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Inattentive   /ˌɪnətˈɛntɪv/   Listen
Inattentive

adjective
1.
Showing a lack of attention or care.  "An inattentive babysitter"
2.
Not showing due care or attention.  Synonym: neglectful.  "An inattentive babysitter" , "Neglectful parents"



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"Inattentive" Quotes from Famous Books



... always be there. School boys have limited imaginations. I suppose I thought it was an awfully jolly thing to have it there, to know my way back to it, but there was the school tugging at me. I expect I was a good deal distraught and inattentive that morning, recalling what I could of the beautiful strange people I should presently see again. Oddly enough I had no doubt in my mind that they would be glad to see me . . . Yes, I must have thought of the garden that morning ...
— The Door in the Wall And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... of my study, and the social sphere that in which I principally moved; but I was not inattentive to inanimate nature, nor unmindful of the past. If the scope of virtue were to maintain the body in health, and to furnish its highest enjoyments to every sense, to increase the number, and accuracy, and order of our intellectual stores, no virtue was ever more ...
— Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist - (A Fragment) • Charles Brockden Brown

... an eye and ear witness. They are trifles, but trifles consecrated by his name. They are genuine; and the philosopher knows how to value the indications of a great and heroic character. There are among them some which may occasion an inattentive reader to forget that they are all the speeches and the actions of ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... inattentive, took no heed of these contortions. After a moment's pause he rapped sharply on the door with the knob of his walking-stick, then boldly lifted the latch and ...
— Hocken and Hunken • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... when it occurred to him, as nothing unusual was visible, that it was All Fools' Day. He was very playful and indulgent; he kept a "squash" racquet ball on his desk, and could throw it with accurate aim if he noticed a boy dreaming or inattentive. He would never when scoring the marks enter a 0, even after an abject failure, always saying, "Give him ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... these conversations were simply dialectic games in the taste of the period, games a little pedantic, and fatiguing from subtilty. The boisterous Licentius did not always enjoy himself. He was often inattentive; and his master scolded him. But all the same, the master understood how to amuse his two foster-children while he exercised their intelligence. At the end of one discussion he ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... can not be lost upon a people who have never been inattentive to the effect of their policy upon the institutions they have created for themselves, but at the present moment their force is augmented by the necessity which a decreasing revenue must impose. The check lately given to importations ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Martin van Buren • Martin van Buren

... account of all the little household at Abel Cottage. Mr Brass, who seemed remarkably inattentive and impatient, mounted on his stool, and beckoning him to come nearer, took him by ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... the following attempt to interpret and to make intelligible, even to the most inattentive reader, the creed of one of the most powerful of those teachers and preachers who have taken such mysterious and uncanny possession of the soul of the German nation. Before 1914 none except a few initiated had ever heard of Treitschke. Since 1914 he has become a household name and a name of evil ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... gross, hasty, malicious, nefarious, obstreperous, peevish, restless, savage, tart, unpleasant, violent, waspish, worrying, acrimonious, blustering, careless, discontented, fretful, growling, hateful, inattentive, malignant, noisy, odious, perverse, rigid, severe, teasing, unsuitable, angry, boisterous, choleric, disgusting, gruff, hectoring, incorrigible, mischievous, negligent, offensive, pettish, roaring, sharp, sluggish, snapping, snarling, sneaking, sour, testy, tiresome, tormenting, ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... The little novelist was palpably uncertain as to whom the name belonged. He was not only Unitarian by theology, but inattentive by profession; and, moreover, he had but just returned from a copy-hunting trip in the direction ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... increasing. No recent census had been taken when I was at Tiberias, but I know that the congregation of fleas which attended at my church alone must have been something enormous. It was a carnal, self-seeking congregation, wholly inattentive to the service which was going on, and devoted to the one object of having my blood. The fleas of all nations were there. The smug, steady, importunate flea from Holywell Street; the pert, jumping puce from hungry France, the wary, watchful pulce with his poisoned stiletto; the vengeful ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... existed nor one it is now able, in some oracular fashion, to formulate and to impose upon us. The report is a rational construction based and seated in present experience; it has no cogency for the inattentive and no existence for the ignorant. Although the universe, then, may not have come from chaos, human experience certainly has begun in a private and dreamful chaos of its own, out of which it still only partially and momentarily emerges. The history of this awakening ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... strangely inattentive, and in desperation Cheon humbled himself and apologised handsomely for former scoffings. Not chance, he said, but genius! Never was there white woman like the missus! "Him savey all about," he ...
— We of the Never-Never • Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn

