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Passivity   /pəsˈɪvɪti/   Listen
Passivity

noun
1.
The trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative.  Synonym: passiveness.
2.
Submission to others or to outside influences.  Synonym: passiveness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Passivity" Quotes from Famous Books



... refreshed by his long rest, and with his habitual impatience of mere passivity, he was eager to begin the new day and subdue sadness by his strong will and strong arm. The white mist lay in the valley; it was going to be a bright warm day, and he would start to work again when he ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... putrefaction, the impure is separated from the pure; and if the pure elements are then once more joined together by the action of natural heat, a much nobler and higher form of life is produced.... If the hidden central fire, which during life was in a state of passivity, obtain the mastery, it attracts to itself all the pure elements, which are thus separated from the impure, and form the nucleus of a far purer form of life." ...
— The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry • M. M. Pattison Muir

... Emboldened by her passivity, the oaf advanced by inches, visibly. He looked knowingly about him, collecting approval from his followers, he whispered in her ear, hummed gallant airs, regaled the company with snatches of salt song. Fixed as the Sphinx and unfathomable, she sat on broodingly ...
— The Spanish Jade • Maurice Hewlett

... demands by England would lead to a serious disturbance of the relations between these two countries. The existing arbitration treaty, which makes it possible in extreme cases to delay the settlement of the points of contention indefinitely, rules this out. But the complete passivity of Mr. Wilson, which could be understood so long as he wished to avoid giving the impression that he was acting under German coercion, but which cannot continue to be justified on these grounds, is bound to re-act very unfavorably on public opinion here and puts the ...
— My Three Years in America • Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

... September,[26124] in all perhaps 40,000 volunteers furnished by the capital alone and who, with their fellows proportionate in number supplied by the departments, are to be the salvation of France.—Through this departure of the worthy, and this passivity of the flock, Paris belongs to the fanatics among the population. "These are the sans-culottes," wrote the patriotic Palloy, "the scum and riffraff of Paris, and I glory in belonging to that class which has put down the so-called honest ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... threatened to develop into that rearguard action which had been considered almost inevitable. But it was a mere incident in trench warfare, and they were as blind to our real intentions at Cape Helles as they had been three weeks before at Suvla Bay and Anzac—unless, indeed, with true Oriental passivity, they were content to see us leave their land in peace and had no mind to seek a triumph of destruction which would inure to the benefit of ...
— A Short History of the Great War • A.F. Pollard

... relax. Is that my chair? See me drop into complete physical and mental passivity—the ...
— Bertram Cope's Year • Henry Blake Fuller

... on soft grass is a matter of little importance, and this is better than waiting till he is compelled hastily to cross a river on a narrow plank. It is all a kind of joyous rehearsal of life which we call Play. We can force a child to passivity, to formal repetitions of second-hand knowledge, to the acquisition of that for which he has no apparent need, but we can never educate him by these things. "Children do not play because they are young, they have their ...
— The Child Under Eight • E.R. Murray and Henrietta Brown Smith

... into the sheeplands in his day. Sheep people are not fighting folks. They never have been since the world's beginning; they never will be to the world's end. There is something in the peaceful business of attending sheep, some appeal in their meekness and passivity, that seems to tincture and curb the savage spirit that dwells in the breast of man. Swan Carlson was one of the notorious exceptions in that country. Even the ...
— The Flockmaster of Poison Creek • George W. Ogden

... teacher and child, and that the value of these as symbols of what is inward and intrinsic must be wholly ignored. Not that the inward results of education would in any case be seriously considered. When education is based on the passivity of the child, nothing matters to him or to his teacher except the accuracy with which he can reproduce what he has been taught,—can repeat what he has been told, or do by himself what he has been told how to do. What connection there may be between these achievements ...
— What Is and What Might Be - A Study of Education in General and Elementary Education in Particular • Edmond Holmes

... those present had many times seen Galen Albret possessed by his noted fits of anger, so striking in contrast to his ordinary contained passivity. But always, though evidently in a white heat of rage and given to violent action and decision, he had retained the clearest command of his faculties, issuing coherent and dreaded orders to those about him. Now he had become a raging wild ...
— Conjuror's House - A Romance of the Free Forest • Stewart Edward White

... asked once again of the aged concierge in the Rue d'Aumale. This time she got an answer. It was the fifth or top floor. Musa said nothing, permitting himself to be taken about like a parcel, though with a more graceful passivity. There was no lift, but at each floor a cushioned seat for travellers to use and a palm in a coloured pot in a niche for travellers to gaze upon as they rested. The quality of the palms, however, deteriorated floor ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... fashionable formalities, scandalised Freydet, who carried his high collar with much gravity, by exclaiming, 'Here's a lily of the valley,' or pulling off a bough, and presently, struck with the contrast between the splendid passivity of nature and the futile activity of man, ejaculated, as he gazed on the great woods that climbed the opposite hill-side, and the distance composed of clustered roofs, shining water and blue haze, 'How beautiful, how peaceful!' With an involuntary movement he pointed to the horizon, for the benefit ...
— The Immortal - Or, One Of The "Forty." (L'immortel) - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... activity of one of the gametes, and the passivity of the other, is regarded as evidence of incipient sex. In Strogonium there is cell-division in the parent-cell prior to conjugation; and as two segments are cut off in the case of the active gamete, and only one in the case of ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... Altogether in his aspect there was something aboriginal, as of a piece, of unhewn granite, which had never been polished to any approved pattern, whose natural and original vitality had never been tampered with. In a word, there seemed no passivity about Mr. Carlyle—he was the diamond, and the world was his pane of glass; he was a graving tool rather than a thing graven upon—a man to set his mark on the world—a man on whom the world could not set its mark. And just as, glancing towards Fife a few minutes before, one could not ...
— On the Choice of Books • Thomas Carlyle

