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Shabbiness   Listen
Shabbiness

noun
1.
A lack of elegance as a consequence of wearing threadbare or dirty clothing.  Synonyms: manginess, seediness, sleaziness.
2.
An unjust act.  Synonyms: iniquity, injustice, unfairness.






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"Shabbiness" Quotes from Famous Books



... many potentates before and since, was fond of great political spectacles. He knew their influence upon the masses of mankind. Altho plain even to shabbiness in his own costume, and usually attired in black, no one ever understood better than he how to arrange such exhibitions in a striking and artistic style. We have seen the theatrical and imposing manner in which he quelled the ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. X (of X) - America - II, Index • Various

... you have dressed me in such a way that I attract attention in the street for my shabbiness. I don't think I am very proud, but I have been mortified! more than once when I saw people looking at my patched clothes and shoes out at the toes. I think if I work faithfully I ought to be ...
— Joe's Luck - Always Wide Awake • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... looks lovelier than anybody," I said quickly; for I didn't think I could bear to have even Tony, when I know what a great love he has for her, criticize Roxanne's shabbiness. They don't any of them know what a heroine she is, and about the ...
— Phyllis • Maria Thompson Daviess

... hand, but the unexpected meanness of Reardon's aspect shocked and restrained her. All but every woman would have experienced that shrinking from the livery of poverty. Amy had but to reflect, and she understood that her husband could in no wise help this shabbiness; when he parted from her his wardrobe was already in a long-suffering condition, and how was he to have purchased new garments since then? None the less such attire degraded him in her eyes; it symbolised the melancholy decline which he had suffered ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... Seine in despair, shivering with cold. At last they found on the quay one of those ancient night cabs which, as though they were ashamed to show their shabbiness during the day, are never seen round Paris ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... to help you. When I am down in Virginia, I expect to get a vast deal of good from thinking of you,—to do my work better, and to keep straighter altogether. Like all lovers, I'm horribly selfish. I expect to see a vast deal of shabbiness and baseness and turmoil, and in the midst of it all I'm sure the inspiration of patriotism will sometimes fail. Then I'll think of you. I love you a thousand times better than my country, Liz.—Wicked? So much the worse. It's the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 89, March, 1865 • Various

... excellent merchant's daughters did not benefit as much as might be supposed by the lessons the world has to offer to young spirits. At these parties, which were indeed set down in the ledger to the credit of the house, they wore dresses the shabbiness of which made them blush. Their style of dancing was not in any way remarkable, and their mother's surveillance did not allow of their holding any conversation with their partners beyond Yes and No. Also, the law of the old sign of the Cat and Racket commanded that they should ...
— At the Sign of the Cat and Racket • Honore de Balzac

... hatred and active tyranny of the administration. As we read the story of the lives of all these strenuous men, their struggles, their incessant mortifications, their constantly reviving and ever irrepressible vigour and interest in the fight, we may wish that the shabbiness and the pettiness of the daily lives of some of them had faded away from memory, and left us nothing to think of in connection with their names but the alertness, courage, tenacity, self-sacrifice, and faith with which they defended the cause of human ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... upon my feet and looked out into the dawn, determining to explore our strange surroundings before any others were astir. With loaded revolver in my pocket, I slipped into the hall. The faint light revealed its shabbiness, the grimy rag carpet, and discolored walls. Some spirit of adventure led me the full length until my hand was upon the latch of that last door. I could not resist an impulse to look upon the dead man again by daylight, and thus ...
— Gordon Craig - Soldier of Fortune • Randall Parrish

... the appearance of the house and its mistress, the shabbiness of the entrance to the former, the secret signal, etc. etc.—surprised me a little; but I suspected nothing ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... the same as in America, when a man has kept a hotel so thoroughly well during a number of years as to give it a great reputation, he has his reward. He can live prosperously on that reputation. He can let his hotel run down to the last degree of shabbiness and yet have it full of people all the time. For instance, there is the Ho^tel de Ville, in Milan. It swarms with mice and fleas, and if the rest of the world were destroyed it could furnish dirt enough to start another one with. The food would ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... say to succeeding generations: "I was at his first concert. It was a memorable," etc. etc. They were an emaciated tribe, and in fact had the air of mummies temporarily revived and escaped out of museums. They were shabby, but not with the gallery shabbiness; they were shabby because shabbiness was part of their unworldly refinement; and it did not matter—they would have got their free seats even if they had come ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... an evening to the floral fleet. By night the boats are gorgeous with their mirrors and myriad lamps alight, and blackwood tables and stools inlaid with mother-of-pearl; but by the light of day they look tawdry to the point of shabbiness. ...
— East of Suez - Ceylon, India, China and Japan • Frederic Courtland Penfield

... might have imagined in his kindled eyes a flattering testimony to the quality of her wine. As she turned back into the house she was met by a young man of whom Longmore took note in spite of his high distraction. He was evidently a member of that jovial fraternity of artists whose very shabbiness has an affinity with the unestablished and unexpected in life—the element often gazed at with a certain wistfulness out of the curtained windows even of the highest respectability. Longmore was struck first with his looking like a very clever man and then with his ...
— Madame de Mauves • Henry James

