Online dictionaryOnline dictionary
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Riddle   Listen
verb
Riddle  v. i.  To speak ambiguously or enigmatically. "Lysander riddles very prettily."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |
Add this dictionary
to your browser search bar





"Riddle" Quotes from Famous Books



... question to my friend, Luca di Savelli," replied Rienzi. "He is a grand philosopher, and I wot well could explain a much knottier riddle, which we will ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... formalities—and yet managed to pile triumph on triumph. There are some men of whom it may be said that, like a punter on a good day, they can't do wrong. Priam Farll was one such. In a few years he had become a legend, a standing side-dish of a riddle. No one knew him; no one saw him; no one married him. Constantly abroad, he was ever the subject of conflicting rumours. Parfitts themselves, his London agents, knew naught of him but his handwriting—on the backs of cheques in four figures. They sold an average of five large and five ...
— Buried Alive: A Tale of These Days • Arnold Bennett

... fortunately for the world, that a century and a quarter ago thirteen various and very jealous states worked out the problem of a Union, and became—after an enormous, exhausting wrangle—the United States of America. Now the way they solved their riddle was by delegating and giving over jealously specified sovereign powers and doing all that was possible to retain the residuum. They remained essentially sovereign states. New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, for example, remained legally independent. The practical fusion of these peoples ...
— In The Fourth Year - Anticipations of a World Peace (1918) • H.G. Wells

... for you my poor little riddle. Miss Mildred, you know that I have loved you ever since you waked up an awkwad, lazy, country fellow into the wish to ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... solved, the riddle made clear. I could contain my gravity no longer, but burst into a hearty fit of laughter, in which I was joined by Hannah. Our young lady was mortally offended; she tossed the decanter from hand to hand, and glared at us with her ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... collectively, form a name, word, or sentence. The word comes from the Greek akros, extreme, and stichos, order or line. The acrostic was formerly in vogue for valentine and love verses. When employed as a riddle it is called ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... Silver said was a riddle to him, but you would never have guessed it from his tone. As for me, I began to have an inkling. Ben Gunn's last words came back to my mind. I began to suppose that he had paid the buccaneers a visit, while they all lay drunk together ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of victory ends very soon after the sense of the difficulty overcome; the sense of illumination ends with the acquisition of a piece of information; and we pass on to some new obstacle and some new riddle. But it is different in the case of what we call Beautiful. Beautiful means satisfactory for contemplation, i.e. for reiterated perception; and the very essence of contemplative satisfaction is its desire for such reiteration. ...
— The Beautiful - An Introduction to Psychological Aesthetics • Vernon Lee

... path it showed, and there"—and he pointed to the dead men—"is the witch-seed's flower. Now to-day we sit in Atli's hall and here we must stay this winter at Swanhild's side, and in all this there lies a riddle that ...
— Eric Brighteyes • H. Rider Haggard

... reconciliation were taking place elsewhere. Cottle was asking Ashby his riddle; D'Arcy was laying down the law in the admiring hearing of Ramshaw and Lickford as to the cooking of sprats on the shovel; while Fisher minor was telling the sympathetic Mrs Stratton all about the people at home. Mr Stratton was wise enough not to disturb this state of affairs ...
— The Cock-House at Fellsgarth • Talbot Baines Reed

... slowly, stopping near Zora's oak. Here lay the reading of the riddle: with infinite work and pain, some one had dug a canal from the lagoon to the creek, into which the former had drained by a long and crooked way, thus allowing it to empty directly. The canal went straight, a hundred yards through stubborn soil, ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... Peer soon found another object to work for than getting the better of Ferdinand Holm. Louise's dresses hung still untouched in his room, her shoes stood under the bed; it still seemed to him that some day she must open the door and walk in. And when he lay there alone at night, the riddle was always with him: Where is she now?—why should she have died?—would he never meet her again? He saw her always as she had stood that day playing to the sick folks in the hospital ward. But now she was dressed in white. And it seemed quite natural now that she had wings. He heard ...
— The Great Hunger • Johan Bojer