... first tentative steps toward the creation of a real civilization, the task of freeing the spirit of mankind from the bondage of ignorance, prejudice and mental passivity which is more fettering now than ever in the history of humanity, will be facilitated a thousand-fold. The great central problem, and one which must be taken first is the abolition of the shame and fear of sex. We must teach men the overwhelming power of this ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... was treated by hypnotic suggestion. I would seat myself in an easy-chair midst seductive surroundings and the great metaphysician would then say: "Put your objective senses in abeyance with complete mental oblivion, and enter a state of profound passivity." This interpreted into plain United States would mean: "Forget your troubles and go to sleep." When I was in a suggestible mood the doctor would address a little speech to what he called my subconscious mind, after which he sent me on my way rejoicing. About this time a friend advised me to ...
— Confessions of a Neurasthenic • William Taylor Marrs

... with a disposition to lay the blame on the wife rather than on the husband, and to reproach Mrs. Raynor for encouraging her daughter's faults by a too exclusive sympathy. But old Mrs. Dempster had that rare gift of silence and passivity which often supplies the absence of mental strength; and, whatever were her thoughts, she said no word to aggravate the domestic discord. Patient and mute she sat at her knitting through many a scene of quarrel ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... close confinement. All at once he loses his illusion of freedom of will. Activity, the thing that in the eyes of the European endows life with its sublimest charm, cannot in the twinkling of an eye turn into absolute passivity. Nevertheless, despite these novel, distressing experiences, despite throbbing pulses, over-stimulated senses, and nerves tautened to the snapping point, the situation is by no means ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... only nascent; and most that pertains to the true kingdom of mature manhood is embryonic. The wisest requirements seem to the child more or less alien, arbitrary, heteronomous, artificial, falsetto. There is much passivity, often active resistance and evasion, and perhaps spasms of obstinacy, to it all. But the senses are keen and alert, reactions immediate and vigorous; and the memory is quick, sure and lasting; and ideas of space, time, ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... were latent considerations that somewhat interfered with the lesson, she was having to-night an inordinate quantity of practice, none of it so successful as when, quite wittingly, she directed it at Lady Castledean, who was reduced by it at last to an unprecedented state of passivity. The perception of this high result caused Mrs. Assingham fairly to flush with responsive joy; she glittered at her young friend, from moment to moment, quite feverishly; it was positively as if her young friend had, in ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James

... to their greater freedom, soon learn the difference of the sexes and the delights of sexual congress; women, hedged in by conventionalities and deterred by their innate passivity, remain, for the most part, in ignorance of sexual knowledge until their marriage. For this reason it happens that very many more women than men experience religious emotion. Young married men and women, who are in perfect sexual health, and who have not experienced ...
— Religion and Lust - or, The Psychical Correlation of Religious Emotion and Sexual Desire • James Weir

... Dormer, established on the farther seat with his face turned toward the farther window. He was the one, faithful or no, counted on or no, whom a charming woman had preferred to carry off, and there was clear triumph for him in that fact. Yet it pleased, it somewhat relieved, his kinsman to see his passivity as not a little foolish. Miriam noted something of this in Peter's eyes, for she exclaimed abruptly, "Don't kill him—he doesn't care for me!" With which she passed into the carriage and let ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... many occasions and had succeeded once or twice in collecting substantial sums, but this was a very different matter from accepting responsibility for a candidate and his election expenses. Therefore, for a good while, we remained in a position of benevolent passivity. ...
— The History of the Fabian Society • Edward R. Pease

... lifts a bully head as it creeps unimpeded across the sea and spreads, infinitely soft, all-encompassing. As if by magic the mainland is blotted out. The sea is dark and death-like, the air clammy, turgid, and steamy. Heavy vapour settles upon the hills of the Island, descending slowly and with the passivity of fate, until there is but a thin stratum of clear air between the gloomy levels ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... alacrity of temper was co-equal with his steadiness of purpose; and the cheerfulness of an active mind, sanguine temperament, and great nervous energy did not abandon him, even in the state of forced passivity so intolerable to such habitude; for hilarious words and, once or twice, the old ringing laugh startled the fond watchers of his declining hours. The events of his life are but a few expressive outlines; his works embody his most ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... withal, that always on the back of these compulsory adventures there followed English bishops, priests and preachers; whereby to the open-minded, conviction, to all degrees of it, was attainable, while silence and passivity became the duty or necessity ...
— Early Kings of Norway • Thomas Carlyle

... seemed old and dulled from habit. It was the terrible strength with which the Evil Spirit had possessed her, seizing her channels of speech even while she was still there, hurling her from her seat without waiting for the passivity of sleep. No, her sense of misfortune was not altogether, or even mainly, connected with that last day of hers. Unlike Mildred, she had up till now been without any consciousness of things that had occurred during her quiescence, and she had ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... operation of acting upon them. They are to guide and organize further observations, recollections, and experiments. They are intermediate in learning, not final. All educational reformers, as we have had occasion to remark, are given to attacking the passivity of traditional education. They have opposed pouring in from without, and absorbing like a sponge; they have attacked drilling in material as into hard and resisting rock. But it is not easy to secure conditions which will make the getting of an idea identical with having an ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... cerements (they trail the dust) that ought to be dead wailing for entrance to things, tombed in those walls, that are dead. There is no life at all in these streets. There is nothing active or positive. There is just passivity and negation. There is just nothingness. They are not habitations, which connote life; they are repositories, which connote desuetude. They are the repositories of creatures, not that have done with life, for the sheer fact of living ...
— This Freedom • A. S. M. Hutchinson

