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Alertness   /əlˈərtnəs/   Listen
Alertness

noun
1.
The process of paying close and continuous attention.  Synonyms: vigilance, wakefulness, watchfulness.  "Vigilance is especially susceptible to fatigue"
2.
A state of readiness to respond.  Synonym: alerting.
3.
Lively attentiveness.  Synonyms: on the qui vive, sharp-sightedness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Alertness" Quotes from Famous Books



... man can hope to do more than hack-work as a critic of others. Yet it may safely be said that, if no critical tradition exists in a nation, it is not an age of passionate creation, such as was that of Marlowe and Shakespeare, that will found it. With all their alertness, with all their wide outlook, with all their zeal for classical models, the men of that time were too much of children, too much beneath the spell of their own genius, to be critics. Compare them with the great writers of other ages; and we feel instinctively that, in spite ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... The widow tried to keep her tone natural, but a certain shrill alertness crept into it and Barbara, who was watching her closely, was quick to detect the change. Helen's color altered at the question, and she observed the widow's entrance with ...
— The Red Seal • Natalie Sumner Lincoln

... alertness and keenness of hearing, as well as of seeing, was something remarkable to me. The following is a good illustration of it. One summer, when thus travelling, I was on the lookout for some friendly Indians ...
— On the Indian Trail - Stories of Missionary Work among Cree and Salteaux Indians • Egerton Ryerson Young

... more one admires that extraordinary quality of "go"—a mental alertness and lucidity they have immeasurably beyond European nations; very few people are intellectual, but all are intelligent and advancing. No one browses like such hundreds do at home, and all are much more ...
— Elizabeth Visits America • Elinor Glyn

... Her fierce alertness fled. She leaned a little toward him, droopingly, a poor, feeble, timid child in need of some strong man to shield ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... knew how long he sat there, for his thoughts circled the world and back again and found all a prospect of desert before him and behind, until a sound, a vague sound out of the night, startled him into alertness. He slipped from beside the fire and into the shadow of a steep rock, watching with eyes that almost pierced the ...
— Riders of the Silences • Max Brand

... threateningly. Her questions had struck him into a new alertness. She noticed that his knees were ...
— The Crooked House • Brandon Fleming

... outburst of violence to the prudence of Richard's recent conduct, that it has sometimes been supposed that, he had been dissimulating all the time. It is more probable that, without being actually insane, his mind had to some extent given way. He was always excitable, and in his better days his alertness of mind carried him forward to swift decisions, as when he met the mob at Smithfield, and when he vindicated his authority from the restraint of his uncle. Signs had not been wanting that his native energy was no longer balanced by the restraints of prudence. In 1394 he ...
— A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3) - From the earliest times to the Death of King Edward VII • Samuel Rawson Gardiner

... awoke and sat up, just as the exhorter was finishing in a fiery period. If those who watched him, were expecting to see any embarrassed look on his face, or show of timidity in his eyes, they were mistaken. Instead, his appearance was one of sudden alertness, and his gaze that of a man in extreme exaltation. One would have said that it had been given to him as to the inspired prophets of old to see and to hear things far and beyond the ken of ordinary mortals. As Brother Dyer sat down, ...
— The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... I was aware, from some little rigidity and alertness of his attitude, that he was prepared for an emergency. As a matter of fact the drawn curtain disclosed nothing but three or four suits of clothes hanging from a line of pegs. Holmes turned away and stooped ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... often found in his wanderings. When he was forced to take to the woods by day, he either proceeded cautiously or slept. Both his hearing and his eyesight having become acute, he saw and heard with the alertness of a fox, and lived as free—a cruel freedom that became a mockery. He had no clothes save the makeshifts he stood in. When it rained he remained soaking wet, like the ground and the trees about him; he ...
— The Lady of Big Shanty • Frank Berkeley Smith

... bad an answer for an Englishman, in a country where speaking is fencing; the race being little famous for dialectical alertness: but ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... accompanied with corresponding acts of violence; but such was the alertness of the fugitives, the ground being rendered unfavourable to the horsemen by thickets and bushes, that only two were struck down and made prisoners, one of whom was the young fellow with the sword, who had previously offered some resistance. Quentin, ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... half-an-hour, without any attempt at going to sleep, when suddenly I felt extremely alert in mind, very much as Miss Porter described herself in the Captain Carbury episode. Almost immediately upon this feeling of mental alertness came the conviction that Mabel M'Leod (as I will call her) was in the room, close to me, and that she was in some dire and urgent need of help—instantaneous help, I mean. I could neither see nor hear on this occasion—I only knew ...
— Seen and Unseen • E. Katharine Bates

... character true representatives of their masterful race. They were mainly of English or Scotch-Irish stock; and no other breeds of white men have ever shown such capacity as these two for dealing with inferior races and new countries. Their virtues were courage, energy, alertness, inventiveness, generosity, honesty, truth-speaking; their commonest faults were violence, combativeness, lax ways in business, intemperance, narrowness of mind. They hated foreigners and Indians, and were ready to fight any one who behaved like an enemy or a critic; they held in honor women, ...
— Andrew Jackson • William Garrott Brown

... the conversation died. No other sound came, but the two cattlemen and the bartender were keyed to tense alertness. They had sloughed instantly the easy indolence ...
— The Fighting Edge • William MacLeod Raine

... fringe, and numerous tiny bells tinkled all over him as he moved. His features were large and marked, his forehead, high, and his nose aquiline. His Mongolian set eyes were dark and full of intellect, his expression a strange mixture of alertness, conscious power, and dignity. He was a splendid specimen ...
— The Rising of the Red Man - A Romance of the Louis Riel Rebellion • John Mackie

