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Insipidity

noun
1.
Extreme dullness; lacking spirit or interest.  Synonyms: boringness, dreariness, insipidness.
2.
Lacking any distinctive or interesting taste property.  Synonyms: blandness, insipidness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Insipidity" Quotes from Famous Books



... being so insipid,' he says, 'is that their authors are not sincere; is that, being feeble echoes of one another, they could not venture to publish their own real maxims and private sentiments.'[22] One of the secrets of his own freedom from this ordinary insipidity of moralists was his freedom also ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol 2 of 3) - Essay 1: Vauvenargues • John Morley

... she had never yet tasted. Had life ever broken in upon the dreams, had a word or a caress ever become a fact, it is probable she would have looked now upon it all as upon some childish fruit of delight, whose sweetness she had proved and exhausted to insipidity. And this, with no disparagement to her, for the most faithful heart is in youth subject to growth and change, and not free as to the exercise of ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... everyone knows how this should be done. It may be said that the preparation has a better appearance if the bread is cut very small before the boiling milk is poured on it, and also that the addition of a small pinch of salt takes away the insipidity. Rigid economists sometimes swell the bread with boiling water, then drain this off and pour milk in its place. This, however, is almost a pity, for milk is so very good for children; and though recklessness is seldom to be recommended, a mother might well be advised ...
— Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery - A Manual Of Cheap And Wholesome Diet • A. G. Payne

... themselves with too much haste of their academical formality, and in their endeavours to accommodate their notions and their style to common conceptions, talk rather of any thing than of that which they understand, and sink into insipidity of sentiment and ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... and discontented herself, she determined no longer to be the only one insensible to the blessings within her reach, but by projecting and adopting some plan of conduct better suited to her taste and feelings than the frivolous insipidity of her present life, to make at once a more spirited and more worthy use of the affluence, freedom, and power ...
— Cecilia Volume 1 • Frances Burney

... explained to me once that being found out and punished added the same zest to their pleasures that cayenne pepper does to their diet; a little too much of it stings, but just the right quantity relieves the insipidity and adds to the interest; and then there is the element of uncertainty, which has a charm of its own: they never know whether they will 'catch it hot' or not! When they are found out they always confess everything with a frankness which is quite provoking, because they so evidently enjoy the ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... imperative employments, and so place them in society as to supply to their cerebral organs that extent of exercise which gives health and vivacity of action, and in a few months the change produced will be surprising. Health, animation, and energy, will take the place of former insipidity and dulness. ...
— A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition) • Calvin Cutter

... of Brittany shall be regarded as null and void, and that the arrested insurgents shall be set free. For repressive purposes, it dispatches a sentimental exhortation to the French people, consisting of twelve pages of literary insipidity, which Florian might have composed for his Estilles and his Nemorins.[3267]—New conflagrations, as an inevitable consequence, kindle around live coals which have been imperfectly extinguished. In the district ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 2 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 1 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... of a certain undeniable insipidity, the volumes of Contarini Fleming cannot but be read with pleasure. The mixture of Byron and Voltaire is surprising, but it produces some agreeable effects. There is a dash of Shelley in it, too, for the ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... silences dull and sad as a wad of wool; silences as searching as the odour of musk—as soothing as the perfume of violets. The crisp silence of the seashore when absolute calm prevails is as different from the strained, sodden, padded silence of the jungle as the savour of olives from the raw insipidity of white of egg, for the cumbersome mantle of leafage is the surest stifler of noise, the ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... again and play with the rattle, or he will pine away like a great fish in a little pond, and die for want of his usual food." He was more than once offered good country livings if he would take orders, but he knew that he would find the "insipidity and uniformity" of country life intolerable: and he stayed on to become the greatest of Londoners. There is probably to this day no book, not a professed piece of topography, which mentions the names of so many London streets, squares and churches, as Boswell's Life of Johnson. Many ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... which has feasted on the luxurious wonders of fiction, has no taste of the insipidity of truth. A play which imitated only the common occurrences of the world, would, upon the admirers of Palmerin and Guy of Warwick, have made little impression; he that wrote for such an audience was under the necessity of looking ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... English; but they did not relish it. The public remained cold, and, what was far worse, I remained cold myself. I thought over this singular result, and wondered how it was that music which, as a part of the operas for which it was written, had seemed so full of soul, now faded into insipidity when transplanted to the soil of other dramatic situations. I found the answer in the question. It was because I had transplanted my music from its native soil, that its beauty had flown. Then it burst upon my mind that the libretto is the father of ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... material for nuns and saints, but, to me at all events, not personally so sympathetic as the Norman women, who are no doubt quite as good but never express the fact with the same air of slightly Teutonic insipidity. The men of Normandy I regard as of finer type than the Burgundian men, and this time it is the men who express goodness more than the women. The Burgundian men, with their big moustaches turned up resolutely at the points and their ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... complete. There were some long thin fibres of pale boiled meat, whose juices had gone to enrich the soup, lying about the floor or adhering to the fragments of the pitcher. Solomon, who was a curly-headed chap of infinite resource, discovered them, and it had just been decided to neutralize the insipidity of the bread by the far-away flavor of the meat, when a peremptory knocking was heard at the door, and a dazzling vision of beauty bounded ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... been what is now called casada in the British West Indies, or prepared manioc root; and axi in some other parts of this voyage is mentioned as the spice of the West Indies; probably either pimento or capsicum, and used as a condiment to relish the insipidity of ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. III. • Robert Kerr

