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Aberration   Listen
noun
Aberration  n.  
1.
The act of wandering; deviation, especially from truth or moral rectitude, from the natural state, or from a type. "The aberration of youth." "Aberrations from theory."
2.
A partial alienation of reason. "Occasional aberrations of intellect." "Whims, which at first are the aberrations of a single brain, pass with heat into epidemic form."
3.
(Astron.) A small periodical change of position in the stars and other heavenly bodies, due to the combined effect of the motion of light and the motion of the observer; called annual aberration, when the observer's motion is that of the earth in its orbit, and daily or diurnal aberration, when of the earth on its axis; amounting when greatest, in the former case, to 20.4'', and in the latter, to 0.3''. Planetary aberration is that due to the motion of light and the motion of the planet relative to the earth.
4.
(Opt.) The convergence to different foci, by a lens or mirror, of rays of light emanating from one and the same point, or the deviation of such rays from a single focus; called spherical aberration, when due to the spherical form of the lens or mirror, such form giving different foci for central and marginal rays; and chromatic aberration, when due to different refrangibilities of the colored rays of the spectrum, those of each color having a distinct focus.
5.
(Physiol.) The passage of blood or other fluid into parts not appropriate for it.
6.
(Law) The producing of an unintended effect by the glancing of an instrument, as when a shot intended for A glances and strikes B.
Synonyms: Insanity; lunacy; madness; derangement; alienation; mania; dementia; hallucination; illusion; delusion. See Insanity.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Aberration" Quotes from Famous Books



... avez bien raison, Monsieur. Je suis evidemment dans mon tort. Ma visite a Varsovie etait une aberration. As to my stay, je suis deja tout ce qu'il y a de plus ennuye. I have seen enough of Warsaw to last for ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... exactly true of any one, must, actually, when extended to cases where the error would be appreciable (e.g. to lines of perceptible breadth), be corrected by the joining to them of new propositions about the aberration. The exact correspondence, then, between the facts and those first principles of geometry which are involved in the so-called definitions, is a fiction, and is merely supposed. Geometry has, indeed (what Dugald Stewart did not perceive), some first principles which are true without any ...
— Analysis of Mr. Mill's System of Logic • William Stebbing

... divine worship was completed, they were led in solemn procession to the altar, where they made some small offering of alms, and where it is probable that many were, through the influence of devotion and the sanctity of the place, cured of this lamentable aberration. It is worthy of observation, at all events, that the dancing mania did not recommence at the altars of the saint, and that from him alone assistance was implored, and through his miraculous interposition a cure was expected, which ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... have treated acute sickness in all its forms, and you have had many cases in which, because of irritable stomachs, neither food nor medicine could be given. Day after day you have seen the wasting of the bodies, and you have also seen mental aberration or stupor lessen day by day as the disease lessened its grasp upon the brain-centres, and finally when the point of natural hunger was reached, you never found the lost pounds a matter of physical discomfort ...
— The No Breakfast Plan and the Fasting-Cure • Edward Hooker Dewey

... of course by simple peasants in their devotion to whatever method of salvation they believe to be in accordance with God's will. Thus came into existence the self-mutilators, or skoptzi, victims, no doubt, of some mental aberration, some misdirected sense of duty, but yet how ...
— Modern Saints and Seers • Jean Finot

... by which other young men in other fields of endeavor were to be gauged: the farther they deviated from the standard he automatically set up, the more lamentable their deficiencies. A few condescending inquiries as to the academic life, that strange aberration from the normality of the practical and profitable course which made the ordinary life of the day, and the separation came. "Enough of him!" muttered Cope to himself presently, and began to cast about for other company. Amy Leffingwell ...
— Bertram Cope's Year • Henry Blake Fuller

... old-fashioned tragedian, he was pacing up and down, hands behind his back, head bowed, eyes on the floor. More, he was mumbling to himself. It was evident, however, that it was neither a pose nor mental aberration. Shirley was searching for something, out in the open, without attempt at concealment, swearing softly at ...
— The Film Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve

... propitiatory sacrifice to the manes of Thomas Jeffcourt; but it being pointed out by the undertaker that it might involve some uncertainty in the settlement of his bill, together with some reasonable doubt of the thorough resignation of Corbin, whose previous momentary aberration in that respect they were celebrating, the project was postponed until AFTER THE FUNERAL. And here an ...
— Colonel Starbottle's Client and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... you, but my Suspicions were correct. We have all been completely hoodwinked by that old Villain, my Brother-in-law. I can give him no other Name, for his partial Aberration of Mind has only sharpened his natural Cunning. Would you believe it? He had obtained access to Delavie House, and had there hidden the unfortunate Object of your Search, while he pretended to be assisting you, and this Morning he carried her off in a Sedan. I have sent the good Doves to ...
— Love and Life • Charlotte M. Yonge

... from it that gravity does not travel like light, so as to take time on its journey from sun to planet; for, if it did, there would be a sort of aberration, and the force on its arrival could no longer be accurately directed to the centre of the sun. (See Nature, vol. xlvi., p. 497.) It is a matter for accuracy of observation, therefore, to decide whether the minutest trace of such ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... was not the only development which came from this ominous day in the mid-Atlantic in that September of 1492. The fancy of Columbus was easily excited, and notions of a change of climate, and even aberration of the stars were easily imagined by him amid the strange ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: Explorers • Various

