENT, which alarmed me and strengthened the suspicions already entertained. His countenance was pale even to ghastliness, and his deep-set eyes glared with unnatural lustre. After some inquiries respecting his health, I asked him, not knowing what better to say, if he had yet obtained the scarabaeus from ...
— Short Stories for English Courses • Various (Rosa M. R. Mikels ed.)

... elastic length. We have heard a chapel choir sing a hymn of twelve verses, and felt ready for a stimulant afterwards to revive our exhausted energies; if twenty-three verses had to be fought through at one standing, in our hearing, we should smile with a musical ghastliness ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... with me, and her gestures as she paced restlessly along the little strip of moonlit path. The speech before she takes the potion was the least satisfactory of all; the ghastliness and horror of it are beyond her resources as yet; she could not infuse them with that terrible beauty which Desforets would have given to every line. But where is the English actress that has ever ...
— Miss Bretherton • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... of the same day blazed down upon a picture which for ghastliness surpassed even the horrors painted by the madman Werth, which, if your mind is steeped in morbidness, you can see for a franc, or for nothing, I really forget which, ...
— Desert Love • Joan Conquest

... with a hideous load—a row of human skeletons, stark, fleshless, frightful in their ghastliness. All were headless. All, suspended by the cervical vertebrae, swayed lightly as the blue-green light glared on them with ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... upstairs in a hurry, and returned in fur cap and overcoat in ten minutes. A young man, tall and slender, but pale to ghastliness, with haggard cheeks and hollow eyes, stood, wrapped in a long cloak, beside the Captain. He had been handsome, you could see, even through that bloodless pallor, and there was a look in his great blue eyes that startlingly ...
— Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters - A Novel • May Agnes Fleming

... threescore, short and ill-made, with a yellow cadaverous hue, great goggle eyes, that stared as if he was strangled; an out-mouth from two more properly tusks than teeth, livid lips, and breath like a Jake's: then he had a peculiar ghastliness in his grin, that made him perfectly frightful, if not dangerous to women with child; yet, made as he was thus in mock of man, he was so blind to his own staring deformities, as to think himself born to please, and that no woman could see him with impunity: ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... gentleman born and bred, but my clothes sat but roughly and indifferently on me, partly through lack of oversight and partly from that rude tumble I had gotten. Indeed, my breeches and my coat were something torn by it. Then, too, I had doubtless a look of ghastliness and astonishment that might well have awaked suspicion, and Capt. Geoffry Cavendish had never spoken with me in the short time since his return. "Who may you be?" he asked, and his voice hesitated between hostility and friendliness, and my stepfather ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... and very small indeed on hers. They wrote to her guardians of course to acquaint them with the shocking fact of her flight, but dwelt far more upon the badness of her behavior to them from the first, the rapidity with which she had deteriorated, and the ghastliness of their convictions as to the depth of the degradation she had preferred to the shelter ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... if recognizing that her experiences in the field of courtship had, indeed, been slightly enviable. But so far was she from being, in the words of Robert South, "in love with her own ruin," that the illusion was transient as lightning; cold reason came back to mock her spasmodic weakness; the ghastliness of her momentary pride would convict her, and recall ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... simple tale" (abominable!); "unprovendered;" "such his tale;" "Ah, suffering to the height of what was sufffered" (a most insufferable line); "amazements of affright;" "The hot, sore brain attributes its own hues of ghastliness and torture" (what shocking ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... the only resurrection these dead ones can ever have. I have been reading, in Maury's Geography of the Sea, how the sea's dead are preserved; how they stand like enchanted warders of the treasures of the deep, unchanged, except that the expression of life is exchanged for the ghastliness of death. So, down beneath the surface currents do some deep souls preserve their dead hopes, joys, loves. Oh, this is unwise; this is not as God intended; for, unlike the sea's dead, there will be ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... strips of flesh were trailing, blue and discoloured by their long immersion in the water. On the shoulders and back of the neck were bruises and stains of blood. Bouzille, who was quite unaffected by the ghastliness of the object and still kept up his gay chant "I have fished up a body, I've earned twenty-five francs," observed that there were large splinters of wood, rotten from long immersion, sticking in some of the wounds. He stood up and addressed mother Chiquard who, white as a sheet, ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... sealed again; it had been unopened for more than two hundred and fifty years. It was during these alterations that the cenotaph standing over the vault was removed further east to where it now stands. It is a typical piece of Renaissance work, florid, intricate, insistent on the ghastliness of death. The effigy of the archbishop, stern and noble, lies on its marble bed supported by stacks of gilt-clasped books; underneath, a grating reveals a medley of human bones, carved with the minutest detail. ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... tragedy itself did not appeal to him. The fact that Wilson, the man who through the long years had been his enemy—yes, and his rival, too—was dead did not appeal to him. The ghastliness of the tragedy was not what he thought about at all. Ever and always his mind reverted to his ...
— The Day of Judgment • Joseph Hocking