... her manner, her smart chatter, her exquisite chic, all revealed good breeding and a high station in life. There was no touch of cheap shabbiness—or at least I could not ...
— The Count's Chauffeur • William Le Queux

... more. However that may be, it is certainly very striking to see the immense number of one-horse "teams" that turn out for an afternoon or evening spin in the parks and suburban roads of places like New York, Boston, and Chicago. Many of these teams are of a plainness, not to say shabbiness, which would make an English owner too shamefaced to exhibit them in public. The fact that the owner is his own stableman is often indicated by the ungroomed coat of his horse, and by the month-old mud on his wheels. The horse, however, ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... only righteous indignation, to the onlooker is passionate anger. That which, in the practiser of it, is no more than a due regard for the interests of his own family and himself in the future, is, to the envious lookers-on, shabbiness and meanness in money matters. That which, to the liar, is only prudent diplomatic reticence, to the listener is falsehood. That which, in the man that judges his own conduct, is but 'a choleric word,' is, in his friend, when he judges ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... her cheerless drawing-room, hating its ugly shabbiness, and penetrated with the damp chill of the house, there swept through her a vision of the Piazza del Duomo, as she had last seen it on a hot September evening. A blaze of light—delicious all-prevailing warmth—the moist bronzed faces of the men—the girls with the look of physical content ...
— The Mating of Lydia • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... green carriage umbrella, rode His Excellency the Governor of the district. Behind him walked his secretary, the Syndic of Subiaco, four gendarmes, and three broken-down, old livery-clad beadles, who carried the umbrellas of these high dignitaries. In truth, had it not been for the unutterable shabbiness of the whole affair, I could have fancied I saw the market scene in "Martha," and "The Last Rose of Summer" seemed to ring unbidden in my ears. Not a score of un-official spectators accompanied the procession from the convent, and the interest caused ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... independences that had struck the latter as fresh—an odd and engaging dignity. He lived at the end of an alley that went out of an old short cobbled street, a street that went in turn out of a new long smooth avenue—street and avenue and alley having, however, in common a sort of social shabbiness; and he introduced them to the rather cold and blank little studio which he had lent to a comrade for the term of his elegant absence. The comrade was another ingenuous compatriot, to whom he had wired that tea was to await them "regardless," and this reckless ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... immediate consideration of his singular physique. If it were not, indeed, his own magnificent oblivion. When she looked, she could see how lean he was, how insufficiently nourished. His clothes hung on him in folds; they were worn to an incredible shabbiness. Yet he carried them with an indomitable distinction. He had the grace, in flank and limb, of the wild ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... part of May, a few weeks after the close of the war of the rebellion, as I was hurrying down Sixth Avenue in pursuit of a heedless horse-car, I ran against a young person whose shabbiness of aspect was all that impressed itself upon me in the instant of collision. At a second glance I saw that this person was clad in the uniform of a Confederate soldier—an officer's uniform originally, for there were signs that ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... ill clothed, ill fed and ill housed, who have limited outlooks and continually suffer misadventures, hardships and distresses through the want of money. My lot had fallen upon the fringe of the possessing minority; if I did not know the want of necessities I knew shabbiness, and the world that let me go on to a university education intimated very plainly that there was not a thing beyond the primary needs that my stimulated imagination might demand that it would not be an effort for me to secure. A certain aggressive radicalism against ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... her being which meant that she was occasionally invited to a friendly dinner-party with her father and mother, that her clothes cost three times as much as they had cost while she was 'in,' that she had ideas about blue china and sunflowers, lamented the shabbiness of The Knoll drawing-room and the general untidiness of the household, and that she abandoned herself to despondency whenever there was a long interval between one garden party and another. The child Eva had become exactly what Blanche had been four years ago. Urania ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... knife and fork, with his compliments in return. There was a very dirty lady in his room, and two wan girls, his daughters, with shock heads of hair. I thought I should not have liked to borrow Captain Porter's comb. The Captain himself was in the last extremity of shabbiness; and if I could draw at all, I would draw an accurate portrait of the old, old, brown great-coat he wore, with no other coat below it. His whiskers were large. I saw his bed rolled up in a corner; and what plates, and dishes, ...
— The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick - A Lecture • Frank Lockwood

... the news that Mr. Antony Bartle had given two thousand guineas for a Book of Hours, and had sold a Missal for twice that amount to some American collector; and they got a hazy notion that the old man must be well-to-do—despite his snuffiness and shabbiness, and that his queer old shop, in the window of which there was rarely anything to be seen but a few ancient tomes, and two or three rare engravings, contained much that he could turn at an hour's notice into gold. All that was surmise—but Eldrick & Pascoe—which term included Linford ...
— The Talleyrand Maxim • J. S. Fletcher

... very expression of the face changes when one has passed from shabbiness into elegance. After Buttons had dressed himself in his gay attire his next thought was what to do ...
— The Dodge Club - or, Italy in 1859 • James De Mille

... the sting of one's shabbiness here," thought Miss Paget: "the trees are all dressed alike. Nature makes no distinction. It is only Fortune ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... to himself to be neat in dress. A soldier owes it to more than himself—he owes it to his comrades, to his company—he owes it to his country, for just so far as a soldier is slack so far does his company suffer; his shabbiness reflects first upon himself, then upon his company and ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... broke. I was arrestively seedy, literally on my uppers, for owing to my long tramp my boots were barely holding together. There was no letter for me, and perhaps it was on account of my disappointment, perhaps on account of my extreme shabbiness, but I found I had quite lost heart. Looking as I did, I would not ask any one for work. So I tightened my belt and sat in Portsmouth Square, cursing myself for the many nickels I had squandered ...
— The Trail of '98 - A Northland Romance • Robert W. Service

