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Decrepit   /dəkrˈɛpɪt/   Listen
Decrepit

adjective
1.
Worn and broken down by hard use.  Synonyms: creaky, derelict, flea-bitten, run-down, woebegone.  "A decrepit bus...its seats held together with friction tape" , "A flea-bitten sofa" , "A run-down neighborhood" , "A woebegone old shack"
2.
Lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality.  Synonyms: debile, feeble, infirm, rickety, sapless, weak, weakly.  "Her body looked sapless"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Decrepit" Quotes from Famous Books



... the portrait of his beloved bishop, the only personal possession which the prelate had been able to bequeath him (admirable type of the men whose genius will preserve the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church, compromised for the moment by the feebleness of its recruits and the decrepit age of its pontiffs; ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... the Xenophon. Refitting of. Leakiness. Selection of crew. Sailing delayed. Sailing of. On South Coast. In Encounter Bay. In Port Phillip. Arrival at Port Jackson. Circumnavigation of Australia. Decrepit condition of. ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

... beckoned to an old, decrepit fellow, whom Phil realized must be the "medicine man" ...
— Chums in Dixie - or The Strange Cruise of a Motorboat • St. George Rathborne

... If we wanted to play safe we'd both enter some home for aged and decrepit men and sit among the halt and blind and toothless until we became even as they. Rawlings' defaulter is encumbered, most disgracefully, with the usual blonde, in this case the lily-handed cashier in a motion picture shop; and a man of Rawlings' intelligence would know at a glance that we are not ...
— Blacksheep! Blacksheep! • Meredith Nicholson

... leper and a blind man, and asks of his attendants with pain and astonishment what such a spectacle should mean. These, they tell him, are ills to which man is liable. Shall all men have such ills? he asks. And in the end he returns home in deep depression. Another day he falls in with a decrepit old man, and stricken with dismay at the sight, renews his questions and hears for the first time of death. And in how many years, continues the prince, does this fate befall man? and must he expect death as ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... west stand a ripple of laughter which grew into a loud cheer traveled, as a bent and decrepit figure attired in a long black frock coat and high silk hat, the latter banded with crimson ribbon, came into sight down the field. It was the old fruit seller of Harwell, whose years are beyond reckoning, and who is remembered by the oldest graduates. On he came, his old, ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... in council," explained Squanto with an air of shocked propriety; but before he could further explain a bowed and decrepit figure emerged from one of the little huts on the edge of the woods and slowly approached the white men who stepped forward to meet her, desiring Squanto to assure her of welcome. Coming so close to the little group that Standish muttered, "Sure she is minded to salute us," ...
— Standish of Standish - A story of the Pilgrims • Jane G. Austin

... humour. There was something touching and grotesque about it. We seem to see a child playing with the toys of age, his green hopes and fancies weaving themselves about an antique metaphysical monument, the sanctuary of a decrepit world. The structure of that monument was at first not affected, and even when it had been undermined and partially ruined, its style could not be transformed, but, clad in its northern ivy, it wore at once a new aspect. To races without experience—that is, without ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... observation goes, the farther one penetrates the sombre solitudes of the woods, the more seldom does he hear the voice of any singing-bird. In spite of Chateaubriand's minuteness of detail, in spite of that marvellous reverberation of the decrepit tree falling of its own weight, which he was the first to notice, I cannot help doubting whether he made his way very deep into the wilderness. At any rate, in a letter to Fontanes, written in 1804, he speaks of mes chevaux paissant a quelque distance. To be sure Chateaubriand ...
— My Garden Acquaintance • James Russell Lowell

... not, Psal. xlix. 12, (or as the Rabbins read, and some translate it, as Cartwright, Ainsworth, Leigh and Broughton) Adam in honour abideth not one night. Adam, by his disobedience, not only introduced a jarr into the whole creation, rendered his posterity decrepit and lame, but also lost all power to any spiritual good, the whole of his intellectual parts concreated with him being either corrupted, darkened, obliterated or lost. Indeed Dr Taylor would have us believe, that what Adam lost, and more, was restored ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... such a word as 'teapoy'; it is NOT 'teapot' and it means a three-legged table. 'Dullness' was consistently spelled 'dulness' and is left thus. 'Decrepit' was consistently spelled 'decrepid' and is left thus. 'Dote, dotes,' etc. was consistently spelled 'doat, doats,' etc. and is left thus. 'License' is spelled once thus and once 'licence.' The word 'speciality' appears only once, and that ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... she had so often heard, by night and day, and listened to with solemn pleasure almost as a living voice—rung its remorseless toll, for her, so young, so beautiful, so good. Decrepit age, and vigorous life, and blooming youth, and helpless infancy, poured forth—on crutches, in the pride of strength and health, in the full blush of promise, in the mere dawn of life—to gather round her tomb. Old men were there, whose eyes were dim ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... antiquarian, digging among the buried cities of Natal, will come upon the forgotten town of Ladysmith. And he will find a handful of Rip Van Winkle Boers with white beards down to their knees, behind quaint, antique guns shelling a cactus-grown ruin. Inside, sheltering in holes, he will find a few decrepit creatures, very, very old, the children born during the bombardment. He will take these links with the past home to New Zealand. But they will be afraid at the silence and security of peace. Having never known anything but bombardment, they will ...
— From Capetown to Ladysmith - An Unfinished Record of the South African War • G. W. Steevens

