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Bluntness   /blˈəntnəs/   Listen
Bluntness

noun
1.
The quality of being direct and outspoken.
2.
Without sharpness or clearness of edge or point.  Synonym: dullness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bluntness" Quotes from Famous Books



... lacked; she could claim silence when he must have suffered interruption; she could excuse her interference on the ground of old friendship; she could plead an interest which might seem impertinent in him. Above all, she could be elusively lucid and make herself understood without any bluntness of statement. ...
— Tristram of Blent - An Episode in the Story of an Ancient House • Anthony Hope

... discovered, may easily enough be confounded with the utter repudiation of it. Both forms of mind will discuss the same questions; both will discuss them freely, with a certain plainness and daring, which may range through all grades, from the bluntness of Socrates down to reckless immodesty and profaneness. The world will hardly distinguish between the two; it did not in Socrates' case, mistaking his reverent irreverence for Atheism, and martyred him accordingly, ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... feature about the sperm whale is the bluntness of its clumsy head, which looks somewhat like a big log with the end sawn square off, and this head is about one-third of its ...
— Fighting the Whales • R. M. Ballantyne

... insisted on going again to the same place, and again she was obviously on the look-out. Horace grew more and more puzzled by her demeanour. And when the third day came, and once more Mrs. Errington called him to set forth to the Serpentine, he said to her, with a boy's bluntness—— ...
— Tongues of Conscience • Robert Smythe Hichens

... Calais, the possession of a fishing town on a foreign coast was of no moment to her in comparison with the peace and security of her own realm. This answer did not tend to close the breach. Besides the bluntness of the refusal of their offer, the French were irritated and vexed to hear their famous sea-port ...
— Queen Elizabeth - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... say anything by way of reply, two of them remarked sneeringly: "With all this doltish bluntness of his will he after all absorb himself in abstraction?" While Hsiang-yn also clapped her hands and laughed, "Cousin Pao ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... showed him a hedger's cuff, which he held in one hand, and a bush in the other, to explain the use of it, and asked him if the former, being an article he made and sold, was subject to a Stamp Duty? Mr. Pitt appeared rather struck with the oddity and bluntness of the man's question, and, mounting his horse, waived a satisfactory answer by referring him to the Stamp Office ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... know. I expect you hear about all they is goin' on in this neighborhood," replied Mrs. Ripley with crushing bluntness; but the ...
— Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... intelligence of her heroism, or in the musical simplicity of the original, "kims for to know it:" with honest bluntness he exclaims "Vat vind has blown you to me?" The character of the sea captain is well supported: he does not say, "how came you here?" but in the characteristic language of profession, "vat vind has blown you to me?" The classical reader will be pleased also ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 6, June 1810 • Various

... her victory was but half achieved, put her hand upon his shoulder, and asked him to let her taste the grog again. I also, to make him feel more at ease, helped myself to a glass. Tom did the same, and old Tom with more regard to the feelings of the Dominie than in his own bluntness of character I would have given him credit for, said in a quiet tone, "The old gentleman is afraid of grog, because he seed me take a drop too much, but that's no reason why grog ar'n't a good thing, and wholesome in moderation. A glass or two is very well, and better ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... neglect; still, it is no mere mass of negative existence that they constitute. There is vitality there and positive strength, in those lanes and cellars, put forth for evil if not drawn towards the good. We must not confound ignorance with torpor of spirit or bluntness of understanding. One of the most remarkable characteristics of vagrant children is a keen, precocious intellect. A boy of seven in the streets of a city is more developed in this respect than one of fourteen in the country—a ...
— Humanity in the City • E. H. Chapin

... laid his hand on her arm. "Forgive my brutal bluntness. I'm not clever at such things, but I would have said as much to my sister if I ...
— The Silver Horde • Rex Beach

... very morning spoken out with a pitiless bluntness, which had made Philip unusually thoughtful. The very words the Queen had used haunted him—'tale-bearers, who had neither clean hearts ...
— Penshurst Castle - In the Days of Sir Philip Sidney • Emma Marshall

