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Nonentity   Listen
noun
Nonentity  n.  (pl. nonentities)  
1.
Nonexistence; the negation of being.
2.
A thing not existing.
3.
A person or thing of little or no account; an unimportant person; usually used as a disparaging term. (Colloq.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Nonentity" Quotes from Famous Books



... his face. Bruce did not see the tarnished dome of the Court House—nor the grove of broad elms, shrivelled and dusty—nor the enclosing quadrangle of somnolent, drooping farm horses. He was seeing this town shaken as by an explosion. He was seeing cataclysmic battle, with Blind Charlie become a nonentity, Blake completely annihilated, and himself victorious at the front. And, dream of his dreams! he was seeing himself free to reshape Westville ...
— Counsel for the Defense • Leroy Scott

... been more and more inclining to take a cheerful view. He liked to see a young creature of such evident character and cleverness holding opinions and lines of her own. It was infinitely better than mere nonentity. Of course, she was now extravagant and foolish, perhaps vain too. But that would mend with time—mend, above all, with her position as Aldous's wife. Aldous was a strong man—how strong, Lord Maxwell suspected that this impetuous young lady hardly knew. No, he thought ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... We have no clue as to his real personality. It is reported that even his own followers are ignorant of it. Where we have come across his tracks, he has always played a secondary part. Somebody else assumes the chief role. But afterwards we always find that there has been some nonentity, a servant or a clerk, who has remained in the background unnoticed, and that the elusive Mr. Brown has escaped us ...
— The Secret Adversary • Agatha Christie

... was a nonentity put into a red jacket. The surgeon was a tall, and very finicking sort of gentleman as to dress; but well informed, friendly in disposition, and perfectly acquainted with ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... is opportunity to the man who can't use it? An undefecundated egg, which the waves of time wash away into nonentity. So, as my memory is ill-furnished, and my notebook still worse, I am unable to show myself either erudite or eloquent apropos of the calumny whereof the Rev. Amos Barton was the victim. I can only ask my reader,—did you ever upset your ink-bottle, and watch, ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... time Lady Sophia Harding hated me with a deadly hatred. Formerly she had been indifferent to me. Concentrated upon her husband, adoring him, vain of him, greedily ambitious for his advancement, she had had no time to bestow on a clerical nonentity. But as I grew to understand what her husband really was she grew to hate me. She was almost rude to me. She spoke ill of me behind my back. She even tried to oust me from my position as senior curate of St. Joseph's. Why did not ...
— The Dweller on the Threshold • Robert Smythe Hichens

... our standard forever, the picture of this nonentity with the hare's body and the ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... matter is not eternal, its first emergence into being is a miracle beside which all others dwindle into absolute insignificance. But, as has often been pointed out, the process is unthinkable; the sudden apocalypse of a material world out of blank nonentity cannot be imagined; [Footnote: Professor Knight will have to reckon with the English Marriage Service, one of whose Collects begins thus: 'O God, who by thy mighty power halt made all things of nothing.] its emergence into order out of chaos when "without form and void" of life, is merely a poetic ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... would give up more generously, as a voluntary matter, you could not bear being made a nonentity of, or ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... watch and study this patriarchal personage with, I think, livelier curiosity, than any other form of humanity there presented to my notice. He was, in truth, a rare phenomenon; so perfect, in one point of view; so shallow, so delusive, so impalpable, such an absolute nonentity, in every other. My conclusion was that he had no soul, no heart, no mind; nothing, as I have already said, but instincts: and yet, withal, so cunningly had the few materials of his character been put together, that there was no painful ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... friendly way. The Democrat had great faith in talking things over, spite of his failure to convince the Aristocrat; he never really doubted that if he only harangued against obstacles long enough they would ultimately disappear. The Bishop, for instance, would willingly rush into nonentity, if once he could be brought to look at his duty in that light, and the Democrat was eager to begin to put it before him in that light immediately. But while he was still looking earnestly for his expected ...
— 'That Very Mab' • May Kendall and Andrew Lang

... came and went, having swept thousands of souls into eternity, and hundreds of thousands of pounds into nonentity. Lifeboats had not been invented. Harbours of refuge were almost unknown, and although our coasts bristled with dangerous reefs and headlands, lighthouses were few and far between. The consequence was, that wrecks were numerous; and so also were wreckers,—a class of ...
— The Lighthouse • R.M. Ballantyne

... incompatible, yet they may both be verified. Any one will testify that, in a given environment, say that of high school or university or that of the worst types of what is called society, the maternal instinct may then and there, and for that period, become a nonentity in many a girl. Hence we are entitled to say that it is delicate; much more delicate, for instance, than what we have agreed to call the racial instinct, which is far more imperious and by no means so easily to ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... Ehrenthal's mosaic brooch. The paternal Ehrenthal, however, tried in vain to keep up a conversation with him. Fink contrived not to appear aware of his presence, without, however, being in any way rude. Every one felt it to be in the nature of things; and Ehrenthal himself humbly acted the part of nonentity assigned to him, and consoled himself by eating ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... relations of the King were modelled on strictly Oriental lines, and that he had three legal wives, the number prescribed by law; but I was unprepared for a statement that showed a daughter in a royal household to be such a nonentity as the ...
— Travels in the Far East • Ellen Mary Hayes Peck

... himself above all the world, because he had trampled under foot all scruples. Every thing was to him a means. He was a statesman of materialism, playing the popular game, with no end but the terrible game itself, with no stake but his life, and with no responsibility beyond nonentity. Such a man must be profoundly indifferent either to despotism or to liberty. His contempt of the people must incline him rather to the side of tyranny. When we can detect nothing divine in men, the better part to play is to make use of them. We can only serve well that ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... that the king resorted to it with doubt and hesitation, and even encountered the disapprobation of his court. A new power had arisen—that of opinion; which, though not recognised, was not the less influential, and whose decrees were beginning to assume sovereign authority. The nation, hitherto a nonentity, gradually asserted its rights, and without sharing power influenced it. Such is the course of all rising powers; they watch over it from without, before they are admitted into the government; then, from the right of control they pass to that of co-operation. The epoch at which the third estate ...
— History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 • F. A. M. Mignet

... leaves you little ground for classifying Bonivard with the great reformers, but it leaves you still less for identifying him historically with Byron's great melodramatic Prisoner of Chillon. If the Majority have somewhere that personal consciousness without which they are the Nonentity, one can fancy the liberal scholar, the humorous philosopher, meeting the romantic poet, and protesting against the second earthly captivity that he has delivered him over to. Nothing could be more alien to Bonivard than the character of Byron's prisoner; and ...
— A Little Swiss Sojourn • W. D. Howells

... had not re-entered society with the intention of subsiding into a nonentity, and he therefore took the opportunity, a few minutes after sunset, just as his companions were falling into the dance, to beg the favour of being allowed to address his sovereign ...
— English Satires • Various