... terrible procession of the things that she would forget. She knew that she would not be patient under correction, especially under the correction of her Aunt Anne. Already she felt in her a rebellion at her aunt's aloofness and passivity. After all, why should she treat every one as though she were God? Maggie felt that there was in her aunt's attitude something sentimental and affected. She hated sentiment and affectation in any one. She was afraid, too, that Anne bullied ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... shake off the masterful old hand, but she would not. A sad passivity became her best unless she relinquished every possible result of the last ten minutes. And it must have had some result. Jeff had, at least, been partly won. Surely there was an implied intimacy in his quick undertone when he had bade her run along. So Madame Beattie ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... On what ground—on what charge?" Sweeping the Dauphin aside Ursula de Vesc moved forward as she spoke. The instinct of protection had given way to something very like the instinct of attack: her love for the boy was satisfied with a passivity which could never content her love ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... yet I abandoned myself to my fate, allowing myself to slip without the slightest attempt at resistance, along the easiest way, towards death or idiocy or paralysis, towards anything that meant the indifferent passivity of inaction. I had bad, confused dreams. The silence irritated me. I fancied to myself that the sea ought to make some sound, that it was holding itself deliberately quiescent in preparation for some event. I remember that Marfa ...
— The Secret City • Hugh Walpole

... is successful and has the high spirits of success, but is no more now than it has been for twenty years a party of homogeneous confidence in domestic reform, while on the world outside the British islands it looks with passivity, perhaps timidity, certainly with no intention of ...
— Socialism: Positive and Negative • Robert Rives La Monte

... Edwin with a speed swifter than the winds. In fine, he had conducted his lovely prize in safety to his enchanted castle, and had introduced her within those walls, where every thing human and supernatural obeyed his nod, in a state of unresisting passivity. ...
— Imogen - A Pastoral Romance • William Godwin

... Apprenticeship, we have not much work to do; but, boarded and lodged gratis, are set down mostly to look about us over the workshop, and see others work, till we have understood the tools a little, and can handle this and that. If good Passivity alone, and not good Passivity and good Activity together, were the thing wanted, then was my early position favorable beyond the most. In all that respects openness of Sense, affectionate Temper, ingenuous Curiosity, ...
— Sartor Resartus - The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh • Thomas Carlyle

... evinced toward Julio the resistance of the first few days. Her training as a nurse was giving her a certain passivity. She seemed to be ignoring material attractions, stripping them of the spiritual importance which she had hitherto attributed to them. She wanted to make Julio happy, although her mind was concentrated on ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... emotional and practical difference to one whether one accept the universe in the drab discolored way of stoic resignation to necessity, or with the passionate happiness of Christian saints. The difference is as great as that between passivity and activity, as that between the defensive and the aggressive mood. Gradual as are the steps by which an individual may grow from one state into the other, many as are the intermediate stages which different ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... from beyond the darkness. [Footnote: Crinvantu vicve amritasya putra a ye divya dhamani tasthuh vedahametam purusham mahantam aditya varnam tamasah parastat.] Do we not find the overwhelming delight of a direct and positive experience where there is not the least trace of vagueness or passivity? ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... tell what unconscious wish impelled him to turn highwayman, but speaking generally a boy expresses his self-assertion in terms of anti-social behaviour only when his education has been bad. I believe that all juvenile delinquency is due to bad education. Our schools enforce passivity on the child; his creative energy is bottled up. No boy who has tools and a bench to work with will express himself by smashing windows. Delinquency is merely displaced social conduct; the motive of the little boy who turned ...
— A Dominie in Doubt • A. S. Neill

... the reaction came, and now daily stunned her into hopeless apathy and abject indifference. Having lost the power of vexing, and beyond being really vexed by a being she so utterly despised as her husband, there was nothing left but pure passivity and inanition, into ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... feels an awfully monotonous quality in him; and in spite of the fact that invalidism condemned him to avoid thinking, and to saunter and potter through large parts of every day, one finds no twilight region in his mind, and no capacity for dreaminess or passivity. All parts of it are filled with the same noonday glare, like a dry desert where every grain of sand shows singly, and there are no ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... and produce intellection or thought, are represented symbolically in the Kabalah as male and female. So also are Justice and Mercy. Strength is the intellectual Energy or Activity; Establishment or Stability is the intellectual Capacity to produce, a passivity. They are the POWER of generation and the CAPACITY of production. By WISDOM, it is said, God creates, and by UNDERSTANDING establishes. These are the two Columns of the Temple, contraries like the Man and ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... Hewson in a good cigar He perceptibly enjoyed the business details of the affair, but he enjoyed despatching them in the least possible time and the fewest words, and then he settled down to the pleasure of a superficial passivity. Hewson could not make out that he regarded his daughter as at all an unusual girl, and from this he argued that her mother must have been a very unusual woman. His only reason for doubting that Rosalie must have got all her originality from her mother was something that fell from ...
— Questionable Shapes • William Dean Howells

... other hand while active happiness may be somewhat scarce in India, a large content is not uncommon, and worry, as we Westerners understand it, is almost unknown. Hence we need to find the happy mean between the material activity of our own civilization, and the mental passivity of that of the Orientals. Therein will be found the calm serenity of an active mind, the reasonable acceptance of things as they are because we know they are good, the restfulness that comes from the assurance that "all things work together for Good ...
— Quit Your Worrying! • George Wharton James

... it. Grenville saw that Leopold would stay his hand until England chose to act, meanwhile alleging her neutrality as an excuse for doing nothing.[13] Thus, the resolve of Catharine to give nothing but fair words being already surmised, the emigres found to their annoyance that Pitt's passivity clogged their efforts—the chief reason why they shrilly upbraided him for his insular egotism. Certainly his attitude was far from romantic; but surely, after the sharp lesson which he had received from the House of Commons in the spring of 1791 during the dispute ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... marker in the insidious contest that had gone on in sudden surges and long, listless interludes between Evylyn and this cold, malignant thing of beauty, a gift of enmity from a man whose face she had long since forgotten. With its massive, brooding passivity it lay there in the centre of her house as it had lain for years, throwing out the ice-like beams of a thousand eyes, perverse glitterings merging each into ...
— Flappers and Philosophers • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... their opiate. You, at least, I think, are too brave for that kind of comfort. Does it not seem a little grasping to ask for eternity, because we have fifty years of action? And an eternity of passivity, because we have not done well with action? No, the world has had too much of that coddling, that kind of shuffle through, as if it were a way station where we must spend the night and make the best of sorry accommodations. Our benevolence, our warmheartedness, goes overmuch to making the ...
— Literary Love-Letters and Other Stories • Robert Herrick