... let fall I was sure it had a history; it was the one thing she never explored in her periodical overhaulings. When I grew tired of playing I liked to creep up on it and sit there, picturing out my own fancies concerning it—of which my favourite one was that some day I should solve the riddle and open the chest to find it full of gold and jewels with which I might restore the fortune of the Laurances and all the traditionary splendours of ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1902 to 1903 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... become a danger to religion itself; nevertheless, rightly applied, there is probably no more potent instrument than this to help us in that reconstruction of belief which is admittedly the urgent business of our age. It is true, as Raymond Brucker said, that "the answer to the riddle of the universe is God—the answer to the riddle of God is Christ"; but it is also true, we hold, that the most effective key for the unlocking of the riddle is the idea ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... twice over with great attention, his meaning still remained a riddle to her; nor could her invention suggest to her any means to excuse Jones. She certainly remained very angry with him, though indeed Lady Bellaston took up so much of her resentment, that her gentle mind had but little left to bestow on ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... two," explained Thrush, "and go on so dividing them until you come down to the indivisible unit which is the answer to the riddle. Animal or Vegetable? Vegetable or Mineral? Northern or Southern Hemisphere? Ah! I thought your childhood was not so very much ...
— The Camera Fiend • E.W. Hornung

... "A bullet hit Slater, cut him down the back as he was lyin' flat. Reckon it wasn't bad. But it hurt him so thet he jumped right up an' staggered around. He made a target big as a tree. An' mebbe them Isbels didn't riddle him!" ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... as he spoke 105 Was as the lovely star when morn has broke The roof of darkness, in the golden dawn, Half-hidden, and yet beautiful. I'll pawn My hopes of Heaven-you know what they are worth — That the presumptuous pedagogues of Earth, 110 If they could tell the riddle offered here Would scorn to be, or being to appear What now they seem and are—but let them chide, They have few pleasures in the world beside; Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden, 115 ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... evolution, checked in mid career by the brilliant ambition of France and the cautious reactionary despotism of Spain, remained suspended. Students are left, face to face with the sixteenth century, to decipher an inscription that lacks its leading verb, to puzzle over a riddle whereof the solution is hidden from us by the ruin of a people. It must ever be an undecided question whether the Italians, undisturbed by foreign interference, could have passed beyond the artificial and exceptional stage of ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... vital riddle of our time. I look out upon the windy Channel and think of all those millions just over there, who seem to get busier and keener every hour. I could imagine the day of reckoning coming like ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... Clotho, the Labyrinth Spider and many others confront us with the same riddle: they move, yet do not eat. At any period of the nursery stage, even in the heart of winter, on the bleak days of January, I tear the pockets of the one and the tabernacle of the other, expecting to find the swarm of youngsters lying in a state of ...
— The Life of the Spider • J. Henri Fabre

... it had come about (it did not occur to him that the gossip about his family's great wealth had any thing to do with it). He could not account for it by any process of reasoning, and was simply obliged to accept the fact and give up trying to solve the riddle. He found himself dragged into society and courted, wondered at and envied very much as if he were one of those foreign barbers who flit over here now and then with a self-conferred title of nobility ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... so just and tender which, he prefixes to his son's literary remains, remarks that all his son's talk about this old desperate riddle of the origin and significance of evil, like the talk of Leibnitz about it, resolved itself into an unproved assumption of the necessity of evil. In truth there is little sign that either Arthur Hallam or Gladstone had in him the ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... overlooking a moonlight garden and under these romantic circumstances, is urging his suit more persistently than before. She, however, is a little too fond of flirting to let her real sentiments be known at once. But when, as if giving up the riddle in her dancing eyes and seemingly mocking smile, he appears about to lead her back into the ballroom, there is, at least so I like to read the music, a pretty little laugh, as much as to say, "Can't you read my real feelings under my mask of banter," a tender glance indicated by a retard on a charmingly ...
— The Pianolist - A Guide for Pianola Players • Gustav Kobb

... though I know you are answering them, I don't understand what you are talking about the least in the world. I don't want to discourage you, you know. Your letters are rather enhanced in value by their riddle-like quotations. They make me wonder what on earth I can have been writing about. I do not even remember, unless you tell me, whether they were long or short; and, except for my consciousness of never having ...
— Canada for Gentlemen • James Seton Cockburn

