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Absurd   Listen
adjective
Absurd  adj.  Contrary to reason or propriety; obviously and flatly opposed to manifest truth; inconsistent with the plain dictates of common sense; logically contradictory; nonsensical; ridiculous; as, an absurd person, an absurd opinion; an absurd dream. "This proffer is absurd and reasonless." "'This phrase absurd to call a villain great."
Synonyms: Foolish; irrational; ridiculous; preposterous; inconsistent; incongruous. Absurd, Irrational, Foolish, Preposterous. Of these terms, irrational is the weakest, denoting that which is plainly inconsistent with the dictates of sound reason; as, an irrational course of life. Foolish rises higher, and implies either a perversion of that faculty, or an absolute weakness or fatuity of mind; as, foolish enterprises. Absurd rises still higher, denoting that which is plainly opposed to received notions of propriety and truth; as, an absurd man, project, opinion, story, argument, etc. Preposterous rises still higher, and supposes an absolute inversion in the order of things; or, in plain terms, a "putting of the cart before the horse;" as, a preposterous suggestion, preposterous conduct, a preposterous regulation or law.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Absurd" Quotes from Famous Books



... waited, Judge Gaylor paced quickly to and fro. "I've had to deny some pretty silly stories about Mr. Hallowell," he said, "but of all the absurd, malicious—There's some enemy back of this; some one in Wall Street is doing this. But I'll find him—I'll—" he was interrupted by the entrance of the butler and Dr. Rainey, Mr. ...
— Vera - The Medium • Richard Harding Davis

... in fine, seemed a man dressed in a mask that was unable to deceive. His lean face was almost absurd in its irregularity, its high cheek-bones and deep depressions, its sharp nose, extensive mouth and nervous chin. But the pale blue eyes that were its soul shone plaintively beneath their shaggy, blonde eyebrows, and even ...
— The Prophet of Berkeley Square • Robert Hichens

... sight behind hills and houses, and bang away if his opponent showed as much as the tip of a bayonet. Monsieur Bloch seemed vindicated, and Little War had become impossible. And there was something a little absurd, too, in the spectacle of a solitary drummer-boy, for example, ...
— Little Wars; a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books • H. G. Wells

... They thought this proscription applied to them equally with the admiral, and said among themselves that the governor, in excluding the flotilla from the harbours of the colony, must have acted under orders from the king. These absurd reasonings irritated minds already badly disposed, and at length on the 2nd of January, 1504, two brothers named Porras, one the captain of one of the caravels and the other the military treasurer, placed themselves at the head of the malcontents. ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... it was not their object to dispose of their daughters, as it is called, to the best advantage. The arts which are commonly practised for this purpose they thought not only indelicate, but ultimately impolitic and absurd; for men in general are now so well aware of them, that they avoid the snares, and ridicule and detest those by whom they are contrived. If, now and then, a dupe be found, still the chance is, that ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... although it would have been absurd in Willie to rack his brain for some scheme by which to restore such a grand building as the Priory, he could yet bethink himself that the hundredth room did not come next the first, neither did the third; the one after the first ...
— Gutta-Percha Willie • George MacDonald

... plague, or St. Vitus' dance,[60] in the year 1418, and the same infatuation existed among the people there as in the towns of Belgium and the Lower Rhine. Many who were seized at the sight of those affected, excited attention at first by their confused and absurd behavior, and then by their constantly following the swarms of dancers. These were seen day and night passing through the streets, accompanied by musicians playing on bagpipes, and by innumerable spectators attracted ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... his having been arrested, or, at least, detained by order of the king at Stockholm. In a few days, however, Sir John made his appearance on board the Victory; when it was found that his Swedish Majesty had made several absurd propositions to him, such as an attack on Copenhagen and upon Cronstadt, for which his force was inadequate, especially since the arrival at the former place of several regiments of French and Spanish troops, and at the latter of the flotilla ...
— Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez. Vol II • Sir John Ross

... the seat in which he had listened with evident impatience to this long outline of the prisoner's history. "Gentlemen," addressing the court, "that is the very stranger who was in my apartment last night,—the being with whom the prisoner is evidently in treacherous correspondence, and all this absurd tale is but a blind to deceive your judgment, and mitigate his own punishment. Who is there to prove the man he has just described was the same who aimed at Captain de ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... of the Commons at the States-General. All these concessions were acts of the Crown, yielding to dictates of policy more than to popular demand. It is said that power is an object of such ardent desire to man, that the voluntary surrender of it is absurd in psychology and unknown in history. Lewis XVI. no doubt calculated the probabilities of loss and gain, and persuaded himself that his action was politic even more than generous. The Prussian envoy rightly described him in a despatch of July 31, 1789. He says that the king was willing to weaken ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... the Cantons of Switzerland, prove the contrary by their universal religious toleration. Now I could mention, if I thought I had space enough on this sheet, numbers of Protestant divines, who, in their writings, have strongly inculcated the absurd doctrines of ruling our consciences by the authority of the Civil Magistrates. See then, how strange it is that they seek to condemn us for doctrines which we abhor, and which they practice, even to this day. Mark that for ...
— Awful Disclosures - Containing, Also, Many Incidents Never before Published • Maria Monk

