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Inertia   /ɪnˈərʃə/   Listen
Inertia

noun
1.
A disposition to remain inactive or inert.  Synonyms: inactiveness, inactivity.
2.
(physics) the tendency of a body to maintain its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force.



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"Inertia" Quotes from Famous Books



... caught a darker gloom; the backs of the books seemed to have lost their gilding, and the mahogany furniture its French polish. There, like a god, Lord Cashel sate alone, throned amid clouds of awful dulness, ruling the world of nothingness around by the silent solemnity of his inertia. ...
— The Kellys and the O'Kellys • Anthony Trollope

... are forever changing. So are ideas of right and wrong, and so, too, are statutes. The law, no doubt, makes it harder for customs and habits to be changed, for it adds to the inertia of the existing thing. ...
— Crime: Its Cause and Treatment • Clarence Darrow

... brunt of war, yield passive obedience to the brain that directs them, and strike down the men opposed to them as the woodcutter fells timber in the forest. Violent physical exertion is succeeded by times of inertia, when they repair the waste. They fight and drink, fight and eat, fight and sleep, that they may the better deal hard blows; the powers of the mind are not greatly exercised in this turbulent round of existence, and the character is as simple ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... there were not so many models handy as for the other, but Milton has written too little to enable us to decide how far its inferiority to the earlier epic is due to this fact, and how far to the inherent inertia of its subject-matter. Little movement can be contrived in a mere dialogue such as 'Paradise Regained '; it lacks the grandiose mise-en-scene and the shifting splendours of the greater epic; the stupendous figure of the rebellious archangel, the true hero of 'Paradise Lost,' is here ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... development. Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul (1905) and Marriage (1912) are his best works, considered as actual novels of character. Kipps is a bitter but strong portrayal of the pretense and hypocrisy of society and of its inertia in responding to human needs, and Marriage is a subtle, psychological analysis of a conjugal misunderstanding and an attempted readjustment. Wells's study of man as a biological development and his preference of actual facts to sentimental conclusions are in accord with the ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... dry, and changing it into a social religion. The principal is a Teachers College man and one of the most influential educators in China. He speaks largely in picturesque metaphor, and I'm sorry I can't remember what he said. Among other things, in speaking of the energy of the Japanese and the inertia of the Chinese, he said the former were mercury, affected by every change about them, and the latter cotton wool that the heat didn't warm and cold didn't freeze. He confirmed my growing idea, however, that the conservatism of the Chinese ...
— Letters from China and Japan • John Dewey

... he swam on, fighting against the heartbreaking thought that his companion had perhaps gone "down to the dim sea-line" in very truth. She had been so brave, so strong. She had buoyed up his courage when it had been fainting; she had fought splendidly against the last terrible inertia of exhaustion. ...
— The Stolen Singer • Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger

... not done what I felt that I must do at all risks," he said, as he once more made an effort to rouse himself from the drowsy inertia which was holding him in something ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... is an organism which is represented at its highest in the brain. The brain embraces all our past and the possibilities of our future. The individual character with all its active and passive peculiarities, with all its antipathies, genius, talents, stupidities, virtues, and vices, its inertia and its energy is predetermined ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... monarchy is a device for combining the inertia of a wooden idol with the credibility of a flesh ...
— Maxims for Revolutionists • George Bernard Shaw

... will may be a poor slave and the appetites hard taskmasters. But under their stern discipline it is growing stronger and more completely subjugating the body. Better slavery to hard taskmasters than rottenness from inertia. The first requirement is power, activity, and then this power can be directed to ever higher ends. You cannot steer the vessel until she has sails or an engine; with no "way on" she will not mind the helm, she only ...
— The Whence and the Whither of Man • John Mason Tyler

... inertia of straightness, or centrifugal (or centre-flying) force, tends more away from the centre of motion towards the bottom of the vessel, than towards the earth ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, - Issue 491, May 28, 1831 • Various

... has met with the most determined opposition. Fortunately, progress is not the result of pre-arranged plans of individuals, but is born of a fortuitous combination of circumstances that compel certain results, overcoming the natural inertia of mankind. There is a certain enjoyment in habitual sluggishness; in rising each morning with the same ideas as the night before; in retiring each night with the thoughts of the morning. This inertia of mind and body has ever held the multitude in chains. Thousands have thus surrendered their most ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... Mother, yielding of Her substance to form His Body, the universe, when overshadowed by His power.[271] Regarded carefully She is seen to be triple also, existing in three inseparable aspects, without which She could not be. These are Stability—Inertia or Resistance—Motion, and Rhythm; the fundamental or essential qualities of Matter, these are called. They alone render Spirit effective, and have therefore been regarded as the manifested Powers of the ...
— Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries • Annie Besant

... sitting down beside her, his gallantry recovered, "the time will now go all too quickly till you leave. But I must ask you for the news. I have most bitterly condemned myself for my inertia of last night. You wisely counselled me: it was my duty to resist. You wisely and nobly counselled me; I have since thought of it with wonder. You have a ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... curious impression of doing everything that he did in obedience to inertia rather than in its defiance, indicated some command to the puzzled guards, and they led old Malakh to a stone bench not far from the dais, and there he sank down, ...
— Romance Island • Zona Gale

... cessation, immobility, inertia, quiet, suffering, deliberation, inaction, passion,[A] repose, suspension. endurance, inactivity, ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... spare one's energies is natural to man. To gain wealth with the least expenditure of energy is said to be the chief economic motive. Most men are by nature lazy. This law of inertia applies not only in the physical world, but also in the intellectual, moral and spiritual fields. The great majority of men follow the line of least resistance. In politics and morals they accept the standards of their associates. Unconsciously they join the great army of the drifters, or ...
— The Making of a Nation - The Beginnings of Israel's History • Charles Foster Kent and Jeremiah Whipple Jenks

