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Abruptness   /əbrˈəptnəs/   Listen
Abruptness

noun
1.
An abrupt discourteous manner.  Synonyms: brusqueness, curtness, gruffness, shortness.
2.
The property possessed by a slope that is very steep.  Synonyms: precipitousness, steepness.
3.
The quality of happening with headlong haste or without warning.  Synonyms: precipitance, precipitancy, precipitateness, precipitousness, suddenness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Abruptness" Quotes from Famous Books



... curiously successful effect of impulse. It is as though a separate intention had been formed by the designer at every angle. Such renewed consciousness does not make for greatness. Greatness in design has more peace than is found in the gentle abruptness of Japanese lines, in their curious brevity. It is scarcely necessary to say that a line, in all other schools of art, is long or short according to its place and purpose; but only the Japanese ...
— Essays • Alice Meynell

... then in about his twenty-first year. I distinctly recollect the first time of our meeting, which was at the aforesaid mess-table; and that his appearance struck me as that of a bashful and awkward person dull and taciturn, with a formal precise way of speaking, and a slight abruptness of manner. If Lord Bacon's saying be correct, that a good face is a letter of recommendation—poor John William Smith may be said to have come without a character! How little did I dream of the bright jewel hid in so plain and frail a casket: how often have I felt ashamed of my ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... better acquainted with his brother's character than Newton, took no notice of the abruptness of his ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... gone. He straightened away from the door frame which had been supporting his shoulders. "Thanks a lot, Reese." He left with the same abruptness as he had from the ...
— Rebel Spurs • Andre Norton

... he made the home always of genial and open-hearted hospitality—here among his neighbors and fellow-citizens of every class and description, all of whom knew him and all of whom loved him—that the intelligence of his death came with the most painful and startling abruptness. They could not comprehend it. But yesterday he was among them in perfect health, and now he is dead. Men wept in our public streets. I do not believe he had a single ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... stage, is certain to be insipid or disgusting, unless it creates smiles or tears: Amelia's love, by Kotzebue, is indelicately blunt, and yet void of mirth or sadness: I have endeavoured to attach the attention and sympathy of the audience by whimsical insinuations, rather than coarse abruptness—the same woman, I conceive, whom the author drew, with the self-same sentiments, but with manners adapted to the English rather than the German taste; and if the favour in which this character is held by the audience, together with every sentence and incident which I have presumed to introduce in ...
— Lover's Vows • Mrs. Inchbald

... as midnight;" then another female voice chimed in melodiously, "Dark as pitch;" and so the peal continued to come round like a catch, the whole being so well concerted, and the rolling fire so well sustained, that it was impossible to make head against it; whilst the abruptness of the interruption gave to it the protecting character of an oral "round robin," it being impossible to challenge any one in particular as the ringleader. Burke's phrase of "the swinish multitude," applied to mobs, was then in every body's mouth; ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... bludgeon. Much as he had just now been wishing for some guide, he yet could not congratulate himself on so unpropitious a rencontre. The stranger's dress and unceremonious greeting were not more suspicious than the abruptness of his appearance: for Bertram felt convinced that he must have way-laid him. Assuming however as much composure as he could, he ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I. • Thomas De Quincey

... and lazy breakfast next morning, Roger ascended to his father's room. He found the old man lying tranquil if weak, his temperature fallen to normal with that curious abruptness characteristic of typhoid. The nurse, very fresh in a clean apron and cap, was putting the room to rights. She smiled at Roger, who was no longer a stranger, for the two had had a long talk over their coffee the evening before, and later, with Miss Clifford, had indulged in a little ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... sharing the meal. Soon after, as if conscious that Sidney would speak with more freedom of his trouble but for her presence, Jane bade them good-night and went to her own room. There ensued a break in the conversation; then Kirkwood said, with the abruptness of one who is broaching a ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... that?" said Leslie, with a sort of abruptness, as of one who must have definiteness, but who hurried with her asking, lest after a minute she might not dare. "That He really knows, and thinks, of every special thing and person,—and ...
— A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life. • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... rich colour deepened into a flush. The thick fringe of her lashes swept down to hide the glow in her eyes. Without a word she swung ahead, on up the canon. Though not a little puzzled over her abruptness, Lennon felt certain that she had been far from ...
— Bloom of Cactus • Robert Ames Bennet

... alluded to by the Canadian, as running midway between the town and Hog Island, derived its source far within the forest, and formed the bed of one of those wild, dark, and thickly wooded ravines so common in America. As it neared the Detroit, however, the abruptness of its banks was so considerably lessened, as to render the approach to it on the town side over an almost imperceptible slope. Within a few yards of its mouth, as we have already observed in our introductory chapter, a rude but ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... moccasins lifted their wearer bodily up from the ground, and began executing a variety of fantastic antics, as completely foreign to any design or will on the part of the boy as if he had been but a wire-worked puppet. Whereat peals of elfish laughter came ringing out, with explosive abruptness, from every side—from the leafy heart of the forest, from the rocky breast of the hill, from the empty depths of the sky, from the solid depths of the earth—wild and mocking laughter, mingled with cries ...
— The Red Moccasins - A Story • Morrison Heady

... your pardon for the abruptness of my entrance," he said, choking down his wrath. He could not allow himself to be out-done in the matter of coolness by this ...
— The Princess Elopes • Harold MacGrath