... just what they say, my lord," said the unmerciful Richie, whose natural love of lecturing, as well as his bluntness of feeling, prevented him from having any idea of the pain which he was inflicting on his master; "these are even their own very words. It was but yesterday your lordship was pleased, at that same ordinary, ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... you"—just that and nothing more. Giovanni had never thought much about it, but he supposed that men in love, very seriously in love, must take a long time to express themselves, as is the manner in books; whereas he was horrified at his own bluntness in having blurted out rashly such words as could never be taken back, as could never even be explained now, he feared, because he had put himself beyond the pale of all explanation, perhaps ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... navy. His success was so great, however, that he was made a lieutenant in 1679. He rose rapidly to the rank of captain and then to that of admiral. The peace of Ryswick put a close to his active service. Many anecdotes are narrated of the courage and bluntness of the uncultivated sailor, who became the popular hero [v.03 p.0447] of the French naval service. The town of Dunkirk has honoured his memory by a statue and by naming a public ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... therefore, that in many respects, we considered America the greatest country we had seen. We ought of course to have said that no reasonable person in the world would ever think of putting any other country above the Celestial Empire; our bluntness elicited some surprise, for the ...
— Across Asia on a Bicycle • Thomas Gaskell Allen and William Lewis Sachtleben

... not because it was lawful, but because France required it, and England, for good reasons, could not let France bring it about alone: what Russia thought of the transaction, she soon let the whole world know with disconcerting bluntness. Petrograd not only withdrew her troops from the performance, but made short work of the "guarantee" and "protection" quibbles by roundly declaring that "the choice of the form of government in Greece, as well as its administrative ...
— Greece and the Allies 1914-1922 • G. F. Abbott

... it," said Achilles; "that you came to take the parting orders of him who now acts the sovereign. Surely, had I seen you there, with that steadfast, open, seemingly honest countenance, cheating the wily Greek by very dint of bluntness, I had not forborne laughing at the contrast between that and the ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... has rather a blunt way of saying things, but that very bluntness often places thoughts much more distinctly before us—Paul was speaking of her; he did not suspect anything; if he had, he is good-natured, he would not have spoken thus—well, ...
— L'Abbe Constantin, Complete • Ludovic Halevy

... grant is very true, Monsieur," I made reply, with deep suspicion in my soul. "Yet, pardon me, if I confess that to me it proves no more than that you acted as a generous enemy. Pardon my bluntness also—but what profit do you look to make ...
— The Suitors of Yvonne • Raphael Sabatini

... The bluntness of timidity was in Vic's answer, but the strength and musical depth of his resonant ...
— A Master's Degree • Margaret Hill McCarter

... of dry philosophy, a defiant humor, an enforced medium temperature of soul. The Englishman is no more given to extremes than is his climate; against its damp and perpetual changes he has become coated with a sort of bluntness. ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 3, June, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... but shutting their eyes to one half of the facts which it is their duty to explain. Speaking generally, we do well to distrust the dilemma as a form of argument; but in this case there need be no hesitation in putting the alternative with all possible bluntness: either Christ was God, or He was not good. That Jesus, if He were merely a good man, with a good man's consciousness of and sensitiveness to His own weakness and limitations, could yet have arrogated to Himself the ...
— The Teaching of Jesus • George Jackson

... innocent: the longing for the enjoyment of domestic joys, so often interrupted by the absence of the husbands, is to be the means of putting an end to the calamitous war by which Greece had so long been torn in pieces. In particular, the honest bluntness of the Lacedaemonians ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. And they are modern: treating problems of character and milieu, they disdain the adventitious aids of eloquence and theatrical splendor, and speak to us with the directness, often with the bluntness, of nature herself. Hebbel was no naturalist, in the sense of one who seeks but to reproduce phenomena in all their details, sordid, trivial, or vulgar, if such they be. But through Ibsen, who esteemed ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... am interested in you, even if I don't care a fig for your music," Phebe answered, with a bluntness that should have been death ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... embarrassed the beholder. All men had liked him, and spoken well of him throughout his long and hard-worked career. Thorpe was very fond of him indeed, and put a respectful cordiality into his grasp of the proffered hand. Then he looked, with a certain thinly-veiled bluntness of enquiry, past the ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... say: "My husband was married before, just as he said he was." But she said nothing more, and went home. There she put it to Di, and with her terrible bluntness reviewed to ...
— Miss Lulu Bett • Zona Gale