... watched the sway of his shoulders and the unhampered tread of his unshod feet he could not but recall the days when he, too, had gloried in going barefoot. He smiled at the memory which now seemed so absurd. ...
— The Story of Sugar • Sara Ware Bassett

... by-the-by, very closely allied to canker) exclaiming against this habit of referring everything which we do not rightly understand to some ill-humour of the body. The wisdom his words contain justifies us in giving them mention here. 'It is a very foolish and absurd Notion,' he says, 'to imagine a Horse full of Humours when he happens to be troubled with the Grease. But such Shallow Reasoning will always abound while Peoples' Judgments are always superficial. Therefore, to convince ...
— Diseases of the Horse's Foot • Harry Caulton Reeks

... years afterwards, when he was informed that the American Indians were a remnant of the Israelites, and that certain prophetical writings of the Jews were buried in a spot from which he was destined to rescue them. The absurd story goes on to say that Joseph Smith accordingly found in a stone box, just covered with earth, in Ontario, the "Record," consisting of gold plates engraven with "Reformed Egyptian" characters. Although discovered in 1823, ...
— The Church Handy Dictionary • Anonymous

... going to carve him, and paint him, and possibly spoil him. The creating of a man—of one who knows how to handle life—is so much more wonderful than creating absurd pictures or statues or stories. I'll nag him into completing college. He'll learn dignity—or perhaps lose his simplicity and be ruined; and then I'll marry him off to some nice well-bred pink-face, like ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... on cushions in the launch reading "A Little Book of Profitable Tales" that had just been sent me by its author. I started to smile at the tale of The Clycopeedy. Then I caught sight of the peak of Mount Ophir through a notch in the jungle and all sorts of absurd hypotheses in regard to its authenticity flashed through my mind. All this takes time to relate, but those who have stood in mortal peril will know how short a time ...
— Tales of the Malayan Coast - From Penang to the Philippines • Rounsevelle Wildman

... not the right of free meeting, free speech or a free press. Before a paper or book can be published it has to pass the censor. This censorship is carried to an absurd degree. It starts with school books; it goes on to every word a man may write or speak. It applies to the foreigners as well as Koreans. The very commencement day speeches of school children are ...
— Korea's Fight for Freedom • F.A. McKenzie

... restricting their usefulness to any one family, would strike dismay through a whole community. Nobody would be so unprincipled as to think of such a thing as having their services more than a week or two at most. Your country factotum knows better than anybody else how absurd ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... removed, by a judicious division of its parts. Set apart regular portions of time to be employed in writing. Let these seasons be as frequent as may consist with your other duties, and observe them strictly. Do not indulge the absurd notion that you can write only when you feel like it. Remember your object is to discipline the mind, and bring it under the control of the will. But, to suffer your mind to be controlled by your feelings, in the very act of discipline, ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... lavished kindness upon this pretentious and absurd Italian. He was appointed to the place of master-gardener, and lodgings in a house in St. James's Park, to be afterwards known as Carlton House, were set apart for his use. Here he was visited by Evelyn, who records that 'the famous Italian painter' was 'settled in His Majesty's ...
— Art in England - Notes and Studies • Dutton Cook

... of London, made over his estates to his son, and carried arms about his person. His best arms, however, were his sagacity and his self-command. The plot in which he had been an unwilling accomplice ended, as it was natural that so odious and absurd a plot should end, in the ruin of its contrivers. In the meantime, Cecil quietly extricated himself and, having been successively patronised by Henry, by Somerset, and by Northumberland, continued to flourish under the ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... fathers and fathers! And, besides, he was in such a frenzy.... He really may have done nothing but swing the pestle in the air, and so knocked the old man down. But it was a pity they dragged the valet in. That was simply an absurd theory! If I'd been in Fetyukovitch's place, I should simply have said straight out: 'He murdered him; but he is not guilty, hang it ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... richest, and also the best of our noblemen," continued Maria; "and I never heard of anything so absurd as what they did to him. It made me blush when Don — told me." Don Tomas, I thought ...
— John Bull on the Guadalquivir from Tales from all Countries • Anthony Trollope