... the Boulevard de la Madeleine on the look-out for Englishmen, preferably the worse for liquor, who desired to see things which the law forbade. When in luck he was able to make a tidy sum; but the shabbiness of his clothes at last frightened the sight-seers, and he could not find people adventurous enough to trust themselves to him. Then he happened on a job to translate the advertisements of patent medicines which were sent broadcast to the ...
— The Moon and Sixpence • W. Somerset Maugham

... violently,"—King decidedly ignoring. "To Captain Beauvrye [Captain of the Miners] he paid a gracious compliment; Major Lefebvre he rallied a little for losing heart, for bungling his business; but was not angry with him, consoled him rather; bantered him on the shabbiness of his equipments, and made him a gift of 400 thalers (60 pounds), to improve them. Lefebvre, Tauentzien and" another General "dined with him at Bogendorf to-day." ["Captain Gotz's NOTE-book" (a conspicuous Captain here, Note-book still in manuscript, I think): cited in SCHONING, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... one for whom it would have repaid her to procure extra advantages; but having at last been convinced that there was nothing for it but to send Beth to school, she set to work to prepare her to the best of her ability. Her own clothes were in the last stage of shabbiness, but what money she had she spent on getting new ones for Beth, and that, too, in order that she might continue the allowance to Jim as long as possible. She made a mighty effort also to teach Beth all that was necessary for the entrance examination into the school, ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... my going into a Coffee-House not far from the Hay-Market Theatre, I diverted my self for above half an Hour with overhearing the Discourse of one, who, by the Shabbiness of his Dress, the Extravagance of his Conceptions, and the Hurry of his Speech, I discovered to be of that Species who are generally distinguished by the Title of Projectors. This Gentleman, for I found he was treated as such by his Audience, was entertaining ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... that John Ringo's face was sullen and his eyes were somber; the depth of his unpleasant expression had grown this afternoon as the shabbiness of his luck increased. Or ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... badly dressed that even a man accustomed to shabbiness would have been ashamed to be seen in the street in such rags. In that quarter of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in dress would have created surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market, the number ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... his heel with a sudden impulse and walked away from Maiden Lane quickly. All that he thought now was that he would not have them see him in his plight. He felt the shabbiness of his clothes without looking at them. As he walked, a great sense of loneliness came ...
— The Tipster - 1901, From "Wall Street Stories" • Edwin Lefevre

... shabbiness of it, and the suggestion of germs, decay, down-at-the-heel poverty added to his depression. He never had any such feelings about his rough bunk filled with cedar boughs and his pine table as he had about this iron bed, with its scratched enamel and tin knobs, which deceived nobody into ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... not come at last to cease lamenting the pitiful gray shabbiness of American fiction? We say that we have no faith in it, and we judge it by the books and stories that we casually read. If we are writers of fiction ourselves, perhaps we judge it by personal and temperamental methods and preferences, just as certain groups of American poets of widely ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... himself in a frenzy, and the whole wretched affair had effectually shattered his mother's health and brought on the decline of which she died. Caroline had been fond of him, but she felt a certain relief when he no longer wandered about the little house, commenting ironically upon its shabbiness, a Turkish cap on his head and a cigarette hanging from between his long, ...
— The Troll Garden and Selected Stories • Willa Cather

... very hearts, my dear, from their poor hearts wherein God's smiles come none too often." She saw through glistening eyes the broken old figure, with his coat tightly buttoned on that July day to hide some shabbiness underneath. But she bade the colonel sit down, and they chatted of old times and old places and old faces for a few minutes; and the colonel, to whom any sort of social function was a rare and sweet occasion, stayed ...
— A Certain Rich Man • William Allen White

... in autumn a few men were gathered about a fire on the slope of a hill. They belonged to a small detachment of Confederate forces and were awaiting orders to march. Their gray uniforms were worn beyond the point of shabbiness. One of the men was heating something in a tin cup over the embers. Two were lying at full length a little distance away, while a fourth was trying to decipher a letter and had drawn close to the ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... on, and on. Sarah Haddon was superstitious about the black gown. She refused to give it up for a new one. She insisted that if ever she discarded the old black velvet for a new the run of the play would stop. She assured Hahn that its shabbiness did not show from the front. She clung to it with that childish unreasonableness that is so often found in people ...
— Cheerful—By Request • Edna Ferber