... with unexpected abruptness the band halted, turned, it fell apart, and the procession came through; it came right on through and up the steps, a line of uniforms and swords on either side from curb to pillar, ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... this?" he asked with the careless abruptness which usually characterized him. "With your permission." He raised a lid, while the ...
— Blake's Burden • Harold Bindloss

... confronted by a Frenchman, affable, volatile, affectionate. "Ah cher ami, do not leave me with the abruptness. You desolate mon coeur. Alors—return ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... almost as far removed as Hildebrand from the more expansive and leisurely method of Waldere; while Waldere, Beowulf, and the poem of Maldon resemble one another in their greater ease and fluency, as compared with the brevity and abruptness of Hildebrand or Finnesburh. The documents, as far as they go, bear out the view that in the Western German tongues, or at any rate in England, there was a development of heroic poetry tending to a greater amplitude of narration. This progress falls a long way short of the fulness of Homer, not ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... I'm sure," said Miss Hepsy, looking very much as if she was not glad at all. "Well, I guess we'd better be movin'.—What's your name, boy?" she said, turning to the lad with an abruptness which ...
— Thankful Rest • Annie S. Swan

... there was space for both to swing at the same time. Dolly swayed back and forth three times, and then burst into tears. "He has left me, Auntie; Goosie is gone; ooh-ooh!" The aunt's chair ceased rocking with an abruptness that made their knees bump. Dolly's chair stopped; she looked at her aunt in astonishment. Aunt Hester was sitting up very straight. "Do you mean to say," she began, and then paused as though unable to believe the evidence; "do you mean to say," ...
— The Trimming of Goosie • James Hopper

... I have changed somewhat," Lynde broke in. "Dr. Pendegrast, I am in a very strange position here. It is imperative you should be perfectly frank with me. You will have to overlook my abruptness. Mr. Denham may return any instant, and what I have to say cannot be said in his presence. I know that Miss Denham has been under your charge as a patient. I want to know more than that ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... at Alan with grim reproach when she was shown into his study, and as soon as they were alone she began with her usual abruptness, "Mr. Douglas, why have you given up coming ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... stated quite simply that the writer needed help of a peculiar kind and asked for a personal interview—a morning interview, since it was impossible for him to be absent from the house at night. The letter was dignified even to the point of abruptness, and it is difficult to explain how it managed to convey to me the impression of a strong man, shaken and perplexed. Perhaps the restraint of the wording, and the mystery of the affair had something to do with it; and the reference to the Anderson case, the horror ...
— Three John Silence Stories • Algernon Blackwood

... Deum ... Paraclitum Spiritum), lines 1 to 13 of Te Deum are older than the second part, which was written probably as a sequel to the early hymn. The rhythm of the hymn is very beautiful, being free from abruptness and monotony. Students of poetry may note that seven lines have the exact hexameter ending, if scanned accentually, as voce proclamant; Deus sabbaoth, etc. Seven have two dactyls, as laudabilis numerus, laudat exercitus; one ends with ...
— The Divine Office • Rev. E. J. Quigley

... ranges of benches, was elevated on pillars, and the whole front and seats thereof covered with green cloth. At the angles or points of this gallery there were two boxes, which projected into the area about three feet from the line of the front, which saved the abruptness of a square termination, and added considerably to the effect of the coup d'oeil. In this gallery ladies were accommodated, ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... am, and can be, only a layman?" he asked. "What claims can I have, except the common claim of all faithful members of the Church on the good offices of the priesthood?" He paused for a moment, and continued with the abruptness of a man struck by a new idea. "Yes! I have perhaps one small aim of my own—the claim of being allowed ...
— The Black Robe • Wilkie Collins

... to have left her; the sun was becoming oppressive; her white-shod feet dragged a little, which was so unusual that she straightened her head and shoulders with nervous abruptness. ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... emotions that oppressed her, but after one or two glances at her face, which caused the old gentleman to scout at the idea of her refusing, he exclaimed with a fatherly benignity which sat oddly on his crusty abruptness: ...
— Six Girls - A Home Story • Fannie Belle Irving

... ut supra, p. 62: 'The volutes in the Pseudo-Ionic capital intended to conceal the abruptness of the transition from the square of the pulvin to ...
— Byzantine Churches in Constantinople - Their History and Architecture • Alexander Van Millingen

... another Huguenot lady, Philippa de Luns—vilely done to death in the Place Maubert fourteen years before—silenced the ribald jests of the lowest rabble in the world. An hour or two earlier, awed by the abruptness of the outburst, Mademoiselle had shrunk from her fate; she had known fear. Now that she stood out voluntarily to meet it, she, like many a woman before and since, feared no longer. She was lifted out of ...
— Count Hannibal - A Romance of the Court of France • Stanley J. Weyman

... foreground to the scenery of the opposite bank, and this you lose by water; and the bank you travel on is much more grand from its towering above you, and also from the sharp angles and turns which so suddenly change the scenery. Abruptness greatly assists the picturesque: the Rhine loses half its beauty viewed from a steam-boat. I have ascended it in both ways, and I should recommend all travellers to go up by land. The inconveniences in a steam-boat are many. ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... fashionable novel in their lives. But what is the difference! Money and tact against the world! I cannot help speaking my mind for this first and last time. Forgive me. You will not have me long to speak it, and my successor never spoke her's in her life, so she will not bore you by abruptness and sincerity, as I ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... dear," said Miss Rogers, with harsh abruptness, "I am afraid I am living in this ...
— Jolly Sally Pendleton - The Wife Who Was Not a Wife • Laura Jean Libbey