... that is true! But leave them their natural notes; profit by their bravery, their alertness (LEGERETE), by their very faults,—I believe their confusion ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... powerful chorus, "The Lord is great." The next number describes the creation of various animals; and perhaps nothing that art contains can vie with it in varied and vivid description. It begins with the lion, whose deep roar is heard among the wind-instruments. The alertness of the "flexible tiger" is shown in rapid flights by the strings. A presto ingeniously represents the quick movements of the stag. The horse is accompanied by music which prances and neighs. A quiet pastoral movement, in strong contrast with the ...
— The Standard Oratorios - Their Stories, Their Music, And Their Composers • George P. Upton

... curiously. He was tall—taller even than Sir Redmond, and more slender. Sir Redmond had the straight, sturdy look of the soldier who had borne the brunt of hard marches and desperate fighting; Mr. Cameron, the lithe, unconscious grace and alertness of the man whose work demands quick movement and quicker eye and brain. His face was tanned to a clear bronze which showed the blood darkly beneath; Sir Redmond's year of peace had gone far toward lightening his complexion. Beatrice glanced briefly ...
— Her Prairie Knight • B.M. Sinclair, AKA B. M. Bower

... alertness in the old man's face and a spring in his step as he lived over in thought the joyous days of his childhood. The clouds were flushed with pink when he came in sight of the big water oak on the margin of the stream, and recollected how he and Dick had loved to go swimming in the deep, clear ...
— Good Cheer Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... was clear when I had looked at him still I never left without sending him under the arch in order to increase his alertness. It was a relief to know that so many persons who went by wore tall hats, a safeguard against their seeing anything, for if they approached the shadow of the tall hat reached out beyond the shadow of the parapet, and was enough to alarm him before they could look ...
— Nature Near London • Richard Jefferies

... alertness all came to naught, for Madelon, like some fleeing fox, took a sudden turn which no canny hunter could have anticipated. She sat somewhat away from the hearth and well at Eugene's back. He would have asked her why she did not draw nearer the fire and if she were not cold ...
— Madelon - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... in his seat. He fixed his eyes upon the knot of men at the starboard rail; an expression of extreme alertness came over his bland features. His feet were drawn under him, and his fingers were clinched upon the arms of his chair. Then, with a sharp indrawing of his breath, he leaped up and darted down ...
— The Silver Horde • Rex Beach

... inspection of the State House. He considered that the parlous situation in state affairs demanded full dress. During the evening he had been going on his rounds at half-hour intervals. On each trip he had been much pleased by the strict, martial discipline and alertness displayed by his guardsmen. The alertness was especially noticeable; every soldier was tautly at 'tention when the boss warrior hove in sight. General Totten was portly and came down hard on his heels with an elderly man's slumping gait, and his sword clattered loudly and his movements were ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... sort are related of Lincoln, and we should not have space to tell of the alertness with which he sprang to protect defenseless women from insult, or feeble children from tyranny; for in the rude community in which he lived, the rights of the defenseless were not always respected as they should have been. There were bullies then, ...
— Good Stories For Great Holidays - Arranged for Story-Telling and Reading Aloud and for the - Children's Own Reading • Frances Jenkins Olcott

... even a little while longer, that pleasant glow which had come with our sense of protection gradually disappeared. The blizzard was not merely a gigantic spectacle put on by nature for our entertainment, it was a menace, to be kept at bay only by constant alertness on ...
— Land of the Burnt Thigh • Edith Eudora Kohl

... father better, but it required my own zeal and affection to thoroughly restore him, and bring him back to his characteristic interest and alertness, which made him so original and delightful a companion. At length, by a week's nursing, during which Miss Dodan and myself were frequently together, becoming more and more attached to each other, my father renewed his wonted studies, and strongly desired ...
— The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars • L. P. Gratacap

... Provincial shiftlessness and dullness, and it is a mark of the geniality of the book that, although it seems to have had its origin in a desire on the part of its author to goad the Provinces into energy and alertness, the local questions and politics discussed give a flavour to the narrative without limiting the reader's interest. One does not need to be deeply concerned in Nova Scotia prosperity, nor versed in the turnings of petty politics, to take a lively pleasure ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... Avenue, dodging the blind, black menace of umbrellas, and standing in front of Delmonico's hailed an auto-bus. Buttoning his coat closely around him he climbed to the roof, where he rode in solitary state through the thin, persistent rain, stung into alertness by the cool moisture perpetually reborn on his cheek. Somewhere in his mind a conversation began, rather resumed its place in his attention. It was composed not of two voices, but of one, which acted alike ...
— This Side of Paradise • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... and activity rather than of force. I should think it more formidable by its manoeuvres than its charges. Indeed, the tactics of Napoleon, who used the legs of his troops more than their muskets, aiming at concentrating masses on important points, goes to show that he depended on alertness instead of bottom. This is just the quality that would be most likely to prevail against your methodical, slow-thinking, and slow-moving German; and I make no question the short, sturdy, nimble legs of the little warriors of this ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... into the other's face. All the eager alertness of only a moment earlier had been wiped away. Thorvald was no longer the man he had known, but in some frightening way a husk, holding a quite different personality. The younger Terran answered his fear with an attack from the old days of rough in-fighting in the Dumps of Tyr. He brought ...
— Storm Over Warlock • Andre Norton

