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Pugnacity   Listen
noun
Pugnacity  n.  Inclination or readiness to fight; quarrelsomeness. " A national pugnacity of character."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Pugnacity" Quotes from Famous Books



... the great psychologist, in one of his brilliant essays published in The Popular Science Monthly for October, 1910, tells us that history is a bath of blood; we inherit the war-like type; our ancestors have bred pugnacity into our bone and marrow; showing the irrationality and horror of war does not prevent it; but a moral equivalent can be found by enlisting an army to toil and suffer pain in doing the hard and routine work of the world. It is doubtful, however, if the "gilded ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... Wagner, whose supreme genius and indomitable perseverance made him either an idol or a terror to all who came in contact with him. Handel had an easy time; he was of his period, he wrote for it, and only his native pugnacity landed him in bankruptcy, and enabled him finally to win a fortune by oratorio when no one would listen any longer to his operas. Gluck was from the first a popular composer: there were rows, it is true, but they did not concern him; he had always an assured public. ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... blanket, with the upturned canoe partially covering them; dreamed at first of Okematan, gazing in wonder at their load, and, afterwards, of being knocked head over heels by an enormous grey goose whose persistent pugnacity was only equalled by its strange incapacity to achieve its ...
— The Buffalo Runners - A Tale of the Red River Plains • R.M. Ballantyne

... leading the herd to war, which immediately and infallibly makes them forget everything, even their most cherished and hardwon public liberties and private interests, in the irresistible surge of their pugnacity and the tense pre-occupation ...
— Androcles and the Lion • George Bernard Shaw

... bold and elegant gait, his sparkling eye, while his wedge-shaped beak and cruel spurs are ever ready to support his defiant crow. It is no wonder that the breed is not plentiful—first, on account of the few eggs laid by the hen; and, secondly, from the incurable pugnacity of the chicks. Half fledged broods may be found blind as bats from fighting, and only waiting for the least glimmer of sight to be at it again. Without doubt, the flesh of game fowls is every way superior to that of every chicken ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... 'circumcision on the eighth day,' on an outward rite which seems to connect them with a visible Church. Strict orthodoxy takes the place among us which Pharisaism held in Paul's mind before he was a Christian, and it is easier to prove our zeal by pugnacity against heretics, than by fervour of devotion. The modern analogue of Paul's, 'touching the righteousness which is in the law blameless,' is 'I have done my best, I have lived a decent life. My religion is to do good to other people.' All such talk, which used to be a vague sentiment or excuse, is ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... breathed Teddy, who had considerable pugnacity in his makeup, although not really what you would call a fighter, ...
— Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay - The Disappearing Fleet • G. Harvey Ralphson

... in fact rarely seen her shy or dry, her marked thin-lipped smile, intense without brightness and as prompt to act as the scrape of a safety-match; the protrusion of her rather remarkably long chin, which in her case represented invitation and urbanity, and not, as in most others, pugnacity and defiance; the penetration of her voice to a distance, the general encouragement and approval of her manner, were all elements with which intercourse had made him familiar, but which he noted today almost as if she had been a new acquaintance. This first glimpse of her had ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... readiest of all to turn a danger passed into a jest. There could not be a better spirit in which to face the long delays and the bitter disappointments of the war. Two outstanding features in their character are, to my mind, practically universal, whatever form they happen to take. An inherent pugnacity, and a whole-hearted belief in and love of their county, which amounts to something more than clannishness. They know everything about every one in Northumberland, and with others they do not trouble themselves much. They do not talk about ...
— Q.6.a and Other places - Recollections of 1916, 1917 and 1918 • Francis Buckley

... might the clash of arms in the Wilderness of these mighty giants cause the civilized world to watch and wonder. Lee stood like a lion in the path—his capital behind him, his army at bay—while Grant, with equal pugnacity, sought to crush him by ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... Undoubtedly, some day or other Gryphus will attack me in a manner painful to my self-respect, or to my love, or even threaten my personal safety. I don't know how it is, but since my imprisonment I feel a strange and almost irresistible pugnacity. Well, I shall get at the throat of that ...
— The Black Tulip • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... after all I have said about that gun you will tote it around with you and force yoreself into a suicide's grave," quoth Mr. Cassidy, with exuberant pugnacity. "I ain't in no way objecting to the suicide part of it, but I can't see that it's at all fair to drag me onto the edge of everlasting eternity with you. If you ain't got no regard for yore own life you shore ought to think a little about yore friend's. Now you'll waste ...
— Bar-20 Days • Clarence E. Mulford

... hereafter. Terms being settled and agreement signed, the lawyers fell to at the linked sweetness of deducing title. The abstract of the Yordas title was nearly as big as the parish Bible, so in and out had their dealings been, and so intricate their pugnacity. ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... of the great minds of all ages, we have oftenest the pure gold of devotion, mingled, though it may sometimes be, with the adhesive dross of superstition. He also warns us of the danger of mistaking pugnacity for piety, and earnestly urges that, at every moment of our lives, we should be trying to find out, not in what we differ from other men, but in what we agree. Ruskin considers this to be the correct spirit in which to ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... her husband's poems as if they were so many bombs, hurled in the face of the enemy, her public. There was nothing like the pugnacity of the Kiddy in these years ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... of these was a large mastiff, kept as a watch-dog by a farmer, and the other a stanch bull-dog, that kept guard over the parish mill. As each of these three was lord-ascendant of all animals at his master's residence, they all had a good deal of aristocratic pride and pugnacity, so that two of them seldom met without attempting to settle their respective dignities ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... story is post-Revolutionary. Ichabod Crane, a lean, awkward schoolmaster, has been courting the village belle, Katrina Van Tassel, his rival being Brom Bones, a powerful fellow, noted for his pugnacity. He has frequently threatened Ichabod for aspiring to the charming Katrina. Here, Ichabod, at a late hour, is leaving the Van Tassel home after a "quilting frolic" where he took occasion to propose to Katrina. Judge of the ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... among those who, twenty years ago, feared that Roosevelt's projects were inspired by innate pugnacity which he could not outgrow. Now, in this year of his death, I recognize that he was right, and I believe that there is no one, on whom the lesson of the Atrocious War has not been lost, who does not ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... extremes and habit of minimizing the expression of everything, is a perfect example of the conservation of energy. It is very difficult to come to the end of him. Add to this unimaginative, practical, tenacious moderation an inherent spirit of competition—not to say pugnacity—so strong that it will often show through the coating of his "Live and let live," half-surly, half-good-humored manner; add a peculiar, ironic, "don't care" sort of humor; an underground but inveterate humaneness, ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 3, June, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... than either Arrian or Raleigh may now be referred to by those who wish to know the real merit of Alexander as a general, and how far the commonplace assertions are true that his successes were the mere results of fortunate rashness and unreasoning pugnacity. Napoleon selected Alexander as one of the seven greatest generals whose noble deeds history has handed down to us, and from the study of whose campaigns the principles of war are to be learned. The critique of the greatest conqueror of modern times on the military career of the great conqueror of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 • Various