... in company he was dumb and a nonentity; he had been this evening so remarkably stupid that Bathilde had hardly noticed him ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... death, and I am tired of it. Plain, human egoism sometimes speaks in my heart, and I regret that my mother is a famous actress. If she were an ordinary woman I think I should be a happier man. What could be more intolerable and foolish than my position, Uncle, when I find myself the only nonentity among a crowd of her guests, all celebrated authors and artists? I feel that they only endure me because I am her son. Personally I am nothing, nobody. I pulled through my third year at college by the skin of my teeth, as they say. ...
— The Sea-Gull • Anton Checkov

... about together, one happened to touch the other, when down plunged that other. These ships are a compromise between three motifs—speed, resisting attack, and attacking: and the first is so antagonistic to the second, and also to the third, that the net result is almost a Nonentity, or No- Thing. Nothing, in fact, could be more queer, unfounded, than these ships; and the future will look back upon them with pity. Hence the simple islands, following the law: and don't think t hat their efficacy is a ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... to take upon you the nominal office of provost; I say nominal, my lord, because being now used to the duties, and somewhat experienced therein, I could take all the necessary part of the trouble off your lordship's hands, and so render the provostry in your lordship's name a perfect nonentity." Whereupon, he was pleased to say, if I would do so, and he commended my talents and prudence, he would have no objection to be made the provost at the ensuing election. Something more explicit ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... life!" "The Kwei Shans" are brought about by the dissolution of the human frame—and consist of the expanding and ascending Shan which rambles about in space, and of the contracted and shrivelled Kwei, which reverts to earth and nonentity. Therefore, the Kwei is the physical body; the Shan is the vital principle the Kwei Shan the linga-sariram, or the vital soul; Zhing the fourth principle or Kama Rupa, the essence of will; pho, the animal soul; Khi, the spiritual soul; and Hwun the pure ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... first Christmas leave he paid several visits to Chetworth, and evidently felt at home there. To Lady Chicksands, whom most people regarded as a tiresome nonentity, he was particularly kind and courteous. It seemed to give him positive pleasure to listen to her garrulous housekeeping talk, or to hold her wool for her while she wound it. And as she, poor lady, was not accustomed to such attention from brilliant young ...
— Elizabeth's Campaign • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... afforded a striking contrast to the governor, Baron de Rupinelle, a large and indolent man, having but one care, that of keeping cool; his face was gross, purple and full; his eyes, unusually round, gave him a look of perpetual surprise. The baron, honest and brave, but a perfect nonentity, owed his position to the powerful influence of the Colbert family to which he was related ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... O'Rane was leaning forward with one elbow on the table and her other hand repressing Gaymer. The cast of the "Divorce" was being slightly changed, and they had thought it worth while to venture a sovereign on the name of one nonentity who was retiring in favour of another. Eric adjudicated in Gaymer's favour and was turning to give Barbara a last chance, when he found that the flood-gates were open and that every one, taking his time ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... head. "I hate being a notoriety," he said. "I like to pass through with the crowd. If I go away for a little while I shall return a nonentity." ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... for it but to retire after this, which Mrs. Guthrie Brimston did, discomfited, and with an uneasy feeling, which had been growing upon her lately, that Evadne was not quite the nonentity for which she ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... imagine, therefore, that the almost total deprivation from temporal power, and the neutralized allegiance of so many of his Italian subjects, must be most galling and heart-breaking to him. The Pope, indeed, is almost a nonentity at home; yet we cannot but feel that this alienation between Italy and her spiritual father is for the real good of the State. It has ever been the policy of the Papacy to keep the people in poverty and superstitious ignorance. ...
— Fair Italy, the Riviera and Monte Carlo • W. Cope Devereux

... dangerous, and entrancing. Across the talk, the wine, the many lights, came the triumph of seeing that other hostile face, glowering in defeat. Never before had Chantel, and all the others, dwindled so far into such nonentity, or her presence ...
— Dragon's blood • Henry Milner Rideout

... served as a door to the hut—Polly's bower, as the men styled it—and saw one of the passengers dragged from a hole or space between the spars of the raft, into which he had slipped up to the waist. Mr Luke, the passenger referred to, was considered a weak man, mind and body,—a sort of human nonentity, a harmless creature, with long legs and narrow shoulders. He took his cold bath with philosophic coolness, and acknowledged the laughter of the men with a bland smile. Regardless of his drenched condition, he sat down on a small keg ...
— Philosopher Jack • R.M. Ballantyne

... En un mot, set the most insignificant nonentity to sell miserable tickets at a railway station, and the nonentity will at once feel privileged to look down on you like a Jupiter, pour montrer son pouvoir when you go to take a ticket. 'Now then,' he says, 'I shall show you my power'... and in them it comes ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... imprisonment is, in this language, an offence "which produces incarceration." To be starved to death is "to sink from inanition into nonentity." Sir Isaac Newton is "the developer of the skies in their embodied movements;" and Mrs. Thrale, when a party of clever people sat silent, is said to have been "provoked by the dullness of a Witurnity that, in the midst of such renowned interlocutors, produced as narcotic a torpor ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... a single vote," said Mr Jermyn. "He is a political humbug, the greatest of all humbugs; a man who swaggers about London clubs and consults solemnly about his influence, and in the country is a nonentity." ...
— Sybil - or the Two Nations • Benjamin Disraeli

... him (Thrale) in literary attainments. She is more flippant, but he has ten times her learning: he is a regular scholar; but her learning is that of a school-boy in one of the lower forms." If this were so, it is strange that Thrale should cut so poor a figure, should seem little better than a nonentity, whilst every imaginable topic was under animated discussion at his table; for Boswell was more ready to report the husband's sayings than the wife's. In a marginal note on one of the printed letters she says: "Mr. Thrale was a very merry talking man in 1760; but the distress of 1772, ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... into a chair. "I would fly anywhere to escape being entertained by that Ragtime' piece of human nonentity—Louise Taine. I saw them coming, just in time." He was filling his pipe as he spoke. "And ...
— The Eyes of the World • Harold Bell Wright

... was obscured in his mind. All he felt vividly was a burning shame. He, Hal Dunbar, the invincible, had been beaten fairly and squarely in the battle with the horse; not only this, he had been saved from complete destruction only by the intervention of this nonentity, this Bull Hunter whom he had scorned only a few moments before. He looked about him in blind anger at the bystanders. Worst of all, this was a new country where he was only vaguely known, and whenever his name was mentioned in these parts ...
— Bull Hunter • Max Brand

... pay the minister's salary, furnish the edifice, support social movements that would tend to increase membership, and sustain the religious services; but, were she a machine, minus brains, choice, or will, she could be no more completely a nonentity when the pastor was to be chosen, the amount of his salary fixed, or any matters of finance ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 24, November, 1891 • Various

... begin at the beginning we must try to fall back on uninterpreted feeling, as the mystics aspire to do. We need not expect, however, to find peace there, for the immediate is in flux. Pure feeling rejoices in a logical nonentity very deceptive to dialectical minds. They often think, when they fall back on elements necessarily indescribable, that they have come upon true nothingness. If they are mystics, distrusting thought and craving the largeness of indistinction, they may embrace this alleged ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... ridicule.—"At least, let us be affectionate in public," ought to be the maxim of a married establishment. For both the married couple to lose honor, esteem, consideration, respect and all that is worth living for in society, is to become a nonentity. ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... was dirty business, this buying of girls and hiring of pimps, but it was immensely profitable; and more and more of the profits found their way into Ito's private account. Fujinami Gentaro did not seem to care. Takeshi, the son and heir, was a nonentity. Ito's intention was to continue to serve his cousins until he had amassed a working capital of a hundred thousand pounds. Then he would go ...
— Kimono • John Paris