... association with an attraction for other persons, to which attraction it is, of course, normally subservient. "The mirror," remarks Bloch (Beitraege 1, p. 201), "plays an important part in the genesis of sexual aberration.... It cannot be doubted that many a boy and girl have first experienced sexual excitement at the sight of their own ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... 818).[10] Such was Plato's judgment of mathematics; but the mathematicians do not read Plato, while those who read him know no mathematics, and regard his opinion upon this question as merely a curious aberration. ...
— Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays • Bertrand Russell

... momentary aberration, looked around him with astonishment, passed his hand over his face, collected his thoughts, and said to his daughter, "It seems to me I have forgotten myself for a moment—fatigue—sorrow. What did ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... Vedas and the scriptures. And the monarch also heard the harmonious cackle of the geese sporting in the lakes. Beholding such exceedingly wonderful sights, the king began to reflect inwardly, saying, 'Is this a dream? Or is all this due to an aberration of my mind? Or, is it all real? O, I have, without casting off my earthly tenement, attained to the beatitude of heaven! This land is either the sacred country of the Uttara-Kurus, or the abode, called ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... Further, a gloss on Ps. 30:1, "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded," says in explaining the title [*Unto the end, a psalm for David, in an ecstasy]: "Ekstasis in Greek signifies in Latin excessus mentis, an aberration of the mind. This happens in two ways, either through dread of earthly things or through the mind being rapt in heavenly things and forgetful of this lower world." Now dread of earthly things pertains to the appetite. Therefore rapture of the mind in heavenly ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... her husband and her children. This is not right. Like man, woman is born and lives in society, and she can not and must not remain indifferent to social distress and suffering. To think otherwise would be selfishness and aberration and would leave society a prey to much suffering which only the blessed hand of woman can cure or relieve. Let woman be the glory and happiness of the home; but do not forget that she must extend her beneficent action beyond the confines of the household, that she must make ...
— The Woman and the Right to Vote • Rafael Palma

... course, a most obvious aspect of the difficulty in defining the future defense posture of the nation. The United States has long resisted maintaining a large standing military and the Cold War years could prove an aberration to that history. Extending this historical observation of small standing forces, it is clear that there is no adversary on the horizon even remotely approaching the military power of the former USSR. While we might conjure up nominal regional contingencies ...
— Shock and Awe - Achieving Rapid Dominance • Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade

... the presence of a band of loafers and street-walkers. Suddenly, vividly, she relived again the horrible moment when he had tried to force himself into her room, and what she had before supposed to be a mad aberration now appeared to her as a vulgar incident in a debauched and ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... capture, and finally, even their names. I should think that by the middle of January, at least one in every ten had sunk to this imbecile condition. It was not insanity so much as mental atrophy—not so much aberration of the mind, as a paralysis of mental action. The sufferers became apathetic idiots, with no desire or wish to do or be anything. If they walked around at all they had to be watched closely, to prevent their straying over the Dead Line, and giving the young brats of guards the coveted opportunity ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... united in herself a seductive grace of carriage, beauty of person, and dignity of rank, which made her the ornament of the French Court. She was almost the only one about the unfortunate Charles VI. who could influence him in his moments of mental aberration. Coming from the luxury of the most splendid court in Italy, she brought into France the most refined taste in matters connected with the arts. The inventory of her jewels at the time of her marriage includes three Books of Hours, three German MSS., and a volume called Mandavilla. ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... his own motives with a severer judgment than that of the world, as his scrutiny is more close, and his self-knowledge more minute. He knows the secret sin, the mental act, the spiritual aberration. He knows the distance between his highest effort and that lofty standard of perfection to which he has pledged his purposes. Alone, alone does the great conflict go on within him. The struggle, the self-denial, the pain, and the victory, are of the very ...
— The Crown of Thorns - A Token for the Sorrowing • E. H. Chapin

... insisted that tics are not morbid entities but episodic syndromes of mental degeneration. Charcot referred to tic as a sort of hereditary aberration, which, I may add, is surely true when we view it from the phylogenetic standpoint, as representing a resurrection of what was at one time a normal tendency or reaction. Noir has called attention to ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... demanded of him (he was still very angry), if he had sworn to live and die mad. This might have been, from the sequel, taken as a prediction; for the unfortunate general died at last in a fit of mental aberration. He replied in such improper terms to the reprimands of the Emperor that he was sent, perhaps in order that he might have time to calm himself, to the army of England. It was not only in gaming-houses, however, that the governor ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... perfection and complication.—To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being ...
— On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection • Charles Darwin

... his critical faculty, his judgment. He no longer perceives the defects of his work—does not know that it is mediocre or bad. That is the horror of it! The artist who has fallen from his original high estate is no more conscious of his failings than the lunatic is aware of his mental aberration. ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... either positively distressed by the apparently necessary demands of her husband upon her, and irresponsive to them, or kept to a cheerful response by a self-abnegation and regard for his comfort, not to say fear of his moral aberration, which is a positive drain upon her health ...
— The Four Epochs of Woman's Life • Anna M. Galbraith