... man of no account, they will more readily respect you, although you are neither Sikh nor yet Pathan but are supposed to be a Punjabi Mussulman. Therefore, sahib, you must take a middle course between peace and pugnacity, pretending on the one hand to restrain my quarrelsomeness, yet on the other depending for safety on my readiness to take offense—as a man who is accustomed to a ...
— The Lion of Petra • Talbot Mundy

... must have known he was doomed to fail, but that perverse demon of strong-headed pugnacity was trenched deep within him. He was always a fighter, but his face, though angry, obstinate, proud, was still not an evil face. He broke down while there was still some of the business to save and ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... connection may be established between the second and third proverbs. The latter, like the former, commends peacefulness and condemns pugnacity. Men talk of 'glory' as the warrior's meed, and the so-called Christian world has not got beyond the semi-barbarous stage which regards 'honour' as mainly secured by fighting. But this ancient proverb-maker had learned a better ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... three honest friends of mine—and true friends, I know, they are—who, nevertheless, by their fiery pugnacity in my behalf, do put me in fearful hazard of a broken nose or even a total overthrow upon the pavement, and the loss of the treasure which I guard. I pray you, gentlemen, let this fault be amended. Is it decent, think you, to get tipsy with zeal for temperance, ...
— A Rill From the Town Pump (From "Twice Told Tales") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... last card played, fell back beaten, every vestige of optimistic pugnacity gone from his face. Edgington laid his hand on the ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... discussed from the logical or historical point of view. They are the utterances of a man made unscrupulous by his desperate circumstances, fighting with boundless pugnacity, ready to strike any blow, fair or foul, so long as it will vex his enemies, and help to sell the Register. His pugnacity alienated all his friends. Not only did Whigs and Tories agree in condemning ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... make a good showing. I heard Jack Ballard muttering at my ear. This was a mistake; I wondered if Flynn knew it. With his skill, Jerry could have kept away and cut the man to ribbons. But he was no slacker; this was no boxing tournament, as Jerry afterwards explained, but a fight, which meant pugnacity ...
— Paradise Garden - The Satirical Narrative of a Great Experiment • George Gibbs

... Cock-Fridays, when he was staked down to be killed by 'cock-sticks' or was whipped to his death by blindfolded carters. He leads the life of a friar; he is tended carefully as any babe; he is permitted to indulge his pugnacity, which it would be harsh to restrain, and at worst he dies fighting like a gentleman. A Tenerifan would shudder at the horror of our fashionable sport, where ruffians gouge or blind the pigeon with a pin, squeeze it to torture, wrench out its tail, ...
— To the Gold Coast for Gold - A Personal Narrative in Two Volumes.—Vol. I • Richard F. Burton

... the trumpet-major. It was easy enough on the night of the arrival, in the midst of excitement, when blood was warm, for Anne to be resolute in her avoidance of Bob Loveday. But in the morning determination is apt to grow invertebrate; rules of pugnacity are less easily acted up to, and a feeling of live and let live takes possession of the gentle soul. Anne had not meant even to sit down to the same breakfast-table with Bob; but when the rest were assembled, and had got some way through the substantial ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... not thinking his pugnacity in need of such respectable examples. 'It would be more to the purpose to ask Mr. Cavendish Dusautoy's pardon for ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Often they invited all hands down to their boat for a dance, and by flaring torches to the notes of accordion and fiddle, the evening would pass in rude and harmless jollity, unless too many tin cups or gourds of fiery liquor excited the always ready pugnacity of the men. They were ready to brag of their valor, and to put their boasts to the test. They were "half horse, half alligator," according to their own favorite expression, equally prepared with knife or pistol, fist, or the trained thumb that gouged ...
— American Merchant Ships and Sailors • Willis J. Abbot

... the merely intelligent, educated, and good, but the energetic, the self-asserting, the aggressive. Nor will mere passive strength of will prevent subjection; for how often do we see a spirit, whose only prominent characteristic is a restless and tireless pugnacity, hold in complete subserviency those who are far superior in actual strength of mind, purely through the apathy of the latter, and their indisposition to live in a state of constant effort! It is because ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 48, October, 1861 • Various

... in the future these creatures should not increase in size and terrestrial capacity. In the past we have the evidence of the fossil Paradoxides that creatures of this kind may at least attain a length of six feet, and, considering their intense pugnacity, a crab of such dimensions would be as formidable a creature as one could well imagine. And their amphibious capacity would give them an advantage against us such as at present is only to be found in the case of the alligator or crocodile. If we imagine ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... There are many other minor names of major importance; but for one reason or other they do not derive from the schools that had dominated this epoch as such. Thus Thompson, the author of The City of Dreadful Night, was a fine poet; but his pessimism combined with a close pugnacity does not follow any of the large but loose lines of the Swinburnian age. But he was a great person—he knew how to be democratic in the dark. Thus Coventry Patmore was a much greater person. He was bursting with ideas, like Browning—and truer ideas ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... table, and directly beneath my eyes, lay a clenched fist of fearful dimensions, that in color and protuberances bore a good deal of resemblance to a freshly unearthed Jerusalem artichoke. Its sinews seemed to be cracking with tension, and the whole knob was so expressive of intense pugnacity that my eyes involuntarily sought its owner's face. I had unconsciously taken my seat directly opposite a man whose stature was nearly double that of the compact, bustling sputtering, and sturdy little fellows ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... met less than half-a-dozen times; and he, driven by his mental pugnacity to test so unreasonable an apparition, had spared neither himself nor her. The sincerity of her faith had angered him, though anything else, had he detected it, would have destroyed his dream; and ...
— King John of Jingalo - The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties • Laurence Housman