... whole, my idea is that he was much more of an anarchist than he confessed to me or to himself; and that, the special features of his case apart, he was very much like many other anarchists. Warm heart and weak head—that is the word of the riddle; and it is a fact that the bitterest contradictions and the deadliest conflicts of the world are carried on in every individual breast capable of ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... a son, and his name was Sym; And his eyes were wide as the eyes of Truth; And there came to the wondering mind of him Long thoughts of the riddle that vexes youth. And, "Father," he said, "in the mart's loud din Is there aught of pleasure? Do some find joy?" But his father tilted the beardless chin, And looked in the eyes ...
— The Glugs of Gosh • C. J. Dennis

... "A riddle! Rolf made this too, I am sure," said he, clapping the boy kindly on the shoulder. "I will begin to guess it as soon as I can. Now we must sit down and enjoy these good things before us, and the pleasure ...
— Uncle Titus and His Visit to the Country • Johanna Spyri

... he said. "I've been kept away on business. Funny kind of business, too. Say, Charlie," he added, "suppose likely your sister and you would be too busy to see me for a few minutes now? I'd like to see if you've got an answer to a riddle." ...
— Shavings • Joseph C. Lincoln

... drawing his pistol, "Mr. Black will please note that while I am standing by the bulwarks I shall be watching indeed. Should he make an attempt to escape from the vessel I shall riddle ...
— The Cruise of the Jasper B. • Don Marquis

... he drew his friend away from the painfully fascinating spectacle which held so difficult a riddle. And presently they were again with their horses, which were grazing unconcernedly upon the sweet blue grass which the valley yielded ...
— The Forfeit • Ridgwell Cullum

... niece, the Countess von Truchsess, who is not merely lady of honor, but also reader to the queen, to read to her majesty the last numbers of the Berlin Telegraph, which I have just received. This seems like a riddle, but it is not. That journal contains charges against the queen, which, it appears to me, render it impossible for her to declare so loudly and publicly in favor of a continued alliance with the Russian ...
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia • L. Muhlbach

... this other universe rose, is a curious point upon which Plattner insists. During the Other-World night it is difficult to move about, on account of the vividness with which the things of this world are visible. It becomes a riddle to explain why, if this is the case, we in this world catch no glimpse of the Other-World. It is due, perhaps, to the comparatively vivid illumination of this world of ours. Plattner describes ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... the invasion was that some week-end guest of the East Cliff Hotel left a copy of "The Riddle of the Sands" in the coffee-room, where von Gottlieb found it; and the fact that Ford attended the Shakespeare Ball. Had neither of these events taken place, the German flag might now be flying over Buckingham Palace. And, then ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... hath a toil, &c.]—There is something true and pathetic about this curious blindness which prevents Hecuba from understanding "so plain a riddle." (Cf. below, p. 42.) She takes the watching of a Tomb to be some strange Greek custom, and does not seek to ...
— The Trojan women of Euripides • Euripides

... was dead, the Nazarene came and seized his seat beneath the sun, The votary of the Riddle-god, whose one is three and three ...
— The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi • Richard F. Burton

... man's riddle, and if he succeeds in guessing its solution he cries out that it is a sham and was not ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... pleased to be facetious," returned O'Sullivan sourly. "But I would ask you to remember that you are not yet out of the woods, Mr. Montagu. My Lord seems satisfied, but here are some more of us waiting a plain answer to this riddle." ...
— A Daughter of Raasay - A Tale of the '45 • William MacLeod Raine

... seemed to dumbfound our men. They stood staring at each other like those amazed, and seeking explanation. But the key to the riddle was given, not by one of them, but by Paolo, whom I now found at my elbow, his usually placid face ...
— The Iron Pirate - A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea • Max Pemberton

... Worship, Discipline, and Customs of the Early Church; with an Introduction, containing a Complete and Chronological Analysis of the Works of the Antenicene Fathers. Compiled from the Works of Augusti, and other sources. By the Rev. J. E. RIDDLE, M.A., Author of an English-Latin and Latin-English Dictionary, Luther and his Times, ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... against the ascetic and non-worldly attitude of Christianity might be urged with additional force against Buddhism. It is full of the strong, sweet, pathetic compassion which looks upon life with eyes full of tears, but only to turn them away from it again, as from an unsolved and insoluble riddle." And he substantiates his position by quoting Reville and Oldenberg. Reville reaches this similar conclusion: "Buddhism, born on the domain of polytheism, has fought against it, not by rising ...
— Oriental Religions and Christianity • Frank F. Ellinwood

