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Sharpness   /ʃˈɑrpnəs/   Listen
Sharpness

noun
1.
A quick and penetrating intelligence.  Synonyms: acuity, acuteness, keenness.  "I admired the keenness of his mind"
2.
The attribute of urgency in tone of voice.  Synonym: edge.
3.
A strong odor or taste property.  Synonyms: bite, pungency, raciness.  "The sulfurous bite of garlic" , "The sharpness of strange spices" , "The raciness of the wine"
4.
The quality of being keenly and painfully felt.
5.
Thinness of edge or fineness of point.  Synonym: keenness.
6.
The quality of being sharp and clear.  Synonym: distinctness.
7.
Harshness of manner.  Synonym: asperity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Sharpness" Quotes from Famous Books



... There was no sign of weakness nor of hesitation about him now. Instead, he seemed to have suddenly recovered all the sharpness and vigour with which two at any rate of the three men who were so intently watching him had always associated with him. He sat erect and watchful in his chair, and his voice became clear ...
— The Borough Treasurer • Joseph Smith Fletcher

... deny that he was—and for the rest he could hardly get his words out with the sharpness of his hunger whetted still keener by the blessed smell of cooking. But he ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... and not far from the companionway, as though he had just come up from below, our hero beheld a figure the face of which he had seen so imperfectly once before by the flash of his own pistol in the darkness. Upon this occasion, however, the whole figure was stamped out with intense sharpness against the darkness, and Barnaby beheld, as clear as day, a great burly man, clad in a tawdry tinsel coat, with a cocked hat with gold braid upon his head. His legs, with petticoat breeches and cased in great leathern sea-boots pulled up to his knees, stood planted wide ...
— Stolen Treasure • Howard Pyle

... howl. I reckon the weather has a good deal to do with the local temperament. The reason a New York man takes life so easily with all his rush is that his climate don't worry him. But a Boston man must be rasped the whole while by the edge in his air. That accounts for his sharpness; and when he's lived through twenty-five or thirty Boston Mays, he gets to thinking that Providence has some particular use for him, or he wouldn't have survived, and ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... be known by the length and sharpness of their spurs; in young ones they are short and blunt. The cock bird is generally reckoned the best, except when the hen is with egg. They should hang some time before they are dressed, as, if they are cooked fresh, the flesh will be exceedingly ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... she went as before, and was angry with Lucifer for letting the handkerchief go. "But now," said she, "I will be too hard for the King's son, for I will kiss thee, and he's to show thy lips." Jack, standing near him with his Sword of sharpness, cut off the devil's head, and brought it under his invisible Coat to his master, who was in bed, and laid it at the end of his bolster. In the morning when the lady came up, he pulled it out by the horns and showed her the devil's lips, ...
— Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories - A Book for Bairns and Big Folk • Robert Ford

... And if it were the God's decree that he should die, what could be the use of rebelling against it? The two converts, like good Christians, were more practical, and lost no time in grinding the huge blades of their kukris to the sharpness of razors. ...
— In the Forbidden Land • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... and tranquil thoughts, inclined naturally to the romantic view, or to what in the eyes of youths of twenty appears to be the romantic view of life. He had suddenly found her answering him with a sharpness which, while it roused his wits, startled his sensibilities. But he was flattered as well. His instinct and his observation of Mrs. Goddard when in the society of others led him to believe that with Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose, ...
— A Tale of a Lonely Parish • F. Marion Crawford

... disciple of the new learning. He went to work with nothing but his trained and organised common sense, starting from no theory, and aiming at no conclusion. If he was beyond his contemporaries in the mass of expedient knowledge, he was not before them in the strictness of his tests, or in sharpness or boldness in applying them. He was abreast as a critic, he was not ahead. He did not innovate. The parallel studies of the time kept pace with his; and his judgments are those which are accepted generally. His critical mind was pliant, ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... seeming deserter had been well received in New York. The sharpness of the pursuit and the orderly-book which he bore seemed satisfactory proofs of his sincerity of purpose. The captain of the galley sent him to New York, with a ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 1 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... the loose bodice and long full skirt of her dress, and by the folds of a large white muslin handkerchief which was crossed over her breast. The face, sheltered by the plain shady hat, was also a little spoilt from the point of view of beauty by the sharpness of the lines about the chin and mouth, and by a slight prominence of the cheekbones, but the eyes, of a dark bluish gray, were fine, the nose delicately cut, the brow smooth and beautiful, while the complexion had caught the freshness and ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... was not curled like wool, as many of the blacks are, but long and black, with the most beautiful, yet careless tresses spreading over his shoulders. He had a very high and large forehead, with a great vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. His skin was not so tawney, as the Virginians, Brazilians, or other Americans; but rather of a bright dun, olive colour, that had something agreeable in it, though not very easy to give a description of. His face ...
— The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of - York, Mariner (1801) • Daniel Defoe