... minds, what opinions and manners they are of. In this view it becomes of no mean importance to notice and record the strangest ignorance, the most putid fables, impertinent, trifling, ridiculous disputes, and more ridiculous pugnacity in the defence and retention of the subjects disputed." (Publisher's preface to the reader in Lightfoot's 'Works', ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... devoting himself to the capture of the girl; the two cabs with their dejected screws, at rest in the middle of the quiet, twilit street. He seemed even to see himself, standing stockily prepared, hands in his coat pockets, his own head inclined with a suggestion of pugnacity. ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... that thought came a larger one, and the colossal figure of her Master had also crossed the theatre of my thoughts. The same modern difficulty which darkened the subject-matter of Anatole France also darkened that of Ernest Renan. Renan also divided his hero's pity from his hero's pugnacity. Renan even represented the righteous anger at Jerusalem as a mere nervous breakdown after the idyllic expectations of Galilee. As if there were any inconsistency between having a love for humanity ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... once more, and immediately Dandy, in order to gratify his master, gave him a pretty smart blow upon the end of his nose. He hoped this would satisfy the grumbler, and bring the sport to a happy termination. As usual, the blow excited the pugnacity of Master Archy; and setting the rules of the art at defiance, he rushed upon his companion with all the impetuosity of ...
— Watch and Wait - or The Young Fugitives • Oliver Optic

... there had come to be that famous war between Great Britain and the republic of Patagonia, and Hugh Stanbury had been sent out as a special correspondent by the editor and proprietor of the Daily Record. His letters had been much read, and had called up a great deal of newspaper pugnacity. He had made important statements which had been flatly denied, and found to be utterly false; which again had been warmly reasserted and proved to be most remarkably true to the letter. In this way the correspondence, and he as its author, ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... and masculine authority in school. They talk of the emasculation of the staff as a future danger. They do not seem to talk of their natural reluctance to cede important posts to women, but this must, of course, strengthen their pugnacity and in ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... Englishmen were Nicholas, the Secretary of State, and the old Lord Cottington. The fourth gentleman was Sir George Carteret, the Lieutenant-Governor, a bluff sea-faring man, little used to obey, yet anxious, in that presence, to be deferential; with an unmistakable pugnacity varnished over with a gloss of ruse. There being but one arm-chair in the room Charles took his seat upon it, and awaited the advice of his friends ...
— St George's Cross • H. G. Keene

... removed, supposing that to be possible, reason would become in many duller and blunter, like the pilot in the absence of a storm. And no doubt it is from having noticed this that legislators try to excite in states ambition and emulation among their townsmen, and stir up and increase their courage and pugnacity against enemies by the sound of trumpets and flutes. For it is not only in poems, as Plato says, that he that is inspired by the Muses, and as it were possessed by them, will laugh to shame the plodding artist, but also in fighting battles ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... affectionate interview with Macrae, who had just arrived with a great convoy of needfuls from Silverfold, and who undertook to bring up and guard the two boys from any further impertinences that might excite Master Grove's pugnacity. ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... strength, and still agile and lithe for his age; but his hair was an ugly straw colour and his clean-shorn, pale face lacked any sort of distinction save an indication of moral purpose, character, and pugnacity. It was a face well suited to his own requirements, for he could disguise it easily; but it was not a face calculated to charm or challenge any woman—a fact he knew ...
— The Red Redmaynes • Eden Phillpotts

... bring them to bay they could readily be killed on foot; though, as they are very active, absolutely fearless, and inflict a most formidable bite, it would usually be safest to have two men go at one together. Peccaries are not difficult beasts to kill, because their short wind and their pugnacity make them come to bay before hounds so quickly. Two or three good dogs can bring to a halt a herd of considerable size. They then all stand in a bunch, or else with their sterns against a bank, chattering their ...
— Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches • Theodore Roosevelt

... educating the people for their future work. Those merchants, manufacturers, country squires, and hard-fighting barons, all pent up in a narrow corner of the earth, quarrelling with each other and with all the world for centuries, were keeping alive a national pugnacity of character, for which there was to be a heavy demand in the sixteenth century, and without which the fatherland had perhaps succumbed in the most unequal conflict ever waged ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... of these. David Culross had been in the penitentiary twenty years. Now, with that worm-eaten heart, he came out into liberty and looked about him for the habiliments with which he had formerly clothed himself,—for hope, self-respect, courage, pugnacity, ...
— A Mountain Woman and Others • (AKA Elia Wilkinson) Elia W. Peattie

... same rules. The males are almost always the wooers; and they alone are armed with special weapons for fighting with their rivals. They are generally stronger and larger than the females, and are endowed with the requisite qualities of courage and pugnacity. They are provided, either exclusively or in a much higher degree than the females, with organs for vocal or instrumental music, and with odoriferous glands. They are ornamented with infinitely diversified appendages ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - The Naturalist as Interpreter and Seer • Various

... projects itself not only through you but beyond. It is not exactly preoccupation but a highly developed concentration. This look seemed to be enhanced by the ordeal through which he was then passing. In his springy walk was a suggestion of pugnacity. His whole manner was that of a man in action and who exults in it. Roosevelt had the same characteristic but he displayed it with ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... bored him. Then indeed her vanity would have been sadly ruffled. For now that Rose was not able to say her prayers she was being assailed by every sort of weakness: vanity, sensitiveness, irritability, pugnacity —strange, unfamiliar devils to have coming crowding on one and taking possession of one's swept and empty heart. She had never been vain or irritable or pugnacious in her life before. Could it be that San Salvatore was capable of opposite effects, ...
— The Enchanted April • Elizabeth von Arnim