... effective candidate! I have roamed about the State, and I have made some very good friends here and there among the hill farmers, like Mr. Jenney. Mr. Redbrook is one of these. But it would have been absurd of me even to think of a candidacy founded on personal friendships. I assure you," he added, smiling, "there was no self denial ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... him, the change in her, yet he was conscious that she still retained her strong attraction for him. With nerves relaxed, content, he had an absurd notion that he could sit beside her on that rock indefinitely, without speaking, ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... seems absurd in connection with the translator who had to choose what was within his reach, and who, in many cases, could not sit down in undisturbed possession of ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... Entranced, he felt time flowing on toward him, endless in sweep and fulness. There is only one success, he said to himself—to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it. Youth, youth is the only wealth, for youth ...
— Where the Blue Begins • Christopher Morley

... absurd and incoherent as it was, made a strange impression upon Gilbert's mind. He was not superstitious, but in spite of himself the idea became rooted in his thoughts that the truth of his own parentage affected, in some way, some member of the Deane family. He taxed his memory in vain for words or ...
— The Story Of Kennett • Bayard Taylor

... speculation, and Captain Nemo's strange facial seizure kept haunting me. I was incapable of connecting two ideas in logical order, and I had strayed into the most absurd hypotheses, when I was snapped out of my mental struggles by these ...
— 20000 Leagues Under the Seas • Jules Verne

... eastern side the fauna are non-Asiatic. Yet somehow into Australia with its queer monotremes and marsupials entered triumphant man—man and the dog with him. Haeckel has suggested that man followed the dog, playing as it were the jackal to him. But this sounds rather absurd. It looks as if man had already acquired enough seamanship to ferry himself across the zoological divide, and to take his faithful dog with him on board his raft or dug-out. Until we have facts whereon to build, however, ...
— Anthropology • Robert Marett

... fire blazed in Jonathan; you almost heard it roaring softly as he explained, described and dilated on the new thing; but a moment later it had fallen in and there was nothing but ashes, and Jonathan went about with a look like hunger in his black eyes. At these times he exaggerated his absurd manner of speaking, and he sang in church—he was the leader of the choir—with such fearful dramatic intensity that the meanest hymn ...
— The Garden Party • Katherine Mansfield

... a cynic, which means a sly dog, was indeed absurd; but it is fair to say that in comparison with Dickens he felt himself a man of the world. Nevertheless, that world of which he was a man is coming to an end before our eyes; its aristocracy has grown corrupt, its ...
— Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens • G. K. Chesterton

... a complementary depression for its accommodation. When the insect is motionless it is difficult to detect. By its long posterior legs, stiffly held aloft, it proclaims to every bird—"Do not be so absurd as to imagine these dry twigs to be legs, belonging to a body good to eat." And if the bird does not take the resemblance for granted and is inquisitive and approaches too familiarly, it finds that instead of a dinner it has discovered a snake. The ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... an elephant's palate is extraordinary, and the whims of the creature are absurd in the selection or rejection of morsels which it prefers or dislikes. I once saw a peculiar instance of this in an elephant that belonged to the police at Dhubri on the Brahmaputra. This animal had a large ...
— Wild Beasts and their Ways • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... comprehend. I was merely a baffled old woman of the world. Now I begin to see. I believe her as you do. The world and the law will laugh at us because we have none of the accepted reasons for our belief. But I believe her as you do—absurd as it will seem ...
— Robin • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... around the other way faster than the world could revolve. How would you keep Sunday then? Suppose we ever invent any thing that can go 1,000 miles an hour? We can just chase Sunday clear around the globe. Is there anything that can be more perfectly absurd than that a space of time can be holy! You might as well talk about a pious vacuum. These pious evasions. I heard the other night of an old man. He was not very well educated, you know, and he got into the notion that he must have reading of the bible and have family worship; and there was ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... was opening the jar she concluded that Henry Perkins was an angel—a conclusion which, in view of the well-known facts, was manifestly absurd. ...
— The Court of Boyville • William Allen White

... is simply absurd," says the young man, taking now the superior tone that is meant to crush the situation by holding it up to ridicule. "You forget, perhaps, that we shall have to meet sometimes. I suppose the people down here give balls occasionally, and tennis-parties, and that; ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... her on the steps of the hotel, that she would dine with him. But she shook her head. She had her packing to do. She could have managed it; but something prudent and absurd had suddenly got hold of her; and he went away with much the same look in his eyes that comes to a dog when he finds that his master cannot ...
— All Roads Lead to Calvary • Jerome K. Jerome

... says that in his opinion this talk about the violation of Belgian neutrality, from the point of view of British statesmen, is absurd, because as long ago as 1870 the plans for the use of Belgium, both by France and by Germany—in other words, the violation of its neutrality—were in the British War Office, and that Mr. Gladstone rose in his place and said he ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 - What Americans Say to Europe • Various

... drama. However absurd it may appear in my rendering (which I have endeavored to make as impartial as possible), I may confidently say that in the original it is yet more absurd. For any man of our time—if he were not under the hypnotic suggestion that this drama is the height ...
— Tolstoy on Shakespeare - A Critical Essay on Shakespeare • Leo Tolstoy