... Yet, even lacking sharpness, a head may be excellent if the forehead sink like a perpendicular wall upon horizontal eyebrows, and be greatly rounded ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... beguiled by the recent diplomatic caresses of Napoleon may well be doubted; for they were obviously aimed at keeping her quiet until he had settled scores with Prussia and Russia. His advances only began on the eve of the last war, and the sharpness of the transition from threats to endearments could not be smoothed over even by Talleyrand's finesse.[138] When the slaughter at Eylau placed him in peril, he again bade Talleyrand soothe the Austrian envoy with assurances that, if his master was anxious to maintain the integrity of Turkey, France ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... memorials in the open air. Twenty years of it suffice to give as much antiquity of aspect, whether to tombstone or edifice, as a hundred years of our own drier atmosphere,—so soon do the drizzly rains and constant moisture corrode the surface of marble or freestone. Sculptured edges loose their sharpness in a year or two; yellow lichens overspread a beloved name, and obliterate it while it is yet fresh upon some survivor's heart. Time gnaws an English gravestone with wonderful appetite; and when the inscription is quite illegible, the sexton takes the useless slab away, and perhaps makes a ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... on a Riverside Drive bus at Seventy-ninth Street and rode in the mellow gold of autumn up to Broadway and 168th. Serene, gilded weather; sunshine as soft and tawny as candlelight, genial at midday as the glow of an open fire in spite of the sharpness of the early morning. Battleships lay in the river with rippling flags. Men in flannels were playing tennis on the courts below Grant's Tomb; everywhere was a convincing appearance of comfort and prosperity. The beauty of the children, the good clothing ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... Eustace, when he opened the door, with a look of such preternatural sharpness, that it almost frightened him. The beginning of that eagle glance was full of inquiring hope, and the end of resigned despair. The child had thought that Eustace might be a client come to tread the paths ...
— Mr. Meeson's Will • H. Rider Haggard

... operatives, and Tom's home influence was not all it might have been. That was why, years before, many wondered that Tom promised to turn out so well. He was not particularly clever, but he possessed a large share of the proverbial Lancashire sharpness and common sense; he had an eye to the main chance, and dreamt of becoming something better than an ordinary weaver. For that reason he had attended some technical classes at the Mechanics' Institute, and, as Polly Powell had reminded him, had only a few months before ...
— Tommy • Joseph Hocking

... of M. Fleuriot there came a cold, bright gleam. He took a step forward. His face seemed to narrow to a greater sharpness. In a moment, to Mr. Ricardo's thought, he ceased to be the judge; he dropped from his high office; he ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... celebrity and notoriety are distinctions to be shunned. A mud-cat is the most secure of all fish because nobody wishes to either catch and eat, or play with and caress him. His sole virtue is his obscurity, the sharpness of his bones his only protection. I'd rather be a catfish than a salmon ...
— Mixed Faces • Roy Norton

... deportment of the simple gases directed our attention to other elementary bodies, the examination of which led to the discovery that the element iodine, dissolved in bisulphide of carbon, possesses the power detaching, with extraordinary sharpness, the light of the spectrum from its heat, intercepting all luminous rays up to the extreme red, and permitting the calorific rays beyond the red to pass freely through it. This substance was then employed to filter ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... the din about them evidently adding to her perturbation, Mrs. Upton, with a sharpness of utterance that Jack had never heard from her, said: "Your sapphire ring? Your grandmother's ring? Indeed, indeed, Imogen, I must ask you not ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... he had committed, in view of his ambitions, though to the better ends of justice, the lawyer, in whom seven years' experience had perfected the sharpness that comes to a man who in his practice has had to measure his wits against the grisettes of Paris, was anxious to have some shield against the resentment of two women of fashion. The taper in which he had burned the note was still alight, and he used it to seal up the Duchesse de Maufrigneuse's ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... effect upon this perfect artist and impoverished human being ... An artist, a real one, not one whose official profession is art, but a predestined and pre-condemned artist, you can pick out of a thousand men, with a little sharpness of sight. The feeling of separation and of non-membership, of being recognized and observed, is in his face, something at once regal and perplexed. In the features of a prince walking in ordinary clothes through a crowd one can see something similar. But here no ordinary ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... well-cut brown habit and white helmet, the sunlight finding out gleams of bronze in her abundant hair, while all about her shone the uncompromising blue and gold of a mid-March morning—fresh without sharpness, and fragrant with the ethereal fragrance ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... and drawing it suddenly through the veil, although it hung on the blade entirely loose, severed that also into two parts, which floated to different sides of the tent, equally displaying the extreme temper and sharpness of the weapon and the exquisite dexterity ...
— The Ontario Readers - Third Book • Ontario Ministry of Education

... was a louder and fiercer crash of thunder than any that had preceded it—a crash of that peculiar sharpness indicating that it must have struck the very house in which they heard it; and this accompanied by one of those terribly intense flashes of lightning which seemed to sear the eyeballs and play in blue flame through the air of the room,—then followed by a heavy dull rumbling shock ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... easily reached had she told him of George's love for her. People had assured him since he was engaged that Marie Bromar was the handsomest girl in Lorraine or Alsace; and he felt it to be an injury that this handsome girl should prefer such a one as George Voss to himself. Marie, with a woman's sharpness, perceived all this accurately. 'Remember,' said she, 'that I had hardly seen you when George and I were—when he and ...
— The Golden Lion of Granpere • Anthony Trollope