... are bewildered and harassed; and then, in a fit of desperation, go off to some Romish priest to be received. A man who had an honourable position, a work and responsibility, suddenly becomes a nonentity, barely welcomed, ...
— From Death into Life - or, twenty years of my ministry • William Haslam

... absolutism. According to El Liberal of May 11, Senor Ordax Avecilla, of the Red Cross Society, stated in his speech at the Madrid Mercantile Club, "If he (the General) thought of becoming dictator, he would fall from the heights of his glory to the Hades of nonentity." His enemies persistently insinuated that he was really returning to Spain to support the clericals actively. But perhaps the bitterest satire was levelled against him in El Pais of May 10, which, in an article headed "The Great Farce," said: "Do you know who ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... that I can do nothing else. The Grand Duke is dead, and His Majesty has taken charge of the matter. The Grand Duchess is a ruler herself, at the present time. It is true she is only a foolish girl, who ran away to marry a nonentity—but affairs of state are greater than affairs of the heart. At all risks she must return to Ecknor. I must be certain of her identity before I can make another move. I appreciate the delicacy of the situation. I know that I have practically kidnaped ...
— Charred Wood • Myles Muredach

... was successful. During the following winter he sat in the Legislature of Illinois; a huge, uncouth, mainly silent member, making apparently no impression whatever, very probably striking the educated members as a nonentity in homespun.(9) ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... De Motu Animal., cap. 8.] further remarks, retracing her steps, reverts to where she had set out, and returns at the end of her course to the goal whence she had started. As animal generation proceeds from that which is not animal, entity from nonentity, so, by a retrograde course, entity, by corruption, is resolved into nonentity, whence that in animals, which was last created, fails first and that ...
— The Harvard Classics Volume 38 - Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology) • Various

... feel such a nonentity. What are our lives, our little lives in comparison? We, who each consider ourselves the one person upon the earth, the hero or heroine in the great drama: all the rest mere by-characters. We do not care to be considered of such little consequence; only puppets ...
— Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Girl - Sister of that "Idle Fellow." • Jenny Wren

... sure of that, little girl. You are angry and vindictive. If he were a nonentity you ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... the board; and had rancid oil and sour wine given him, when they enjoyed the best. The slaves had snubbed him and made fun of him; the freedmen regarded him with absolute disdain; Valeria's regular visitors treated him as a nonentity. Besides, all his standards of ethical righteousness were outraged by the round of life which he was compelled daily to witness. The worthy man would long before have ceased from a vassalage so disgraceful, ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... of whom the very thought disgusted the two friends was that jumping-jack of an Arthur Papillon. Universal suffrage, with its accustomed intelligence, had not failed to elect this nonentity and bombastic fool, and to-day he flounders about like a fish out of water in the midst of this political cesspool. Having been enriched by a large dowry, he has been by turns deputy, secretary, vice-president, president, head of committees, under secretary of State, ...
— A Romance of Youth, Complete • Francois Coppee

... is certainly at least extremely desirable, that a trade of such promise should not remain any longer prohibited, merely to satisfy a punctilio, without the most distant shadow of benefit to the India Company, or to the nonentity denominated ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 • Robert Kerr

... reports contradicted one another. He exhibited his adversary as a man of unbounded violence, as a man of the most pusillanimous nature; General Rukavina was despicable, said these documents, he was an absolute nonentity; but no, shrieked von Thurn on the next day, this man Rukavina was imbued as no other with the abominable spirit of Machiavelli. To bring about the fall of the Hungarian party in Dalmatia, Count Raymond's police set themselves the task of laying ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... to the Supreme Power, the Author of Life.... Afterwards the cult became depraved. Religion became a pretext for libertinism." Poets wrote facetious and salacious epigrams and affixed them to the statues of the god—even the greatest writers lending their pens to the "sport"—and eventually some nonentity collected these scattered verses and made them into a book. Everybody knows Catullus's ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... cannot help puzzling about." It irked him—her success on Nepenthe. He knew the sailormen to be a horny-handed, skeptical, worldly brood. Why had they imported the cult of Eulalia from Spain; why had they chosen for their patroness a mawkish suffering nonentity, so different from those sunny goddesses of classical days? He concluded, lamely, that there was an element of the child in every Southerner; that men, refusing to believe what is improbable, reserve their credulity for what is utterly impossible; in brief, ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... said not to exist. And were all my perceptions removed by death, and I could neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love, nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a perfect nonentity. If any one, upon serious and unprejudiced reflection, thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may perhaps ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... watched by a breathless nation. The party leaders on each side cheer on their men; their careers and claims and countenances fill up the papers, and they cross swords in a shower of telegrams. Advice to those about to enter Parliament: Elect for a bye-election. Why be a nonentity, a mere M.P., when by a little patience you may hold the centre of the stage, if only for a week? Better almost to be beaten at a bye-election than to be ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... fact, it was generally understood that the business could not get on without him. His caution was a most salutary counteractive to Mr Sudberry's recklessness. As for "Co," he was a sleeping partner, and an absolute nonentity. ...
— Freaks on the Fells - Three Months' Rustication • R.M. Ballantyne

... is the hope of our race. He is the man in the making. Whether he is to be a constructive force, a nonentity, or a destructive force depends largely on influences during this period. In adolescence the processes of destruction are quick and sudden. Statistics of reformatories and prisons show that either crime itself or the moral breakdown which leads to crime begins in boyhood. A study of the ...
— The Social Emergency - Studies in Sex Hygiene and Morals • Various

... the heel of her boot into the soft carpet. "There will be inquiries," she choked furiously. "I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. The English authorities will make the French Government find out who is responsible, and you will have to pay ...
— The Sheik - A Novel • E. M. Hull

... Progress of Science sufficiently show that the study of geometry was almost a nonentity in England previously to the commencement of the eighteenth century. Before this period Dr. Dee, the celebrated author of the preliminary discourse to Billingsley's Euclid, had indeed resided at Manchester (1595), but his residence here could effect little ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 34, June 22, 1850 • Various

... are entirely too modest," retorted Grace. "Come on, little Miss Nonentity, let's go to bed or I won't get up early enough to-morrow morning to see Mabel Ashe before ...
— Grace Harlowe's First Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... had the feeling that, for all her repression, Maggie would have been glad to be more free with him. And he knew enough of human nature not to be too disheartened by her attitude. Had he been a nonentity to her, she would have ignored him. Her very insults were proof that he was a positive personality with real significance in her life. And so he counseled himself to have patience and await a thawing or an awaking. Besides, he kept repeating ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... ahead of me? No, not you," he exclaimed at last, in reply to some version of his own of my ideas, which I carefully made a nonentity under the scrutiny of his keen blue eyes. "No, no, missy; you wait a bit. Uncle Sam was not hatched yesterday, and it takes fifty young ladies ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... found and all explanations made. I had therefore been simply fighting his battles when I pointed out what I thought to be the weak place in their present theory, and, sore as I felt in contemplation of my seemingly heartless action, I was not the unimpressionable, addle-pated nonentity I must have ...
— The Woman in the Alcove • Anna Katharine Green