... as minute an examination as was possible under the circumstances. Only two amongst them appeared open to suspicion. Of these, one was a young man whose naturally fine features would have prepossessed him in my favor had it not been for the peculiar alertness of his bright blue eye, which flashed incessantly in every direction till each and all of us seemed to partake of his restlessness and anxiety. Why was he not depressed? The other was the girl, or, rather, the young lady to whose pretty foot ...
— The Bronze Hand - 1897 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... on one side, complete the description, and "give the world assurance of the man." And, with his light, firm, well-shaped figure, his clear complexion, his keen, bright eye, and features that bespoke the courage, precision, and alertness of his character,—that is to say, features bold, not large, well-defined, and regular,—you might walk long through town or country before you would see a handsomer specimen of humanity than ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... variable as the sands of the sea, as no other artist of the brush has done. Asleep or awake, her cats look to the" felinarian "like cats with whom he or she is familiar. Curiosity, drowsiness, indifference, alertness, love, hate, anxiety, temper, innocence, cunning, fear, confidence, mischief, earnestness, dignity, helplessness—they are all in Mme. Ronner's cats' faces, just as we see ...
— Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. • Clara Erskine Clement

... the slits in the mask, were, however, dark and brilliant. In them could be seen alertness and eagerness, for it was apparent that he had come there hot-foot in search of someone. In any case he had a difficult task, for in the whirling, laughing, chattering crowd each person resembled the other save for ...
— Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo • William Le Queux

... the sharp, upturned point of its murderous horn, was upon his antagonist, and I caught my breath sharply, fully expecting to see the man impaled, or at least tossed high in the air. But instead I beheld as splendid an exhibition of courage and alertness as I think I have ever witnessed, for the man, firmly standing his ground to the very last fraction of a second, sprang nimbly to one side at the precise moment when, as it seemed, the point of the horn was about to be dashed into his naked body, and then, as the great beast ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... and the spirit which he evoked in the reader? He stood for the very spirit of intelligence in his time. He made his readers respect ideas, and want to have as many as possible. He enveloped them in an atmosphere of mental curiosity and alertness, and put them in contact with novel and attractive themes. In particular, he took their minds to the Continent and made them feel that they were becoming cosmopolitan by knowing Joubert; or at home, he rallied them in opposition ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... as to the Italian soldier. He is a type by himself which differs from the earnest solidarity of the new French army, and from the businesslike alertness of the Briton, and yet has a very special dash and fire of its own, covered over by a very pleasing and unassuming manner. London has not yet forgotten Durando of Marathon fame. He was just such another easy smiling youth as I now see everywhere around me. Yet there came a day ...
— A Visit to Three Fronts • Arthur Conan Doyle

... respect she was absolutely in harmony with my father, and that was in her sympathy with the poor and in quiet, unparaded determination to hold out a helping hand to all that sought it. She had imagination, and she sent it on errands of good-will. I think my brother inherited from her his alertness of mind and not a little of his ...
— Memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid 1842-1885 • Stuart J. Reid, ed.

... others have treated it, but the colour seems to fade from their artist characters when a comparison is made between them and Shubin. And yet Turgenev's is but a sketch of an artist, compared with, let us say, the admirable figure of Roderick Hudson. The irresponsibility, alertness, the whimsicality and mobility of Shubin combine to charm and irritate the reader in the exact proportion that such a character affects him in actual life; there is not the least touch of exaggeration, ...
— On the Eve • Ivan Turgenev

... moment's hesitation he stole cautiously to the window, and seeing Frost was engaged in conversation with Jesse, he sprang back with quick steps to the cabinet. He hastily ran the tips of his fingers along the beveled edges of the wide shelf from end to end several times, each time the expression of alertness deepening into one of disappointment. He stopped for a moment and listened. All was quiet. Again with quick motions he felt beneath the edges. Suddenly his eyes brightened and he breathed quickly; his sensitive fingers had detected a slight unevenness in the smooth woodwork. ...
— The Inn at the Red Oak • Latta Griswold

... his chair with the alertness of a man who had been accustomed to follow his impulse. In his joy over his friend's good fortune he forgot his embarrassment, forgot that he was a stranger; forgot that he alone, perhaps, was the only young man in the room whose life and training ...
— Peter - A Novel of Which He is Not the Hero • F. Hopkinson Smith

... to his feet and walked to where the men's two horses were picketed. Both horses were standing with ears cocked and their heads held high in the direction of the mountains. Their attitude was the acme of alertness. As the man came up they turned towards him and whinnied as if in relief at the knowledge of his presence. But almost instantly turned again to gaze far out into the night. Wonderful indeed is a horse's instinct, but even more wonderful ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... more alertness than alarm here; in fact, at present it is a mere trifle—in three days twenty-eight persons. Nothing like the disorders which rage unheeded every year and every day among the lower orders. It is its name, its suddenness, ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination. His hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, yet he was possessed of ...
— A Study In Scarlet • Arthur Conan Doyle

... his object in existence—he lives to be cured. His mind is fully occupied; his fancy eternally on the wing. Formerly he had travelled much, but without any pleasure in movement: he might as well have stayed at home. Now, when he travels, it is for an end; it is delightful to witness the cheerful alertness with which he sets about it. He is going down the Rhine;—for its scenery? Pshaw! he never cared a button about scenery; but he has great hopes of the waters at Kreuznach. He is going into Egypt;—to see the Pyramids? Stuff! the climate on the Nile is so ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851 • Various

... has already been outlined that to make a successful approach one needs particular qualifications. There are four essentials: First, mental alertness in perceiving; Second, good memory for retaining the impressions received; Third, constructive imagination in planning the approach; Fourth, friendly courage in securing an audience and in making the actual approach to the mind ...
— Certain Success • Norval A. Hawkins

