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Indistinctness   Listen
noun
Indistinctness  n.  The quality or condition of being indistinct; lack of definiteness; dimness; confusion; as, the indistinctness of a picture, or of comprehension; indistinctness of vision.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Indistinctness" Quotes from Famous Books



... surface of the planet in daylight. He had seen more of Earth than anyone able to tell about it, but only he had the true feeling of it. The continents were clearly visible, as were the oceans and both polar ice caps. The shapes were familiar but in only a remote way. A vague indistinctness borne of distance served to modify the outlines and he alone was seeing and understanding. On the dark side of the planet large cities were marked by indistinct light areas which paled to insignificance compared to the stars ...
— Egocentric Orbit • John Cory

... and was in no wise interwoven with the national recollections, as was the case in so many ways with those of Greece. The ideal of a genuine Roman Tragedy floats before me dimly indeed, and in the background of ages, and with all the indistinctness which must surround an entity, which never issued out of the womb of possibility into reality. It would be altogether different in form and significance from that of the Greeks, and, in the old Roman sense, religious and patriotic. ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... the undertow of my thoughts while he was speaking. I remember my pity and affection for him in his misery growing and stirring within me, my realisation that at any risk I must help him. But then comes indistinctness again. I was beginning to act. I know I persuaded him to put himself in my hands, and began at once to plan and do. I think that when we act most we remember least, that just in the measure that the impulse of our impressions translates itself into schemes and movements, it ceases ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... through the muslin curtains, it was lovelier yet. Matilda went to the window and gazed out. The fields and copses lay all crisp and bright in the cool moonbeams; and over beyond lay the blue mountains, in a misty indistinctness that was even more ensnaring than their midday beauty. And no bell of Mrs. Candy's could sound in that fairy chamber to summon Matilda to what she didn't like. She was almost too happy; only there came the thought, how she would ever bear to ...
— Opportunities • Susan Warner

... proportion to the development of public and private education. The moral standing of the nation, taken as a whole, has been degenerating; in business, in public affairs, in private life, until the standards of value have been confused, the line of demarcation between right and wrong blurred to indistinctness, and the old motives of honour, duty, service, charity, chivalry and compassion are no longer the controlling motive, or at least the conscious aspiration, of ...
— Towards the Great Peace • Ralph Adams Cram

... pompous old gentlemen in black, with huge periwigs, and crowns round their hats, and a couple of melancholy pages in yellow and red. But pages and wigs and Grand Masters have almost faded out of the canvas, and are vanishing into Hades with a most melancholy indistinctness. The names of most of these gentlemen, however, live as yet in the forts of the place, which all seem to have been eager to build and christen: so that it seems as if, in the Malta mythology, they had been turned ...
— Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo • William Makepeace Thackeray

... is, when an affirmation is intended, is not, when a negation; or by some other part of the verb to be. The word which thus serves the purpose of a sign of predication is called, as we formerly observed, the copula. It is important that there should be no indistinctness in our conception of the nature and office of the copula; for confused notions respecting it are among the causes which have spread mysticism over the field of logic, and perverted its speculations ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... legendary elements. The mythological elements of the epic are indeed indistinct survivals of earlier ages. Hebbel leaned somewhat upon Norse myths in his reproduction of them, though it was part of his plan to preserve a certain indistinctness and mystery in these undramatic presuppositions. Similarly, he made more of the element of Christianity than is made of it by the Nibelungenlied. In both epic and drama the Burgundians are only formally Christian; ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... a minute with raised eyes, catching the indistinctness of the other's strange expression. "You're both beyond me!" he exclaimed at last. "I don't see what ...
— The Awkward Age • Henry James

... than the whole scene around, and I had, for the first time, the Venice of my dreams before me. All those meaner details which so offend the eye by day were now softened down by the moonlight into a sort of visionary indistinctness; and the effect of that silent city of palaces, sleeping, as it were, upon the waters, in the bright stillness of the night, was such as could not but affect deeply even the least susceptible imagination. My companion saw that I was moved by it, and though familiar with the scene ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... beautifully describes their flights and manner of feeding. He says "There are many birds the flight of which is so rapid that the strokes of their wings cannot be counted, but here is a species with such nerve of wing that its wing strokes cannot be seen. 'A hazy semi-circle of indistinctness on each side of the bird is all that is perceptible.' Poised in the air, his body nearly perpendicular, he seems to hang in front of the flowers which he probes so hurriedly, one after the other, with his long, slender bill. That long, tubular, fork-shaped tongue ...
— Birds Illustrated by Color Photography [December, 1897], Vol 2. No 6. • Various

... grammar-school as yet unvisited by commissioners, where two or three boys could have, all to themselves, the advantages of a large and lofty building, together with a head-master, toothless, dim-eyed and deaf, whose erudite indistinctness and inattention were engrossed by them at the rate of three hundred pounds a-head,—a ripe scholar, doubtless, when first appointed; but all ripeness beneath the sun has a further stage ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... great apparatus in the corner stood out clear in their own light; they were near stripped; they turned their faces towards Redwood, but with a watchful reference ever and again to the castings that they could not leave. He saw these nearer figures with a fluctuating indistinctness, by lights that came and went, and the remoter ones still less distinctly. They came from and vanished again into the depths of great obscurities. For these Giants had no more light than they could help in the pit, ...
— The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth • H.G. Wells

... eyes—like the eyes of a lion in color—at the street. Not for the world would she let him see that she wanted to cry! A figure, blurred to indistinctness, appealed in a doorway nearly opposite, stood for a moment looking up at the reddened sky, and came across the street. As the tears were beaten back she saw and recognized him, with a ...
— Lonesome Land • B. M. Bower

... distinguish the light and all things in it only by the contrasting effect of shadow—all of which, I fancy, Tegner would not have denied. More to the point would have been the query whether in poetry darkness and indistinctness are synonymous terms. It is only the most commonplace truths which can be made intelligible to all. Much of the best and highest thinking of humanity lies above the plane of the ordinary untrained intellect. What is light to me may be twilight or darkness ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... under this terrible threat, it is difficult to say; but certain it is that its awful indistinctness seemed to produce very little impression on ...
— Uncle Tom's Cabin • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... a blurred mist came over his eyes, and, half buried in the scarlet sand, appeared a large circle of dazzlingly white pillars. For some minutes they flickered to and fro between distinctness and indistinctness, like an object being focused. Then they ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... contrast to the spirit with which the measure was trodden out. They coughed as they danced, and laughed as they coughed. Of the rushing couples there could barely be discerned more than the high lights—the indistinctness shaping them to satyrs clasping nymphs—a multiplicity of Pans whirling a multiplicity of Syrinxes; Lotis attempting to ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... which rendered the outlines of much of the statuary and more delicate ornaments undistinguishable at a distance, but still more by the transmission through it of glimpses of the most beautiful colours, which change with every movement, however slight, in the position of the eye, and whose very indistinctness and transitory character contributes not a little to the effect which they tend to ...
— Ely Cathedral • Anonymous