... would soon develop into a most beautiful woman, she taught her—with the help of a whip—music and prosody, and she flogged with leather thongs those beautiful legs, when they did not move in time to the strains of the cithara. Her son—a decrepit abortion, of no age and no sex—ill-treated the child, on whom he vented the hate he had for all womankind. Like the dancing-girls whose grace he affected, he knew, and taught Thais, the art of pantomime, and how to mimic, by expression, gesture, ...
— Thais • Anatole France

... She played it once or twice, and played it very well; in fact, an old gentleman who was going slowly along the street stopped and leaned on the fence to listen. He had been a captain in the militia in the days of the old New England trainings, and now though he walked with two canes and was quite decrepit, he liked to be reminded of his military service, and the march gave him a great pleasure and made him young again while he stood there beating time on the front fence, and nodding his head. One may often give pleasure without knowing it, if one ...
— Betty Leicester - A Story For Girls • Sarah Orne Jewett

... in the same room with him. Certainly it was true that washing was not one of the most important things in the world to him. In the morning he would lurch out of bed, put on a soiled shirt and trousers, dab his face with a decrepit sponge, take a tiny piece of soap from an old tin box, look at it, rub it on his fingers and put it hurriedly away again as though he were ashamed of it. Sometimes, getting out of bed, he would cry: "Have you heard the latest scandal? About the ammunition in the Tenth ...
— The Dark Forest • Hugh Walpole

... prince with a large retinue was driving through the eastern gate of the city, on the way to one of his parks, he met on the road an old man, broken and decrepit. One could see the veins and muscles over the whole of his body, his teeth chattered, he was covered with wrinkles, bald, and hardly able to utter hollow and unmelodious sounds. He was bent on his stick, ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... the belief that there will be a resurrection of the body just as it was at the time of death. The only datum on which he founds this astounding assertion is that they often seem to prefer to die in the full vigor of manhood rather than in decrepit old age! 11 Thirdly, we know that the observation and statements of the Spanish monks and historians, in regard to the religion of the pagans of South America, were of the most imperfect and reckless ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... a match he asks me the time of day, and, applying the fire to his pipe, he returns me his thanks in a volume of words and smoke. What a wrinkled and unshorn old man! Can age and neglect do so much for any of us? This ruinous person was associated with a hand-cart as decrepit as himself, but not nearly so cheerful; for though he spoke up briskly with a spirit uttered from far within the wrinkles and the stubble, the cart had preceded him with a very lugubrious creak. It groaned, in fact, under a load of tin cans, and I was to learn from the old man that ...
— Suburban Sketches • W.D. Howells

... cherished an unacknowledged idea that some harlequin trick of fortune would intervene in her favor. For example, an uncle—who had sailed for India fifty years before, and never been heard of since—might yet return, and adopt her to be the comfort of his very extreme and decrepit age, and adorn her with pearls, diamonds, and Oriental shawls and turbans, and make her the ultimate heiress of his unreckonable riches. Or the member of Parliament, now at the head of the English branch of the family,—with which the elder stock, on this side of the Atlantic, had ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Terry stood at the window looking down over the blistering plaza. Davao was torpid under the noonday heat. Three carabaos grazed undisturbed on the forbidden square: another of the awkward powerful brutes dawdled up the dusty road, hauling a decrepit two-wheeled cart on which a naked-backed, red-pantalooned native dozed: Padre Velasco, the aged Spanish priest, waved a weary hand at Terry from his window in the old adobe convento. As he watched he saw the soldierly ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... precisely this 'Universal Power' that is not propitiated by offerings of food, in Tonga, (despite Mr. Huxley) Australia, and Africa, for example. We cannot escape the difficulty by saying that there the old ghost of Universal Power is regarded as dead, decrepit, or as a roi-faineant not worth propitiating, for that is not true of the punisher of sin, the teacher of generosity, and the solitary sanction of faith ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... war heroes, who have gone into retirement—people of insuperable health and iron will; so quickly go off the stage former stock brokers, who have happily gone away to rest, but have been deprived of the burning allurement of risk and hazard; so, too, age rapidly, droop, and grow decrepit, the great artists who leave the stage ... Her death was the death of the just. Once at a game of cards she felt herself unwell; begged them to wait a while for her; said that she would lie down for just a minute; lay down in the bedroom on a bed; sighed ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... As for me, I will explain the matter to you all, children, youths, grown-ups and old men, aye, even to the decrepit dotards. My master is mad, not as you are, but with another sort of madness, quite a new kind. The livelong day he looks open-mouthed towards heaven and never stops addressing Zeus. "Ah! Zeus," ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... butler swung open the door and ushered in a small and decrepit man, who walked with a bent back and with the forward push of the face and blink of the eyes which goes with extreme short sight. His face was swarthy, and his hair and beard of the deepest black. In one hand he held a turban of white muslin striped with red, in the other ...
— Round the Red Lamp - Being Facts and Fancies of Medical Life • Arthur Conan Doyle

