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Insipid   Listen
adjective
Insipid  adj.  
1.
Wanting in the qualities which affect the organs of taste; without taste or savor; vapid; tasteless; as, insipid drink or food.
2.
Wanting in spirit, life, or animation; uninteresting; weak; vapid; flat; dull; heavy; as, an insipid woman; an insipid composition. "Flat, insipid, and ridiculous stuff to him." "But his wit is faint, and his salt, if I may dare to say so, almost insipid."
Synonyms: Tasteless; vapid; dull; spiritless; unanimated; lifeless; flat; stale; pointless; uninteresting.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Insipid" Quotes from Famous Books



... in the Presbyterian faith, and this was a source of some discordant feeling between her and her husband. The preaching of her favorite ministers seemed to him harsh and rigid, while she regarded Quaker exhortations as insipid and formal. But as time passed on, her religious views assimilated more and more with his; and about twenty-four years after their marriage, she joined the Society of Friends, and frequently spoke at their meetings. She was ...
— Isaac T. Hopper • L. Maria Child

... every paragraph, how boring it is. Happily, I have "A Rebours" to read, that prodigious book, that beautiful mosaic. Huysmans is quite right, ideas are well enough until you are twenty, afterwards only words are bearable ... a new idea, what can be more insipid—fit for members of parliament.... Shall I go to bed? No.... I wish I had a volume of Verlaine, or something of Mallarme's to read—Mallarme for preference. I remember Huysmans speaks of Mallarme in "A Rebours." In hours like these a page of Huysmans is as a dose ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... lately read with much pleasure, the "Essays upon several Subjects" published by Sir Richard Blackmore.—Swift. I admire to see such praises from this author to so insipid a scoundrel, whom ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... any of them. Unhappily one of these cursed papers happened to be in the waistcoat pocket of a new suit, which I had only worn two or three times to prevent its being seized by the commissioners of the customs. This paper contained an insipid Jansenist parody on that beautiful scene in Racine's Mithridates: I had not read ten lines of it, but by forgetfulness left it in my pocket, and this caused all my necessaries to be confiscated. The commissioners at the head of the inventory of my portmanteau, ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... selected to illustrate and inculcate the rule under study. This is the true connection that unites and harmonises them all, that each leads the pupil directly to the attainment of his object—the mastery of the rule. The illusory connection of some insipid ...
— The Aural System • Anonymous

... dramatist seems to have tried his hand at depicting the new resort on the stage, for Pepys tells how in October, 1666, he saw a play called "The Coffee-House." It was not a success; "the most ridiculous, insipid play that ever I saw in my life," was Pepys' verdict. But there was nothing insipid about the pamphlet which, under the title of "The Character of a Coffee-House," issued from the press seven years later. The author withheld ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... and after a little at my office to prepare a fresh draught of my vowes for the next yeare, I to church, where a most insipid young coxcomb preached. Then home to dinner, and after dinner to read in "Rushworth's Collections" about the charge against the late Duke of Buckingham, in order to the fitting me to speak and understand the ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... she was, but as perfection is Insipid in this naughty world of ours, Where our first parents never learned to kiss Till they were exiled from their earlier bowers, Where all was peace, and innocence, and bliss,[b] (I wonder how they got through the twelve hours), Don Jose, like a lineal son of Eve, ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... for boiled water, that is a beverage which has no longer a normal composition; a portion of its salts has become precipitated, and its dissolved gases have been given off. In spite of the aeration that it is afterward made to undergo, it preserves an insipid taste, and I believe that it is not very digestible. I have thought, then, that it would be important, from a hygienic standpoint, to have a filter that should effectually rid water of all the microbes or germs that it contains, while at ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 460, October 25, 1884 • Various

... denominates Ancient sago, which comes from different parts, and varies much in color. It comprehends—1st, Maldivian sago of Planche, in spherical globules, of two or three millimetres in diameter, translucid, of an unequal pinkish white color, very hard and insipid. 2nd, New Guinea sago, of Planche, in rather smaller globules, of a bright red color on one side, and white on the other. 3rd. Grey sago of the Moluccas or brown sago of the English; of unequal globules, from one to three millimetres in diameter, opaque, of ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... made to realise that I was a person of a different class altogether. When people wished to be kind they called me spirituelle, and when they were tempted to be the reverse they voted me insipid. ...
— The Woman Thou Gavest Me - Being the Story of Mary O'Neill • Hall Caine

... these matters I speak with hesitation), to members of the fair sex at this hour amongst ourselves, as an outdoor dress for the country or for Scotland. She made me sit by her and poured out for me the insipid and depressing beverage, boisson fade et melancolique, as Balzac called it, for which English people are thought abroad to be always thirsting,—tea. She conversed of the country through which I had been wandering, of the Berry peasants and their mode of life, of ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... the page; and secondly, by translating Homer himself into prose, which shall make him so unlike himself, that nobody will think he could be an original writer: and when he is become totally lifeless and insipid, it will be impossible but these Tales should be preferred to the Iliad; especially as I design to put them into a kind of style that shall be neither verse nor prose; a diction lately much used ...
— Hieroglyphic Tales • Horace Walpole

... quickness of flavour, and would not keep in the winter. This circumstance put me in mind of what I have heard travellers assert, that they never ate a good apple or apricot in the south of Europe, where the heats were so great as to render the juices vapid and insipid. ...
— The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 2 • Gilbert White