... bowl in her hand. She had squatted down to put it on the floor for the benefit of a large cat, which appeared then from behind her skirts, and hid its head into the bowl greedily. She got up, and approaching Miss Haldin asked with nervous bluntness...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... the great Company's secretary," said Geoffrey, with a bluntness under which the other winced, as he ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... contradictions, or in acute nonsense: sometimes a scenical representation of persons or things, a counterfeit speech, a mimical look or gesture, passeth for it: sometimes an affected simplicity, sometimes a presumptuous bluntness giveth it being: sometimes it riseth only from a lucky hitting upon what is strange: sometimes from a crafty wresting obvious matter to the purpose. Often it consisteth in one knows not what, and springeth up one can hardly tell how. Its ways are unaccountable, and inexplicable; ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... the stream. Christophe was lying in the grass a few yards away, and, with his chin resting in his hands, he watched them. They were not put out by it; they went on chattering in a style which sometimes did not lack bluntness. He hardly listened; he heard only the sound of their merry voices, mingling with the noise of their washing pots, and with the distant lowing of the cows in the meadows, and he was dreaming, never taking his eyes off the ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... . . We couldn't have kept closer . . . without too much treading upon the Author's Heels, and destroying our Design of giving it an easie, Comick Style, most agreeable to our present Times" (Terence's Comedies, p. xx). To this end it was necessary to tone down the "familiarity and bluntness in [Terence's] Discourse" which were "not so agreeable with the Manners and Gallantry of our Times." This was intended to bring Terence up to the level of gentility for which he was credited by compensating for the barbarity of Roman social manners. But the translation was willing to go ...
— Prefaces to Terence's Comedies and Plautus's Comedies (1694) • Lawrence Echard

... assigned to the task. Three strokes, and the limb, from just above the elbow, was no longer Samoa's; and he saw his own bones; which many a centenarian can not say. The very clumsiness of the operation was safety to the subject. The weight and bluntness of the instrument both deadened the pain and lessened the hemorrhage. The wound was then scorched, and held over the smoke of the fire, till all signs of blood vanished. From that day forward it healed, and troubled ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... eloquence or self-assertion in Allingford's remarks; brief they were almost to bluntness, but well suited to the audience to whom they were addressed. It was the old, well-tried captain of Ronleigh who spoke, and the boys of Ronleigh who listened, and the manner in which the words were given and ...
— The Triple Alliance • Harold Avery

... and patient as he was, had had a tiger's temper at bottom. Durgin had seen it roused once or twice, and even received a chance sweep of the paw. Richard liked Durgin's rough wit as little as Durgin relished Richard's good-natured bluntness. It was a mistake, that trying to pick up the dropped ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... right if left alone. It was Mrs. Cranston and Miss Loomis to whom he delivered himself of the last mentioned. He liked them both, which was more than he did most people, for this AEsculapian countryman of Carlyle had much of that eminent writer's sharpness of vision and bluntness of speech together with even more of his contempt for the bulk of his fellow-men. "No, Mrs. Cranston," said he, "don't wait a day for her. Start just as soon as you are ready, and don't give a thought to this little flibberty gibbet." And so the Cranstons, with ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... circumambient spirit of democracy. The American is so accustomed to recognise the essential equality of others that he sometimes carries a good thing to excess. This spirit is seen in his dealings with underlings of all kinds, who are rarely addressed with the bluntness and brusqueness of the older civilisations. Hence the father and mother are apt to lay almost too much stress on the separate and individual entity of their child, to shun too scrupulously anything approaching ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... "Penny, the bluntness of your methods is deplorable. Instead of insinuating that I am accepting Roger as a pis-aller, it would be more seemly if you would ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... them with entire military bluntness. He proved the existence of his right, said that he had had his identity substantiated at Fontainebleau, Paris, and Berlin; cited from memory two or three passages of the will, and finished by declaring that the Prussian ...
— The Man With The Broken Ear • Edmond About