... An aberration in which everything is pardonable. Whatever you do, you will be acquitted ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... New Vetzlar Eye-pieces, as exhibited at the Academy of Sciences in Paris. The Lenses of these Eye-pieces are so constructed that the rays of light fall nearly perpendicular to the surface of the various lenses, by which the aberration is completely removed; and a telescope so fitted gives one-third more magnifying power and light than could be obtained by the old Eye-pieces. Prices of the various sizes ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 192, July 2, 1853 • Various

... nothing. Night and day were the same. He did not eat. When he lay back upon his bed he became irrational, yet seemed to be conscious of it. When he sat up his senses slowly righted. But he preferred the spells of aberration. Sometimes he was possessed by hideous nightmares, out of which he awoke with the terror of a child. Then he would have to sit up in the dark, in a cold sweat, and wait, and wait, until he dared ...
— The Day of the Beast • Zane Grey

... which it lives up to or falls short of that standard. Judged by this, surely the fairest, the only fair, rule, Japan has every reason to be considered a moral country. Those shocking crimes which appear to be the outcome of either the aberration or the inversion of the sexual instincts are almost unknown there. Nor do I consider that the public estimate of prostitution on the whole makes for immorality. If an evil exist, and prostitution is undoubtedly an evil, it is surely better to regulate it than to affect to be oblivious ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... said Perenna, producing the pocket-book which he had taken out of the cripple's jacket. "Here are letters and documents which the villain preserved, owing to a mental aberration common to all great criminals. Here, by good luck, is his correspondence with Hippolyte Fauville. Here is the original of the prospectus from which I learned that the house on the Place du Palais-Bourbon was for sale. Here is a memorandum of Jean Vernocq's journeys to Alencon to intercept Fauville's ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... "Now, don't take advantage of a moment's aberration, Alice; and for Heaven's sake don't fall in love wiv me" (he made a v of a th, like Jigger). "I couldn't go to ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... their opinions and even consult them, although he knew that they entirely rejected his Progressivism. General Luke E. Wright, who remained a devoted friend but did not become a Progressive, used to explain what the others called the Colonel's aberration, as being really a very subtle piece of wisdom. Experienced ranchmen, he would say, when their herds stampede in a sudden alarm, spur their horses through the rushing cattle, fire their revolvers into the air, and gradually, by making the herds suppose that men and beasts are ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... I choose to ignore this episode, this little aberration on your part. You must be equally anxious to forget it. In which case we ...
— The Immortal Moment - The Story of Kitty Tailleur • May Sinclair

... leave her husband, and the scene is shifted to a little Harz village, where she is married to Webson; but the unreasonableness of her nature develops inordinately, and she is unable ever to submit to any reasonable human relations, and the rest of the tale is occupied with her increasing mental aberration, her retirement to a ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

... of the old Russian laws had not the slightest influence, either in changing this national attitude or in diminishing the prevalence, at the very least as great as elsewhere, of sexual laxity or sexual aberration. Nowadays, as Russia attains national self-consciousness, these laws against immorality are being slowly remoulded in accordance with the national temperament, and in some respects—as in its attitude towards homosexuality and the introduction ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... damn him—a thorn in the flesh of the Assembly. They've burnt his chateau at La Tour d'Azyr. Unfortunately he wasn't in it at the time. The flames haven't even singed his insolence. He dreams that when this philosophic aberration is at an end, there will be serfs ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... with the monitors. One or two of their number went, so far as to pick quarrels with members of the rival class, in hopes of a fight. But in this they were not successful. The Sixth chose to look upon this display of feeling among their juniors as a temporary aberration of mind, and were by no means to be tempted into hostilities. They asserted their authority wherever they could enforce it, and sacrificed it whenever it seemed more discreet to do so. Only one thing evoked a temporary display of vexation from ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... select. To put it briefly, I will end by using the language of psychiatry: if one denies that creative work involves problems and purposes, one must admit that an artist creates without premeditation or intention, in a state of aberration; therefore, if an author boasted to me of having written a novel without a preconceived design, under a sudden inspiration, ...
— Letters of Anton Chekhov • Anton Chekhov

... and innocence are charming to contemplate, I will say that in spite of ill-usage, in spite of drawbacks, in spite of mysterious separation and union, of hope delayed and sickened heart—in the teeth of Vanessa, and that little episodical aberration which plunged Swift into such woful pitfalls and quagmires of amorous perplexity—in spite of the verdicts of most women, I believe, who, as far as my experience and conversation go, generally take Vanessa's part in the controversy—in ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... or recurred to the din and crash of the battle-field, with the mad bounding of the war-horse, and the loud clang of the trumpet. Perhaps the acute pain of my swollen and suffering arm gave the character to my mental aberration; for I have more than once observed among the wounded in battle, that even when torn and mangled by grape from a howitzer, their ravings have partaken of a high feature of enthusiasm,—shouts of triumph and exclamations of pleasure, even songs have I heard, but never once the low muttering ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 2 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... that his wits were at present too bewildered for her purpose, being always subject to aberration under any peculiar excitement of either mind ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) • John Roby