... Greater Balkan, the Cilician Taurus, the Cyprian Olympus, and the Thian Chan. Thus the axes of the two chains are nearly at right angles to one another, the triangular basin of Van occurring at the point of contact, and softening the abruptness of the transition. Again, whereas the Zagros mountains present their gradual slope to the Mesopotamian lowland, and rise in higher and higher ridges as they recede from the mountains of Armenia ascend at once to their full heignt from the ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria • George Rawlinson

... much surprised at my abruptness, said something hurriedly and rather sharply in answer, but I could not for the life of me mark what it was. I opened my eyes again, and looked towards the object that had before riveted my attention. It was neither more nor less than ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... to the best of my ability. He listened attentively enough, but thereafter he had not another word for me, and presently he went into the next car. I took his manner to be the Western abruptness that I had heard of, and presently forgot him in the scenery along the line. At Albuquerque I got off for a trip to a lunch-counter, and happened to take a seat ...
— The Young Forester • Zane Grey

... to say, and Maxwell did not attempt to make conversation. Hilary offered him his hand, and he said, as if to relieve the parting of abruptness, "If you care to look in on me ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... my dear benefactor for a little airing, and he suffers me only to conclude this long letter. So I am obliged, with greater abruptness than I had designed, to mention thankfully your ladyship's goodness to me; particularly in that kind, kind letter, in behalf of my dear parents, had a certain event taken place. Mr. B. shewed it to me this morning, and not before—I believe, ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... her extraordinary persistence, the fierce firmness of character that was concealed by her quiet and generally impersonal manner. Certainly she had the temperament of a ruler. He remembered—it seemed to him with a bizarre abruptness—the smile on Dumeny's lips in the Divorce Court when the great case had ended in ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... of these men for the fair creature of the wild had risen to fever-heat with the abruptness of tropical sunshine. It was no passing infatuation, but the deep-rooted, absorbing passion of strong simple men; a passion which dominated their every act and thought; a passion which years alone might mellow into calm affection, but which nothing could eradicate. ...
— In the Brooding Wild • Ridgwell Cullum

... shrill voice, with startling abruptness; and, for the first time, Kate perceived a very little old man seated in a very large chair, and smoking a very long pipe. A great beard reached below his dangling feet and touched ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, V. 5, April 1878 - Scribner's Illustrated • Various

... enough when he asked her questions and took no more notice of her answers than if she had been a born fool. That might have been his north-country manners and probably he couldn't help them. But there was no necessity that Ally could see for his brutal abruptness, and the callous and repellent look he had when she bared her breast to the stethescope that sent all her poor secrets flying through the long tubes that attached her heart to his abominable ears. Neither (when he had disentangled himself from the stethescope) could she understand why he should ...
— The Three Sisters • May Sinclair

... suddenly presented himself, and apologizing for the abruptness of his entrance, accounted for it by saying that Sarah Swarton besought a word with his Lordship. She brought a message, he added, from Lady Roos, who was much worse, and not finding his Lordship at his own residence ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 2 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... stopped with the same abruptness that had marked his beginning. His fierce, light eyes, like those of a sea-hawk, swept slowly around the audience and lit on Jeremy. He reached forward, clutched the boy's shirt, and with an ugly laugh jerked him to his feet. "'Twas havin' ...
— The Black Buccaneer • Stephen W. Meader

... perceived that the Indian with the bow was Misconna, and that he was accompanied by eight others, who appeared, however, to be totally unarmed; having, probably, been obliged to leave their weapons behind them, owing to the abruptness of their flight. Seeing that the white men were unable to use their guns, the Indians assembled in a group, and from the hasty and violent gesticulations of some of the party, especially of Misconna, it was evident that a speedy ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... flesh had taken the pallid tints so often seen in "devotes." Her aquiline nose was the feature that chiefly proclaimed the despotism of her nature, and the flat shape of her forehead the narrowness of her mind. Her movements had an odd abruptness which precluded all grace; the mere motion with which she twitched her handkerchief from her bag and blew her nose with a loud noise would have shown her character and habits to a keen observer. Being rather tall, she held herself very erect, and justified the remark of a naturalist who once explained ...
— The Vicar of Tours • Honore de Balzac

... difficulties, the nature of which he had since learned entirely to comprehend; controversies with white-waistcoated proprietors of hotels and voluble tradespeople, generally followed by a severance of hastily-cemented friendships, and a departure of apparently unpremeditated abruptness. ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... wrong," replied Fisher, with a very unusual abruptness, and even bitterness. "It's what I do know that isn't worth knowing. All the seamy side of things, all the secret reasons and rotten motives and bribery and blackmail they call politics. I needn't be so proud of having been down all these sewers that I should brag ...
— The Man Who Knew Too Much • G.K. Chesterton