... corner. I suppose the Mississippi, which was flowing quietly along, minding its own business, hates the Missouri for coming into it all at once with its muddy stream. I suppose the Missouri in like manner hates the Mississippi for diluting with its limpid, but insipid current the rich reminiscences of the varied soils through which its own stream has wandered. I will not compare myself, to the clear or the turbid current, but I will own that my heart sinks when I find all of a sudden ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... was, that with him action was the beginning and end of thought. He was not one of that cloud of false witnesses, who, calling themselves Christians, take no trouble for the end for which Christ was born, namely, their salvation from unrighteousness—a class that may be divided into the insipid and the offensive, both regardless of obedience, the former indifferent to, the latter ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... in this insipid neighborhood Have nothing to confess, they're so ridiculously good; And if you marry any one respectable at all, Why, you'll reform, and what will ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... incongruity: in its essence the most 'natural' of all poetic forms, pastoralism came to its fairest flower amid the artificiality of a decadent court or as the plaything of the leisure hours of a college of learning, and its insipid convention having become 'a literary plague in every European capital,' it finally disappeared from view amid the fopperies of the Roman Arcadia and the puerile conceits of ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... never had truly loved this man, some years older than herself and of radically different character, still she liked and respected him, and found him—by his very force and dominance—far more to her taste than the insipid hangers-on, sons of fortune or fortune-hunters, who, like the sap-brained Van Slyke, made up so great a ...
— The Air Trust • George Allan England

... you like women to be rather insipid. Philip Wakem betrayed you; he said so one day when ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... leaf-sheaths, with the blades of grass shooting upwards and outwards as high as three or four feet. Scattered through it are patches of Stilbocarpa polaris, locally known as Maori cabbage. It is of a more vivid green than the tussock and is edible, though somewhat stringy and insipid. Our sheep ate it readily, even nibbling the roots after the plant had ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... of insipid appearance is seated opposite, enjoying the mild pleasure of an ice a la panache. He puts up his eyeglass and stares at Eleanor. She returns the look frankly, taking in his narrow forehead, ginger ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... delightful genius alone, did Mary Morrison feel all the measures of those ancient melodies, and give them all an expression at once simple and profound. People who said they did not care about music, especially Scottish music, it was so monotonous and insipid, laid aside their indifferent looks before three notes of the simplest air had left Mary Morrison's lips, as she sat faintly blushing, less in bashfulness than in her own emotion, with her little hands playing perhaps with flowers, and her eyes fixed on the ground, or raised, ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... called, merely added to my zest and enjoyment. Here, indeed, was agreeable and talented society! Aunt Agnes was right,—my associates hitherto had been frivolous and volatile. The world of fashion was a sham. What a contrast,—I could not help making it,—between the insipid speeches of my former friends and the clever talk of this purely literary circle, where ideas and scholarship were recognized ...
— A Romantic Young Lady • Robert Grant

... wonder at ourselves, and curse our mirth. His walk of parts he fatally misplaced, And inclination fondly took for taste; 380 Hence hath the town so often seen display'd Beau in burlesque, high life in masquerade. But when bold wits,—not such as patch up plays, Cold and correct, in these insipid days,— Some comic character, strong featured, urge To probability's extremest verge; Where modest Judgment her decree suspends, And, for a time, nor censures, nor commends; Where critics can't determine on the spot Whether it is in nature found or not, 390 There Woodward safely shall his ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... forced and unnatural caricatura. His plays appear not to be legitimate comedies, but strings of repartees and sallies of wit, the most poignant and polite indeed, but unnatural and ill placed. The trite and trivial character of a fop, hath strangely engrossed the English stage, and given an insipid similiarity to our best comic pieces: originals can never be wanting in such a kingdom as this, where each man follows his natural inclinations and propensities, if our writers would really contemplate nature, and endeavour to open those ...
— Essays on Wit No. 2 • Richard Flecknoe and Joseph Warton

... you, my lady, let me light my pipe in your eyes!" It is said the duchess was so delighted with this compliment that she frequently afterwards checked the strain of adulation, which was so constantly offered to her charms, by saying, "Oh! after the dustman's compliment, all others are insipid." ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... again you get a big bright yellow one from those trees that have been imported, and these are very pithy and in full possession of the flavour of verjuice. They have also got the papaw on the Coast, the Carica papaya of botanists. It is an insipid fruit. To the newcomer it is a dreadful nuisance, for no sooner does an old coaster set eyes on it than he straightway says, "Paw- paws are awfully good for the digestion, and even if you just hang a tough fowl ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... began to talk, when he stated that, having been four years and as many months upon the island without any human creature with whom to converse, he had forgotten the use of his tongue. He had been so long inured to water and such insipid food as he could pick up, that it was some time before he could reconcile himself to the ship's victuals, or to the taking of a dram. He stated that he was a native of Largo, in Fifeshire, that his name was Alexander Selkirk, and that he had belonged to a ship called the Cinque ...
— How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900 • W.H.G. Kingston

