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Numbness   /nˈəmnəs/   Listen
Numbness

noun
1.
Partial or total lack of sensation in a part of the body; a symptom of nerve damage or dysfunction.
2.
The trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally.  Synonyms: apathy, indifference, spiritlessness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Numbness" Quotes from Famous Books



... she did not always represent the horror, the numbness of fright and the flight in the same way. The artists all admired the change of expression on the dancer's sweet face, where faint distaste gave way to violent repulsion, fright and stark horror. As if a great hand had tossed her, she flew to the outer limits of the ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... these persons lack that speculative freedom and dramatic imagination which would allow them to conceive other moulds for morality and happiness than those to which a respectable tradition has accustomed them. Sceptical statesmen and academic scholars sometimes suffer from this kind of numbness; it is intelligible that they should mistake the forms of culture for its principle, especially when their genius is not original and their chosen function is to defend and propagate the local traditions ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... and will meditate. But we will not reach the nirvana, he won't and we won't. Oh Govinda, I believe out of all the Samanas out there, perhaps not a single one, not a single one, will reach the nirvana. We find comfort, we find numbness, we learn feats, to deceive others. But the most important thing, the path of paths, we ...
— Siddhartha • Herman Hesse

... along the road to the village. But the poor fellow hardly knew what he was about. He thought he had a nightmare. He felt ill. His eyes saw everything double, his legs trembled, his tongue was dry, and, try as he might, he could not utter a single word. Yet, in spite of this numbness of feeling, he suffered keenly at the thought of passing under the windows of his good little Fairy's house. What would she say on seeing ...
— The Adventures of Pinocchio • C. Collodi—Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini

... work hanging there. His arms and wrists ached, his legs felt cramped, and a peculiar tingling numbness began to assail him, as more and more he was forced to the conclusion that there was only one way out of the difficulty, and that was to descend—if he could, for he knew that this would be as ...
— The Black Bar • George Manville Fenn

... all mud from heel to head, and with a numbness in his brain Barnabas rides, stooped low in the saddle, for he is sick and very faint. His hat is gone, and the cool wind in his hair revives him somewhat, but the numbness remains. Yet it is as one in a dream that he finds ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... A great numbness passed over the man. He was dazed; and as wave after wave splashed over his head, he struggled dumbly to reach the ladder. Then under the reaction from the icy shock, an electric thrill of energy and ...
— Dan Merrithew • Lawrence Perry

... dim avenue. The wintry afternoon closed swiftly, and, in its dusky dreariness, Salome listened to the tattoo of the rain on the roof, and to the miserere that wailed through the lonely chambers of her soul. The chill at her heart froze her to numbness and oblivion of the coldness of the atmosphere, and, when a servant came in to close the window against the slanting sleet, she lay so still that the woman thought her asleep, and stole away on tip-toe. The room grew dark; but, through the half-opened ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... wondered if her own numbness and despair meant death, and she held her breath to think harder upon it. She concluded at last, grimly, that she didn't care—only for ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891 • Various

... second riotous invasion of Villa Elsa, when there had been confirmed the abject and tumultuous surrender of the two ladies, mind, body and soul, to mere money, prostrate at the feet of an American "pig," Gard experienced a numbness of heart. True, the daughter was tied to the apron strings of her mother. But then Jim could only fling his pocketbook in her face. He had done it and she, sheep-like, had obviously accepted the situation without a ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... the numbness that had paralyzed my brain, either from the cruel blow that felled me or the terrible shock my nerves had experienced, gradually passed away, and our situation became more vivid to my mind. I thought ...
— When Wilderness Was King - A Tale of the Illinois Country • Randall Parrish

... On, on. Lead. Lead. Hail. Spatter. Whirr! Whirr! 'Toward that patch of brown; Direction left'. Bullets a stream. Devouring thought crying in a dream. Men, crumpled, going down.... Go on. Go. Deafness. Numbness. The loudening tornado. Bullets. Mud. Stumbling and skating. My voice's strangled shout: 'Steady pace, boys!' The still light: gladness. 'Look, sir. Look out!' Ha! ha! Bunched figures waiting. Revolver levelled quick! Flick! Flick! Red ...
— Georgian Poetry 1916-17 • Various

... one who had been buried under mountains of rocks and found them rolled away; of one who had been passing through a delirium which was gone. I seem to care for nothing—to grieve for nothing. Sometimes you know that happens to people who are very ill. A numbness comes upon them.—But I am not numb. I feel everything. Perhaps, Father'—and she turned to him with her old sweet instinct—of one who loved to be loved—'perhaps you have been ...
— Eleanor • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... abandoned a nature as to be almost Oriental in its violence. The passionate force of her resentment against her mother also was not easy to cope with though he quelled it eventually. But when that was over, when she had wept herself exhausted in his arms at last, there followed a period of numbness ...
— The Lamp in the Desert • Ethel M. Dell