... back to her work abruptly. With stern efficiency she shook out a heavy sheet and hung it up. Stooping, she picked up another one. But she did not shake out this. With the same curious abruptness that had characterized her movements a few moments before, she dropped the sheet back into the basket and came close to the fence again. "Mis' McGuire, won't you please let me take a copy of them two women's magazines that you take? That is, they—they ...
— Dawn • Eleanor H. Porter

... held his rope ready, and when the animal was about a hundred feet away he spurred suddenly to the right, whirling the widening loop above his head. As it fell accurately about the horse's neck the animal stopped short with the mechanical abruptness of the well-trained range mount and ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... Ferndale keeping watch and watch as was customary in those days, had but few occasions for intercourse—once, I say, the thick Mr. Franklin, a quaintly bulky figure under the stars, the usual witnesses of his outpourings, asked him with an abruptness which was not callous, but in ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... the voice rests on an articulation, or is cut short by a forcible aspiration. Supposing these Tenses to be used by a speaker in reply to a command or a request; by their very structure, the former expresses the softness of compliance; and the latter, the abruptness of a refusal. If a command or a request be expressed by such verbs as these, tog sin, gabh sin, ith sin, the compliant answer is expressed by togaidh, gabhaidh, ithidh; the refusal, by the cha tog, cha ghabh, cha n-ith. May ...
— Elements of Gaelic Grammar • Alexander Stewart

... to note the rapid change of manner in these men as they conversed with me. Upon their first approach they began to question me with a certain curt abruptness which I easily interpreted as being intended to convey the idea that their visit was more or less of an official character; but all the while their eyes were wandering hither and thither, taking in every detail of my dress and equipment, as ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... is my home, I belong here, the same as other young people live with their folks," replied the girl, somewhat startled by the abruptness of the question. "I haven't planned to shift pastures, as grandaddy would say. Why are you asking such ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... in this poem, the difficult task of relating a romantic story in blank-verse. His performance betrays all the incorrectness and abruptness of inexperience, but it manifests occasionally some talent for description. He has fallen into the common error of those who aspire to the composition of blank-verse, by borrowing too many phrases and epithets from our incomparable Milton. ...
— Early Reviews of English Poets • John Louis Haney

... reprimanded him, saying, "You untidy boy; that ball will not be fit to play with!" Then Rollo looked about him over the surrounding country as though admiring the pleasant view, and with the same startling abruptness as before, faced his father and shot the ball in so swiftly that Thanny said he could see it smoke. It passed about six feet to the left of the batsman, but Mr. Holliday, judging that it was coming "dead ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.) • Various

... persistently, openly, and continuously, while I signalled the waiter and ordered some beer. I could not quarrel with this silent inspection very well, because, truth to tell, I felt somewhat guilty of having been sprung on him with some abruptness—of having "sprung from the ground," as ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... with a certain abruptness of expression due to the suddenness with which the subject suggested itself to me. It is as though I were building a loose wall in which one must be content to pile the stones haphazard without filling the interior with rubble, levelling the front, or making all ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... that it carried sentence of death. "Charming, charming—charming arrangement," was the Captain's only commentary. It was the proper thing for a dying man, of Captain Jenkin's school of manners, to make some expression of his spiritual state; nor did he neglect the observance. With his usual abruptness, "Fleeming," said he, "I suppose you and I feel about all this as two Christian gentlemen should." A last pleasure was secured for him. He had been waiting with painful interest for news of Gordon and Khartoum; and by great good fortune ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and her lips quivered as if she were about to cry. He raised her to a more comfortable position and supported her with an encircling arm. She did cry a little, like a frightened child. Then, with startling abruptness, ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

... passion for him. The piece in this respect has a sort of moral incoherency, which appears to me, indeed, not an infrequent defect in the compositions of these great dramatic pre-Shakespearites. There is a want of psychical verisimilitude, a disjointed abruptness, in their conceptions, which, in spite of their grand treatment of separate characters and the striking force of particular passages, renders almost every one of their plays inharmonious as a whole, however fine and powerful in detached parts. ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... school. For Saunders has had to earn a living in a way which other men might reckon less congenial than his old manner of life. I had mentioned by chance the name of Adrian Borlsover, and wondered at the time why he changed the conversation with such unusual abruptness. A week later, Saunders began to tell me something of his own history—sordid enough, though shielded with a reserve I could well understand, for it had to cover not only his failings but those of a dead friend. ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... an abruptness he did not often show to any one; "if one man ever loved another, it's I with you. For God's sake, then, don't let the time ever come between us when I must stop being of some little use to you, as I've just had to do ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... have no desire to end on a note of universal ferocity. I know that many who set such machinery in motion do so from motives of sincere but confused compassion, and many more from a dull but not dishonourable medical or legal habit. But if I and those who agree with me tend to some harshness and abruptness of condemnation, these worthy people need not be altogether impatient with our impatience. It is surely beneath them, in the scope of their great schemes, to complain of protests so ineffectual about wrongs so individual. I have considered in this chapter the chances ...
— Eugenics and Other Evils • G. K. Chesterton

... and, although he could not help feeling a guilty sense of relief because the danger that he and Zoeth might have to share her affections with someone else was, for the time at least, out of the way, he was puzzled and troubled by the abruptness of the dismissal. There was something, he felt sure, which ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... men, deeply wounded in love and pride. He tried to excuse Marcia for her treatment of him, on the score of her youth and of youth's thoughtlessness; he blamed himself for his abruptness and his lack of knowledge of women—failings that had perhaps turned an impending victory into the defeat that now oppressed him. Worst of all, there was no hope to remedy his or her fault. A dangerous campaign ...
— The Lion's Brood • Duffield Osborne