... had done she sprang to her feet with a curious multifold undoubling motion by reason of her great height and lack of practice with it, and I lumbered heavily to mine, and she asked me again with a sharpness that seemed almost venomous, so charged with curiosity it was, though she had just expressed ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... persuading rude little Hans to come to the Frau Freiherrinn to learn his Paternoster. But the elder twin might hunt, might fence, might smile or kindle at his brother's lay, but ever with a restless gloom on him, a doubt of the future which made him impatient of the present, and led to a sharpness and hastiness of manner that broke forth in anger at ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... expression which is somewhat rare among the Pharaohs of the best period: the thin and straight nose is well set on the face, the elongated eyes have somewhat heavy lids; the large, fleshy lips, slightly contracted at the corners of the mouth, are cut with a sharpness that gives them singular vigour, and the firm and finely modelled chin loses little of its form from the false beard depending from it. Every detail is treated with such freedom that one would think the sculptor ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... daughter, only laughed at the reckless Skirnir, "Make the daughters of men fearful by the sharpness of Frey's sword," she said, "but do not try to frighten ...
— The Children of Odin - The Book of Northern Myths • Padraic Colum

... I had the fortune to find myself in perfect concurrence with a large majority in this House. Bowing under that high authority, and penetrated with the sharpness and strength of that early impression, I have continued ever since, without the least deviation, in my original sentiments. [Footnote: 3] Whether this be owing to an obstinate perseverance in error, or to a religious adherence to what ...
— Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America • Edmund Burke

... which he is exposed. I see little fellows playing in the snow, stiff and blue with cold, scarcely able to stir a finger. They could go and warm themselves if they chose, but they do not choose; if you forced them to come in they would feel the harshness of constraint a hundredfold more than the sharpness of the cold. Then what becomes of your grievance? Shall I make your child miserable by exposing him to hardships which he is perfectly ready to endure? I secure his present good by leaving him his freedom, and his future good by arming him against the evils he will have to bear. ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... the cabin. Every few minutes they stopped to investigate something or to chatter over some natural history wonder. The Angel had quick eyes; she seemed to see everything, but Freckles' were even quicker; for life itself had depended on their sharpness ever since the beginning of his work at the swamp. They saw it at ...
— Freckles • Gene Stratton-Porter

... and Osgood once. Morgan's sharpness has discovered the cause. When the snow is deep upon the ground, and the partridges cannot get their usual food, they eat something (I don't know what, if anybody does) which does not poison them, but which poisons the people ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 2 (of 3), 1857-1870 • Charles Dickens

... tools to work with, in taking care of the lawn, ought not to be overlooked. A mower whose blades are dull will tear the grass off, and make it look ragged, as if gnawed away by animals feeding on it, while the mower whose blades are of the proper sharpness will cut it as evenly and as neatly as if a razor had been applied to it. You cannot appreciate the difference until you have seen a specimen of each, and ...
— Amateur Gardencraft - A Book for the Home-Maker and Garden Lover • Eben E. Rexford

... the soft mud was the print of a foot, a human-looking foot, but for the evenness in the length of the toes and the sharpness and length of the toe nails. Yes, there was another difference, and that was the size. It was the footprint of a savage Hercules, the track of an enormous grizzly bear, and the soft mud that had dripped from the big foot was still undried on the ...
— The Black Wolf Pack • Dan Beard

... glandular. In the Insectivora, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, and in most Edentata, Chiroptera, Rodentia and Primates, this primitive disposition is retained, the difference consisting chiefly in the degrees of elongation of the stomach and the sharpness of the distal curvature. In other cases the cardiac portion may be prolonged into a caecal sac, a condition most highly differentiated in the blood-sucking bat, Desmodeus, where it is longer than the entire length of the body. ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... in 1896. It began with trunk telephone lines working to Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, London, Taunton, and Weston-super-Mare. At the outset the conversations averaged about 170 daily. In that same year the department took over from the National Telephone Co., Cardiff, Gloucester, Newport and Sharpness lines, and the conversations soon increased to nearly 400 per day. At the present time the department has from 1 to 5 (according to size of town) trunk lines to Bath, Bradford-on-Avon, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Gloucester, London, Lydney, ...
— The King's Post • R. C. Tombs

... you know most people's voices have a little thread, if it is not more, of sharpness or roughness, coming out somewhere. It is sure to come out somewhere; in one form of speech or another; with some people it only appears in the laugh, and they should never laugh. Your voice is like a chime of bells." And my mother took me in her arms, half-dressed ...
— Daisy in the Field • Elizabeth Wetherell

... door!" snapped Sinclair. Roger jerked back. Astro and Tom looked at the planter, startled by the sharpness in ...
— The Revolt on Venus • Carey Rockwell

... on his own foot and ankle. McEwen, indeed, could only limp along, with mingled curses and lamentations, supported by Anderson. In the excitement of his son's appearance he had forgotten his injury. The pain and annoyance of it returned upon him now with added sharpness, and Anderson realised that here was yet another complication as they moved across ...
— Lady Merton, Colonist • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... these figures had preserved an unusual freshness, and seem as if just chiselled; but, saving these exceptions, the Cypriot figures have their angles rounded, and their projections softened down. It is like a page of writing, where the ink, before it had time to dry, preserving its sharpness of tone, has been absorbed by the blotting paper and has left only ...
— History of Phoenicia • George Rawlinson