... glanced at his open diary, reread the last page with a sigh, and closed it. Then, as it was nearly midnight, he retreated upstairs to his bare and icy bedroom, where half-an-hour's attempt to meditate completed the numbness of body and mind, in which state ultimately he went to bed, though ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... feeling of sentimentality; but it explained nothing, defined nothing, only touched her as a breeze does a flower, and floated away. The dreamy warmth of the fire absorbed her more direct feelings, and for some moments she dozed in a haze of dim sensuousness and emotive numbness. As in a dusky glass, she saw herself a tender, loving, but unhappy woman; by her side were her querulous husband and her kindly-minded mother-in-law, and then there was a phantom she could not determine, and behind it something into which she could not see. ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... paced the room half impatiently,—a very well-feigned expression of friendly concern and sympathy on his features. Thelma stood motionless, a little bewildered—her head throbbed achingly, and there was a sick sensation of numbness creeping about her. ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... delight, and streaming over, surrounded Mose, who stood at bay not far from his horse in the darkness—a sudden numbness ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... her hands, kissed them, he had tried to kiss her, and it had been the touch of his lips that had melted the numbness of her heart and told her that she loved Jimmy; that in spite of everything that had happened, everything he had done, he was the one and only man who would ever count in her life. Passionate revulsion had driven her ...
— The Second Honeymoon • Ruby M. Ayres

... ill-natured; she was simply curious; and as she generally said more good than evil of people, she was generally liked and tolerated by all. She was not a fashionable woman, nor an educated woman, though very popular with her neighbors at home, and she was there for numbness and swollen knees; and, having knit socks for four years for the soldiers, she now knit stockings for the soldiers' orphans, and took a dash every morning and screamed loud enough to be heard at the depot when she took it, and had a pack every afternoon, and corked her right ear with cotton, ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... arrived. For months she had fronted it in bravado, not concealing from herself that it lay in waiting. For years he had been sure that though the inevitable might happen to others it could not happen to him. There it was! He was conscious of a heavy weight in his stomach, and she of a general numbness, enwrapping her fatigue. Even then he could not believe that it was true, this disaster. As for Sophia she was reconciling herself with bitter philosophy to the eccentricities of fate. Who would have dreamed that she, a young girl brought up, etc? Her mother could ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... proceeding from the excessive drinking of strong liquor, there is brought upon the body of such a swill-down bouser, a chillness in the blood, a slackening in the sinews, a dissipation of the generative seed, a numbness and hebetation of the senses, with a perversive wryness and convulsion of the muscles, all which are great lets and impediments to the act of generation. Hence it is that Bacchus, the god of bibbers, tipplers, and drunkards, is most ...
— Aphrodisiacs and Anti-aphrodisiacs: Three Essays on the Powers of Reproduction • John Davenport

... is my consolation. I hope to meet you all again. I left not the line until all had fallen and colors gone. I am getting weak. My arms are free but below my chest all is numb. The enemy trotting over me. The numbness up to ...
— The University of Michigan • Wilfred Shaw

... Twenty men in my own company fell dead or wounded, among them the captain and first lieutenant. Of what followed I can give you little idea. I gave myself up for lost. A desperate impulse enabled me to march on to what seemed certain destruction. All at once I felt a sensation of numbness in my left arm, and looking down, I saw that the blood was trickling ...
— Frank's Campaign - or the Farm and the Camp • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... always worse before storms. After sitting a little while you stiffen up, feeling much better after moving about. The tendons of your legs have a drawing sensation, and feel as if too short. There is more or less of numbness and paralysis, and a wooden sort of feeling of the leg when walking. You also have lightning-like shocks of pain through the limb, now and then. Your attacks come on every few weeks, and it is the left limb that is ...
— Doctor Jones' Picnic • S. E. Chapman

... pain and sensitiveness in the region of the stomach and epigastrium, with vomiting, coated tongue, fetid breath, costiveness, and sleep disturbed by muttering and dreams, with frequent, wiry pulse. 533: sense of numbness under the right ribs. 532: sense of compression, squeezing, bruising, under the ribs, worse on the left side. 535: violent burning pains under the short ribs on both sides, worst and most permanent ...
— Apis Mellifica - or, The Poison of the Honey-Bee, Considered as a Therapeutic Agent • C. W. Wolf

... at his carpenter's bench, the old man sent Star out to loose the cow and lead her to the water; and when she was gone, he tottered to his old chair and sat down heavily. There was no pain now, only a strange numbness, a creeping coldness, a ringing in the ears. If it might "seem right" to let him wait till the Huntress came by! "It's nearly time," he said, half aloud. "Nearly time, and 'twould ...
— Captain January • Laura E. Richards