... enveloping woman with a vicious atmosphere, imitating her contours in the undulations and twistings of wood and copper, accentuating the sugary languor of the blond with its clear and lively decors, attenuating the pungency of the brunette with its tapestries of aqueous, sweet, almost insipid tones. ...
— Against The Grain • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... a high-mettled colt passes him on the way. He turned the discourse on shows, banquets, pageants, and on the character of those by whom these gay scenes were then frequented. He mixed acute observation with light satire, in that just proportion which was free alike from malignant slander and insipid praise. He mimicked with ready accent the manners of the affected or the clownish, and made his own graceful tone and manner seem doubly such when he resumed it. Foreign countries—their customs, their manners, the rules of their ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... three times bears not the slightest analogy or proportion to the fiendish noises three times heard! In "Jaspar," the circumstance of the great light is very affecting. But I had heard you mention it before. The "Rose" is the only insipid piece in the volume; it hath neither thorns nor sweetness, and, besides, sets all ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... oftentimes, that entirely spoil the passage. On the other hand, an expression low and vulgar may be ennobled by its associations, and give dignity and force to the composition. We not unfrequently meet phrases which have great beauty in the eyes of one man, which seem flat and insipid in the eyes of another. Every writer who has attempted dignified or pathetic composition, has felt how difficult it is to avoid those words which will suggest ideas that are unworthy of the subject. If, however, the poet is ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... life-giving heat and real energy. If not, your time and your pains will be wasted, you will destroy your own work, and after foolishly intoxicating yourself with these heady fumes, you will have nothing left but an insipid and worthless wine. ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... back, gloomily enough, continuing for the rest of the journey to declaim against the fate that had condemned him to a life of insipid peace; but it was not until they had turned out of the narrow streets of the foreign quarter into the wide, clean stretch of Canal ...
— The Net • Rex Beach

... the step, and there discussed Cynthia's tastes. She was too old for dolls, Jethro supposed. Yes, Cynthia was too old for dolls. She did not say so, but the only doll she had ever owned had become insipid when the delight of such a reality as taking care of a helpless father had been thrust upon her. Books, suggested Jethro. Books she had known from her earliest infancy: they had been piled around that bedroom over the roof. Books and book lore ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... among monarchs incompetent alike to hold, to delegate, or—to resign the inheritance of the great warrior and lawgiver. The meek, bald, fat, stammering, simple Charles, or Louis, who successively sat upon his throne—princes, whose only historic individuality consists in these insipid appellations—had not the sense to comprehend, far less to develop, ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... said Lenora that night, as she sat sipping her tea. "Won't it be grand, if you do succeed, and won't I lord it over Miss Margaret! As for that little white-faced Carrie, she's too insipid for one to trouble herself about, and I dare say thinks you a very nice woman, for how can her Sabbath-school teacher be otherwise;" and a satirical laugh echoed through the room. Suddenly springing up, Lenora glanced at herself in the mirror, and turning to her mother, said, "Did you hear ...
— Homestead on the Hillside • Mary Jane Holmes

... However insipid and perhaps superfluous details so well known may appear after what has been already given, lessons will be found therein for kings who may wish to make themselves respected, and who may wish to respect themselves. What determines me still more is, that details wearying, ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... humble peasantry, is languid and sickly; neither so pure, nor so simple, nor so intense. Its associations in high life are unfavorable to the growth of a healthy passion; for what is the glare of a lamp, a twirl through the insipid maze of the ball-room, or the unnatural distortions of the theatre, when compared to the rising of the summer sun, the singing of birds, the music of the streams, the joyous aspect of the varied landscape, the mountain, the valley, the lake, and ...
— Fardorougha, The Miser - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... free, I have no taste of those insipid dry discourses with which our sex of force must entertain themselves apart from men. We may affect endearments to each other, profess eternal friendships, and seem to dote like lovers; but 'tis not in our natures long to persevere. Love will resume his empire in our breasts, ...
— The Way of the World • William Congreve

... turns of every sort in it, watching all the while, and with a stick stirring and raising up one thing and then another, to feel when they were boiled tender: but of upwards of twenty greens which I thus dressed, only one proved eatable, all the rest becoming more stringy, tough, and insipid for the cooking. The one I have excepted was a round, thick, woolly-leafed plant, which boiled tender and tasted as well as spinach; I therefore preserved some leaves of this to know it again by; and for distinction called it by the name ...
— Life And Adventures Of Peter Wilkins, Vol. I. (of II.) • Robert Paltock

... and bustle, without ever doing any thing; his Helen, that is the cause of the war, and yet hardly acts in the whole performance; his Troy, that holds out so long without being taken; in short, all these things together make the poem very insipid to me. I have asked some learned men whether they are not in reality as much tired as myself with reading this poet. Those who spoke ingenuously assured me that he had made them fall asleep, and yet that they could not well ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... vinegar or syrup, where neither olive oil nor goat-butter is obtainable. But to fry eggs in water? O the barbarity of it! Why not, my friend, take them boiled and drink a little hot water after them? This savours of originality, at least, and is just as insipid, if not more. Withal, they who boil cabbage, and heap it in a plate over a slice of corn-beef, and call it a dish, can break a few boiled eggs in a cup of hot water and call them fried. Be this as it may. ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... pastor commenced his sermon, Ned opened his eyes, threw back his head, dropt his under jaw, and surrendered himself to the most intense interest. The preacher was an indifferent one; and by as much as he became dull and insipid, by so much did Ned become absorbed in his discourse. And yet it was impossible for the nicest observer to detect anything in his looks or manner, short of the most solemn devotion. The effect which his conduct had upon the ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... admiration of Rasselas, I will not maintain that the 'morbid melancholy[1030]' in Johnson's constitution may not, perhaps, have made life appear to him more insipid and unhappy than it generally is; for I am sure that he had less enjoyment from it than I have. Yet, whatever additional shade his own particular sensations may have thrown on his representation of life, attentive observation and close enquiry have convinced me, that there ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... mistook flippancy and triviality for wit, he met her everywhere on common ground, and she wondered why she had not seen the attractions of this grave, quiet young man long before! Surely such a conquest—and she was not certain yet that it was achieved—was worth a half-dozen victories of the insipid and ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... Formerly my husband neglected and abandoned me, doubtless finding me very insipid; but now he finds me much improved, and has returned to me. It is very easy to understand, and moreover, it is the worse for him, for he must believe that I have been a faithful wife ...
— A Comedy of Marriage & Other Tales • Guy De Maupassant