... the cleverest tricks in the world. It is true I am quick-tempered, and now and then rather too hasty; but yet, when I have a mind to it, I can plan as many tricks as any man alive; even you shall own that what I have done shows an amount of sharpness rarely ...
— The Blunderer • Moliere

... the different civil branches of the army; and camp-followers in all their varieties, were everywhere squatted on their haunches, and although muffled up to their eyes in wrappers of cotton-cloth, were all looking miserably cold from the sharpness of the morning breeze. The crew consisted of about twenty sailors—half of whom were Europeans, and evidently picked hands. Under the influence of good pay, fresh provisions without stint, sleeping all night in their hammocks, and constant change ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... a grin instead of a retort. He appreciated her sharpness too much to get one ready in time. Turning away, he left the room with a quiet, steady step, taking his grin with him: it had drawn the clear, scanty skin yet tighter on his face, and remained fixed; so that he vanished with something of the look ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... first, how the barber must come upon Shagpat and fix him for his operation; second, how the barber must be possessed of more than mortal strength to master him in so many strokes; third, how the barber must have a blade like no other blade in this world in sharpness, in temper, in velocity of sweep, that he may reap this crop which flourisheth on Shagpat, and with it the magic hair which ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... anything like temper was impossible, and, knowing this, her only refuge was in flight. "I don't want to hear any more you may have to say, Mrs. Tucker;" and though Eve managed to keep under the sharpness of her voice, she could not control the indignant expression of her face, which Mrs. Tucker fully appreciating, she speeded her departure by the inspiriting prediction that if Eve didn't sup sorrow by the spoonful before her hair was gray her ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... chiefly employed in exposing measures he considered calculated to ruin the country, though they might gratify the king. However, he had no hatred of monarchy, but would occasionally divert Charles by the sharpness of his satire and brilliancy of his wit. Considering how valuable these would be if employed in service of the court, Charles resolved to tempt Marvell's integrity. For this purpose the Lord Treasurer ...
— Royalty Restored - or, London under Charles II. • J. Fitzgerald Molloy

... lips, they should not be laid too much to heart. "Many"—said he—"there are, who catch up only the bitter things said by me, and so too it happens with that learned gentleman, Martin Luther, whom they are willing to imitate in naught, save the sharpness of his language, which nevertheless he often utters out of true, ardent love; but the pious, faithful heart and its struggles after ...
— The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli • Johann Hottinger

... went away, he found Lorimer waiting for him in his own rooms. Thayer's greeting was curt, for he was still smarting from the memory of his talk with Miss Gannion. He had been impenetrable to her questions, but not to her sharpness, and he was hurt by the disapproval she had shown. It was the first time he had heard the curious icy tone in her voice; it had struck a jarring note in their friendship. For the time being, Miss Gannion had distrusted him; ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... an entanglement of stairways, galleries, and arches falling to the precipices below: all this in miniature; built up in a tiny space; all this encompassed with formidable ramparts, and hooked on to the flanks of gigantic Sinai! From the sharpness and thinness of the air, we know that we are at an excessive height, and yet we seem to be at the bottom of a well. On every side the extreme peaks of Sinai enclose us, as they mount and scale the sky; their titanic walls, all of blood-red granite without stain or shadow, are ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... the Image. Its Use in Imagination. Necessity for Number, Variety, Sharpness. Source of "Imaginative" Productions. Method of Developing Active Imaginative Powers: Cultivate Images in Great Number, Variety, Sharpness; Actively Combine the Elements of ...
— How to Use Your Mind • Harry D. Kitson

... the preacher stopped, and the room fell dead silent, startled by the darkening of his look. 'Ay,' he said, with stern sharpness. 'Ay, that's how you live—them's the things you spend your time and your minds on. You laugh, and I laugh—not a bad sort of life, you think—a good deal of pleasure, after all, to be got out of it. If a man must work he might do worse. O you ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... are tied in fun and for amusement, so that a tyro may find difficulty in untying them, which knots he who tied them can loose without any trouble, because he knows the joinings and the difficulties of them, and these nevertheless afford us some pleasure, because they test the sharpness of our wits, and engross, our attention; so also these questions, which seem subtle and tricky, prevent our intellects becoming careless and lazy, for they ought at one time to have a field given them to level, in order that they may wander about it, and at another to have some dark and rough ...
— L. Annaeus Seneca On Benefits • Seneca

... occasion when I made some observation as to the unreasonable expenditure of our colonies, and said that the people of England should not be taxed to defray expenses which the colonies themselves were well able to bear, turned to me with a sharpness which was not necessary, and said, 'The honourable Member has no objection to make a great empire into a little one; but I have.' Perhaps if he had lived in the United States, if he was a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives there, he would doubt whether ...
— Speeches on Questions of Public Policy, Volume 1 • John Bright

... horse-hair head-gear which he used to wear indoors. He was a man of remarkable intelligence, quick-witted, and by far the best diplomatist I have ever met—and I have met a good many. To entrap him was impossible, however hard you might try. For sharpness and readiness of reply, I never saw a smarter man. He was at one time Corean Ambassador to the Mikado's Court, and in a very short time mastered the Japanese language to perfection; while with Chinese he was as familiar as with his own tongue. I myself ...
— Corea or Cho-sen • A (Arnold) Henry Savage-Landor