... of care-free passivity now seemed to inundate her. She made no attempt to struggle; she nursed no sense of open resentment against her captors. The battery of her vital forces was depleted and depolarized. She experienced only a faintly poignant sense of disappointment, of indeterminate ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... sponged her head of the half-coagulated blood, and removed a few fragments of glass from a long laceration of the scalp. The shock of the cold water and the appearance of the ensanguined basin frightened her into a momentary passivity. But when Kane found it necessary to cut her hair in the region of the wound in order to apply the adhesive plaster, she again endeavored to rise and grasp ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... Buddha is worshiped. But it must be remembered that even in Jainism Buddha is only a memory. He has entered into Nirvana, and has passed out of conscious existence. Now that he has attained that state of passivity, he has no eye to pity and no arm to save. And yet in this Jain temple images of Buddha are worshiped, and these images ...
— A Tour of the Missions - Observations and Conclusions • Augustus Hopkins Strong

... in a high degree that strict passivity of mental vision which calls into being the elusive yet fixed element the mystic Blake so ardently refers to and makes a principle of, that element outside the mind's jurisdiction. His work is of the essence of poetry; it ...
— Adventures in the Arts - Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets • Marsden Hartley

... by the passivity of her regard, he lashed out at her once more, blindly cutting her with abuse that stung, even though it was entirely undeserved. A certain crude coarseness crept into his phrases, perhaps something long repressed had found vent. The cold, inert mass of him had turned into ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... Intuition has its own place in general psychology, and has acquired peculiar significance in the domains of aesthetics, ethics, and theology; and the same root idea is preserved throughout—that of immediacy of insight. The characteristic of passivity on which certain mystics would insist is subsidiary—even if it is to be allowed at all. Its claims ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... we perceive, study to be absolutely passive. This was the Burgermeister's course at Grunberg to-night; Grunberg, first Town on the Frontier, sets an example of passivity which cannot be surpassed. Prussian troops being at the Gate of Grunberg, Burgermeister and adjuncts sitting in a tacit expectant condition in their Town-hall, there arrives a Prussian Lieutenant requiring of the Burgermeister the Key of said Gate. "To deliver such Key? Would to God I durst, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... England, but there is no effort to exploit the situation to the mutual advantage of English and German. Alone Sir Reginald MacKenna, the chairman of the London City and Midland Bank, in a remarkable speech to the shareholders and directors indicated our astonishing passivity. The war has brought Germany low, and the lower she goes the more dangerous she is to the rest of us. But no one will face it. If we did resolve to face it we should find many Germans ready to co-operate and give help in exchange for help. The low German mark ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... the door had been a simple household duty, Brutus turned from it with quiet passivity, and adjusted the folds of the blue broadcloth with an equal thoroughness, while my father straightened the ...
— The Unspeakable Gentleman • John P. Marquand

... beings in the grip of an inelastic system and forcibly holding them fixed, we have ignored the laws of life and growth. We have forced living souls into a permanent passivity, making them incapable of moulding circumstance to their own intrinsic design, and of mastering their own destiny. Borrowing our ideal of life from a dark period of our degeneracy, we have covered up our sensitiveness of soul under the immovable weight of a remote past. We have set up an ...
— Creative Unity • Rabindranath Tagore

... spirit is so undisputed that the pillars of society are just as much the beggars who beg as the rich men who support them, influences of a peculiar character play an immense role and can be only very slowly overcome. Passivity has been so long enthroned that of the Chinese it may be truly said that they are not so much too proud to fight as too indifferent,—which is not a fruitful state of affairs. Looking on the world with callous detachment the masses go their own way, only pausing ...
— The Fight For The Republic in China • Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale

... The world moves. And each day, each hour, demands a further motion and re-adjustment for the soul. A telescope in an observatory follows a star by clockwork, but the clockwork of the soul is called the Will. Hence, while the soul in passivity reflects the Image of the Lord, the Will in intense activity holds the mirror in position lest the drifting motion of the world bear it beyond the line of vision. To "follow Christ" is largely to keep the soul in such position ...
— Beautiful Thoughts • Henry Drummond

... is a combat without any positive view. In this way, therefore, our means attain their greatest relative value, and therefore the result is best secured. How far now can this negative mode of proceeding be carried? Plainly not to absolute passivity, for mere endurance would not be fighting; and the defensive is an activity by which so much of the enemy's power must be destroyed that he must give up his object. That alone is what we aim at in each single act, and therein consists the negative ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... felt passivity under divine influence separate themselves out from the group; indeed VI and IX probably belong in the unpleasant-delusion ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... colouring, in its soft persuasive passivity, its sensuous purity, this woman's face reminded him of Titian's 'Heavenly Love,' a reproduction of which hung over the sideboard in his dining-room. And her attraction seemed to be in this ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... sad story, the story of philology! The disgusting erudition, the lazy, inactive passivity, the ...
— We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... his blue eyes were lit up with a little flame of curious desire. He saw too how good-looking he was. Gerald was attractive, his blood seemed fluid and electric. His blue eyes burned with a keen, yet cold light, there was a certain beauty, a beautiful passivity in all his body, ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... authors' forte and they play upon it amazingly. The sterner tones of their predecessors melt into the long drawn broken accent of pathos and woe. This delight not in action or in emotion arising from action but in passivity of suffering is only one aspect of a certain mental flaccidity in grain. Shakespeare may be free and even coarse. Beaumont and Fletcher cultivate indecency. They made their subject not their master but their plaything, or an occasion for the convenient exercise ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... of song or to a mysterious harmony between his soul and the world spirit, a coming "into tune with the infinite," as it has been called, the mode of his communion is identical. There is a frenzy of desire so intolerable that it suddenly fails, leaving the poet in trancelike passivity while the revelation is given to him,—ancient and modern writers alike describe the experience thus. And modern poets, no less than ancient ones, feel that, before becoming the channel of world meaning, they must be deprived ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... the beds made, the plates on the rack, the pail of bright water behind the door, the stove crackling in a corner, and perhaps the table roughly laid against a meal,—and man's order, the little clean spots that he creates to dwell in, were at once contrasted with the rich passivity of nature. And yet our house was everywhere so wrecked and shattered, the air came and went so freely, the sun found so many portholes, the golden outdoor glow shone in so many open chinks, that we enjoyed, at the same time, some of the comforts of a roof and much of the gaiety and ...
— The Silverado Squatters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... a phenomenon can occur in a country socially and individually permeated for centuries with the spirit of passivity, can one question the tremendous, revolutionizing effect on human character exerted by great social iniquities? Can one doubt the logic, the ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... N. inertness, dullness &c adj.; inertia, vis inertiae [Lat.], inertion^, inactivity, torpor, languor; quiescence &c 265; latency, inaction; passivity. mental inertness; sloth &c (inactivity) 683; inexcitability &c 826 [Obs.]; irresolution &c 605; obstinacy &c 606; permanence &c 141. rare gas, paraffin, noble metal, unreactivity. V. be inert &c adj.; hang fire, smolder. Adj. inert, inactive, passive; torpid &c 683; sluggish, dull, heavy, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... a larger share of the world, and throws out forms outside himself. Therefore his culture will consist, first, in placing his receptivity in contact with the world in the greatest number of points possible, and in raising passivity, to the highest exponent on the side of feeling; secondly, in procuring for the determining faculty the greatest possible amount of independence, in relation to the receptive power, and in raising ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... Her passivity angered him. This dignity of submission put him in the wrong. She seemed to be waiting patiently and without anxiety for her release. Why should he give it? How could he give it? Would he deny God ...
— Moor Fires • E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