... before, and of which we know that it will attain its object. But the truth of the matter lies deeper, and a more precise explanation of it can be given than appears at first sight. Bodies which may be moved by mechanical means only are subject to the power of inertia; and applied to bodies which may be acted on by motives, this power becomes the force of habit. The actions which we perform by mere habit come about, in fact, without any individual separate motive brought into play for the particular ...
— The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Religion, A Dialogue, Etc. • Arthur Schopenhauer

... perceive that the game, be it Fly, Locust, Grasshopper, or Butterfly, is always struck in the neck, from behind. The first bite is aimed at the point containing the cervical ganglia and produces sudden death or immobility. Complete inertia will leave the consumer in peace, the essential condition of every ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... areas we may omit, as the planimeter will do that equally well. But of purely graphical processes which the integraph will undertake for us, I may mention the discovery of centroids, of moments of inertia (or second moments), of a scale of logarithms, of the real roots of cubic equations, and of equations of higher order (with, however, increasing labor). Further, the calculation of the cost of cutting and embanking for railways by ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 794, March 21, 1891 • Various

... unaided product of a single mind, could ever be generally accepted, or be worthy of general acceptance, as an international mode of communication. Such a language failed to carry the prestige necessary to overcome the immense inertia which any attempt to adopt it would meet with. Invented languages, the visionary schemes of idealists, apparently received no support from practical men of affairs. It seemed to be among actual languages, living or dead, ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... of the human-kind shut their eyes to plainest facts; and by the mere inertia of Oblivion and Stupidity, live at ease in the midst of Wonders and Terrors. But indeed man is, and was always, a blockhead and dullard; much readier to feel and digest, than to think and consider. Prejudice, which he pretends to hate, is his absolute lawgiver; mere use-and-wont everywhere ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... examining ourselves by the revealed standard of God's will, to let in the light of the Spirit on our judgments and acts. For the struggle of the Spirit for control is a struggle with a resisting and sluggish will. We see, but we do not move; we know, but we do not act. The horrible inertia of spiritual sloth paralyses us, and the call of the Spirit is heard in vain. Like the man in our Lord's parable we plead the lateness of the hour, and our unwillingness to disturb others as our excuse for not rising at the Spirit's summons. But the Spirit, like the Friend ...
— Our Lady Saint Mary • J. G. H. Barry

... notion that the eye, unknown to itself, catches the sum total of little flexings of the muscles, movements of the skin, winkings, even the play of wind and light in the hair of the coat, all of which, while impossible of analysis, together relieve the appearance of dead inertia. The vitality of a creature like the crocodile, however, seems to have withdrawn into the inner recesses of its being. It lies like a log of wood, and for a log of ...
— The Land of Footprints • Stewart Edward White

... national issues.[507] In much the same way, the great party organizations retarded the growth of sectionalism at the South. The very fact that party ties held long after social institutions had been broken asunder, proves their superior cohesion and nationalizing power. The inertia of parties during the prolonged slavery controversy was an element of strength. Because these formal organizations did not lend themselves readily to radical policies, they provided a frame-work, within which adjustments of differences were effected without danger to the Union. ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... Mexico—has been the honorless skill with which they have fed the American mind upon the idea of a disgruntled Germany, a starving Germany, and all such twaddle! Can't you see why such tales are being circulated? Simply to inject into our minds the poison of national inertia, so that when war comes—as it some day shall—every fellow will be likely to think: 'Oh, it can't last long now!—let the other boys ...
— Where the Souls of Men are Calling • Credo Harris

... Cross and Madame Guyon, are intensely devotional and ecstatic. It seems to be a well-defined condition of listlessness, apathy, and dryness, as they call it, not a state of active pain, but of terrible inertia, weariness, and incapacity for feeling; "a wan and ...
— Mysticism in English Literature • Caroline F. E. Spurgeon

... unforgivable inertia, and the egotism that enveloped him like an atmosphere, there was a charm to the man that put my impatience to sleep. I tried to think that this indifference and sunny idleness were perhaps the natural reaction of that larger life of emotion and activity from which ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... towns. They were also to be found at the offices of the Signal, in railway waiting-rooms, and in the various reading-rooms; and on the second of Daniel's three Sundays they were exposed in the porches of churches and chapels. Chapel-keepers and vergers would come to Samuel and ask with the heavy inertia of their stupidity: "About pens and ink, sir?" These officials had the air of audaciously disturbing the sacrosanct routine of centuries in order to confer ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal. What is wrong with priests and popes is that instead of being apostles and saints, they are nothing but empirics who say "I know" instead of "I am learning," and pray for credulity and inertia as wise men pray for scepticism and activity. Such abominations as the Inquisition and the Vaccination Acts are possible only in the famine years of the soul, when the great vital dogmas of honor, liberty, courage, the kinship of all life, faith ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors • George Bernard Shaw

... which there was no possibility either of meeting or avoiding. He was very successful in argument, and yet he never fenced. He simply came down. It was, so to speak, a case of small sword versus the avalanche. His moral inertia was tremendous. He was never excited, never anxious, never jaded; he was simply massive. Cleverness broke upon him like shipping on an ironbound coast. His monument is like him—a plain large obelisk of ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... whirlpool. The next few years were a troublous time, a stormy era of transition, for most English people. For many besides myself the period was a veritable maelstrom of confusion, of blind battling with unrecognized forces, of wasted effort, neglected duty, futile struggles, and slavish inertia. ...
— The Message • Alec John Dawson