... be disposed in this very manner. To begin, I think, as low as I well can, with the watchmen in our metropolis, who, being to guard our streets by night from thieves and robbers, an office which at least requires strength of body, are chosen out of those poor old decrepit people who are, from their want of bodily strength, rendered incapable of getting a livelihood by work. These men, armed only with a pole, which some of them are scarce able to lift, are to secure the persons and houses of his majesty's subjects from the ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... has become old, gloomy and decrepit since that day. The death of Apis, and the unfavorable constellations and oracles weigh on his mind; his happy temper is clouded by the unbroken night in which he lives; and the consciousness that he cannot stir a step alone causes indecision and uncertainty. The daring and independent ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... and she cannot by any chance put an 'H' into its right place. Yet men see something in her that is totally inexplicable to us, and she seems to have a mysterious influence over all ages and all sorts. One of these infatuated noblemen is decrepit and twaddling; the other a stern, reserved man that up to forty years of age was supposed to be the very impersonation of common sense; and the third, young, clever, and handsome, a man that might marry half the nicest ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... just what I was when you left me, that is, nobody. Old age steals upon me insensibly. I grow weak and decrepit, but do not suffer, and so I ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... thou shalt have of the best that can be procured for thee." So Geraint went forward. And the hoary-headed man preceded him into the hall. And in the hall he dismounted, and he left there his horse. Then he went on to the upper chamber with the hoary- headed man. And in the chamber he beheld an old decrepit woman, sitting on a cushion, with old tattered garments of satin upon her; and it seemed to him that he had never seen a woman fairer than she must have been when in the fulness of youth. And beside her was a maiden, upon whom were a vest and a veil, that were old, and beginning to ...
— The Mabinogion Vol. 2 (of 3) • Owen M. Edwards

... Smithers went to look for it a little later, and, discovering that it was unaccountably missing, excavated her own private spade from beneath the hay. During the afternoon, the poet was observed lashing the fire-shovel to the other end of a decrepit rake. Uncle Israel, after a fruitless search of the premises, actually went to town and came back with a bulky and awkward parcel, which he hid in ...
— At the Sign of the Jack O'Lantern • Myrtle Reed

... Zerkow had just come in from his daily rounds. His decrepit wagon stood in front of his door like a stranded wreck; the miserable horse, with its lamentable swollen joints, fed greedily upon an armful of spoiled hay in a shed at ...
— McTeague • Frank Norris

... brought me by Cody on his second trip from Larned indicated where the villages would be found in the winter, and I decided to move on them about the 1st of November. Only the women and children and the decrepit old men were with the villages, however enough, presumably, to look after the plunder most of the warriors remaining north of the Arkansas to continue their marauding. Many severe fights occurred between our troops and these marauders, and in these affairs, before November 1 over a hundred ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... the two friends. They were to take their examinations for graduation. Upon the days when M. Violette—they now called him at the office "Father Violette," he had grown so aged and decrepit—was not too much "consoled" in the cafe in the Rue du Four, and when he was less silent and gloomy than usual, he would say to his ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... I remonstrated, pointing to a decrepit stem drooping over the bank, and shaking a palsied finger ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... frame, and where harassing cares are unknown, we are led to expect that disease and suffering should be comparatively rare, and that the functions of nature should not reach the close of their gradual decay till an extreme old age. The decrepit and shriveled forms of many American Indians would seem to indicate that they had long passed the ordinary time of life. But it is difficult or impossible to ascertain their exact age, as the art of counting is generally ...
— The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Warburton

... accompany us through our course, and which necessarily follow our absence from the chief good. Doubtless there is not such a thing as grief and sorrow known there; nor is there such a thing as a pale face, a languid body, feeble joints, unable infancy, decrepit age, peccant humours, dolorous sickness, griping fears, consuming care, nor whatsoever deserveth the name of evil. Indeed, a gale of groans and sighs, a stream of tears accompanied us to the very gates, and there bid us ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... hast done, my life, thou shalt not find I am decrepit; in my love and service, I will be young, and constant, and believe me, For thou shalt find it true, in scorn of all The scandals these rude men have thrown upon me I'le meet thy pleasures with a young mans ardour, And in all circumstances of ...
— The Little French Lawyer - A Comedy • Francis Beaumont