... derision. At such times Miss Frost's heart went cold within her. She dared not realize. And she chid and checked her ward, restored her to the usual impulsive, affectionate demureness. Then she dismissed the whole matter. It was just an accidental aberration on the girl's part from her own true nature. Miss Frost taught Alvina thoroughly the qualities of her own true nature, and Alvina believed what she was taught. She remained for twenty years the demure, refined creature of her governess' desire. But there was an odd, derisive ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... tears, Randal gradually recovered from his strange aberration into vulgar and low humanity. His habitual contempt for his kinsman returned; and with contempt came the natural indifference to the sufferings of the thing to be put to use. It is contempt for the worm that makes the angler fix it on the hook, and observe with complacency ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... by one-half the length of reflecting telescopes. The advantage of substituting, as you propose, a convex for a plane mirror arises from two causes that a spherical surface is more easily executed than a plane one; and that the spherical aberration of the larger speculum, if it be spherical, will be diminished by the opposite aberration of the convex one. This advantage, however, will disappear if the plane mirror of the old construction is accurately plane; and in your case, if the large speculum ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... full moon seems to affect dogs to a state of partial hypnosis with consequent howling and evident pain in the eyes. Certain feeble minded persons have been known to be adversely affected by moonlight as well as some cases of complete mental aberration. In other words, while moonlight has no practical effect on the normal human in its usual concentration, it does have an adverse effect on certain types of mentality and, despite the laughter of medical science, there seems to be something in the theory of 'moon madness.' ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 • Various

... haunted more insistently than the Homeridai by the possibilities of disaster inherent in success of every kind—in personal prosperity, in military victory, and in the social triumph of civilization. They traced the mischief to an aberration of the human spirit under the shock of sudden, unexpected attainment, and they realized that both the accumulated achievement of generations and the greater promise of the future might be lost irretrievably by ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... articulation and sense. Take, for instance, this—I do not remember just now a propos of which composition, but it is very appropriate to those we are now discussing:—"The whole striving of the composer must be regarded as an aberration, based on decided talent, we admit, but nevertheless an aberration." You see the most hostile of Chopin's critics does not deny his talent; indeed, Rellstab sometimes, especially subsequently, speaks quite patronisingly about him. I shall take this opportunity to contradict ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... head, and, squatting like some metal Buddha in this weird light that ministered to its needs, it seemed to Denton in certain moods almost as if this must needs be the obscure idol to which humanity in some strange aberration had offered up his life. His duties had a varied monotony. Such items as the following will convey an idea of the service of the press. The thing worked with a busy clicking so long as things went well; but if the paste that came pouring through a feeder from another ...
— Tales of Space and Time • Herbert George Wells

... himself never appeared to triturate or decoct or do anything else with the mysterious herbs, our old friend was inclined to imagine the weighty commendation of their virtues to have been the idly solemn utterance of mental aberration at the hour of death. So, with the integrity that belonged to his character, he had nurtured them as tenderly as was possible in the ungenial climate and soil of New England, putting some of them into pots for the winter; but they had rather dwindled ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865 • Various

... be very careful not to confound monomania with eccentricity. The distinction is as important as it is real. Eccentricity is a conscious aberration from the common course of life; it consists in peculiarities in reasoning, words, and actions, which are wilfully indulged, in defiance of popular sentiment. The eccentric man knows that he is eccentric; he is willing to ...
— Moral Principles and Medical Practice - The Basis of Medical Jurisprudence • Charles Coppens

... the double motion of the earth—movement of rotation on her axis, and a movement of revolution round the sun. If additional proof of the latter were needed, it was furnished by Bradley's great discovery of the aberration of the fixed stars, an aberration depending partly on the progressive motion of light, and partly on the revolution of the earth. Bradley's discovery ranked in importance with that of the precession of the equinoxes. Roemer's discovery of the progressive motion of light, though ...
— History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science • John William Draper

... and after Katherine, on Hardy's part, had suggested sundry innovations, involving the condemnation of all the pictures and ornaments she could lay her hands on,—a piece of sacrilege which Mrs. Rogers regarded more in sorrow than in anger, as indicating a pitiable aberration of intellect,—the rooms were ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... spherical, or astigmatic aberration," he reported in surprise. "The refracting system is invisible—it seems as though nothing intervenes between the eye and the object. You perfected all these things since we left Osnome, Dunark? You are in a class by yourself. I could not even copy them in less than ...
— Skylark Three • Edward Elmer Smith

... of Xenia, states, that on one occasion, while Tecumseh was quite young, he saw him intoxicated. This is the only aberration of the kind, which we have heard charged ...
— Life of Tecumseh, and of His Brother the Prophet - With a Historical Sketch of the Shawanoe Indians • Benjamin Drake

... of this large hospitality, instances even of individual excess are comparatively rare. I have seen more aberration of intellect and convivial eccentricity after a Greenwich dinner, or a heavy "guest-night," than was displayed at any one of these Baltimore entertainments: a stranger endowed with a fair constitution, abstaining from morning drinks, and paying attention to the Irishman's paternal advice—"Keep ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... that some have achieved it—so to believe in and rest upon the immutable Health—so to regard one's own sickness as a kind of passing aberration, that the soul is thereby sustained, even as sometimes in a weary dream the man is comforted by telling himself it is but a dream, and that waking is sure. God would have us reasonable and strong. Every effort of his children to rise ...
— Miracles of Our Lord • George MacDonald