... inscribed: "Be just and fear not"; and Eloquent, who was brought up to look upon justice as the first of political virtues, used to wonder wistfully whether such fearlessness could be achieved by one whose face at present showed none of those characteristics of force, strength, and pugnacity manifested in the portraits of the great commoner. But he found comfort in the reflection that "Dada," mirror of all the virtues, was yet quite mild and almost insignificant in appearance; a small, stout, dapper, very ...
— The Ffolliots of Redmarley • L. Allen Harker

... they did not share my ardent affection for him, they all, with one exception, liked him. The exception was a middle-aged little Talmudist with a tough little beard who held everybody in terror by his violent temper and pugnacity. He was a pious man, but his piety never manifested itself with such genuine fervor as when he exposed the impiety of others. He was forever picking quarrels, forever challenging people to debate with him, forever offering to show that ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... points; it was only in the face of their opponents that they thought of arming themselves with like weapons, and sought a mechanical agreement upon questions about which no one ever has known, or probably ever can know, anything at all. This was where Luther's pugnacity betrayed him; so that little by little he seems to lose spiritual beauty, as the monk, all fire and intensity, is transformed into the "plump doctor," and again into the bird of ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... profitable to criticise the other two tales in detail because they represent variations on the theme in two directions; and variations that were not, upon the whole, improvements. The Chimes is a monument of Dickens's honourable quality of pugnacity. He could not admire anything, even peace, without wanting to be warlike about it. That was all as it ...
— Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens • G. K. Chesterton

... (Josephus, Ant. I. 7, Sec. 2, and II. 9, Sec. 2) was "skilful in the celestial science." He notices the Akarana-Zaman (endless Time) of the Guebres, and the working dual, Hormuzd and Ahriman. He brands the God of the Hebrews with pugnacity and cruelty. He has heard of the beautiful creations of Greek fancy which, not attributing a moral nature to the deity, included Theology in Physics; and which, like Professor Tyndall, seemed to consider all matter everywhere alive. We have ...
— The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi • Richard F. Burton

... British troops which had once been so anxiously expected by the Czar landed in the island of Ruegen. The struggle in which they were intended to take their part was over. Sweden alone remained in arms; and even the Quixotic pugnacity of King Gustavus was unable to save Stralsund from a speedy capitulation. But the troops of Great Britain were not destined to return without striking a blow. The negotiations between Napoleon and Alexander had scarcely ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... trying to humiliate me," said D'Artagnan, in whom his native pugnacity began to speak louder than his peaceful resolutions. "I come from Gascony, it is true; and since you know it, there is no need to tell you that Gascons are not very patient, so that when they have asked pardon once, even for a folly, they think they have done at least ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)—Continental Europe I • Various

... Slav subjects of Hungary. It was not much more auspicious for the Slovenes, Istrians and Dalmatians. The Slavs seem to have been the Habsburgs' nightmare. Why the million and a quarter of Slovenes—people who do not approach the Basques, for instance, in pugnacity—should be the butt of everlasting coercion and repression may seem inexplicable. When the German-Austrians of Triest, even after the Italians in Italy had begun to claim the town, allied themselves with the ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... another are the beings from whose loins we and all our contemporary races spring? Man is once for all a fighting animal; centuries of peaceful history could not breed the battle-instinct out of us; and our pugnacity is the virtue least in need of reinforcement by reflection, least in need ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... dared ride into this camp of thieving assassins shows what risks he could force himself to run when he thought it necessary. He was not physically a very brave man; he had no pugnacity and no adventurous love of danger for its own sake; but when he was resolved on an enterprise, he could go ...
— Overland • John William De Forest

... mumbled this provoking individual, with something about the form of his cheek that being taken by Rachel for a derisive smile, made her exclaim vehemently, "You do not mean to undervalue an action like that in comparison with mere animal pugnacity in an advance." ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... pugnacity costs me very dear sometimes. But to our story. As soon as Bartja had opened his eyes, Gyges sent me off to Sardis to fetch a good physician and an easy travelling-carriage. That ride won't so soon ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... of capitalism in promoting war, there is another, much less emphasized by the critics of capitalism, but by no means less important: I mean the pugnacity which tends to be developed in men who have the habit of command. So long as capitalist society persists, an undue measure of power will be in the hands of those who have acquired wealth and influence ...
— Proposed Roads To Freedom • Bertrand Russell

... Mr. Smalls to his pet, who, with an extreme display of pugnacity, was submitting to the curious and minute inspection of Huz and Buz. "Lympy" was a black and tan terrier, with smooth hair, glossy coat, bead-like eyes, cropped ears, pointed tail, ...
— The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green • Cuthbert Bede

... were fleeing the scene; others rushing in, grateful for the opportunity to expend excess pugnacity. A fresh platoon of soldiers tumbled out of a kiosk leading to an underground barracks like ants out of a disturbed nest. They deployed, holding their neuro-pistols before them, focalizers set for maximum dispersion, therefore ...
— The Martian Cabal • Roman Frederick Starzl

... the probable results of the Revolutions of 1848-49; and it is impossible to guess what would have happened to him if he had survived to witness the Second of December. Never was there such a case, at least among Englishmen, of timorous pugnacity and plucky pessimism. But it would be by no means difficult to parallel the temperament in France; and, indeed, the comparative frequency of it there, may be thought to be no small cause of the political and ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... Morrison the justice which he really deserved, there was in him as much of love for Elise as his nature was capable of harbouring for any one outside himself. He looked upon her as his own, and he was defending this idea of possession with the same pugnacity that he would protect his dollars from a thief. Morrison had been forced to the conclusion that Elise was lost to him. Hitherto Firmstone had been an impersonal obstacle in his path. Now—The eyes narrowed to a slit, the venomous lips were compressed. Morrison was a beast. Only the ...
— Blue Goose • Frank Lewis Nason

... extremely curious skull—most peculiar." He felt of Tubbs's head with growing interest. "This bump behind the ear, if the system of phrenology has any value, would indicate unusual pugnacity." ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... a boy. He was densely packed with pugnacity. He lived for ever on the extreme slope of a fight, down which he slid at a word, a nod, a wink, into strenuous and bloodthirsty warfare. He was never seen without a black eye, a bruised lip, or something wrong with his ear. He had ...
— Here are Ladies • James Stephens