... crystallised, caused him to see a rapid vision of de Batz sneaking into his lodgings and stealing his keys, the guard being slack, careless, inattentive, allowing the adventurer to pass barriers that should have been closed against ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... nor was Apollo inattentive to his father, but he descended from the Idaean mountains to the grievous conflict. Immediately removing noble Sarpedon out of [the reach of] weapons, and bearing him far away, he laved him in the stream of the river, anointed him with ambrosia, ...
— The Iliad of Homer (1873) • Homer

... doctor's, or this?" said the inattentive and thirsty major, fetching a deep breath, as he put down the huge glass tumbler ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... 'I think it can only be the inspiration of the tartans; for, though Waverley be always a young fellow of sense and honour, I have hitherto often found him a very absent and inattentive companion.' ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... you are!" she said with a little pout. She was not accustomed to have men inattentive when she ...
— Through the Wall • Cleveland Moffett

... might have been a decade. I explained my business, and we sat down to a supper of fish, freshly caught, which he served himself. And during supper he gave me the information I was come after. But I lent only an inattentive ear to his talk. For my knowledge of his wealth, the picture of him as he sat in his great sea-boots and coarse seaman's vest, as though it was the most natural garb in the world, and his easy discourse about those far African rivers, made a veritable jumble of ...
— Ensign Knightley and Other Stories • A. E. W. Mason

... nations at once. Seeing England threatening France every day in every way and by all the means at her disposal, these hypnotised patriots with fixed and staring eyes, see only England and nothing else! No matter what misdeeds Germany may commit, they scarcely trouble to turn towards her their inattentive gaze. Some of them, even, whose lips are tightened with anger when they think of London, smile with a vague feeling of good-will at the thought of Berlin. And yet the other enemy, the German, emboldened by our absorption, is more ready to oppress the weak, reveals himself ...
— The Schemes of the Kaiser • Juliette Adam

... observed finally, looking across at him with a critically questioning smile. "A certain amount of non-responsiveness to my advances I can put up with—from a brother—but this morning you are positively inattentive. Tell me your troubles at once. Has Harris been bothering you, or did you lose a lot of ...
— Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... she thought in an inattentive manner, 'What a remarkably quiet sleeper Mr. Manston must be!' The upper bed-clothes were flung back, certainly, but the bed was scarcely disarranged. 'Anybody would almost fancy,' she thought, 'that he had made ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... which have marked the annals of France in the interval, the interest excited by her story is as fresh and engrossing as ever; that such as Hecuba and Andromache were to the ancients, objects never named to inattentive ears, never contemplated without lively sympathy, such still is their hapless queen to all honest and intelligent Frenchmen. It may even be said that that interest has increased of late years. The respectful and remorseful pity which her fate could not fail to ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... been fancy, but Davies, though he had fits and starts of vivacity, seemed very inattentive, considering that we were sitting at the feet of so expansive an oracle. It was I who elicited most of the practical information—details of time, weather, and likely places for shooting, with some shrewd hints as to the kind of people to conciliate. Whatever he thought of me, ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... I shoulder our sketch-books, and go out to misrepresent Nature, under your directions. Drawing is her favourite whim, mind, not mine. Women can't draw—their minds are too flighty, and their eyes are too inattentive. No matter—my sister likes it; so I waste paint and spoil paper, for her sake, as composedly as any woman in England. As for the evenings, I think we can help you through them. Miss Fairlie plays delightfully. For my own poor part, I don't know one note of music from the other; but I can match ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... through the sunlit garden, Dot chattering gaily as her fashion was about nothing in particular while Anne walked beside her in sympathetic silence. Anne was never inattentive though there were some who deemed ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... fruits. He would carve her initials on the bark of the tree beneath the window, as her name is written on his heart. But you! you come at nearly noon—and leave me to attend to myself. 'Twas I, you inattentive Daphnis, who gathered all these fruits and flowers. Don't you see how the room is improved? Hyacinths in the window, roses on the mantelpiece, and violets every where—ah! what a time ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - April 1843 • Various