... Here's a ridiculous riddle for you: How many o's are there in Woolloomooloo? Two for the W, two for the m, Four for the l's, and ...
— A Book for Kids • C. J. (Clarence Michael James) Dennis

... philosophical reasoning. But the investigation of Nature is an affair of genius, not of rules. No man can invent an organon for writing tragedies and epic poems. Bacon's system is, in its own terms, an idol of the theatre. It would scarcely guide a man to a solution of the riddle of AElia Laelia Crispis, or to that of the charade ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... responsibility with the forces of heredity and circumstance. From my point of view your talk would have been better rounded if you had touched on that. Still, it was striking and interesting as it was. I like to hear a clear statement of a point of view, and that your statement happens to riddle me, personally, of course does not affect the question in any way. If I regard human society and human life too much as the biologist regards his rabbit, which appears to be the gist of your criticism, I can at least cheerfully take my own turn on the operating table as occasion requires. There ...
— Queed • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... swaying on the water amid its broad leaves. But a swaying flower could not sing, and there must be something mysterious about it. He tied his horse to a stump on the bank, and sat down on the bridge to listen, hoping that his eyes or ears would give him some solution of the riddle. All was still for a while, but presently the invisible singer ...
— The Hero of Esthonia and Other Studies in the Romantic Literature of That Country • William Forsell Kirby

... is was ever bound to be; Since grim, eternal laws our Being bind; And both the riddle and the answer find, And both the carnage and the calm decree; Since plain within the Book of Destiny Is written all the journey of mankind Inexorably to the end; since blind And mortal puppets playing parts ...
— Rhymes of a Red Cross Man • Robert W. Service

... abhorred people, how came He to tower above all teachers, and to sway the world? 'With whom took He counsel? and who instructed Him, and taught Him?' The character and work of Christ, compared with the circumstances of His origin and environment, are an insoluble riddle, except on one supposition—that He was the word and ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... entire night reconnoitring not the German but our own defensive system. The wire so easily passed through, the noise and laughter, and the final denouement at Hessian allowed for no other conclusion. A few nights later Brown, with a small party and on a clear frosty night, solved the riddle by boldly walking up to Grandcourt Trench and finding the Germans not ...
— The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry • G. K. Rose

... be a simple and convenient solution of the riddle if the work of analysis made it at all possible for us to trace the meaningless and intricate dreams of adults back to the infantile type, to the realization of some intensely experienced desire of the day. But there is no warrant for such an expectation. Their dreams are generally ...
— Dream Psychology - Psychoanalysis for Beginners • Sigmund Freud

... Was unlocks the riddle of Time Is, That offers choice of glory and of gloom; The solver makes Time Shall Be surely his.— But hasten, Sisters! for even now the tomb Grates its slow hinge ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 49, November, 1861 • Various

... Gee ...! I almost said somethin' I oughtn't to!—[He steps back among the people.] I'll give you a riddle to guess. Shall I? Still waters run deep! 'Tis bad. You mustn't taste blood—no, no! The thirst only gets worse an' ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... the ostensible object proposed in planting the colonies, were not sufficient: if we could obtain it, we must share in their profits likewise. But this was a question which time only could solve; a riddle, which ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... you think I can get away with it," the lame man said, much pleased. "Now, you see why I want to go to Washington with Braceway. It's merely to keep my hold on this case. If you say I'm entitled to the credit for reading the riddle, I'm going to see ...
— The Winning Clue • James Hay, Jr.