... you can expect me to keep house decently on this!" Babe would say contemptuously. Babe's nose, always a little inclined to sharpness, had whittled down to a point of late. "If you knew what ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... town along a large canal, because the river being almost a gun-shot distant, occasioned much trouble to the people in supplying themselves with water; more especially as most of them were then weak and indisposed, owing to the sharpness of the air, which did not agree with them. They had now no other Spanish provisions except bread and wine, owing partly to the bad management of the captains of the ships, and partly because nothing ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. III. • Robert Kerr

... and the next day woke up to a glory of sun and sky, a brilliancy of coloring, a photographic sharpness and clearness of form, a suggestion of beauty beyond that which was seen, which transformed the place as if an angel had passed through it in the night. As he tramped about the sordid hamlet he forgot the rude uncouthness of men and place for a kind of ecstasy at the loveliness about him. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Vol. XVII, No. 102. June, 1876. • Various

... attenuated structure of the limbs is conformable. And then, in this attenuation, in the almost Egyptian proportions, in the shallowness of the chest and shoulders especially, in the Phoenician or old Greek sharpness and length of profile, and the long, conventional, wire-drawn hair of the boy, arching formally over the forehead and round the neck, there is something of archaism, of that archaism which survives, ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... it was constructed on a plan which they could not recommend for adoption by the directors of the Company. One of the principal practical objections to this locomotive was the enormous quantity of coke consumed or wasted by it—about 692 lbs. per hour when travelling—caused by the sharpness of the steam-blast in the chimney, which blew a large proportion of the burning coke ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... word was repeated with increasing frequency; its sharpness wore off, and it became as familiar to her ear as scores of other words unintelligible to her. But Sashenka did not please her, and when she came the mother felt troubled and ill ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... divide itself among many districts. The same results, both good and bad, are observable in Thukydides, whom Dio follows in constructive theory as well as style. It has already been said that our historian sacrifices sharpness of dates to the Onkos, depending, doubtless, on his chronological arrangements to make good the loss. Usually it does so, but occasionally confusion arises. Whether because he noticed this or not, he begins at the opening of ...
— Dio's Rome, Volume 1 (of 6) • Cassius Dio

... its larger applications and wider extent. The mechanical rules of this branch of instruction seemed to whirl me round and round as in a whirlpool. The teacher was Kruesi. The teaching, in spite of the brilliant results within its own circle, and in spite of the sharpness of the quickened powers of perception and comprehension in the children by which it attained those results, yet, to my personal taste, had something too positive in its setting forth, too mechanical in its reception. And Josias Schmid[45] had already, even at that ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... Bobbie exploded, and rested his eyes on Doris, across the table, and the thought of her gentleness was like soothing balm in contrast to Sara's sharpness. ...
— Glory of Youth • Temple Bailey

... company, sought that of her daughter, and moreover was unwilling to be too complacent in the intrigue she saw going on. As soon as the sound of Densuke's steps was heard, O'Mino called him. There was a sharpness in her tone, a note of alarmed decision, that frightened and chilled him. Humbly he sought her presence. A glance showed the absence of O'Naka, yet as usual he prostrated himself in salutation. In ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... the trial. The morbid sensitiveness of Carlyle to his own pains and troubles, so often imaginary, joined with his inconsiderate blindness to his wife's real sufferings, led to many heart-burnings. If she contributed to them, in some degree, by her wilfulness, jealous temper, and sharpness of tongue, ill-health and solitude may well ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... the habit of detraction that in a very short time it was remarked that no courtier ventured on an ill-natured word in her presence, and that even the Comte de Provence, who especially aimed at the reputation of a sayer of good things, and affected a character for cynical sharpness, learned at last to restrain his sarcastic tongue, and at least to pretend a disposition to look at people's characters and actions with ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... Tarzan could not but note with grudging approval the spirit of helpfulness she manifested in the oft-times painful labor of gathering and arranging the thorn bushes which constituted the temporary protection against roaming carnivores. Her hands and arms gave bloody token of the sharpness of the numerous points that had lacerated her soft flesh, and even though she were an enemy Tarzan could not but feel compunction that he had permitted her to do this work, and at last ...
— Tarzan the Untamed • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... than my hat and Mother combined, but I could see the girl expected me to make it and would take no substitutes, and in this attitude I had to admit that she showed very sound judgment, because I keep the incisor parts of those plates filed to razor sharpness. I have to be careful about my tongue and lips but I figure it's worth it. With my dental scimitars I can in a wink bite out a chunk of throat and windpipe or jugular, though I've never had ...
— The Night of the Long Knives • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... When the Sharpness of the Pain was gone, and the Pulse became soft, very often a dull Pain remained for some Time in the Part.—In some Cases a brisk Purge removed it;—in others, cupping above the Part, and afterwards rubbing it with the volatile Liniments, did Service;—in ...
— An Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British military hospitals in Germany • Donald Monro