... and in his worldly mode of action and thought. But Parson John did not perceive this, for Welby listened to that gentleman's eulogies on the Ideal school without troubling himself to contradict them. He had grown too indolent to be combative in conversation, and only as a critic betrayed such pugnacity as remained to him by the polished cruelty ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... and scolding as only an irate hen in transports of rage can. Still the bull backed. He was a gentleman, and genuinely afraid of female tantrums. With half-shut eyes, he submitted to the buffets of the wings, while encouraging remarks from friends and companions further excited the delirious pugnacity of "Scotty." Then it seemed to dawn on him that honour was at stake. Gallantry forbade him to do violence to a lady; honour forbade him to run away. What other recourse was open? He must treat ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... New Zealand a line on the map, and left it an Archipelago, a feat which many generations of her colonists will value above the shaping of sentences. The feature of his experiences which most strikes the reader now, is the extraordinary courage and pugnacity of the natives. They took the Endeavour for a gigantic white-winged sea-bird, and her pinnace for a young bird. They thought the sailors gods, and the discharge of their muskets divine thunderbolts. ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... brought up not only in the straitest traditions of the Evangelical school, but in the heat of its controversial warfare. His heart, when he was a boy, was set on entering the army; and one of his most characteristic points through life, shown in many very different forms, was his pugnacity, his keen perception ...
— Occasional Papers - Selected from The Guardian, The Times, and The Saturday Review, - 1846-1890 • R.W. Church

... been driven in and men were pouring through; of how there he made such pandemonium with his whistle that men tumbled back and ran about blindly seeking for guidance; of how in the long run his pugnacity mastered him, so that he engaged in combat with an unknown figure and the two rolled into what had once been a fountain. I would hymn Peter Paterson, who across tracts of darkness engaged Old Bill in a conversation which would have done no discredit to a Gallowgate ...
— Huntingtower • John Buchan

... have withdrawn them. This was the period, unfortunately short, which intervened between his sending them to the 'Athenaeum', and their appearance there. When once public opinion had expressed itself upon them in its too extreme forms of sympathy and condemnation, the pugnacity of his mind found support in both, and regret was silenced if not destroyed. In so far as his published words remained open to censure, I may also, without indelicacy, urge one more plea in his behalf. That which to the merely sympathetic observer appeared a subject for disapprobation, ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... peaceable man, Captain Lingard, but when put to it, I could fight as well as any of them flat-nosed chaps we have to make shift with, instead of a proper crew of decent Christians. Fighting!" he went on with unexpected pugnacity of tone, "Fighting! If anybody comes to fight me, he will find ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... systematic cultivation and change of character by such processes in the young; but when I see how quickly and completely the condition of a patient may be changed, and all cloudy, depressed conditions of the brain removed,—how easily I can produce a state of insanity, idiocy, or pugnacity, and as quickly remove it entirely,—I cannot doubt that a little perseverance in cultivating the nobler qualities until they become by habit a second nature will change even the most depraved, ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, June 1887 - Volume 1, Number 5 • Various

... member of the 'Society for Constitutional Information,' of which Major Cartwright—afterwards the revered, but rather tiresome, patriarch of the Radicals—was called the 'father.' Horne Tooke (as he was now named), by these and other exhibitions of boundless pugnacity, became a leader among the middle-class Whigs, who found their main support among London citizens, such as Beckford, Troutbeck and Oliver; supported them in his later days; and after the American war, preferred Pitt, as an advocate of parliamentary ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... goodness and knew his motives to be without guile. He would say, "Always believe a person right until proved otherwise. Take people at face value. I am a fool, but that is the only way to begin." Such were the tenets of his quiet pugnacity of faith in human beings. It is no wonder that a working-man called him, "The greatest Christian in shoe-leather I ever met; a Christian capitalist worthy of anyone's emulation"; or that his faithful colored sexton, who waited on him, shined his shoes, and served him devotedly ...
— Frank H. Nelson of Cincinnati • Warren C. Herrick

... tendency to greater pugnacity shown by the male towards other males, and the greater solicitude for the young shown generally by the female form, but not always; the psychic differences between the two sex forms are not great. Between the male and female pointer as puppies, there is as little difference in mental activity ...
— Woman and Labour • Olive Schreiner

... always brute strength. There was no moral strength whatever in the restless fidgeting—the savage winding and unwinding of his left foot around the saber scabbard, or the attitude, leaning forward over the table, of petulant pugnacity. And the cruel voice was as weak as the hand was strong with which he rapped on ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... discrepancy is less than meets the eye. The House of Commons is a Representative Assembly; the rhetoricians and fencers represent the unreason and the pugnacity of the partisans. A country has the politicians it deserves. I have heard the most ignorant girls rage against Mr. Gladstone; damsels in their teens who knew nothing of life or its problems, nor could have studied any question ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... feelings that depend upon conditions that seem to be fairly evenly distributed all over the world, and where the virtue of courage in the form of pugnacity is comparatively lacking, as amongst the bulk of the population of India, other forms thereof are met with, such as that wonderful contempt of a painful death by burning which was so often displayed by the widows of that country in following their ancient ...
— The Black Man's Place in South Africa • Peter Nielsen

... note of self-forgetfulness. Sometimes the conversation strayed into politics, and then Mr. Grey, an eager politician, would throw back his head, and talk with more sparkle and rapidity, flashing occasionally into grim humour which seemed to throw light on the innate strength and pugnacity of the peasant and Puritan breed from which he sprang. Nothing could be more unlike the inspired philosopher, the mystic surrounded by an adoring school, whom Robert had been picturing to himself in his walk up to the house, through ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... that time that Belfast's devotion—and also his pugnacity—secured universal respect. He spent every moment of his spare time in Jimmy's cabin. He tended him, talked to him; was as gentle as a woman, as tenderly gay as an old philanthropist, as sentimentally careful of his nigger as a model ...
— The Nigger Of The "Narcissus" - A Tale Of The Forecastle • Joseph Conrad