... had heated the road, was on his way to the Four Corners. There was not much that he could do, after all, in his pitiful errand; at least, for the mother. One more insult for her to accept, to be borne in stupid passivity. But for the daughter who had to live, it would be a different question; and by the time he had reached Middleton, he had not made up his mind how the tale ...
— The Man Who Wins • Robert Herrick

... twice with her child to the farm, but there was this lull between them, an intense calm and passivity like a torpor upon them, so that there was no active change took place. He was almost unaware of the child, yet by his native good humour he gained her confidence, even her affection, setting her on a horse to ride, giving ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... Was this the rebirth that the swooning hours had held in store for him? ... Quickly life came flooding back. Indifference fell from him. In one blinding flash his new condition was revealed. His life had been a futile compromise. He had sowed passivity and he had reaped a barren harvest of negative virtues. He would compromise again, and he would be passive again, and he would bow his neck to authority ... but from this moment on he would wither the cold fruits of such enforced planting ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... only a few feet to the top as he had said, but the climb seemed to her unending. She was conscious throughout that his endurance was being put to the utmost test, and only by the most complete passivity could she help him. ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... first under the attribute of thought, secondly, under the attribute of extension. Thus it follows that the order or concatenation of things is identical, whether nature be conceived under the one attribute or the other; consequently the order of states of activity and passivity in our body is simultaneous in nature with the order of states of activity and passivity in the mind. The same conclusion is evident from the manner in which ...
— The Ethics • Benedict de Spinoza

... little person, plain-spoken to the verge of unfriendliness; a woman in whom the rugged, self-reliant, Puritan strain had become panic-acidulous. And when the Puritan stock degenerates in that direction, it is apt to lack good judgment on the business side, and also the passivity which smooths the way for incompetence in less ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... God, and the service of humanity is the identical service of God. Other so-called services of God are a means to this, or else an illusion. This parallel of religion and morals is to be set over against other passages, easily to be cited, in which Schleiermacher speaks of passivity and contemplation as the means of the realisation of the unity of man and God, as if the elimination of self meant a sort of Nirvana. Schleiermacher was a pantheist and mystic. No philosopher save Kant ever influenced ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... Sand River Valley, and in the rear seat of the observation car a young man sat greatly at his ease, not in the least discomfited by the fierce sunlight which beat in upon his brown face and neck and strong back. There was a look of relaxation and of great passivity about his broad shoulders, which seemed almost too heavy until he stood up and squared them. He wore a pale flannel shirt and a blue silk necktie with loose ends. His trousers were wide and belted ...
— The Troll Garden and Selected Stories • Willa Cather

... something of him, often enough, in the old gardens, and down the hidden streets; one has heard his footstep beside the quiet waters of Magdalen; and his smile still hovers amid that strange company of faces which guard, with such a large passivity, the circumference of ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... passes in the world of politics, the existence of free public opinion, or indeed of any opinion at all, can hardly be expected; and thus, while no country contains such frantic republicans as Russia, no government is more absolutely secure. Upon that tremendous passivity the utmost efforts of such men as Netchaieff and Bakounin fall like a pellet on the hide of an elephant. The popular cries which madden other races are utterly meaningless to the docile, unemotional "mujik," ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... few days dwelt in Odo's memory as a blur of strange sights and sounds. The super-acute state of his perceptions was succeeded after a night's sleep by the natural passivity with which children accept the improbable, so that he passed from one novel impression to another as easily and with the same exhilaration as if he had been listening to a fairy tale. Solitude and neglect had no ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... you realize what centuries of suppression are doing to my sex? Do you understand that woman is degenerating into an immobility—an inertia—a molluskular condition of receptive passivity which is rendering us, year by year, more unfitted to either think or act for ourselves? Even in the matter of marriage we are not permitted by custom to assume the initiative. We may only shake our heads until the man we are ...
— The Gay Rebellion • Robert W. Chambers

... hours of labor than formerly; The mental factor growing; The bright side of old-time country life; The larger environment; Games; Inventiveness in rural life; Activity rather than passivity; Child labor; ...
— Rural Life and the Rural School • Joseph Kennedy