... of explanation, I suggested that we go out and hear the singing of the "troupe." To this she consented, and rose quietly—she never did anything hurriedly or with girlish alertness—and put on her hat. Although so young, she had the dignity of a woman, and her face, pale as a silver moon, was calm and sweet, only her big gray eyes expressed the maiden mystery. She read my adoration and was a ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... the light being upon him, she gave him a steady look. He was not nearly so much like Guy as she had thought the previous night, though undoubtedly there was a strong resemblance. On a closer inspection she did not think him handsome, but the keen alertness of him attracted her. He looked as if physical endurance were a quality he had brought very near to perfection. He had the stamp of the gladiator upon him. He ...
— The Top of the World • Ethel M. Dell

... their protracted orgy was plainly visible in the bloodshot eyes and heavy movements of both men. And it was more from force of long habit than from any sense of alertness or premonition of danger that they crouched in the thicket and watched the smoke curl from the little iron stovepipe that protruded above ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... alertness was that of a ruffled, bellicose bird defending its mate. "If Thor's worried about your father, he can spare himself the trouble. He can leave that to me. I'll take care of him. What he needs is rest. When everything is settled I mean to take him away. Of course we can't go this winter. If we ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... he was told, and entered the long, softly-lighted hall. Perhaps the sunshine had dazzled his eyes a little, but at that instant he thought it was a young girl who was advancing to meet him. The figure was so rounded and graceful, and there was such alertness and youthfulness in the bearing; but as she came closer to him he saw that her ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... De Savignac now sat with his chin sunk heavily in his hands, drinking in the melody with its spirited accompaniment as the cymballist's flexible hammers flew over the resonant strings, the violins following the master in the red coat, with that keen alertness with which all real gipsies play. I realized now, what the playing of a gipsy meant to him. By the end of the waltz De ...
— A Village of Vagabonds • F. Berkeley Smith

... so warmly espouses the interests of Alexander against Lord Thanet, who declares himself for Caesar, I dare no longer think of assuming the hero: nevertheless, though I may dance awkwardly, yet, by observing the tune, and with a little alertness, I hope to come off pretty well; besides, Miss Hamilton will take care that too much attention shall not be paid to me. As for my dress, I shall send Termes off tomorrow morning; and if I do not show you at his return the most splendid habit you have ever seen, look upon mine as the ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... angered with himself because through a physical hindrance he has failed to take the place which would otherwise be his. He is proud, it may be, but not fatuous; for shyness as a rule implies a comparative quickness and alertness of intellect: its exceeding sensibility is exclusive of dulness; and it is frequently due to the presence in a reluctant body of a mind endowed with ...
— Apologia Diffidentis • W. Compton Leith

... soldier in spite of his ill-fitting clothes; the American, lank and stomachless, yet taller than the other in spite of his bent shoulders. His tawny beard was guiltless of care. Of all his slack body only his eyes showed alertness as they looked sidewise from under his ...
— A Tar-Heel Baron • Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton

... along the trail with an increasing alertness, and wondering how soon the drill runner would turn off. At last he looked back and gestured to them. They understood. He slipped off the trail into the brush and began going slowly. Once he stopped to whisper to them to be cautious, inasmuch as within a few hundred yards ...
— The Plunderer • Roy Norton

... was almost confined to the visitor and Alice, although the former carefully avoided the shutting out of the hostess from the conversation, in which she was incapable of taking a brilliant part. Jim, in the host's place, sat dumb and still, except for his alertness in anticipating his guest's little wants. Guthrie Carey, on her other hand, was equally silent. Neither of the two men heard what she talked about for listening to the mere ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... with an air of patient alertness, ready, he saw, to meet what he had to say and do the best she could with it. He had an irritated apprehension that, as her work through the last few years had lain chiefly in meeting emergencies, so now he was an emergency. And as Dick, poet though ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... soft and brown beneath delicately pencilled brows, and matched the pure oval of her face. But the languorous air of Southern skies was wholly wanting in the sweet sympathy of her glance, and in a certain alertness about the ...
— Other Things Being Equal • Emma Wolf

... fine swimmer, but no one could swim in such a sea. It was only good fortune and his alertness ...
— Story Hour Readers Book Three • Ida Coe and Alice J. Christie

... was the overwhelming stillness of the building, possibly a natural alertness indicative of her fear, that allowed Jinnie to catch the echoes of footsteps at the farther end of the corridor. But before she got to the door, a key grated in the lock, and the man who had brought her there was standing beside her. Their eyes met in a clinging, challenging ...
— Rose O'Paradise • Grace Miller White

... said, tearing open the envelope. As he read the contents, his shoulders sank to their habitual stoop and benignity once more shone in the place of alertness. "Decidedly, fate is not with your Excellency to-day. M. Jacobi writes me that four millions have already been disposed of to M. Everard & Co., English bankers in the Konigstrasse, who are representing a French firm in this particular instance. I am ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... look unconcerned. I think I must have seen this with my ears, as both eyes were fully occupied in searching a way through the surging current of street traffic, but I did see it. I was pleased to find that I was the better actor of the two, for Gotteland's attitude revealed a strained alertness. He was like a woman sitting beside a driver of skittish horses, saying to herself: "No, I won't scream or seize the reins till ...
— The Princess Passes • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... for ability, keenness, alertness and capacity, and in proportion as you limit these qualifications by lack of sleep, so in proportion will your ...
— Dollars and Sense • Col. Wm. C. Hunter