... it was all real and true? He could not understand the lawyer's allegation. Later on, when Sharpman declared boldly that Ralph's statement on the witness-stand was a carefully concocted falsehood, the bluntness of the charge was like a cruel blow, and the boy's sensitive nerves shrank and quivered beneath it; then his lips grew pale, his breath came in gasps, the room went swimming round him, darkness came before his eyes, and his weak body, enfeebled by prolonged fasting and excitement, ...
— Burnham Breaker • Homer Greene

... are some comic ditties which may have been sung at wine-parties. Of these I have thought it worth while to present a few specimens, though their medieval bluntness of humour does not render them particularly ...
— Wine, Women, and Song - Mediaeval Latin Students' songs; Now first translated into English verse • Various

... at the honest bluntness of this question, and must admit that I felt a little crest-fallen when I came to compare the respective performances. Therefore I could only answer, ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... readily. He never saw the like of us before, and we are beyond his Teutonic frontier-like comprehension. He gives us up; he fails to solve the puzzle; he knows not how to unravel the mystery; and, with characteristic Teutonic bluntness, he advises us to push on through fifteen miles of rocks, sand, and darkness, to Wadsworth. The prospect of worrying my way, hungry and weary, through fifteen miles of rough, unknown country, after dark, looms up as rather a formidable task. So summoning ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... to, and sympathising with, every statement made, or emotion expressed, is almost equally disagreeable. It is unmanly, and is felt to be dishonest. "It may seem difficult," says Richard Sharp, "to steer always between bluntness and plain-dealing, between giving merited praise and lavishing indiscriminate flattery; but it is very easy—good-humour, kindheartedness, and perfect simplicity, being all that are requisite to do what is right ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... no more; and why should I not act and speak like one?"—it was remarked, however, that he had not learnt, or did not desire, to conceal his emotions—that he commended with more rapture than was courteous, and contradicted with more bluntness than was accounted polite. It was thus with him in the company of men: when woman approached, his look altered, his eye beamed milder; all that was stern in his nature underwent a change, and he received them with ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... sidelong glance at the pretty cousin into whose family she had been adopted. The subject of Gresham was a painful one; and Johnny felt his blundering bluntness keenly. ...
— Five Thousand an Hour - How Johnny Gamble Won the Heiress • George Randolph Chester

... court about it, and he was called to account by the usual process of law. The plain, gruff old farmer, who seems all along to have been a man of strong sense and decided character, filed an answer, which is unsurpassed for bluntness of expression. It has no language of ceremony, but goes to the point at once. It has a general interest as showing, to how late a period the inhabitants of this neighborhood were exposed to Indian attacks, ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... bluntness of his age, asked him if it was true he had been with Garibaldi. The old man did not seem to attach any importance to the question. He answered quite quietly in as low a ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... A certain bluntness in the question, and the real or affected anxiety of the young man's tone brought the color streaming into ...
— A Maker of History • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... repulsive, the opposite habit of assenting to, and sympathizing with, every statement made, or emotion expressed, is almost equally disagreeable. It is unmanly, and is felt to be dishonest. "It may seem difficult," says Richard Sharp, "to steer always between bluntness and plain- dealing, between giving merited praise and lavishing indiscriminate flattery; but it is very easy—good humor, kind heartedness and perfect simplicity, being all that are requisite to do what is ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... open to you. I can scarcely imagine such work to be congenial to a lady's feelings, as, in the case of really distinguished personages, she must assuredly meet with many a rebuff! I hope I have not offended you by my bluntness, ... "— here he trailed off into inaudible polite murmurs, while the "Tiger-Lily" marched steadily toward ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... your grandfather was, Mr. Glenarm. You’ll excuse my bluntness, but I take it that you’re a frank man. He was a very keen person, and, I’m afraid,”—he chuckled with evident satisfaction to himself,—”I’m really afraid, Mr. Glenarm, that ...
— The House of a Thousand Candles • Meredith Nicholson