... adventure one needs a new language, or, at least, a parcel of new adjectives, sparkling with bright and vivid meaning, as crisp and fresh as just-minted bank-notes. They should have no taint of flatness or insipidity. They should show not the faintest trace of wear. With them, one might hope, now and then, to startle the imagination, to set it running in channels which are strange and delightful to it. For there is something new under the sun: aerial adventure; ...
— High Adventure - A Narrative of Air Fighting in France • James Norman Hall

... censure," observes Schlegel, "originates in a fanciless way of thinking, to which every thing appears unnatural that does not suit its tame insipidity. Hence an idea has been formed of simple and natural pathos which consists in exclamations destitute of imagery, and nowise elevated above every-day life; but energetic passions electrify the whole mental powers and will, consequently, in highly-favored natures, ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... quite true, but it made the waiter Peter uncomfortably careful. There were no women in the kitchen, but there was an amatory stewardess, fat and forty, upon whom the factitious technique of the saloon fell with singular insipidity. He fled from her. Peter, the waiter, was already a good democrat but he was not ready to spread his philosophy ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... issue from a warm heart and a really poetic nature, extravagance of portraiture always displays a cold heart, and very often a want of poetic capacity. Therefore this is not a danger for the sentimental poet, but only for the imitator, who has no vocation; it is therefore often found with platitude, insipidity, and even baseness. Exaggeration of sentiment is not without truth, and must have a real object; as nature inspires it, it admits of simplicity of expression and coming from the heart it goes to the heart. As its object, however, is not in nature, but artificially produced by the understanding, ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... countenance! what one calls a fine countenance!" thought Rachel. "Is it a delusion of insipidity as usual? The brow is good, massive, too much for the features, but perhaps they were fuller once; eyes bright and vigorous, hazel, the colour for thought; complexion meant to be brilliant brunette, ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... more owing to the fastidiousness of my caprice than the delicacy of my taste; but I am so often tired, disgusted and hurt with insipidity, affectation, and pride of mankind, that when I meet with a person "after my own heart," I positively feel what an orthodox Protestant would call a species of idolatry, which acts on my fancy like inspiration; and I can no more desist rhyming on the impulse, ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... highways had put the glow of high health on the cheek of George Peabody. He was big in body, manly, intelligent and could meet men on a basis of equality. If I were president of a college, I would certainly have a Chair devoted to Psychic Mixability, or Charm of Manner. Ponderosity, profundity and insipidity may have their place, but the man with Charm of Manner keeps his capital active. His soul is fluid. I have never been in possession of enough of this Social Radium to analyze it, but I know it has the power of dissolving opposition, and melting human hearts. But so delicate ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen • Elbert Hubbard