... inclination to return that attack. It would even be ungrateful, for the work is a professed imitation of mine, only stripped of the marvellous; and so entirely stripped, except in one awkward attempt at a ghost or two, that it is the most insipid dull nothing you ever saw. It certainly does not make me laugh; but what makes one doze, seldom makes ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... country were now in season: that which was supposed to be the fruit Captain Cook calls a cherry, the natives call mizooboore; the taste of it is insipid, and it differs little from another fruit similar in its appearance, but something smaller, and which, as well as the former, is found in great abundance: there is likewise a third sort which differs as little in appearance ...
— An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island • John Hunter

... island of Ceylon widely differed from those established by geographers. The baroness, who was fond of reading aloud, revered Chateaubriand, and read fashionable novels by lady writers. Anton found Atala unnatural, and the novels insipid. In short, he soon discovered that those with whom he lived contemplated the universe from a very different point of view to his own. Unconsciously they measured all things by the scale of their own class-interests. Whatever ministered to these found favor, ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... her mother. She too was small and thin. Her hair was pale brown, an insipid colour with a slight sandiness in it. Her cheeks were faintly freckled just under the eyes, and her nose, equally small and inquiring, had some freckles upon it too. Her eyelashes were light; her eyes a grey with splashes of amber. She was sitting huddled up near the window, ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... about five o'clock the McPherson carriage drove into the park near Apsley House, and in it sat Miss Blanche, gorgeous in light-blue silk and white lace hat, with large solitaires in her ears, her red parasol held airily over her head and her insipid face wreathed in smiles, as she talked to her companion, the handsome Neil, whose dark face was such a contrast to her own, and who reclined indolently at her side, answering her questions mechanically, but thinking always of ...
— Bessie's Fortune - A Novel • Mary J. Holmes

... tide of his spleen invariably overtook him, and he abandoned exegesis for tirade. The bourgeois, limited scope of the art in vogue—this was the burden of his reiterated rabid attacks; art watered down to suit the public's insipid palate, and he quoted Chamfort furiously: "Combien de sots faut-il pour faire un public?"—the art of simpering prettiness, without root or fruit in life, the art of absolute convention. He ran over a list of successful names with an ever-growing rancour—artistic hacks, the crew ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... dance. jicara. a gourd-cup, or vessel. jonote. a tree. Jornada. a day's march. juez. judge. ke'esh. a votive figure. ladino. a mestizo, a person not Indian. ladron, ladrones. thief, thieves. liana. vine. licenciado. lawyer. lima. a fruit, somewhat like an insipid orange. lindas. pretty (girls). llano. a grassy plain. machete. a large knife. maestro. teacher, a master in any trade. maguey. a plant, the century plant or agave, yielding pulque. mai, pelico. tobacco, mixed with chili and ...
— In Indian Mexico (1908) • Frederick Starr

... I endeavored to make ideas of great importance and value interesting and readable. Urged by necessity I even attempted to write short stories, which were complete failures however, and caused me miserable hours of struggle and inward shame. For purposely manufactured art is just as insipid, unworthy and humiliating as true art is sacred and exalting. The last is divine worship, the first ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... potato, however, its very simplicity lays it open to careless treatment, and many who would be the first to appreciate its good qualities if it were placed before them well cooked and served, now recoil from the idea of habitually feeding off what they know only under the guise of a stodgy, insipid, or watery mass. A few hints, therefore, respecting the best manner of preparing this vegetable may ...
— New Vegetarian Dishes • Mrs. Bowdich

... The third strophe brings back again the principal subject, and a splendid climax is made, after which an elaborate coda concludes the work. It is impossible to play this lovely piece with good effect without the Schumann technique. Played with the Mozart technique it would be simply insipid, and with a Beethoven technique it would still be dry and harsh. It is only by the combination of the arm touch for the melody, the very obscure, unobtrusive finger touch for the accompaniment, and the constant use ...
— A Popular History of the Art of Music - From the Earliest Times Until the Present • W. S. B. Mathews

... till the husks came off, which I made a shift to winnow from the grain. I ground and beat them between two stones; then took water, and made them into a paste or cake, which I toasted at the fire and eat warm with milk. It was at first a very insipid diet, though common enough in many parts of Europe, but grew tolerable by time; and having been often reduced to hard fare in my life, this was not the first experiment I had made how easily nature is satisfied. And I cannot but observe, ...
— Gulliver's Travels - into several remote nations of the world • Jonathan Swift

... on the steps, dressed up for a visitor, her hair done for a visitor, and with phrases ready prepared for a visitor. She was no longer the light-haired, insipid girl I had seen in church fifteen years previously, but a stout lady in curls and flounces, one of those ladies of uncertain age, without intellect, without any of those things which constitute a woman. In short she was a mother, a stout, commonplace mother, a human layer and brood mare, ...
— Selected Writings of Guy de Maupassant • Guy de Maupassant