... gaol. He had finally effected a hazardous and ever-memorable migration from Algeciras to Cimiez, but only by acting as chauffeur for a help-abandoned, gout-ridden, and irritable-minded ex-ambassador to Persia, together with a scrupulously inattentive trained nurse, who, apparently, preferred diamonds to a uniform, and smuggled incredible quantities of hand-made lace under the tonneau seat-cushions. And then he had found himself at Monte Carlo, still waiting for word from Paris, fighting against a grim ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... only to what is essential, constant, and characteristic in objects, and disregarding what is variable and accidental.[46] Thus, we attend, in the first place, to the form of objects, the most constant and characteristic element of all, being comparatively inattentive to colour, which varies with distance, atmospheric changes, and mode of illumination. So we attend to the relative magnitude of objects rather than to the absolute, and to the relative intensities of light and shade rather than to the absolute; for ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... so different that he could hardly be considered to be made of clay at all. He was lame and short and meagre, with strings of peaceful beads and Papuan aprons in his hall instead of wild tiger-skins, and had a jerky, inattentive manner and a high pitched voice. Yet to Miss Mapp's mind there was something behind his unimpressiveness that had a mysterious quality—all the more so, because nothing of it appeared on the surface. Nobody could call Major Flint, ...
— Miss Mapp • Edward Frederic Benson

... the least judgment in men, he will be a cold, civil, inattentive husband; a tasteless, insipid, silent companion; a tranquil, frozen, unimpassion'd lover; his insensibility will secure her from rivals, his vanity will give her all the drapery of happiness; her friends will congratulate her choice; she will be the envy of her own sex: without giving positive ...
— The History of Emily Montague • Frances Brooke

... agriculture or to wrangle with William Henry Matier on what was and what was not a fair day's work. But now, Henry began to scheme to be alone. On the day after he had taken Sheila Morgan to her uncle's farm, he had been so restless and inattentive during his morning's work that Marsh had asked ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... growing chill—playing games, or listening to Jacqueline's music, or telling stories like children, until nine o'clock; at which hour Mrs. Kildare assembled her household, white and black, read a few prayers in a firm but inattentive manner, and sent everybody ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... meantime, while he thought only of amusement, Mr. Glastonbury was not inattentive to his more important interests; for the truth is that this excellent man had introduced him to the family only with the hope of interesting the feelings of the Duke in his behalf. His Grace was a man of a generous disposition. He ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... flesh and the fruits of the Spirit must be distinctly pointed out. To preach against sin in general without descending to particulars may lead many to complain of the evil of their hearts, while at the same time they are awfully inattentive to the evil of their conduct.' Take Evangelist's noble counsels at the gate of Vanity Fair, and then take John Bunyan's masterly description of the Fair itself, with all that is bought and sold in it, and you will have a lesson in evangelical preaching that the evangelical pulpit needed ...
— Bunyan Characters - First Series • Alexander Whyte