... inertia of the atmosphere, which gives effect to their wings. Were it possible for a bird to live without respiration, and in a space void of air, it would no longer have the power of flight. The plumage of the wings being ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, - Issue 564, September 1, 1832 • Various

... This skillful inertia baffled the fair, in a man; in a woman, they might have expected it; and, after a few hours, Zoe's ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... feeling of drowsiness. After about ten minutes the ability to give strong concentration seems to disintegrate, attention is renewed only by fits and starts and in the presence of great, mental inertia, and the oncoming of sleep is almost overpowering. An unfailing cure for insomnia, speaking for myself, is the persistent effort to put some one else asleep by hard thinking of the end in view, with a continued gentle movement, such as stroking ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... it, is one half the new theory; the other half is not less acceptable. Newton had described motion as a result of two principles: the first, inertia, was supposed to be inherent in bodies; the second, gravity, was incidental to their co-existence. Yet inherent inertia can only be observed relatively: it makes no difference to me whether I am said to be moving at a great speed or absolutely ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... "pictured" in my mind can have made no impression on hers; yet, on the other hand, it has also happened that she has accepted my inaccuracies—simply because she was tired, and did not want the trouble of "thinking for herself." Indeed, I could see as much in her eyes—there would be a sense of inertia about her, which indicated that she was only waiting to "guess" by means of feeling—a willing receptacle, as it were, ready to receive my thoughts. I have often made the attempt at "thinking" new things into her head—but have found this ...
— Lola - The Thought and Speech of Animals • Henny Kindermann

... fear that after all it will not taste that toothsome hippo chop, for the man who has caught the rope is as nearly as possible jerked flying out of the canoe when the strain of the Eclaireur contending with the hippo's inertia flies along it, but his companion behind him grips him by the legs and is in his turn grabbed, and the crew holding on to each other with their hands, and on to their craft with their feet, save the man holding on to the rope and the whole situation; ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... increases, the amount of red-tape piles up until more social energy is consumed in overcoming social inertia and the friction that is the result of social function, than is produced by the function in question. When this point is reached, the social machinery operates at a constant loss, and it is only a question of time when it will cease ...
— The Next Step - A Plan for Economic World Federation • Scott Nearing

... interrogation-point. Waiting under it, with a perpetual upward gaze, perhaps she grew a little dizzy. The sun of March had been increasing, and the air that Saturday afternoon had begun to melt and glow and hang in the streets with a kind of inertia, like a curtain that had to be parted to be penetrated. Hilda came into the house and faced the stairs with an inclination to leave her body on the ground floor and mount in spirit only. When she glanced in at the drawing-room ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... meet at right angles, doctor," he said, "you know what happens to the object. Not contented inertia." ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... on one elbow,—still dizzy with mental chaos, still paralyzed with physical inertia,—the Senior Surgeon lay staring blankly all around him. Indifferently for an instant his stare included the White Linen Nurse. Then glowering suddenly at something way beyond her, his face ...
— The White Linen Nurse • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... for temporal power, and openly trafficking in ecclesiastical offices which were once supposed to belong by right to men of saintly lives; it is probable that this barefaced profligacy of the papal court was responsible for the widespread moral inertia which was characteristic of the time. The pontiff's chair at the dawn of this century was filled by Roderigo Borgia, known as Alexander VI., and it may well be said that his career of crime and lust gave the keynote to the society which was ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... carried on by the inertia of their old occupations and doing their best with an enterprise that had suddenly become altogether extraordinary and irrational. They worked amidst questionings, and yet light-heartedly. At every stage there must have been interruptions ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... Edwin more firmly, pulling at the lifeless arm. Albert sprang up, and said that he would assist. One on either side, they got Darius to his feet, and slowly walked him out of the room. He was very exasperating. His weight and his inertia were terrible. The spectacle suggested that either Darius was pretending to be a carcass, or Edwin and Albert were pretending that a carcass was alive. On the stairs there was not room for the three abreast. One had to push, another ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... from John's inertia, that the duty of winding up the estate fell into the hands of Charles. He managed it with no more skill than might be expected of a sailor ashore, saved a bare livelihood for John and nothing for the rest. Eight months later, he married Miss Jackson; and with ...
— Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin • Robert Louis Stevenson