... whom Dr. Brown has a letter of credence. Make your journey perfectly at your ease; id est, with dignified leisure. Write me at every post-town, for I shall have a deal of impatience and anxiety about you and your little nonentity. ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... called The Silent Woman, who turns out, as might be expected, to be no woman at all—nothing, as Master Slender said, but 'a great lubberly boy,' thereby, as I apprehend, discourteously presuming that a silent woman is a nonentity. If the learned dramatist, thus happily prepared and predisposed, had happened to fall in with such a specimen of female loquacity as I have just parted with, he might, perhaps, have given us a pendant to his picture in the talking lady. Pity but he had! He would have done her justice, ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... the paper and stared at the paragraph he pointed to. Jim Driscoll—that pitiful nonentity, with his stout mistrustful commonplace wife! It seemed extraordinary that the government should have hunted up such insignificant people. And immediately she had a great vague vision of the splendours they were going to—all the ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... Lord Byron being, with the great bulk of mankind, a believer in the existence of matter and evil, while Shelley so far refined upon the theory of Berkeley, as not only to resolve the whole of creation into spirit, but to add also to this immaterial system, some pervading principle, some abstract nonentity of love and beauty—of which, as a substitute at least for Deity—the philosophic bishop ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... Ones who hover about women in childbirth. So Moses was sent for, post-haste, to intercede with the Almighty. His piety, it was felt, would command attention. For an average of three hundred and sixty-two days a year Moses was a miserable worm, a nonentity, but on the other three, when death threatened to visit Malka or her little clan, Moses became a personage of prime importance, and was summoned at all hours of the day and night to wrestle with the angel Azrael. When the angel had retired, ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... knew he had come in, but they had ignored him thereafter. He was such a colorless nonentity that he simply seemed to fade into the background of the walls once he had made ...
— Unwise Child • Gordon Randall Garrett

... its drawbacks," he lamented. "As a brother I am a nonentity, Lady Huntingford; it's not altogether relishable, you know. It's a sort of pantomime, for me, by Jove. I'm the fool, and this seems ...
— Nedra • George Barr McCutcheon

... a little confused. He had always heard that Ministers were responsible to Parliament; and he had a vague conviction, notwithstanding the reanimating loyalty of the Bed-Chamber Plot, that the Sovereign of England was a nonentity. He took refuge in indefinite expressions, and observed, 'The Responsibility of Ministers is surely a ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... having condescended to disclose to me, as much as I am capable of knowing of His infinite greatness, I could not avoid making this reflection; that it is certain that every creature is a mere nonentity before God. While I was thus meditating, it was His pleasure to direct that, for all the good He had done me, I should make Him some offering; I replied that my poverty was so great, that except the poor habit which I wore, I had nothing in the world but my body and my soul, which I had long ...
— The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi • Father Candide Chalippe

... startled, and he disbelieves you; but when a few days afterwards he reads in his newspaper of how some howling nonentity has just been made a peer, or a member of the Government, the incredible sentence he has heard recurs to him. When in the course of the next twelve months five or six other nonentities have enjoyed this sort of promotion (one of whom perhaps ...
— Hilaire Belloc - The Man and His Work • C. Creighton Mandell

... the times. Nothing is less justified than the conception of a fixed archetype (an undisguised survival of the Platonic Ideas), illuminating the inventor, who reproduces it as best he can. The ideal is a nonentity; it arises in the inventor and through him; its ...
— Essay on the Creative Imagination • Th. Ribot

... from her teeth. Bristow, going beyond surface indications, estimated her at her true worth: "Too much indulged; overshadowed, perhaps, by some older member of the family; but capable of big things, even charm. She's far from being a nonentity. She ...
— The Winning Clue • James Hay, Jr.

... tendency to converge. For it happened that while some had jentaculum but no prandium, others had prandium but no jentaculum; a third party had both; a fourth party, by much the largest, had neither. Out of which varieties (who would think that a nonentity could cut up into so many somethings?) arose a fifth party of compromisers, who, because they could not afford a regular coena, and yet were hospitably disposed, fused the two ideas into one; and so, because ...
— Miscellaneous Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... motive it is very hard to guess. Perhaps there was some real admiration of Jean's beauty, and it seems to have been his desire that his wife should be a nonentity, as was shown in his subsequent choice of Charlotte of Savoy. Now Jean was in feature very like her sister Isabel, Duchess of Brittany, who was a very beautiful woman, but not far from being imbecile, and Louis had never seen Jean display any superiority ...
— Two Penniless Princesses • Charlotte M. Yonge

... nothing worth speaking of, nothing particular, nothing to boast of, nothing to speak of; small matter, no great matter, trifling matter &c. Adj.; mere joke, mere nothing; hardly anything; scarcely anything; nonentity, small beer, cipher; no great shakes, peu de chose[Fr]; child's play, kinderspiel. toy, plaything, popgun, paper pellet, gimcrack, gewgaw, bauble, trinket, bagatelle, Rickshaw, knickknack, whim-wham, trifle, "trifles light as air"; yankee notions [U. S.]. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... the Canadas, its commerce consisted of a few peltries, conveyed to France by the vessels which brought out the troops and carried back the disbanded regiments. The lumber trade was unknown. The importations were a nonentity. While at present many hundreds of vessels are engaged in the direct timber trade, and more than one hundred and fifty vessels have been frequently counted on the river St Lawrence. These, it must be remembered, are almost exclusively owned by British merchants; while the French Canadians ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... powers! It touched no soul nor body, but the wall, On which the moonbeams fell in silvery showers Checkered with all the tracery of the hall. He shuddered, as no doubt the bravest cowers When he can't tell what 'tis that doth appal. How odd, a single hobgoblin's nonentity Should cause more fear than a ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... her sucking child she was not that mother. The stream of her affections, though divided into twelve rills, would not have been exhausted in twenty-four, and her soul, forecasting its sorrow, yearned after that nonentity Number Thirteen. She pictured to herself the hapless strangeling borne away from her bosom by those strong arms, and—in fact she sobbed so that Ginx grew ashamed, and sought to comfort her by the suggestion that she could not have any more. But ...
— Ginx's Baby • Edward Jenkins