... was specially mitigated for that particular part of the theatre; just as various architectural devices were employed to swell the volume of sound. Finally. I repeat my sincere opinion, that the general indistinctness of the expression was, on principles of taste, an advantage, as harmonizing with the stately and sullen monotony of the Greek tragedy. Grandeur in the attitudes, in the gestures, in the groups, in the processions—all this was indispensable: but, ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... more faintly, a singular, hoarse voice replied suddenly. "We don't keep any hens," said the voice, and all the children jumped and screamed, and looked about for the owner of it. He loomed up among some bushes at their right. He was so dazzling white himself, and had such an indistinctness of outline, that they had taken him for an oak-tree. But it was the real Snow Man. They knew him in a moment, he looked so much like his effigies that they used to make in ...
— The Pot of Gold - And Other Stories • Mary E. Wilkins

... malice, in the dread of being discovered, in the rapidly increasing noise of heavy rain among the leaves, and a thunderstorm rolling up - Mrs. Sparsit received into her mind, set off with such an unavoidable halo of confusion and indistinctness, that when at length he climbed the fence and led his horse away, she was not sure where they were to meet, or when, except that they had said it ...
— Hard Times • Charles Dickens*

... an unsteady hand, and putting it to her lips, leaned forward to draw her light from his. In the indistinctness the little red gleam lit up the lower part of her face, and he saw her mouth ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... feel, is ill exprest The indistinctness of the suffering breast; Where thousand thoughts begin to end in one, 1810 Which seeks from all the refuge found in none; No words suffice the secret soul to show, For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe. On Conrad's stricken soul Exhaustion ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7) • Lord Byron

... rest, all night long I dreamed of the unhappy descendant of the Inca who was beneath our roof. Some of the incidents of which I had read in Peruvian history were strongly mixed up in my mind with the reality, with the indistinctness ...
— Manco, the Peruvian Chief - An Englishman's Adventures in the Country of the Incas • W.H.G. Kingston

... the most important principles in piano playing are: full, round, exact tone; distinct phrasing. The most common fault is indistinctness—slurring over or leaving out notes. Clearness in piano playing is absolutely essential. If an actor essays the role of Hamlet, he must first of all speak distinctly and make himself clearly understood; ...
— Piano Mastery - Talks with Master Pianists and Teachers • Harriette Brower

... one whose countenance was calm unto awfulness; but whose eyes looked in love, mingled with doubt, on the face of a youth whom he led by the hand toward the spot where I lay. The features of the youth I could not discern: either it was the indistinctness of a dream, or I was not permitted to behold them. And, Lo! behind me was a great hole in the rock, narrow at the entrance, but deep and wide within; and when I looked into it, I shuddered; for I thought I saw, far down, the glimmer of a star. ...
— The Poetical Works of George MacDonald in Two Volumes, Volume I • George MacDonald

... nearly all that night under the infliction, when I fell asleep and dreamed this dream. Observe that throughout I was as real, animated, and full of passion as Macready (God bless him!) in the last scene of Macbeth. In an indistinct place, which was quite sublime in its indistinctness, I was visited by a Spirit. I could not make out the face, nor do I recollect that I desired to do so. It wore a blue drapery, as the Madonna might in a picture by Raphael; and bore no resemblance to any one I have known except in stature. I think (but I am not sure) that ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... private? Here, as became him, he was much more positive and specific than she was: Simple private, he said. Yet he save himself caracoling on horseback. Private in the cavalry, then, of course. Private in the cavalry over-riding wrecks of Empires. She looked forth under her brows with mournful indistinctness at that object in the distance. They read Petrarch to get up the necessary fires. Italia mia! Vain indeed was this speaking to those thick and mortal wounds in her fair body, but their sighs went with the Tiber, the Arno, and the Po, and their hands joined. Who has not wept for Italy? I see the aspirations ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... us by space, and not to one that is actually present; on the other hand, they denote only the faint, dull, indefinite echo returned by consciousness to an invariably distinct state of unconscious knowledge. Hence the word "presentiment," which carries with it an idea of faintness and indistinctness, while, however, it may be easily seen that sentiment destitute of all, even unconscious, ideas can have no influence upon the result, for knowledge can only follow upon an idea. A presentiment that sounds in consonance with our consciousness can indeed, under certain circumstances, ...
— Unconscious Memory • Samuel Butler

... end. I noted a practicable way from it to the top of the cliff, and from the cliff down again to the sand beach. Everything was perfect. The water was a beautiful light green, like semi-opaque glass, and from the indistinctness of its depths waved and beckoned, rose and disappeared with indescribable grace and deliberation long feathery sea growths. In a moment the bottom abruptly shallowed. The motion of the boat toward the beach permitted us to catch a hasty glimpse of little ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... was another man. In memory, none the less, all my visits blend in one, and the ruined mill in the dying orchard remains one of the bright spots in that strange Southern world which, almost from the moment I left it behind me, began to fade into indistinctness, like the ...
— A Florida Sketch-Book • Bradford Torrey

... sounded a shrill voice; and as we approached, we saw, sitting upon the fence in front of the cottage, a little boy, about four years old, his face flushed with excitement, his flaxen hair flying in the wind, as he was waving his little hat, and with childlike indistinctness shouting in his shrill tones, "Hurrah for 'e Union! ...
— Three Years in the Sixth Corps • George T. Stevens

... "Speak louder!" The face grew more intent, the voice louder and more emphatic. Was there something amiss in my own hearing, then, that I could distinguish no word amidst these deeply emphasized tones? Slowly and deliberately the figure vanished, through the same stages of indistinctness, back to the globular, lamp-like whiteness, till it faded into nothingness. Before it had quite faded away, the face of a woman arose, indistinct and calm. The same emphatic hum, though in a subdued note, indistinct ...
— The Problems of Psychical Research - Experiments and Theories in the Realm of the Supernormal • Hereward Carrington