... very wisely and truly, that inertia was the breeding-ground of inspiration. I think, on the whole, that the total and entire absence of any species of inertia in Hugh's temperament reacted in a way unfavourably on his books. I do not think they simmered in his mind, but were projected, ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... dealt grimly with him through the last four-and-twenty hours. His day had been spent in a way which varied very materially from his intentions regarding it. There is always an inertia to be overcome in striking out a new line of conduct—not more in ourselves, it seems, than in circumscribing events, which appear as if leagued together to allow no novelties ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... explorata insulae fertilitate et indigenarum inertia, rupto foedere, in ipsos, a quibus fuerant invitati arma verterunt."—Newburgh, Hist. Rerum Anglic. (Rolls Series No. 82). ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... the face of a peasant from a long line of peasants, and it was complex with the simple complexity of the simplest and most primal emotions, with love and joy and wonder, the half-fearful triumph of swift inertia, attained at last in the full element of life. The others were different; they were dimpling and laughing and jesting in their unintelligible guttural. Their faces knew nothing of the seriousness of the bride's. One of them was exceedingly ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... remark how injurious it was to the impression of Coleridge's finest displays where the minds of the hearers had been long detained in a state of passiveness. To understand fully, to sympathise deeply, it was essential that they should react. Absolute inertia produced inevitable torpor. I am not supposing any indocility, or unwillingness to listen. Generally it might be said that merely to find themselves in that presence argued sufficiently in the hearers a cheerful dedication of themselves to ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. II (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... the incarnation of energy. From the moment of her birth when, in the words of her negro "mammy" she had looked "as peart as life," she had begun her battle against the enveloping twin powers of decay and inertia. To the intense secret mortification of her mother, who had prayed for a second waxlike infant after the fashion of poor Jane, she had been a notoriously ugly baby (almost as ugly as her Aunt Becky ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... been particularly struck with the horror with which the omission of certain forms was regarded by persons in whom I could discover no trace of any religious principle. The Church has a few dissensions to combat; she has not been weakened by schism; but she is slowly ossifying from sheer inertia. The Reformation needs to be reformed again, and perhaps the tardy privileges granted to the Haugianer and Lasare—the northern Methodists—may result in producing a body of Dissenters large enough to excite emulation, ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... Government. So long as the Government has not an understanding with the country, it will not free itself from this tutelage. The Government looks to no vigorous future; it's an arm, the head is the convent. Through its inertia, it allows itself to be dragged from abyss to abyss; its existence is no more than a shadow. Compare our system of government with the systems of countries ...
— An Eagle Flight - A Filipino Novel Adapted from Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... to what extent it was safe to depend upon St. Peter. Unforeseen obstacles cropped up on every side. Newman's energies were untiring, but so was the inertia of the Irish authorities. On his appointment, he wrote to Dr. Cullen asking that arrangements might be made for his reception in Dublin. Dr. Cullen did not reply. Newman wrote again, but still there was no answer. Weeks ...
— Eminent Victorians • Lytton Strachey

... hiding-place, I hid under the dark staircase in the hall, and heard my protector deliver an eloquent invective on the subject of stepmothers. It was the one occasion in my long acquaintance with her when I saw her fairly roused out of her amiable inertia. Albemarle, the baby, had spilled bacon gravy over her dress that very morning, and I had heard her console him immediately with the assurance that there was "a plenty more in the dish." But possessed though she was with that peculiar ...
— The Romance of a Plain Man • Ellen Glasgow

... adjustment that had brought about the conditions into which he was all too suddenly plunged by a charge of duck-shot. He came and was filled with an inalterable perplexity, but some of his questions were too ingenuous; and while we may sympathise with the awful inertia of Hilyer before the impossible task of explaining the inexplicable differences between mortal precept and mortal practice, we feel that we might, in some cases at least, have made a more determined effort. ...
— H. G. Wells • J. D. Beresford

... a great effect in improving the South, that section has not yet been transformed into an Eden. In spite of farm demonstrations, experiment stations, and boys' and girls' clubs, the stubborn inertia of a rural population fixed on the soil has only been shocked, not routed. Much land is barely scratched instead of being ploughed deep; millions of acres bear no cover crops but lose their fertility through the leaching of valuable constituents during the winter. Fertilizer is bought at exorbitant ...
— The New South - A Chronicle Of Social And Industrial Evolution • Holland Thompson

... He swayed in his seat. His eyes closed and his grasp on the levers slackened. Again he saw that senseless form strapped in the observer's seat. Poor Carleton. He had been hard hit. Nothing for it but to land him as gently and as safely as possible. Will power overcame the growing weakness and inertia for one more struggle against the darkness that threatened his consciousness, and Archie, striving with every element of his being against falling forward insensible, threw back his elevator ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Flying Corps • James R. Driscoll

... it was followed by the publication of an edition of the New Testament alone. What a strange miscalculation of forces it appears to have been! It implied that readers generally were as much martinets in language as the editor, and it did not take into account the immense inertia to be overcome, when a single man should undertake to set aside the accumulated reverence of two centuries. The revision of the Bible by Webster was in singular confirmation of traits of character which have already been noted. He had unlimited confidence in himself, an almost childish ...
— Noah Webster - American Men of Letters • Horace E. Scudder

... locomotion in Mammalia. His words are: 'The theory here advocated is to the effect that the descent of the testes in the Mammalia has been produced by the action of mechanical strains causing rupture of the mesorchial attachments, such strains being due to the inertia of the organs reacting to the impulsiveness involved in the activity of the animals composing the group.' The 'impulsiveness' is the galloping or leaping movement which is characteristic of most Mammals when moving at their utmost speed, as seen, for example, ...
— Hormones and Heredity • J. T. Cunningham

... degree of near kinship, without troublesome solicitations. It was specially asked for in the circular, but by no means generally answered, even by those who replied freely to other questions. The reason must in some cases have been mere oversight or pure inertia, but to a large extent it was due to ignorance, for I was astonished to find many to whom the number of even their near kinsfolk was avowedly unknown. Emigration, foreign service, feuds between near connections, differences of social position, faintness of family interest, each produced their ...
— Noteworthy Families (Modern Science) • Francis Galton and Edgar Schuster

... those cases of "twilight sleep" that are not under the influence of scopolamin over five or six hours do vastly better than those under a longer time. When employed too long before labor this method seems to favor inertia and thus tends to increase the number ...
— The Mother and Her Child • William S. Sadler

... primitive man. Strangely enough in his own eyes was the look in those of Carnac, a past, hovering on the brink of revelation. His appearance was that of one who had suffered; his knotted hands, dark with warm blood, had in them a story of life's sorrows; his broad shoulders were stooped with the inertia of long regret; his feet clung to the ground as though there was a great weight above them. But a smile shimmered at his mouth, giving to his careworn face something almost beautiful, lifting the darkness from his powerful, shaggy forehead. Many men knew Denzil by sight, few knew him in actual being. ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... on: "Don't you see that the inertia of spirit is motion, as that of matter is rest? Now compare this universal spirit to a river flowing tranquilly, and which in itself gives no evidence of motion, save when it meets with some inert point of resistance. This point of resistance has the effect of action in ...
— The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 • Various