... to the day we spent in Pompeii. The lingering summer had at last saddened into something like autumnal gloom, and that blue, blue sky of Naples was overcast. So, this second draught of the spirit of the past had not only something of the insipidity of custom, but brought rather a depression than a lightness to our hearts. There was so little of Herculaneum: only a few hundred yards square are exhumed, and we counted the houses easily on the fingers of one hand, leaving the thumb to stand ...
— Italian Journeys • William Dean Howells

... sees talents in me which I am sure I do not possess. With all my desire of amusing you, and with all my sense of gratitude for your long and unalterable goodness, it is quite impossible to send you an entertaining letter from hence. The insipidity of my life, that is passed with a few old people that are wearing out like myself, after surviving so many of my acquaintance, can furnish no matter of correspondence. What few novelties I hear, come stale, and not till they have been hashed in the newspapers and though ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... events can be expected from a private correspondence; no reflexions but such as they excite can be found there; yet whoever turns away disgusted by the insipidity with which this, and I suppose every correspondence must naturally and almost necessarily begin—will here be likely to lose some genuine pleasure, and some useful knowledge of what our heroic Milton was himself contented to ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... also, had been unconsciously revealing her nature to the sagacious matron, who felt the girl, if won, would not become a pretty toy, soon wearying her son by insipidity of character. "I know better," the lady thought, "than to agree with brother and sister that Louise is merely wilful and perverse." Feeling that she was incapable of controlling her son, she would be glad to delegate this task to the one who had the most influence over him and who best promised to ...
— Miss Lou • E. P. Roe

... corresponded, nor could his avowed opinions awaken in her any exertion to render herself more acceptable to him. When he had taken sufficient time to study her character, he decided that the inelegant mirth, and ungoverned vanity of Amaranthe were preferable to the dawdling insipidity of Claribel. After this decision Lionel ceased to be a visitor at ...
— The Flower Basket - A Fairy Tale • Unknown

... symmetrical the features of a woman are, the more does she approach to the style of beauty and expression and native gifts of a porcelain doll. The mind and the character can be so symmetrical that they will lose all charm and all significance. They descend into simple prettiness, which is simple insipidity. ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... The insipidity, the drudgery of it, would kill me. I should lose sight of the fact that I was my own mistress in such genteel slavery. Besides, as a concert singer (and I can sing), I should earn as much in one night, probably, as I should otherwise in ...
— Molly Bawn • Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

... Lady Catherine de Bourgh, whose daughter and heiress died. Mrs Darcy was formerly a Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and this sister, Mrs Wickham, had been of by no means irreproachable conduct. And this was she! Such impropriety of demeanour! Such a vulgar insipidity! If Mrs Darcy in any way resembled her, I feared our hope of pleasant society was destined to ...
— The Ladies - A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty • E. Barrington

... lofty nose showed ability, he had the mouth of a shark." Plainly very great had been his wickedness. Prostrate the apparition gave thanks to the saint. All the spice and joy of evil doing had been exchanged for the insipidity of Paradise. Now he was threatened with Nirvana through the prayers of the saintly abbot. In life he had been the wicked So[u]ja Mushuku (lodgeless). A famous thief, he was the source of the raids on purse and person, on yashiki in particular and the common people in general, which had ...
— Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 2 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... enthusiasm that the arts of Painting and Poetry may admit. There may, perhaps, be too great indulgence as well as too great a restraint of imagination; if the one produces incoherent monsters, the other produces what is full as bad, lifeless insipidity. An intimate knowledge of the passions, and good sense, but not common sense, must at last determine its limits. It has been thought, and I believe with reason, that Michael Angelo sometimes transgressed those limits; and, I think, I have seen figures of him of which it was ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... call it, 'the art of creating landscape,' pressed forward to perfection; engraving much elevated; and painting, if less perceptibly advanced, still (towards the close of the reign, at any rate) ransomed from insipidity by the genius of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The king himself, it was conceded, had 'little propensity to refined pleasure;' but his consort, Queen Caroline, was credited with a lively anxiety to reward merit and to encourage the ...
— Art in England - Notes and Studies • Dutton Cook

