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Tenuity   Listen
noun
Tenuity  n.  
1.
The quality or state of being tenuous; thinness, applied to a broad substance; slenderness, applied to anything that is long; as, the tenuity of a leaf; the tenuity of a hair.
2.
Rarily; rareness; thinness, as of a fluid; as, the tenuity of the air; the tenuity of the blood.
3.
Poverty; indigence. (Obs.)
4.
Refinement; delicacy.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Tenuity" Quotes from Famous Books



... to bite something solid, so as to avoid its poison, the following are the appearances under the microscope:—At first nothing is seen but a parcel of salts nimbly floating in the liquor, but in a very short time these saline particles shoot out into crystals of incredible tenuity and sharpness, with something like knots here and there, from which these crystals seem to proceed, so that the whole texture in a manner represents a spider's web, though infinitely finer and more ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... "vacuum" tubes, he has found that the discharge is also invariably disruptive. This is an important point, as many physicists speak and write of the phenomenon as one of conduction. Air, in every degree of tenuity, refuses to act as a conductor of electricity. These experiments show that the resistance of gaseous media diminishes with the pressure only up to a certain point, beyond which it rapidly increases. Thus, in the case of hydrogen, it diminishes up to 0.642 mm., 845 ...
— Scientific American Supplement No. 275 • Various

... appear to exert himself to quite the pitch needful for victory. The duel already had been long contested and the day was drawing to a close. Presently the sudden transition from daylight to darkness which, owing to the tenuity of the air upon Barsoom, occurs almost without the warning twilight of Earth, would occur. Would the fight never end? Would the game be called a draw after all? What ailed ...
— The Chessmen of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... space has dominion over it. It is the one immutable and immeasurable thing in the universe. From it all things arise and to it they return. It is everywhere and nowhere. It has none of the finite properties of matter—neither parts, form, nor dimension; neither density nor tenuity; it cannot be compressed nor expanded nor moved; it has no inertia nor mass, and offers no resistance; it is subject to no mechanical laws, and no instrument or experiment that science has yet devised can detect ...
— The Breath of Life • John Burroughs

... struck me much on this reading,—the first with the tenuity of his thought, the slender thread on which he weaves his entertaining and life-like drama, making it to live through the ages simply by sticking to nature, making his personages speak so naturally; and the second, with the real dramatic [290] grandeur of his genius. I feel that I have never ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... to bed, like a man who clings to life, and wishes to economize, as much as possible, that slender tissue of existence, of which the shocks and frictions of this world so quickly wear out the tenuity. D'Artagnan appeared at the door of this chamber, and was saluted by the superintendent with a very ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... the Life and Works of Chatterton gave Scott an opportunity to discuss the characteristics of Middle-English poetry, but his general thesis, that the Rowley poems exhibit graces and refinements which are in marked contrast to the tenuity of idea and tautology of expression found in genuine works of the period, is supported by an argument which seems to be based on a characterization of the romances rather than on a close acquaintance with other Middle-English poetry. ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... 3/13: though several others have seen it both sooner, and later: and though himself continued to look out for it till March 7. st. n. but fruitlesly, whereof he thinks the reason to have been its too great distance and tenuity. ...
— Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666 • Various

... we took some of the deposit from the bottom by means of a long straight piece of tubing, in order to bring it under microscopical examination. We found it to consist of a host of long filaments of extreme tenuity, their diameter being about 1/1000th of a millimetre (0.000039 in.); their length varied, in some cases being as much as 1/20th of a millimetre (0.0019 in.). A crowd of these long vibrios were to ...
— The Harvard Classics Volume 38 - Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology) • Various

... prison with her lover, or on her trial before sentence was passed—her glorious notes, produced without difficulty or stint, rang through the house like a clarion, and were truer in their vehemence to the emotion of the scene than were those wonderfully subdued sounds, in the penetrating tenuity of which there might be more or less artifice. From the first, the vigor always went more closely home to the heart than the tenderness in her singing; and her acting and her vocal delivery—though the beauty of her face and voice, the ...
— Great Singers, Second Series - Malibran To Titiens • George T. Ferris