... kind of work a man does determines which organs shall claim more than their share of blood and energy. The man who sets type develops keenness of vision and manual dexterity. The stoker develops the muscles of his arms and back, the engineer alertness of eye and ear. All sorts of devices have been invented to aid this specialization of particular organs, as well as to correct their imperfections: the magnifying glass, the telescope, the microscope, extend the powers of the eye; the spectacle or ...
— Civics and Health • William H. Allen

... that whirled round, chasing one another and becoming entangled in Mariana's feverish brain. Pressing her lips closely together and folding her arms like a man, she sat down by the window at last and remained immovable, straight up in her chair, all alertness and intensity, ready to spring up at any moment. She had no desire to go to Tatiana and work; she wanted to wait alone. And she sat waiting obstinately, almost angrily. From time to time her mood seemed strange and incomprehensible ...
— Virgin Soil • Ivan S. Turgenev

... of the officer in command, and the alertness and courage of the Rangers, had saved Fort William ...
— French and English - A Story of the Struggle in America • Evelyn Everett-Green

... blue eyes and decided to probe no further. Instead, he wandered about, inspecting the instruments. A few minutes later, with a spaceman's indefinable alertness, he felt a change in ...
— This World Must Die! • Horace Brown Fyfe

... talking books and poetry, showing us the octagonal room he had built out for his 60,000 selected letters—among them "hundreds from the Queen"—his library, the park, and the old keep. As I wrote to my father, his amazing intellectual and physical vigor, and the alertness with which, leading the way, he "skipped up the ruins of the keep," were enough "to make a Liberal Unionist thoughtful." Ulysses was for the time in exile, but the "day of ...
— A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... bench holding a number of retorts, beside which flamed an oxyacetylene blowpipe. He was a wizened little chap, with scrawny neck and protruding Adam's apple. His long hair gave no evidence of the use of the comb, and his hands were the hands of Esau. He had an alertness that suggested a robin, but at the same time gave the impression that he looked through things rather than at them. On the mantel was a saucer containing the fast oxidizing cores of several apples and a half-eaten ...
— The Man Who Rocked the Earth • Arthur Train

... artillery, which was near at hand, could have forced a passage. "Had I to besiege Ticonderoga," said Montcalm, "I would ask for but six mortars and two pieces of artillery." But Abercrombie, that evening, hurried the army to the landing place, with such precipitancy, that but for the alertness of Colonel Bradstreet, it would at once have rushed in a mass into the boats. On the morning of the 9th the army embarked and Abercrombie did not rest until he had placed the lake between himself and Montcalm, and even then he sent the artillery ...
— An Historical Account of the Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America • J. P. MacLean

... dust, fasting and sleeplessness had made of this a face whose horror was but increased by the alertness of the eyes, which shone with so shocking a blueness that the woman, finding them unlike any eyes which she had seen before, called them to herself, "evil eyes—the eyes of a ...
— Ambrotox and Limping Dick • Oliver Fleming

... and her other guests were forced to do the talking, for Bertha had not only warned Mart against reminiscence, but had determined to keep a tight hold on her own tongue; and though she listened with the alertness of a bird, she answered only in curt phrase, making "yes" and "no" do their full duty. She perceived that the people round her were of intellectual companionship to the Crego and Congdon circles, and these young men, so ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... corpulent man, with a high complexion, and his clean-shaven jowl and his succession of chins hung in heavy folds. But any suggestion of material grossness was contradicted by the brightness of his rather pale-blue eyes, by his alertness of manner, and by his ...
— The Wonder • J. D. Beresford

... professions or who were engaged in manufacturing or commercial pursuits. Switzerland and Scotland have, in a degree, approached the United States in this particular; but there is no other considerable country where as much mental activity and alertness has been applied to the cultivation of the soil as ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... to seize. All through the summer every one of the six largest Quaker homesteads is filled with guests. The fact cited above that in the summer there comes to the Hill a greater transient population than dwells there through the year, a population of guests, illustrates this lively economic alertness. ...
— Quaker Hill - A Sociological Study • Warren H. Wilson

... origin is doubtless significant, for it may explain his unfailing ardor and gaiety, and his enthusiastic veneration for womanhood. Even those of his friends who deprecated what they considered his scandalous conduct bear testimony to his unfailing and cheerful temperament, his alertness in action, his readiness for any deed of humanity, and his entire freedom from severity. He attracted immense crowds of people of all conditions, especially women, including prostitutes, and his influence ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... imitates action as focussed in a particular mind. And Browning's dramatic genius found its most natural and effective outlet in the wealth of implicit drama which he concentrated in these salient moments tense with memory and hope. The insuppressible alertness and enterprise of his own mind tells upon his portrayal of these intense moments. He sees passion not as a blinding fume, but as a flame, which enlarges the area, and quickens the acuteness, of vision; the background grows alive with moving shapes. To ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... acquaintanceships and her friendships must be scrutinized by her natural protectors and that, altogether, there is a definite but undefined danger in the very atmosphere of the city for the girl or the young woman which demands a constant and protective alertness. ...
— Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls - War on the White Slave Trade • Various

... a fresh-mannered, bright-eyed boy of twenty-three. His breezy alertness, his deference, as to a man who had attained what he aspired to, amused ...
— The Masquerader • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... interior shops was occupied by a second-hand bookseller with an address at Hanbridge. He had never noticed the shop before, or, if he had noticed it, he had despised it. But the chat with Tom Orgreave had awakened in him the alertness of a hunter. The shop was not formally open—Wednesday's market being only half a market. The shopkeeper, however, was busy within. Edwin loitered. Behind the piles of negligible sermons, pietisms, keepsakes, schoolbooks, and 'Aristotles' (tied up in red ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... Utter. Complete. Not even the dots and whorls and specks that are technically called "Visual noise" occurred. A level of mental alertness niggled at him; for nearly twenty-four years it had been a busy little chunk of his mind. It was that section that inspected the data for important program material and decided which was trivial and which was worthy of the Big Boy's ...
— Instinct • George Oliver Smith