... of the fashionable world. At eight o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln entered, and not even the utterance of a fervid passage in the lecture could repress the enthusiasm of the audience. Just as the President entered the hall Miss Dickinson was criticising with some sharpness his Amnesty Proclamation and the Supreme Court; and the audience, as if feeling it to be their duty to applaud a just sentiment, even at the expense of courtesy, sustained the criticism with a round of deafening cheers. Mr. Lincoln sat meekly ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... instinctive love of fun which appealed to Rebecca; she also had a fascinating knowledge of the world, from having visited her married sisters in Milltown and Portland; but on the other hand there was a certain sharpness and lack of sympathy in Huldah which repelled rather than attracted. With Dick Carter she could at least talk intelligently about lessons. He was a very ambitious boy, full of plans for his future, which he discussed quite freely with Rebecca, but when she broached the subject of her future ...
— Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... island surrounded by a moat thirty feet deep and twenty feet wide, over which lay a drawbridge. So Jack employed men to cut through this bridge on both sides, nearly to the middle; and then, dressing himself in his invisible coat, he marched against the giant with his sword of sharpness. Although the giant could not see Jack, he smelt his approach, and ...
— Childhood's Favorites and Fairy Stories - The Young Folks Treasury, Volume 1 • Various

... sharpness from continuous wear, so dulled the eyes of Carrick in his combat with Death. In the bitterness of his strife he struggled to his elbow. Who can tell of the range of one's soul or the might thereof? On the brink of Eternity, Life wrestled with Death. The body was to be bared of the soul. Was the ...
— Trusia - A Princess of Krovitch • Davis Brinton

... from Port Royal, whence the details of the coast of Jamaica were losing their sharpness, the Arabella hove to, and the sloop she had ...
— Captain Blood • Rafael Sabatini

... the Redclyffe temper, I was hardly prepared to find it so ready to flash forth on the most inexplicable provocations. It is like walking on a volcano. I have seen him two or three times draw himself up, bite his lip, and answer with an effort and a sharpness that shows how thin a crust covers the burning lava; but I acknowledge that he has been very civil and attentive, and speaks most properly of what he owes to you. I only hope he will not be hurt by the possession of so large a property ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... securing for its author a large circle of readers on both sides of the Atlantic ready to welcome the future productions of her pen. The qualities which distinguish her writings are vigor of conception, sharpness of characterization, a moral earnestness pervading the judgments and reflections, and an ardor, sometimes too exuberant, which gives intensity to the delineation even while exciting doubts of its fidelity. Similar qualities had characterized her acting, and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 11, - No. 22, January, 1873 • Various

... nephew. The only thing of yore that clung to her was a violent perfume; she drenched herself with the strongest essences, as if she had been anxious to wash from her skin the smell of all the aromatic simples with which she had been impregnated by her herbalist business; however, the sharpness of rhubarb, the bitterness of elder-seed, and the warmth of peppermint clung to her; and as soon as she crossed the drawing-room, it was filled with an undefinable smell like that of a chemist's shop, relieved by an acute ...
— His Masterpiece • Emile Zola

... of our civil war, certain truths, hitherto unobserved or guessed at merely, have been brought out with extraordinary sharpness of relief; and two of them have been specially impressive, the one for European observers, the other for ourselves. The first, and perhaps the most startling to the Old World watcher of the political skies, upon whose field of vision the flaming sword of our western heavens grew from a misty speck ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... splendid as they are wonderful, have excited the admiration of all beholders. The sharpness and elegant uniformity of the type, the lustre of the ink, and the purity of the paper leave that first great monument of the typographic art unsurpassed by any subsequent effort; nor could it be exceeded with all the appliances of the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... "Not at home" with a tone of unusual sharpness and decision, which left the servant in no doubt he must be equally decided at the ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... on her way home; but when that last one came, it stayed; and through all the sharpness of the others—through anger and mortification and the keen sense of injury, and the fiery rebellion against control—the moveless weight upon her breast was worse than all. What was it? What laid it there? Not much to look at. A poor little plant, ...
— Wych Hazel • Susan and Anna Warner

... rain pelted down from the now thoroughly black dome above them, striking in the road with the sharpness ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... would come home himself," said Elsa. "I think Geoff would be much the better for a visit from him," she added, with a slight touch of sharpness in ...
— Great Uncle Hoot-Toot • Mrs. Molesworth

... climbed to the top of the bank to see the sunset. The breeze had dropped, the dust devils died with it. The silence of evening lay like a cool hand on the heated earth. Dusk was softening the hard, bright colors, wiping out the sharpness of stretching shadows the baked reflection of sun on clay. The West blazed above the mountains, but the rest of the sky was a thick, pure blue. Against it to the South, a single peak rose, snow-enameled on a ...
— The Emigrant Trail • Geraldine Bonner