... indifference to the weighty affairs of government was as complete as it appears to us at this distance of time. Certain facts recorded in the official chronicles of that date go to prove that, except in name and external pomp, the king was a nonentity. The real power lay in the hands of the nobles and generals, and Bel-sharuzur, the king's son, directed affairs for them in his father's name. Nabonidus meanwhile resided in a state of inactivity at his palace of Tima, and it is possible that his condition may have really been that of a ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... snares; according to others, by her intelligence, ability, and strength of character she advanced a cause truly national—that of French unity; thus, she worked either the ruin or the salvation of France. Michelet calls her a nonentity, a stage queen with merely the externals—the attire—of royalty, remaining exactly on a level with the rulers of the smaller Italian principalities, contriving everything and fearing everything, with no more heart ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... that God is the author of the sinful acts of the creature? It were better, we say, ten thousand times better, that sin, that monstrous birth of night and darkness, should grow up out of the womb of nonentity, if such were the only alternative, than that it should proceed from the bosom ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... good-for-nothing in life. And his death was a stroke of good luck that he scarcely deserved. He died without a moment's pain, with a merry thought in his head, perhaps, while many another better man has to linger in torture for weeks. No, Bormann, the best I can say about Winkler is that his death makes one nonentity the less ...
— The Lamp That Went Out • Augusta Groner

... power cannot abolish slavery? A stately farce, indeed, formally to construct a special clause, and with appropriate rites induct it into the Constitution, for the express purpose of restricting a nonentity!—to take from the lawmaking power what it never had, and what cannot pertain to it! The legislatures of those States have no power to abolish slavery, simply because their Constitutions have expressly taken away that power. The ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... embraces all that it sees, and pities all that it embraces. According as you turn inwards and penetrate more deeply into yourself, you will discover more and more your own emptiness, that you are not all that you are not, that you are not what you would wish to be, that you are, in a word, only a nonentity. And in touching your own nothingness, in not feeling your permanent base, in not reaching your own infinity, still less your own eternity, you will have a whole-hearted pity for yourself, and you will burn with a sorrowful love for yourself—a ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... many members of the Imperial family were from supporting the reigning head and his consort in the policy which was jeopardizing the dynasty. But the Czar's political blindness was incurable. In a kind of panic he got rid of every remaining progressive minister; a nonentity of no importance from the Czar's personal circle was made prime minister, and the real power fell to Protopopoff, the strong man of the "dark forces," who was to see their designs through, but was the first ...
— America's War for Humanity • Thomas Herbert Russell

... the fact, Mr. W——; and admit that Blackstone was a goose, and that his law, like his logic, is all nonsense when measured by the standard of common sense and practical fact. Admit that a woman, when she becomes a wife does not become a mere nonentity, or I leave you ...
— Wild Northern Scenes - Sporting Adventures with the Rifle and the Rod • S. H. Hammond

... on. Mollendorf is to go to Paris, where he will be a nonentity, while in his present office he is a power in the land—Devil take me, but it seems to me that we are all a pack of asses! Our gains will not be commensurate with our losses. The navy? Well, we'll let that pass; the Colonel, I ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... previous explanations of the principles of duty, so far as it is derived from pure reason, it was still possible to reduce it again to a doctrine of happiness; in such a way, however, that a certain moral happiness not resting on empirical causes was ultimately arrived at, a self-contradictory nonentity. In fact, when the thinking man has conquered the temptations to vice, and is conscious of having done his (often hard) duty, he finds himself in a state of peace and satisfaction which may well be called happiness, in which virtue is her own reward. Now, says the eudaemonist, this delight, ...
— The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics • Immanuel Kant

... the pride and selfishness of x, all the despair of y, were mirrored in the dancer's play of features. The spectators could not help pondering over the seeming law of injustice that rules the world. Why should x be everything in the equations and y nothing? Why should y's nonentity be used even to set off the all importance of x? But they found no answer. On the other hand, a large number of college freshmen who had failed on their entrance mathematics found no difficulty in passing off their conditions ...
— The Patient Observer - And His Friends • Simeon Strunsky

... suggested the possession of a dangerous energy. It was a source of irritation to the Baroness that in this country it should seem to matter whether a little girl were a trifle less or a trifle more of a nonentity; for Eugenia had hitherto been conscious of no moral pressure as regards the appreciation of diminutive virgins. It was perhaps an indication of Lizzie's pertness that she very soon retired and left the Baroness on her brother's hands. Acton talked a great deal about ...
— The Europeans • Henry James

... thought that he would carry his point, but Miss Eulie proved she was not that nonentity which, in his polite and attentive indifference, he had secretly considered her. With quiet firmness she said that, as Annie's natural guardian, she would not give her consent to the marriage. As a reason she said, "I think it would show a great lack of respect and courtesy ...
— Opening a Chestnut Burr • Edward Payson Roe

... in power were so foolish as to choose a weak man for its head, it would cease to be in power. Its judgment is its life. Suppose in 1859 that the Whig party had determined to set aside both Earl Russell and Lord Palmerston and to choose for its head an incapable nonentity, the Whig party would probably have been exiled from office at the Schleswig-Holstein difficulty. The nation would have deserted them, and Parliament would have deserted them, too; neither would have endured to see a secret negotiation, on ...
— The English Constitution • Walter Bagehot

... themselves! Just so the same creature of yesterday asserts his property in that ancient globe, which he is destined to enjoy but an hour; and he asserts, that all was made for him, though in another hour he leaves all and becomes again, as to the planet which nurtured him, the nonentity of yesterday. ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... cousins were married, one living on the farm with his mother, the other having struck out for himself. And Miss Eliza Leverett was weakly. Like many women of that period, when all hope of marrying and having a home of her own was past, she sank down into a gentle nonentity and dreamed of Cousin Chilian. Not that she had expected to captivate him, but life with some one like that would set one ...
— A Little Girl in Old Salem • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... and evil" form only a playful subdivision of this problem. If one has trained one's eye to detect the symptoms of decline, one also understands morality,—one understands what lies concealed beneath its holiest names and tables of values: e.g., impoverished life, the will to nonentity, great exhaustion. Morality denies life.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} In order to undertake such a mission I was obliged to exercise self-discipline:—I had to side against all that was morbid in myself including Wagner, including Schopenhauer, including the whole ...
— The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms. • Friedrich Nietzsche.

... tide had turned, the French having assisted the Aragonese to recover Saragossa. In 1138 'Ali III. was defeated by Alphonso VII. of Castile and Leon, and in 1139 by Alphonso I. of Portugal, who thereby won his crown, and Lisbon was recovered by the Portuguese in 1147. 'Ali III. was a pious nonentity, who fasted and prayed while his empire fell to pieces under the combined action of his Christian foes in Spain and the agitation of the Muwahhadis or "Almohades'' (q.v.) in Morocco. After 'Ali's death in 1142, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... rolls along there, with quilted trumpeters blaring round it, and all the world escorting it as mute or vocal flunky,—escort it not thou; say to it, either nothing, or else deeply in thy heart: "Loud-blaring Nonentity, no force of trumpets, cash, Long-acre art, or universal flunkyhood of men, makes thee an Entity; thou art a Nonentity, and deceptive Simulacrum, more accursed than thou seemest. Pass on in the Devil's name, unworshipped by at least ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... ball-room. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, finding their highest enjoyment in the dance, bid farewell to books, to quiet culture, to all the amenities of home. The father will, after a while, go down into lower dissipations. The son will be tossed about in society, a nonentity. The daughter will elope with a French dancing-master. The mother, still trying to stay in the glitter, and by every art attempting to keep the color in her cheek, and the wrinkles off her brow, attempting, without any success, all the arts of the belle,—an old ...
— The Abominations of Modern Society • Rev. T. De Witt Talmage