... East over the dissolution of the decrepit monarchy of Korea, upon which both Japan and China cast covetous eyes. As nominal suzerain, China in the spring of 1894 sent 2000 troops to Korea to suppress an insurrection, without observing ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... orders up a feed that might have a shade on this one—just a shade. That's as far as I'll compromise, Mrs. Jim. You needn't argue the matter. I'm a regular mule in my opinions. But if you had given me crackers and cheese, and old, decrepit flexible crackers at that, it would have been all the same. I'd have devoured them with awe and thanksgiving, and I'd have marveled at my luck. Here it is Christmas Day, and while half a million strangers in New York have been ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... the house. The others, with the possible exception of the bearded German, merely used it as a rendezvous. Therefore, why not wait in ambush for Conrad behind the door, and when he entered bring down a chair, or one of the decrepit pictures, smartly on to his head. One would, of course, be careful not to hit too hard. And then—and then, simply walk out! If he met anyone on the way down, well——Tommy brightened at the thought of an encounter with his fists. Such an affair was infinitely more in his line than the ...
— The Secret Adversary • Agatha Christie

... the Piccola Sentinella, young and old, were decrepit, with an odd, rheumatic, shrivelled look upon them. The dining-room reminded me, as certain rooms are apt to do, of a ship's saloon. I felt as though I had got into the cabin of the Flying Dutchman, and that all these people ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... wisely, for there was desperation in Dumiger's eye. He waited a moment, and then with a maniac's strength he flew at the man, but he found a powerful and vigorous antagonist. The stranger, who had appeared half decrepit and aged, rose up in all the strength of youth. In a moment he had grasped Dumiger's arms, very coolly taken out a handkerchief, and in spite of all Dumiger's efforts bound his hands together. After he had performed this ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 8, 1850 • Various

... was said that she often wrote State papers from her father's dictation, and was allowed to read all the books in his library. At the receptions—where the situation was saved by the presence of a very decrepit old lady (a relation of the Corbelans), quite deaf and motionless in an armchair—Antonia could hold her own in a discussion with two or three men at a time. Obviously she was not the girl to be content with peeping through a barred window at a cloaked figure of a lover ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... the specimens necessary to the continuation of my investigation. Without being absolutely undiscoverable, in my immediate neighbourhood the cocoons of the Great Peacock are at least extremely rare, as the trees on which they are found are not common. For two winters I visited all the decrepit almond-trees at hand, inspected them all at the base of the trunk, under the jungle of stubborn grasses and undergrowth that surrounded them; and how often I returned with empty hands! Thus my hundred and fifty ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... I have a decrepit old uncle who owns three hundred souls and two thousand roubles-worth of other property. Also, except for myself, he possesses not a single heir. Now, although his infirm state of health will not permit of his managing his property in person, he will not allow me either to manage it. ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... I felt sure of that when I was in Switzerland!" she cried irritably. "Now you must go not four but six miles a day! You've grown terribly slack, terribly, terribly! You're not simply getting old, you're getting decrepit.... You shocked me when I first saw you just now, in spite of your red tie, quelle idee rouge! Go on about Von Lembke if you've really something to tell me, and do finish some time, I ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... Delia Killigrew, and mistress of this house. You will prepare the beds as you are told." Whereupon what does that decrepit old sinner ...
— The Splendid Spur • Arthur T. Quiller Couch

... informal advances had probably been made through the Duc de Longueville, a prisoner in England since the Battle of Spurs.[166] In January Louis' wife, Anne of Brittany, had died. Louis was fifty-two years old, worn out and decrepit; but at least half a dozen brides were proposed for his hand. In March it was rumoured in Rome that he would choose Henry's sister Mary, the rejected of Charles.[167] But Henry waited till May had passed, and Maximilian had proclaimed ...
— Henry VIII. • A. F. Pollard

... little matter who I am. I'm a poor, old, lame, decrepit, miserable creature, sitting down ...
— Celtic Fairy Tales • Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

... the town government, we started on our rounds. The first house was tightly closed, and no reply was made to our demands for entrance. The second was the same; one might imagine that it had been deserted for weeks. At the third, the door was opened, and within, an aged woman, ugly, bent, decrepit. Here we measured. The next house, and the next, and the next, were shut. And then another open house contained another veritable hag. Passing several other houses, tightly closed, we found a third old woman, and I saw that we were destined to secure nothing but ...
— In Indian Mexico (1908) • Frederick Starr

... To see an old, decrepit beggar, is a sign of bad management, and unless you are economical, you will lose much property. Scandalous reports will prove detrimental ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... he ended, I could have laughed myself to scorn to find In that decrepit man so firm a mind; God, said I, be my help and stay secure, I'll think of thee, leech-gatherer, ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... he other matter blended, Chearfully uttered, with demeanour kind, But stately in the main; and, when he ended, I could have laugh'd myself to scorn, to find In that decrepit Man so firm a mind. "God," said I, "be my help and stay secure; I'll think of the Leech-gatherer on ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 1 • William Wordsworth