... room, and two wan girls, his daughters, with shock heads of hair. I thought it was better to borrow Captain Hopkins's knife and fork, than Captain Hopkins's comb. The Captain himself was in the last extremity of shabbiness, with large whiskers, and an old, old brown great-coat with no other coat below it. I saw his bed rolled up in a corner; and what plates and dishes and pots he had, on a shelf; and I divined (God knows how) that though the two girls with the ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... inquisitiveness and idle ways of passengers. This was his fifth trip in the Carnatic. He took no truck in passengers beyond showing them the patient politeness enjoined by the Company's rules. He knew nothing of Mr Markham, who dispensed with the services of a valet and dressed with a shabbiness only pardonable in the extremely rich. Mr Markham, 'the Insurance King,' had arrayed himself this morning in gray flannel, with a reach-me-down overcoat, cloth cap, and carpet slippers that betrayed his flat, Jewish instep. ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... Littimer tried to occupy himself by looking at the people around him. The omnifarious assembly included pale, prim-whiskered young clerks; shabby, lonely, sallow young women, whose sallowness and shabbiness stamped them with the mark of integrity; other females whose specious splendor was not nearly so reassuring; old men, broken-down men, middle-aged men of every ...
— Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2 • Various

... reservations, carelessly, as men now speak to men. Before those days, not only did we think badly, but what we thought, a thousand short-sighted considerations, dignity, objective discipline, discretion, a hundred kindred aspects of shabbiness of soul, made us muffle before we told it ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... thick powder of dust the shabbiness of his garments was no longer apparent, so that by his dress and bearing he might easily have been taken for a gentleman of station who had been pleased for once in a way to walk instead of drive. ...
— Casanova's Homecoming • Arthur Schnitzler

... sat down in the chintz-covered chair, and looked around him. The whole place seemed to him, as he would have expressed it, pokey; there was a certain—he could not tell exactly what—air of shabbiness, or rather of making two ends meet, about everything. As far as he could see, not a single piece of furniture was worth a five-pound note. The walls, distempered rather a long time ago, were decorated with water-colour sketches; across the ceiling ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... now, gilding the canal-like river at the foot, and throwing over the tall, dingy houses on the opposite side, a tawdry brightness, which, unlike that of the morning with its suggestion of dewy shade, only served to bring out the shabbiness of broken plaster and paintless window; a shamefaced yet aggressive shabbiness, where high-arched doorways and wide entries spoke to better days, and also to a subsequent decay, now openly admitted in the little ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... swift career, and he will be called to order promptly by the police. Ladies may not, unfortunately, drive in the smartest of the public carriages, but must content themselves with something more modest and more shabby. But Vanka is usually good-natured, patient, and quite unconscious of his shabbiness, at least in the light of a grievance or as affecting his dignity. It was one of these shabby, but democratic and self-possessed fellows who furnished us with a fine illustration of the peasant qualities. We encountered one of the Emperor's cousins on his way to his regimental barracks; the ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... have not had a minute for a personal letter in a month. Hence my shabbiness toward you. Condorcet's Vie de Turgot, I am sorry to say, I have not read. Does he say anything as to how to make a reclamation project pay, or as to what is the best method of teaching Indians, or how much work a homesteader should do on his land before being entitled ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... at, in spite of the shabbiness which betrayed either a bachelor habit of mind, or a lofty disdain for the trappings of life. A man of about forty-one, his face was a curious mixture of youth and age, of experience and of idealism. His big, ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... her feet, for the canon opened out before her eyes in all the grandeur of its mountainous surroundings, while the little town in its bosom was softened and beautified by the kindly autumnal haze, which took away the crude shabbiness of its detail and brought it into harmony with the rugged landscape about it. Beyond the town lay the creek, and over it all floated the heavy pall of thick white smoke, which seemed to be supported on the tall red chimneys of the smelter buildings. ...
— In Blue Creek Canon • Anna Chapin Ray

... what Mrs. Briggs felt. Gorman could not. I do not think that any feeling about the shabbiness of his coat would make him hesitate ...
— Gossamer - 1915 • George A. Birmingham

... its lowest and at every point of sand and shingle, meagre bands of gold puddlers were at work washing for gold in cradle rockers. To judge, however, from the shabbiness of their surroundings there was little fear that their gains would disturb the equilibrium of the ...
— An Australian in China - Being the Narrative of a Quiet Journey Across China to Burma • George Ernest Morrison

... the realization of those things which we ardently desire. Emmanuel imagined that the Zamorin of Calicut would not object to the establishment of Portuguese shops and factories in his country, and Cabral, the bearer of presents of such magnificence as to obliterate the memory of the shabbiness of those offered by Gama, received orders to obtain from the Zamorin an interdict, forbidding any Moor to carry on trade in his capital. The new Capitam mor was in the first place to visit Melinda, ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... both for a month, with Italian, and tea, and manna of sentiment, and late hours, and every restful thing a young husband could need for the refreshment of weary limbs and a sore conscience, and a nagging sense of shabbiness ...
— Quotations from the Works of Mark Twain • David Widger

... third story of the palazzo, shorn of its former papal glories, and yet not degenerated to shabbiness, a door bore the card of Mrs. Henry Denvil. Governess and pupil entered this apartment, and each sought her respective chamber. Cecilia tossed aside her hat, placed the image on the table, and, resting ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 7 • Various

... seemed to listen to her husband, seemed to watch the peasants coming down with brushwood on their backs, seemed to notice how the hill changed from blue to black, seemed to discriminate between truth and falsehood, Jacob thought, and crossed his legs suddenly, observing the extreme shabbiness ...
— Jacob's Room • Virginia Woolf