... riddle the upper wall and the door with bullets. Several times they attempted a rush, but were unable to withstand the heavy magazine fire which met them, when within twenty yards of the house. Twice they attempted to pile faggots at the side of the door, but the defence was so strong ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... so called cataclysms "after the universe had thrice attained to freedom" (what nonsense!) are nothing but the short interregnums of freedom obtained by the poor Indian Aryans between the monarchies. They are 200 300 120. And I propose to you, master of the Vedas, the riddle, how do I know that the first republican interregnum (anarchy, to the barbarians) was 200 years long? The Indian traditions begin therefore with 7000, and that is the time of Zaradushta. I find many reasons for adopting your opinion on the ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... explosive noise of protest. He gazed into the darkness of the landing, and presently, by the light from the bedroom, could distinguish the vague boundaries of it. The chair, invisible, was on the left. He opened the door wider to the nocturnal riddle of the house. His hand clasped the notes in his pocket. No sound! He listened for the ticking of the lobby clock and could not catch it. He listened more intently. It was impossible that he should not hear the ticking of the lobby clock. Was he dreaming? Was ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... a spiritual attitude, a temperamental atmosphere. It is a thing which implies a certain definite philosophical mood in regard to the riddle of existence; though, of course, between individual egoists there may be ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... late for me to be at the rendezvous with Colonel Inagaki, and the refusal of the units of my command to march with me. These instructions to Captain Bath from the Japanese Headquarters explained the riddle. I gave Captain Bath instructions to move forward in my support in case of need and to watch the proceedings generally, to render aid to any Allied detachment which might be in difficulties, and otherwise to obey General Oie's orders. ...
— With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia • John Ward

... so alert to solve the frequent riddle, To judge if Jones should have his train-fare free, Whether the band requires another fiddle, And which is senior, Robinson or me? Who shall indite such circulars as his To Officers Commanding Companies About their musketry, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 29, 1916 • Various

... "Time was, brother, when what thou sayest would have been as a riddle to me, and I would have said: Here are we merry, though we be few; and if ye lack more company, let me ride to the Tofts and come back with a half score of lads and lasses, and thus let us eke our mirth; and maybe they will tell us whitherward to ride. But now there is a change, since I have ...
— Child Christopher • William Morris

... to work to exert the energies of his mind, and, when they arrived at a guess, they noted it down on paper; after which every individual member of the family made a choice of some object, and composed a riddle, which was transcribed in a large round hand, and affixed on the lantern. This done, the eunuch took his departure, and when evening drew near, he came out and delivered the commands of the imperial consort. "The conundrum," he said, "written by Her Highness, ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... he then to the princess, in the midst of a profound silence, "I hardly dare guess; and yet in this riddle I plainly perceive my own happiness. I dared to think that your questions would have no difficulty for me, while you thought the contrary; you have the goodness to believe that I am not unworthy to please you, while I have hardly the boldness ...
— Our Young Folks, Vol 1, No. 1 - An Illustrated Magazine • Various

... done to deserve so poor a lot? Hers was unquestionably by far the finer character of the two, as Diana frankly admitted to herself. In truth, the apparent injustices of fate made a riddle hard ...
— The Splendid Folly • Margaret Pedler

... of dark nights, it is part of my theory that light was painful to those great white eyeballs, and that it was only a pitch-black world which it could tolerate. Perhaps, indeed, it was the glare of my lantern which saved my life at that awful moment when we were face to face. So I read the riddle. I leave these facts behind me, and if you can explain them, do so; or if you choose to doubt them, do so. Neither your belief nor your incredulity can alter them, nor affect one ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... same light by which it was written: we are referred by it, therefore, to sources of interpretation above itself. God was hidden in the sky; the book in another sky; who shall reveal God hidden in the book? After so many ages, it has become a riddle as difficult of solution as any for which it offers solution: the last and best puzzle of the exulting old Sphinx, who will never be cheated of her jest. Our Christianity misses the highest value of the book, as it indicates ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864 • Various

... Journal des Debats of the 13th of September, an extract from his narrative, copied almost literally: he then endeavoured to discover whence the editors could have obtained these details; it cost him but little time to solve the riddle. ...
— Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal in 1816 • J. B. Henry Savigny and Alexander Correard

... still held secrets for both, but they intended to solve them that day, to see which way the riddle ran, and the Wilderness itself was as dark, as calm and as somber as ever. It had been torn by cannon balls, pierced by rifle bullets and scorched by fire; but the two armies were yet buried in it and it gave no sign to ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... sought him every where, but he was not granted them; and I hated all places, for that they had not him; nor could they now tell me, "he is coming," as when he was alive and absent. I became a great riddle to myself, and I asked my soul, why she was so sad, and why she disquieted me sorely: but she knew not what to answer me. And if I said, Trust in God, she very rightly obeyed me not; because that most dear friend, whom ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... her laughter. "Here's a riddle," she said. "The brownie you locked into the stable that night always makes the butter. He isn't never thanked nor yet paid, but you've looked him in the ...
— White Lilac; or the Queen of the May • Amy Walton