... Castlewood says, and so said my lady, but the Baroness would have you. It's all the Baroness's doing, and if she says a thing, it must be done; so you must just get up and come." Mr. Esmond delivered these words with the most amiable rapidity and indistinctness, running them into one another, and tacking about the room as he spoke. But the young Virginian was in great wrath. "I tell you what, cousin," he cried, "I won't move for the Countess, or for the Baroness, or for all the cousins in Castlewood." And when the landlord entered the chamber ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... thin and indistinct as the distance from the body is increased. By the psychic perception, the aura is seen as a luminous cloud—a phosphorescent flame—deep and dense around the centre and then gradually shading into indistinctness toward the edges. As a matter of fact, as all developed occultists know, the aura really extends very much further than even the best clairvoyant vision can perceive it, and its psychic influence is perceptible ...
— The Human Aura - Astral Colors and Thought Forms • Swami Panchadasi

... Part is Edinburgh Castle, from the Grass Market, in which the fine old fortress is seen towering in all its picturesqueness and romantic beauty. Here and there it has some of the indistinctness of hoar antiquity: its fadings away are beautifully characteristic. The houses in the Grass Market are boldly contrasted with the Castle, and the "spirit" inscriptions on the Stablers are as distinct as the most panting ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 487 - Vol. 17, No. 487. Saturday, April 30, 1831 • Various

... Freddy Tarlton, who had a gift of humour, entered into the spirit of the thing, and treated it seriously; but in vain did he protest that the large red seal with Her Majesty's head on it was unnecessary; Macavoy insisted, and wrote his name across it with a large indistinctness worthy of a king. Before the night was over everybody at Guidon Hill, save Hilton and Ida, knew what gift would come from ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... prepared to maintain that there is a knowledge worth possessing for what it is, and not merely for what it does; and what minutes remain to me to-day I shall devote to the removal of some portion of the indistinctness and confusion with which the subject may ...
— The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated: In Nine - Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin • John Henry Newman

... foremost, Pao-yue's excitement was so intense that he spoke with indistinctness. In the second place, the old nurse was, as luck would have it, dull of hearing, so that she did not catch the drift of what he said, and she misconstrued the two words: "it's urgent," for the two representing jumped into the well. Readily smiling therefore: "If she wants to jump ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... heard a long-drawn "Oh!" of pleased surprise as she discovered Cardo hovering about the door, and he considerately entered into conversation with Shoni, endeavouring to express himself in his mother-tongue, but with that hesitation and indistinctness common to the dwellers in the counties bordering upon England, and to the "would-be genteel" of too many other parts of Wales, who, perfectly unconscious of the beauty of their own language, and ignorant of its literature, affect English manners and customs, and often pretend that English is ...
— By Berwen Banks • Allen Raine

... your sublime highness, we consider him a remarkably good reader, an animal of excellent parts, and a pupil who does us great credit. It is true, as your sublime highness's discrimination has observed, that his enunciation, even to those who know the language, may have some appearance of indistinctness, because he is defective in the vowel-points; but we cannot help it, for all our books are unpointed. In this, which, indeed, we consider a matter of little importance, we do not pretend to compete with the Jews, who teach theirs from pointed books. If your sublime highness ever heard ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 449 - Volume 18, New Series, August 7, 1852 • Various

... either one way or another. But "nodding o'er the yellow plain" is a mere statement of a fact in nature—and descriptive of the growing and ripening or ripened harvest—whereas it is applied here to Autumn, as a figure who "comes jovial on." This is not obscurity—or indistinctness—which, as we have said before, is often a great beauty in Impersonation; but it is an inconsistency and a contradiction—and therefore indefensible on any ground ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... that indistinctness of vision which has been ascribed to the smallness of the optic pencil. Phil. ...
— Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works • Edward Singleton Holden

... out a similar indistinctness in the human actors, no less than in the landscape features of "Fingal" and "Temora." They have no dramatic individuality, but are all alike, and all extremely shadowy. "Poor, moaning, monotonous MacPherson" is Carlyle's ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... twinkle like objects seen through a thin smoke, whilst each of the tall stems of the cocoa—nut trees on the beach, when looked at steadfastly, seemed to be turning round with a small spiral motion, like so many endless screws. There was a dreamy indistinctness about the outlines of the hills, even in the immediate vicinity, which increased as they receded, until the Blue Mountains in the horizon melted into sky. The crew were listlessly spinning oakum, and mending sails, under the shade of the awning; the only exceptions to ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... the valley there was a low-spreading mist over the gray sage, which lent a warmth to the raw morning wind. There was a sense of indistinctness through the mist which was an ally to Chadron. Ten rods away, even in the growing morning, it would have been impossible to tell a cowboy from ...
— The Rustler of Wind River • G. W. Ogden

... diameter as we rose and fell. Here and there stretched great stains of black herbage. Every object is magnified and changed to the eye. The heat and the swinging motion of the camel produce a slight dizziness, and the outer world assumes a hazy indistinctness of outline—something like dream-landscapes. There is a desert-intoxication which must ...
— Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 • James Richardson

... satisfied seem like a more refined pleasure. Their conception of creation is peaceful as a dream. "When that power awakes, then has this world its full expansion; but when he slumbers with a tranquil spirit, then the whole system fades away." In the very indistinctness of their theogony a sublime truth is implied. It hardly allows the reader to rest in any supreme first cause, but directly it hints at a supremer still which created the last, and the Creator is ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... weather, the beings who were going to sail away in the Biscayan urca pressed on the hour of departure all the same. They formed a busy and confused group, in rapid movement on the shore. To distinguish one from another was difficult; impossible to tell whether they were old or young. The indistinctness of evening intermixed and blurred them; the mask of shadow was over their faces. They were sketches in the night. There were eight of them, and there were seemingly among them one or two women, hard to recognize under the rags and tatters in which the group was attired—clothes ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... others, and the thousand sparklings, reflected from bright substances in the walls of many; these matters engaged Robin's attention for a while, and then began to grow wearisome. Next he endeavored to define the forms of distant objects, starting away, with almost ghostly indistinctness, just as his eye appeared to grasp them, and finally he took a minute survey of an edifice which stood on the opposite side of the street, directly in front of the church-door, where he was stationed. It was a large, square mansion, distinguished from its neighbors by a ...
— The Snow Image • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... all the words in the language," said Nettie, after a pause, with a breathless indistinctness and haste, "words will not change things if ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... threshold of the parlor, emerging from within, appeared Clifford himself! His face was preternaturally pale; so deadly white, indeed, that, through all the glimmering indistinctness of the passageway, Hepzibah could discern his features, as if a light fell on them alone. Their vivid and wild expression seemed likewise sufficient to illuminate them; it was an expression of scorn ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... violet. Held about 3 the colour will be less marked than elsewhere, but nowhere can it be got rid of. Each point of an object will be represented in the image not by a point but by a coloured patch: a fact which amply explains the observed blurring and indistinctness. ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... time Susan had joined Virginia on the sidewalk, and the liquid honey of Mrs. Pendleton's voice dropped softly into indistinctness. ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... Catalina passed her sword through her opponent's body; and without a groan or a sigh, the Portuguese cavalier fell dead at his own door. Kate searched the street with her ears, and (as far as the indistinctness of night allowed) with her eyes. All was profoundly silent; and she was satisfied that no human figure was in motion. What should be done with the body? A glance at the door of the house settled that: Fernando had himself opened it at the very ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... far more vague to me. Compared with the vividness of that one initial Picture, the events of the next few months have only the blurred indistinctness of all childish memories. For I was a child once more, in all save stature, and had to learn to remember things just ...
— Recalled to Life • Grant Allen