... crimson cloth, his light blue sash, and his enormously full white trousers, beneath which showed a strip of pale golden leg above the short white stockings, spurning the immaculate smartness of his livery, preferring, or pretending to prefer, their own soiled shabbiness and freedom. The Kabyle saw these glances, but, completely satisfied with himself, evidently attributed ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... time that you mean to be my wife, come weal come woe, I will see her, and will have my say. I will not promise her a grand career for my darling: but I will pledge myself that nothing of that kind which the world calls evil—no penury, or shabbiness of surroundings—shall ever touch Mary Haselden after she is Mary Hammond. I can promise at ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... attention, for it may be done well or ill. Hence Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte ii, 12) that "in the practice of the Christian religion when a man draws attention to himself by unwonted squalor and shabbiness, since he acts thus voluntarily and not of necessity, we can gather from his other deeds whether his behavior is motivated by contempt of excessive dress or by affectation." Religious, however, would especially seem not to act thus ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... Sunday, and six long days of shabbiness and patches! Bruce ought to have a new school suit; the one he is wearing has descended from the other two, and is disgracefully shabby. I spoke to mother about it to-day, and she said she had intended to buy one this month, but business ...
— The Fortunes of the Farrells • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... brusquely with an unexpected hoarseness of tone. This very dress she was wearing had been given her by Mrs. Fyne. Of course I looked at it. It could not have been a recent gift. Close-fitting and black, with heliotrope silk facings under a figured net, it looked far from new, just on this side of shabbiness; in fact, it accentuated the slightness of her figure, it went well in its suggestion of half mourning with the white face in which the unsmiling red lips alone seemed warm with the rich blood of ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... spirit, and very generally liked. His sermons were never a re-hash but were quickened and brightened by new ideas originally expressed. Now, however, when this little lady asked, "Are you going to church?" I did not think at all of a good sermon, but of the shabbiness of my best bonnet, and I bit my tongue to check the speech which rose to my lips—"We generally go, but I'd rather not ...
— The Harvest of Years • Martha Lewis Beckwith Ewell

... not recognized him. His close cropped hair, his large beard hiding half his face, and a pair of spectacles which he had assumed, were a sufficient disguise. Besides, the great change from his former "dandy" appearance to the extreme of shabbiness; his clothes being evidently worn as long as they could possibly hold together, and his generally depressed air, giving the effect of one who had gone down in the world, made him, even without the misleading "John Smith," ...
— Mistress and Maid • Dinah Craik (aka: Miss Mulock)

... sort, not a speck of dust anywhere; no traces of pipe-ash even, which, in a heavy smoker, was morally revolting, like a manifestation of extreme hypocrisy; and the bottom of the old wooden arm-chair (the only seat there), polished with much use, shone as if its shabbiness had been waxed. The screen of leaves on the bank, passing as if unrolled endlessly in the round opening of the port, sent a wavering network of light and shade into ...
— End of the Tether • Joseph Conrad

... wore a gown of cheap flimsy silk, and a hat trimmed with red poppies, which she had freshened up three times already; but in spite of this display her appearance bespoke penury, and she did her best to hide her feet on account of the shabbiness of her boots. Moreover, she was no longer the beautiful Hortense. Since a recent miscarriage, all trace of ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... a striking-looking person, notwithstanding the oddness and shabbiness of her dress. Scantiness is a better word for it than shabbiness, for her dress was of good material, neat and well preserved, but it was without a superfluous fold or gather, and in those days, when, even in country places, crinoline was beginning to assert ...
— David Fleming's Forgiveness • Margaret Murray Robertson

... began to look threadbare at the seams; his shirt front was hidden underneath a large tie, his trousers were frayed. It was an undeniable fact that the porters at the office looked down on him on account of his shabbiness. ...
— Married • August Strindberg

... in the center of the crowd. Yes, it was Nana, and in what a costume! She wore a ragged silk dress, stained and torn. She had no shawl over her shoulders to conceal the fact that half the buttonholes on her dress were burst out. In spite of all her shabbiness the girl was pretty and fresh. Nana, of course, danced on unsuspiciously. Her airs and graces were beyond belief. She curtsied to the very ground and then in a twinkling threw her foot over her partner's head. A circle was formed, ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... by the poet from his epic shabbiness; it may be doubted whether more has been done. There is in him, as in some other Hindu heroes, a shade too much of the meditative to suit our ideal of ...
— Translations of Shakuntala and Other Works • Kaalidaasa

... about Mary Faithful's pleasant manner, the atmosphere of the old-fashioned house, where there was no effort to be smart or gorgeous or to conceal its shabbiness. He hoped Mary would return to the office within the next few days. He wanted her more than he wanted any one else, but he told himself this was because he was selfish and she was a capable machine. ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... which, in winter, women went barefoot in the streets, and by the unpretentious composure with which the common herd, on holidays, disported themselves in public, not seeking to disguise their native vulgarity and shabbiness. At the same time, he could not help a misgiving that the portentous inequality between rich and poor must finally breed disaster; the secluded luxury of the rich was too strongly contrasted with the desperate needs of the ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... crossed the square rapidly. He was a middle-aged man, stout, almost ponderous, in figure; but he held himself rigidly upright, and walked fast across the square. The extreme neatness of his clothes contrasted with the prevailing shabbiness of the students and the assistant lecturers who followed him. Yet he did not seem to be a man who gave to externals more than their due share of consideration. His broad forehead gave promise of great intellectual power, a promise half belied by ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... my deserts, ma'am. As you say. But there's the wisdom of twenty years' shabbiness in me. And I wonder if the good Sir John wants to ...
— The Highwayman • H.C. Bailey