... nothing, understand nothing, but the great peace of perfect security. She let him hold her still, with her head against his shoulder and his dear face near, so near she seemed to lose sense of her own identity. All the answer to her life's riddle lay there, behind the love that emptied her soul of need. Out of the blissful unspeakable light some ...
— Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker • Marguerite Bryant

... head, for the riddle seemed quite unreadable, and as we had already sat up until long past midnight I begged for my candle, and proposed to defer our conversation until the morning. Jack, declaring that none of the beds in the damp old house was fit to sleep in without a week of previous airing, insisted upon giving ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... trying to appraise and appreciate the meaning of life and of the universe of which life is the most significant product. Life is not merely the most notable product of our universe; it is the most persuasive key for solving the riddle of the universe, and is the only universe product which aspires to interpret the processes by which it has ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... non Oedipus. I am a homely man, and do not understand hints, innuendoes, and riddles, like Oedipus. Oedipus was the Theban who expounded the riddle of the Sphinx, that puzzled all his countrymen. Davus was the stock name of a servant or slave in Latin comedies. The proverb is used by Terence, Andria, ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... Davus, not Oedipus)—Ver. 194. Alluding to the circumstance of Oedipus alone being able to solve the riddle of ...
— The Comedies of Terence - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes • Publius Terentius Afer, (AKA) Terence

... the house in so unorthodox a manner. There was logic running right through the piece; every little incident seemed to dovetail into the others, yet, because I did not have the key, I could not read the riddle. Why did the man on the beach fire at Bryce? I could not say. Then just for amusement's sake I got a piece of paper and a pencil and dotted down the items that wanted explaining. They ran ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... the poet was moved with a deep sense of pathos that she should have died before she had spent her money. That seemed to him a dark and pitiable mystery; and he looked from the coins in his hand to the dead woman, and back again to the coins, shaking his head over the riddle of man's life. Henry V. of England, dying at Vincennes just after he had conquered France, and this poor jade cut off by a cold draught in a great man's doorway, before she had time to spend her couple of whites—it seemed a cruel way to carry on the world. Two whites would have ...
— The Great English Short-Story Writers, Vol. 1 • Various

... the two other smartest streets lived on the interest of capital, or on salaries received by officials from the public treasury; but what the other eight streets, which ran parallel for over two miles and vanished beyond the hills, lived upon, was always an insoluble riddle to me. And the way those people lived one is ashamed to describe! No garden, no theatre, no decent band; the public library and the club library were only visited by Jewish youths, so that the magazines and new books lay for months uncut; rich and well-educated people slept in close, ...
— The Chorus Girl and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... cargoes, she came quietly to sit at our table and looking at me very hard with her black, sparkling eyes asked Dominic familiarly what had happened to his Signorino. It was her name for me. I was Dominic's Signorino. She knew me by no other; and our connection has always been somewhat of a riddle to her. She said that I was somehow changed since she saw me last. In her rich voice she urged Dominic only to look at my eyes. I must have had some piece of luck come to me either in love or at cards, she bantered. But Dominic ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... the canal, ever and anon we see some empty returning boat (called "light boat" in the technical canal phrase) rounding a curve before us, It comes nearer: the horses walk the same tow-path: how are the boats to pass without confusion? Ah, the riddle is solved. Our captain (who holds the helm while the boy, his assistant, is down in the cabin preparing supper) calls out suddenly, at the last moment, "Whoa!" The well-trained horses instantly stop; ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, September 1880 • Various

... tempted him. Perhaps he not only desired to win the fortune offered but also wished the fun of solving the riddle the government propounded. At any rate, in 1728 he came to London prepared to present drawings of an instrument he felt certain would turn the trick and had not his friends deterred him he would have placed these ...
— Christopher and the Clockmakers • Sara Ware Bassett

... stronger influence on the development of philosophy, both by way of promotion and by way of hindrance, than in any other department of thought. If a system gives classical expression to the thought of an epoch, a nation, or a great personality; if it seeks to attack the world-riddle from a new direction, or brings us nearer its solution by important original conceptions, by a subtler or a simpler comprehension of the problem, by a wider outlook or a deeper insight; it has accomplished more than it could have done by bringing forward a number ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... decipher this riddle, which was rather too contemptuous for my new views of things, but which I referred to the habitual feelings of a strong-headed man in humble life, brought just close enough to higher to feel his exclusion, an officer was announced ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843 • Various