... convent-bred girl had acquired a singular breadth of knowledge apart from the ordinary routine of the school curriculum. She spoke and thought with independent perceptions and clearness, yet without the tactlessness and masculine abruptness that is apt to detract from feminine originality of reflection. By some tacit understanding that had the charm of mutual confidence, they both exerted themselves to please the company rather than each other, and Paul, in the interchange of sallies ...
— A Ward of the Golden Gate • Bret Harte

... a gasp, "and going to church," she added, laughing at her own abruptness. "I was wanting a church to ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... of a distinct wish to be interrupted, and his disappointment was perceptible when he heard the creaking sound rather farther down the stairs, as if his visitor had decided to withdraw. He rose, opened the door with unnecessary abruptness, and waited on the landing. The person stopped ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... at my sudden and strange abruptness: he looked at me astonished. "Oh, that is nothing yet," I muttered within. "I don't mean to be baffled by a little stiffness on your part; I'm prepared to go to considerable lengths." I continued, "You observed it closely and distinctly; ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... subject, however, with some abruptness; and the rest of our conversation in the rockery, and in the steaming orchid-house and further vineries which we proceeded to explore together, was quite refreshingly tame. Yet I think it was on this desultory tour, to the still incessant accompaniment of rain on ...
— Mr. Justice Raffles • E. W. Hornung

... Bradshaw's house; either when daily teaching Mary and Elizabeth, or when she came as an occasional visitor with Mr and Miss Benson, or by herself. Up to this time Jemima had used no gentle skill to conceal the abruptness with which she would leave the room rather than that Ruth and she should be brought into contact—rather than that it should fall to her lot to entertain Ruth during any part of the evening. It was months since Jemima had left off sitting in the schoolroom, as ...
— Ruth • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... yourself) with a word about human passion; but, for my humble part, I beg to say I always share Tannhaeuser's impatience and am glad when it is over. As soon as Tannhaeuser gets up the mighty spirit of Wagner begins to work. With a dramatic abruptness that startles one, a fragment of a Venusberg theme shoots up; then a few chords, and Tannhaeuser begins praise of the thing he understands by love. His strains are impassioned—too much so for another of the troubadours, Walther, who follows somewhat in Wolfram's manner, but with ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... His face had gone red and white with such abruptness as to startle her. He was patently very angry. She sipped the last of ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... they are most often pyramidal or conoid up to a certain height; but have summits either rounded or truncated;—their sides, green with the richest vegetation, rise from valley-levels and coast-lines with remarkable abruptness, and are apt to be curiously ribbed or wrinkled. The pitons, far fewer in number, are much more fantastic in form;—volcanic cones, or volcanic upheavals of splintered strata almost at right angles,—sometimes sharp ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... elapsed before they were fairly started, the lateness and abruptness of their arrival causing delay in getting a conveyance ready: the tempestuous night had apparently driven the whole town, gentle and simple, early to their beds. And when at length the travellers were on their way ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... girl your sister?" asked the lady, with not a little abruptness, for the best bred are ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... by the appearance of two riders. A moment later Thorne and California John dismounted at the hitching rail, some distance removed among the azaleas, and came up afoot. The younger man had dropped all his dry, official precision, his incisive abruptness, his reticence. Clad in the high, laced cruisers, the khaki and gray flannel, the broad, felt hat and gay neckerchief of what might be called the professional class of out-of-door man, his face glowing with health and enthusiasm, he ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... loftiest magnates of Europe and seemed to the observer the stateliest of the group. It was one of those rare forms that are made to command the one sex and fascinate the other. But, on a deeper scrutiny, the restlessness of the brilliant eye—the quiver of the upper lip—a certain abruptness of manner and speech, might have shown that greatness had brought suspicion as well as pride. The spectators beheld the huntsman on the height;—the huntsman saw the abyss below, and respired with ...
— Calderon The Courtier - A Tale • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... whoever depends on his authority may generally conclude himself safe. His sentences are never too much dilated or contracted; and it will not be easy to find any embarrassment in the complication of his clauses, any inconsequence in his connections, or abruptness in his transitions. His style was well suited to his thoughts, which are never subtilised by nice disquisitions, decorated by sparkling conceits, elevated by ambitious sentences, or variegated by far-sought learning. He pays no court to the passions; he excites neither surprise nor admiration: ...
— Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift • Samuel Johnson