... tranquillity of his mind, not even the desire to live like other men. One day, he speaks of his theories to a simple, uneducated young girl whom he thinks of marrying. She is astonished and stupefied by them. She perceives that he leads an insipid and morose life. Andrey Nikolayevich does not take into account or understand the ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... Science (for so Varro has solemnly defined it;{lxxx:1}) and that exceedingly wide of Truth, which (it seems) many in his time accounted of it; facillimam esse, nec ullius acuminis Rusticationem,{lxxx:2} namely that it was an easie and insipid Study. It was the simple Culture only, with so much difficulty retrieved from the late confusion of an intestine and bloody War, like that of Ours, and now put in Reputation again, which made ...
— Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees • John Evelyn

... perfectly grand! What fun you must have! Do hear her, girls! Why, what we do is tame and insipid beside things that happen out there ...
— The Girl from Sunset Ranch - Alone in a Great City • Amy Bell Marlowe

... after a time; render all course of slow, steady, progressive, unvaried occupation, and the prospect only of a limited mediocrity at the end of long labor, to the last degree tame, languid, and insipid. Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to anything but power ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... condition in which I found myself; for while it lasted I had many hours of pure happiness. Do not believe, Coleridge, that you have tasted the grandeur and all the transport of fancy if you have not been insane. Everything seems to me now insipid in comparison." Quoted by A. ...
— Essay on the Creative Imagination • Th. Ribot

... am done for, I am overthrown, I am ruined, I have ended my days; it is not possible for me to get through life without my life; I must stretch my legs, since without my love sleep will be lamentation, food, poison, pleasure insipid, and ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... That was a place, pardieu! Prosper, very certain that at twenty-three it is a great thing to be hale and astride a horse, felt also that to grow old without having given Morgraunt a chance of killing you young would be an insipid performance. "As soon be a priest!" he would cry, "or, by the Rood, one of those flat-polled monks kept there by the Countess Isabel." Morgraunt then for Prosper, and the West; beyond that—"One thing at a time," thought he, for he was a wise youth in his way, and held to ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... politics. If you mention either of the kings of Spain or Poland, he talks very notably; but if you go out of the Gazette, you drop him. In short, a mere courtier, a mere soldier, a mere scholar, a mere anything, is an insipid pedantic character, ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... full of pain; but may he not live who would hurt thy heart! Indeed, this woman maketh herself inordinately dear and difficult to thee, and by Allah, O son of my uncle, I fear for thee from her.[FN503] Know, O my cousin, that the meaning of the salt is thou west drowned in sleep like insipid food, disgustful to the taste; and it is as though she said to thee; 'It behoveth thou be salted lest the stomach eject thee; for thou professes to be of the lovers noble and true; but sleep is unlawful ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... Harrington, who came fluttering across the lawn between two gentlemen, with whom she seemed carrying on a right and left flirtation. She came up the steps with her flounces all in commotion, her face wreathed with insipid smiles, and her hair done up in a marvellous combination of puffs, curls and braids under a tiny bonnet, that hovered over them like a butterfly just ready to ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... "Translations were made of our Deistical writers of that time, and of a large number of vindications of Christianity which were published by some English divines of note in reply to Collins, Tindal, Morgan and their tribe; and which, in addition to their insipid and unimpassioned character, involved so much of timid apology and unchristian concession that they rather aided than obstructed the progress of infidelity." Through the influence of Baumgarten and others Deism now gained great favor in ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... favor. But we will speak of the young Syrian females at large, moving in one unbroken line to the land of darkness and sorrow. Among them you will find many a fine form and beautiful face; but alas! the perfect workmanship of their Creator is rendered tame and insipid, for want of that mental and moral culture which gives a peculiar charm to the human countenance. It is impossible for me to bring the females of this country before you in so vivid a manner that you can form ...
— The Women of the Arabs • Henry Harris Jessup

... us those most tedious and insipid persons of all Arcadia. Do not, for Heaven's sake, bring down Coridon ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... they saw each other less often. They tried writing to each other, but they set a watch upon their expressions. Their letters became cold and insipid. They grew disheartened. Jean-Christophe excused himself on the ground of his work, Otto on the ground of being too busy, and their correspondence ceased. Soon afterwards Otto left for the University, and the friendship ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... ordinary gratifications, and you will make them languid, and even wretched. There will be a wide chasm, which they will not know how to fill up; a dull vacuum of time, which will make their existence insipid; a disappointment, which will carry with it a lacerating sting. In some of the higher circles of life, accustomed to such rounds of pleasure, who does not know that the Sunday is lamented as the ...
— A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Clarkson

... vice in another. Latin and Eskimo, with their highly inflected forms, lend themselves to an elaborately periodic structure that would be boring in English. English allows, even demands, a looseness that would be insipid in Chinese. And Chinese, with its unmodified words and rigid sequences, has a compactness of phrase, a terse parallelism, and a silent suggestiveness that would be too tart, too mathematical, for the English genius. While we cannot assimilate the luxurious periods of Latin nor the pointilliste ...
— Language - An Introduction to the Study of Speech • Edward Sapir

... into very thin slices, and are much improved by a little lemon peel. Sweet apples are not good for pies, as they are very insipid when baked, and seldom get thoroughly done. If green apples are used, they should first be stewed in as little water as possible; ...
— Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry Cakes, and Sweetmeats • Miss Leslie