... first week of March there were many indications of the opening campaign on the Clifford farm. There was the overhauling and furbishing of weapons, otherwise tools, and the mending or strengthening of those in a decrepit state. A list of such additional ones as were wanted was made at this time, and an order sent for them at once. Amy also observed that practical Leonard was conning several catalogues of implements. "Len is always on the scent of some new patent ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... of clans, tribes, and nations. They acquire consistency with the organization of society; they tend to become more and more elaborate, just as in other points social intercourse tends to produce formal definiteness; they grow decrepit and have to be artificially strengthened and revived; they lose their original meanings and must be constantly reinterpreted to bring them into accord with new ideas, social, moral, and religious. Their history, in a word, is the history of the development of human ideas, and it sets forth ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... advantage conceivable to me. It fills the bill; I have the loveliest time. And as for wars and rumours of wars, you surely know enough of me to be aware that I like that also a thousand times better than decrepit peace in Middlesex? I do not quite like politics; I am too aristocratic, I fear, for that. God knows I don't care who I chum with; perhaps like sailors best; but to go round and sue and sneak to keep a crowd together—never. My imagination, which is not the least damped by the idea of having ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... penetrated a little more closely he would have been told certain startling stories, with at least a basis of truth in them, even as regards the age of Plato. These slaves were Greeks: no rude Scythians, nor crouching, decrepit Asiatics, like ordinary prisoners of war, the sort of slaves you could buy, but genuine Greeks, speaking their native tongue, if with less of muscular tension and energy, yet probably with pleasanter voice ...
— Plato and Platonism • Walter Horatio Pater

... Beresford, whose wife I have the honour to be. Physically the type is vigorous, or has the appearance and gives the impression of being vigorous, because it has never the time to be otherwise, since it is always engaged in nursing its ailing or decrepit relatives. Intellectually it is full of vitality; any mind grows when it is exercised, and the brain that has to settle all its own affairs and all the affairs of its friends and acquaintances could never lack energy. Spiritually it is almost ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... Man: a woman little adapted for the post of revel; but to this, by the agency of circumstances, it had come; she who was designed by nature to be an ornament of those Institutions opposed them and when thinking of the rights and the conduct of the decrepit Legitimate—virulent in a heathen vindictiveness declaring itself holy—she had Nature's logic, Nature's voice, for self-defence. It was eloquent with her, to the deafening of other voices in herself, even to the convincing of herself, when she was wrought by the fires within to ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... decrepit wall that guards only the seaward side, Adra straggles quite a distance desertward; and there are winding streets enough to hide an army in, provided that the army did not mind the fleas. Scamp, ...
— Told in the East • Talbot Mundy

... along the building, we were struck with the aspect of four or five hideous old wretches, on whose decrepit forms time and tattooing seemed to have obliterated every trace of humanity. Owing to the continued operation of this latter process, which only terminates among the warriors of the island after all the figures stretched upon their ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... slopping around in the mud as followed the order to the men, had never been seen in that region before. There was such a panic among the turtles that at the end of six hours there was not one to be found within three miles of Stone's Landing. They took the young and the aged, the decrepit and the sick upon their backs and left for tide-water in disorderly procession, the tadpoles following and the bull-frogs bringing ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 3. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... The conquering German mind of the Dark Ages easily impressed itself where the soil was still virgin. Throughout savage Europe the dominion was yielded at once to the new power which succeeded to the decrepit empire of Rome. Gaul, Germany, Britain, Iberia obeyed instinctively the same impulse. The children born of that vigorous embrace were of fresh and healthy beauty. The manifestations of the German mind in the cathedrals ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... feeling that it is she, not he, who has ruined the home, and that the drunken vagabond, who has just made his endearments the cover of deception, is really the victim of a virago. And when he returns, old and decrepit, and, we might hope, purged of that fatal appetite which has worked all the woe, it is his old victim, the woman whose youth his evil habits ruined, and who, in consequence of those habits was driven ...
— From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 • George William Curtis

... Hereward had grown ten years older in the half hour he had spent in the perusal of this fatal letter. He was no longer only sixty-five years of age, and a "fine old English gentleman;" he seemed fully seventy-five years old, and a broken, decrepit, ruined man. In fact, the first blow had fallen upon that fine intellect whose subsequent eccentricities gained for him the sobriquet of ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... general might always command the armies of Rome; and the name of the minister was branded with ridicule, more pernicious, perhaps, than hatred, to a public character. The subjects of Arcadius were exasperated by the recollection, that this deformed and decrepit eunuch, [6] who so perversely mimicked the actions of a man, was born in the most abject condition of servitude; that before he entered the Imperial palace, he had been successively sold and purchased by a hundred masters, who had exhausted ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... greet him, among whom it has excited in a peculiar manner the sensibility of all to behold the surviving members of our Revolutionary contest, civil and military, who had shared with him in the toils and dangers of the war, many of them in a decrepit state. A more interesting spectacle, it is believed, was never witnessed, because none could be founded on purer principles, none proceed from higher or more disinterested motives. That the feelings of those who had fought and bled with him in a common ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 3) of Volume 2: James Monroe • James D. Richardson