... breathe forth a flame of minstrel fire. O happy tribe of choristers! no interruption mars The concert of your harmony, nor ever harshly jars A string of all your harping, nor of your voices trill Notes that are weak for tameness, that are for sharpness shrill. ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume IV. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... recognition; but for a marvel she spoke no word of reproach, and Darsie saw, with a sobering thrill, a glitter as of tears in the old eyes, and the mental question which arose at the sight was answered with intuitive sharpness. It was so long since she had been hugged before, so many, many years since anything more than a conventional peck had been pressed upon her cheek! Old, stern, proper as she was, Aunt ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... the sharpness of the needle's point; keen, from the Saxon, the sharpness of the cutting edge. Astute, from the Latin, with the original sense of cunning has come to have a meaning that combines the sense of acute or keen with that of sagacious. ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... strong light was burning in the room. The shadow of a man who was seated in a chair within was thrown in hard, black outline upon the luminous screen of the window. There was no mistaking the poise of the head, the squareness of the shoulders, the sharpness of the features. The face was turned half-round, and the effect was that of one of those black silhouettes which our grandparents loved to frame. It was a perfect reproduction of Holmes. So amazed was I that I threw out my hand to make sure that the man himself was ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... things that try us; but if we also do or say something hastily at that time, it will increase our trial and make it the more difficult to bear. It will make the clouds that come all the darker. If we have not been as kind as we ought to have been, if there has been a sharpness in our words, or if we have manifested our displeasure at something in a way that showed our feelings too much, it is sure to bring a cloud over ...
— Heart Talks • Charles Wesley Naylor

... scrupulous. Holding on by the rope with great tenacity, the only difficulty now in the way seemed his legs, which were too short to get crossed upon the oar. Declaring he had never before rode an animal of such sharpness in the back, he proposed that the crossing of legs be omitted, when he would show them that he could dislodge the hat with great agility sitting astride the oar. But as this would leave no chance for the sport that was to follow, the officers all asserted upon their reputations ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... spends his time in beating a tattoo on the sofa-legs with the backs of his heels. His father says: "Stop that!" at regular intervals with much sharpness of manner; but lacks the persistent vitality ...
— Flint - His Faults, His Friendships and His Fortunes • Maud Wilder Goodwin

... his jokes, and hovers careless along; his cloak well adjusted to the wind, if so be he may please all persons. The simple young King, whom a Maurepas cannot think of troubling with business, has retired into the interior apartments; taciturn, irresolute; though with a sharpness of temper at times: he, at length, determines on a little smithwork; and so, in apprenticeship with a Sieur Gamain (whom one day he shall have little cause to bless), is learning to make locks. (Campan, i. 125.) It appears further, he understood ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... any argument of considerable ability in him that haps to please this way: a slender faculty will serve the turn. The sharpness of his speech cometh not from wit so much as from choler, which furnisheth the lowest inventions with a kind of pungent expression, and giveth an edge to every spiteful word: so that any dull wretch doth seem to scold eloquently and ingeniously. Commonly also satirical taunts do ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... ideas, has never ceased to haunt a certain class of minds. Started again and again in successive periods by enthusiasts on the antique pattern, in each case the thought may have seemed paler and more fantastic amid the growing [77] consistency and sharpness of outline of other and more positive forms of knowledge. Still, wherever the speculative instinct has been united with a certain poetic inwardness of temperament, as in Bruno, in Schelling, there that old Greek conception, like some seed floating ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... a touch of sharpness, not feeling very kindly disposed towards him at the moment. She was still somewhat agitated, and she wished with all her heart that he would go and ...
— The Top of the World • Ethel M. Dell

... are rarely put with sharpness of form; and as they varied in the manner shown in Note 31, it is hardly possible to lay down a fixed account of his system. The following remarks are rather the spirit of his Glaubenslehre than an analysis ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... a full beard, dark and carefully tended, and had the long face and pronounced nose of the Boccaneras, but the impoverishment of the family blood over a course of centuries had attenuated, softened as it were, any sharpness or ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... Beth-Hamidrash—for I was destined by my grandfather for a Rabbi—my heart is too heavy to speak. Who does not know the arid wilderness of ceremonial law, the barren hyper-subtleties of Talmudic debate, which in my country had then reached the extreme of human sharpness in dividing hairs; the dead sea fruit of learning, unquickened by living waters? And who will wonder if my soul turned in silent longing in search of green pastures, and panted for the water-brooks, and if my childish spirit found solace in the tales ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... talents; had we employed our ridicule to strip the foolish faces of Superstition, Fanaticism, and Dogmatical Pride of the serious and solemn masks with which they are covered, at the same time exerting all the sharpness of our wit to combat the flippancy and pertness of those who argue only by jests against reason and evidence in points of the highest and most serious concern, we should have much better merited the esteem ...
— Dialogues of the Dead • Lord Lyttelton

... certain electrical conditions are necessary to a shower of dust as well as to a thunder-storm;' and that, in the periodical intervals, we may get a clue to the rate of motion of the upper aerial currents, which appear to be 'remarkable for their general regularity, their general direction, and sharpness of limits.' ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 432 - Volume 17, New Series, April 10, 1852 • Various

... delight in their revenge, and sparkle with joy, as the sun shines upon their victory. That keel, which, with the sharpness of a scythe, has so often mowed its course through the reluctant wave, is now buried;—buried deep in the sand, which the angry surge accumulates each minute, as if determined that it never will be ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... In the morning they found that the most part of the avalanche had fallen into the river, but its tail remained, resting in a steep cone of snow and broken trees and soil, against the bank on which they had built the frames. The top of the cone extended far up the hill, but, owing to the sharpness of the pitch, its bottom, which covered the frames and rockwork, was thin. Festing sent half the men to cut this portion away, and the others up the hill to haul posts for the snowshed to the top of the slides. ...
— The Girl From Keller's - Sadie's Conquest • Harold Bindloss