... along in her silk, and seize upon Isabel in the little upstairs parlour, or her bedroom, and question her minutely about her ways and ideas; and she would look at her silently for a minute or two together; and then suddenly laugh and kiss her—Isabel's transparency was almost as great a riddle to her as her own obscurity to Isabel. And sometimes she would throw herself on Isabel's bed, and lie there with her arms behind her head, to the deplorable ruin of her ruff; with her buckled feet twitching and tapping; ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... how?" cried Finot. "I know a few things, but I cannot see a glimpse of an answer to this riddle." ...
— The Firm of Nucingen • Honore de Balzac

... the ship shun Sunk rocks? Can man fathom life's links, Past or future, unsolved by Egyptian Or Theban, unspoken by Sphynx? The riddle remains yet, unravell'd By students consuming night oil. O earth! we have toil'd, we have travailed: How long shall we ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what it was. I cannot tell any one what it was. I undertook to find the answer. From France the riddle took me far away to another country—and there, after a year's work, I found half the answer. The other half is in London. And I am in London to ...
— The Crooked House • Brandon Fleming

... never entered my own mind? For this reason I wish not to vanish from the scene before I finish my comprehensive novel, which I think will clear up many misunderstandings and place me where and as I belong. However, I do not wonder that Bazaroff has remained a riddle for many persons: I cannot understand clearly how I conceived him. There was—do not laugh—something more powerful than the author himself, something independent of him. I know only this,—there was no preconceived ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, September, 1885 • Various

... and told him of her meeting with Micah Dow. It silenced him; not, however, on account of its pathos, as she thought, but because it interpreted the riddle of Rob's behavior. ...
— The Little Minister • J.M. Barrie

... was more puzzled-like—kep' on mutterin': 'Who did it? Who could have the cool darin' to shoot him dead in broad daylight, at his own door, before his servants?' She was sort of forcin' herself to think, to find out, just as if it was a riddle, an' the right answer was on the tip of her tongue. An' then, all at once, she gev a queer little laugh. 'Why, of course, it was Hilton,' ...
— The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley • Louis Tracy

... mystery, too, about Miss Carr, which had kept the gossips busy for the last four months, and clever and prying as they were—quite models in their way—not one of them had been able to come at the solution of the riddle. ...
— Flora Lyndsay - or, Passages in an Eventful Life • Susan Moodie

... his sprig of box. "The Sphinx was a woman, and every woman is an incarnate riddle! Why don't you care ...
— Lewis Rand • Mary Johnston

... guarantee of the rights of man, and should therefore be surrendered as soon as its object contradicts these rights of man. But the practice is only the exception and the theory is the rule. If, however, we regard the revolutionary practice as the correct position of the relation, the riddle still remains to be solved, why the relationship was inverted in the consciousness of the political liberators, the end appearing as the means, and the means as the end. This optical illusion of their consciousness ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... of Ios is your mother's country and it shall receive you dead; but beware of the riddle ...
— Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica • Homer and Hesiod

... riddle of the painful earth Flash'd thro' her as she sat alone, Yet not the less held she her solemn mirth, ...
— The Early Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson • Tennyson

... and really very hard. So, again, with the poets; and most of all I found no interest (fancy!) in Plato and Aristotle. They were presented to me as merely school books; not as the great effort of the cultivated heathen mind to solve the riddle of man's being; and I, in those days, never thought of comparing the heathen and Christian ethics, and the great writers had no ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... half-formed question found its answer, though the answer seemed rather to ask a new riddle than to answer the old one. A door at the other end of the passage opened a little way, and a melodious voice called softly, "Papa, papa!" The cat ran towards the speaker, the door was opened wide, and for ...
— Captain Dieppe • Anthony Hope

... definition of Life, indeed, that has yet appeared can be said to be even approximately correct. Its mysterious quality evades us; and we have to be content with outward characteristics and accompaniments, leaving the thing itself an unsolved riddle. At the same time Mr. Herbert Spencer's masterly elucidation of the chief phenomena of Life has placed philosophy and science under many obligations, and in the paragraphs which follow we shall have to incur a further ...
— Natural Law in the Spiritual World • Henry Drummond