... business or ordinary events—are of such diverse kinds, that, if taken quite separately and in no fixed order or relation, they present a medley of the most glaring contrasts, with nothing in common, except that they one and all affect us in particular. There must be a corresponding abruptness in the thoughts and anxieties which these various matters arouse in us, if our thoughts are to be in keeping with their various subjects. Therefore, in setting about anything, the first step is to withdraw our attention from everything ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... said Mr Brindley kindly. Then he turned to me with characteristic abruptness. 'Well, give it a ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... condition of the national temper, of which too little notice has been taken by literary historians. The attacks on the stage for its indecency and blasphemy had been flippantly met by the theatrical agents, but they had sunk deeply into the conscience of the people. There followed with alarming abruptness a general public repulsion against the playhouses, and to this, early in 1699, a roughly worded Royal Proclamation gave voice. During the whole of that year the stage was almost in abeyance, and even Congreve, with The Way of the World, was unable to woo his audience back to Lincoln's ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... been said, the career of the famous Bernardo O'Higgins, although shorn of so many of the tragic elements that attended that of Bolivar, had ended with almost equal abruptness. It is true that the great Chilean for his part had the satisfaction of performing one of the greatest acts of his life at the close of his official existence. When, faced by the deputation of those who were in revolt against his authority, he stepped forward to confront them, ...
— South America • W. H. Koebel

... with an abruptness for which probably the young man was scarcely prepared, "I am getting old, and must now think of arranging my affairs so as to endeavour to make my fortune serve the purpose of rendering those happy in whom I have a natural ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... so appalling as the abruptness with which members of the lower orders divest diplomacy's kernel of its decorative outer shell. "What I meant is—ah—" He set his monocle, and stared as if Tripe were an insect on a pin-point. "Since you ...
— Guns of the Gods • Talbot Mundy

... with an inquiring inflection, is much better than simply "What?" when you do not hear what is said. The abruptness of the latter savors ...
— The Etiquette of To-day • Edith B. Ordway

... which his interlocutor had made to the war of 1859. It is always a thorn in the flesh of those of our neighbors from beyond the Alps who do not love us. The pride of the Garibaldian was not far behind the generosity of the former zouave. With an abruptness equal to that of Montfanon, he took up the volume and grumbled as he turned it over and ...
— Cosmopolis, Complete • Paul Bourget

... reply, and a ruby blush suffused her whole face. She was not at all unwilling that Cathelineau's mother should know the feeling which she had entertained for her son, but the abruptness, and the tone of the question, took her by surprise, and for ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... sprung up from her seat with such quick abruptness that the chair, though no light one, fell to ...
— The White Rose of Langley - A Story of the Olden Time • Emily Sarah Holt

... host answered, as he followed him out. The abruptness of the departure did not surprise him. "Believe me, I feel for ...
— The Long Night • Stanley Weyman

... The bold abruptness of the ascent is broken By stairways that were made there in the age When still were safe the ledger ...
— Dante's Purgatory • Dante

... key of spontaneous apology, with a very zealous inflection of concern—yet, at the same time, with a kind of entirely respectful and amiable abruptness, as of one hailing a familiar friend,—were pronounced in a breath by a brisk, cheerful, ...
— My Friend Prospero • Henry Harland

... and marched to invest the Acrocorinthus. In the Messenian territory, the Bishop of Modon, having made his guard of Janissaries drunk, cut the whole of them to pieces; and then encamping on the heights of Navarin, his lordship blockaded that fortress. The abruptness of these movements, and their almost simultaneous origin at distances so considerable, sufficiently prove how ripe the Greeks were for this revolt as respected temper; and in other modes of preparation they never ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... known as puce. The face is pale, the chin is prominent and pointed. There were some Japanese characteristics in the model, and these have been selected. The eyes are long, and their look is aslant; the eyebrows are high and marked; the dark hair grows round the pale forehead with wig-like abruptness, and the painter has attempted no attenuation. The carnations are wanting in depth of colour—they are somewhat chalky; but what I admire so much is the exquisite selection, besides the points mentioned—the shadowed outline, so full of the form ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... yet graceful abruptness, to the two ladies still seated before the low fire. With a charming outburst of enthusiasm ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... rebellion gripped him at the idea that anything so sweet, so perfect must pass slowly through the defacing furnaces of time and pain. "Little Rose of Sharon!" he thought gently, conscious of an actual tearing at his heart, even a startling stinging in his eyes. With an abruptness that almost awakened her, he carried her ...
— Dust • Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

... Charmian had spoken out with such almost impertinent abruptness. Had he then lost faith in Mrs. Mansfield? She had never said that she wished him different from what he was. And indirectly she had praised his music. He knew it had made a powerful impression upon her. Nevertheless, he could ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... from the very lips of the red people as they sat around her fire and opened their hearts to her kindness. She has even caught their tone, and her language will be found to have something of an Ossianic simplicity and abruptness, well suited to the theme. Sympathy,—feminine and religious,—breathes through these pages, and the unaffected desire of the writer to awaken a kindly interest in the poor souls who have so twined themselves about her own best feelings, may be said to consecrate the work. In ...
— Dahcotah - Life and Legends of the Sioux Around Fort Snelling • Mary Eastman

... and Dr. Gregg politely removed their hats as Franklin entered the car and addressed Mary Ellen. Confused by the abruptness of it all, it was a moment before she recognised local requirements, and presented Franklin to the gentlemen. For an instant she planned flight, escape. She would have begged Franklin to return with her. Fate in the form of the driver had its way. "Git ep, mewel!" sounded from the front of the ...
— The Girl at the Halfway House • Emerson Hough