... inconvenient—" The Prioress's thoughts faded away; for even to herself she did not like to admit that it would be inconvenient for Evelyn to confess to Father Daly the sins she had committed—if she had committed any. Perhaps it might be all an aberration, an illusion in the interval between her father's death and her return to the convent. "Her sins have been absolved, and for guidance she will not turn to Father Daly but to me." The Reverend Mother reflected that a man would not be able to help this woman with his ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... whole world our debtor. No nation is better endowed by nature with a faculty for sane idealism than the English. We were never intended to be a nation of shopkeepers, if a shopkeeper is doomed to be merely a shopkeeper, which of course he is not. Our brutal commercialism has been a temporary aberration; the quintessential Englishman is not the hero of Smiles' 'Self-help'; he is Raleigh, Drake, Shakespeare, Milton, Johnson, or Wordsworth, with a pleasant spice of Dickens. He is, in a word, an idealist ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... and attendant of theirs is more kin than kind. I have related in a former work that I once saw a peregrine strike down and kill an owl—a sight that made me gasp with astonishment. But I am inclined to think of this act as only a slip, a slight aberration, on the part of the falcon, so universal is the sense of relationship among the kinds that have the rapacious habit; or, at the worst, it was merely an isolated act of deviltry and daring of the sharp-winged pirate of the sky, a sudden assertion ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... resume her throne; and it was not till after months of suffering and agony, that she recovered, if that could be called recovery, which gave back a deformed and hapless lunatic, bereft of intellect and of beauty, in place of the once gay and fascinating Rosalie. The dread aberration of intellect was attributed by her medical attendants to the fatal and sudden shock which she had sustained, and to its effect on a mind weakened by previous anxiety and sorrow; while they feared her malady was of a nature, which admitted no hope ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 267, August 4, 1827 • Various

... 'Blackwood,' do you see an article called 'Poetic Aberration'? It came into my head that it might be a stone thrown at me, and Robert went to Monaldini's to glance at it. Sure enough it is a stone. He says a violent attack. And let me do him justice. It was only the misstatement in the ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... opinion, so largely is it directed by passion or interest. But we may rely with confidence on the judgment of successive generations on departed eminence; for it is detached from the chief cause of present aberration. So various are the prejudices, so contradictory the partialities and predilections of men, in different countries and ages of the world, that they never can concur through a course of centuries ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 • Various

... a poet,' he said apologetically. 'I can't help going off like that. It isn't a mental aberration. I do ...
— Sunny Slopes • Ethel Hueston

... the regalia of his aberration—the blue tennis suit, shoes, hat, gloves and all, and threw them in ...
— Heart of the West • O. Henry

... importance in all these cases, is the lack of self-control. Weakness, aberration or disease of the Will. The Individual Intelligence fails to exercise its divine prerogative and be Master in and ...
— The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul - The Findings of Natural Science Reduced to Practical Studies - in Psychology • Jirah D. Buck

... lacking in agreeableness. Through the rosy mists of the Burgundy there began to surge up other faces than that cold pallid little face which had hovered before him all the afternoon like a tantalizing phantom; at the Chartreuse stage he began to wonder what hallucination, what aberration of sense had overcome him, that he should have been stirred to his depths and distressed so hugely. Warmer faces were these that swam before him, faces fuller of the joy of life. The devil take all ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... there was something portentous in this mad outbreak; she did not see how life could go on after it. Tom was vexed; it was no use to talk so. The aunts were silent with surprise for some moments. At length, in a case of aberration such as this, comment presented itself as more expedient ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... the Druses, I cannot agree with Gibbon that it does not "deserve" to be better known; and am grateful to M. de Sacy, notwithstanding the prolixity and occasional repetition in his two large volumes, for the full examination of the most extraordinary religious aberration which ever extensively affected the mind of man. The worship of a mad tyrant is the basis of a subtle metaphysical creed, and of a severe, and ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... committed some overt acts of treason. The best excuse for him, over and above that general excuse which applies to all that he has done since his parting with Miss Walladmor, namely, his state of utter distraction (some say positive aberration) of mind,—the best excuse for him, I say, in all his political conduct, is this; that, having lived so much of his life in foreign and convulsed states of society, where every body was engaged in active hostilities to some party or other that was—had been—or pretended to ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. II. • Thomas De Quincey

... subject of mental derangement may, as the phrase runs, "go mad" suddenly, speaking generally insanity is a symptom occurring in the course of disease, and, commonly, not until the malady of which it is the expression has made some progress. Those mental disturbances which consist in a temporary aberration of brain function, and which are the accidents of instability, rather than the effects of developed or even developing neuroses, can scarcely be classed as insanity; although it is true, and in an important sense, that these passing ...
— Scientific American Suppl. No. 299 • Various

... of all—ambition. In surveying once more the great design of his career, he found it an effort to bring up—from the far recesses of his experience—the poor little sentimental episode, so insignificant and commonplace, which, in a kind of aberration, he had taken for an affair of the heart. He returned to England. He threw himself with vigour into the questions which were then disturbing Churchmen. He revived a touching acquaintance with Agnes Carillon, an acquaintance which was peculiarly soothing ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... saw the dead dimly through rifts of battlesmoke and heard faintly the cursings and accusations of blood brothers, we darker men said: This is not Europe gone mad; this is not aberration nor insanity; this is Europe; this seeming Terrible is the real soul of white culture—back of all culture,—stripped and visible today. This is where the world has arrived,—these dark and awful depths and not the shining and ineffable heights of which it boasted. Here is whither the might and ...
— Darkwater - Voices From Within The Veil • W. E. B. Du Bois