... Previous to the great debate on the Army Bill, it had been said that his physical health was a mere wreck. No sign of this appeared, however, when we saw the great Diplomatist in his seat in the Reichstag on that memorable occasion. His speech, though occasional cadences lapsed into indistinctness in that hall of poor acoustic properties, was in the main easily heard in all parts of the house. The yellow military collar of his dark blue coat showed his pallid face not to advantage, but that fierce look was ...
— In and Around Berlin • Minerva Brace Norton

... ceased to visit his pupil after his tuition was terminated. I should not then have to regret this unfortunate marriage, to which I can never reconcile myself. Excepting the Abbe Dubois there is no priest in my son's favour. He has a sort of indistinctness in his speech, which makes it sometimes necessary for him to repeat his words; and this ...
— The Memoirs of the Louis XIV. and The Regency, Complete • Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans

... called its COMPASS. When the speaker is animated, this range is great; but upon abstract subjects, or with a dull speaker, it is small. If, in reading or speaking, too high a note be chosen, the lungs will soon become wearied; if too low a pitch be selected, there is danger of indistinctness of utterance; and in either case there is less room for compass or variety of tone than if one be taken between the ...
— McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... the trident of his power, he smote the air and the sea, and conjured up all his black storms, calling down night from the cope of heaven, and taking the earth into the sea, as it seemed, with clouds, through the darkness and indistinctness which prevailed; the billows rolling up before the fury of all the winds, that contended together ...
— THE ADVENTURES OF ULYSSES • CHARLES LAMB

... their descent from the aboriginal reign of Nature. This confusion has not been successfully explained away by the modern disciples of the jurisconsults, and in truth modern speculations on the Law of Nature betray much more indistinctness of perception and are vitiated by much more hopeless ambiguity of language than the Roman lawyers can be justly charged with. There are some writers on the subject who attempt to evade the fundamental difficulty by contending ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... of power, for instance, between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government,—or between the United States government and those of the separate States,—belong to the class I mean. Many women of great intelligence show a hazy indistinctness of views when the question arises whether it is the business of the general government to preserve order at the voting-places at a congressional election, for instance, as the Republicans hold; or whether it should be left absolutely ...
— Women and the Alphabet • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... to ignore Calendar and address himself to the captain. He articulated with some difficulty, slurring his words to the point of indistinctness at times. ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... exercised by the imagination over the domain of the senses. In like manner, from the height occupied by the physical history of the world, all parts of the horizon will not appear equally clear and well defined. This indistinctness will not, however, be wholly owing to the present imperfect state of some of the sciences, but in part, likewise, to the unskillfulness of the guide who has imprudently ventured ...
— COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1 • Alexander von Humboldt

... on the wall of mist. An idea had taken shape stealthily behind him and flung its shadow there. The idea was Lucia Harden. The fog hung in her hair in drops like rain; it made her grey dress cling close about her straight, fine limbs; it gave its own grandeur and indistinctness to her solitary figure. ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... loves and hatreds of the now conscious creatures would modify their forms into parallel beauty and degradation, we might have anticipated by reason, and we ought long since to have known by observation. But this law of its spirit over the substance of the creature involves, necessarily, the indistinctness of its type, and the existence of inferior and of higher conditions, which whole eras of heroism and affection—whole eras of misery and misconduct,—confirm into glory, or confuse into shame. Collecting the causes of changed form, in lower creatures, by distress, or by adaptation,—by the disturbance ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... the nervous system that the most considerable action of electricity is exerted. A strong charge passed through the head, gave to Mr. Singer the sensation of a violent but universal blow, and was followed by a transient loss of memory and indistinctness of vision. If a charge be sent through the head of a bird, its optic nerve is usually injured or destroyed, and permanent blindness induced; and a similar shock given to larger animals, produces a tremulous ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, - Issue 372, Saturday, May 30, 1829 • Various

... the groundless apprehensions which arise from the fear of invisible and incorporeal beings, let persons be instructed in the various optical illusions to which we are subject, arising from the intervention of fogs, and the indistinctness of vision in the night-time, which makes us frequently mistake a bush that is near us for a large tree at a distance, and let them be taught that under the influence of these illusions a timid imagination ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... possession of a piece of important news—a battle won or lost, the outbreak of a revolution, the overthrow of a throne—even for a few hours before it became the property of the public. The telegraph, however, is the great disenchanter. The misty uncertainty, the cloud-like indistinctness that used of old to envelop all ministerial action, converting Downing Street into a sort of Olympus, and making a small mythology out of Precis-writers, is all gone, all dispersed. Three or four cold hard lines, thin and terse as the wire that conveyed them, ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... abide in it together.—Let us then say that Brahman, which is homogeneous being, intelligence, bliss, has its nature obscured by avidya, and hence is seen indistinctly as it were.—But how, we ask, are we to conceive the distinctness or indistinctness of that whose nature is pure light? When an object of light which has parts and distinguishing attributes appears in its totality, we say that it appears distinctly; while we say that its appearance is indistinct when some of its attributes do not appear. Now in those ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... imagination is based on the indistinctness of the image. It suggests, too, the relation between cause and effect, which reason afterwards proves; and therefore it is a direct aid to science. In the tales there are expressed facts of truth symbolically clothed which ...
— A Study of Fairy Tales • Laura F. Kready