... offence taken where no offence is intended," said Lord Etherington, with much urbanity. "It is I who ought to beg the reverend gentleman's pardon, for hurrying from him without allowing him to make a complete eclaircissement. I beg his pardon for an abruptness which the place and the time—for I was immediately engaged ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... I had not, till this moment, so illogical are some of our feelings, distinctly realized that but for that marriage I could not have done so. The absurdity of this frame of mind could only be equalled by the abruptness with which it dissolved as Edith's roguish query cleared the fog from my perceptions. I laughed as ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... urgent in his advice to her to accept the terms it is not easy to know; but, at all events, it is quite certain that she refused point-blank to make any concessions, that she left Brougham with positive abruptness, and hastened on her way to England. Among her most confidential advisers was Alderman Wood, the head of a great firm in the City of London, a leading man in the corporation of the City, and a member of the House of Commons. Many eminent Englishmen—among whom were Wilberforce, ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume IV (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... Kentuckian. Not only that, but he seemed to be watching Jack himself. So startling was his appearance, that the youth shrank back, allowing the vegetation to close in front of his face. This was done with a certain abruptness, which (if he was right in his suspicion), was unfortunate, since the action would be the more noticeable to the Pawnee. Then Jack stealthily parted the ...
— Footprints in the Forest • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... different that was needed; something that would bring him up with dead abruptness against a blank wall, and leave him with a taste of life that was dust and ashes unless he found a way through. Either that or some sweet, wild, unattainable desire, that might drive him to work and ambition by way ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page

... their intention of committing an army, destined for the invasion of England, to the conqueror of Italy. He wholly disapproved of their rashness in breaking off the negotiations of the preceding summer with the English envoy, Lord Malmesbury, and, above all, of the insolent abruptness of that procedure.[22] But the die was cast; and he willingly accepted the appointment now pressed upon him by the government, who, in truth, were anxious about nothing so much as to occupy his mind ...
— The History of Napoleon Buonaparte • John Gibson Lockhart

... a strange, lonely, and wild place; and the green sward, round as a fairy ring, in the midst of trees, which, black, close, and huge, circled it like a wall; and the solitary gray building in the centre, gaunt and cold, startled the eye with the abruptness of its appearance, and the strong contrast made by its wan hues to the dark verdure ...
— Devereux, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... the second week, when they were alone in her dressing-room, he—with the ingenious lack of abruptness of the experienced man at the game—took her hand, and before she was ready, kissed her. He did not accompany these advances with an outburst of passionate words or with any fiery lighting up of the eyes, but calmly, smilingly, as if it were what she was expecting him to do, ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... and I could at length distinguish, with a clearness that petrified my very soul, the banging and clanging of sword scabbards, and the panting and gasping of men, sore pressed in a wild and desperate race. And then the meaning of it all came to me with hideous abruptness—it was a case of pursued and pursuing—the race was for—LIFE. Outside my door the fugitive halted, and from the noise he made in trying to draw his breath, I knew he was dead beat. His antagonist, however, gave him but scant time for recovery. Bounding at him with prodigious leaps, ...
— Scottish Ghost Stories • Elliott O'Donnell

... thought are of little use to the consumer. For example, there are often introductory remarks that have lost their original significance; there are asides and pleasantries; there are careful transitions from one thought to another, to avoid abruptness; there are usually more or less irrelevant remarks due to the fact that even authors' minds wander now and then; and there are often some things that seemed important to the author which in no possible way can be of value ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... heels, Walter Trumwell, simple and sedate, who was horrified by her pranks and shocked by her use of slang, but who adored her with the devotion of a frightened puppy. Their engagement had been long announced. It was only in its high-handed abruptness that the wedding ...
— The Perils of Pauline • Charles Goddard

... Adair cheerfully. "We seem to be out of luck this evening." Then, with searching abruptness: "Do you call yourself ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... its bottom the smooth waters of the gulf, iridescent under a zenith sun and framed as far as the eye could reach with a slant of parched beach; the sides of the vast concavity were formed by the verdant mat of jungled slopes that rose with ever increasing abruptness to the far, ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... hair, eyes that looked beautifully and wistfully, out from beneath finely arched brows and a mouth that lacked nothing in humorous suggestion. Puzzling for an instant what it was that had attracted his impersonal chief, he heard the latter saying good night with customary abruptness. ...
— The Rapids • Alan Sullivan

... was made. She had admired Blackleg—she was in love with him now that he belonged to her, but she was afflicted with a sudden speechlessness over the abruptness with which he had made the gift. She wanted to thank him, but she felt it was not time. Besides, he had not waited for her thanks. He had placed the halter on the horse she had ridden to the Diamond K, had looked on saturninely while Kelton had helped her into the saddle, and had then carried ...
— The Boss of the Lazy Y • Charles Alden Seltzer

... from above was coming through, and Blowout was to be a city with that mysterious and rather disconcerting abruptness with which tiny Western villages do become ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X) • Various

... making the breakfast the next morning, when the captain came into the room, and she told him Guy was gone to settle their plans with Arnaud. After lingering a little by the window, Philip turned, and with more abruptness than was usual ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... and M. Regnier had been pleased to advise him. He told Mademoiselle this, and he promised to bring to her a copy of the Temps that she might read the great critic's words for herself. She ended the conversation with coquettish abruptness, and begged Raoul to kneel beside her chair a moment, and follow her pencil as she marked the manuscript and explained what her marks were intended ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 6, June, 1891 • Various