... moment or two they sat motionless, listening intently, Buck's face a curious mixture of alertness and surprise. Up to this moment he had taken the whole business rather casually, with small expectation that anything would come of it, but the sound of that shot changed everything. Something was happening, then, after all—something sinister, perhaps, and certainly not far ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... her character. We can see that. The unrest and longing which pervaded her whole being in the old days are gone. A poise and calmness of spirit have taken their place. Even her attitude as she sits there with the shadows flickering over her, is full of a suggestive alertness that expresses an awakened life. The forces that had slumbered so long in her being are fully alive to their duty and their privilege. Yes, Grace Carrington is awake, and happy as a wife and woman should be. She is thinking even now of the richness of effort and opportunity ...
— The Right Knock - A Story • Helen Van-Anderson

... from optical evidence, that J. Augustus Redell was a gambler. He admired Redell's genius for business, the soundness of his decisions, the alertness of his mind and the brilliance of his financial coups, but—he deprecated the younger man's daring. Cappy called it recklessness. By degrees the old gentleman had come to assume a proprietary interest in Gus Redell and the latter's affairs, for the younger man frequently ...
— Cappy Ricks Retires • Peter B. Kyne

... and a criticism of the mere average mortal of his set. The dour urbanity of Kitchener, for instance, is Oriental rather than English, and contrasts strangely with the choleric tradition of the army officer. So the infinite alertness and constant good humour of Roberts has a quality of Latin esprit very foreign to the English temperament. But there are no such peculiarities about French. He is the very essence of ...
— Sir John French - An Authentic Biography • Cecil Chisholm

... since that tragic hour under the reefs two nights before. Without a glance in our direction, he made for the side and stepped ashore. There was a bright light behind him; his form stood out plainly. It had lost the lines of vigor and alertness; it was the figure of a different and ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... would that brighten my faculties of enjoyment! I should run about to see all I have hitherto omitted to seek, with the ardent curiosity of a traveller newly arrived ; and I should hasten to review and consider all I have already beheld, with an alertness of vivacity that would draw information from every object I have as yet looked at with undiscerning tameness. Oh, such a gleam of light would new-model or re-model me, and I should make you present to all my sights, and partake of all the ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 3 • Madame D'Arblay

... himself followed all his guests to the pavilions that had been assigned for their residence. Then all the mechanics and engineers, having completed the arrangements of the sacrifice informed king Yudhishthira of it. Hearing that everything was ready, king Yudhishthira the just, full of alertness and attention, became highly glad along with his brothers all ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... certainly," said the girl with a sort of demure alertness which was somewhat amusing. The boy looked up, and fell to staring at my outlandish attire, but presently reddened and turned his head, as if he knew that he was ...
— News from Nowhere - or An Epoch of Rest, being some chapters from A Utopian Romance • William Morris

... a jaundiced hue, his soft brown eyes set slightly aslant. Although lame, he had an alertness and poise unusual in the sea's spawn of these beaches. In Tahitian, Marquesan, and French, with now and then an English word, he explained that he, a Tahitian marooned on Hiva-oa from a schooner because of a broken leg, wished to pass the tedium of ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... families of daughters, handsome, strong females, rising each day to their indoor work with cheerful alertness,—one to sweep the room, another to make the fire, while a third prepared the breakfast for the father and brothers who were going out to manly labor; and they chatted meanwhile of books, studies, embroidery, discussed the last new poem, or some historical topic started by graver ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... muffled sound of footsteps on the dusty road. He looked up. A dark figure, the figure of a woman, was approaching. Its air of timorous alertness, and its tendency to seek the shadow of the hedge-row, gave him some confidence. He arose, and stepped forward into the ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... with charming alertness at the first intimation of her mother's intentions, now confronted that frigid dame with the subdued radiance of her glance. "Ah, dear mother!" she murmured deprecatingly. Daughterly submissiveness, tender consideration for an invalid's querulous moods, gentle insistence ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... sprang to his feet; lithe, active, eager. Swiftness, alertness, poise, certainty were in every line of his splendid body. His was the assured, resourceful bearing of the man of action, whose hands have kept his head, contrasting sharply with the Miner's heavy and tentative slowness, the awkward self-consciousness of the Easy One, the Objector's ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... de Lery, with a clever movement, got in a savage thrust, from which Lecour only saved himself by extreme alertness with a little graze of the neck. De Lery was the better trained swordsman of the two, and it was evident that his loss in the previous duel was due to his furious recklessness on that occasion. Now that the blood of both was up de Lery had again ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... creatures fearfully approached, bright-eyed, alert, ready to retreat, but eager to investigate for scraps of food that might have been left. Squirrels poised in spruce-trees, leaped boldly through space, or hurried across little open stretches of ground. Meat-hawks, their fluffy plumage smoothed to alertness, swooped here and there. Momentary and hasty scurryings in the dead leaves attested the presence of other animals, faint chirpings and rustlings the presence of other birds, following these their most courageous ...
— The Silent Places • Stewart Edward White