... looking through his finger ends, and he noted distinctly his haggard features and the short growth of beard which made him appear jaded and unwashed. Then almost instantly the quickness died out of his perception, and he felt the old numbness creeping back. ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... cold food and drink, and these grew well by reason of their abstinence and care to keep themselves from too great cold, for God had pity on them; but some that neglected these matters died after three days, or even two, being weakened by the numbness. ...
— The Chronicle of the Canons Regular of Mount St. Agnes • Thomas a Kempis

... difficult. She fought desperately against being an invalid and staying in bed, but at last she had to give way; Dr. Angus came every day and talked to her for hours; sometimes he gave her morphia; once or twice when the pain had stranded her almost unbreathing on a shore of numbness and exhaustion she wished that she had died in the hospital in Sydney: but not for long; in spite of the pain she wanted to live. Once or twice, when all was quiet, and the pain was having its night-time orgy with her, she cried out in the unbearable agony of it. She would have no one with ...
— Captivity • M. Leonora Eyles

... his folly, and knew the track to be the fancy of his brain; and late that night he dragged himself into the cabin on hands and knees, his cheeks frozen and a strange numbness about his feet. Weatherbee grinned malevolently, but made no offer to help him. He thrust needles into his toes and thawed them out by the stove. A week later ...
— The Son of the Wolf • Jack London

... wet, cold, hungry, and nearly exhausted. I sat down by the engine in my wet clothing and soon fell asleep, without bedding or food. I slept from exhaustion until near midnight, when I was seized with fearful crampings, accompanied by a cold and deathlike numbness. I tried to rise up, but could not. I thought my time had come, and that I would ...
— The Mormon Menace - The Confessions of John Doyle Lee, Danite • John Doyle Lee

... brain can endure a great strain of mental anguish long. A merciful numbness usually seizes it, in which everything grows hazy and unreal, and consequently painless. Agatha felt convinced she was half-asleep, and that she should wake up in her own room at Thorn-hurst or at Kingcombe, and find out everything ...
— Agatha's Husband - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)

... these are dead; and we alone Remain to weep for what is gone. What is this thing? thus hurriedly To pass into eternity; To leave the earth so full of mirth; To lose the profit of our birth; 200 To die and be no more; to cease, Having numbness that is not peace. Let us go hence; and, even if thus Death everywhere must go with us, Let us not see the change, but see Those who have been or still ...
— Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems • Christina Rossetti

... Peneus' streams she saw, and loud exclaim'd:— "O sire, assist me, if within thy streams "Divinity abides. Let earth this form, "Too comely for my peace, quick swallow up; "Or change those beauties to an harmless shape." Her prayer scarce ended, when her lovely limbs A numbness felt; a tender rind enwraps Her beauteous bosom; from her head shoots up Her hair in leaves; in branches spread her arms; Her feet but now so swift, cleave to the earth With roots immoveable; her face at last The summit forms; her bloom the same remains. Still loves the god ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... of a fearful heart Who left me alone till I saw you again in an hour When I seemed to be turned to a tree with trunk and branches Growing indurate, turning to stone, yet burgeoning In laurel leaves, in hosts of lambent laurel, Quivering, fluttering, shrinking, fighting the numbness Creeping into their veins from the dying trunk and branches! 'Tis vain, O youth, to fly the call of Apollo. Fling yourselves in the fire, die with a song of spring, If die you must in the spring. For none shall look On the face of Apollo and ...
— Spoon River Anthology • Edgar Lee Masters

... A man, 54 years of age, of temperate habits and regular state of bowels, became gradually affected with slight numbness and prickling, with a feeling of weakness in both arms, accompanied by a sense of fulness about the shoulders, as if produced by the pressure of a strong ligature; and at times a slight trembling of the hands. During the night, the fullness, ...
— An Essay on the Shaking Palsy • James Parkinson

... by his musical emotions. They were really fits of ecstasy or convulsions. At first "there was feverish excitement; the veins beat violently and tears flowed freely. Then came spasmodic contractions of the muscles, total numbness of the feet and hands, and partial paralysis of the nerves of sight and hearing; he saw nothing, heard nothing; he was giddy and half faint." And in the case of music that displeased him, he suffered, on the contrary, from "a painful sense of bodily disquiet ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... "disease," we mean anything that makes an unnatural showing in the body by pain, overgrowth of muscle; gland; organ; physical pain; numbness; heat; cold; or anything that we find not necessary to life and comfort. I have no wish to rob surgery of its useful claims, and its scientific merits to suffering man and beast. Such is not my object, but to place the Osteopath's eye of reason on the hunt of the great ...
— Philosophy of Osteopathy • Andrew T. Still

... have I hung here. With the morning came the dog; thrice came he sniffing. Once, before weakness overcame me, with kicking and fierce screams I frightened the brute. Again, a herdsman drove him far across the field. And now you come, Jesu. Ah, that you might tarry until the numbness creeping over my back where the flies swarm, and into my hands that have burned, reached my brain, that you might stay until the darkness of death hides from me the skulking form waiting to ...
— The Coming of the King • Bernie Babcock