... them, Harry having previously warned his comrades to offer no resistance, as the party were too strong for them, and his mission was too important to allow the king's cause to be hazarded by any foolish acts of pugnacity. ...
— Friends, though divided - A Tale of the Civil War • G. A. Henty

... courage as the men, and it was not until the time of St. Columba, late in the sixth century, that a law was passed ordering them to remain in their homes—a fact which alone speaks volumes both for the vigour and the undying pugnacity of the race. ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... suddenly becomes possessed of a certain amount of rage-inspired courage, and he in turn commences a vigorous assault upon somebody, probably his late assailant; this worthy, having become a little cooler, has mysteriously lost his late pugnacity, and now likewise retreats without once attempting to raise his own stick in self-defence. The lower and commercial class Persians are pretty quarrelsome among themselves, but they quarrel chiefly with their tongues; when they fight without sticks ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... himself from a mass of passion and bad English into a child of perfect equanimity? If not, perhaps you have witnessed in our halls of Congress the sudden transition through which some of our Carolina members pass from a state of stupidity to a state of pugnacity? (We refer only to those members who do their own "stumping," and as a natural consequence, get into Congress through abuse of the North, bad whiskey, and a profusion of promises to dissolve the Union.) And if you have, you may form some idea of the suddenness with ...
— Justice in the By-Ways - A Tale of Life • F. Colburn Adams

... Naples, that they came with chalk in their hands to mark up their lodgings, and not with weapons to fight; so I like better that entry of truth which cometh peaceably with chalk to mark up those minds which are capable to lodge and harbour it, than that which cometh with pugnacity ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... of the opinions of philosophers of all the other schools; or else, having heard the matter mentioned once, they have surrendered themselves to the guidance of some one individual. But, I know not how it is, most people prefer being in error, and defending with the utmost pugnacity that opinion which they have taken a fancy to, to inquiring without any obstinacy what is said with ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... found on the Atlantic coast of North America. It is a species remarkable for its pugnacity during the mating season; in size and appearance it is about like the Upland Plover, with the exception of the "ruff" which adorns the neck and breast ...
— The Bird Book • Chester A. Reed

... have been respectively called by us chausses, haut-de-chausses, trousses, gregues, culottes, pantalons, &c. These wandering people had other reasons for preferring the short and close-fitting garments to those which were long and full, and these were their innate pugnacity, which forced them ever to be under arms, their habit of dwelling in forests and thickets, their love of the chase, and ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... abstract ideas of pugnacity, and conceived myself bound to indulge them on the first head and shoulders I should meet. This spirit brought me at once into the thick of the fight, and, before I was well aware of my proximity, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 323, July 19, 1828 • Various

... not how he'll look, but how he'll behave. He's a delightful child, of course, but there is a strain of unbridled pugnacity in him that breaks out at times in a really alarming fashion. You may have forgotten the affair of the little Gaffin ...
— The Toys of Peace • Saki

... more pernicious weeds, like our vermin, are of Old-World origin," says.John Burroughs. "...Perhaps the most notable thing about them, when compared with our native species, is their persistence, not to say pugnacity. They fight for the soil; they plant colonies here and there, and will not be rooted out. Our native weeds are for the most part shy and harmless, and retreat before civilization.... We have hardly a weed we ...
— Wild Flowers, An Aid to Knowledge of Our Wild Flowers and - Their Insect Visitors - - Title: Nature's Garden • Neltje Blanchan

... come and go, coalesce and are forgotten, never organizing perfectly the emotion of the whole group. There is, after all, just one human activity left in which whole populations accomplish the union sacre. It occurs in those middle phases of a war when fear, pugnacity, and hatred have secured complete dominion of the spirit, either to crush every other instinct or to enlist it, ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... followed; thus establishing a truce with solemn guarantee, and bringing themselves into direct connexion each with the god of the other under his appropriate local surname. The pacific communion so fostered, and the increased assurance of intercourse, as Greece gradually emerged from the turbulence and pugnacity of the heroic age, operated especially in extending the range of this ancient habit: the village festivals became town festivals, largely frequented by the citizens of other towns, and sometimes with special invitations sent round to attract Theors from every Hellenic ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1 • Various

... retorted Charron, beginning to imbibe the pugnacity of an English landlord, "that when you have got everything, you ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... are conformable to the account we have given of the general creed of the Celtic nations respecting elves. If the Irish elves are anywise distinguished from those of Britain, it seems to be by their disposition to divide into factions and fight among themselves—a pugnacity characteristic of the Green Isle. The Welsh fairies, according to John Lewis, barrister-at-law, agree in the same general attributes with those of Ireland and Britain. We must not omit the creed of the Manxmen, since ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... point,—he won his cases. But this did not make him any more popular with the press. When we remember that Billingsgate was an important part of the literary equipment of the critic of Cooper's time, we need not be surprised that Cooper's pugnacity evoked such sweet disinterestedness as Park Benjamin indulged in when he called Cooper "a superlative dolt, and a common mark of scorn and contempt of ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... cutting elements; but they have encouraged many other things which serve to balance them. The Irish peasant has these qualities which are somewhat peculiar to Ireland, a strange purity and a strange pugnacity. But the Irish peasant also has qualities which are common to all peasants, and his nation has qualities that are common to all healthy nations. I mean chiefly the things that most of us absorb in childhood; especially the sense of the ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... nation which fails to act in accordance with it. Nothing but an Areopagus of the nations can furnish such a sanction, but with the present arrangements for balancing power in Europe, to say nothing of the ineradicable pugnacity, greed, and ambition of human nature, such an Areopagus seems very like an impossibility. Time, however, may bring it about. If it should, and the Golden Age begin to dawn, an epoch of new activities ...
— William of Germany • Stanley Shaw

... porker was only equalled, when he was caught flagrante delicto, by the ingenuity of his excuses. According to the Confederate private, the most inoffensive animals, in the districts through which the armies marched, developed a strange pugnacity, and if bullet and bayonet were used against them, it was ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... forest. Moreover, he perceived, in his dim way, a kind of mastery in this heavy-booted, homespun-clad, tobacco-chewing, grave-eyed man from the backwoods, and for a long time he felt none of his usual pugnacity. But by and by the craving for freedom began to stir in his breast, and the blood of his hill-roving ancestors thrilled toward the wild pastures. The glances which, from time to time, he cast upon the backwoodsman at ...
— The Watchers of the Trails - A Book of Animal Life • Charles G. D. Roberts