... golden brow; rather short-sighted, with large pupils, and slightly prominent eyes: with a largish nose and wide nostrils, thin cheeks, a heavy chin, strong coloring, she had a fine profile showing much energy and alertness: full face, her expression was more changing, uncertain, complex: her eyes and her cheeks were irregular. She seemed to give revelation of a strong race, and in the mold of that race, roughly thrown together, were manifold incongruous elements, of doubtful and unequal ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... became aware of a growing mental lassitude, a constant sense of effort in talking everlastingly on subjects that called for constant alertness and often reorientation, that I was really aghast and began to look toward the future not only with a sense of helplessness but of intolerable weariness. I used to feel an inclination to turn my head ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... by the keen, professional alertness that transfigured his face at that moment, had eyes and thoughts but for that same blind boy over ...
— Dawn • Eleanor H. Porter

... evacuating the British position was completed in safety on the night of May 3, 1915. The work included the taking with them 780 wounded. Sharpshooters were left in the trenches, however, and they maintained such an appearance of activity and alertness that the Germans kept on shelling the trenches all ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... by force have a very slender claim upon them. The pastor of the local Lutheran Church took pity on this boy who had such disgust for his father's trade, and hired him to work in his garden and run errands. The intelligence and alertness of the lad made him look like ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen • Elbert Hubbard

... unveracity of heart.' Yes, but all unveracity, torpid or fervid, breeds intellectual dimness, and it is this last which prevents us from seeing a way out of the present ignoble situation. We need light more than heat; intellectual alertness, faith in the reasoning faculty, accessibility to new ideas. To refuse to use the intellect patiently and with system, to decline to seek scientific truth, to prefer effusive indulgence of emotion to the laborious and disciplined and candid exploration of new ideas, is not this, ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 2: Carlyle • John Morley

... gravely imperilled his prospects of success in the mighty struggle with wealth, bigotry, and political prejudice. A sense of this fact weighed heavily upon him, but it did not impair his energy or intellectual alertness; indeed, he was one of those rare men whose faculties are ...
— Reminiscences of Charles Bradlaugh • George W. Foote

... rack my brains and invention how at once to elude my mothers vigilance, and procure myself the satisfaction of my impetuous curiosity and longings for this mighty and untasted pleasure. At length, however, a singular chance did at once the work of a long course of alertness. One day that we had dined at an acquaintance over the way, together with a gentlewoman-lodger that occupied the first floor of our house, there started an indispensable necessity for my mother's going down to Greenwich ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... Empire; the Barberry Ape, so called from feeding exclusively on Barberries; the Chimpanzee—an African corruption of Jump-and-see, the name given to the animal by his first European discoverers in compliment to his alertness; the Baboon, a melancholy brute that, as you may observe from his visage, always has the blues; to say nothing of a legion of Red Monkeys, which are ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, Issue 10 • Various

... cover St. Petersburg. If, then, Jerome's division had promptly advanced from Grodno, Bagration would have been cut off and annihilated. The plan failed, partly because Napoleon did not superintend its operation in person, partly because Davout did not cooeperate with sufficient alertness, but chiefly through Jerome's ignorance, slowness, and self-assertion. Bagration turned back, and, descending the Dnieper, placed himself beyond pursuit. For a moment Napoleon contemplated a junction ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. III. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... particular alertness, if not devotion to these phenomena, to appreciate the wide-spread, but late and unexpected glory of the Scarlet Oaks. I do not speak here of the small trees and shrubs, which are commonly observed, and which are now withered, but of the large trees. Most go in and shut their doors, thinking ...
— Excursions • Henry D. Thoreau

... gaze alighted on Wetzel it became riveted there. The hunter's attitude struck him as singular. Wetzel had his face half turned toward the boys romping near him and he leaned carelessly against a white oak tree. But a close observer would have seen, as Alfred did, that there was a certain alertness in that rigid and motionless figure. Wetzel's eyes were fixed on the western end of the island. Almost involuntarily Alfred's eyes sought the same direction. The western end of the island ran out into a long low point covered with briars, ...
— Betty Zane • Zane Grey

... Malcolm Lightener, and she liked the place. It had been a revelation to her following her experience with Bonbright Foote, Incorporated. It INTERESTED her, fascinated her. There was an atmosphere in the tremendous offices—a tension, a SNAPPINESS, an alertness, an efficiency that made Bonbright Foote, Incorporated, seem an anachronism; as belonging in an earlier, more leisurely, less capable century. There was a spirit among the workers totally lacking in her former place of employment; there was an attitude in superiors, and most notable in Malcolm ...
— Youth Challenges • Clarence B Kelland

... truth. But ... she no sooner opened her mouth, than all traits of severity vanished. Her voice was even musical, and her "facon de parler" most gracious. She shewed me the whole establishment with equal good humour and alertness; and I don't know when I ever made such a number of bows (to the several female patients in the wards) within such limited time and space. The whole building has the air of a convent; and there were several architectural relics, perhaps of the end of the fifteenth century, which I only regretted ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... with the renewal of the woodland silence his mind plunged heavily once more into the agonised balancing of hope and fear. But in the end he sprang up with a renewed alertness of eye ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... gestures, that should in given conditions come as naturally, as instinctively as the winking of a menaced eye. A certain order should spring on to his lips without thinking; a certain sign should get itself made, so to speak, without reflection. But all unconscious alertness had abandoned me. I had to make an effort of will to recall myself back (from the cabin) to the conditions of the moment. I felt that I was appearing an irresolute commander to those people who were watching me more ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... Russell on the cheek. The bully roared and the crowd stepped back. Mormon, with the surprising alertness he showed in action, for all his bulk and weight, sprang back, poised for strike or clutch. Miranda Bailey came with a rush and stepped between the two men. Russell foresaw a laugh at his expense and curbed himself, the sooner for his ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn

... early, but he had time to show he could be vigorous and finely eloquent. I remember him most vividly as I saw him presiding at a Commencement dinner, a function which he discharged with extraordinary felicity. He had an alertness, as he stood lithe and graceful, derived perhaps from his strain of Huguenot blood. His wit was excelling, his learning comprehensive and well in hand. He was no more weighed down by his erudition than was David by his sling. Encomium, challenge, ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... M. & T. station, however, the excitement increased, manifesting itself in many ways. The trains came in and went out on their scheduled time, and the routine work went on without variation, but there was a nervous alertness evident everywhere. Train crews stood in little knots about the platform and yards, speculating about the fight whose issue meant much to each of them, but in which they had not as yet been able to take a part. ...
— The Short Line War • Merwin-Webster

... turned and got his hat, and walked with Farnsworth up the street the half-mile to the jail. His face was impassive, but his movements had a new alertness, and Farnsworth noted that he had to walk painfully fast to keep up with this ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... pity, Mr. Hardy is a sly and whimsical chronicler. He does not allow one point of the little jest the gods play on us—the little long-drawn-out jest—to lose its sting. With something of a goblin-like alertness he skips here and there, watching those strange scene shifters at their work. The dual stops of Mr. Hardy's country pipe are cut from the same reed. With the one he challenges the Immortals on behalf of humanity; with the other he plays ...
— Visions and Revisions - A Book of Literary Devotions • John Cowper Powys

... habit," replied Galt with an affectionate glance that softened the shrewd alertness of his look. "My dear and valued friend, a successful politician does not have convictions; he has emotions. Convictions were all right when Madison was President, but that gentleman has been in heaven these many years, and they don't thrive under the present administration. A party ...
— The Voice of the People • Ellen Glasgow

... to the library. By the fire stood a keen-featured, sharp-eyed man of middle height and lithe figure, whose manner and first movements as the door opened showed alertness and energy of character. There was a certain likeness to his brother in the features and dark complexion as well as in a suggestion of unpleasant aggressiveness in the expression of his face, but where ...
— The Hunt Ball Mystery • Magnay, William

... the Path it is only necessary to mention two. The one is Right Effort. A constant intellectual alertness is required. This is not only insisted upon elsewhere in countless passages, but of the three cardinal sins in Buddhism (r[a]ga, dosa, moha) the last and worst is stupidity or dullness, the others being sensuality and ill-will. Right Effort is closely ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 - "Brescia" to "Bulgaria" • Various

... sudden and dangerous sparkle in his eyes. Before any of us could think, the desperate fellow had seized the handle of the stiletto with both hands in a determined effort to withdraw it and die. I had had no time to order my faculties to the movement of a muscle, when Entrefort, with incredible alertness and swiftness, had Arnold's wrists. Slowly Arnold relaxed ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... to-night Alice," he presently said, with a suddenness which took even her alertness by surprise. A flush rose to his dark face and immediately gave way to a grayish pallor. His heart came near stopping on the instant, he was so shocked by his own daring; but he laid a hand on her hair, stroking ...
— Alice of Old Vincennes • Maurice Thompson

... in addition furnish certain data as to his family history, as it relates to insanity, tuberculosis, and certain other diseases. The high standard maintained insures a type of employees which for physical fitness, mental alertness, and ability to handle difficult situations is unsurpassed ...
— Wage Earning and Education • R. R. Lutz

... traveled between Flora's face and his. Under their steady light there was a strange alertness, as if she sat there ready enough to avert whatever threatened, but anxious to draw her skirts aside from it, distrusting the quality, hating to have come in upon anything so dubious. When the hall door opened and ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... lion, and the latter a many-headed beast; and the whole is bounded by sense, which is nothing more than a passive perception of things, and on this account is justly said by Plato, to be rather passion than knowledge; since the former of these is characterized by alertness, and the ...
— Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato • Thomas Taylor

... to the senior; the senior shows consideration for him. The salute is the ancient and universal privilege of fighting men. It is a recognition of a common fellowship in a proud profession. Saluting is an expression of courtesy, alertness, and discipline. The senior is as obliged to return it as the junior is to initiate it. In fact, in the Army particularly, it is not unusual to see the senior salute first. Interservice salutes should be exchanged as punctiliously ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... neck was rather short and his person somewhat too stout. His step was firm and his aspect manly; his voice was clear, but rather weak for so large a body. He was active in all bodily exercises, delighted in riding and hunting, and was an expert swimmer. His excellent health and his physical alertness and endurance can alone explain the astonishing swiftness with which he moved about his vast realm and conducted innumerable campaigns in widely distant regions in startlingly ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... when the sunlight plays on their glossy feathers as the course of the flock is changed. With the rush of a wind of small measure but immense velocity, the flock descends earthwards, among and over the trees, perfecting itself by trials of endurance and intricate alertness. The birds return during the first week in August, in small and silent companies, to reoccupy favourite resorts in common. The nutmeg pigeons are also of exact habit, the time for their return generally coinciding with that of the starlings. This year (1916) both birds were noticed ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... followed in swift succession. The navy, as a result in no small measure of the alertness of Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Department, was ready for the trial by battle. On May 1, Commodore Dewey at Manila Bay shattered the Spanish fleet, marking the doom of Spanish dominion in the Philippines. On July 3, the Spanish ...
— History of the United States • Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard



Words linked to "Alertness" :   on the qui vive, arousal, alert, jealousy, attention, attentiveness



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