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Imponderable   /ɪmpˈɑndərəbəl/   Listen

A factor whose effects cannot be accurately assessed.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Imponderable" Quotes from Famous Books

... noons. If no ghost resided in the melancholy ruin hard by, there might well be some imponderable hostile essence afloat in the still air of midday. Anything, he felt, could happen at this unearthly hour. The wildest follies might be committed at the bidding of this ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... as well as by messages in writing, believes that the spirits of her dead are trying to communicate with her, and so sits night after night terrified yet hoping, waiting for further instructions from the imponderable ones.'" Britt turned a few pages rapidly. "Listen to this. Here is the key to the old man's change of heart: 'To-night the child began to speak to me in the voice of a man. Hoarse words rose from deep in her throat, a voice and words impossible to her in ...
— The Tyranny of the Dark • Hamlin Garland

... the Salons, he has no disciples, yet it is doubtful if any painter's fashion of seeing things has had such an influence on the generation following him. The name of Degas, the pastels of Degas, the miraculous draughtsmanship of Degas created an imponderable fluid which still permeates Paris. Naturally, after the egg trick was discovered we encounter scores of young Columbuses, who paint ballet girls' legs and the heads of orchestral musicians and scenes from ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... along the street. It was the illustrious Helmholtz, then in his best years, with great achievements behind him and before. His researches in many fields were profound and far extending. I suppose his genius was at its best when dealing with the pervasive imponderable ether that extends out from the earth into the vast planetary spaces in whose vibrations are conditioned the phenomena of light. No subject of investigation can be more elusive. The mind that could grapple ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... respects inspiration and origin. The great Pantheistic divinity is spoken of by Pantheists as the great soul of the universe, while the more materialistic look upon it as the universe itself, body and soul. With them the soul is the fountain of all the imponderable forces, vegetable and animal life, the mesmeric influences, galvanism, magnetism, electricity, light and heat; and the body the sum of all the ponderable substances; in one word, "God is everything, and everything is God." This system is ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 7, July, 1880 • Various

... the room they came from. In fact, there was a nest of young mutineers just there, which must be broken up by a coup d'etat. This was easily effected by redistributing the seats and arranging the scholars according to classes, so that a mischievous fellow, charged full of the rebellious imponderable, should find himself between two non-conductors, in the shape of small boys of studious habits. It was managed quietly enough, in such a plausible sort of way that its motive was not thought of. But its effects were soon felt; and then began a system of correspondence by signs, and the throwing ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... decision in the end. It is a mighty force that of mere chance; absolutely irresistible yet manifesting itself often in delicate forms such for instance as the charm, true or illusory, of a human being. It is very difficult to put one's finger on the imponderable, but I may venture to say that it is Flora de Barral who is really responsible for this novel which relates, in fact, the story of ...
— Notes on My Books • Joseph Conrad

... violent to understand the world. The root of the evil is that a whole range of the higher values is inaccessible to the majority, because they know nothing of intellectual wealth. And yet the real wealth of a nation consists in its imponderable possessions—in those things wherein one man's gain is not another man's loss, and which are not proved incapable of increase by any laws of thermo-dynamics. An inexhaustible treasure is freely open to all who have passed through a good course of mental training, ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... in the germ. Can you define the yearnings that the mother feels toward her child, the tie that binds son to father? Then you can define the sentiment that attaches me to the land from whose breast I have drawn life. The love of country is more invisible, more imponderable, more inappreciable than the electricity that fills the air and flows with perpetual variation from pole to pole of the earth. It is as deep, as unsearchable, as ineffable as the power which sways me to you. It is the sublimation of other affection. A portion of you ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... of the night, of the inanimate and imponderable black walls, and of herself, were exquisitely and abnormally keen. She saw him there, bowed under his burden, gloomy and wroth and sick with himself because the man in him despised the coward. Men of his stamp were seldom or never cowards. Their lives did not breed cowardice ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... peak to deep-caved southern sea, With lifted hand and voice of gathered sound, And echoes in his tossing quiver bound And loosed from height into immensity; Yet of his freedom tires, remaining free. —Moulding and remoulding imponderable cloud, Uplifting skiey archipelagian isles Sunnier than ocean's, blue seas and white isles Aflush with blossom where late sunlight glowed;— Still of his freedom tiring yet still free, Homelessly roaming ...
— Poems New and Old • John Freeman

... of the winds and rains. For them there is no hint "of the incommunicable dream" in the curve of the rising wave, no murmur of the oceanic undertone in the short leaping sounds, invisible things that laugh and clap their hands for joy and are no more. To them it is but a desert: obscure, imponderable, a weariness. The "profundity" of Browning, so dear a claim in the eyes of the poet's fanatical admirers, exists, in their sense, only in his inferior work. There is more profound insight in Blake's Song of Innocence, "Piping down the valleys wild," or in Wordsworth's ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... first stage of visible existence, between him and the lower mammals, then he has a right to answer—as he will answer—So much the worse for the microscope and scalpel: so much the better for my old belief, that there is beneath my birth, life, death, a substratum of supernatural causes, imponderable, invisible, unknowable by any physical science whatsoever. If you cannot render me a reason how I came hither, and what I am, I must go to those who will render me one. And if that craving be not satisfied ...
— The Ancien Regime • Charles Kingsley

Words linked to "Imponderable" :   ponderable, leavening, leaven, influence

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