... to hesitate, laughed; and Harvey felt the conviction that, by absurd sincerity, he had damaged himself in the girl's eyes. What did ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... "Well?" she said. "Is there anything you wish to tell me?" They had never used the familiar "thee" and "thou" the one to the other, for at the time of their marriage an absurd whim of fashion had ordained on the part of French wives and husbands a return to eighteenth-century formality, and Claire had chosen, in that ...
— Studies in love and in terror • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... South Africa that patience was being mistaken for weakness, and that the credit of Britain was being lowered all over the world, and even among the peoples of India, by her forbearance towards the Transvaal. Absurd as this notion may appear, it was believed by heated partizans on the spot. But outside Africa, and especially in Europe, the forbearance of one of the four greatest Powers in the world towards a community of seventy thousand people was in no ...
— Impressions of South Africa • James Bryce

... Transylvania, Wallachia, Servia, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, the Tyrol, and all the rich and populous States of the Netherlands. Naples, Sicily, Mantua and Milan in Italy, also recognized his sovereignty. To enlightened reason nothing can seem more absurd than that one man, of very moderate capacities, luxuriating in his palace at Vienna, should pretend to hold dominion over so many millions so widely dispersed. But the progress of the world towards ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... moment it sufficed to know that she was loved, and that she loved. She was no fool. At the back of all her wonder lay the certainty that in the world's eyes such love as hers was absurd; that it must end where it began; that Raoul could never be hers, nor she escape from a captivity as real as his. But, perhaps because she knew all this so certainly, she could put it aside. This thing had come to her: this happiness to which, alone, in darkness, depressed by every look ...
— The Westcotes • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... American book—whether the Open Door policy is being enforced even now; to ask it of any one in Manchuria is to be laughed at. I tried it once in a Standard Oil office and the man in front of me roared, and an unnoticed clerk at my back, overhearing so absurd a question, was also unable to contain his merriment. It is not a question of the fact of the shutting-up policy, Chinese and foreigners in Manchuria will tell you; it is only a question as to ...
— Where Half The World Is Waking Up • Clarence Poe

... retired with Margaret to the latter's room, he began to feel disturbed in spite of his firm belief that his cause was wholly that of justice victorious. Margaret had insidious ways of stating a case; and her point of view, no matter how absurd or unjust, was almost always adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Schofield ...
— Penrod and Sam • Booth Tarkington

... Anglo-Saxon understanding, of course, the theory of divine right has long appeared untenable, obsolete, and, as Macaulay says, absurd. Many people to-day would go farther and argue that there is no such thing as a divine right at all, since "rights" are a purely human idea, possibly a purely legal one. But it is at least doubtful that ...
— William of Germany • Stanley Shaw

... with regard to objects, which is not so with regard to perceptions. But it is intelligible and consistent to say, that objects exist distinct and independent, without any common simple substance or subject of inhesion. This proposition, therefore, can never be absurd with regard ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... never lived consistently on the level of his best original ideas: savages also have endless myths of Baiame or Daramulun, or Bunjil, in which these personages, though interested in human behaviour, are puerile, cruel, absurd, lustful, and so on. Man will sport ...
— The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological • Andrew Lang

... So should they learn to speak English undefiled from their earliest utterance. "How," demanded Sir Oracle, "can a mother reasonably expect her child to learn correct speech, when she continually accustoms its impressionable gray matter to such absurd expressions and distortions of our noble tongue as thoughtless mothers inflict every day on the helpless creatures committed to their care? Can a child who is constantly called 'tweet itty wee singie' ever attain to any ...
— Anne's House of Dreams • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... dreary person on the stage, Who mouthed and mugged in simulated rage, Who growled and spluttered in a mode absurd, And spoke an English SOWLS ...
— The Bab Ballads • W. S. Gilbert

... also been the absurd suggestion that the impediment was Swift's knowledge that both he and Stella were the illegitimate children of Sir William Temple—a theory which is absolutely disproved ...
— The Journal to Stella • Jonathan Swift

... remainder which we cannot make intelligible without calling to our aid the concept of ends. Assuming that it were possible to carry the explanation of life from life, from ancestral organisms (for the generatio aequivoca is an absurd theory) so far that the whole organic world should represent one great family descended from one primitive form as the common mother, even then the concept of final causes would only be pushed further back, not eliminated: the origin of the first organization will always resist mechanical ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... mention John Filby, at the Harrow, in Water Lane.' 'Why, sir,' cried Johnson, 'that was because he knew the strange color would attract crowds to gaze at it, and thus they might hear of him, and see how well he could make a coat of so absurd a color.'" ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... covers, relishes, confectionery, and small sweets. Garnishing of dishes has also a great deal to do with the appearance of a dinner-table, each dish garnished sufficiently to be in good taste without looking absurd. ...
— The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887) - The Whole Comprising A Comprehensive Cyclopedia Of Information For - The Home • Mrs. F.L. Gillette