... criticism of Christianity. For the present, let it be sufficient to say that no theologian would be prepared to accept his interpretation of the Christian religion. The everlasting conflict of spirit against sense and brutal force, which is the essence of Christianity, is hardly conducive to passivity. It is, on the contrary, a consistent discipline in modern heroism. There is not much meekness about the Jesuits or the warrior Popes. Nor is there much melancholy about St. Francis of Assisi or St. Theresa. The ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... his gloomy, ceremonial little court of faithful followers, was playing his nightly game of whist in the melancholy shelter of Holyrood, where he was to remain for the next two years, an insipid, sorrowful figure, distinguished by such dignity as unquerulous passivity can lend to the foolish and unfortunate. Meanwhile, Paris was attempting to vamp up some interest in her new King, who walked the streets with an ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... in the planetary mass, which is a mere nothing in the universe. The individual is then but a nothing of the third power, with a capacity for measuring its nothingness! Thought leads to resignation. Self-doubt leads to passivity, and passivity to servitude. From this a voluntary submission is the only escape, that is to say, a state of dependence religiously accepted, a vindication of ourselves as free beings, bowed before duty only. Duty thus becomes our principle of action, ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... mere passivity. It is more than simply a revelation of Divine suffering, of the eternal patience of the love of GOD. It is the expression of GOD in action: a deed of Divine self- sacrifice: a voluntary taking upon Himself ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... power of Christ may rest upon me.' The will is entirely harmonised with Christ's. The Apostle begins with instinctive shrinking, he passes onwards to a perception of the purpose of his trial and of the sustaining grace; and he comes now to acquiescence which is not passivity, but glad triumph. He is more than submissive, he gladly glories in his infirmity in order that the power of Christ may 'spread a tabernacle over' him. 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted,' said the old prophet. Paul says, in a yet higher note of concord with God's ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... uncle," said Gwendolen, rising and shaking her head back, as if to rouse herself out of painful passivity. "I am not foolish. I know that I must be married some time—before it is too late. And I don't see how I could do better than marry Mr. Grandcourt. I mean to accept him, if possible." She felt as if she were reinforcing herself by speaking with ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... surprised at Cherry's passivity and silence, but Cherry was wrapped in a sick and nervous dream, unable either to interpret the present or face the future with any courage. Before luncheon he had followed her into her room, and had put his arm about her. But she had quietly shaken him off, with the nervous murmur: "Please—no, ...
— Sisters • Kathleen Norris

... morning, at a fixed hour, he issued from his house in one of the small alleys, staff in hand, and with a curious kind of horn or whistle. This he blew as he walked along, from time to time, without turning his head, in that strange trance of passivity which distinguishes the Valencian peasant. Out from dark corners, narrow passages, mud hovels on all sides, came tearing along little pigs, big pigs, dark, light, fat, thin pigs,—pigs of every description,—and joined the procession headed by ...
— Spanish Life in Town and Country • L. Higgin and Eugene E. Street

... from her knees. That silent attitude had been a sort of sacrament to her, confirming the state of yearning passivity on which she had newly entered. By the one act of renouncing her resolve to quit her husband, her will seemed so utterly bruised that she felt the need of direction even in small things. She lifted up the edge ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... line we passed little posts of a few men, sentries moving up and down, and a figure or two poring over a pot on a fire. About midnight, after a rather uneasy slumber, I woke in Pretoria. Raining. With the patient, sheep-like passivity that the private soldier learns, we dragged ourselves and our kit from place to place according to successive orders. A friendly corporal carried my kit-sack, and being very slow on my feet, we finally got lost, and found ourselves sitting forlornly on our belongings in the middle of an empty, ...
— In the Ranks of the C.I.V. • Erskine Childers

... aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance. If the individual so resisted be of a not inhumane temper, and the resisting one perfectly harmless in his passivity, then, in the better moods of the former, he will endeavor charitably to construe to his imagination what proves impossible to be solved by his judgment. Even so, for the most part, I regarded Bartleby and his ways. Poor fellow! ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... of man is not of such. He is capable not of being influenced merely, but of influencing—and first of all of influencing himself; of taking a share in his own making; of determining actively, not by mere passivity, what he shall be and become; for he never ceases to pay at least a little heed, however poor and intermittent, to the voice of his conscience, and to-day he pays more heed than ...
— A Dish Of Orts • George MacDonald

... all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." The man of the world might see in this phrase an anticlimax, when it is said that the end of strength is patience and longsuffering; and yet Christianity finds its ideal in energy expressed in character, activity manifesting itself in passivity, and might in meekness. ...
— The Prayers of St. Paul • W. H. Griffith Thomas

... eagerness with that smiling, tantalizing passivity which he had so much admired but which this time was tinged strongly with a communicated desire. He thought he should never have enough of her, her beautiful face, her lovely arms, her smooth, lymphatic body. They were ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... got up, advanced a yard or two, then repeated their former game. Every minute the light grew stronger; its warmer tints heralded the rising sun. Seeing, however, that my passivity encouraged them, and convinced that a single step in retreat would bring the pack upon me, I determined in a moment of inspiration to run amuck, and trust to Providence for the consequences. Flinging my arms wildly into the air, and frantically yelling with all my lungs, ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... Christmas visit he had made a number of calls there, a rather large number, indeed, considering everything. He had schooled his face and words on those occasions to a passivity he was far from feeling, and had left Louise's presence each time with a greater torment of mind. Now this was the end—of her as of everything so far as he was concerned. To-morrow the project came down in wreckage. Then he should go from ...
— The Iron Furrow • George C. Shedd

... indeed! Why, here it all was in Japanese farce! From the passivity of the passengers to the pantomime of the driver and guard, it could hardly have been done better; and the actors all kept their countenances, too, in such a surprising manner. A captious critic might have suggested that they looked a thought too much at the audience; but, on the whole, I think ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... people, for these political events were like hurricanes or the changes of season, mere phenomena of a natural or physical order which never affected the spiritual integrity of Hindu culture. If after a passivity of some centuries India is again going to become creative it is mainly on account of this fundamental unity of her progress and civilisation and not for anything that she may borrow from other countries. It is therefore indispensably necessary for all those who wish to appreciate the ...
— A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 1 • Surendranath Dasgupta