... artists. They have given to their drawings of this class a richness, a force of effect, a depth of shadow and strength of light, and a truth of representation which astonishes those who are accustomed only to the meagreness and tenuity of the old manner. I have hardly seen any landscapes which exceeded, in the perfectness of the illusion, one or two which I saw in the collection I visited, and I could hardly persuade myself that a flower-piece on which I looked, representing a bunch of hollyhocks, was not the real ...
— Letters of a Traveller - Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America • William Cullen Bryant

... JEWRY], threw my things out, and demanded four groschen. Two of my batzen" 2 and a half exact, "would have done; but I had no money at all. The landlord came out: seeing that I had a stuffed feather-bed [note the luggage of Linsenbarth: "FEDER-BETT," of extreme tenuity], a trunk full of linens, a bag of Books and other trifles, he paid the man; and sent me to a small room in the court-yard [Inn forms a Court, perhaps four stories high]: 'I could stay there,' he said; 'he would give me food and drink ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... eye, and thereupon enter into conjunction with the shell; the result is that the whiteness belonging to the shell is overpowered by the yellowness of the bile, and hence not apprehended; the shell thus appears yellow, just as if it were gilt. The bile and its yellowness is, owing to its exceeding tenuity, not perceived by the bystanders; but thin though it be it is apprehended by the person suffering from jaundice, to whom it is very near, in so far as it issues from his own eye, and through the mediation of the ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... it was so transparent, that you doubted which became her the most. To these attractions, add a throat, a bust of the most dazzling whiteness, and the justest proportions; a foot, whose least beauty was its smallness, and a waist narrow—not the narrowness of tenuity or constraint;—but round, gradual, insensibly less in its compression:—and the person of Constance Vernon, in the bloom of her ...
— Godolphin, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... which seemed to lie like a delicate impalpable mask over the living lineaments he had known. He felt that the real Lily was still there, close to him, yet invisible and inaccessible; and the tenuity of the barrier between them mocked him with a sense of helplessness. There had never been more than a little impalpable barrier between them—and yet he had suffered it to keep them apart! And now, though it seemed slighter and frailer ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... consist of some palpable matter, however diffused, for they observe the rules of motion in their revolutions round the sun. On the whole, the most plausible supposition as to their composition, is that which regards them as watery vapour or cloud, of great tenuity. How like, for example, to the doings of a cloud, is the splitting into two, which has been occasionally observed in them! Well, if they be clouds, the coming of one into contact with our earth would most likely deposit ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 453 - Volume 18, New Series, September 4, 1852 • Various

... I conceive I'm an authority In all things ghastly, First for tenuity For stringiness secondly, And sallowness lastly— I say I believe a cadaverous man Who would live as long and as lean as he can Should live entirely on bacchi— On the bacchic ambrosia entirely feed him; ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... he said. "I'll remind you what a girl thirteen years old did in Ireland a hundred years ago. Only thirteen was Catherine Woods—mark that, Sabina and Alice—but she was a genius who lived in Dunmore, County Down, and she spun a hank of linen yarn of such tenuity that it would have taken seven hundred such hanks to make a pound ...
— The Spinners • Eden Phillpotts