... authority of Locke and Sidney, Bacon and Tillotson, and the author of Cato's Letters, enabled him to announce, in the very spirit and all but the very words of Diderot and Rousseau, of whom he had never heard, that "the design of Christianity was not to make good riddle-solvers or good mystery-mongers, but good men, good magistrates, and good subjects." And so he renounced the ministry in favor of "that science by which mankind raise themselves from the forlorn, helpless state, in which nature leaves them, ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... observations, which human knowledge now entered as if taking it by storm, was that of the radioactive processes of the mineral stratum of the earth. Many new and surprising properties of electricity were discovered there - yet the riddle of electricity itself, instead of coming nearer, ...
— Man or Matter • Ernst Lehrs

... is father to the thought. My dear, I'm sorry to riddle your little romance. Stewart did not—could not have been ...
— The Light of Western Stars • Zane Grey

... facts of life. Another side of the same characteristic appears in his glorification of eating and drinking: such things were part of the natural constitution of man, therefore let man enjoy them to the full. Who knows? Perhaps the Riddle of the Universe would be solved by the oracle ...
— Landmarks in French Literature • G. Lytton Strachey

... where the colonel sat over Mary Nellen's last classic riddle, she couldn't break it ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... This riddle is solved in the happiest manner. The openings in the wall, its solid parts, the pillars, every thing has its peculiar character, which proceeds from its particular destination: this communicates itself by degrees to the subdivisions; ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... the Irish. Lever makes them gay, Miss Lawless and Miss Barlow make them sad. No one denies that sadness is nearer the reality, but it is unreasonable to call Lever insincere. Naturally careless and lighthearted he does not trouble himself with the riddle of the painful world; the distress which touches him most nearly is a distress for debt. But if Lever is not realistic he is natural; he follows the law of his nature as an artist should; he sees life through his own medium; and if ...
— Irish Books and Irish People • Stephen Gwynn

... of patience which comes to her sex like an instinct born of centuried servitude. How her husband ever fascinated so fascinatingly elusive a creature is a mystery to all who know him and a miracle to all who know her; but who has ever guessed the riddle of a woman's heart? Surely no man yet known to the world, except possibly Balzac, and he only occasionally by some sort of electric, psychological accident. The true story of Mrs. Blaine's infelicities ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... different. He inquired for Rincer and the cold in his nose, told Mrs. Rincer a riddle, asked Miss Rincer when she would be ready to marry him, and paid his compliments to Miss Brett, the other young lady in the bar, all in a minute of time, and with a liveliness and facetiousness which set all these ladies ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... other world a place of torture or undying bliss, death the prime object of our meditation, and lifelong abandonment of our fellow-men the highest mode of existence. Why, then, should monks, so persuaded of the riddle of the earth, have placed themselves in scenes so beautiful? Why rose the Camaldolis and Chartreuses over Europe? white convents on the brows of lofty hills, among the rustling boughs of Vallombrosas, in the grassy meadows of Engelbergs,—always ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... midnight. Sunday morning had dawned. Whatever hidden message lay in the tolling bells floated past these men unknown. Yet it was there. Veiled in the solemn music ushering the risen Saviour was a key-note to solve the darkest secrets of a world gone wrong,—even this social riddle which the brain of the grimy puddler ...
— Life in the Iron-Mills • Rebecca Harding Davis

... the products of the soil. Those who, from 1802 till 1827, had merely laughed at the little man as they saw him trotting to Saint-Thibault and attending to his business, like a merchant living on his vineyards, found the answer to the riddle when the ant-lion seized his prey, after waiting for the day when the extravagance of the Duchesse de Maufrigneuse culminated in the ...
— The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man. * * * * * Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! Essay on ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... guessed my riddle. This "wonderful coat" is your skin, which covers you from top to toe. It fits more closely than any glove, and yet is so easy and comfortable that it never rubs or binds or hurts you in ...
— The Child's Day • Woods Hutchinson



Words linked to "Riddle" :   get, James Riddle Hoffa, conundrum, nonplus, permeate, puzzle, solve, penetrate, work out, pose, interpenetrate, lick, strain, riddle canon, spiritise, figure out, brain-teaser, pervade, baffle, bewilder, enigma, screen, dumbfound, flummox



Copyright © 2022 Dictionary One.com