... this impression of secret and collusive agencies was heightened by the vibration of the air above us, in which the shells from the batteries made furrows that were audible without being visible, as though the whole firmament were populated with disembodied spirits. The passivity of the toilers in the field below us, who, absorbed in their husbandry, regarded not the air above them, and the dreaming beauty of the distant city almost persuaded us that we were the victims of a gigantic illusion. But ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... solemnly at a picture she was making in the darkness over his left shoulder. She had liked the story, although the thought of men fighting over a woman made her feel sick, as any conspicuous example of the passivity common in her sex always did. But the rest she had thought lovely. It was a beautiful idea of the Marquis's to turn the bed into an altar. Probably he had often gone into his wife's room to kiss her good-night. She saw a narrow iron bedstead such as she herself slept in, a face half ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... shrouded her in these, Madame von Marwitz, still gazing, as if at visions, in the fire, lifted her arms and bent her head with almost the passivity of a dead thing. Once or twice she murmured broken phrases: "My ewe-lamb;—taken;—I am very weary. Mon Dieu, mon Dieu,—and is this, then, ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... his painful "thank you" when she fed him with some of the fruit constantly sent her from Maxwell Court. Everything that was said about his father he took in and understood, but he did not seem to fret. His mother was almost divided from him by this passivity of the dying; nor could she give him or his state much attention. Her gentle, sensitive, but not profound nature was strained already beyond ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... his manner had a deep effect. Passivity of resistance at no time appealed to the forceful Abe. Aggression was the chief part of his doctrine of life. He was glad to hear his chief talk ...
— The Triumph of John Kars - A Story of the Yukon • Ridgwell Cullum

... the passivity of stupefaction, however, as one marvel after another was revealed to them. The first evening the architect sketched the plans of a picturesque building in the old Norse style, to match the romantic scenery of the lovely valley. ...
— Hillsboro People • Dorothy Canfield

... of changing to humbler rooms and hiding therein from his world, he did not meditate any definite activity. The feeling at the bottom of his mind was rather that events would shape themselves. To this attitude of passivity his whole life had tended. His will-strength had gone into his passionate desire of poetic achievement, and were it not that he had, so to speak, grown into relation with others, his life would have been utterly static. The movement of their lives alone had taken his along. He had not the ...
— Cleo The Magnificent - The Muse of the Real • Louis Zangwill

... nature was worth a quarrel. People liked the principle contained in the sentence: "We can afford to exercise the self-restraint of a really great nation which realizes its own strength and scorns to misuse it." But they also wondered whether the passivity of the Government did not in part proceed from the fact that the President could not make up his mind what he wanted to do. They looked upon his handling of the Mexican situation as clear evidence of a lack of policy. Nevertheless the country as ...
— Woodrow Wilson and the World War - A Chronicle of Our Own Times. • Charles Seymour

... return of his mental powers. They would all come in time, she said; and young Dr. Vereker, though his studious and responsible face grew still more studious and responsible as time went on, and the mind of this case continued a blank, still encouraged passivity, and spoke confidently—whatever he thought—of an early ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... suitable modifications of existing conditions. He could not see how impossible it was to sweep away all institutions and impose a wholly new social order irrespective of the natures, faculties, and desires of those whom he wished to benefit; on the contrary, he exaggerates the passivity and plasticity of men and circumstances, and dreams that his model legislator, who apparently is to initiate the new society, will be able to repress all anti-social feelings. He aims at order and ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... in the most lively colours the distress she endured. La Mère Agnès consoled her in her disappointment, and sought to carry her thoughts beyond the mere chagrin which so obviously mingled with her higher feeling. Her own somewhat resentful obstinacy gradually yielded to the pure passivity of resignation—so strong in its seeming weakness—which the sister of Arnauld preached to her. At length she is content to make no further demands upon her brother. He and Madame Périer shall do as they wish; the money would not be blessed unless it came from free hearts, and was given for the love ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... expectation for the opportunity of confiding everything to him. Her mother called every day at Mr. Deane's to learn how Lucy was; the report was always sad,—nothing had yet roused her from the feeble passivity which had come on with the first shock. But of Philip, Mrs. Tulliver had learned nothing; naturally, no one whom she met would speak to her about what related to her daughter. But at last she summoned courage to ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... thus far, is to an active passivity. Lao teaches that not to act involves the highest energy of being, and leads to the greatest results. By not acting one identifies himself with the Tao, and receives all its power. And here we cannot doubt ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... Merejkowski. The main points of this study have been known to students who followed Tolstoy's extraordinary career for the past quarter of a century. Ibsen's individualism appeals. Better his torpedo exploding a thousand times under the social ark than the Oriental passivity of the Russian. There is hope in the message of Brand; none in Tolstoy's nihilism. One glorifies the will, the other denies, rejects it. No comparison can be made between the two wonderful men as playwrights. Yet Tolstoy's Powers of Darkness is brutal melodrama when compared ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... her questionings she felt well; a nonchalance deep as sleep, a passivity and indifference so dark and sweet she felt it must be evil. Evil! She was evil. And yet she had no power to be otherwise. They were legally married. And she was glad. She was relieved by knowing she could not escape. She was Mrs. Marasca. What was the good of trying ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... now to fill the room with a moving vacuum. She bent forward, her chin resting upon her breast, and gradually the deathly sickness passed. Mentally, she underwent a change, too. From an active state of resistance the ego traversed a descending curve ending in absolute passivity. The floor had seemingly begun to revolve and was moving insidiously, so that the pattern of the carpet formed a series of concentric rings. She found this imaginary phenomenon to be soothing ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... more at her side. If she could have had this boon indefinitely, without the need of pledges or protestations, without the necessity of recalling the past, or facing the future, she would have been content, nor asked for anything beyond. This dream of a tranquil passivity was a fatal symptom of completely broken energies and proximate decay. But even this dream had to be dispelled. An hour had gone by and darkness had filled the room, an admonition to Cary that he must forthwith return to camp. ...
— The Bastonnais - Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76 • John Lesperance