... awa to bane an' skin, But that it seems is nought to me; She 's like to live, although she 's in The last stage o' tenuity. She munches wi' her wizen'd gums, An' stumps about on legs o' thrums, But comes—as sure as Christmas comes— To ca' for ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... like a man who clings to life, and who economizes as much as possible that slender tissue of existence of which the shocks and angles of this world so quickly wear out the irreparable tenuity. D'Artagnan appeared at the door of this chamber, and was saluted by the surintendant with a very affable ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... sharp edge on that side, the other soft and lost. Smoke, on the contrary, is an actual substance existing independently in the air, a solid opaque body, subject to no absorption nor dissipation but that of tenuity. Observe its volumes; there is no breaking up nor disappearing here; the wind carries its elastic globes before it, but does not dissolve nor break them.[37] Equally convex and void of angles on all sides, they are the exact representatives of the clouds of the old masters, ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... wilfully, both bulk and mass to the head he had so keenly studied. What confirms me in the opinion that Mr. Fornum's cameo is the most veracious portrait we possess of Michelangelo in old age, is that its fragility of structure, the tenuity of life vigorous but infinitely refined, reappears in the weak drawing made by Francesco d'Olanda of Buonarroti in hat and mantle. This is a comparatively poor and dreamy sketch. Yet it has an air ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... the vestige of the Light of the Garment, with which is intermingled somewhat of the vestige of the Very Substance. It is called Primal Ether, but not void Space ... The Light of the Vestige still remains in the place it occupied, and adheres there, like somewhat spiritual, of extreme tenuity. ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... our attention in these creatures is the extreme delicacy and tenuity of their substance. The jelly-fish is chiefly made up of fluid. A quantity of water and a thin membranaceous film, these are its chief component parts. Professor Owen has ascertained that a large individual, ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... miniature in the animal originally created; and that these infinitely minute forms are only evolved or distended, as the embryon increases in the womb. This idea, besides its being unsupported by any analogy we are acquainted with, ascribes a greater tenuity to organized matter than we can readily admit; as these included embryons are supposed each of them to consist of the various and complicate parts of animal bodies, they must possess a much greater degree of minuteness than that which ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... is the good of all this ceaseless talk? To what purpose are you wearied, exhausted, dragged out and out to the very extreme of tenuity? A sprightly badinage,—a running fire of nonsense for half an hour,—a tramp over unfamiliar ground with a familiar guide,—a discussion of something with somebody who knows all about it, or who, not knowing, wants to learn from you,—a ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume IV. (of X.) • Various

... of the finest and roundest (and therefore most nimble) atoms, with which he compared the extremely attenuated dust particles visible in their never-ending {79} dance in a beam of light passed into a darkened room. This structure of exceeding tenuity and nimbleness was the source of the motion characteristic of living creatures, and provided that elastic counteracting force to the inward-pressing nimble air, whereby were produced the phenomena of respiration. Every object, in fact, whether living or not, kept its form and distinctive ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... produce the most harmonious surroundings he hardly ever attempts to appeal to; he is mournful and compassionate, or indignant, for the sufferings, of his Man of Sorrows; not tender, romantic, or awesome. Only with the tapering tenuity and delicate spring of the pure line will he sometimes attain to an infantile or virginal freshness that is akin to the tenderness of the bloom on flowers, or the light of dawn ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... spores or spermatia on the surface, and these presented a somewhat different structure. Where the tissue had turned red it was sterile, the constituent filaments, ordinarily colourless, and almost empty of solid matter, were filled with a highly-coloured protoplasm; they were of less tenuity, more irregularly thick, and instead of only rarely presenting partitions, and remaining continuous, as in other parts of the plant, were parcelled out into an infinity of straight or curved pieces, ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... swooning into nonsense" admirable. And if a critic is so dull as to ask what "Life of Life! thy lips enkindle" means, or to whom it is addressed, none can help him any more than one can help a man whose sense of hearing is too gross for the tenuity of a bat's cry. A voice in the air thus sings the hymn of Asia at ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds

... Most of us do. It wrought in him, however, the saturnine changes natural upon the relinquishment of a dear and dead fantasy. This ethereal entity is a more essential component of happiness than one might imagine from the extreme tenuity of the conditions of its existence. Purdee's fantasy may have been a poor thing, but, although he could calmly enough close its eyes, and straighten its limbs, and bury it decently from out the offended view of fact, he felt that he should mourn it ...
— The Riddle Of The Rocks - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... knowledge of the theory of sanguification does not enable us to determine. Perhaps, as the imperfect respiration must cause a deficiency of air, and consequently of oxygen, in the lungs; and as the absorption of oxygen is a cause of solidity in many bodies, this tenuity of the blood may proceed from a deficient absorption of oxygen. However this may be, it is certain that the blood is very much attenuated, though with considerable variations in degree, as it is sometimes found ...
— Cases of Organic Diseases of the Heart • John Collins Warren