... snow-sprinkled trees, and fading gradually into shadow in the distance. To the south, too, they beheld a deep-shaded amphitheatre of heather and bracken; the course of the Esk, near Penicuik, winding about at the foot of its gorge; the broad, brown expanse of Maw Moss; and, fading into blue indistinctness in the south, the wild heath-clad Peeblesshire hills. In sooth, that scene was fair, and many a yearning glance was cast over that peaceful evening scene from the spot where the rebels awaited their defeat; and when the fight was over, many ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Almighty himself condescends to address mankind in their own language, his meaning, luminous as it must be, is rendered dim and doubtful by the cloudy medium through which it is communicated. Here, then, are three sources of vague and incorrect definitions: indistinctness of the object, imperfection of the organ of conception, inadequateness of the vehicle of ideas. Any one of these must produce a certain degree of obscurity. The convention, in delineating the boundary between the federal and State jurisdictions, must have experienced ...
— The Federalist Papers

... from Beynac. We very nearly met one night, both being out with the same object in view. I, however, had very little of his zeal for the sport, and was less interested by the crayfish than by the fantastic indistinctness of trees and shrubs and flowers, which, in the light of the stars and the lantern, seemed to belong to a world with which I was but vaguely familiar, although I had travelled ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... the assured comforts and the opportunity of cutting a figure. On the other hand, I remember once being told by a communicative young trooper with whom I had some conversation that the desire to "see life" had been his own motive for enlisting. He appeared to be seeing it with some indistinctness: he was a ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, August, 1878 • Various

... gleaming, blue waters of the mighty Saskatchewan. Beyond that, drowsing in a pale blue haze, lay the broad valley, and beyond that again the vast purpling panorama of rolling prairie and black pinewoods until earth and sky were merged in indistinctness and became one. It resembled a perch on the side of the world, a huge eyrie with cliffs above and cliffs below, with apparently only that little passage, the old creek bed, by which one might get there. Dorothy realised that people might pass and repass at the foot of the hill on the other side ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... have no doubt that many other resemblances might be discovered by careful investigation. We cannot wonder that Endymion attracted Shakespeare, for it is the most "romantic" of all Lyly's plays. Indistinctness of character seems to be in keeping with an allegory of moonshine; and even the mechanical action cannot spoil the poetical atmosphere which pervades the whole. Here if anywhere Lyly reached the poetical plane. He speaks of "thoughts stitched to the starres," of "time ...
— John Lyly • John Dover Wilson

... long spell of meditation upon how this adventure was likely to end, a small, hazy-looking, ill-defined object swam into the field of the instrument. The object was about one point before the weather beam, and was so far away that the rarefaction of the air imparted to it a wavering indistinctness of aspect that rendered it quite unrecognisable. The fact, however, that it was visible at all in the slightly hazy atmosphere led me to estimate its distance from the brig as about ten miles, while, from its apparent size, it might be either a boat, a raft, or a piece of floating ...
— The Castaways • Harry Collingwood

... Robert Day. Presently Zene's countenance, and even the cast in his eyes, became a certainty instead of a wavering indistinctness, and he smiled with satisfaction while halting his vehicle at ...
— Old Caravan Days • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... [B] To avoid indistinctness through over reduction, I have endeavoured to keep all reproductions in this paper as large as possible, and think I have succeeded in not losing any detail in ...
— Ancient Egyptian and Greek Looms • H. Ling Roth

... indistinctness with which the sound of the vowel in were is commonly expressed in Somersetshire, that wor, wer, or war, will nearly alike convey it, the sound of the e being rarely if ever long; twordn is therefore composed, as stated, of three words; but it will be asked what business has the d in it? To ...
— The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire • James Jennings

... little we know what multitudes of mingling reminiscences, held in solution by the mind, and colouring its fancy with the iridescence of variable hues, go to make up the sentiments which music or which mountains stir! It is the very vagueness, changefulness, and dreamlike indistinctness of these feelings which cause their charm; they harmonise with the haziness of our beliefs and seem to make our very doubts melodious. For this reason it is obvious that unrestrained indulgence in the pleasures of music or of scenery ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... marvel in architecture, and which Michel Angelo looked longingly back upon when he was going to Rome to build that more wondrous orb of Saint Peter's. White and stately by its side shot up the airy shaft of the Campanile; and the violet vapor swathing the whole city in a tender indistinctness, these two striking objects, rising by their magnitude far above it, seemed to stand alone in a ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 52, February, 1862 • Various

... day, with the loch glittering in the sun, and the hills beyond it softly outlined with the indistinctness that mountains usually wear in summer, but with the soft summer coloring too, greenish-blue, lilac, and silver-gray varying continually. In the woods behind, where the leaves were already gloriously green, the wood-pigeons were cooing, and the ...
— A Noble Life • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... would be all right in no time; and his acquiescence showed her how profoundly he felt the uselessness of their trying to prolong their talk. His face was now no more than a white blur in the dusk, but she felt its indistinctness as a veil drawn over aching intensities of expression. "He knows...he knows..." she said to herself, and wondered whether the truth had been revealed to him by some corroborative fact or by the ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... whole of the edifice; that, even of the portion best known, some part or other was always wrapped in thick folds of mist from the mountain; and that, when the sun shone upon this mist, the parts of the building that appeared through the vaporous veil were strangely glorified in their indistinctness, so that they seemed to belong to some aerial abode in the land of the sunset; and the beholders could hardly tell whether they had ever seen them before, or whether they were now for the ...
— The Portent & Other Stories • George MacDonald

... what she went on to say. Her mind and body both seemed to have floated into another region of quick-sailing clouds rapidly passing across each other and enveloping everything in a vaporous indistinctness. Meanwhile he remained conscious of his own concentrated desire, his impotence to bring about anything he wished, and his increasing ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... he had again woven the spell of romance around her. As she sat there, a sweet shadowy form touched to indistinctness by the soft dusk, he knew her gallant heart had gone with him in the Castilian battle song he had sung, had remained with him in the transition to the ...
— A Daughter of the Dons - A Story of New Mexico Today • William MacLeod Raine

... after hour since first New York had risen out of the blue indistinctness of the landfall. With the daylight he experienced ...
— The War in the Air • Herbert George Wells

... Huge braziers lie convenient, on one of which, amidst a few coals, a feeble flame may be seen to struggle. The atmosphere is impregnated with a strong but not ungrateful perfume, and through its vapors objects appear with some indistinctness. A circular plate of brass or copper—it could not well be any more precious metal—rests beneath the eye and finger of the woman. It is covered with strange and mystic characters, which she seems busily to explore, as if they had a real significance in her mind. She evidently united the highest ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 5 November 1848 • Various