... seems too Fabian in its counsels; it is always withdrawing, passing by on the other side, avoiding battle—so that as a preparation for the uttermost ordeal it will often prove inferior to the reckless pugnacity of ...
— Apologia Diffidentis • W. Compton Leith

... were leaning forward intently. Trained militiamen of the gibbet, they nevertheless admired this little woman's fearlessness and the old lawyer's pugnacity. On the rear wall the yellow face of the old self-regulating clock, that had gayly ticked so many men into the electric chair, leered shamelessly across ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... necessity, and after considerable canvassing of the matter, "Freckles" had received a majority vote. Freckles had long ceased to impress the observer as a pathetic object. He was an energetic, pin-feathery creature, noted equally for his appetite and his pugnacity. Dorothy who had not hesitated to bestride Farmer Cole's boar, and was absolutely fearless as far as Hobo was concerned, retreated panic-stricken before Freckles' advances. For owing to reasons not apparent, Freckles found an irresistible temptation ...
— Peggy Raymond's Vacation - or Friendly Terrace Transplanted • Harriet L. (Harriet Lummis) Smith

... one that would account for all his actions. Perhaps the best analysis would begin by showing him as half the aboriginal Westerner and half the Washington politician. In many ways he was very Western. He had a Westerner's pugnacity, and at the same time a Westerner's geniality and capacity for comradeship with men. He had to the last a Westerner's private tastes—especially a taste for gambling—and a Westerner's readiness to fight duels. Above all, from ...
— A History of the United States • Cecil Chesterton

... myself when overcome by wine—had once or twice a pretty difficult trial, but on my making an apology, I always found Johnson behave to me with the most friendly gentleness. In fact, Johnson was not severe, but he was pugnacious, and this pugnacity and roughness he displayed most conspicuously in conversation. He could not brook appearing to be worsted in argument, even when, to show the force and dexterity of his talents, he had taken the wrong side. ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... in the doorway, his whole frame exhibiting the pugnacity and settled determination of a man who is bound to be obeyed. Jennie, troubled and driven ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... in a dozen fields, and men who would stand by him, their dark-eyed little captain, to the last. Even the youngest trooper of the fifty seemed inspired by the easy, laughing confidence of the lighter hearts among their number, or the grim, matter of fact pugnacity of the older campaigners. It was significant, too, that the Indians seemed so divided in mind as to the next move. There was loud wrangling and much disputation going on in that savage council to the north. Stabber's ...
— A Daughter of the Sioux - A Tale of the Indian frontier • Charles King

... apparently begun to recover from his astonishment, had changed his ankus from one hand to the other, and was in the act of drawing his kris, when Peter yelled at him again and made so fierce a thrust with his spear that all the little fellow's pugnacity died out, or, as it were, passed away in a shriek ...
— Trapped by Malays - A Tale of Bayonet and Kris • George Manville Fenn

... deprived us of anything so cheerfully stimulating as the tales of "SAPPER" (CYRIL MCNEILE). His Bull-Dog Drummond (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) shows all the old breathless invention as active as ever, while the pugnacity—to give it no stronger term—is wholly unrestrained, even by what might seem the unpromising atmosphere of Godalming in 1919. It would, of course, be utterly beyond my scope to give in barest outline ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 1st, 1920 • Various

... which no man will care to identify the particular stones he lays, rather than complying farther with the existing picturesque, but wasteful, practice of every knight to throw up a feudal tower of his own opinions, tenable only by the most active pugnacity, and pierced rather with arrow-slits from which to annoy his neighbours, than windows ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... such a continent, and long before Columbus was born; who possessed a literature long before we did; whose blood we Britons carry in our veins; and from whom we have inherited many of our best laws, much of our nautical enterprise, and not a little of our mischief and pugnacity. ...
— Personal Reminiscences in Book Making - and Some Short Stories • R.M. Ballantyne

... Macbeth and Macduff, Posthumus and Iachimo, Hotspur and the Prince of Wales, Richard and Richmond. Romeo has his fierce brawl with Tybalt, Hamlet his famous fencing scene, and there is serious crossing of swords both in "Lear" and "Othello." English audiences, from an inherent pugnacity, or a natural inclination for physical feats, were wont to esteem highly the combats of the stage. The players were skilled in the use of their weapons, and would give excellent effect to their mimic conflicts. And this continued long after the wearing of swords had ceased ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... the Natural History of Bees, avers that the moth called the Sphynx atropos invades and plunders with impunity a hive containing thousands of bees, notwithstanding the watchfulness, pugnacity, and formidable weapons of those insects. To account for this phenomenon, he states that the queen bee has the faculty of emitting a certain sound which instantly strikes the bees motionless; and he conjectures that this burglarious moth, being endowed with the same property, uses it ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 186, May 21, 1853 • Various

... read the note left by an orderly in uniform notifying me that I was expected to report at the quarters of the commanding-general the next day at ten o'clock. Conscious of my innocence of treason or any other crime against the Government or society, my pugnacity was roused by this summons. Before the hour set for my appearance at the military headquarters, I was ready for martyrdom or any thing else except Alcatraz. I didn't like that. The island was too small, and too foggy and windy, for my taste. I thought ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... him ruthless in exposing any inexactness in his adversaries, and there were few disputants who left an argument with Huxley in an undamaged condition. The consciousness which he had of his own careful methods, added to a natural pugnacity, gave him an intellectual courage of a very high order. As he knew himself to have made sure of his premisses, he did not care whither his conclusions might lead him, against whatsoever ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley; A Sketch Of His Life And Work • P. Chalmers Mitchell