... impression of himself: he was at times gauche, blunt, awkwardly infelicitous in speech or silence, when he would have wished, as he knew perfectly how, to be considerate, gentle, sympathetic, responsive. On the other hand, his shyness and reticence were seemingly contradicted by a downright bluntness, a deliberate frankness in matters of opinion in which his convictions were involved; for his views were most positively held and his convictions were often passionate in intensity, and he declared them, upon occasion, with an utter absence of diplomacy, compromise, or equivocation; ...
— Edward MacDowell • Lawrence Gilman

... must appeal as forecasting movements strictly within the bounds of actuality. A literal translation is all that has been attempted, with absolutely no embellishment to make it "popular" or easy reading. With characteristic bluntness this German officer brushes aside non-essentials and goes to the main point in daring fashion. For that very reason it is exceedingly ...
— Operations Upon the Sea - A Study • Franz Edelsheim

... belong; but their physiognomy seemed to me to be slightly different from that of any other tribe which I had before seen. Their expression is generally grave, and even austere, and possesses much character: this may pass either for honest bluntness or fierce determination. The long black hair, the grave and much-lined features, and the dark complexion, called to my mind old portraits of James I. On the road we met with none of that humble politeness so universal in Chiloe. Some gave their "mari-mari" (good morning) with ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... these months of hopeless want to smell the rough, high-spiced sea victuals without lust, and his mouth watered with desire of the champagne. It was no less impossible to have assisted at the scene between Huish and the captain, and not to perceive, with sudden bluntness, the gulf where he had fallen. He was a thief among thieves. He said it to himself. He could not touch the soup. If he had moved at all, it must have been to leave the table, throw himself overboard, ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... so?" she asked, delighted at my bluntness. "And you, too, Carus—why, you are like a radiant one from the sky! I have ever thought you handsome, but not as flawless as you now reveal yourself. Lord! we should cut a swathe to-night, you and I, sir, blinding all eyes in our proper ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... lusty Hyperbole, in a startling Metaphor, in a plausible Reconciling of Contradictions, or in acute Nonsense; Sometimes a scenical Representation of Persons or Things, a counterfeit Speech, a mimical Look or Gesture passeth for it. Sometimes an affected Simplicity, sometimes a presumptuous Bluntness giveth it Being. Sometimes it riseth from a lucky Hitting upon what is Strange; sometimes from a crafty wresting obvious Matter to the Purpose. Often it' consisteth in one knows not what, and springeth up one can hardly tell how. Its ways are unaccountable, and ...
— An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744) • Corbyn Morris

... ruin. Of the tracery of the windows, or any of the lighter and more delicate architectural work, not a stone remains. I believe much of the more easily used stone-work found its way into the building of neighbouring houses, perhaps into the paving of the roads. But it has a certain bluntness and gauntness of its own, standing solid and stark in the plain meadowland of the Wey. Perhaps if one were to "visit it by the pale moonlight" it would take on darker graces and dignities. As it is, there is somewhere about it an air of protest; it is like a ghost that cannot get back before daylight. ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... mind," said Wilson, with irritated bluntness, "if you knew the entire scheme instead ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... served as a curtain for the window. The trifling incident of the changed name was forgotten in the speculation as to why her father's return to the hill country should be a matter of evident import to this sagebrush cavalier. So intent had she become that she hardly noticed the cruel bluntness of ...
— The Gold Girl • James B. Hendryx