... were married—" The little drawl in his voice had increased, as though covering the abruptness of that ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... and she said that if I would only excuse her for a moment she would go down to the spring-house and get me a glass of milk, to give me strength wherewith to wait until she could stir about and get something to eat. And above all, I must pardon Limuel's abruptness of manner. But really he meant nothing by it, as I would find out when I should become better acquainted with him. She was a little, black-eyed woman, doubtless a descendant of a Dutch family that had come ...
— The Jucklins - A Novel • Opie Read

... discourse, in this passage, from threatening to promise,—and this without even any particle to indicate the mutual relation of the sentences and thoughts." But the same phenomenon occurs also in vi. 11 (compare Micah ii. 12, 13), where, likewise, several expositors are perplexed by the suddenness and abruptness of the transition. It is explained from the circumstance, that behind even the darkest clouds of wrath which have gathered over the Congregation of the Lord, there is, nevertheless, concealed the sun of ...
— Christology of the Old Testament: And a Commentary on the Messianic Predictions, v. 1 • Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg

... steep acclivity, looking over a rich and fertile valley to a range of woody hills; nothing more beautiful than the approach from Belford, the road leading across a common between a double row of noble oaks, the ground on one side sinking with the abruptness of a north-country burn, whilst a clear spring, bursting from the hill side, made its way to the bottom between patches of shaggy underwood and a grove of smaller trees; a vine-covered cottage just peeping between the foliage, and the picturesque ...
— Country Lodgings • Mary Russell Mitford

... 'I don't mean that you're to get out. Forgive my abruptness. The fact is I was thinking aloud a moment. I meant—I mean that you've explained a lot to me I didn't understand before—had never thought about, rather. And it's rather wonderful, you see. In fact, it's very wonderful. Minks,' he added, with the grave enthusiasm of one who has made ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... fever, or a sharp local lung-trouble like pneumonia, really do make these minute changes approximate in abruptness to death. You weigh, let us say, one hundred and eighty pounds, and you drop in three weeks of a fever to one hundred and thirty pounds. The rest of you is dead. You have lost, as men say, fifty pounds, but your debt to disease, or to the blunders of ...
— Doctor and Patient • S. Weir Mitchell

... the millionaire, briskly. Then he paused with marked abruptness. It occurred to him he had a difficult proposition to make to this man. To avoid the cold, enquiring eyes now fixed upon him he pulled out a cigar and deliberately cut the end. Von Taer furnished him a match. He smoked ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... still air of the room filled with wonderful, golden sound: a song like the song of a mother flying from earth to a child in the stars, a torrential tenderness, unpent and glorying in freedom. The flooding, triumphant chords rose, crashed—stopped with a shattering abruptness. Laura's hands fell to her sides, then were raised to her glowing face and concealed it for a moment. She shivered; a quick, deep sigh heaved her breast; and she came back to herself like a prisoner leaving a ...
— The Flirt • Booth Tarkington

... some difficulty that a foothold can be preserved under their sweep. Looking aloft for a moment I perceive that the sky is much more overcast than it has been hitherto, and in a few instants a dead lull in what is now a gale ensues with almost preternatural abruptness. I take advantage of this to sidle down the second counterscarp, but by the time the ditch is reached the lull reveals itself to be but the precursor of a storm. It begins with a heave of the whole atmosphere, like the sigh of a weary strong man on turning to re-commence ...
— A Changed Man and Other Tales • Thomas Hardy

... entitled, "The Man Out of Work," is very brief, but apparently not the effort of a tyro. It would probably hold the attention even if it were much longer and we are almost inclined to regret its extreme abruptness. Nevertheless, it is complete as it stands and an artistic whole. "Still At It," by Mr. Lindquist, gives us interesting information regarding the editor and also some sound advice as to finding congenial employment. Mr. Lindquist seems to ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... Instantaneity — N. instantaneity, instantaneousness, immediacy; suddenness, abruptness. moment, instant, second, minute; twinkling, trice, flash, breath, crack, jiffy, coup, burst, flash of lightning, stroke of time. epoch, time; time of day, time of night; hour, minute; very minute &c, very time, very hour; present time, right time, true time, exact correct time. V. be instantaneous ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... "you will excuse the abruptness of my manner in our late interview. I was so little prepared for the communication you had to make, that I was, perhaps, unsuitably discomposed. Will you allow me to ask whether you were requested by any of the parties to communicate to me what ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... more composed manner, she proceeded; "It was but this morning that Don Antonio arrived, when my father immediately proceeded to announce the purport of his visit. My amazement at first knew no bounds; I remonstrated on the abruptness of the proposal, and endeavoured, by gentle expostulation, to ward off the threatening blow. But my entreaties, and my tears were in vain. My father, strenuously bent on the accomplishment of his wishes, left me the only ...
— Gomez Arias - The Moors of the Alpujarras, A Spanish Historical Romance. • Joaquin Telesforo de Trueba y Cosio

... have, next, the strong servant and fore runner (verses 4-8). The abruptness with which the curtain is drawn, and the gaunt figure of the desert-loving ascetic shown us, is very striking. It is like the way in which Elijah, his prototype, leaps, as it were, full-armed, into the arena. The ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren



Words linked to "Abruptness" :   discourtesy, gradient, precipitation, hastiness, hurry, gradualness, hurriedness, haste, rudeness, abrupt, shortness, slope



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