... the eagle the virtue of sight is most mighty and strong. For in the eagle the spirit of sight is most temperate and most sharp in act and deed of seeing and beholding the sun in the roundness of its circle without blemishing of eyen. And the sharpness of her sight is not rebounded again with clearness of light of the sun, nother disperpled. There is one manner eagle that is full sharp of sight, and she taketh her own birds in her claws, and maketh them to look even on the sun, and that ere their wings be full grown, ...
— Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus • Robert Steele

... darkness round us press; Would we have one sorrow less? All the sharpness of the cross, All that tells the world is loss, Death, and darkness, and the tomb Pain ...
— The Otterbein Hymnal - For Use in Public and Social Worship • Edmund S. Lorenz

... are inured to a dogged assiduity, and persist in their unavailing attempts, though the shell of science, so to speak, is scarcely in the smallest measure penetrated, yet that inestimable gift of the author of our being, the sharpness of human faculties, is so blunted and destroyed, that it can scarcely ever be usefully employed even for those purposes which it was originally ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... an appropriate reply, but reflected. These gushes of feeling on the part of Miss Burney sometimes appeared to me a little overwrought and designed to conceal a sharpness of wit and observation which she feared to exercise in courtly circles. In this resolve she was doubtless discreet, but it gave her conversation a turn of unreality which impressed as might the use of some ...
— The Ladies - A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty • E. Barrington

... it could have been transcribed then, no doubt it would have proved to be of the most intense interest; but unfortunately it had to be recalled the next morning when its clearness was muddled, the sharpness of its ...
— Fitz the Filibuster • George Manville Fenn

... holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart, Go forth, ...
— Eighth Reader • James Baldwin

... of the girls with warmth. "Your sharpness is no match for Minnie's earnestness, I am sure all here think so!" and she turned ...
— Hollowmell - or, A Schoolgirl's Mission • E.R. Burden

... report of a pistol different from the roar of the cannon, and so unexpected and near that it startled the listeners as if its sharpness had broken in upon the ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1886. - The Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 2, February, 1886. • Various

... heart he most cared for applauded and sympathized with his hopes and his failures Adam could be silent and be calm. To Jerrem alone the cause of this alteration was apparent, and with all the lynx-eyed sharpness of vexed and wounded vanity he tried to thwart and irritate Adam by sneering remarks and covert suggestions that all must now give way to him: it was nothing but "follow my leader" and do and say what he chose—words which were as pitch upon tow to natures so readily inflamed, so headstrong against ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... guess you suggested paste. But, being a wily person, he pointed out that paste has a habit of not wearing well. It is pretty enough when it's new, but quite a small amount of ordinary wear and tear destroys the polish of the surface and the sharpness of the cutting. It gets scratched easily. Having heard this, and reflecting that Lady Julia was not likely to keep the necklace under a glass case, you rejected paste as too risky. The genial jeweler then suggested white jargoon, mentioning, as I have done, that, after an application ...
— The Intrusion of Jimmy • P. G. Wodehouse

... and, as they expected, entered into conversation with them. After the first remarks—on the sharpness of the weather—Ralph produced a tin of portable soup, and asked the landlord if he would have ...
— The Young Franc Tireurs - And Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War • G. A. Henty

... well. The sheets of paper are pasted with a brush, and are united by successive processes of cold-drying, hot-drying, and hydraulic pressure. Each sheet is large enough for forty cards. The outer surfaces of the outer sheets are prepared with a kind of flinty coating, which gives sharpness to the outline of the various coloured devices. Most packs of cards are now made with coloured backs. The ground-tint is laid on with a brush, and consists of dis-temper colour, or pigments mixed with warm melted size. The device impressed on ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... introduced the ensigns, was a man in his fifties, rather bald, and with a decided stoop in his shoulders. At home he was a manufacturer of barbed wire, and his business, as Danny later suggested, had perhaps helped to give him some of his keenness and sharpness. He was slenderly fashioned, and reminded one, at first, of a ...
— Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service - or, With Dan Dalzell on European Duty • H. Irving Hancock

... day, one stretched out one's hands to be warmed. She guarded herself against the charge of being amiable. "It would be horrid to be amiable," she used to say, and, indeed, there was always a touch of sharpness about her. She was amused once because I told her she was like an acidulated drop, half sweet and half sour. "Oh! any stupid woman can be sweet," she said, "it's often ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... master of the house with sudden sharpness. He had been surveying the scene from the hearthrug, chuckling in benevolent amusement ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... brilliant glancing ETUDE, the notes of which flew off like sparks; others, further away, of which were audible only the convulsive treble outbursts and the toneless rumblings of the bass, now and then cut shrilly through by the piercing sharpness of a violin, now and then, at quieter moments, borne up and accompanied by the deep, guttural tones of a neighbouring violoncello. This was always discovered at work upon scales, uncertain, hesitating scales on the lower strings, and, heard ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson



Words linked to "Sharpness" :   spiciness, sharp, form, ill nature, distressingness, shape, softness, acuteness, dullness, urgency, painfulness, clearness, discernability, pungency, spicery, steel trap, clarity, configuration, asperity, legibility, contour, spice, focus, bite, conformation, definition, uncloudedness, intelligence, indistinctness



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