... promise of something different in the future, that it attracts us more than many forms of beauty. They have something of the merit of a rough sketch by a master, in which we pardon what is wanting or excessive for the sake of the very bluntness and directness of the thing. It gives us pleasure to see the beginning of gracious impulses and the springs of harmonious movement laid bare to ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... scurvily, and scolded my own people for not having more penetration than myself. I dare say he did not fail to descant upon the brutal behaviour of the Englishman; and that my mistake served with him to confirm the national reproach of bluntness, and ill breeding, under which we lie in this country. The truth is, I was that day more than usually peevish, from the bad weather, as well as from the dread of a fit of the asthma, with which I was threatened: and I dare say my appearance seemed as uncouth to him, as his travelling ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... Dwining, "for the smithy churl under whose blow you have suffered has often done me despite and injury. He has thwarted me in counsel and despised me in action. His brutal and unhesitating bluntness is a living reproach to the subtlety of my natural disposition. I fear ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... asked the serving-woman with unusual bluntness. "But I daresay the master will find something for him to do. He is clever ...
— Marietta - A Maid of Venice • F. Marion Crawford

... to hear his father's blundering, and, in his jovial humour, in his delight over the new conception of his father that he had acquired after the toast, he said, with a cheery bluntness: ...
— Norse Tales and Sketches • Alexander Lange Kielland

... treatment meted by each translator to the coarsenesses of the Nights we have already referred. Payne, while omitting nothing, renders such passages in literary language, whereas Burton speaks out with the bluntness and coarseness of ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... their kings we see neither the intrepid spirit of the old Parliaments of France, nor the serene dignity of the present National Assembly; neither do we see in them anything of the style of English manners, which border somewhat on bluntness. Since then they are neither of foreign extraction, nor naturally of English production, their origin must be sought for elsewhere, and that origin is the Norman Conquest. They are evidently of the vassalage class of manners, and emphatically ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... Reynolds relaxed his hostility at last, and, becoming generous when it was too late, obtained an order from a nobleman for two landscapes at a proper price." So he insinuates an unworthy hypocrisy, while lauding the bluntness of Wilson. "Such was the blunt honesty of his (Wilson's) nature, that, when drawings were shown him which he disliked, he disdained, or was unable to give a courtly answer, and made many of the students his enemies. Reynolds had the sagacity ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... falling water, not condensed and formidable as in the gorge of the river, but scattered and sounding gaily and musically from glen to glen. Here, too, the spirits of my driver mended, and he began to sing aloud in a falsetto voice, and with a singular bluntness of musical perception, never true either to melody or key, but wandering at will, and yet somehow with an effect that was natural and pleasing, like that of the song of birds. As the dusk increased, I fell more and more ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Having, by dint of much pains and many prayers, obtained, as you hope, some beginnings of victory over the most wayward of wills, and the most unaccountably strange of mixed natures, with its intellectual sharpness and moral bluntness, its precocious knowingness and stereotyped childishness, its quickness to learn and slowness to unlearn, prepare for the next stage of your enterprise. Lay out your scheme of emigration, get the money where you can, that is to say, call it flown from ...
— God's Answers - A Record Of Miss Annie Macpherson's Work at the - Home of Industry, Spitalfields, London, and in Canada • Clara M. S. Lowe

... had he attempted to speak German—which he did at times, and could make himself understood—have aped the guttural accents of the Teuton. He despised the German thoroughly, detested him most cordially, and perhaps it was characteristic of his bluntness that he thoroughly detested his language. Thus, while in the darkness Henri and Jules might hope to pass muster, in the case of Stuart there was not the ...
— With Joffre at Verdun - A Story of the Western Front • F. S. Brereton

... — N. bluntness &c adj.. V. be blunt, render blunt &c adj.; obtund^, dull; take off the point, take off the edge; turn. Adj. blunt, obtuse, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... was plain to my father, that all souls were by nature equal,—and that the great difference between the most acute and the most obtuse understanding—was from no original sharpness or bluntness of one thinking substance above or below another,—but arose merely from the lucky or unlucky organization of the body, in that part where the soul principally took up her residence,—he had made it the subject of his enquiry to find out ...
— The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman • Laurence Sterne