... kept Lilly on her feet for two weeks after the malady had hold of her. With a stoicism that taxed her cruelly, she would march smilingly off to school, a bombardment of pains shooting through her head, her hands and tongue dry, a ball and chain of inertia dragging at her ankles. ...
— Star-Dust • Fannie Hurst

... some of the incentives of the ordinary commercial business will be compelled constantly to adopt the most efficient and advanced type of machinery. In setting this up as a definite standard they will escape the inertia and conservatism that ordinarily characterize large groups, a condition which at the present time is retarding the British cooperative movement. Two years ago accurate accounting was an unusual thing among cooperatives. At the present time ...
— Consumers' Cooperative Societies in New York State • The Consumers' League of New York

... inertia, which opposes, passively, all fundamental changes, cannot now resist scientific demonstration as it has in the past. The instruction in the College of Therapeutics, is thoroughly demonstrative, leaving no room for doubt, and it gives a species ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... energy, love of country, all, in brief, which constitutes or sustains the grand life of the soul here subsists, while throughout the peninsula foreign dominion, clerical oppression and voluptuous or academical inertia reduces man to the system of the antechamber, the subtleties of dilettantism and ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One) • Various

... working efficiency in the ship, the resistance increases more rapidly than as the squares. The rationale of the law is this: the power necessary to overcome the resistance of the water at the vessel's bow and the friction increases as the square; again, the power necessary to overcome the natural inertia of the vessel and set it in motion, increases this again as the square of the velocity, and the two together constitute the aggregate resistance which makes it necessary that the power for increasing a vessel's speed shall increase as the cube of ...
— Ocean Steam Navigation and the Ocean Post • Thomas Rainey

... fainter and more remote. How were they to keep it real to themselves, how were they to hold it? Their existence was made up of endless sordidness, of dreary commonplace, that opposed them with its passive inertia where it did not actively attack them. "Ah, Thyrsis!" Corydon would cry to him, "this will kill us if ...
— Love's Pilgrimage • Upton Sinclair

... war might be avoided, or, if that were impossible, that the rupture should be postponed until the Austrians and Prussians had re-crossed the Rhine. The preparations of the Dutch were going on with the usual slowness.[177] Evidently the French Government counted on their traditional inertia and on the malcontents in Great Britain and Ireland. The private letters of Maret, that soi-disant friend of peace, ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... admitted isolation of the inhabitants during many centuries may have served to squelch initiative and foster stagnation. Nevertheless the influence of environment must not be over-rated for we see that general contentment with resulting inertia have existed for untold ages in places where now the sounds and shocks of daily progress reverberate in a thousand fields of civilised activity without any change being discernible either in the bodily or mental calibre of the people themselves, and this must surely ...
— The Black Man's Place in South Africa • Peter Nielsen

... of some of the unkind things he had said about spacemen. "Thank you." He pointed to a spaceman. "Will you calculate the inertia of the asteroid, please?" The spaceman hurried off. "First thing to do is plot the orbit as though there were no other bodies in the system," Rip ...
— Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet • Harold Leland Goodwin

... to make of it. Let us begin with the rudimentary experiences. Observe the falling of heavy rain-drops into a tranquil pond. Each drop as it strikes the water becomes a centre of disturbance, from which a series of ring-ripples expand outwards. Gravity and inertia are the agents by which this wave-motion is produced, and a rough experiment will suffice to show that the rate of propagation does not amount to a foot a second. A series of slight mechanical shocks is experienced ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... like a species of perpetual intoxication. The subjects of critical, literary, and social interest that I constantly hear so ably and brilliantly discussed excite my mind to a degree of activity that seems almost feverish, after the stagnant inertia to which it has been latterly condemned; and this long-withheld mental enjoyment produces very high nervous excitement in me too. The antagonism I often feel at the low moral level upon which these fine intellectual feats are performed afterwards causes a reaction from my sense of ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... the rapid success of those great military operations. Equally chastening is the reflection that from its very inception less than twenty years ago, the pioneers of this vast undertaking had constantly to reckon with the indifference and inertia of Anglo-Indian officialdom, and with the almost solitary exceptions of Sir Thomas Holland, then at the head of the Geological Survey, and Sir Benjamin Robertson, afterwards Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces where the first but unavailing explorations were made, seldom received more ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... point to which you know the higher powers call you; but do not think that you are going to march straight there by force of will, or straight there at all. You are in a world full of cross-purposes and counter-currents and side-winds, of accumulated conservatisms and masses of mere inertia and oppositions which straddle or shoulder themselves across your path. You will probably wreck your undertakings, and will certainly waste your strength in needless collisions and shovings aside, unless you take all these things into account. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885 • Various

... civilization, like other social patterns which preceded civilization and which continue to exist side by side with civilized communities, is the result of human ingenuity and human energy, of human inertia, ineptitude, and the human urges ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... therefore I will do nothing by word or deed towards meddling with it. Those who think this, and act accordingly, are the consistent conservatives of the community. If a man takes up any position short of this, his conformity, acquiescence, and inertia at once become inconsistent and culpable. For unless the institution or belief is entirely adequate, it must be the duty of all who have satisfied themselves that it is not so, to recognise its deficiences, and at ...
— On Compromise • John Morley