... merest knot of mould will transform itself, as one watches it, and nothing else, into enormous cliffs, long slopes of moor, and spurs of mountain-range. Oh, those smooth white walls and ceilings! If there had but been a print—a stain of dirt—a cobweb, to fleck their unbroken ghastliness! They stared at me, like grim, impassive, featureless formless fiends; all the more dreadful for their sleek, hypocritic cleanliness—purity as of a saint-inquisitor watching with spotless conscience the victim on the rack. They choked me—I gasped for breath, stretched out my ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... unhurt was no match for the wounded Indian, who sat astride of him with his knife lifted when Wetzel's dog sprung at his throat. Wetzel now flung him off, and while the dog held him helpless, easily dispatched him. Another story is of the usual ghastliness relieved by a touch of the comic. Colonel Robert Elliott was shot by the Indians near the northern line of Hamilton County. One of them sprang upon him to scalp him, but at a touch the poor man's wig came off in his hand. He lifted it and was heard to say with ...
— Stories Of Ohio - 1897 • William Dean Howells

... push the glass away, but Dellwig insisted. Klutz was pale to ghastliness, and his eyes were brimming ...
— The Benefactress • Elizabeth Beauchamp

... would you believe it, the man with no mouth and jaw fell to helping again! The wheels struck a rise in the ground, and he waved his hands in impotent excitement, and then rushed at Jimmie, exposing to the horrified little machinist the full ghastliness of that red cavern ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... attack at Ypres had been an innovation. It was not a discovery; merely an application of ghastliness which had been considered too horrible for use. As a surprise it had been successful—once. The defense answered with gas masks, which made it still more important that soldiers should not be absent-minded and leave any of their kit out of reach. The same amount of ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... time all was very still, save for the occasional whine of a dog. I was alone, and it grew toward the end of my watch, when Maitland would succeed me. My slow tread tolled like a passing-bell, and the mountainous ice lay vague and white around me, its sheeted ghastliness not less dreadfully ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... the tombstone. To say that she was green or yellow would ill describe the ghastliness of the tint that suffused her naturally bilious countenance; still speechless, she made a frantic plunge towards the great urn that adorned the head of the grave. Mr. Landale looked up from his reading again ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... had been content to live in was a Satanic show, and the real thing was that dead, topsy-turvy world down there in the cold, gray lake under the reeking mists? I sneaked back into the house to see if the streak hadn't dried yet; but no! it loomed in tell-tale ghastliness, a sort of writing on the wall announcing the wrath and visitation of heaven. I went outside again and smoked miserably on the little bench. Gradually I began to feel warmer, the mists seemed clearing. I rose and stretched ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... cushions in the corner. The room, according to universal custom in Martial houses after sunset, was brilliantly lighted by the electric lamp in the peristyle, and throwing back her veil, I saw that she was pale to ghastliness and almost fainting. In my ignorance of my own house, I could call for no help, and employ no other restoratives than fond words and caresses. Under this treatment, nevertheless, she recovered perhaps as quickly as under any which the faculty ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... exaggerating. In his agitation, he stepped forward into the lighter part of the room, and I could see that his face was pale to ghastliness—except his nose and the adjacent red patches on his cheeks, which stood out in grotesquely hideous contrast. Presently, however, he recovered a ...
— The Mystery of 31 New Inn • R. Austin Freeman

... he had thrown into the sea at Kuana. Chilled with horror, he looked again, and saw that the priest was smiling in scorn. He would have fled into the house, but the ghost stretched forth its withered arm, and, clutching the back of his neck, scowled at him with a vindictive glare, and a hideous ghastliness of mien, so unspeakably awful that any ordinary man would have swooned with fear. But Tokubei, tradesman though he was, had once been a soldier, and was not easily matched for daring; so he shook off the ghost, and, leaping ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... of Life which usually burned in my body, making me look bright and young, was now none of it my own; a few hot ashes only were mine, which Death sat cowering by! I could not but sit and gaze at the reflection of the seared ghastliness of that face, which was mine and yet not mine, and feel well-nigh sick unto death. After a while, however, I plucked up heart. I considered that it was impossible this change had come all at once; ...
— Master of His Fate • J. Mclaren Cobban

... this he looked at his companion, and noticed for the first time the ghastliness of ...
— Victor's Triumph - Sequel to A Beautiful Fiend • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... was it possible for him to go back to the ghastliness of the dugout, the bereft house, where it was as if the most precious inmate had suddenly died—to the place that had held Celia but would ...
— The Way of the Wind • Zoe Anderson Norris

... know whether it frightened him or soothed him to see his superstition treated with respect—neither denied, nor reasoned away. But the ghastliness was not in the mere fear that death might not ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge



Words linked to "Ghastliness" :   ghastly, frightfulness



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