... wars in the States are a grand feature—grand in the sense that they produce great results, some of them very absurd. One line tries to swamp the other by lowering its rates; the other retaliates, and quotes still lower figures. The first comes down more still, and the second follows suit. This goes on for months, to the advantage of the ...
— The Truth About America • Edward Money

... plenty of water and food. Their principal difficulty lay in getting through the ranges to the south, and the interminable creeks and gullies which they got into and had to retrace their steps from. This was a small matter of exploration, and might at the present day appear absurd; but then there were doubts where the Angas was, and whether the Onkaparinga in Mount Barker District was not the Angas, and when beyond the hills they did not know whether Mount Barker was not Mount Lofty, and whether Mount Lofty was not some other mount. It was, however, done, and, ...
— Explorations in Australia • John Forrest

... Exile's story; if my wits Are not at fault, his curious record fits Neatly as sequel to the tale we've heard; Not wholly wild the fancy, nor absurd That this our island hermit well might be That story's hero, fled from over sea. Come, Number Seven, we would not have you strain The fertile powers of that inventive brain. Read us 'The Exile's Secret'; there's enough Of dream-like fiction and fantastic ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... most unfeminine pantaloons, which, being carefully tied above the ankle in a frill, were allowed to fully display that treasure of treasures, that most valued of charms, the beautiful little foot and ankle. In addition to this absurd dress, which conceals the graceful form of perhaps the handsomest race of women in the world, the fair creatures have a style of riding which, to Europeans accustomed to the side-saddle, certainly seems more peculiar than elegant; ...
— The Aldine, Vol. 5, No. 1., January, 1872 - A Typographic Art Journal • Various

... absurdities. The most amazing efforts were made to trace back everything to the sacred language. English and Latin dictionaries appeared, in which every word was traced back to a Hebrew root. No supposition was too absurd in this attempt to square Science with Scripture. It was declared that, as Hebrew is written from right to left, it might be read either way, in order to produce a satisfactory etymology. The whole effort in all ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... personal relations with him had ceased, and I had become only an occasional correspondent, living in Italy. But to make his decline the consequence of the use of chloral, even when it was finally become habitual, as some do, is absurd. It had been prescribed for him by a competent physician, because some remedy for his malady had become necessary. Even before I had recommended his first experiment with it he had been incapacitated from work by sleeplessness, and was in a very precarious condition ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume II • William James Stillman

... there is much difficulty. If a revelation were given to an ignorant people, in accordance with the reality, it is quite clear that they would not be in a condition to receive it, and would therefore, probably, reject it as absurd; but if the description were given according to the appearance presented, then no difficulty would be felt. The question, however, is pressed—whether such a mode of representation is consistent with the truthfulness which may be ...
— Thoughts on a Revelation • Samuel John Jerram

... absurd that a man should be blinded by the will and command of God, and afterwards be punished for his blindness. They, therefore, evade this difficulty, by alleging that it happens only by the permission of God, and not by ...
— The Calvinistic Doctrine of Predestination Examined and Refuted • Francis Hodgson

... you like it. I sometimes wish I could get hold of the man who built this house, though, and give him a piece of my mind. The rooms on this floor are so high studded they give me the shivers, while all the chambers are so low they are absurd. Did n't you notice it ...
— The Tangled Threads • Eleanor H. Porter

... Sloppy as an extraordinarily good joke, and he threw back his head and laughed with measureless enjoyment. At the sight of him laughing in that absurd way, the dolls' dressmaker laughed very heartily indeed. So they both laughed till ...
— Ten Girls from Dickens • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... excuse me. Others may drop one if they feel like it; but as for me, I decline. The early managers of this institootion were a bad lot, and their crimes were trooly orful; but I can't sob for those who died four or five hundred years ago. If they was my own relations I couldn't. It's absurd to shed sobs over things which occurd during the rain of Henry the Three. Let us be cheerful," I continnered. "Look at the festiv Warders, in their red flannil jackets. They are cheerful, and why should it ...
— Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature • Various

... It seemed absurd to bury one's self in an uninhabited waste, when life held forth so much to be grasped. Her friends told her so—thus confirming her own judgment. But she could never quite bring herself to put it in ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... duty bound, I called upon various persons in authority and delivered Cetewayo's message, leaving out all Zikali's witchcraft which would have sounded absurd. It did not produce much impression as, hostilities having already occurred, it was superfluous. Also no one was inclined to pay attention to the words of one who was neither an official nor a military officer, but ...
— Finished • H. Rider Haggard