... had bestowed on him the faculty of conveying the impression he wished to convey, in tones that charm; and held his auditors, and penetrated ears dulled and fatigued by monotony and indistinctness. ...
— Peter's Mother • Mrs. Henry De La Pasture

... that bitter day? Would there be something gone from that innocent face, some of its sweet purity? Or would there be something added, a flicker of eternal fear in the wide, blue eyes, or the stamp of hell across the fair brow? The face merged slowly into a general indistinctness until with a shock it all cleared away, and he felt a sharp pain in the back of ...
— The Wilderness Trail • Frank Williams

... The indistinctness of her vision was not due to any defect in her sight. The wet fog was rising like a shapeless evil genius out of the sluggish sea, rolling heavily across the little bay to the lovers' beach, with its swollen arms ...
— Doctor Claudius, A True Story • F. Marion Crawford

... that happening to look back, I saw what appeared to be a high island, covered with tall groves of palms, some two miles distant. The elevated shores, and the green tops of the trees, were plainly visible; but just at the point where land and water met, there was a kind of hazy indistinctness in the view. We were sailing directly from it, and I could not understand how we had passed as near as we must have done, without observing it. Browne, catching sight of it almost at the same time with myself, uttered an exclamation ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... roof numberless smaller ones. Some evergreen shrubs in boxes stood around, and there were wooden arm-chairs, beside some settees. It was rather chilly, though the day had been very pleasant. And oh, how splendid the lights of Broadway looked to them, two long rows stretching up and up until lost in indistinctness. The stores were all open and lighted as brilliantly as one could with gas. No one thought of Saturday half-holidays then. It was very grand. But what would they have said to the Columbian nights ...
— A Little Girl in Old New York • Amanda Millie Douglas

... such as arise for instance from inexpertness, defective vision, slowness in seizing the exact instant of the occurrence of a phenomenon, or precipitancy in anticipating it; from atmospheric indistinctness, insufficient optical power in the instrument, and ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... Venice—the magic city—there were days of mists, silvery and gray, when life took on the indistinctness and indecision of a dream; as there were days less lucent, when sea and sky melted in an indistinguishable line and the chameleon tints of the marshes mellowed into a monotonous gray surface—when the wonted ...
— A Golden Book of Venice • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... her face, and it remained there, enhancing the vivid richness of her beauty. She was dizzy with a strange and disconcerting intoxication. She seemed to be in a world of unrealities and incredibilities. Her ears heard with indistinctness, and the edges of things and people had a prismatic colouring. She was in a state of ecstatic, unreasonable, inexplicable happiness. All her misery, doubts, despair, rancour, churlishness, had disappeared. She was as softly gentle as Constance. ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... it had on Midsummer Eve of this year, and as the hour grew later, and nine o'clock drew on, the irradiation of the daytime became broken up by weird shadows and ghostly nooks of indistinctness. Imagination could trace upon the trunks and boughs strange faces and figures shaped by the dying lights; the surfaces of the holly-leaves would here and there shine like peeping eyes, while such fragments of the sky as were visible between the trunks assumed the aspect of sheeted forms and ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... degree of confusion and indistinctness in Plato's account both of man and of the universe has been already acknowledged. We cannot tell (nor could Plato himself have told) where the figure or myth ends and the philosophical truth begins; we cannot explain (nor could Plato himself have explained to us) the relation of the ideas to appearance, ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... variety of the olive-yards themselves. Even the colour is indeterminate and continually shifting: now you would say it was green, now gray, now blue; now tree stands above tree, like "cloud on cloud," massed into filmy indistinctness; and now, at the wind's will, the whole sea of foliage is shaken and broken up with little momentary silverings and shadows. But every one sees the world in his own way. To some the glad moment may have arrived on other provocations; and their recollection may be most vivid ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... by the boathouse a bonfire was burning, raining up sparks into the indistinctness of the dawn. Around this struggled a mass of black figures. I heard Montgomery call my name. I began to run at once towards this fire, revolver in hand. I saw the pink tongue of Montgomery's pistol lick out once, close to the ground. He was down. I shouted with all my strength ...
— The Island of Doctor Moreau • H. G. Wells

... Dufour departed with that letter, Eugenie remained silent and thoughtful for more than an hour, Morton's letter before her; and sweet, in their indistinctness, were the recollections and the images ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... for his share in the affair of 1745, took place at Errickstane-brae, in the singular manner ascribed to the Laird of Summertrees in the text. The author has seen in his youth the gentleman to whom the adventure actually happened. The distance of time makes some indistinctness of recollection, but it is believed the real ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... engine awoke to life and the propeller spun around, a blur of indistinctness. The motor was working sweetly. Toni throttled down, assured himself that everything was working well, and then, with a wave of his hand toward Jack, began to taxi across the field, to head up into the wind. All aeroplanes are started this way—directly into the wind, ...
— Air Service Boys in the Big Battle • Charles Amory Beach

... he could make inaudible to the dozing passengers. And now the engineer pulled out the throttle-valve to make up for lost time, and the clatter of the train faded into a distant roar and its lights began to twinkle into indistinctness. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... then, there is no end to the infinite variety of the olive-yards themselves. Even the colour is indeterminate, and continually shifting: now you would say it was green, now grey, now blue; now tree stands above tree, like 'cloud on cloud,' massed in filmy indistinctness; and now, at the wind's will, the whole sea of foliage is shaken and broken up with little ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... the depth of an absurd jealousy. The man whose voice was coming to them with a certain deep indistinctness from the ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... presented a fearful but sublime spectacle. One spot appeared to glow with the red-white heat of a furnace, and to form the centre of a fiery cupola, from which the flame was flung in redder and grosser masses, that darkened away into wild and dusky indistinctness, in a manner that corresponded with the same light, as it danced in red and frightful mirth upon the earth. As they looked, the cause of this awful phenomenon soon became visible. From behind the hill was seen a thick shower of burning particles rushing up into the ...
— Fardorougha, The Miser - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... look. In the rapidly increasing perspective the six horses of the tally-ho were suddenly multiplied into a troop; and where the station agent had stood on the platform there seemed to be a dozen gesticulating figures fading into indistinctness, as the fast train swept on ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... sense of national humiliation was mingled anxiety for civil liberty. Rumours, indistinct indeed, but perhaps the more alarming by reason of their indistinctness, imputed to the court a deliberate design against all the constitutional rights of Englishmen. It had even been whispered that this design was to be carried into effect by the intervention of foreign arms. The thought of Such intervention made the blood, even of ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... seeing an amateur actor on the stage, denotes that you will see your hopes pleasantly and satisfactorily fulfilled. If they play a tragedy, evil will be disseminated through your happiness. If there is an indistinctness or distorted images in the dream, you are likely to meet with quick and decided defeat in some enterprise ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... Regulating Act of 1773 had established two independent powers, the one judicial, the other political; and, with a carelessness scandalously common in English legislation, had omitted to define the limits of either. The judges took advantage of the indistinctness, and attempted to draw to themselves supreme authority, not only within Calcutta, but through the whole of the great territory subject to the presidency of Fort William. There are few Englishmen who will not admit that the English law, in spite of modern improvements, ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... allowable and better drawn than the page, true to history, and consistent; but Finella is sometimes handsome enough to make duke and king ready to be in love with her, and sometimes an odious little fury, clenching her hands, and to be lifted up or down stairs out of the hero's way. The indistinctness about her is not that indistinctness which belongs to the sublime, but that which arises from unsteadiness in the painter's hand when he sketched the figure. He touched and retouched at different times, without having, as it seems, ...
— The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, Vol. 2 • Maria Edgeworth