... wars, till at last the authorities banished the already outlawed Sabbatai from Smyrna. When he heard the decree he said, "Is Israel not in exile?" He took farewell of his brothers and of his father, now grown decrepit in his body and full of the gout and ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... for comedy; not even in that case which has been always too common in France, Italy, and the Romish countries, and which seems to have been painfully common in England in the seventeenth century, when, by a mariage de convenance, a young girl is married up to a rich idiot or a decrepit old man. Such things are not comedies, but tragedies; subjects for pity and for silence, not for brutal ribaldry. Therefore the men who look on them in the light which the Stuart dramatists looked ...
— Plays and Puritans - from "Plays and Puritans and Other Historical Essays" • Charles Kingsley

... voice broke upon the word, his usually upright figure seemed suddenly bowed and shrunken, he looked indeed a very grief-stricken, decrepit old man as he stood fumbling in the pockets of his shabby coat, whence he presently drew a letter that shook and rustled in his ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... hints from natural colors; from birds, skies, or groups of figures. And if, in the delight of inventing fantastic color and form the truths of nature are wilfully neglected, the intellect becomes comparatively decrepit, and that state of art results which we find among the Chinese. The Greek designers delighted in the facts of the human form, and became great in consequence; but the facts of lower nature were disregarded by them, and their inferior ornament ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume II (of 3) • John Ruskin

... A decrepit vehicle with a gaudy linen canopy hove in sight. Mr. Ducksmith hailed it as the last victims of the Flood must have hailed the Ark. He sprang into it and drove ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... or five powder barrels had been left in the magazine for saluting purposes, and quite a little loose powder had been allowed to lie upon the floor. Some careless seamen had gone down into the hold with a decrepit, old lantern. The handle broke, the flame set fire to the loose powder,—and that was the end of the gallant ship Fleuron. She burned to the water's edge and then went down to the bottom with a dull, sizzling hiss; while the treasure also disappeared. Later on, ...
— Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea • Charles H. L. Johnston

... stand in need of my assistance, took him upon my back, and having carried him over, bade him get down, and for that end stooped, that he might get off with ease; but instead of doing so (which I laugh at every time I think of it), the old man, who to me appeared quite decrepit, threw his legs nimbly about my neck. He sat astride upon my shoulders, and held my throat so tight that I thought he would have strangled me, and ...
— The Junior Classics, V5 • Edited by William Patten

... streets of London were very insufficiently guarded. Of police, as we now understand the word, there were none, but at night the public buildings and principal thoroughfares were handed over to the care of aged and decrepit men, called 'Charlies,' who, being too old to work by day, were supposed to be able to take charge of the streets ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... the place was dark again, Gordon set to work on the flimsy framework of his cell window. He knew already it was so decrepit that he could escape any time he desired, but until now there had been no reason why he should. Within a quarter of an hour he lifted the iron-grilled sash bodily from the frame and crawled through ...
— The Yukon Trail - A Tale of the North • William MacLeod Raine

... the only woman in the hotel dining room for luncheon. The food was good, but the service impossible, as there were some forty men, mostly officers, very hungry, and only one decrepit waiter to do the work. Good humor prevailed, each diner making allowances, and here for the first time I heard that expression, destined to become so popular as an excuse for almost ...
— My Home In The Field of Honor • Frances Wilson Huard

... but think there is some small dull perception, whereby they are distinguished from perfect insensibility. And that this may be so, we have plain instances, even in mankind itself. Take one in whom decrepit old age has blotted out the memory of his past knowledge, and clearly wiped out the ideas his mind was formerly stored with, and has, by destroying his sight, hearing, and smell quite, and his taste to a great degree, stopped up almost all the passages for new ones to enter; or if there be some ...
— An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume I. - MDCXC, Based on the 2nd Edition, Books I. and II. (of 4) • John Locke

... the by-gone day beholds its successor; or, if not quite true of the latitude of London, it may be soberly affirmed of the more northern parts of the island, that Tomorrow is born before Yesterday is dead. They exist together in the golden twilight, where the decrepit old day dimly discerns the face of the ominous infant; and you, though a mere mortal, may simultaneously touch them both, with one finger of recollection and another of prophecy. I cared not how long the day might be, nor how many of them. I had earned this repose by a long course of irksome toil ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 65, March, 1863 • Various

... ain't you, Heiny, so long as I give you a bit of sugar now and then?" he said to his decrepit old guardian in ...
— The Land of Deepening Shadow - Germany-at-War • D. Thomas Curtin