... pleased with it, and says that it is superior to the paper of the first edition of St. Matthew by at least ten roubles per ream; and that it is calculated to endure for 200 years. It certainly does possess uncommon strength and consistency, notwithstanding its tenuity, and the difficulty of tearing it is remarkable. By my direction it received a slight tinge of yellow, as no books are printed in China upon paper entirely colourless. I must be permitted to say that ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... angel,—she had been on the point of saying something of that sort But Mildred's beauty and delicacy were the fairness of mortal disease, and to praise her for her refinement was simply to intimate that she had the tenuity of a consumptive. So, after she had checked herself, the younger girl—she was younger only by a year or two—simply kissed her tenderly, and settled the knot of the lace handkerchief that was tied over her head. Mildred knew what she had been going to say,—knew why she ...
— Georgina's Reasons • Henry James

... met us at the door of the drawing-room, and greeted us most kindly,—a pale, small person, scarcely embodied at all; at any rate, only substantial enough to put forth her slender fingers to be grasped, and to speak with a shrill, yet sweet, tenuity of voice. Really, I do not see how Mr. Browning can suppose that he has an earthly wife any more than an earthly child; both are of the elfin race, and will flit away from him some day when he least thinks of it. She is a good and kind fairy, however, and sweetly disposed towards the human race, ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... conceptions? For conception is a certain imagination, and imagination an impression in the soul. Now the nature of the soul is an exhalation, in which it is difficult for an impression to be made because of its tenuity, and for which it is impossible to keep an impression it may have received. For its nutriment and generation, consisting of moist things, have continual accession and consumption. And the mixture of respiration with the air always makes some new exhalation which is altered and ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... her arms above her head, with a gesture revealing the suppleness of her slim young frame, but also its tenuity of structure—the frailness of throat and shoulders, and the play of bones in the delicate neck. Justine Brent had one of those imponderable bodies that seem a mere pinch of matter shot through with light and colour. ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... be gathered from their extreme tenuity, comets are so exceedingly small in mass that they do not appear to exert any gravitational attraction upon the other bodies of our system. It is, indeed, a known fact that in the year 1886 a comet passed right amidst the satellites of Jupiter without disturbing ...
— Astronomy of To-day - A Popular Introduction in Non-Technical Language • Cecil G. Dolmage

... look upon no Obstacle; for the Air near the Earth, especially in dry Places, where there are no impure Exhalations, by the intense Heat of the Sun, it is perhaps as thin, and as much rarified, as the AEtherial. This I suppose from the Tenuity of the Air on the top of the Mountain Tenera, where 'tis said none can inhabit on that account. But I have my self flown to the top of this Mountain, and carry'd with me a wet Spunge, thro' which I drew my Breath for some time, but by Degrees I became habituated to this Tenuity, and respired ...
— A Voyage to Cacklogallinia - With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of That Country • Captain Samuel Brunt

... and which he looks upon as the great badge of his superiority, are in truth only different in degree and not in kind from those possessed by the lower animals. But the grounds on which this assertion is based are wonderful in their tenuity. Dogs are possessed of self-consciousness because they sometimes emit sounds in their sleep from which it is concluded that they dream. [Footnote: Descent of Man, vol. i. p. 62.] "Can we feel sure that an old dog, with an excellent ...
— The Story of Creation as told by Theology and by Science • T. S. Ackland

... are not rugged, but they have no sweetness; they never glide in a stream of melody. Why Hammond or other writers have thought the quatrain of ten syllables elegiack, it is difficult to tell. The character of the elegy is gentleness and tenuity; but this stanza has been pronounced by Dryden, whose knowledge of English metre was not inconsiderable, to be the most magnificent of all the ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... constitution and muscular tenuity; unsound health from whatever cause; indications of former disease; glandular swellings, or other symptoms of scrofula. 2. Chronic cutaneous affections, especially of the scalp. 3. Severe injuries of the bones of the head; convulsions. ...
— Henry Ossian Flipper, The Colored Cadet at West Point • Henry Ossian Flipper