... felt it was very plain. She had that rare beauty—a soft eye. I do not mean the grace of insipidity, nor the quality of mere form and colour; but the full lustrous softness that speaks a character strong in the foundations of peace and sweetness. Many an eye can be soft by turns and upon occasion; it is rarely that you see ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... Christina, the insipid Brunswick specimen, backed by Seckendorf and Vienna, proves on consideration the desirable to Friedrich Wilhelm in this matter. But his Son's notions, who as yet knows her only by rumor, do not go that way. Insipidity, triviality; the fear of "CAGOTAGE" and frightful fellows in black supremely unconscious what blockheads they are, haunts him a good deal. And as for any money coming,—her sublime Aunt the Kaiserinn never had much ready ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... the Saadee's atmosphere of savage fanaticism to this mild and tinkling insipidity threw Mrs. Armine's ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... penetrate with tolerable certainty into the characters of her acquaintance. Most of the young men with whom she had hitherto associated having lived from youth to manhood amongst those fashionable assemblies where individuality is absorbed in the general mass of insipidity, she saw they were frivolous, though obsequious to her, or, at the best, warped in taste, if not in principle; and the fascinations she called forth to subdue them were suited to their objects—her beauty, her thoughtless, or her caprice. But, on the reverse, ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... exhibit taste in their furniture and ornament. The ladies excite the author's pen into absolute rapture; their sparkling eyes and glossy hair, are, in themselves, sufficient to negative the idea of tameness or insipidity, while their sylph-like figures exhibit fresh graces at every step. This is supported by the more important qualities, of "being by far the more industrious half of the community, and performing their household ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847 • Various

... admirably done, and what is done not quite so well, in the writings, for instance, of Jean Paul. And if I had to give [247] instances of these defects, then I should say, that Pope, in common with the age of literature to which he belonged, had too little curiosity, so that there is always a certain insipidity in the effect of his work, exquisite as it is; and, coming down to our own time, that Balzac had an excess of curiosity—curiosity not duly tempered with ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... to the bizarre, yet sometimes also to the elevated, possessed a charm for the imagination of a young and not unenthusiastic female, and contrasted favourably, rather than the reverse, with the dull insipidity of those she ordinarily saw. Nor are we sure that the mystery thrown about him, irksome as it was to her, and discreditable as it appeared to others, was altogether ineffectual in increasing her love for the adventurer; and thus Fate, ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... guilt. But the elogia or records of their commitment, he would not so much as look at. With such inordinate capacities for cruelty, we cannot wonder that he should in his common conversation have deplored the tameness and insipidity of his own times and reign, as likely to be marked by no wide-spreading calamity." Augustus," said he, "was happy; for in his reign occurred the slaughter of Varus and his legions. Tiberius was happy; for in his occurred that glorious fall of the great amphitheatre at Fidenae. But for me—alas! ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... 391. Insipidity — N. insipidity, blandness; tastelessness &c adj.. V. be tasteless &c adj.. Adj. bland, void of taste &c 390; insipid; tasteless, gustless^, savorless; ingustible^, mawkish, milk and water, weak, stale, flat, vapid, fade, wishy-washy, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... acted upon in a similar manner by chemical tests. —The remaining earths, silex and alumine, with one or two others of late discovery, are in some degree more earthy, that is to say, they possess more completely the properties common to all the earths, which are, insipidity, dryness, unalterableness ...
— Conversations on Chemistry, V. 1-2 • Jane Marcet

... pathway only once in a lifetime—or not at all. In the latter case it is natural to doubt the absolute truth of the rumours that the thing exists. The abnormal creature seems a mere freak of nature and may chance to be angel, criminal, total insipidity, virago or enchanter, but let such an one enter a room or appear in the street, and heads must turn, eyes light and follow, souls yearn or envy, or sink under the discouragement of comparison. With the complete harmony and perfect balance of the singular thing, it would ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... trees, now seemed so paltry that he tore it up and rolled it into pipe spills. What had he known of love, till she seized his hand and kissed it! And now—what did he not know? But to write of it seemed mere insipidity! He went up to his bedroom to get a book, and his heart began to beat violently, for she was in there making the bed. He stood in the doorway watching; and suddenly, with turbulent joy, he saw her stoop and kiss his pillow, just at the hollow ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy



Words linked to "Insipidity" :   unappetizingness, insipid, dreariness, dullness, unappetisingness



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