... and a drowsy numbness pains My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... of distraction endured for nearly an hour, and then a species of numbness seized upon his faculties, his anxiety vanished, and he found his thoughts straying away and fixing themselves upon the veriest trivialities, conjuring up again before his mental vision acts and words which had never recurred to him since the day ...
— The Voyage of the Aurora • Harry Collingwood

... the first shock of the wounds and the numbness were leaving him, but the pain was terrible. Yet he knew that he was not fatally injured if he could stop that mortal drain of ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... is from numbness, torpor, narcotism: the flowers, being loved by the infernal gods, were offered to the Furies. Narcissus and Hippolytus are often assumed as types of morose voluptas, masturbation and clitorisation for nymphomania: certain mediaeval writers ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... was on his way to the War Department, at the west corner of the grounds, where in times of battle he was wont to get the midnight dispatches from the field. As the blast struck him he thought of the numbness of the pacing sentry, and, turning to him, said: 'Young man, you've got a cold job to-night; step ...
— Lincoln's Yarns and Stories • Alexander K. McClure

... The idiots, whom Muzell has described for us [Muzell's "Medical and Surgical Considerations."], breathed slowly and with difficulty, had no inclination to eat and drink, nor to the natural functions; the pulse was slow, all bodily movements slumberous and indicative of weariness. The mental numbness which is the result of terror or wonder is sometimes accompanied by a general suspension of all natural physical activity. Was the mind the origin of this condition, or was it the body which brought about this torpid state ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... paler. (Have not noticed any purple as from asphyxia by a deprivation of oxygen.) The vision becomes darkened, and a giddiness soon appears. The voluntary muscles furthest from the heart seem first to be affected, and the feet and hands, particularly the latter, have a numbness at their ends, which increases, until in many cases there is partial paralysis as far as the elbow, while the limbs become fixed. The hands are so thoroughly affected that, when open, the patient is powerless to close them and vice versa. ...
— Scientific American Supplement No. 275 • Various

... consequences. However, for nine days the wound goes on well, and Don Carlos, having had a wholesome fright, is, according to Doctor Olivarez, the medico de camara, a very good lad, and lives on chicken broth and dried plums. But on the tenth day comes on numbness of the left side, acute pains in the head, and then gradually shivering, high fever, erysipelas. His head and neck swell to an enormous size; then comes raging delirium, then stupefaction, and Don ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... 25 deg. below zero, a degree of cold to which I had never before been subjected. When I had traveled alone twenty miles, I found myself in imminent danger of perishing. Ordinary expedients to get warmth were no longer availing; numbness and cold at the vitals were overcoming me; and I knew that to give way to them was to die. I thought of my theory; but I was fearful that I should commit sin if I tampered with the sacred "breath of life." ...
— Theory of Circulation by Respiration - Synopsis of its Principles and History • Emma Willard

... worked, their attitude changed from shocked numbness to anger. Right and wrong were forgotten. They had been killed—the invisible death of radiation must already be penetrating into the caves—but they also had the chance for vengeance. Swiftly they brought their work to completion, with a speed and ...
— Planet of the Damned • Harry Harrison

... the numbness, in spite of the lassitude which that burnt-out passion had left behind in brain and body, she knew what it meant. She understood. She had hated his weakness; she still hated his lack of manhood which had made him fail her. That hatred would be a long time dying now—if it ...
— Once to Every Man • Larry Evans

... used she was to action. She seemed to be standing alone in the big field: the rest was a picture with which she had nothing to do. There was a busy group near the fence, some men came running with a door, and then the sound of a shot broke through her numbness. The mare had been put out of her pain; but ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... on Heaven for practical aid in any practical difficulty—to make of prayer a system of 'begging-letters to the Almighty'—which had of ten quieted or distracted him in his early years of struggle, affected him no longer. His inner life seemed to himself shrouded in a sullen numbness ...
— Fenwick's Career • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Numbness of intellect, rigidity of tone, artificiality of expression, are fatal alike to the enunciation of Shakespearean language and to the interpretation of Shakespearean character. The system of short runs, of the nightly alterations of the play, such as Mr Benson has revived, is the only sure ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... Beltane was aware that his bonds cramped him no longer, found Roger's arm about him, and at his parched lips Roger's steel head-piece brimming with cool, sweet water; and gulping thirstily, soon felt the numbness lifted from his brain and the mist from his eyes; in so much that he sat up, and gazing about, ...
— Beltane The Smith • Jeffery Farnol

... importance. Shoes should never be worn too tight. They not only hinder free movements, but also hinder the blood circulation, and cause coldness and numbness of the extremities. Sore feet, because of ill-fitting shoes, are a detriment to happy camp life. Have good, well-fitting, roomy shoes, and fairly stout ones. Keep the feet dry. If they are allowed ...
— Camping For Boys • H.W. Gibson