... dextrine may be found in the brown crust of bread—that sweetish substance that gives the crust its agreeable flavor. Pure dextrine is an insipid, odorless, yellowish-white, translucent substance, which dissolves in water almost as readily as sugar. As stated above, it is easily converted into dextrose, or glucose, ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 484, April 11, 1885 • Various

... expedition would be prevented by such apprehensions; but I doubted that it would not be possible to prevail on Dr Johnson to relinquish, for some time, the felicity of a London life, which, to a man who can enjoy it with full intellectual relish, is apt to make existence in any narrower sphere seem insipid or irksome. I doubted that he would not be willing to come down from his elevated state of philosophical dignity; from a superiority of wisdom among the wise, and of learning among the learned; and from flashing his wit upon minds bright ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... morticing their verbal formulas together, and, before the power of the finished spell, trembling with delight and awe. Rabbits out of empty hats? No, their spells are more subtly powerful, for they evoke emotions out of empty minds. Formulated by their art the most insipid statements become enormously significant. For example, I proffer the constatation, 'Black ladders lack bladders.' A self-evident truth, one on which it would not have been worth while to insist, had I chosen to formulate it in such words as 'Black fire-escapes ...
— Crome Yellow • Aldous Huxley

... observe, That he says the best Things in the World, and yet very often he says the most wretched. A little before he says, Plautus is ingenious in his Designs, happy in his Imaginations, fruitful in his Invention; yet, that there are some insipid Jests that escape from him in the Taste of Horace; and his good Sayings that make the People laugh, make sometimes the honester sort to pity him. The most remarkable Thing in his Stile, is the natural and unaffected ...
— Prefaces to Terence's Comedies and Plautus's Comedies (1694) • Lawrence Echard

... hamper on military manoeuvres, where all should be done quickly, secretly, and unanimously. Napoleon was his own master, with a devoted people. I wonder if parliamentary debates, in Punic days, were as long and insipid as in modern; that is, I have not been to them, but judge by what one reads in that modern tyrant, the Times. Oh, mighty Times! how we abuse you, and yet how should we relish our breakfast without you? ...
— Notes in North Africa - Being a Guide to the Sportsman and Tourist in Algeria and Tunisia • W. G. Windham

... and theories of his own, and showing evidence that his mind had operated for better or worse on almost all conceivable matters; while the Englishman was odorous of his office, strongly flavored with that, and otherwise most insipid. He began his talk by telling me of a dead body which he had lately discovered in a house in Liverpool, where it had been kept about a fortnight by the relatives, partly from want of funds for the burial, and partly in expectation ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... the same period as marjoram, carraway seed, sweet basil, coriander, lavender, and rosemary were used to add their pungent flavour to sauces and hashes, on the same tables might be found herbs of the coldest and most insipid kinds, such as mallows, some kinds of ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... to dark that day was one of unalloyed delight to him. Never before had the starved soul of him—fed, all his life, when it was fed at all, from the drippings of the flesh-pots and the "leavings" of the City—found any savour in the insipid offerings of the Country; never before had he known what charms lie on a river's breast, what spells of magic a blossoming hedge and the white "candles" of a horse-chestnut tree may weave, and never before had a meadow been anything to him ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... needed not the spectacles of books to read nature, he looked inwards and found her there. I cannot say he is every where alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat and insipid; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him—no man can say he ever had a fit subject for his wit, and did not then raise himself ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 • Various

... boat had fairly begun her trip, and people had settled themselves as well as they could, according to their different fancies, a pretty little woman appeared at the door of the ladies' cabin. In her light hair, and somewhat insipid face, encased in an extremely fashionable hat, we recognise Mrs. Hilson. Turning towards a gentleman who seemed waiting near the door for ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... may judge for himself. The fragments preserved are partly poetical and partly in prose: the poetry is rather insipid; our quotation shall be from the prose. The subject is the praise and eulogy of the Lord's Prayer, which is personified and anatomised. Saturnus asks, "What manner of head hath the Pater Noster?" And, again, "What manner of heart hath the Pater Noster?" ...
— Anglo-Saxon Literature • John Earle

... the Ethiopian or the leopard, there was no hope that Mrs. Mumpson would materially change any of her characteristics. The chief reason was that she had no desire to change. A more self-complacent person did not exist in Oakville. Good traits in other people did not interest her. They were insipid, they lacked a certain pungency which a dash of evil imparts; and in the course of her minute investigations she had discerned or surmised so much that was reprehensible that she had come to regard herself as singularly free from sins of omission and commission. "What ...
— He Fell in Love with His Wife • Edward P. Roe

... No. You got up and got it. When he ordered his pap bottle and it was not warm, did you talk back? Not you. You went to work and warmed it. You even descended so far in your menial office as to take a suck at that warm, insipid stuff yourself, to see if it was right—three parts water to one of milk, a touch of sugar to modify the colic, and a drop of peppermint to kill those immortal hiccoughs. I can taste that stuff yet. And how many things you learned as you went along! ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... mightn't be in the news-prints, mama. His breed of black shorthorns filled his thought and tongue. I protest I loathed the man's folly. 'Tis an insipid creature when ...
— The Ladies - A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty • E. Barrington