... herself in a natural way, spoke freely, was entirely oriented and her mood generally presented nothing striking. But her mental attitude was still peculiar when she was questioned. She seemed somewhat inattentive, sulky, sneering. Thus, when asked why she was here, she said, "You will have to ask those who ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... she was not inattentive. The dark chancel with its flowers and incense, the rich dresses and slow movements of the priests, the excitement of the processional hymns—these things caught her and held her. Her look was fixed and eager all the time. ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Mrs. Barry; Gustavus by Booth; and Christina by Mrs. Harcourt. In spite of this galaxy of talent, the reception of the play was unfavourable. The Duchess of Marlborough "and all her beauteous family" graced the theatre on the first night, but the public was cold and inattentive. Some passages of a particularly lofty moral tone provoked laughter. The Revolution in Sweden, in fact, was shown to suffer from the ineradicable faults which Congreve had gently but justly suggested. It was very long, and very dull, and very wordy, and we could scarcely find a more deadly ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... was given: On the day before the murder, she and her sister were sitting with the old ladies in a room fronting to the street; the elder ladies were reading, the younger ones drawing. Louisa, the youngest, never had her ear inattentive to the slightest sound, and once it struck her that she heard the creaking of a foot upon the stairs. She said nothing, but, slipping out of the room, she ascertained that the two female servants were in the kitchen, and could not have been ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... had never denied anything in her life, except the biblical sanction for the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, shook her head gently and began to talk in the inattentive and anxious manner she had acquired at scantily furnished tables. Ever since the war, with the exception of the Reconstruction period, when she had lived practically on charity, she had managed to exist with serenity, and numerous negro dependents, on the rector's salary of a thousand ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... debauched by the nature of the service. They are crowded together in transports, where the minute particulars of military order cannot be observed, even though the good of the service greatly depends upon a due observance of these forms. The soldiers grow negligent, and inattentive to cleanness and the exterior ornaments of dress: they become slovenly, slothful, and altogether unfit for a return of duty: they are tumbled about occasionally in ships and boats, landed and re-embarked in a tumultuous ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... crowd. Stefan had moved with Felicity toward her sofa, and, as she disposed herself, she seemed to be talking to him in French. McEwan and Farraday continued their survey. Mary was surrounded by people, but her eyes strayed across the room. Felicity appeared almost animated, but Stefan seemed inattentive; he fidgeted, and ...
— The Nest Builder • Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

... is no such thing as inattention; when pupils appear inattentive, they are singly attentive to something more interesting ...
— Principles of Teaching • Adam S. Bennion

... She had ridden here through this storm, she had come all the way from El Toyon, for he had not been inattentive while he had been just outside the door before Wanda left the room, and she did not know a single person on the ranch. The very reason for her presence here was a ...
— The Short Cut • Jackson Gregory

... Ambassadors, and three or four other public men and Members of Parliament, but to nobody of my friends and relations. It is printed with my name, and, I believe, will be published by Longman.... I am very happy that you have not been inattentive to my suggestion on the subject of Topography. When I ventured to recommend the pursuit to you, I did not for a moment suppose that it was to interfere with your appropriate duties as a parish priest; far otherwise: but I know ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth

... Queen and the Infanta in good humour, encouraging the Princesses in many little indulgences suitable to their age and sex, especially in the article of dress, in which their royal mother was more than inattentive. This line of conduct, coupled with the expected arrival of the Infant, Don Francisco de Paula and his family, who are to be received with every mark of respect, indicates that the present rulers of Spain, aware of their critical situation, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, October 2, 1841 • Various

... embarrassments and interruptions enabling me to do so. Ernest was acting as clerk, and occasionally prompted the speaker when his eloquence failed him, or reproved members of the congregation, which consisted of the two nurses and the other children, who were inattentive. Charles spoke with a good deal of unction, and had quite a professional air when he looked down on the big open book, referred to one or other of the smaller ones at his side, or directed looks of reprehension at this or that hearer. You would ...
— The Vicar's Daughter • George MacDonald

... aircraft make manifest and convincing is this point, which argument alone has never been able to hammer into the mass of inattentive minds, that if the human intelligence is applied continuously to the mechanism of war it will steadily develop destructive powers, but that it will fail to develop any corresponding power of decision and settlement, because the development ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... or I am more dull and inattentive, for I cannot fix my Minde on my Book, and am secretlie wearie, Robin wearies too. But I will not give up as yet; the more soe as in this quiete Studdy I am out of Sighte and Hearinge of sundrie young Officers ...
— Mary Powell & Deborah's Diary • Anne Manning