... in spite of her numbness and the tension she was feeling, though controlled by her firm will, there came the memory of the red, crying baby, for whose life her own sweet mother had paid so dear a price. And Mabel and Ethel—noisy, merry little girls!—she had thought ...
— Halcyone • Elinor Glyn

... found it difficult to poise in tremulous balance between Truth and its available representation to common men. It is my custom to preach extemporaneously in the afternoon. Upon rising, after the introductory services, I could perceive that my pulse and breathing were accelerated. A certain numbness of the brain seemed pierced with convulsive, fugitive shocks. An inexplicable influence, a command for cerebral sympathy, seemed beating at my forehead. I turned the sacred pages before me, but could find nothing upon which to base my remarks. But to my lips would ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... stolid, slant-eyed glances over the rim of the void before them and filled with the calmness of the fatalist who believes that whatever is to be, is to be; white men upon whom at the last, when all prospect of intervention was gone, a mental numbness mercifully descended with the result that they came to the rope's embrace like men in a walking coma, with glazed, unseeing eyes, and dragging feet; other white men who summoned up a mockery of bravado and uttered poor jests from between lips drawn ...
— From Place to Place • Irvin S. Cobb

... recovered from his wound. He seemed to feel a fire inside his breast, and his throat burned so that it was necessary for him to take a swallow of water every little while. He began to suffer considerable pain, which increased as the hours went by and then gave way to a numbness. From that time on he had need of his great strength and endurance. Gradually he lost his steadiness and his keen sight; and he realized that if he were to meet foes, or if pursuing outlaws should come up with ...
— The Lone Star Ranger • Zane Grey

... spine, setting thereon the sole of his left foot; and it writhed round in pain and bit and tore the flesh between the shin and the muscles. And Medea and her handmaids fled in terror; but Canthus bravely felt the bleeding wound; for no excessive pain harassed him. Poor wretch! Already a numbness that loosed his limbs was stealing beneath his skin, and a thick mist was spreading over his eyes. Straightway his heavy limbs sank helplessly to the ground and he grew cold; and his comrades and the hero, Aeson's ...
— The Argonautica • Apollonius Rhodius

... descending snow made a numbness steal over him, and his feeble limbs being incapable of carrying him farther, he sat down in the middle of an open field. He ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... The numbness of the shock passed at last, to be succeeded by alarm. During all the time that followed, that condition persisted, fright, almost terror. Harmony alone in the city, helpless, dependent, poverty-stricken. Harmony seeking employment ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... become wonderfully reserved since the arrival of her nieces, and was evidently making a sincere effort to study their diverse characters. Day by day the invalid's health was failing visibly. She had no more strokes of paralysis, but her left limb did not recover, and the numbness was gradually creeping upward toward ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces • Edith Van Dyne

... and chafed my feet in her hands, to bring back a little warmth. Lastly, she hospitably brought me what she thought the best thing she had to offer, a hot whiskey toddy. To please her, and also to relieve my numbness, I tried my best to drink what seemed to me a horrid mixture, but I could not manage it, and could not explain why, and the poor woman remained lost in sorrowful bewilderment at my rejection of the steaming tumbler. Just then my husband came back, ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... His look was met by the glitter of two diamond eyes, small, sharp, cold, shining out of the darkness, but gliding with a smooth, steady motion towards the light, and himself. He stood fixed, struck dumb, staring back into them with dilating pupils and sudden numbness of fear that cannot move, as in the terror of dreams. The two sparks of light came forward until they grew to circles of flame, and all at once lifted themselves up as if in angry surprise. Then for the first time thrilled in ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... he was back at his easel again. His charcoal wandered, tracing empty lines on his canvas, the strange numbness grew again in his head. All the objects in the range of his eyes seemed to move back and stand on the same plane. He ...
— Vandover and the Brute • Frank Norris

... source of hope. I have never suffered any pain in my limbs, and they might have been really marble, for all the feeling I have had in them. Now I begin to be sensible of a wearisome numbness and aching, which would be hard to bear, if it were not that it gives me the expectation of returning animation. Do you think I may expect it, and that I am ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 6, April, 1858 • Various