... resentment; his great concern being to make every one at his ease and at home. He has his eyes on all his company; he is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome. He makes light of favors while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks ...
— Journeys Through Bookland - Volume Four • Charles H. Sylvester

... to hear them talking like that about Miss Reade and Mr. Dale," she answered vehemently. "It's really all so beautiful—but they make it seem silly and absurd, somehow." ...
— The Golden Road • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... sounds absurd. I know it is absurd. She is n't the kind to allow her emotions to get away from her like that. But I'll say this much, Covington: that if we three were to start fresh, I'd stand a mighty poor chance ...
— The Triflers • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... plump neck and arms. There was something almost indecent about the girl's enjoyment of her soda. Hardly a man in the shop but was watching her. Anderson gazed at her also, but with covert disgust and a resentment which was absurd. He scowled at the young fellow with her. He felt like a father whose daughter has been flouted by the man of her choice. "What the devil does the boy mean, taking soda here with that Van Dorn girl?" he asked himself. He felt ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... claw-like hand. "Kindly do not interrupt. Stiff, fanatic, inhuman, callous, cold, half mad and wholly rash, without military capacity, ambitious as Lucifer and absurd as Hudibras—I ask again what is this person doing at the head of this army? Has any one confidence in him? Has any one pride in him? Has any one love for him? In all this frozen waste through which he is dragging us, you couldn't find an echo to say 'One!' ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... sovereigns, statesmen, north and south, Rose up in wrath and fear, And cried, protesting by one mouth, "What monster have we here? A great Deed at this hour of day? A great just Deed—and not for pay? Absurd,—or insincere." ...
— The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume IV • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... bad of these is by Lancre, a man of some wit, whose evident connection with some young witches gave him something to say. The accounts of the Jesuit Del Rio and the Dominican Michaelis are the absurd productions of two credulous ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... "The first absurd thing he did was to purchase a yacht, and when a storm arose that forced the hardy fishermen to take shelter in port, he went out to sea, and it is quite a miracle that he escaped drowning. Then, if there were a ...
— Willis the Pilot • Paul Adrien

... thus adding some years to his appearance, so that the subalterns of the newly-arrived regiments looked boyish beside him. The responsibilities of his work had steadied him, and though he retained his good spirits, his laugh had lost the old boyish ring. The title of Bimbashi, which had seemed absurd to him seven months before, was now nothing out of the way, for he looked as old as many of the British subalterns serving with that rank in ...
— With Kitchener in the Soudan - A Story of Atbara and Omdurman • G. A. Henty

... The root idea round which all else grouped itself was that of the agency of indwelling powers like unto man's, but endowed with wider activities, and unhampered by many human limitations. The forms of expression adopted often appear to us to be almost gratuitously absurd; but when we put ourselves as nearly as may be at the primitive point of view, we realise that they were not even illogical. The marvel is that out of the seething chaos of sensations and emotions there could ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... and a sinking at my heart, and I can not say litany for happy release from these for my knees creak with rheumatism. The devil has done his worst, Robert, for these are his—plague and pestilence, being final, are the will of God—and, upon my soul, it is an absurd comedy of ills!" At that he had a fit of coughing, and I gave him a glass of ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... warm there, with the heater at her back; better than the little room with the sagging bed and the doors covered with wall paper. Her feet had stopped aching, too, She could have sat there for hours. And—why evade it?—she was interested. This whimsical and respectful young man with his absurd talk and his shabby ...
— The Street of Seven Stars • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... birth, have been paupers. The very peculiar circumstances attending my case, only made me more anxious to know my parentage. I was now old enough to be aware of the value of birth, and I was also just entering the age of romance, and many were the strange and absurd reveries in which I indulged. At one time I would cherish the idea that I was of a noble, if not princely birth, and frame reasons for concealment. At others—but it is useless to repeat the absurdities and castle buildings which were generated in my brain ...
— Japhet, In Search Of A Father • Frederick Marryat

... in London, the law still prohibits them, while they continue to reside there, from employing any portion of their capital in the same business in any other part of the kingdom, where it might be more beneficially conducted. Now, Sir, absurd as these laws must appear to be to every man, the attempt to repeal them did not, as far as I recollect, altogether succeed. The weavers were too numerous, their interests too great, or their prejudices too strong; and this notable instance of protection and monopoly still exists, ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... changed since then; the customs of his day are not the customs of ours. Of course I wouldn't suggest that you go counter to your sister's wishes, but"—he turned away from her, huffy, head high, a gentleman flouted in his pride—"it's rather absurd from my point of view. Oh, well, we'll ...
— Treasure and Trouble Therewith - A Tale of California • Geraldine Bonner