... veil had fallen from his eyes. He saw the difference between the desire of admiration, and a simple love of truth and honor, too plainly, to cause him to hesitate a moment longer in his choice between two so opposite in their characters. And yet, to the eye of an inattentive observer nothing occurred during the progress of Mrs. Walshingham's party more than ordinarily takes place on such occasions. All seemed pleased and happy, and Melvina the happiest of the whole. And yet she had signally failed in her ...
— Home Lights and Shadows • T. S. Arthur

... at home, was slow and generally inattentive in class hours, and had a bad record with his teachers, he always brought home the most wretched reports; at which his father, a tall, carefully dressed gentleman with meditative blue eyes, who always wore ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... own—ou zetei ta heautes—that is, she is not selfish. Charity neglects not altogether her own concerns, or her own interests, but does not attend to them exclusively; does not so attend to them, as to be unmindful of, or inattentive to, the interests and ...
— Advice to a Young Man upon First Going to Oxford - In Ten Letters, From an Uncle to His Nephew • Edward Berens

... scenery, in some unaccountable way, seemed less attractive to him, the songs of the birds, who were all awake, fell on inattentive ears; he was haunted by her face and voice, and he was, moreover, a little out of humor with himself for having been such a blunderer as to give her offense and thus leave an unfavorable impression on ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... Algernon into full-grown men. I shall be interested in hearing what Harry is like especially; he was a great favourite of mine when a boy. He has now become a fine gallant officer. I wish I could let him know how much I should like to see him; for although Sir Ralph and Lady Castleton have been so inattentive, we should not, therefore, feel the less regard for their son, and I am sure he would not hesitate to come, if he ...
— Won from the Waves • W.H.G. Kingston

... you heard, my brave young friend. Never had people on a single throw More interest at stake; when he, who held For us the die, prov'd false, and play'd us foul. But for a circumstance of that nice kind, Of cause so microscopic, that the tongues Of inattentive men call it the effect Of chance, we must have lost the ...
— Andre • William Dunlap

... muscles in the affected parts is so prominent a symptom, as to be very liable to mislead the inattentive, who may regard the disease as a mere consequence of constitutional debility. If this notion be pursued, and tonic medicines, and highly nutritious diet be directed, no benefit is likely to be thus obtained; since the disease depends not on general weakness, but merely ...
— An Essay on the Shaking Palsy • James Parkinson

... are not more inattentive than they generally are, everywhere, to their business; their carelessness and want of conscience about it is nothing new to me, and all my bygone professional experience had fully prepared me for it. The ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... to a side-table, and Charlotte and I resumed our talk until the candles came, and close behind them uncle Joe. I fear I must have seemed a very inattentive lover during that brief interval, for I could not concentrate my thoughts upon the subject of our discourse. My mind would wander to the strange discovery that I had just made, and I could not refrain from asking myself whether by any extraordinary chance my ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... it is probable, only the elder son availed himself, as Richard, who seems to have been determined to owe all his excellence to nature alone, was found as impracticable a pupil at home as at school. But, however inattentive to his studies he may have been at Harrow, it appears, from one of the letters of his school-fellow, Mr. Halhed, that in poetry, which is usually the first exercise in which these young athletae of intellect try their strength, he had already distinguished himself; ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... the last to be grilled and passed, found himself as little inclined for sleep as the most timorous soul on board. Selecting an American novel from the ship's library, he repaired to the smoking room, where, established in a corner apart, he became an involuntary and, at first, a largely inattentive, eavesdropper upon an animated debate involving some eight or ten gentlemen at a table in the middle of the saloon—its ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... pacing up and down the deck in his absorbed and inattentive way, dropped his blade across my shoulder and challenged me ...
— The Black Wolf's Breed - A Story of France in the Old World and the New, happening - in the Reign of Louis XIV • Harris Dickson

... not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his ...
— The Writings of Thomas Jefferson - Library Edition - Vol. 6 (of 20) • Thomas Jefferson