... belonged neither to the animal worshippers, the believers in Seker, nor to the Osiride race, but to a fourth people. The compound god Ptah-Seker is shown as a bandy-legged dwarf, with wide flat head, a known aberration of growth. It seems as if we should connect this with the pataikoi who were worshipped by Phoenician sailors as dwarf figures, the name being similar. This points to a connection of the Phoenician race with the dynastic Egyptians. ...
— The Religion of Ancient Egypt • W. M. Flinders Petrie

... but gradually became in every respect an altered man. From one of unflinching energy and firm determination, he degenerated into a desponding, weak, and vacillating imbecile; and lingered on in a mental aberration for some two years, when he died. During the period of his distraction it is not surprising that his practice rapidly declined, and ultimately became completely destroyed; hence, upon his demise, his ...
— Fern Vale (Volume 1) - or the Queensland Squatter • Colin Munro

... candle' or the 'history of a piece of chalk,' nor the chemist of the laws of language, the theologian of astronomy and geology, nor the lawyer of the most ancient code and its history. Mill himself made complaint of Comte's 'great aberration' ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... to swoop down upon a shawl. Belated pedestrians saw her by the light of the street lanterns, an ill-omened, shuddering phantom, gliding along, almost crawling, bent double, slinking by in the shadow, with that appearance of illness and insanity and of utter aberration which sets the thoughtful man's heart and the physician's mind at work on the brink ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... hands—he and my father—by the light of two siller candlesticks. The other man is a familiar spirit; he brought him from Coromandel. I would have told ye this long syne, Sir William, only it was in the family." These last remarks he made with a kind of melancholy composure, and his time of aberration seemed to pass away. "You can ask yourself what it all means," he proceeded. "My brother falls sick, and dies, and is buried, or so they say; and all seems very plain. But why did the familiar go back? I think ye must ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in my folly for a moment, is encountered with great acrimony by less gentle friends. They who are not bound to me by blood or intimacy—and some who are—deride, insult, and revile me in every way for my subjection to a mental aberration which is rapidly consuming a pretty property, more than average talents, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... a perfect knowledge of right and wrong and realizes that the act he committed was against the law. Medically he may have a slight aberration, but only ...
— The Attempted Assassination of ex-President Theodore Roosevelt • Oliver Remey

... when he quitted the service of the company; yet less than ten years of life were left to him. Not only so, but the happiness he had expected to find proved more and more elusive. The increasing frequency of his sister's aberration was a heavy burden for a back which grew daily less able to bear the strain. The leisure to which he had looked forward so eagerly was spent in listening to incoherent babblings, that rambling chat which was to him ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... scrupulously set down, with an occasional remark of "good" or "bad." The conclusion was at last forced upon me that he had been endeavoring to commit suicide by a slow course of starvation and exposure. Either as the cause or the result of this attempt, I read, in the final notes, signs of an aberration of mind. This also explained the singular demeanor of the man when found, and his refusal to take medicine or nourishment. He had selected a long way to accomplish his purpose, but had reached the ...
— Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home • Bayard Taylor

... development, we must acknowledge that the practice of burying or destroying the property of the dead, which is one of the ways in which the tendency manifests itself, is, regarded from the side of economic progress, a decided step backward. It marks, in fact, the beginning of a melancholy aberration of the human mind, which has led mankind to sacrifice the real interests of the living to the imaginary interests of the dead. With the general advance of society and the accompanying accumulation of property these sacrifices have at certain stages ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... however, the frightful light that had flashed across his brain in a recent circumstance was growing gradually fainter; it had ceased to fill his mind with the same convincing force. He conceived doubts; he accused himself at times on a veritable aberration; he charged the baroness with cruel and guilty prejudices; he thought, in a word, that, at all events, the wisest course was to avoid believing in the drama, and giving it life by taking a serious part in it. Unfortunately Julia's disposition, full of surprises and unforeseen whims, scarcely ...
— Led Astray and The Sphinx - Two Novellas In One Volume • Octave Feuillet

... reasons Bradley had set up this instrument at Kew, to attempt the proof of the earth's motion by observing the annual parallax of stars. He certainly found an annual variation of zenith distance, but not at the times of year required by the parallax. This led him to the discovery of the "aberration" of light and of nutation. Bradley has been described as the founder of the modern system of accurate observation. He died in 1762, leaving behind him thirteen folio volumes of valuable but unreduced observations. Those relating to ...
— History of Astronomy • George Forbes

... Legrand contented himself with the scarabaeus, which he carried attached to the end of a bit of whipcord, twirling it to and fro, with the air of a conjurer, as he went. When I observed this last plain evidence of my friend's aberration of mind, I could scarcely refrain from tears. I thought it best, however, to humor his fancy, at least for the present, or until I could adopt some more energetic measures with a chance of success. In ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... of the last few hours had meant anything whatever they had demonstrated two truths which shone like beacon lights: that Manhattan Island was overpopulated as long as both he and Ekstrom remained on it; that Ekstrom had been goaded to the verge of aberration by the discovery that Lanyard had come safely through the Assyrian debacle to take up anew his self-appointed office of Nemesis to the Prussian spy system in general and to the genius of its American ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... he said, "that I may be forgiven my temporary fit of aberration. I cannot thank you sufficiently, ...
— The Yellow Crayon • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... glare of the coral, of which I had been unconscious, and the quivering heat rays had temporarily deprived my vision of appreciation of ordinary tints. Saturated by vivid white light, my bemused sight swayed under temporary aberration. I was conscious of illusion creating symptoms, tipsy with excess of sunshine. This condition passing, I found the atmosphere, though hot, pleasant and refreshing, the labour of rowing across the bay involving no unusual exertion ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... two thousand pounds; and, as has been already observed, the money came most opportunely: a greater calamity even than poverty, however, shortly afterwards counterbalanced his good fortune; but the assertion of the writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, that his mental aberration arose from his having squandered this legacy, ...
— The Poetical Works of William Collins - With a Memoir • William Collins