... "while soluble crystalloids are always highly sapid, soluble colloids are singularly insipid," as might be expected; for, as the sentient extremities of the nerves of the palate "are probably protected by a colloidal membrane," impermeable to other colloids, a colloid, when tasted, probably never reaches those nerves. ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... taken according to custom at two o'clock. The wife of Don Jose, and her maiden sister and three daughters, pretty, palefaced, black-eyed girls, with hair like the raven's wing, were present, as were the family priest and two gentlemen, cousins of our host. We first had an insipid kind of soup, and then their principal dish, called puchero. It contained all sorts of meats and vegetables mixed up together—beef, pork, ham, bacon, sausage, poultry, cabbage, yuccas camotes (a sort of potato), potatoes, rice, peas, ...
— Manco, the Peruvian Chief - An Englishman's Adventures in the Country of the Incas • W.H.G. Kingston

... morning, back at the desk, I looked over what I had written, conquered the usual sick qualms of discouragement at finding it so infinitely flat and insipid compared to what I had wished to make it, and with a very clear idea of what remained to be done, plodded ahead doggedly, and finished the first draught before noon. It was ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... not know how they will strike the critical public, but the photos are so much better than we dared to expect, that we are grateful and almost satisfied. Of course, they are insipid as compared with the lively originals; but the difficulty was to get them of any truthful sort whatsoever, for the babies regarded the photographer—the kindest and mildest of men—with the gravest suspicion: and the moment he appeared, little faces, all animation before, would stiffen into ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... grows a prickly plant called karengia; and a parasite (griffenee), producing a sweet but insipid berry of a red colour. A party of five lions were pursued like so many jackals. A small caravan of four persons, in Wadi Teffarrakad, were making use of four different modes of progression: one was on a camel, another ...
— Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 2 • James Richardson

... Ferdinand Von Inten, a New York pianist, saw the original Chopin manuscript at Stuttgart. It was the property of Professor Lebert (Levy), since deceased, and in it, without any question, stands the much discussed E flat. This testimony is final. The D natural robs the bar of all meaning. It is insipid, colorless. ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... what has been heard a thousand times already; (2) equally trite and monotonous accompaniments, the harmony limited to half a dozen elementary chords, the rhythm mechanical and commonplace, and the cadences unchanging as the laws of Nature; (3) insipid, sensational titles; (4) words usually so silly that a respectable country newspaper would refuse to print them in its columns—true to the French bon-mot, that what is too stupid to be spoken or ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... for Selmer and his Company. But it was the Rolling R, where the profits were smaller, that stood closest to Sudden's heart. There was not so much money in horses as there was in sheep; Sudden admitted it readily enough. But he hated sheep; hated the sound of them and the smell of them and the insipid, questioning faces of them. And he loved horses; loved the big-jointed, wabbly legged colts and the round-bodied, anxious mothers; loved the grade geldings and fillies and the registered stock that he ...
— Skyrider • B. M. Bower

... advantage with the lady of his mercenary choice. Mrs. Beaufort was a woman whom a word or two will describe. She was thoroughly commonplace—neither bad nor good, neither clever nor silly. She was what is called well-bred; that is, languid, silent, perfectly dressed, and insipid. Of her two children, Arthur was almost the exclusive favourite, especially after he became the heir to such brilliant fortunes. For she was so much the mechanical creature of the world, that even her affection was warm or cold in ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... observes this writer, "are just as great and as insipid idlers, in their way, as are the male triflers. They seldom walk in the streets, but are almost always cooped up in their carriages, driving about the streets, and leaving their cards at the houses of their friends, whom they never think of ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... skill of Nero as a performer on the cithara.[384] The second celebrates the return of the Golden Age to the world now under the beneficent guidance of Nero. Neither poem possesses the slightest literary importance; both are polished but utterly insipid examples of foolish court flattery. The author is unknown. An ingenious suggestion[385] has been made that he is no other than Calpurnius Piso, the supposed Meliboeus of Calpurnius Siculus. The second of these eclogues begins, 'Quid tacitus, Mystes?' The fourth eclogue ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... English apple is a tame and insipid affair, compared with the intense, sun-colored, and sunsteeped fruit our orchards yield. The English have no sweet apple, I am told, the saccharine element apparently being less abundant in vegetable nature in that sour and chilly climate than in ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... be guarded against, is that of reverting too suddenly to rather savourless insipid food. It is certainly true that as one perseveres in a non-flesh diet for a length of time, the relish for spices and condiments diminishes, and one begins to discern new, subtle, delicate flavours which are quite inappreciable when accustomed to highly seasoned foods. ...
— Reform Cookery Book (4th edition) - Up-To-Date Health Cookery for the Twentieth Century. • Mrs. Mill

... during my Shelley period. They have erected a memorial to the English poet in one of the public squares here. The features of the bust do not strike me as remarkably etherial, but the inscription is a good specimen of Italian adapted to lapidary uses—it avoids those insipid verbal terminations which weaken the language and sometimes render it almost ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... knowledge of Norwegian to dismiss this as dull and insipid prose, a part of which has accidentally been turned into mechanical blank verse. Moreover, the work is marked throughout by inconsistency and carelessness in details. For instance the king begins (p. ...
— An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Norway • Martin Brown Ruud

... Chinamen in need of the god's good offices were holding a small feast in his honour. They had prepared many dishes, and, having "dedicated to the god the spiritual essence, were now about to partake of the insipid remains." "Ching fan," they courteously said to us when we approached down the path. "We invite (you to take) rice." We raised our clasped hands: "Ching, ching," we replied, "we invite (you to go on), we invite," and ...
— An Australian in China - Being the Narrative of a Quiet Journey Across China to Burma • George Ernest Morrison