... not exactly say what he would do, for it was by no means a settled point whether Leather or he were master. But to the hounds. If it had not been for Mr. Sponge's shabbiness at the turnpike gate, we really believe he might now have caught them up, for the road to them was down hill all the way, and the impetus of the vehicle would have sent the old screw along. That delay, however, was fatal. Before they ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... unfolded his cloak, betraying the shabbiness of its crimson plush lining. He lighted a cigarette, and then the national sense of politeness prevailed against ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... over the shop is dingy, one feels that a coat of paint, while it would certainly freshen up the place, would take something from its character. For a second-hand bookseller who respects himself must present an exterior which has something of faded splendor, of worn paint and shabbiness. Within the shop, books line the walls and cumber the floor. There are an outer and an inner shop; in the former a small table stands among the books, at which Mr. James, the assistant, is always at work cataloguing, ...
— In Luck at Last • Walter Besant

... of being seen by guests in the hotel that had once belonged to her father and the ownership of which still stood recorded in her name in the county courthouse. The hotel was continually losing patronage because of its shabbiness and she thought of herself as also shabby. Her own room was in an obscure corner and when she felt able to work she voluntarily worked among the beds, preferring the labor that could be done when the guests were abroad seeking trade among ...
— Winesburg, Ohio • Sherwood Anderson

... place—how to herd them together and piously pen them up in some particular place where everybody can see them—appears to be an object in many religious edifices. But that is a piece of benevolent shabbiness which must come to grief some day. In the meantime, and until the period arrives when honest poverty will be considered no crime, and when a seat next to a poor man will be thought nothing vulgar, or contaminating, whilst worshipping before Him who cares for souls not lucre, hearts not wealth, let ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... perfectly regardless of their jokes at his dress and manner; he no sooner got through the throng, than he stopped short (though in the midst of the kennel) and offered us his arm. This was an honour of which we were by no means desirous; for, to say nothing of the shabbiness of Mr. Gordon's exterior, there was a certain odour in his garments which was possibly less displeasing to the wearer than to his acquaintance. Accordingly, we pretended not to notice this invitation, and merely said, ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... driving out, now leaned back at her ease when returning; it seemed that, with a little practice, she might easily become habituated to luxury. As she re-entered her old familiar parlor, she almost gave a gulp of mortification over its plainness and shabbiness; for the first time in years she had given herself a chance to know it for what ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... little one, good news," cried Jane joyously, advancing into the room and taking in at a glance the terrible poverty of the place, the shabbiness of the woman laying the table for supper, and of the barefooted, ragged children who stare at her in open-mouthed astonishment. "Where is your father, Marie? Take me to him at once for I bring him what he asked for—one ...
— The Alchemist's Secret • Isabel Cecilia Williams

... "It's the shabbiest, seediest pretence at a philosophy I ever dreamed of as possible. It's like a man dressed in a black coat so threadbare as to be all shiny. The most poverty-stricken, out-at-elbows thing I ever read. A perfect monument of seediness and shabbiness," etc. ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... scenes of death and carnage. In another corner was arranged a long row of old andirons, warming-pans, and candlesticks, flanked by an ancient wooden cradle with a projecting cover above the head. Rows of dilapidated chairs there were, of every date and every degree of shabbiness,—those old friends which start in the parlor and slowly descend in rank, first to the sitting-room or library, then up-stairs, and so, by easy stages, to the hospital asylum of the garret. And up through the very ...
— Half a Dozen Girls • Anna Chapin Ray

... eat unpaid meat, drink unpaid wines, and entertain guests at the expense of the butcher, grocer, wine-merchant, and greengrocer,—they must necessarily feel that their conduct is of the essence, not only of shabbiness, but of dishonesty, and the burden must ...
— Thrift • Samuel Smiles

... life a peasant never sees. Thus I remember one evening during the novel-writing period when nobody would pay a farthing for a stroke of my pen, walking along Sloane Street in that blessed shield of literary shabbiness, evening dress. A man accosted me with an eloquent appeal for help, ending with the assurance that he had not a penny in the world. I replied, with exact truth, "Neither have I." He thanked me civilly, and went away, apparently not in the least surprised, leaving me ...
— The Irrational Knot - Being the Second Novel of His Nonage • George Bernard Shaw

... speaking, he noticed his companion more closely, the shabbiness of the little black hat and jacket, the new lines round the eyes ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... friends seem to have recognised his thorough manliness and independence of character. Lord John Russell testifies: "Never did he make wife or family a pretext for political shabbiness—never did he imagine that to leave a disgraced name as an inheritance to his children was a duty as a father" (Memoirs, vol. i. pp. xiii and xiv), and when Rogers urged this plea of family as a reason ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... lover. In the character of the former, he tells "the down-trodden working girl" that her wages are a mere pittance and that he can procure a better place for her with higher wages if she will trust him. He often makes allusions to the shabbiness or cheapness of her clothing and considers it "a shame that such a pretty girl cannot dress better." In the second role he apparently falls in love with her, tells of his rich parents, complaining that they want him ...
— A New Conscience And An Ancient Evil • Jane Addams