... d' etre. An Irish Parliament without power to take from him that hath, and give unto him that hath not, would be without functions, and the foinest pisintry in the wuruld would instantly rebel against such a nonentity. The farmers remember the oft-repeated statements of Mr. Timothy Healy to the effect that "landlordism is the prop of the British Government, and it is that we want to kick away." And the benefit accruing from this vigorous action was by the same eloquent patriot very plainly stated. "The people ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... reappeared with a little man whom he introduced as Dr. Holmes. The doctor was a meagre shrimp of humanity, with a peevish expression on his withered little face, as though he were bored with his own nonentity. He was dressed in faded clothes and carried a small black bag in one hand and a worn hat in the other. If he had any idea of airing a professional protest at being compelled to wait upon the police, the thought vanished as his eye took ...
— The Hand in the Dark • Arthur J. Rees

... wife, a graceful nonentity who, having never done a stroke of work in her life, was perpetually breaking down, and being obliged to rest expensively under the supervision of fashionable doctors. She was now in Hampstead, enclosed in a pale green chamber, living on milk and a preparation called "Marella," and enjoying ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... addition to emperors, queens, prophets and priests, we have one that says he is nobody, a nonentity. One that was never born, and one that was born of her grandmother, and another dropped by the devil flying over the world. One has had the throat cut out and put in wrong, so that what is swallowed passes into the head, and another ...
— Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, March 1844 - Volume 23, Number 3 • Various

... worth repeating. Then he had gone into Parliament, possibly with the idea of making his home life seem less dull; at any rate it redeemed his career from insignificance, for no man whose death can produce the item "another by-election" on the news posters can be wholly a nonentity. Henry, in short, who might have been an embarrassment and a handicap, had chosen rather to be a friend and counsellor, at times even an emergency bank balance; Francesca on her part, with the partiality ...
— The Unbearable Bassington • Saki

... it, there stood beside him—Vance. The forgotten figure of Vance came up close—the watching eyes, the simulated interest, the feigned belief, the detective mental attitude, these broke through the grandiose panorama, bringing darkness. Vance, strong personality that hid behind assumed nonentity for some purpose of his own, intruded with sudden violence, demanding an explanation ...
— Four Weird Tales • Algernon Blackwood

... neglect. But when I called there the day after my interview with Mrs. Graham, he happened to be from home—a circumstance by no means so agreeable to me now as it had been on former occasions. Miss Millward was there, it is true, but she, of course, would be little better than a nonentity. However, I resolved to make my visit a short one, and to talk to Eliza in a brotherly, friendly sort of way, such as our long acquaintance might warrant me in assuming, and which, I thought, could neither give offence nor ...
— The Tenant of Wildfell Hall • Anne Bronte

... to stand. There may be disease in the presence of a question as well as in the lack of an answer. We do not wonder so strangely at an ingenious and well-set-up effect, for we feel such in ourselves; but a cause, reaching out beyond the verge [of fact] and dangling its legs in nonentity, with the hope of a rational foothold, should realize a strenuous life. Pluralism believes in truth and reason, but only as mystically realized, as lived in experience. Up from the breast of a man, up to his tongue and brain, comes a free and strong ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... government carried some highly beneficial measures it was not free from the usual whig failings. Led astray by party spirit, the ministers sent Admiral Pigot, a mere nonentity, to supersede Rodney. Scarcely had they done so when the news of Rodney's victory reached them. A messenger was at once despatched to stop Pigot, but it was too late. Rodney was created a baron, a rank which some thought unequal to his deserts. While ...
— The Political History of England - Vol. X. • William Hunt

... spiritual adviser, who knows his business, must be quick to detect these various qualities in the minds of his penitents and to utilize them to the best advantage. It is inconceivable, for instance, that the convent-foundress Orsola was other than a neuropathic nonentity—a blind instrument in the hands of what we should call her backers, chiefest of whom (in Naples) were two Spanish priests, Borii and Navarro, whose local efforts were supported, at head-quarters, by the saintly Filippo Neri ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... Zara?" the man said, with his slow, soft smile. "What would you have, degraded daughter of a degraded mother—his toy of an hour? And there is another daughter—a fair-haired, insipid nonentity of a dozen years, no more like our beautiful one here than a farthing rush-light is like ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... massacres when it can and adds you to the line of dead things along its edge where you are only remembered by the ebb and flow of the tide. On blue calm mornings, being part of the jetsam, you may glisten in the sun beside a water-logged spar; at night you become a nonentity, of no more consequence along the wavering line of drift than a rotten gull. But if, like Marianne, you have fought skilfully, you may again enter Pont du Sable with a quicker eye, a harder body, and a deeper knowledge ...
— A Village of Vagabonds • F. Berkeley Smith

... they went into operation. The interval had given time for study of them, and their defects were so patent that there was no great expectation among thinking men of any other result than that which followed. The national power which the confederation sought to create was an entire nonentity. There was no executive power, except committees of Congress, and these had no powers to execute. Congress had practically only the power to recommend to the States. It had no power to tax, to support armies or navies, to provide for ...
— American Eloquence, Volume I. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1896) • Various

... was I born. Thus awaking from the long night of what seemed, but was not, nonentity, at once into the very regions of fairy land—into a palace of imagination—into the wild dominions of monastic thought and erudition—it is not singular that I gazed around me with a startled and ardent eye—that I loitered away my boyhood in books, and dissipated my youth in reverie; ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... origin this was a policy of self-preservation. The civil government of Rome was in the hands of a prefect representing the Emperor and a senator who was the spokesman of the Commune. The Pope was either a prisoner or a nonentity in his own capital. The Empire being in abeyance, it was not difficult to transform the prefect into a papal officer, but a greater triumph was the nomination of the senator, for it carried the ultimate control over the municipality, and thus undermined the power of the Commune, which had ...
— The Church and the Empire - Being an Outline of the History of the Church - from A.D. 1003 to A.D. 1304 • D. J. Medley

... above all, in natural sweetness of disposition—a sweetness so marked that even under extreme provocation he never had been known to thrust out an angry paw. This is not to say that the Shah de Perse was a characterless cat, a lymphatic nonentity. On occasion—usually in connection with food that was distasteful to him—he could have his resentments; but they were manifested always with a dignified restraint. His nearest approach to ill-mannered abruptness was to bat with a contemptuous paw ...
— Lords of the Housetops - Thirteen Cat Tales • Various

... lived a man who was not attracted by her, it would have caused her real suffering. She wanted every day to enchant, to captivate, to drive men crazy. The fact that I was in her power and reduced to a complete nonentity before her charms gave her the same sort of satisfaction that victors used to get in tournaments.... She had an extraordinary opinion of her own charms; she imagined that if somewhere, in some great assembly, men could have seen how beautifully she ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... meet her rivals in business with a blow as with a joke. Peter witnessed her success with unfeigned pleasure; and although every feasible speculation was proposed by her, yet he never felt that he was a mere nonentity when compared to his wife. 'Tis true, he was perfectly capable of executing her agricultural plans when she proposed them, but his own capacity for making a lucky hit was very limited. Of the two, she was certainly the better farmer; and scarcely an improvement took place in his little holding ...
— Phil Purcel, The Pig-Driver; The Geography Of An Irish Oath; The Lianhan Shee • William Carleton