... the city beyond, and the broad sweep of the river from the falls. The light of a tranquil and gorgeous sunset was slowly fading from river and sky, and the shadows of the trees on the Dracut slopes were blending in dusky indistinctness with the great shadow of night. Suddenly gleams of light broke from the black masses of masonry on the Lowell bank, at first feeble and scattered, flitting from window to window, appearing and disappearing, like will-o'-wisps in a forest or fireflies in a summer's night. Anon tier ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... of the stars; indistinctness or apparent multiplication of the moon's horns; haloes; "wind-dogs;" and the rainbow; are more or less significant of increasing ...
— Barometer and Weather Guide • Robert Fitzroy

... of shivering, heat, and sweating are less marked in the child than in the grown person, and this indistinctness of its symptoms is greater in proportion to the tenderer age of the child. Shivering is scarcely ever well-marked, a condition of unaccountable depression usually taking its place, while once or twice I have known ...
— The Mother's Manual of Children's Diseases • Charles West, M.D.

... rapid speaking. To talk slowly and deliberately, is to enhance the pleasure and beauty of the conversation. Rapidity in speech results in indistinctness, and ...
— Book of Etiquette • Lillian Eichler

... time it did not have. Schumann and Liszt recognized the inner significance of the pedal, and wrote their works with reference to what we might call perhaps a sort of pianoforte chiaro-oscuro (luminous-indistinctness), which inevitably follows when the pedal is rapidly employed in quickly moving chords. In many of the Schumann pieces this is one of the most notable elements of the tonal beauty, and it is the underlying condition ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... Beautiful and Beauty on the one hand, and the Poetical and Poetry on the other, has generally been seen, when seen at all, vaguely; that is to say, seen as the Beautiful and the Poetical themselves have been seen—"in a mirror darkly." This indistinctness seems to have grown out of the faulty views of nature taken by the speculators. . . . . . . . . . In brief, then, Nature is an effect—a product—of a Power lying behind or above it; and it stands, ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... eye of the restive coursers, then so strikingly exhibited, are scarcely any longer distinguishable; while the dark curvilinear outline of their bodies, and the towering forms of "the great Twin Brethren" at their heads, gain not only in stature, but in grandeur too, by this very indistinctness,—the obscure being a well-known element of the sublime,—and the eye becomes more and more conscious of their vast proportions the less it is enabled to enter ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847. • Various

... free his mind from this indistinctness and duplicity of impression, which vexed it with a strange disquietude, he recalled and more thoroughly defined the plans which Hester and himself had sketched for their departure. It had been determined between ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... The indistinctness with which people who introduce often pronounce a name is not infrequently the cause of awkwardness. The failure to hear is no fault on the part of those introduced, but rather a mishap chargeable to the person who brings them together. In this case, try to think of something besides "I didn't ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... she pressed her dry lips together, and folded her hands with a gesture of despair; "but I know that it must be, for Mr. Trinder has told me everything. It is no use shutting our eyes and struggling on any longer; for we are ruined—ruined!" her voice sinking into indistinctness. ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... Arno. Some of their peaks, as well as the mountain of Vallombrosa, along the eastern sky, are tipped with snow. Imagine the air filled with a thick blue mist, like a semi-transparent veil, which softens every thing into dreamy indistinctness, the sunshine falling slantingly through this in spots, touching the landscape here and there as with a sudden blaze of fire, and you will complete the picture. Does it not repay your mental ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... from the picture that exists in his fancy. We wish to be rightly understood. We do not mean that vagueness and generality are essential to poetical description. As on the one hand, mathematical accuracy, by allowing no play to the imagination, produces a feeble impression, so on the other the indistinctness arising from indefinite expressions is equally unfavorable. But in neither is the poetry of the description dependent on the greater or less degree of minuteness with which particular objects are spoken of. When Whitbread described the Phenix, according to Sheridan's version, 'like a poulterer; ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... moon was getting higher. At the same time though, soft fleecy clouds began to hide the stars, and at times the shadow of the mountain was blotted out, for the moon was from time to time obscured, and the peculiar indistinctness of the earth seemed to Bart as exactly ...
— The Silver Canyon - A Tale of the Western Plains • George Manville Fenn

... settlement affords, the flesh of the kangaroo. This singular animal is already known in Europe by the drawing and description of Mr. Cook. To the drawing nothing can be objected but the position of the claws of the hinder leg, which are mixed together like those of a dog, whereas no such indistinctness is to be found in the animal I am describing. It was the Chevalier De Perrouse who pointed out this to me, while we were comparing a kangaroo with the plate, which, as he justly observed, is correct enough to give the world in general a good idea of the animal, but not sufficiently ...
— A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay • Watkin Tench

... I had been able that evening to sit much later than usual with Madeline on the moon-lit porch. The figure was certainly that of John Hinckman in his ordinary dress, but there was a vagueness and indistinctness about it which presently assured me that it was a ghost. Had the good old man been murdered? and had his spirit come to tell me of the deed, and to confide to me the protection of his dear—? My heart fluttered at ...
— A Chosen Few - Short Stories • Frank R. Stockton

... like a sob and stood regarding the dusky mystery of her face. She stood quite still, she was just a beautiful outline in the twilight, her face was an indistinctness under the black shadow of her hair, with eyes that were ...
— The Research Magnificent • H. G. Wells