... muslin again; it's full of darns, up to my knees, and all out of fashion. So is my sacque; and as for my hat, though it does well enough here, it would be absurd ...
— Kitty's Class Day And Other Stories • Louisa M. Alcott

... crossed the Rubicon, the rogue must brazen things out— which he did by starting a cat out of one of the dingy laurels, chivvying her some way into the house, and returning to shake himself on the front doorstep and bark in absurd triumph. ...
— True Tilda • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... of the lines, shall think them tant soit peu coarse and brutal, the fault must not be ascribed to Mr. Punch, but to the brilliant young author. Moreover, Mr. Punch begs leave to say, that squeamishness of that kind is becoming more and more absurd every day under the influence of the New Poetry and ...
— Punch, Or the London Charivari, Volume 103, July 16, 1892 • Various

... am going to say is absurd, papa, and yet I don't see my way out of it—logically, I suppose you would call it. What is the use of taking any trouble about them if they are in God's hands? Why should we try to take ...
— The Seaboard Parish Vol. 3 • George MacDonald

... containing a solution of sugar, or any form of syrup or vegetable juice to the air, in order, after a comparatively short time, to see all these phenomena of fermentation. Of course the first obvious suggestion is, that the torula has been generated within the fluid. In fact, it seems at first quite absurd to entertain any other conviction; but that belief would most assuredly be ...
— Lectures and Essays • T.H. Huxley

... resumed Pryer, "does all this point to? Firstly, to the duty of confession—the outcry against which is absurd as an outcry would be against dissection as part of the training of medical students. Granted these young men must see and do a great deal we do not ourselves like even to think of, but they should adopt some other profession unless they are prepared for this; they may even get inoculated with poison ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... been absurd if I had asked where we were going, so I held my tongue, for at such moments a man should take heed to his words. Branicki was silent, and I thought the best thing I could do would be to engage ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... absurd, sentimental ... please, I know my way, and find yours.... Tell me, do you know yet what day ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... Vienna if he chose; laying all flat. Infallible," say the Schmettau people. "He had the fire of head to contrive it all; but worn down and grown old, he could not execute his great thoughts." Which is obviously absurd, Friedrich's object not being to lay Austria flat, or drive animosities to the sanguinary point, and kindle all Europe into war; but merely to extract, with the minimum of violence, something like ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... marks for keeping it on. Thus the proceedings appropriately began. William tried in vain to learn the terms of the law under which he was arrested, maintaining that he was innocent of any illegal act. Finally, after an absurd and unjust hearing, the jury, who appreciated the situation, brought in a verdict of "guilty of speaking in Gracious Street." The judges refused to accept the verdict, and kept the jury without food or drink for two days, trying to make ...
— William Penn • George Hodges

... day, but at dark will manage to get on some high perch and flop down on your shoulder or head when you least expect it and least desire it, too. The little uncanny thing cannot fly, really, but the webs enable it to take tremendous leaps. I expect that it looks absurd for us to be taking across the country a small menagerie, but the squirrels were presents, and of course had to go, and the chickens are beautiful, and give us quantities of eggs. Besides, if we had left the chickens, Charlie might not have gone, ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... Candida here, and Candida there, and Candida everywhere! (She licks the envelope.) It's enough to drive anyone out of their SENSES (thumping the envelope to make it stick) to hear a perfectly commonplace woman raved about in that absurd manner merely because she's got good hair, ...
— Candida • George Bernard Shaw

... Jews acted in admitting or rejecting books into their Scriptures it might be difficult for us to determine. In some cases we know that they were fanciful and absurd. But the grounds on which the Christians proceeded in making up their canon we ...
— Who Wrote the Bible? • Washington Gladden

... South Meeting-House is not to be passed without mention. It is among the most aged survivals of pre-revolutionary days. Neither its architecture not its age, however, is its chief warrant for our notice. The absurd number of windows in this battered old structure is what strikes the passer-by. The church was erected by subscription, and these closely set large windows are due to Henry Sherburne, one of the wealthiest citizens of the period, who agreed to pay for whatever glass ...
— An Old Town By The Sea • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... libraries of comic verse; yet, with diligent search, no humorous poems by women have been found which are of merit sufficient to give them claim to a place in a collection like this. That lively wit and graceful gayety, that quick perception of the absurd, which ladies are continually displaying in their conversation and correspondence, never, it seems, suggest the successful epigram, or inspire ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... pique myself upon my hair. There was but one opinion about that. I have often heard even grown-up people remark, 'How ingeniously that doll's wig is put on, and how nicely it is arranged!' while at the same time my rising vanity was crushed by the insinuation that I had an absurd smirk ...
— The Doll and Her Friends - or Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina • Unknown