... the natural world, such is fame in the intellectual,—both requiring an atmosphere in order to become perceptible. Hence the fame of Michel Angelo is to some minds a nonentity; even as the Sun itself would be invisible ...
— Woman in the Ninteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition - and Duties, of Woman. • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... hate business! More and more I am beginning to think less and less of what one accomplishes materially in this life. What does it matter? I think it is less help to be able to help those about one a little materially and be more or less a nonentity as an individual than to be able to mean something as a person with a heart and comprehension. There are some beautiful things in this life that everything organized tries to make hideous and monstrous and I would always say 'gather ye roses ...
— Nelka - Mrs. Helen de Smirnoff Moukhanoff, 1878-1963, a Biographical Sketch • Michael Moukhanoff

... that a poet praises the whole creation, we commonly mean only that he praises the whole cosmos. But this sort of poet does really praise creation, in the sense of the act of creation. He praises the passage or transition from nonentity to entity; there falls here also the shadow of that archetypal image of the bridge, which has given to the priest his archaic and mysterious name. The mystic who passes through the moment when there is nothing but God does in some sense behold the beginningless ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... thing; but if it did nothing else it would procure him a modified fame in the school and the masters' room, and Mark Ashburn had never felt resigned to be a nonentity anywhere. ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... come now, Mr. Amherst," she began haughtily; but a glance from her husband reduced her to a heaving pink nonentity. ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... the end. He has ridiculed those who sit in high places. He has offended his cousin and patron, the Duke of Marlborough. Without political friends, without the influence and money of the Marlborough family he is a political nonentity." That was eighteen months ago. To-day, at the age of thirty-two, he is one of the leaders of the Government party, Under-Secretary for the Colonies, and with the Liberals the most popular young man in ...
— Real Soldiers of Fortune • Richard Harding Davis

... same foolish argument that the average newspaper man would make," said Quinlan scornfully. "Mallard is news because the newspapers make news of him—and for no other reason. Let them quit, and he isn't news any more—he's a nonentity, he's nothing at all, he's null and he's void. So far as public opinion goes he will cease to exist, and a thing that has ceased to exist is no longer news—once you've printed the funeral notice. Every popular thing, every conspicuous thing in the ...
— The Thunders of Silence • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... pity that dear Artie couldn't take a fancy to some nice, appreciative, kind-hearted, practical girl like that now, instead of wearing away all the best days of his life in useless regret for that poor slender, unsubstantial nonentity of a watery little ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... 465. He attached himself to the party of Ricimer, and before long became a conspicuous captain of foederati After the death of Ricimer (18th August, 472), there was a series of rapid revolutions in the Roman State. Olybrius, the then reigning nonentity, died in October of ...
— Theodoric the Goth - Barbarian Champion of Civilisation • Thomas Hodgkin

... dear Ansard, it is however of no consequence. Nothing is more difficult to attain, yet nothing is more easy to describe, than a good dinner. I was once reading a very fashionable novel by a very fashionable bookseller, for the author is a mere nonentity, and was very much surprised at the accuracy with which a good dinner was described. The mystery was explained a short time afterwards, when casually taking up Eustache Eude's book in Sams's library, I found, that ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat

... he was when living, and instinctively personify the difference as death. Death, strictly analyzed, is only this abstract conceit or metaphysical nonentity. Death, therefore, being but a conception in the mind of a living person, when that person dies death ceases to be at all. And thus the realization of death is the death of death. He annihilates himself, dying with the dart he drives. Having in ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... and in a way searching glances. Harrison was, as always, the lank and cadaverous nonentity, the man of negative suspicions and infinite reserves. His eyes were fixed upon the carpet. He ...
— The Profiteers • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... harmonized with those principles of teaching which she had imbibed at the state normal school in itself lifted him nearer to equality with her. A public nuisance is really more respectable than a nonentity. ...
— The Brown Mouse • Herbert Quick

... between France and Spain, Louis XIV. becoming, by the death without issue of the Spanish king, sovereign of both countries, to the upsetting of the European balance of power. Spain had become a nonentity; she had no money, no navy, no commerce, no manufactures, and a population reduced by emigration, and by the expulsion of Jews and Moors, to about seven millions: nothing remained to her but that "pride" of which she was always ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... is the negro so totally a nonentity in politics as in Mississippi, and yet nowhere in the South is there a colored institution so heartily commended as is Tougaloo University by the white Mississippians. This seems odd, hardly credible. ...
— The American Missionary, Volume XLII. No. 7. July 1888 • Various

... Town was probably not a more heroic business; and this belongs to thee, to thy own people,—must it be dead forever?—Perhaps yes,—and kill me too into the bargain. Really I think it very shocking that we run to Greece, to Italy, to &c., &c., and leave all at home lying buried as a nonentity. Were I absolute Sovereign and Chief Pontiff here, there should be a study of the Old English ages first of all. I will pit Odin against any Jupiter of them; find Sea-kings that would have given Jason a Roland for his Oliver! We are, as you sometimes ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II. • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... no sense independent. Its position in India was analogous to that of British capitalists in America who are operating a mine or factory and have been authorized to police their property. The mighty house of Tamerlane had become a political nonentity, the empire of the Great Mogul was divided among nominal viceroys who were really independent sovereigns, gorgeous but indolent. The teeming millions of India were, for the most part, as unfitted by nature and occupation for ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... painter, or a musician, or a man of science; whose palate is as averse from ardent spirits as from physic; who is denied the all-redeeming vice of teetotalism; who cannot smoke even a pipe of peace; who is a casual, a nonentity a scout on the van of civilisation dallying with the universal enemy, time—can such a one, so forlorn of popular attributes, so weak and watery in his tastes, have aught to recite harmonious to ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... Nektanebus is connected with it. Ay, tremble! The powers that emanate from the glittering wonder are as terrible as they are unnatural. The magic spell exerted by the beaker has transformed the heroic son of Herakles, the more than mortal, into the whimpering coward, the crushed, broken nonentity I found upon the galley's deck. You are silent? Your nimble tongue finds no reply. How could you have forgotten that you aided me to win the wager which forced Antony to gaze into the beaker before I filled it for him? How ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... point. What I mean is, if I marry a nonentity I shall be a nonentity myself for ever. And I would sooner die than ...
— The Clicking of Cuthbert • P. G. Wodehouse

... World Welfare State where to head in—but right now, things are touchy, and you and I are in the big fat middle of it." He paused, rubbing thoughtfully at his lean blade of a nose with a bony forefinger. "Larry, what did you think of that blond nonentity ...
— Anchorite • Randall Garrett