... the day—he knew not which. His brain felt like a stopped watch; it did not seem to be working at all. Even the power to suffer seemed to have left him. He felt curiously indifferent, strangely submissive to circumstances,—like a man scourged into the numbness of exhaustion. He knew at the back of his mind that as soon as his vitality reasserted itself the agony would return. The respite could not last, but while it lasted he knew no pain. Like one in a state of coma, he was not even aware ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... and those who have suffered great anxiety and distress of mind, are the most subject to this disorder, which generally attacks the left side, and is attended with numbness and drowsiness. The parts affected ought to be frequently rubbed with a flesh brush, or with the hand. Blisters, warm plasters, volatile liniments, and electricity should likewise be employed. The following electuary ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... storms came, and the storms did not fail, though coming this year somewhat later than the last, Diana felt like a person wakened up to life to die the second time. Her mood all changed. From a dull, miserable apathy, which yet had somewhat of the numbness of death in it, she woke up to the intense life of pain, and to a corresponding, but in her most unwonted, irritability of feeling. All of a sudden, as it were, she grew sensitive to whatever in her life and surroundings was ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... coffee. Perhaps it might steady him and clear his head. The numbness of his faculties and senses alike exasperated him, filling him with a persuasion he would say precisely those things wisdom would counsel ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... paddle a few hundred feet. Then both usually sat astride the ends of the canoe, their legs hanging in the water in order that the drippings might not fall inside. As this was the early summer, they occasionally kicked against trees to drive enough of the numbness from their legs so that they ...
— The Silent Places • Stewart Edward White

... rushed madly, as though the furies were after him and any moment might lay a hand on him, back to where he could just see the white road gleaming in the distance. His heart thumped so he thought it would choke him, his head swam, a numbness seemed to be gripping his limbs, blackness creeping over his sight. Before he reached the road he staggered, stumbled, fell—and for a few moments lay, a small unconscious heap, on ...
— Paul the Courageous • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... were both in evidence. But examination of the arachnid's fangs satisfied Colonel Pike that they were far too small and weak to penetrate the tough skin where the wound was. Meantime the victim exhibited the classic symptoms of venomous poisoning: numbness, nausea, chills, and threatened collapse. A physician, being summoned, examined both the victim and the accused, and took Colonel Pike's view that the spider was innocent. The man was wrathful, with the indignation ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... supervened, with a pulse very irregular both in velocity and strength; she was much distressed at first lying down, and at first rising; but after a minute or two bore either of those attitudes with ease. She had no pain or numbness in her arms; she had no hectic fever, nor any cold shiverings, and the urine was in due quantity, and of ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... ferns, curled up in a corner against the soft walls covered with reeds, then closed her eyes. Before long she felt a soft numbness creeping over her. She jumped to her feet, fearing that she might drop off to sleep and not awake before it was time for her to go to ...
— Nobody's Girl - (En Famille) • Hector Malot

... it would not be long first, as far as the boy was concerned. He had apparently forgotten the numbness of his limbs and the peril through which he had passed, and in spite of the roughness of the ice and snow he continued to get over it in his extemporised sandals, which had the advantage of not slipping. But the day's toil had been excessive before the accident; ...
— The Crystal Hunters - A Boy's Adventures in the Higher Alps • George Manville Fenn

... last, made us extremely sensitive to the cold, though it was not more than 20 deg. below zero. My blood became so chilled, that I was apprehensive the extremities would freeze, and the most vigorous motion of the muscles barely sufficed to keep at bay the numbness which attacked them. At dusk we drove through Upper Muonioniska, and our impatience kept the reindeers so well in motion that before five o'clock (although long after dark,) we were climbing the well-known slope to Herr Forstrom's house at ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... him as she had fancied she could never love any one, and he had always shown that he cared for her—at least in some degree. She could not feel the emotion that expresses itself in tears—only a dull ache, a numbness which seemed to make her insensible to pain. He looked so strong—her Lester—lying there still in death. His expression was unchanged—defiant, determined, albeit peaceful. Word had come from Mrs. Kane that she would arrive on the Wednesday following. It was decided to hold the body. Jennie ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... hard to take an interest in the matter, but the numbness has returned. The oppression of the surroundings ...
— The Reflections of Ambrosine - A Novel • Elinor Glyn

... take away this plague, this mischief from me, Which, as a numbness over all my body, Expels my joys, and makes my soul ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... extreme. If I wrote for fifty-nine minutes, and then read for seventeen, those facts I recorded. Thus, in my diary and out of it, I wrote and wrote until the tips of my thumb and forefinger grew numb. As this numbness increased and general weariness of the hand set in, there came a gradual flagging of my creative impulse until a ...
— A Mind That Found Itself - An Autobiography • Clifford Whittingham Beers

... But a new misfortune now befell me: I lost my boots. They were strong laced boots, without elastic sides, or any such weak points about them. I had observed before that one was getting loose, but was unable to do anything to it from the numbness of my hands; and after struggling out of a deep drift previous to reascending the hill, I found that I had left this boot behind. There was nothing for it but to go on without, and as my feet were perfectly numbed from the cold, and devoid ...
— A Night in the Snow - or, A Struggle for Life • Rev. E. Donald Carr

... inside the number one fuel locker," Wilcox said between his teeth. The numbness was wearing off, and the shattered bones in his hip were beginning to eat at him. "Paul, pull up one of the packages and bring it ...
— Let'em Breathe Space • Lester del Rey