... not greatly changed. The enterprise shifted around during its earliest years, while it was gaining its place in the scheme of things; but once that was found, like a true British institution it held its course with an inertia that a mere century of time could not be expected to alter. Rumford was the sole founder of the enterprise, but it was Davy who gave it the final and definitive cast. He it was who established the tradition that the Royal ...
— A History of Science, Volume 5(of 5) - Aspects Of Recent Science • Henry Smith Williams

... difficulties. In his own department he could obtain little assistance. A dead inertia opposed all his efforts. Nevertheless, he went ahead doggedly, using Krafft and some of Krafft's proteges to ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... Inertia. My young veins were rife With manhood's ardent blood; and love was fire Within me. But you met my strong desire With lips like frozen rose leaves—chaste, so chaste That all your splendid beauty seemed but waste Of love's materials. Then of that beauty ...
— Poems of Optimism • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... properties are; if it has any, they are outside of my domain. I deal with matter. You must ask at the gate of the unseen, ask the science of the spiritual, the mental and vital. I am in wonderful contrast with mind, with life also. I am inertia. Some of my votaries have tried to give you the answer which you so much desire. They have said, "It is the all-pervading force which was lying away back in the antechambers of eternity." Have said, "It was ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume 1, January, 1880 • Various

... God that all the world did not keep Scotch Sabbath — a day neither Mosaic, nor Jewish, nor Christian: not Mosaic, inasmuch as it kills the very essence of the fourth commandment, which is Rest, transmuting it into what the chemists would call a mechanical mixture of service and inertia; not Jewish, inasmuch as it is ten times more severe, and formal, and full of negations, than that of the Sabbatarian Jews reproved by the Saviour for their idolatry of the day; and unchristian, inasmuch as it insists, beyond appeal, on the ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... the breath stronger, digestion more laborious, while there is sometimes disturbance of the urine, together with general malaise, in which the temper takes part; ideas are formed with more difficulty, and there is a tendency to melancholy, with unusual irascibility and mental inertia, lasting a few days. More recently Stephenson, who established the cyclical wave-theory of menstruation, argued that it exists in men also, and is really "a general ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... air next the surface is so far heated that it may overcome the inertia of the cooler air above, it forces its way up through it in the general manner indicated in the chimney flue. When such a place of uprush is established, the hot air next the surface flows in all directions toward the shaft, ...
— Outlines of the Earth's History - A Popular Study in Physiography • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... bosom ought to beat with none but political sensations. The ignorance or the stupidity of these people must be absolutely incredible; not a week passes without their country abounding with events[1338] that are analyzed an debated by the carpenters and blacksmiths of England." The cause of this inertia is manifest; interrogated on their opinions, all reply: "We are of the provinces and we must wait to know what is going on in Paris." Never having acted, they do no know how to act. But, thanks to this inertia, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... horse broke up the abiding inertia of Marychurch High Street, by dancing as it passed the engine of a slowly ambulant thrashing machine; and only settled fairly into its stride when the three-arched, twelfth century stone bridge over the Arne was passed, and the road—leaving the last ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... largely determine future processes; always in planning for the future it is necessary to take into consideration the forces that produce and alter social characteristics. Specific measures meet with much scepticism, and enthusiastic reformers must always reckon with inertia, frequent reactions, and slow social development. In the face of sexualism, divorce, and selfish individualism, it requires patience and optimism to believe that the family will continue to exist and the home ...
— Society - Its Origin and Development • Henry Kalloch Rowe

... advances by means of differentiation and assimilation. A change of environment stimulates variation. Primitive culture is loath to change; its inertia is deep-seated. Only a sharp prod will start it moving or accelerate its speed; such a prod is found in new geographic conditions or new social contacts. Divergence in a segregated spot may be overdone. Progress crawls among a people too long isolated, though incipient civilization ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... "Inertia. Or cowardice. And then, I haven't come to the turning-point yet. When I do reach it, perhaps it'll ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... do this, and to do it, to overcome the inertia of this dull body, I resorted to drugs. Great God, I've had enough of drugs! I don't know if you feel the heavy inconvenience of the body, its exasperating demand of time from the mind—time—life! Live! We only live in patches. We have to eat, and then ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... upon a battle-field, except so far as every laborious achievement means a victory over opposition, indifference, selfishness, faintheartedness, and that great property of mind as well as matter,—inertia. We are not met in a cathedral, except so far as every building whose walls are lined with the products of useful and ennobling thought is a temple of the Almighty, whose inspiration has given us understanding. But we have gathered within walls which bear testimony ...
— Medical Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... probably born of inertia on the part of the teachers. The pastor who pushes through his prescribed services, with mind on other things, and thus absolves his conscience for letting his congregation go drifting straight to Gehenna, was duplicated in the teacher. He ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... after changes in weapons, which necessarily is the case, but that the interval between such changes has been unduly long. This doubtless arises from the fact that an improvement of weapons is due to the energy of one or two men, while changes in tactics have to overcome the inertia of a conservative class; but it is a great evil. It can be remedied only by a candid recognition of each change, by careful study of the powers and limitations of the new ship or weapon, and by a consequent adaptation of the method of using it to ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... amphitheatre gave bounties, as it were, to the hunter and the fowler of every climate, and that, by means of a stimulus so constantly applied, scarcely any animal, the shyest, rarest, fiercest, escaped the demands of the arena,—no one fact so much illustrates the inertia of the public mind in those days, and the indifference to all scientific pursuits, as that no annotator should have risen to Pliny the elder—no rival to the immortal tutor of Alexander.] Invitations (and the invitations of kings are commands) had been ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... turned and hit at an angle. The end came for Jason in an engulfing wave of thunder, shock and pain. Sudden impact pushed him against the restraining straps, burst them with the inertia of his body, hurled him across the control room. His last conscious thought was to protect his head. He was lifting his arm when he struck ...
— The Ethical Engineer • Henry Maxwell Dempsey