... their own to make her happy. Julia brought lots of sunshine into their home, and everything went all right and they took a great deal of comfort with her till she got to be about fourteen and then she seemed to become stubborn, grew inattentive to her studies, seemed to care less for her girl companions, but was always with the boys. All she appeared to care for was to be in their company. She took less interest in things in the house, did not care about helping her mother, and would have ...
— A California Girl • Edward Eldridge

... been, that of the Interpreter only, in the 'Pilgrim's Progress;' and I trust that Mr. Courthope will therefore forgive my arranging his long cadence of continuous line so as to come symmetrically into my own page, (thus also enforcing, for the inattentive, the rhymes which he is too easily proud to insist on,) and my division of the whole chorus into equal strophe and antistrophe of six lines each, in which, counting from the last line of the stanza, the reader can easily catch the word to which ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... steal, but this time were made to sit outside a line drawn on the sand, some twenty paces from the camp—an arrangement they appeared highly to disapprove of, giving expression to their dissatisfaction in a manner anything but polite; finding, however, that we were inattentive to their impertinence so long as they confined it to harmless display, they watched their opportunity, and suddenly set fire to the grass in several places at once around the camp, and ran off as hard as they ...
— Journals of Australian Explorations • A C and F T Gregory

... symptoms are those of a rapidly developing fever, which becomes intense within a very short period. The animal becomes dejected and inattentive to surrounding objects; stands with its head down, and not back on the halter as in serious lung diseases. In the flanks, the muscles of the croup and of the shoulders, or of the entire body it has chills lasting ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... in composing a planetary system: as if shepherds had occasion to know more than the polar star; and if necessity was not the sole motive of every invention! If the ancient shepherds were so studious and sagacious, how does it happen that the modern ones are so stupid, ignorant, and inattentive? And it is a fact that the Arabs of the desert know not so many as six constellations, and understand not a ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... now, still with that expression of a saint at the stake, but obviously inattentive to her literary opinions. Before she ...
— The Gorgeous Isle - A Romance; Scene: Nevis, B.W.I. 1842 • Gertrude Atherton

... cherries on one stalk (so precious therefore!), placed neatly, spread out to look much, not without consciousness of the greatness of the sacrifice. They have not, those two little angels, forgotten, I am sure, the gift they have brought, during that rather weary music-making before the inattentive Madonna. They keep on thinking how Christ will awake to find all those precious things, and they steel their little hearts to the sacrifice. The little bird who has come (invited for like reason) and perched on the curtain bar, understands it all, respects their feelings, ...
— Renaissance Fancies and Studies - Being a Sequel to Euphorion • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... a horseman was seen riding, one lovely afternoon in September. The air of the rider was that of a man to whom the scene was perfectly familiar, but who seemed busy with thoughts that made him inattentive to its beauties. His sunburnt countenance, and an indescribable something in his whole appearance, that the experienced eye of a member of the same fraternity only could discern, announced that he was one of those that ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... notwithstanding the fact that he had been a great reader and student of books, he now, in this particular hour of his own emergency, completely forgot what all the most astute and learned writers have always expounded to an inattentive world— namely, the fact that crime holds within itself the seed of punishment. Sometimes that seed ripens quickly,—sometimes it takes years to grow,—but it is always there. And it generally takes root in a mere, slight circumstance, so very commonplace and ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... me to say that I stand here unconnected with this great community. It would be mere affectation not to acknowledge that with respect to local questions I have much to learn; but I hope that you will find in me no sluggish or inattentive learner. From an early age I have felt a strong interest in Edinburgh, although attached to Edinburgh by no other ties than those which are common to me with multitudes; that tie which attaches every man ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... simple-minded minister who is withdrawn from the world, and given to prayer, and a careful observer of his religion, and who will make the Indians feel that he lives as a saint, is worth more than twenty who are inattentive to their duties, and who cannot remain an hour in their cells. These virtues and other similar ones, without which a religious can not maintain himself, can ill be acquired by the religious when they go alone and are so separated as you wish. Would to God that I might see in every house for ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume VIII (of 55), 1591-1593 • Emma Helen Blair