... the English and ourselves; and equally true is it that Spain has some reason to make Mexico feel the weight of her arm, now that it has become strong again,—but, imitating our prudence, she has chosen her own time for calling Mexico to account. All chivalrous nations are partial to this form of shabbiness; and though we are told that honor is the distinction of a monarchy, we see that under the Spanish monarchy its requirements can be dispensed with when a gain can be secured by walking in the path ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IX., March, 1862., No. LIII. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics, • Various

... the ragman, or send them to the county or city poor house. There is nothing that will keep you in a rut of shabbiness more than ...
— The Heart of the New Thought • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... the mind of Charles Claparon very much the effect that his new clothes produced upon his body. The jovial scapegrace, easy-going with all the world, and long used to a comfortable shabbiness, in which his body was no more shackled than his mind was shackled by language, was now encased in the new clothes his tailor had just sent home, rigid as a picket-stake, anxious about his motions as well as about his speech; drawing back his hand when it was imprudently ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... The tele-columnist was a tall, dour and bushy-browed man who took a perverse sort of pride in the impression he gave of shabbiness. He slouched wordlessly into the room, hands thrust deep in the pockets of a makeshift jacket. But there was nothing shabby about the man's perceptive and analytic mind, Beardsley remembered; true, Pederson had fallen from the heights since the ECAIAC debacle, but his retirement from ...
— We're Friends, Now • Henry Hasse

... legs and ankles, but covered only with coarse cotton stockings, seldom very white; often with black worsted stockings. I have not seen one handsomely dressed woman as yet in France; the best had always an air of shabbiness about her, which no milliner's daughter at home would shew. They are said to dress much more gaily in the evening. When we mix a little more in French society, we shall be able ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... she said, gravely. "He's already got one. He's had a bad name in Canaan for a long while. It grew in the first place out of shabbiness and mischief, but it did grow; and if people keep on giving him a bad name the time will come when he'll live up to it. He's not any worse than I am, and I guess my own name isn't too good—for a girl. And yet, so far, there's nothing against him ...
— The Conquest of Canaan • Booth Tarkington

... of the smallness of the stage on which he has to produce the pageant of a big historical play, and of the want of scenery which obliges him to cut out many of its most picturesque incidents, apologises for the scanty number of supers who had to play the soldiers, and for the shabbiness of the properties, and, finally, expresses his regret at being unable to bring on ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... to find that the world regards him as rich and well off, and totally beyond the accidents of fortune. It is not simply that he feels how his every action will be misinterpreted and mistaken, and a spirit of thrift, if not actual shabbiness, ascribed to all that he does, but he also regards himself as a sort of imposition or sham, who has gained access to a place he has no right to occupy, and to associate on terms of equality with men of tastes and habits and ambitions totally above his own. ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... door. So she was never ill. Even though she loved him and they had quarrelled she had kept her fresh skin and clear eyes. Even if she had worried a little, in the end she had slept peacefully. (He felt his own shabbiness, his exhaustion, his burning hands and eyes, his dry and bitter mouth like a ...
— The Dark House • I. A. R. Wylie

... sea-going youths, from the capital or the country; he has a Janus-face, Harry; and you will not know him when he gets you out of sight of land, and mouths his cast-off coats and browsers. For then he is another personage altogether, and adjusts his character to the shabbiness of his integuments. No more condolings and sympathy then; no more blarney; he will hold you a little better than his boots, and would no more think of addressing you than of invoking wooden Donald, the ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... not an inapt phrase for the person whom the maid ushered into the room through this door. He was a small, thin, elderly man, bowed of figure and shuffling in gait. His coat and large, low-crowned hat, though worn almost to shabbiness, conveyed an indefinable sense of some theological standard, or pretence to such a standard. His meagre face, too, with its infinity of anxious yet meaningless lines, and its dim spectacled eyes, so plainly overtaxed by the effort ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... dishonest from the beginning. You taught me deceit and made me ashamed for my shabbiness. For your sake I tricked people who loved and trusted me; but to you I was rashly sincere. I trusted you and was willing to give up much in order to ...
— Lister's Great Adventure • Harold Bindloss

... old man, though, for all his straight back and military carriage. The night concealed his shabbiness; but it failed to hide the medals on his breast, one bronze, one silver, that told of campaigns already a generation gone. And his patience was another sign of age; a younger man of his blood and training would have been pacing to and fro instead of ...
— Told in the East • Talbot Mundy

... about Sir R. Peel is very unjust. There is no shabbiness whatever in his not coming to a decision upon the ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) • Queen Victoria

... gone in search of his luggage and his best blue coat; and painfully conscious of the shabbiness, to say no worse, of his clothes, he went to Mme. de Bargeton, feeling that she must have returned. He found the Baron du Chatelet, who carried them both off to dinner at the Rocher de Cancale. Lucien's head was dizzy with the whirl of Paris, the Baron was in the carriage, ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... activities by means of which Slocum Price had striven to distinguish himself, and he had a certain curiosity respecting the man. It was immediately satisfied. The judge had reached a degree of shabbiness seldom equaled, and but for his mellow, effulgent personality might well have passed for a common vagabond; and if his dress advertised the state of his finances, his face explained his habits. No misconception was ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... left. Certainly, from Tiemann's to the Deaf and Dumb Asylum—about two miles of straight road—there was little that had any saving grace of honorable age, except here and there where some pioneer shanty had squatted itself long enough ago to have acquired a pleasant look of faded shabbiness. The tavern and the stage-office, it is true, kept enough of their old appearance to make a link between those days and the days when swarms of red-faced drovers, with big woollen comfortables about their big necks, and ...
— Jersey Street and Jersey Lane - Urban and Suburban Sketches • H. C. Bunner