... of Hymen's torch the next morning. London was under one of the fogs, of which it is popularly said you may cut them with a knife. The church was in dim twilight; the bride and bridegroom loomed through the haze, and the indistinctness made Clara's fine tall figure appear quite majestic above the ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in nature, physical and moral, that had as well not be ascertained. It is better to take things on trust, with something of distance and indistinctness. What we gain in knowledge by scrutiny is sometimes paid for in a ghastly sort of disgust. It is marvellous in a small constituency of 300 average souls, what a queer moral result one of these business-like and narrow ...
— Wylder's Hand • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... with little inconvenience. In the afternoon and evening, I felt myself light and easy, and began to plan schemes of life. Thus I went to bed, and, in a short time, waked and sat up, as has been long my custom, when I felt a confusion and indistinctness in my head, which lasted, I suppose, about half a minute; I was alarmed, and prayed God, that, however he might afflict my body, he would spare my understanding. This prayer, that I might try the integrity ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... another Excursus (D), in which Sacrifice is regarded as the infliction of a penalty. In the notes also this view exercises a weakening influence, and, combined with some other similar features, produces a sense of indistinctness. Otherwise, the notes are written with great care, impartiality, and freedom. There is a devout sense of the greatness of the subject, and much modesty in the treatment of it, while at the same time the commentator does not hesitate to treat all ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... in confronting our disorders or misfortunes. On the contrary, the attempt is wholesome. Much of what we dread is really due to indistinctness of outline. If we have the courage to say to ourselves, What IS this thing, then? let the worst come to the worst, and what then? we shall frequently find that after all it is not so terrible. What we have to do is to subdue tremulous, nervous, insane fright. Fright is often ...
— Pages from a Journal with Other Papers • Mark Rutherford

... tell me they actually went and ordered—" Henley began, but his voice trailed away into indistinctness. He could only ...
— Dixie Hart • Will N. Harben

... misgiving as she tore open the envelope. Though she had never seen Giovanni's handwriting, she had no doubt that it was his. It looked as though it might not be very legible at best; but on the sheet before her the shaking, uneven letters trailed off into such filiform indistinctness that she had to go through it several times before she could decipher the following, written ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... and graceful shrubs were waving over him. He heard not the deep-toned sea uttering its solemn music, or the breeze whispering its softer notes in his ear. He only saw the ship, the abode of men, fading into indistinctness, as the darkness threw its veil over it; he only heard the voice in his heart, proclaiming ever and again, "I am free." Before the morrow dawned, he had surmounted the rocks at the landing place, ...
— Evenings at Donaldson Manor - Or, The Christmas Guest • Maria J. McIntosh

... III. Sec. 17 of the preceding volume we concluded generally that all great drawing was distinct drawing; but with reference, nevertheless, to a certain sort of indistinctness, necessary to the highest art, and afterwards to be explained. And the inquiry into this seeming contradiction has, I trust, been made somewhat more interesting by what we saw respecting modern art in the fourth paragraph of Chap. XVI., namely, that it was distinguished from ...
— Modern Painters, Volume IV (of V) • John Ruskin

... to his companion to be seated. Holden obeyed, waiting for what should follow. Presently he saw two figures, a male and female, approaching. The latter was veiled, and although the face of the man was exposed, it swam in such a hazy indistinctness that it was impossible to make out the features. Still it seemed to him that they were not entirely unknown, and he tormented himself with ineffectual attempts to determine where he had seen them. He turned ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... represent these two regions, and again divide each segment in the same ratio—both that of the visible and that of the intelligible species. The parts of each segment are to represent differences of clearness and indistinctness. In the visible world the parts are things and images. By images I mean shadows,[530] reflections in water and in polished bodies, and all such like representations; and by things I mean that of which images ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... to come out of positive shadow into the indistinctness of dawn. Current and tide were so strong that the boats could not be steered directly to shore, but on the alluvial strip at the base of this cove they beached themselves with such success as they could. Twenty-four ...
— The Chase Of Saint-Castin And Other Stories Of The French In The New World • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... the others: "Winkler was a good-looking man. Might he not have had a rich love somewhere? Might not the money have come from her, the money that was found in his pocket?" Muller's voice trailed off into indistinctness at the last words, and the fire died out of his eyes. Then ...
— The Lamp That Went Out • Augusta Groner

... gliding away of the waters. I tell myself now, as a profane fact, that I did stand by that river (Methley gathered some seeds from the bushes that grew there), but since that I am away from his banks, “divine Scamander” has recovered the proper mystery belonging to him as an unseen deity; a kind of indistinctness, like that which belongs to far antiquity, has spread itself over my memory, of the winding stream that I saw with these very eyes. One’s mind regains in absence that dominion over earthly things which has been shaken by their ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... in 1838 which were a cause of anxiety to the Indian Government; but, as Kaye writes,[Footnote: Kaye's War in Afghanistan.] 'far out in the distance beyond the mountains of the Hindoo Koosh there was the shadow of a great Northern army, tremendous in its indistinctness, sweeping across the wilds and deserts of Central Asia towards the frontiers of Hindostan.' That great Northern army, as we know now, but did not know then, was the column of Perofski, which had left Orenburg for the attempted conquest of Khiva, but which subsequently perished ...
— Indian Frontier Policy • General Sir John Ayde

... latest, certainly much the best, of Marlowe's dramas, was printed in 1598. Here, for the first time, we meet with a genuine specimen of the English Historical Drama. The scene covers a period of twenty years; the incidents pass with great rapidity, and, though sometimes crushed into indistinctness, are for the most part well used both for historic truth and dramatic effect; and the dialogue, generally, is nervous, animated, and clear. In the great article of character, too, this play has very considerable ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... has the great merit of being, at least, perfectly clear and definite. In some particular cases, the principle may be difficult of application; but in the principle itself, as defined in this passage, there is not the slightest uncertainty or indistinctness. The author is very careful, however, to except from its operation all persons who are not in the maturity of their faculties, as well as all those backward nations who are not capable of being ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... half-upturned face riveted his attention and seemed to awaken a vague, dreamy memory he found himself unable to localize; it reminded him of some other face he had known, tantalizing from its dim indistinctness. Then this earlier impression slightly faded away, and he merely beheld her alone, a perfect stranger appropriating little by little her few claims to womanly beauty. There was no certain guessing at her age as she lay thus, one hand pressed beneath ...
— Beth Norvell - A Romance of the West • Randall Parrish



Words linked to "Indistinctness" :   vagueness, opacity, fogginess, fuzziness, indistinct, distinctness, faintness, opaqueness, dimness



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