... world, and slaves to our senses and to self-love, which is an insuperable obstacle to this principal effect of holy prayer. Cuthman, after the death of his father, employed his whole fortune and all that he gained by the labor of his hands, in supporting his decrepit mother: and afterwards was not ashamed to beg for her subsistence. To furnish her necessaries by the sweat of his brow, and by the charitable succors of others, he removed to several places; nor is it to be expressed what hardships ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... The sombre walls of this gloomy abode were illumined by a fire, the smoke from which escaped through a deep fissure in the massy roof; whilst the flickering flames threw a blood-red glare on the bronzed features of a group of children, of two men, and a decrepit old hag, who appeared busily engaged in some ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... Like a decrepit eagle the crone pondered. Suddenly she spoke, and her speech was a hoarse chant. "You are good to me. The bones of my children lie up there. I will go once more ...
— They of the High Trails • Hamlin Garland

... as though the peasants living close to Brussels had been induced by the Germans to continue their regular field work, under promise of purchasing for fair prices all the green stuff they could fetch into the capital. They, mostly women, old decrepit men, and children, for even the smallest could be given some task that would help out, were ...
— The Boy Scouts on Belgian Battlefields • Lieut. Howard Payson

... had been begun by the Triumvirate of 1849, during their short career. Some hundreds of the beggars were hired at the rate of a few baiocchi a day to carry on excavations in the Forum and in the Baths of Caracalla. The selection was most appropriate. Only the old, decrepit, and broken-down were taken,—the younger and sturdier were left. Ruined men were in harmony with the ruined temples. Such a set of laborers was never before seen. Falstaff's ragged regiment was a joke to them. Each ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... for the shepherd, when the lambs were trimmed before being taken to the Wilton sheep-fair. There was Bawcombe, his boy, the decrepit old dog, and Tory to do the work, but when the time came to start Tory refused ...
— A Shepherd's Life • W. H. Hudson

... observations or tell credible tales to detect their artifice.'[46] The act of bewitching is defined to be 'a supernatural work contrived between a corporal old woman and a spiritual devil' ('Discoverie,' vi. 2). The method of initiation is, according to a writer on the subject, as follows: A decrepit, superannuated, old woman is tempted by a man in black to sign a contract to become his, both soul and body. On the conclusion of the agreement (about which there was much cheating and haggling), he gives her a piece of money, and causes her to write ...
— The Superstitions of Witchcraft • Howard Williams

... the coiffures displayed by Mrs. Edward Schuyler Deflaver of Saserkopee, who gave smart teas at the Woman's Exchange. Lulu cheerily told Father how well he was withstanding the hand of Time, which made him feel decrepit and ...
— The Innocents - A Story for Lovers • Sinclair Lewis

... before you in paradise, unless we had carried out the vengeance which you began. Every day that we waited seemed as three autumns to us. Verily, we have trodden the snow for one day, nay, for two days, and have tasted food but once. The old and decrepit, the sick and ailing, have come forth gladly to lay down their lives. Men might laugh at us, as at grasshoppers trusting in the strength of their arms, and thus shame our honoured lord; but we could not halt in our deed of vengeance. ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... aged negro of my acquaintance comes to me one day, with the astounding information that he, and a number of equally decrepit and unserviceable slaves, have been killed and buried by his master. In other words, the owners of these useless helots have hoodwinked the slave emancipators by representing their decrepit human property as defunct, while they substitute fresh importations in their places. Subsequently I learn ...
— The Pearl of the Antilles, or An Artist in Cuba • Walter Goodman

... childish tales which have utterly and entirely lost their power to affect the mind even of middle life, directly and alone, regain their magic influence, and call up vividly all the old emotions, even to the heart of decrepit age, when it seeks these enjoyments in companionship and sympathy with children or grandchildren beloved. By giving to us this capacity for renewing our own sensitiveness to the impressions of pleasure ...
— Cyrus the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... and present ourselves before you in Paradise, unless we had carried out the vengeance which you began. Every day that we waited seemed as three autumns to us. Verily we have trodden the snow for one day, nay, for two days, and have tasted food but once. The old and decrepit, the sick and the ailing, have come forth gladly to lay down their lives. Men might laugh at us, as at grasshoppers trusting in the strength of their arms, and thus shame our honoured lord; but we could not halt ...
— Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation • Lafcadio Hearn

... there is a bad Planet rules at that instant. They take great notice in a Morning at their first going out, who first appears in their sight: and if they see a White Man, or a big-bellied Woman, they hold it fortunate: and to see any decrepit or ...
— An Historical Relation Of The Island Ceylon In The East Indies • Robert Knox

... know that the hunger of children is very strong. I am old. I shall somehow succeed in holding my life-breaths. Do thou, O son, become strong (by eating the food that has fallen to thy share). Old and decrepit as I am, O son, hunger scarcely afflicts me. I have, again, for many years, practised penances. I ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... man, woman or child. The formerly peaceful settlement became inured to blood and cruelty. But the red men could not be wholly driven away. Just twenty years after the first massacre the same implacable chief, now a decrepit old man, planned a second one; some hundreds were murdered; but the colonists were readier and stronger now, and they gathered themselves up at once, and inflicted a crushing vengeance. The ancient chief was finally taken, and either died of wounds received in fight, ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... at our gold disappearing? Our bonds and stocks, Government and corporation, are scattered broadcast over the whole of Europe, and those decrepit titles, that were dying out, have been put on their feet again by American money, and are now living off the interest of American bonds ...
— Confiscation, An Outline • William Greenwood