... of the above-named organ at Birkenhead, England, it had been the custom to obtain or regulate the pressure of wind supplied to the pipes by means of loading the bellows with weights. Owing to its inertia, no heavy bellows weight can be set into motion rapidly. When, therefore, a staccato chord was struck on one of these earlier organs, with all its stops drawn, little or no response was obtained from the pipes, because the wind-chest was instantly ...
— The Recent Revolution in Organ Building - Being an Account of Modern Developments • George Laing Miller

... there lurks the same sad mockery. Surely "purple Death and the strong Fates do conquer us!" Strangely, in vast solitudes, comes over us a sense of desolation, when even the faintest adumbrations of life seem lost in the inertia of mortality. In all pomp lurks the pomp of funeral; and we do now and then pay homage to the grim skeleton king who sways this dusty earth,—yea, who sways our hearts ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 23, September, 1859 • Various

... the subject must have naturally fallen, or been artificially thrown into a state of morbid receptivity: but it is difficult to determine accurately the conditions of suggestionability. However, we may mention two. The first, the mental inertia of the subject: * * * the consciousness is completely empty: an idea is suggested, and reigns supreme over the slumbering consciousness, * * * The second is psychic hyperexcitability, the cause of the aptitude for suggestion." "For example, we say to a patient: 'Look, you have a bird in your apron,' ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 - Volume 1, Number 6 • Various

... mysterious world in which, incredible as the fact may appear, evaporation precedes liquidation. First the capital evaporates, and then the company goes into liquidation. These are very unnatural physics, but they account for the persistent inertia of Heyst, at which we "out there" used to laugh among ourselves—but not inimically. An inert body can do no harm to anyone, provokes no hostility, is scarcely worth derision. It may, indeed, be in the way sometimes; but this ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... It is regrettable that Christianity did not change other parts of the Roman law of persons which ought to have been reformed. The chief example of this failure is slavery, which the law of Justinian fully recognized. The inertia of past centuries as to slavery was too great to be overcome. St. Paul's attitude towards slavery was to recognize the status quo, and he did not counsel wholesale emancipation. But Christianity continued the progress of the pagan law along the lines of mercy and kindness, ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 5, 1920 • Various

... first few months his fidelity had been taxed a good deal, but these temptations and struggles lay now all happily behind him. He had satisfactorily assimilated the spirit of the vista, and blended it with his own. Its inertia, when one came to comprehend it, was undeniably magnificent, and long ago he had perceived within himself the growth of an answering repose, a responsive lethargy, which in its full development ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... the force of inertia was on the German side, and inertia is a powerful force in any organization. What the Germans wanted of American Socialists was simply that they should go on doing what they had been doing all their lives. And the Socialist machine had been set up for the purpose of going ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... the French Revolution was caused, and continued, by the weakness and inertia of Louis Fifteenth and his ministers and that the moment the Directorate placed Bonaparte in command of a handful of troops, and gave him power to act, by the use of grape and ball he brought order in a day. It only needed a quick and decisive use of force, he thought, and untold suffering ...
— Philip Dru: Administrator • Edward Mandell House

... business, drive everybody and everything out of their way, take possession of the great streets and the great factories in the name of God and the people, are the men who practice daily the spirit of this sign, the men in business who refuse to go tumtytumming along in a kind of thoughtless inertia of motion, doing what everybody's doing in business—the men who turn one side (by whatever name they call it) to pray, to snuggle ...
— The Ghost in the White House • Gerald Stanley Lee

... distinctive. If one stops at the second or third, and thinks that although not very good yet it is possibly good enough, very probably the choir will be found to be sluggish and unresponsive, filled with what Coward calls "inertia."[6] But if one goes on looking over more and more selections until something really distinctive is discovered, it is more than probable that the chorus will respond with energy ...
— Essentials in Conducting • Karl Wilson Gehrkens

... to start, as in a muzzle loader, without offering any resistance beyond that due to inertia, it is necessary to employ a powder which shall burn quickly enough to give off most of its gas before the shot has proceeded far down the bore; otherwise the velocity at the muzzle will be low. To control this comparatively quick burning powder, a large air space is given to the cartridge, ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882 • Various

... a couple of small electric bells, costing 2s. 6d. each. Their normal rate of vibration being much too slow for telegraphic purposes, I cut off the hammers to reduce the inertia, and so adjusted the contact screw that the armature had to move less than one hundredth of an inch to break the circuit. This gave so high a rate of vibration that the key could not make and break the circuit quickly enough to prevent the ...
— Things To Make • Archibald Williams

... many New Yorkers, but it had never ceased to be a source of surprise to him why they all should be so incessantly restless with an electric anxiety to be getting somewhere else. To his own thinking one place was very much the same as another,—with the exception of Boston,—and a comfortable inertia was by no means to be condemned. If people were waiting for one, and one didn't appear, they merely waited a little longer—that was all. If eternity was really eternity, there was exactly as much time coming as had passed. In any event no well-regulated New England mind would ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... operation, movement, activity; pl. conduct, behavior, deportment, deeds; (Law) lawsuit, litigation, suit. Antonyms: inaction, stagnation, inactivity, inertia. ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... had the power of insistence remained to me. But the saner medicus was acute where I had gone blunt, and bade me to the restful course. He was right. I was mentally stunned, and had I not slept off my lethargy, I should have gone mad in an hour—leapt at a bound, probably, from inertia to ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... disorder the effects of which can be repaired; no, her disease had reached a point where science is useless; it is the incurable result of grief, just as a mortal wound is the result of a stab. Her physical condition is produced by the inertia of an organ as necessary to life as the action of the heart itself. Grief has done the work of a dagger. Don't deceive yourself; Madame de Mortsauf is dying of some ...
— The Lily of the Valley • Honore de Balzac