... people: the love and the habit of civil liberty and religious conviction and independence. Allied to these is another trait—truthfulness. To speak the truth in word and action, to the verge of bluntness and offense—and with more relish sometimes because it is individually obnoxious and unlovely—is an English trait, clearly to be traced in the character of this people, notwithstanding the equivocations of Elizabethan diplomacy, the proverbial lying ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... place as any other for the man who goes out there to work," I said. "But somehow you don't look to me like a chap that is used to what is called roughing it. Pardon my bluntness." ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... oblige, which knew no bounds when it was not demanded of her, was indeed, like her assumed bluntness, a necessity of her position. She had at length understood what her life must be, seeing that she was at everybody's mercy; and needing to please everybody, she would laugh with young people, who liked her for a sort of wheedling flattery which always wins them; guessing and taking part with their ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... lieutenant-governor of the Isle of Wight, and afterward governor of Massachusetts. They contain incidental reference to William of Orange, and many public men of that period, as well as to the campaign of the allied army in Flanders, and the evident sincerity and soldierly bluntness of the writer renders them quite entertaining. Lord Cutts was not merely a famous commander, but a poet, and his verses are quoted by Horace Walpole. Mr. Winthrop expressed a desire to learn where a picture of him might be found, and he discussed ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1886. - The Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 2, February, 1886. • Various

... weigh very heavy," said Jerry, in a shamefaced bluntness, as if he wronged the absent goddess through such crudities. "You can't seem to see anybody that's had the thoughts she has and the way she's got of putting 'em—you can't see 'em very big-framed or heavy, can you? I ...
— Country Neighbors • Alice Brown

... don't suppose I do!" acknowledged the Senior Surgeon with equal bluntness. "But my little kiddie here loves you!" he hastened somewhat nervously to affirm. "Oh, I'm almost sure that my little kiddie here—loves you! She needs you anyway! Let it go at that! Call it ...
— The White Linen Nurse • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... "I admire your bluntness," remarked the former chairman across the table, "although I can't say as much for your philosophy. It is our duty to keep everybody contented; we cannot do any public weeding-out until the others are satisfied that the malcontents ...
— The Devolutionist and The Emancipatrix • Homer Eon Flint

... Why?" Hazel neglected the question entirely. The bluntness of it took her by surprise. Frank speech was not a characteristic of ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... been almost happy, but their occupation humiliated them since they had begun to set a higher value on themselves, and their disgust increased while they were mutually glorifying and spoiling each other. Pecuchet contracted Bouvard's bluntness, and Bouvard assumed a little ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... is a horror, Edith," that lady replied, with the bluntness of intimacy. "I think," turning and surveying her friend calmly from head to foot, "that it is the very worst I have ever seen you wear, and that is saying a great deal. It makes you look like green cheese. For Heaven's sake, put some other ...
— The Silver Butterfly • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... hyperbole, in a startling metaphor, in a plausible reconciling of contradictions, or in acute nonsense: sometimes a scenical representation of persons or things, a counterfeit speech, a mimical look or gesture passeth for it: sometimes an affected simplicity, sometimes a presumptuous bluntness giveth it being; sometimes it riseth from a lucky hitting upon what is strange, sometimes from a crafty wresting obvious matter to the purpose: often it consisteth in one knows not what, and springeth up one can hardly tell how. Its ways are unaccountable and inexplicable, being answerable ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... Madame Campan," vol. iii., p. 24. Many traits of original and amusing bluntness are related of Lansmatte, ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 1 • Madame du Hausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and the Princess Lamballe