... different character. We have no longer to deal with globular objects possessing considerable mass. Comets are of altogether irregular shape; they are in large part, at all events, formed of materials in the utmost state of tenuity, and their masses are so small that no means we possess have enabled them to be measured. Not only are comets different in constitution from planets or from the other more solid bodies of our system, but the movements ...
— The Story of the Heavens • Robert Stawell Ball

... the other produces the light and heat by whose aid we are enabled to see and know those distant bodies. The universe, according to this now fashionable nebular theory, began as a single vast ocean of matter of immense tenuity, spread all alike over all space as far as nowhere, and comparatively little different within itself when looked at side by side with its own final historical outcome. In Mr. Spencer's perspicuous phrase, evolution in this aspect is a change from the homogeneous ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... what the greater distance in the more extreme rarefactions? It is asserted that millions of cubic miles of some comets tails would not make a cubic inch of matter solid as iron. Now, when earth and oceans are "changed" to this sort of tenuity creations will be more easy. We shall not be obliged to hew out our material with broadaxes, nor blast it out with dynamite. Let us not fear that these creations will not be permanent; they will be enough ...
— Among the Forces • Henry White Warren

... attended on his beloved Queen and Consort, he scarce admitted any great Officer to have his wife in the family. Sir Henry Vane was the first, that I knew in that kind, who having a good dyet as Comptroller of the Houshold, and a tenuity of fortune, was winkt at; so as the Court was fill'd, not cramm'd. His exercises of Religion were most exemplary; for every morning early, and evening not very late, singly and alone, in his own bed-chamber or closet he spent some ...
— Characters from 17th Century Histories and Chronicles • Various

... really fine limbs, without spoiling or distorting them. I expect your directions, ere I proceed to dwindle and fall away with despair; which at present I don't think advisable, because, if she should recant, she may then hate me perhaps in the other extreme for my tenuity. ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... its destruction. The mental habit of diarizing may have some value, even when it sets undue importance upon trifles. We confess that, never having seen a woman's private diary (except those that have been published), we do not share the popular impression as to their tenuity implied in the question put to us. Taking it for granted that they are full of noble thoughts and beautiful imaginings, we doubt whether the time spent on them could not be better employed in acquiring knowledge or taking exercise. For the diary forgotten and left to the next generation may be as ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... may be, miles apart from his nearest neighbour, the Lower Canadians of French descent continue clustered together in villages, usually consisting of a line of houses on either side of the road, behind which extend their long strips of farm-land, divided and subdivided to an extreme tenuity. They willingly submit to all the inconveniences of this method of farming for the sake of each other's society, rather than betake themselves to the solitary backwoods, as English, Germans, and Americans so readily do. Indeed, not only does the American ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... perhaps also in Biela's comet, by diminishing their eccentricity and shortening their period of revolution. Of this impending, ethereal, and cosmical matter, it may be supposed that it is in motion; that it gravitates, notwithstanding its original tenuity; that it is condensed in the vicinity of the great mass of the Sun; and, finally, that it may, for myriads of ages, have been augmented by the vapor emanating from the ...
— COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1 • Alexander von Humboldt

... thread of tenuity, A fellow distinguish'd by flippant fatuity, Who nonsense and rhyme can incessantly mingle, A poet—if ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... straight neck had certainly not slipped it; nor had the other end of the long cord—oh, quite conveniently long!—disengaged its smaller loop from the hooked thumb that, with his fingers closed upon it, her husband kept out of sight. To have recognised, for all its tenuity, the play of this gathered lasso might inevitably be to wonder with what magic it was twisted, to what tension subjected, but could never be to doubt either of its adequacy to its office or of its perfect durability. These reminded states for the Princess were in fact states of renewed ...
— The Golden Bowl • Henry James



Words linked to "Tenuity" :   slenderness, weakness, tenuous, thickness, feebleness, density, low density, dimension, thinness, rarity



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