... was a tailor, as I have said. One day there came into his shop a man attired with extreme shabbiness. Thomas eyed him askance. ...
— Frank's Campaign - or the Farm and the Camp • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... observation that the Comedians and Comics must be reduced to extreme pauperism, since they presented themselves before a well-dressed, respectable audience in garbage of unparagoned shabbiness, and with hair of unbrushed wildness, ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... at the Woman's Club, they experimented on the theatres, they visited the galleries and the picture-shops, they took little excursions into the suburbs and came back impressed with the general cheapness and shabbiness, and they talked—talked about all they saw, all they had read, and something of what they thought. What was wanting to make this charming camaraderie perfect? Only ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... father—an unsuccessful musician—had succumbed in the struggle for an honest life, and the cares of a large family had driven him to desperation. As I gazed at the poor girl with her tear-swollen eyes and noted her extreme thinness and the shabbiness of her well-worn clothes, and as, from her, my eyes turned to the cheerful burglar's wife, I meditated on the superiority of virtue over dishonesty —especially in ...
— A Girl Among the Anarchists • Isabel Meredith

... mouth to neighbors and personal notes to the groom's relatives at a distance. The village church was decorated by the bride, her younger sisters, and some neighbors, with dogwood, than which nothing is more bridelike or beautiful. The shabbiness of her father's little cottage was smothered with flowers and branches cut in a neighboring wood. Her dress, made by herself, was of tarlatan covered with a layer or two of tulle, and her veil was of ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... passage in the "Apology" when there came a knock at the door of his room. The visitor was his cousin, James, and he radiated such an air of prosperity that the plain little bedroom shrank to shabbiness. ...
— The Vision Spendid • William MacLeod Raine

... remarks which have been made, some words of truth spoken in the Chamber of Peers, that must have given him some twinges of nervous shame as he read. M. Guizot's speech on the affairs of Switzerland shows his usual shabbiness and falsehood. Surely never prime minister stood in so mean a position as he: one like Metternich seems noble and manly in comparison; for if there is a cruel, atheistical, treacherous policy, there needs not at least continual evasion to avoid declaring ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... little time to indulge in this luxurious sensation (because having a home nice enough to be sick for is a luxury in its way), and Mollie had merely taken in a general impression of books, toys, and shabbiness, when Prudence called her to help with the hearthrug. It certainly was shabby and by no means added to the beauty of the room. They rolled it up with the blanket inside, and, carrying it between them, they left the schoolroom, ...
— The Happy Adventurers • Lydia Miller Middleton

... slim, athletic, with heavy mustache and imperial, just beginning to turn gray, with deep-set eyes under bushy brows, and a keen, shrewd face, rather deeply lined. There was a look of dissipation there, a shade of shabbiness about his clothes, a rakish cut to the entire personality that had caused Folsom to glance distrustfully at him more than once the previous afternoon, and to meet with coldness the tentatives permissible in fellow travelers. The stranger's morning ...
— Warrior Gap - A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68. • Charles King

... conservatories at Como, supplied the flowers and plants that did much to disguise the shabbiness of the little house. The Norton girls collected the silver and china from a radius of eight blocks. There was a man at the door with white gloves, another at the curb for carriage company, and a strip of dusty red carpet across the walk. Milly financed ...
— One Woman's Life • Robert Herrick

... she sat by his side in her plain black dress, and was impressed for the first time with a certain unsuspected grace of outline, which made him for the moment oblivious of the shabbiness of ...
— The Cinema Murder • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... distinguishable, at this day, from the portions of the city on either side of it. At London Bridge we got aboard of a Woolwich steamer, and went farther down the river, passing the Custom-House and the Tower, the only prominent objects rising out of the dreary range of shabbiness which stretches along close to ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... that moment, the thought of giving up this mystic relation to the life she had missed. In spite of the hurry and fatigue of her days, the shabbiness and discomfort of everything, and the hours when the children were as "horrid" as any other children, and turned a conspiracy of hostile faces to all her appeals; in spite of all this she did not ...
— The Glimpses of the Moon • Edith Wharton

... to begin all over again. It was a very shabby shoe; at another time she might have minded about it, and even refused to have it fastened on that account; to-night she did not care, which was perhaps as well, for Rawson-Clew knew long ago all about the shabbiness—the only thing he did not know before was the good shape ...
— The Good Comrade • Una L. Silberrad

... came, conducted by Edmonds. Edgar Severance, ten years older than Banneker, impressed the guiding spirit of The Patriot at first sight with a sense of inner certitude and serenity not in the least impaired by his shabbiness which had the redeeming ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams



Words linked to "Shabbiness" :   inelegance, injustice, wrongful conduct, misconduct, raggedness, actus reus, shabby, wrongdoing



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