... With all the bluntness of a military man, Colonel Hofferman had put his finger on the open wound which for long years had been a source of irritation to the detective force and the intelligence department alike, when, owing to circumstances, both were called on to intervene ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... months before his death, is valuable. He knew he was a dying man, and not only wished to collect these fugitive bits of verse, but wished to leave behind him his theory of poetry. With characteristic bluntness, he says that the poems which follow the Preface were mostly written "before the views just stated, with which they have little to do, had come ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... unsated with glory and conquest, has been told in various ways. The emperor himself reported the words as he wished them to be known, full of kindness and sadness on the part of Lannes. Some of those who stood by reported that the instinct of the dying soldier awoke with the bluntness frequently characterizing it, and that Lannes cursed the cruel ambition which strewed Napoleon's brilliant route with the corpses of his friends. He only survived that scene two days, and was praised as he deserved by Napoleon. On again mounting his horse, the emperor inspected ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... tears standing in his mother's eyes, he besought her pardon for the bluntness of his manner, and expressed his entire belief in her affection and zeal for his interests; but, on the main point, that he would not deceive Mr. Palmer, or directly or indirectly assert a falsehood, Mr. Beaumont was immoveable. In the ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. V - Tales of a Fashionable Life • Maria Edgeworth

... answered Ginny, with her characteristic bluntness. "I just wanted to amuse the others and make them think I was awfully clever and that was plain outright conceit and selfishness. I guess that's the way I do most things. Well, I've learned a lesson. And there ...
— Highacres • Jane Abbott

... upon the square, solidly-built women of Flanders. Is it imagination, or can one really trace somewhat of the same idea in Flora's kingdom? The Dutch roses, tulips, and other flowers, like the naval architecture of the Low Countries, have a certain breadth of beam and bluntness of prow that makes them differ from the same fragrant family of France. Has any learned essayist ever attempted to draw philosophical deductions from these aspects of the vegetable world, as showing local kinship ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... to both of us, I believe, to bring this conversation as soon as possible to an issue. You will excuse me, then, my dear niece, for speaking with a bluntness which, under other circumstances, would be unpardonable. You have, I am certain, given the subject of our last interview fair and serious consideration; and I trust that you are now prepared with candour to lay ...
— Two Ghostly Mysteries - A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family; and The Murdered Cousin • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... a brutal bluntness unworthy of a Celt. He can be very irritating sometimes; but at this moment he was looking so extremely handsome and devil-may-care, that my desire to punch his head dissolved as I glared at him. Could any woman in her senses throw over even a titleless Terry and twelve horses worth ...
— My Friend the Chauffeur • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... informed her that he had been overhauling himself since they last talked, and had some reason to blame himself for bluntness and general want of euphemism; which, although he had meant nothing by it, must have been very disagreeable to her. But he had always aimed at sincerity, particularly as he had to deal with a lady who despised ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... charm of manner in which he was allowed to be a model, and which was as natural to him as it was universal, if ever the interests of truth came in conflict with the dictates of society, he flung minor considerations behind his back, and came out with some startling piece of bluntness at which his mother was utterly confounded. These occasions were very rare; he never sought them. Always where it was possible he chose either to speak or be silent in an unexceptionable manner. But sometimes the barrier of conventionalities, or his mother's ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... am," replied the Sage, with unaccountable bluntness; "truth to tell, these orations about nothing in particular, spouted by persons with an imperfect knowledge of, I should say, almost any ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., October 11, 1890 • Various

... his bluntness, but was in reality immensely relieved. Eve had been listening with closed eyes, but now opened them, and they were full ...
— The One-Way Trail - A story of the cattle country • Ridgwell Cullum

... we were to make the matter as clear as the sun at noonday, there would still be sceptics. On shewing the above arithmetical calculation, for example, to an English lady, who has for a number of years studied Scotch character and manners, she, with a degree of bluntness that was exceedingly startling, gave it as her unqualified opinion, that the whole thing was a piece of nonsense; and that the only reason, as far as she could observe, why the Scotch do not shut the door, is that they have never ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 428 - Volume 17, New Series, March 13, 1852 • Various



Words linked to "Bluntness" :   inconsideration, thoughtlessness, shape, conformation, sharpness, obtuseness, blunt, form, inconsiderateness, contour, configuration



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