... more complex original tendencies such as sucking, chewing, sitting up, and gurgling. Among the more general unlearned responses of children are fear, anger, pugnacity, envy, jealousy, curiosity, constructiveness, love of festivities, ceremonies and ordeals, sociability and shyness, secretiveness, etc. Thorndike, who quotes this list at length, has sought to give definiteness ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... Street, on the other lay a beautiful garden extending quite to the edge of "Shokoe Hill," which overlooked the classic valley of "Butchertown," through the midst of which ran "Shokoe Creek." The boys of this region, from generation to generation, had been renowned for exceeding pugnacity. Between them and the city boys constantly-recurring quarrels were so bitter that sometimes men were drawn in through sympathy with their boys. The law seemed powerless to put an end to this ...
— Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War • Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers

... predominance over woman in size, strength, courage, pugnacity, and even energy was acquired in primeval times, and that these advantages have been subsequently augmented chiefly through the contests between men for women. Even man's intellectual vigour and inventiveness ...
— Life of Charles Darwin • G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany

... trifling exertion evinced in rising again, until he is a few feet above the waves, when once more he sails with or against the wind, upon outspread, immovable wings. With no apparent inclination or occasion for pugnacity, the albatross is yet armed with a tremendous beak, certainly the most terrible of its kind possessed by any of the feathered tribe. It is from six to eight inches long, and ends in a sharp-pointed hook extremely strong and ...
— Foot-prints of Travel - or, Journeyings in Many Lands • Maturin M. Ballou

... is the inborn pugnacity of the bete humaine. Our species is the most cruel and destructive of all that inhabit this planet. If the lower animals, as we call them, were able to formulate a religion, they might differ greatly as to the shape of the beneficent Creator, but they would nearly ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... two young uns for the lock-up," he said curtly. The struggling crowd had lashed his pugnacity and ensanguined his temper. As an additional indignity, the saloon had been burned, and he had not had a drink for an hour. "I'll run you in for wearing boys' clothes; have you ever heard the penalty for that, miss? And I'll run in this ...
— The Californians • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... Rohtak border. The popular idea of the Mina, Mr. Crooke remarks, [268] is quite in accordance with his historical character; his niggardliness is shown in the saying, 'The Meo will not give his daughter in marriage till he gets a mortar full of silver'; his pugnacity is expressed in, 'The Meo's son begins to avenge his feuds when he is twelve years old'; and his toughness in, 'Never be sure that a Meo is dead till you see ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV - Kumhar-Yemkala • R.V. Russell

... his knowledge and artistic power, while at the same time they called forth all the highest qualities in the reciter. Even in Pulci, accordingly, we find no parody, strictly speaking, of chivalry, nearly humour of his paladins at times approaches it. By their side stands the ideal of pugnacity—the droll and jovial Morgante—who masters whole armies with his bellclapper, and who is himself thrown into relief by contrast with the grotesque and most interesting monster Margutte. Yet Pulci lays ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... heralded as Swiss or Belgian giants. The general physiognomy was good, mostly high-featured, often commanding, sometimes remarkable for massive beauty of the Jovian type, and almost invariably distinguished by a fearless, open-eyed frankness, in some instances running into arrogance and pugnacity. I remember one or two elderly men, in particular, whose faces would help an artist to idealize a Lacedaemonian general, or a baron of the Middle Ages. In dress somewhat careless, and wearing usually the last fashion but one, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 42, April, 1861 • Various

... dozen frats, and landing the bunch in a crowd that it had never heard of two weeks before, is as bad as trying to herd a bunch of whales into a fishpond with nothing but hot air for gads. It took diplomacy, pugnacity and psychological moments, I tell you; and it took more: it took ingenuity and inventiveness and cheek and second sight and cool heads in time of trouble and long heads on the job, from daybreak to daybreak. I'd rather go out and ...
— At Good Old Siwash • George Fitch

... satisfactorily settled. Scarcely less curious is the case of Mr. Wallace's Malayan orioles, two species of which exactly copy two pugnacious honey-suckers in every detail of plumage and coloration. As the honey-suckers are avoided by birds of prey, owing to their surprising strength and pugnacity, the orioles gain immunity from attack by their close resemblance to the protected species. When Dr. Sclater, the distinguished ornithologist, was examining Mr. Forbes's collections from Timorlaut, even his experienced eye was so taken in by another of these deceptive bird-mimicries ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... defiantly up and down the upper scaffolding of the steadily rising walls, or down below on the ground in front of his men, his hands behind his back, his face screwed into a quizzical expression, his whole body bearing a look of bristling content and pugnacity which was too delicious for words. Since things were going especially well he could not say much, but still he could look his contentiousness, and did. Even now he would occasionally manage to pick a quarrel with some lusty mason ...
— Twelve Men • Theodore Dreiser

... apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them. Sellers belonged to the latter class. When Annette, meek, penitent, with all her claws sheathed, came to him and grovelled, he forgave her with a repulsive magnanimity which in a less subdued mood would have stung her to renewed pugnacity. As it was, she allowed herself to be forgiven, and retired with a dismal conviction that from now on he would be more ...
— The Man Upstairs and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... The pugnacity of Irishmen has grown into a proverb, until, in the belief of many, a genuine Milesian is never at peace but when fighting. With certain nations, certain habits are inseparably associated as peculiarly characterising them. Thus, in vulgar apprehension, the Frenchman ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... Railroad, and Phineas strove hard to bear his burden with his broken back. He was obliged to say something about the guarantees, and the railway, and the frozen harbour,—and something especially about the difficulties which would be found, not in the measures themselves, but in the natural pugnacity of the Opposition. In the fabrication of garments for the national wear, the great thing is to produce garments that shall, as far as possible, defy hole-picking. It may be, and sometimes is, the case, that garments so fabricated will be good also for wear. Lord Cantrip, ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... recently self-entitled the 'Solitary of Gable Inn.' He was eight-and-twenty years of age or thereabouts, a broad-shouldered, deep-chested, manly-looking fellow, with curling brown hair, and a face expressive of pugnacity, good-humour, and many capacities. He was a little weary now, after a long day of satisfactory work. He watched the mounting shadows, and listened to the weird gamut of the wind among the telegraph lines, until the outer voices made his own ...
— Young Mr. Barter's Repentance - From "Schwartz" by David Christie Murray • David Christie Murray



Words linked to "Pugnacity" :   truculency, bellicoseness, bellicosity, aggressiveness, disagreeableness, aggressive, truculence



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