... if her eyes had found defects innumerable, which seemed the less likely, as she also was shortsighted. As her governess was away visiting a sick relative, Miss Lucy did the honours of the schoolroom. She was cold and inattentive at first, became patronizing at tea, and ended by being gracious. In her gracious mood she was both affectionate and confidential. She called us 'my dear girls,' put her arms round us as we sat in the dark, and ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... mind to ignore it, he seemed, just as plainly, to be able to think of nothing else. He seemed unwilling to be alone, and yet to be very bad company, for he was restless, silent, and, when Oliver, with an effort, tried to talk of cheerful things, was completely inattentive. They went into the garden at last to see how the flowers were faring. The sunshine was more unreal than ever, and sudden, fitful gusts of wind were beginning to stir the trees. They had inspected the flowers and were halfway across the lawn on their way to the house when ...
— The Windy Hill • Cornelia Meigs

... my grateful acknowledgments for his kindness, the general, apparently inattentive to all I was saying, paced the room with hurried steps, stopping every now and then to glance at a large map of Spain which covered one wall of the apartment, while he muttered to himself some ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 2 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... Ohio to the West Fork, before an opportunity was presented him of achieving any mischief. Their distance from what was supposed would be the theatre of war, had rendered the inhabitants of that section of country, comparatively inattentive to their safety. Relying on the expectation that the first blow would be struck on the Ohio, and that they would have sufficient notice of this to prepare for their own security, before danger could reach them, many had continued to perform the ordinary ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... commensurate with the outlay.[223] In discussions on bills effecting the enlargement of Australian constitutions, Mr. Gladstone's views came out in clear contrast with the old school. 'Spoke 11/2 hours on the Australian Colonies bill,' he records (May 13,1850), 'to an indifferent, inattentive House. But it is necessary to speak these truths of colonial policy even to unwilling ears.' In the proceedings on the constitution for New Zealand, he delivered a speech justly described as a pattern of close argument and classic oratory.[224] Lord John Russell, adverting ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... apprehension, idealistic of temperament, who time after time submitted themselves blindfold to the tyranny of a single leader, worshipped a man, and asked no questions about his policy? How was he to place an aristocracy who refused to lead, and persisted in whining about their wrongs to the inattentive shopkeepers of English towns, gentlemen not wanting in honour and spirit courting a contemptuous bourgeoisie with ridiculous flatteries? In what reasonable scheme of things was it possible to place Protestants, blatant in their boasts about liberty, who hugged subjection to a power which ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... impervious to fatigue, while he rested his eyes on the charming prospect at their feet; the ragged descent of red rocks, broken here and there by patches of burnt grass and pink mallows, the little sea-girt chapel of St. Ampelio, and the waste of violet sea. His inattentive ear was caught at last by the name of Lightmark occurring, recurring, in the light eddy of his companion's speech, and he turned to her with an ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... profession pretty much what the "general servant" of the advertising column is in the scale of domestic service. He must perforce be kind to the poor, and tolerably expert by reason of much practice, and he is generally popular. Dr. Poulain, called in by Mme. Cibot, gave an inattentive ear to the old musician's complainings. Pons groaned out that his skin itched; he had scratched himself all night long, till he could scarcely feel. The look of his eyes, with the yellow circles about ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... could hardly leave her. Yet, in the midst of all, Lord Arleigh saw that she turned to him as the sunflower to the sun. No matter with whom she was conversing, she never for one moment forgot him, never seemed inattentive, listened to him, smiled her brightest on him, while the May sun shone, and the white hawthorn flowers fell on the grass—while the birds chirped merrily, and crowds of bright, happy people ...
— Wife in Name Only • Charlotte M. Braeme (Bertha M. Clay)