... acquaintance with the nobility of France did not, however, elevate them in her esteem. She found the conversation of the old marquises and antiquated dowagers who frequented the salons of Madame De Boismorel more insipid and illiterate than that of the tradespeople who visited her father's shop, and upon whom those nobles looked down with such contempt. Jane was also disgusted with the many indications she saw, not only of indolence and voluptuousness, but of dissipation ...
— Madame Roland, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... and the reproachful gentleness in Mrs. Gay's face embarrassed her only less than did the intimate pleasantry of Jonathan's tone. Every detail of the library—the richness and heaviness of the furniture, the insipid fixed smiles in the family portrait, the costly fragility of the china ornaments—all these seemed to unite in some occult power which overthrew her self-possession and paralyzed ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... novel have both achieved considerable development, yet judged from Occidental standards, they are comparatively weak and insipid. They, of course, conspicuously reflect the characteristics of the social order to which they belong. Critics call repeated attention to the lack of sublimity in Japanese literature, and ascribe it to their ...
— Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic • Sidney L. Gulick

... view,—the dunce with his eyes turned inward,—confining his duncehood to the bosom of his family. The dunce objective is the dunce butting against his neighbor's study-door,—intruding, obtruding, protruding his insipid folly and still more insipid wisdom at all times and seasons. He is a creature utterly devoid of shame. He is like Milton's angels, in one respect at least: you may thrust him through and through with the two-edged ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... unhesitatingly implored Blanch not to let him out of her sight—to go off with him alone as often as possible and flirt with him to any length; a tremendous concession on Mrs. Forest's part—nothing less than a complete surrender, she being one of those proud but insipid mortals whose temperature could be easily gauged by the inclination of her long, slender, slightly upturned nose which seemed to be forever pointing toward a better world. For her, it was not enough that one's appearance and innate refinement ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... with the priests it is another and more serious matter, for two reasons: first, they possess an unbounded influence over the people; and secondly. Amasis himself retains more affection than he likes to acknowledge to us, for this absurd and insipid religion—a religion which appears doubly sacred to its adherents simply because it has existed in this eccentric land—unchanged for thousands of years. These priests make the king's life burdensome to him; they persecute and injure us in every possible way; and indeed, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... in one dull, monotonous tone of voice, without regard to the sentiment expressed, would render the passage extremely insipid and lifeless. But by a proper modulation of the voice, it infuses into the mind of the reader or hearer the ...
— Sanders' Union Fourth Reader • Charles W. Sanders

... peppered over with tiny black specks, the renati, highly prized by the natives for their delicate flavour and soft flesh. There are of course loads of grapes, varying from the little honey-tasting purple sort, that has been introduced from California, to the huge but somewhat insipid bunches of the white Regina; we note also the quaintly shaped "Ladies' Fingers," which are especially sweet. The figs, massed together in serried layers between fresh vine leaves and costing a soldo the dozen, stand around in glossy purple pyramids, so luscious that their sugary tears are ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... The most insipid pastoral nonsense of the time was produced by the Nuremberg poets, the Pegnitz shepherds Klaj and Harsdoerfer. Their strength lay in imitating the sounds of Nature, and they were much admired. What is still more astonishing, Lohenstein's writings ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... grows on the islands and coasts of Africa is more astringent than what comes from Goa. It is found on high rocky land. Bartholomew Stibbs met with it on the banks of the Gambia river, and describes it under the name of Par de Sangoe, or blood-wood tree. The gum is a red, inodorous, and insipid resin, soluble in alcohol and oils; and when dissolved by the former, is ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... with a youth who reddened under her greeting and awkwardly held out a damp coarse hand, a poor creature with an insipid face, coarse hair, and manner of great discomfort. He was as tall as Parminter, but wore his good clothes with Sunday air, and having been introduced to Sylvia could find no word to say ...
— Running Water • A. E. W. Mason

... her library she thinks a paper imitating an Oriental fabric is the proper thing, and as likely as not she buys gold paper for her dining-room. She finds so many charming bedroom papers that she has no trouble in selecting a dozen of them for insipid blue rooms and pink rooms ...
— The House in Good Taste • Elsie de Wolfe

... advise you to eat freely of the excellent fruit provided at the camp table." Now with us fruit, cooked or raw, is almost lacking, and nothing exasperates me quite so much, when I remember the wonderful apples that were just ripening at home, as to see the small bruised insipid fruit that they serve us here. So the men began to laugh, quietly at first; but the laughter rippled from one end of the crowd to the other, and then rose in waves, and then boomed louder and louder, ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... fruits, a cherry, insipid in comparison of the European sorts, was found true to the singularity which characterizes every New South Wales production, the stone being on the outside ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris

... that in a playhouse meets disgrace, Might meet with reverence in its proper place. The fulsome clench, that nauseates the town, Would from a judge or alderman go down; Such virtue is there in a robe and gown! And that insipid stuff, which here you hate, 30 Might somewhere else be call'd a grave debate: Dulness is decent in the church and state. But I forget that still 'tis understood, Bad plays are best decried by showing good. Sit silent, ...
— The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol II - With Life, Critical Dissertation, and Explanatory Notes • John Dryden



Words linked to "Insipid" :   flavorless, savorless, vapid, tasteless, flat, savourless, insipidity, bland, uninteresting, flavourless, jejune, insipidness



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