... imagine that the liberty of buying and selling is the sole basis of the equality of wages, and that society's sole protection against superiority of talent lies in a certain force of inertia which has nothing in common with right, I shall proceed to explain why all capacities are entitled to the same reward, and why a corresponding difference in wages would be an injustice. I shall prove that the obligation to stoop to the ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... comparatively still, for if we carefully study Chinese history, we shall find that this vast nation has not been so inert as we have long supposed. The very revolutions and internal commotions of all kinds through which China has passed would have prevented mere inertia. But when we compare these movements and the changes that they have wrought with the kaleidoscopic transformations in Europe and America, China appears the most stationary of nations. She has moved less in centuries ...
— An Inevitable Awakening • ARTHUR JUDSON BROWN

... the solemn majesty of Night—that season of awesome stillness when tired mankind lies supine in that strange inertia so like death; when the soul, quitting the wearied body for a ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... who oppose the single tax are the holders of land who are hanging on to it expecting to grow rich through inertia. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... the sick creature outside conquered the inertia of approaching death and he rallied what mental forces he still retained. He could not disregard suffering nor withhold whatever aid it was in his power to give. Carefully, knowing something of what to expect, he probed the ...
— The Short Life • Francis Donovan

... was, and the root of it all, that it was all in accord with the normal fundamental laws of over-acute consciousness, and with the inertia that was the direct result of those laws, and that consequently one was not only unable to change but could do absolutely nothing. Thus it would follow, as the result of acute consciousness, that one is not to blame in being a scoundrel; as though that were ...
— Notes from the Underground • Feodor Dostoevsky

... the type of man who, in spite of an unassertive manner, holds what he has with no uncertain grasp. Why, then, does he let this one thing go? The logical deduction is that he knows that he never had it. All of which, being interpreted, means that things may happen here through the sheer inertia of other things. Almost every day I think, 'Something ought to be done.' But I know I shall never do it. I am not the novelist's villainess who arranges a compromising situation and produces the surprised ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... of the kava-ignorant was upon me. Life was a slumbrous calm; not dull inertia, but a separated activity, as if the spirit roamed in a garden of beauty, and the body, all suffering, all feeling ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... eye on this bit of national glory. But he remains helpless—helpless as a Sultana made ready for the Bosphorus, helpless as a pig is in a poke. It enrages him that he who was so eminently respectable in life should be made so ludicrous on his eminence after death. He is bitter at the inertia of the men who set him up. Were he an ornament of the Church, not of the State that he served so conscientiously, how very different would be the treatment of his plight! If he were a Saint, occluded thus by the municipality, ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... be a dream. Thou shalt go with him, yet apart from him And all his works. He has no part in thee. He is the chaos seething at earth's core— Remnant of times when out of chaos sprang Life's upward impulse. He is the darkness spread Ere yet was light—the matter ere was form— The vast inertia that on motion's heels Clings viper-like. Of life and form and growth He is negator; and his ceaseless joy Is to impede and drag to chaos back The shoot that ...
— Mr. Faust • Arthur Davison Ficke

... one difficulty disposed of than another arose. When all was concluded Charles relapsed into his normal state of inertia, and showed no disposition to depart. The city was thronged by the French quartered in the houses, and the Italian soldiery hidden on all sides; the shops were shut up and all traffic suspended; everything ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... external force; for though this law was affirmed of material bodies, yet its applicability to large groups of men is striking and suggestive. Not only do human beings have the physical attributes of weight and inertia like other material bodies, but their mental organism, while of a higher order than the physical, is as powerfully affected by external forces. And though it is true that psychology has not yet secured her Newton, and that no one has yet formulated a law that expresses exactly the ...
— The Navy as a Fighting Machine • Bradley A. Fiske

... acceptance of the territorial theory of the origin of war as an explanation of war, and the enumeration by historians of causes and results in territory or taxation, can be ascribed only to that indolence of the human mind, the subtle inertia which, as Tacitus affirms, lies in wait to mar all high endeavour—"Subit quippe etiam ipsius inertiae dulcedo, et ...
— The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain - Nineteenth Century Europe • J. A. Cramb

... inertia at work. Then we descended to the floor with a crash that seemed calculated to loosen it. That ...
— Mr. Hawkins' Humorous Adventures • Edgar Franklin

... the behaviour of the woodmen and the shepherd and the cowherds. Murder is being done within a yard or two of them, and they pay absolutely no attention. How Tacitus would have delighted in this example of the 'inertia rusticorum'! It is a great mistake to imagine that dwellers in quiet districts are more easily excited by any event than are dwellers in packed cities. On the contrary, the very absence of 'sensations' produces ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... penetration, he held what we call happiness for illusions and deceits of fancy; the objects of our desire he called idols, our labors idleness, and everything vanity. Thus he saw nothing here below equal to his own intellect, or that was worthy the throb of his heart; and inertia, rust, as it were, even more than pain consumed his life, alone in what he called this formidable desert of the world. In such solitude life becomes a dialogue of man with his own soul, and the internal colloquies render more bitter and intense ...
— Modern Italian Poets • W. D. Howells



Words linked to "Inertia" :   restfulness, phlegm, passiveness, sluggishness, inactivity, moment of inertia, trait, languor, physics, laziness, inactiveness, lethargy, activeness, natural philosophy, mechanical phenomenon, indolence, flatness, passivity



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