... A flicker of aberration lighted in the old man's eye. "H'm, yes," said he, pondering. "Stuck to one business. So you did. H'm." Then, suddenly sly, he chirped: "But I've struck it rich now." He tapped his box. "Jewelry," he ...
— The Jimmyjohn Boss and Other Stories • Owen Wister

... Greece having become addicted to pederasty, the female population fell into the opposite extreme: it took to the love of members of its own sex. This happened especially with the women of the island of Lesbos, whence this aberration was, and still continues to be named, "Lesbian love," for it has not yet died out: it survives among us. The poetess Sappho, "the Lesbian nightingale," who lived about six hundred years before our reckoning, is considered the leading representative of this form of love. Her passion ...
— Woman under socialism • August Bebel

... in the belief that women easily forgive the ill-doing of which they are the cause, to that specious plea, and Marsa asked herself, in amazement, what aberration had possession of this man that he should even pretend ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... from revenge, yet when the national prejudices of the prisoner had been explained, which made him consider himself as stained with indelible dishonour, the generosity of the English audience was inclined to regard his crime as the aberration of a false idea of honour, rather than as flowing from a heart naturally savage, or habitually vicious. I shall never forget the charge of the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, - Issue 282, November 10, 1827 • Various

... Reimers had remained in the room. The former moved restlessly from one foot to the other. If Vogt were only to say "Yes," then the whole thing would be put down to a temporary aberration of mind due to hurry and fatigue, and the affair would ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... passions by the same sounds." If one obtains music from the clang and clamour of full-throated frogs, may it not be because his ears are more attuned to natural than to artificial harmonies, not because, of any defect in, or aberration of, hearing, or any lack of melody on ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... immorality, which lowered me in the estimation of my acquaintances and friends, who saw the effect but never dreamed the cause. Even those who knew I was an opium-eater, not being aware of the effect which the habitual use of it produced, attributed my mad conduct to either want of principle or aberration of intellect, and I thus lost several of my best friends and temporarily alienated many others. After a month or two passed in this employment I regained a portion of strength sufficient to enable me to obtain ...
— The Opium Habit • Horace B. Day

... confess to you now, my friend, that I told these good people something about your aberration. It was entirely for your own sake, for I wanted their help in bringing about your recovery, and now that we have been successful I hope you will ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... valuable a man to lose," said the Prime Minister. "We must hope that it is only a temporary aberration. I simply cannot spare him in ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... Aberration: a form that departs in some striking way from the normal type; either single or occurring rarely, at ...
— Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology • John. B. Smith

... is relative, not absolute—and illustrating this by the circumstance that European animals, and especially plants, are now proving to be better adapted for New Zealand than many of the indigenous ones—that "the correction for the aberration of light is said, on high authority, not to be quite perfect even in that most perfect organ, the eye." And then follows the second extract of the reviewer. But what is the position of the reviewer upon his own interpretation ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... appointment, and before he had become used to the work, he told me of a singular experience he once had with a particular gentleman whom he was intending to report as having perfectly recovered from any mental aberration with which he might have been afflicted. Sam wondered how it was possible that a gentleman of such culture and understanding should be considered a fit subject for confinement, for he had several pleasant and intellectual conversations with him, and found him quite agreeable ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... popular, though not inclined to make intimates. She is reputed to have been rather high-tempered, but seemingly throughout her childhood and young girlhood there was nothing about her conduct or appearance to indicate a disordered mind. Indeed there was no suggestion of mental aberration on her part from any source until within the past month. However, I should add that it is rather hard to arrive at any accurate estimate of her general behavior by reason of the fact that mother and daughter led so secluded a life. They had ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... was a coldness and reserve about her, even with us, her most intimate friends, which we found it very difficult to understand. At length one day we missed her, and apprehensive of a recurrence of the temporary aberration of intellect from which she had so recently recovered, we searched for her in all directions for three whole days without success, at the end of which time we received a note from her, thanking us for what she was pleased ...
— Under the Meteor Flag - Log of a Midshipman during the French Revolutionary War • Harry Collingwood

... may be found in Playford's Dancing-Master, 1698: it is the same tune as the one known by the names of Yellow Stockings and the Virgin Queen, the latter title seeming to connect it with Queen Elizabeth, as the name of Mad Moll does with the history of Mary, who was subject to mental aberration. The words of Mad Moll are not known to exist, but probably consisted of some fulsome panegyric on the virgin queen, at the expense of her unpopular sister. From the mention of Hence, Melancholy, and Mad Moll, it is presumed ...
— Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of England • Robert Bell