... stems of smoke, which the eye of imagination could trace downward to their root on quiet hearth-stones festooned overhead with hams and flitches. It was one of those sequestered spots outside the gates of the world where may usually be found more meditation than action, and more passivity than meditation; where reasoning proceeds on narrow premises, and results in inferences wildly imaginative; yet where, from time to time, no less than in other places, dramas of a grandeur and unity truly Sophoclean are enacted in the real, by virtue of the concentrated ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... depth and reason gain in freedom, in that proportion man TAKES IN a larger share of the world, and throws out forms outside himself. Therefore his culture will consist, first, in placing his receptivity on contact with the world in the greatest number of points possible, and is raising passivity to the highest exponent on the side of feeling; secondly, in procuring for the determining faculty the greatest possible amount of independence, in relation to the receptive power, and in raising activity to the highest degree on the side of reason. By the union of ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... have been. The slow-burning ecstasy in which he knew himself at his height and was most conscious of fulness of life, was incompatible with the rapid and deliberate generation of ideas. The same soft passivity, the same receptiveness, which made his emotions like the surface of a lake under sky and breeze, entered also into the working of his intellectual faculties. But it happens that in this region, in the attainment of knowledge, truth, and definite thoughts, ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... this would have been accepted as precious truth by the mediaeval Church mystics.[177] The words nakedness, darkness, nothingness, passivity, apathy, and the like, fill their pages. We shall find that this time-honoured phraseology was adhered to long after the grave moral dangers which beset this type of Mysticism had been recognised. Tauler, for instance, who ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... she was only gasping—in raucous, exhausted, nervous sobs. They came shorter and harder as she pitted her impotence against this unyielding passivity. She knew it was impotence, and yet she couldn't desist; and she couldn't desist because she grew more and more frenzied. It was the kind of frenzy in which she would have dashed herself wildly, vainly against the force that blocked her with its pitiless resistance, ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... a state of activity and a state of passivity, which is a law of our physical being, as it is a law of all nature, is characteristic of the action of the mind as well: observation and meditation are the two poles of thought. The tendency of modern life and of our active ...
— Architecture and Democracy • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... and in rushed the inexpressible sweetness of dawn. The bush of syringa by the kitchen window swept in its whole fragrance, heady and sensuous. She took long breaths of it, and thought of Reddin's green dress, of the queer look in his eyes when he stared long at her. A curious passivity quite foreign to her came over her now at the thought of Reddin. What would he look like, what would he say, would he hold her roughly, if she went to Hunter's Spinney? An unwilling elation possessed her as she thought of it. It did not occur to her to wonder why Edward ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... Rubens' Bacchantes, but firmer—an energetic and vulgar figure, a simple, strong unintellectual courtezan. She lies extended on her back, caressing a little cupid naked like herself, with the vacant seriousness and passivity of soul of an animal in repose and expectant. The other, called "Venus with the Dog," is a patrician's mistress, couched, adorned and ready. We recognize a palace of the day, the alcove fitted up and ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One) • Various

... hung in my old bedroom at home; the picture was a shifting one, my mind wandering uncertainly in search of more vivid images; I could see no accident of form or shadow without conscious labour after the necessary conditions. It was all prosaic effort, not rapt passivity, such as I had experienced half an hour before. I was discouraged; but I remembered that ...
— The Lifted Veil • George Eliot

... a moment of absolute passivity on the part of the big fellow, then a very large and brawny hand was extended and the blind ...
— Robert Hardy's Seven Days - A Dream and Its Consequences • Charles Monroe Sheldon

... to get some sleep now. Go home to bed," urged Sally. "It's no good trying to work if you're sick. Go home now." She did not know how motherly, how caressing and wise, her voice had become. She was absorbed in his state of exhaustion and passivity. "It's not right," she went on. "You can't do any good. Get the doctor to give you something ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... chafing in Kyoto. To a man of his temperament enforced passivity on the eve of such epoch-making events must have been intolerable. He saw plainly that to drive the Taira from Shikoku was an essential preliminary to their ultimate defeat, and he saw, too, that for such an enterprise a larger measure of resolution ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... agonized death on them—mangled and crushed forms—all the wreck of a fought battle, terrible in its suggestive pathos. It sank away into the minor of water voices, soft, monotonous, agonizing in its utter passivity, a brilliant arpeggio flashed up the keys like a shower of gold, and Miss Berkeley rose with white face and trembling breath, and Nelly was alone in the room, sobbing nervously in ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 6, No 5, November 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... The remarkable passivity of the Italian public during these anxious moments was due in good part, no doubt, to its thorough confidence in the men who were directing the state, specifically in the Prime Minister Salandra and his Minister of Foreign ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... death. Scarcely knowing what she did, and suddenly quite pale, she began to clap with Susan. She felt like one fighting against terrible odds. And the enemy sickened her because it was full of a monstrous passivity. It seemed to exhale inertia. To fight against it was like struggling against being smothered by a ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... young, very inexperienced. Her early training that had denied the exercise of individual responsibility and had inculcated a passivity of mind that precluded self-determination had bitten deeper than she knew. Her life since leaving the convent had been smooth and uneventful, there had been no occasion to practise the new liberty of thought and action that was hers. And now before a decision that ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... speaking in the abstract, foretold an engagement in which the mistakes of the enemy would be counterbalanced by their energy in the face of French passivity, lack of any control conception. Forty years later in the Ecole de Guerre, Foch explained the reasons why the strategy of Moltke, mistaken in all respects, failed to meet the ruin it deserved, only because at Gravelotte Bazaine could ...
— Battle Studies • Colonel Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph Ardant du Picq



Words linked to "Passivity" :   torpor, spiritlessness, indifference, inactive, passive, numbness, inactivity, inactiveness, submissiveness, inertia, torpidness, torpidity, apathy, listlessness



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