... feeling for months of intense emotional experience had instantly been annihilated, and he was left in the midst of a great void in his consciousness out of touching-reach of anything. There was no sharp pang, but just a bewildered numbness. A few filaments only of the romantic feeling for Ida that filled his mind a moment before still lingered, floating about it, unattached to anything, like vague neuralgic feelings in an amputated stump, as if to remind him of ...
— Lost - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... was looking into the face of Bush McTaggart. She had almost lost consciousness of his presence. Her senses were cold and deadened—it was as if her own heart had stopped beating along with Pierrot's. What she saw in the factor's face dragged her out of the numbness of her grief back into the shadow of her own peril. He was standing over her. In his face there was no pity, nothing of horror at what he had done—only an insane exultation as he looked—not at Pierrot's dead body, but at her. He put out a hand, and it rested on ...
— Baree, Son of Kazan • James Oliver Curwood

... seems more real to me now in my sleep than it did to me then in its reality; for a dull weight of most desolate hopelessness settled down upon me as I fought out to the end that most hopeless battle—so that my spirit shared in the numbness of my body, and I cut and parried and gave men their death-blows with the stolid energy ...
— The Aztec Treasure-House • Thomas Allibone Janvier

... Todros seemed to rouse himself from the numbness into which the unexpected rebellion had ...
— An Obscure Apostle - A Dramatic Story • Eliza Orzeszko

... wide awake now; numbness had given place to intense quivering of all his muscles, and super-keenness of his every sense. He peered into the darkness and strained his ears to hear. The sound certainly appeared to come from the house opposite, ...
— The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... nothing to promote such progress. He thoroughly despised himself,—if there might be any good in that! But on such occasions as these, when the wine he had drunk was sufficient only to drive away from him the numbness of despair, when he was all alone with the cold night air upon his face, when the stars were bright above him and the world around him was almost quiet, he would still ask himself whether there might not yet be, even for him, some hope of ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... debility, headache, giddiness and dejected spirits, that form such frequent accompaniments of constipation.... A distended caecum, colon, and rectum may also, by the pressure exerted upon the nerves and vessels of the lower extremities, be the cause of numbness, cramps, pains and edema of the legs. The edema occasioned by constipation, if not exclusively confined to one side, will in all probability be decidedly greater in one leg than ...
— Intestinal Ills • Alcinous Burton Jamison

... makes up his mind, bold, and throwing off his numbness—with the agility of a squirrel, or perhaps of an acrobat—he turned his back on the creek, and set himself to climb up the cliff. He escaladed the path, left it, returned to it, quick and venturous. He was hurrying landward, just as ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... the fire started, the Applebys faced life again, and were very glad. They couldn't have been long under the gas; Father's eons of drowning struggle must have been seconds. Propped up in bed, Mother refused a doctor and smiled—though confusedly, with the bewilderment of one who had felt the numbness ...
— The Innocents - A Story for Lovers • Sinclair Lewis

... futile; his hands were tied before him. The shooting pain of a prodding spear brought him from the paralyzing numbness that held him, and he came dizzily to his feet. Again the walls whirled, and he would have fallen headlong but for a lithe, soft body that sprang close to ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

... went. There is no need to go into the psychology of the matter. It may have been numbness; it may have been temporary insanity caused by the excitement of the battle he had witnessed, for his brain was in a whirl; or Mr. Bixby may have hypnotized him. As they walked through the silent streets toward the Opera House, he listened ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... and sickly as I seem, I can endure some privations better than you could. Thus hunger produces in me a sort of numbness, which leaves me very feeble—but for you, robust and full of life, hunger is fury, is madness. Alas! you must remember how many times I have seen you suffering from those painful attacks, when work failed us in our wretched garret, and we could not even earn our ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... petard?'" returned the plotter musingly. "One more quotation: strange! But indeed my brain is struck with numbness. Yes, dear boy, I have, as you say, put my contrivances in motion. The one on which you are sitting, I have timed for half an ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 5 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... man, with a sort of calm numbness of discouragement. "But that ain't anyways surprising. We don't hear much about anything on Hue and Cry till they come and tell us. Speaking for myself, I ain't so awful much fussed up. I've got a house-bo't to take my wife ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... and so far as he knew there was no human being within ten miles of the spot. Moreover the intense cold was beginning to penetrate his warm clothing. He no longer felt the pain of his imprisoned foot. Circulation had slowed down and numbness was fast creeping up his limb. He swung his arms and beat his hands upon his breast, but in spite of all he could do the chill penetrated more deeply into his bones. He realized that if he were not rescued within a few hours he ...
— Followers of the Trail • Zoe Meyer

... members of the tramp class, who, in addition to being exposed to cold by sleeping in the open air, are ill-fed and generally debilitated. The condition usually manifests itself after the parts, having been subjected to extreme cold, are brought into warm surroundings. The first symptom is numbness in the part, followed by a sense of weight, tingling, and finally by complete loss of sensation. The part attacked becomes white and bleached-looking, feels icy cold, and is insensitive to touch. Either immediately, or, it may be, not for several days, it becomes discoloured and swollen, ...
— Manual of Surgery - Volume First: General Surgery. Sixth Edition. • Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