... meaning of the word to be; from supposing that when it signifies to exist, and when it signifies to be some specified thing, as to be a man, to be Socrates, to be seen or spoken of, to be a phantom, even to be a nonentity, it must still, at bottom, answer to the same idea; and that a meaning must be found for it which shall suit all these cases. The fog which rose from this narrow spot diffused itself at an early period over the whole ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... company's atmosphere: a hot smell of men, of sweat, of leather. He knew it very well. After a word with the lieutenant, he went a few paces higher, and sat there, a dominant figure, his sweat-marked horse swishing its tail, while he looked down on his men, on his orderly, a nonentity ...
— The Prussian Officer • D. H. Lawrence

... fain attempt it, but I will deter Prussia by chastising Austria. To work, gentlemen! In six weeks, at latest, we must give Austria a decisive battle which will make it depend solely on my will whether I permit the house of Hapsburg to reign longer or bury it in the nonentity of ...
— A Conspiracy of the Carbonari • Louise Muhlbach

... performances in debate are no concern of mine, for I am speaking of conversation only; but most Members of Parliament will agree that he is the best companion that can be found for the last weary half-hour before the division-bell rings, when some eminent nonentity is declaiming his foregone conclusions to an audience whose whole mind is fixed on the chance of finding a disengaged cab ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... letting matters go on as if they had no concern in them, instead of advising and assisting the Emperor with all the means in their power. He knew well the pride of some of the princes, who would like to see the Emperor a nonentity and themselves the heroes and masters. Rebellion, he said, was punished in the case of the peasants; but if rebellion were punished also among princes and nobles, he fancied there would be very few of them left. He feared that the Turk would bring some such punishment ...
— Life of Luther • Julius Koestlin

... think himself distanced in the race with his lunarian rivals, if his numbers did not contain three distinct and entirely new theories of the system of the universe, and at least one hitherto unobserved piece of evidence of the nonentity ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... aye, the essence Of all that's truest, noblest, best: 'Tis the blind non-recognition Or of goodness, truth, or beauty, Save by precept and submission; Moral blank, and moral void, Life at very birth destroy'd. Atrophy, exinanition! Duty! Yea, by duty's prime condition Pure nonentity ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... Until we see the background of darkness we cannot admire the light as a single and created thing. As soon as we have seen that darkness, all light is lightening, sudden, blinding, and divine. Until we picture nonentity we underrate the victory of God, and can realize none of the trophies of His ancient war. It is one of the million wild jests of truth that we know nothing until we ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... naval war is worth what it costs, and merchants should protect themselves. He says, too, that the word "nation" is an invention of the grammarians, made to save the trouble of circumlocution, a nonentity! Adam Smith is, as might be expected, far removed from such absurdities. (Compare Wealth of Nations, IV, ch. 2, and the end of the fourth book.) But, even he is of opinion that men, in the study of their own advantage are led ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... so far as she was concerned, he might have been old Brownie, or the rheumatic Willy, or her brother Dick; and something in her girlish indifference to his presence and personality impressed him; for Drake, Viscount Selbie, was not accustomed to be passed over as a nonentity by the women in whose ...
— Nell, of Shorne Mills - or, One Heart's Burden • Charles Garvice

... marry him? Nothing at all," Isabel replied while her patience helped itself by turning a little to hardness. "If he had done great things would you forgive me any better? Give me up, Mr. Goodwood; I'm marrying a perfect nonentity. Don't try to take an interest ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 2 (of 2) • Henry James

... most trying and decisive in a boy's life. He had not gone to the bad, evidently, and to his credit he was homeward bound. His history was something out of the ordinary; yet beyond the circle where he worked and was considered a hard taskmaster he was a nonentity—a star in the milky way, a star whose faint rays, without individual brilliancy, added to ...
— The Woman Who Toils - Being the Experiences of Two Gentlewomen as Factory Girls • Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

... the world, I was resolved to bear it without repining; and sure the guilt, if there was any in my conduct, was but venial; for I considered myself as a person absolved of all matrimonial ties, by the insignificance of Lord ——, who, though a nominal husband, was in fact a mere nonentity. I therefore contracted a new engagement with my lover, to which I resolved to adhere with the most scrupulous fidelity, without the least intention of injuring my lord or his relations; for, had our mutual passion produced any visible effects, I would immediately have renounced and abandoned ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... its way through the village, and thence through woods and meadows, and giving access within a mile on either side to park-lands attached to the big country houses of wealthy people to whom the village cobbler was a nonentity and a person of a different order of beings from themselves. They were not to know, these rich neighbors, that the cobbler was bringing for protection to his humble home a child destined to be a Prime Minister of the country. Prime Minister in ...
— Lloyd George - The Man and His Story • Frank Dilnot

... sort so finely satirized by 'OLLAPOD,' on one occasion, two or three examples of which we annex. The common phrase of ''Tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good' was transformed into 'That gale is truly diseased which puffeth benefactions to nonentity;' 'Let well enough alone,' into 'Suffer a healthy sufficiency to remain in solitude;' and 'What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,' into 'The culinary adornments which suffice for the female of the race ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, June 1844 - Volume 23, Number 6 • Various

... padding Miss Pinnegar, and her father, whose fingers, whose very soul seemed dirty with pennies. These were the solid, permanent fact. These were life itself. And Ciccio, splashing up on his bay horse and green cloth, he was a mountebank and an extraneous nonentity, a coloured old rag blown down the Knarborough Road into Limbo. Into Limbo. Whilst Miss Pinnegar and her father sat frowsily on for ever, eating their toast and cutting off the crust, and sipping their third cup of tea. They would never blow away—never, never. Woodhouse was there to ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... certain that, wherever Sah-luma led the way, he was bound to follow. Only, as he mechanically descended from the terrace into the garden, and linked his arm within that of his companion, he was conscious of a vague feeling of pity for himself...pity that he should have dwindled into such a nonentity, when Sah-luma was so renowned a celebrity, . . pity too that he should have somehow never been able to devise anything original in the Art ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... these exceptions should also be included such words as "pseudo-critic," "non-ego," "non-existent." Compare "pseudonym," where the prefix is contracted, and "nonentity." Words like "pre-eminent," divided for the same reason, have ...
— "Stops" - Or How to Punctuate. A Practical Handbook for Writers and Students • Paul Allardyce

... he heard of it, having received no further communication from her. We arrived only ten minutes before him. For my part, I admired her more than I ever did before, when the truth about her came out. I considered her to be a pink-and-white nonentity, without an idea beyond a neat adjustment of pearl-powder, and then found that she possessed brains enough to outwit two minds of no mean calibre, namely, yours, Middleton, and my own. Evelyn was the only person who had the slightest suspicion of her, and ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley

... Observe the critical period at which he has chosen to impute the calumny!—on the very eve of the publication of our last number,—affording no scope for explanation for a full month,—during which time I must needs lie writhing and tossing under the cruel imputation of nonentity.—Good heavens! that a plain man must not be ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863 • Various



Words linked to "Nonentity" :   unreality, impossibleness, void, commoner, nihility, cipher, nullity, impossibility, existence, whippersnapper, nothingness, nobody, common person, nonbeing, pip-squeak, jackanapes, squirt, small fry, common man, lightweight



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