... other faculty. Intelligence and morality have abdicated. Nicolai quotes a number of almost incredible examples from the Germany of 1914 and 1915, and equally striking instances could be given in the case of every belligerent nation. There was no resistance to these suggestions. In the collective aberration, all differences of class, education, intellectual or moral value, are reduced to one level; all are equalised. The entire human race, from base to summit, is delivered over to the Furies. If the least sparkle of free will shows itself, it is trampled under foot, ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... was still there. I could see its expressionless eye (about as big as a sixpence) out of the water and its mouth wide open, when I remembered I had forgotten the landing-net in my hurry. Then came the period of mental aberration common to the amateur. The fish was certainly 4 lbs. in weight, yet I tried to get him in with my hands. Of course he gave one big flop, slipped out, and disappeared—the biggest chub I ever shall ...
— The Naturalist on the Thames • C. J. Cornish

... said to come under the description of half-witted. In their case the same sort of dry Scotch humour came out under the cloak of mental disease. The first is of a Scottish nobleman of the last century who had been a soldier the greater part of his life, but was obliged to come home on account of aberration of mind, superinduced by hereditary propensity. Desirous of putting him under due restraint, and at the same time of engaging his mind in his favourite pursuit, his friends secured a Sergeant Briggs to be his companion, and, in fact, keeper. ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... road with a friend. He was one of the pleasantest and most honest men that nature ever moulded. His death was most extraordinary: of a nervous temperament, ill health ended in aberration of intellect. At that time Lord Castlereagh had ended his life of over-excitement by suicide; the details in the newspapers were read by him, and he fancied that he was Lord Castlereagh. Acting precisely by the accounts recorded in the newspapers, he ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... This was the truth that lay in the Platonic doctrine that all sin is ignorance; but Plato did not take account of any possible depravity in the will. Nor is what has been illustrated above true of the mind and the will only. In the region of emotion and of beauty, there may be similar aberration, if these are not grasped in their vital nature, in organic relation ...
— Heart of Man • George Edward Woodberry

... knows it already," he said slowly. "The ship is probably on a nonsense track and the automatic tracker is either trying to find out what the law of gravity is, or is exploring for clues to light aberration. One gets you ten he'll give me a buzz ...
— Unthinkable • Roger Phillips Graham

... Zephoranim, I would in the first place say that the poem so greatly admired by your Majesty, is totally devoid of common sense. It is purely a caprice of the imagination,—and what is imagination? A mere aberration of the cerebral nerves,—a morbidity of brain in which the thoughts brood on the impossible, —on things that have never been, and never will be. Thus, Sah- luma's verse resembles the incoherent ravings of a moon-struck ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... Fechner as one of the best observers in the world, and Professor Scheibner, as for the purpose in hand, an excellent observer, neglecting entirely to note that one was partly blind and that the other could not see well, might readily overlook the fact of a not very pronounced mental aberration on the part of a third person. And as to Professor Weber's opinion of the phenomena, it is well to note that Professor Weber was seventy-four years old at the time, had had no previous experience in investigations of this kind and was quite ignorant of ...
— Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University • The Seybert Commission

... this remark an instant with her eyes on mine, and I divined that it struck her I might possibly intend it as a reference to some personal subjection to our fat philosopher, to some aberration of sensibility, some perversion of taste. At least I couldn't interpret otherwise the sudden flash that came into her face. Such a manifestation, as the result of any word of mine, embarrassed me; but while I was thinking ...
— The Coxon Fund • Henry James

... embodies, because here and there we notice a flaw in the marble, a blemish in its colour, a jagged slip of the chisel? "It is not force of intellect," as George Eliot has said, "which causes ready repulsion from the aberration and eccentricities of greatness, any more than it is force of vision that causes the eye to explore the warts in a face bright with human expression; it is simply the ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... live Penthea would never have thought of such a fantastic martyrdom, unless she had been insane or suffering from green-sickness, and a live Calantha would have behaved in a perfectly different fashion, or if she had behaved in the same, would have been quit for her temporary aberration. We see (or at least I think I see) in Ford exactly the signs which are so familiar to us in our own day, and which repeat themselves regularly at the end of all periods of distinct literary creativeness—the signs of excentricite ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North who still cling to these errors with a zeal above knowledge we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind, from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises. So with the anti-slavery ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... so as to avoid the effects of refraction. Hooke made four observations in the months of July, August, and October, and believed that he determined the parallax of the star; but it was afterwards discovered that he was in error, and that the apparent displacement of the star was mainly due to the aberration of light—a phenomenon which was not discovered ...
— The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' • Thomas Orchard

... martyrs, like religion. It is not only the savage heathen who run under Juggernaut every day. Diseased brains, corrupt hearts, and impossible desires go far to constitute aberration of intellect. Unreasoning love, and unlimited liquor, will make a man ...
— M. or N. "Similia similibus curantur." • G.J. Whyte-Melville

... to, soon: it's only one of her strange fits of aberration. Sometimes I fling cold water over her; and, if it's very cold, she soon comes to," Mr. Praiseworthy remarks, as he stands unmoved, probably contemplating the goodness of a forgiving God. What magic simplicity lies concealed in his nature; and yet it is his trade, sanctioned ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams



Words linked to "Aberration" :   abnormalcy, folie, abnormality, chromosonal disorder, warp, distortion, optical phenomenon, chromatic aberration, aberrancy, chromosomal aberration, optical aberration, mental disorder



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