... man lay there, embracing the empty box that had brought him to his death; and for many minutes I sat within a yard of him, detained by the fascination and grim mockery of the picture no less than by physical weakness and a numbness of my brain. My body refused to act, and my mind hardly urged its indolent servant. I was in sore distress for Marie Delhasse,—my vehement cry witnessed it,—yet I had not the will to move to her ...
— The Indiscretion of the Duchess • Anthony Hope

... had no sooner felt Ingmar's protecting arm around her than her heart began to beat once more, and the feeling of numbness in her limbs was gone. She snuggled close to him. She was not frightened now. How wonderful! Ingmar must have felt afraid also, yet he was able to impart to her a sense of security ...
— Jerusalem • Selma Lagerlof

... long ago that we agreed we mustn't see each other again, and here we are together," he stated, with a pretense of solemnity. He extended his hands to the heat and moved his fingers about to expel their numbness. "I don't know what your father would say if ...
— The Iron Furrow • George C. Shedd

... him out of the garden. My indifference to personal safety was due to a numbness which had taken ...
— Arms and the Woman • Harold MacGrath

... later Dr. Stewart gave Dalzell a third draught. Dan was now recovering steadily from his mental numbness. ...
— Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis • H. Irving Hancock

... satisfactory manifestation. The table moved a little, it is true, but each one laughingly accused his neighbors of employing some muscular force: all isolated attempts were vain. I was conscious, nevertheless, of a curious sensation of numbness in the arms, which recalled to mind my forgotten experiments in church. No rappings were heard, and some of the participants did not scruple to pronounce the whole thing ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, No. 38, December, 1860 • Various

... hair from her temples and ears. By degrees the thinking faculties of her brain, as it were, a myriad of delicate interlacing wheels, slowly decreased in the rapidity and intensity of their functions. She began to feel instead of to think. As the activity of her mind lapsed to a certain pleasant numbness, a vague, formless, nameless emotion seemed to be welling to the surface. It was no longer a question of the brain. What then? Was it the heart? She gave no name to this new emotion; it was too confused as yet, too undefinable. A certain great sweetness seemed ...
— A Man's Woman • Frank Norris

... feeling, something akin to a gentle current of electricity passing along them. Sometimes there is experienced the sensation of a gentle cool breeze passing over the sitters—particularly over the backs of their hands. In other cases there may be a sense of numbness or partial loss of sensation, something akin to that experienced when a hand or arm "goes to sleep," as the popular phrase expresses it. In other cases there is manifested a peculiar jerking, twitching, or vibration of ...
— Genuine Mediumship or The Invisible Powers • Bhakta Vishita

... by as the night had passed, with an awful constriction about her heart, a numbness over all her body; yet Grace did her work as one ...
— Bog-Myrtle and Peat - Tales Chiefly Of Galloway Gathered From The Years 1889 To 1895 • S.R. Crockett

... a tired irresolution in his head and a numbness. Nothing seemed clearly defined, save somewhere within him a monumental sharpness as of pain. Joan's happiness he remembered must be the religion ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... somewhere," said Emeline, plucking the leaves and unsteadily shifting her eyes about his feet. "I cannot stay on the farm all the time." Through numbness she felt the pricking of a ...
— The King Of Beaver, and Beaver Lights - From "Mackinac And Lake Stories", 1899 • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... greatest tragedy the world had ever known. What had they felt, they who were only human, they who could not see the face of the Father, who could—some of them, perhaps—only hope that there was a Father? What had they felt? Perhaps scarcely anything. Perhaps merely a sensation of numbness, as if their whole bodies, and their minds, too, were under the influence of a great injection of cocaine. Her thoughts again returned to the parrot. She wondered where it had been bought, whether it had come with ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... to the ground, drawing his stunner, knowing at the same moment that such a weapon was about as much use in meeting a blaster as a straw wand would be to ward off a blazing coal. A chill numbness held him as he waited for a second blast to charr the flesh between his shoulders. So there had been ...
— Storm Over Warlock • Andre Norton

... there was numbness of mind and body. Then, with every heart-beat and throb by throb, came unbearable agony. A trembling old hand strayed across her face and her father's voice, deep with love and longing, whispered: "Barbara, my darling! ...
— Flower of the Dusk • Myrtle Reed

... despair stood ready to seize me. It seemed an amazement that life should be forced to remain with him who longs for death, who would rejoice exceedingly and be glad could he find the grave. But when the first horrible numbness of the shock was disappearing, when the first glimmering perception came to me that "as a man's day so shall his strength be," I began to suspect, and soon to know, that in many ways the reality was not so terrible as imagination ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell



Words linked to "Numbness" :   numb, passiveness, symptom, passivity



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