... speculator:—"Does that surprise you? Are not you the cause of it all?... Is it not you?... Is it not thou?...[15] Is it not thou, Judas, who hast robbed me, by taking advantage of my youth? Dost not thou skin the peasants? Is it not thou who hast deprived this decrepit old man of his daily bread? Is it not thou?... O Lord! Everywhere there is injustice, and oppression, and villainy.... So down with everything,—and with me also! I don't wish to live—I don't wish to live any longer in Russia!"—And the spade ...
— A Reckless Character - And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... refined people. Did I deserve to be lifted up to heaven and then dragged down to hell by you? Was it right for you to slander my flourishing and vigorous years and land me in the shadows and lassitude of decrepit old age? Give me some sign, however faint, I beg of you, that you have returned to life!" I vented my anger in ...
— The Satyricon, Complete • Petronius Arbiter

... party who clattered to the door on blown horses, and thundered on it as if they had been shatirs* hurrying to herald the arrival of the sultan himself. There was nothing furtive about their address to the decrepit door, nor anything meek. Accordingly I couched the challenge in terms of unmistakable affront, repeating it at intervals until the leader of the new ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... appeared in this realm, because there was no man to defend the burghs, priests, and poor men and labourers hauntind to their leisum (lawful) business either private or public. These men because of these enormities might not travel for thieves and brigands and such like: all other weak and decrepit persons who was unable to defend themselves, or yet to get food and sustentation to themselves, were most cruelly vexed in such troublous times. For when any passed to seek redress at the Chancellor of such injuries and troubles sustained ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... Day-Watchman, followed by a Goose, which bears the Bob of his Ditty, and confirms what he says with a Quack, Quack. I gave little heed to the mention of this known Circumstance, till, being the other day in those Quarters, I passed by a decrepit old Fellow with a Pole in his Hand, who just then was bawling out, Half an Hour after one a-Clock, and immediately a dirty Goose behind him made her Response, Quack, Quack. I could not forbear attending this grave Procession for the length of half a Street, ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... inspiration! I have two stored away in the attic. They are old and decrepit, but that doesn't matter a bit. They will look quite luxurious when the mattresses are covered with sofa-blankets; but I don't know where the cushions are to come from. I only possess these three, and they must stay where they are to ...
— The Fortunes of the Farrells • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... who had such influence over rough boatswains—a prim little man with mutton chop whiskers, he decided. Yes, the 'blessed little mate' of the brig Cohasset would be a little, white-crowned, bewhiskered old gentleman, perhaps somewhat senile and decrepit. It was inherent respect for old age ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... another to help neighbour horses drag wagons and binders and headers. They nosed the colts of old friends, ate out of strange mangers, and drank, or refused to drink, out of strange water-troughs. Decrepit horses that lived on a pension, like the Wheelers' stiff-legged Molly and Leonard Dawson's Billy with the heaves—his asthmatic cough could be heard for a quarter of a mile—were pressed into service now. It was wonderful, too, ...
— One of Ours • Willa Cather

... Hundred Twenty-nine, there came into his hands a set of Callot's engravings, and the work produced on his mind a profound impression. Callot's specialty was beggardom. He pictured decrepit beggars, young beggars, handsome girl-beggars, and gallant old beggars who wore their fluttering ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 4 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Painters • Elbert Hubbard

... shewed it, Whether the griffin was a saint? The question almost put him beside his gravity; but he answered, They only kept it as a curiosity. I was very much scandalised at a large silver image of the Trinity, where the Father is represented under the figure of a decrepit old man, with a beard down to his knees, and triple crown on his head, holding in his arms the Son, fixed on the cross, and the Holy Ghost, in the shape of a dove, hovering over him. Madam —— is come this minute to call me to the assembly, ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... the way from a distant land simply to admire her wonderful treasures, of which he had heard so much, the maiden was highly flattered and gave orders that he should be admitted without delay. An aged and decrepit man, clad in a picturesque Eastern costume, was led into the room, and Richberta bade him be seated at her side. He expected to receive from the young lady the symbol of welcome—bread and salt. But no such common fare was to be found on her table—all ...
— Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine • Lewis Spence

... Orpheus, Homer, have taught me harmony and rhythm. I do not look about me with Love's bandage blindfolding my eyes. I judge of all things coolly. The passions of youth never influence my admiration, and when I am as withered, decrepit, wrinkled, as Tithonus in his swaddling bands, my opinion will be still the same. But I forgive your incredulity and want of sympathy. In order to understand me fully, it is necessary that you should see Nyssia in ...
— King Candaules • Theophile Gautier



Words linked to "Decrepit" :   frail, creaky, worn



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