... The letters were signed "Snodgrass," and there are but two of them. The second, dated exactly four months after the first, is in the same assassinating dialect, and recounts among other things the scarcity of coal in Cincinnati and an absurd adventure in which Snodgrass has a baby left on ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... Impassive, remorseless, sinister, it was content to wait, well aware that all suspense was in its favor. Then I said to myself that I would cross the room, and so attain my object. I made a step—and drew back, frightened by the sound of a creaking board. Absurd! But it was quite a minute before I dared to make another step. I had meant to walk straight across to the other door, passing in my course close by the occupied chair. I did not do so; I kept round by the ...
— The Ghost - A Modern Fantasy • Arnold Bennett

... that one grape should be the grape for this immense country of ours; the sooner we try to adapt the variety to the locality—not the locality to the variety—the sooner we will succeed. The idea is absurd, and unworthy of a thinking people, that one variety should succeed equally well or ill in such a diversity of soil and climate as we have in this broad land of ours. It is in direct conflict with the laws of vegetable physiology, as well ...
— The Cultivation of The Native Grape, and Manufacture of American Wines • George Husmann

... police regulations are, others are very absurd. If a person is wounded or otherwise injured, no one may go near him; for, if the wounded man should die, the person who went to help him would be carried off to prison, and certainly be tried for the ...
— Fred Markham in Russia - The Boy Travellers in the Land of the Czar • W. H. G. Kingston

... to her, and offering to relieve Mr. Brooks of all the trouble and responsibility that might be incurred by the journey. She would send her son and her family physician. Witherspoon grunted at so absurd a request and was surprised that Brooks should grant it. The old woman might die on the train, and besides, what possible pleasure could she extract from such a visit? It ...
— The Colossus - A Novel • Opie Read

... is something absurd about all this," said Helen. "A man with such a discovery, such powers, using them in such a manner, for such a ...
— The Sign at Six • Stewart Edward White

... there will be a clear advantage in fostering the natural disposition of the father to associate his child's welfare with his individual egotism, and to dispense some of his energies and earnings in supplementing the common provision of the State. It is an absurd disregard of a natural economy to leave the innate philoprogenitiveness of either sex uncultivated. Unless the parents continue in close relationship, if each is passing through a series of marriages, the dangers of a conflict ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... 'Illegal and impossible, it will spell disgrace and misfortune to us all. The Emperor will interfere, for this is going too far. We must hinder this farcical ceremony; his Highness cannot marry two wives! It will be Moempelgard over again! Think how absurd, Graevenitz! Cannot you see that this farce ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... time great cruelties were practised to compel uniformity. To that absurd shrine many thousand invaluable lives were sacrificed. Blessed be God, that happier days have dawned upon us. Antichrist can no longer put the Christian to a cruel death. It very rarely sends one to prison for refusing obedience to ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... small schoolboy shrugged his shoulders and went home, to be made a great fuss over by his mother and sisters, which he thought absurd; but he liked the quiet look of pleasure his father gave him when he came in after hearing the news in the town, though he only said, 'Good business, ...
— Chatterbox, 1905. • Various

... in Dorsham 'street,' no single person went up it or down, without the fact being known sooner or later—generally on the instant—to every dweller therein; and for four strangers, newly come to live in the place, to expect to escape notice was absurd. ...
— The Carroll Girls • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... watched the old man, prematurely bent by labour, eating his hard crust, cheerful and contented, after giving to others the fruit of his many years of toil, I thought, 'If man were nothing but an animal, such a life would be not only absurd, but impossible.' Another glass of wine made my host and cook still more talkative. He told me that not long ago he had walked from this village to Tulle, distant about thirty-five miles, to see a soldier son who was ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... government, almost in despite of which he had conquered kingdoms for France. He therefore regarded now with little sympathy the aspirations after republican organisation which he had himself originally stimulated among the northern Italians. He knew, however, that the Directory had, by absurd and extravagant demands, provoked the Pope to break off the treaty of Bologna, and to raise his army to the number of 40,000,—that Naples had every disposition to back his Holiness with 30,000 soldiers, provided any reverse ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... Rather an absurd little person, Mrs. Bough. Yet, a tragic little person, in Saxham's eyes at least, by the time she had ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... irrepressible glee.] The servant! Why, how absurd you are, Hedda. It's only my old Berta! Why, I'll tell ...
— Hedda Gabler - Play In Four Acts • Henrik Ibsen

... that this was one for Larry and at least ten for Kid Twist, Nosey Murphy, and Bert Rhine. I'll not be so absurd as to say that the mate is afraid of those gangsters. I doubt if he has ever experienced fear. It is not in him. On the other hand, I am confident that he apprehends trouble from these men, and that it was for their benefit he ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London



Words linked to "Absurd" :   preposterous, the absurd, situation, unlogical, nonsensical, foolish, ridiculous, ludicrous, absurdness, theater of the absurd, illogical, laughable, idiotic, absurdity, state of affairs



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