... happened to you?" he asked, as he saw the young man was still excited. "I am afraid I am a very inattentive host." ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume II (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... men near me clinging to slippery things they couldn't see, cursing perhaps, or praying their prayers, or perhaps already sliding away, down and down, into the cold, black caves of the sea. And then the shadows seemed to be full of shades, and the surf-tongues were near to catching my inattentive feet. ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... habitually inattentive men could any one talk such nonsense without reproof, but I look in vain through Hansard's record of this debate for a single contemptuous reference to Mr. Chamberlain's obtuseness. And the rest of his ...
— In The Fourth Year - Anticipations of a World Peace (1918) • H.G. Wells

... species; but as they are not able to take exercise themselves, it is the business of their parents and nurses to give it them. This may be done in various ways, and the methods included in the system are shewn in other parts of this work. It is to be regretted that men should be so inattentive to this matter; their negligence is one reason why females know so little of it. Women will always be desirous to excel in such accomplishments as recommend them to the other sex; but men generally avoid even the slightest acquaintance with the affairs of the ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... also a delicate, and no very grateful task, to dissert upon the literature and manners of a nation so dissimilar; and requires an attention and impartiality which would induce us—though perhaps no inattentive observers, nor ignorant of the language or customs of the people among whom we have recently abode—to distrust, or at least defer our judgment, and more narrowly examine our information. The state of literary ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... inattentive, she began to speak with him, and in spite of his indifference, Sir Ulric could but confess that her voice was passing sweet, and her words full of wit and sense. In a long discourse she painted to him the advantage ...
— The Children's Portion • Various

... profoundly ignorant of what was passing between the two officers, though Raoul listened eagerly and so well understood every syllable they uttered. Until this moment the vice governatore had been rather indifferent and inattentive as to what occurred; but the two exclamations of Raoul awakened a vague distrust in his mind, which, while it had no direct object, was certainly pregnant with serious consequences to the Frenchman himself. Deep mortification at the manner in which they had been duped by this ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... produced by some antecedent igneous action of the mountain in times beyond the reach of history; and it is still more remarkable that men should have gone on for so many ages making erections in spots where their works have been so often destroyed, inattentive to the voice of time or the warnings ...
— Consolations in Travel - or, the Last Days of a Philosopher • Humphrey Davy

... soul. For Patty's sake she must control her temper—and she did. With an effort that left her white and tremulous she crushed back the hot words and said quietly: "I beg your pardon, Mrs. Liddell. I did not mean to be inattentive. Let me show you some of our new lingerie waists, I think you will ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... they blush; their eyes are bright; and if they experience unusual ardor they stammer, talk beside the mark, and are scarcely mistress of themselves. At the same time their private parts become hot and swell. All these signs should convince a husband, however inattentive he may be, that his wife craves for satisfaction" (Zacchiae Quaestionum Medico-legalium Opus, lib. vii, tit. iii, quaest. I; vol. ii, p. 624 in ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... and a good deal better. Why so forgetful of all the sacred vows and solemn pledges which you plighted then? Why so constant then and so inconstant now? Why so affable and faithful and loving and attentive then, and why so inattentive and bitter and sullen and neglectful now? Why such a profuseness then in your courtesies and smiles and flowers and gifts and kisses, and why such a lack of them now? Is it because of wrinkles? Is it because of her faded beauty? She has lost it in your service. She has come honestly ...
— The Jericho Road • W. Bion Adkins

... and speak he did for a good, well-sustained half-hour, going out as soon as he had finished." He had been with us at Dockett. He and Sir Charles sparred continually and amusingly, both equally aggressive, imperious, stentorian, iterative, each insistent on his own declamation and inattentive to ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Vol. 2 • Stephen Gwynn

... a door nailed fast, Three kittens sat; each kitten looked aghast. I, passing swift and inattentive by, At the three kittens cast a careless eye; Not much concerned to know what they did there; Not deeming kittens worth a poet's care. But presently, a loud and furious hiss Caused me to stop, and to exclaim, "What's this?" ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... maiden who greeted the visiting swain that night and one so inattentive to his wooing that his silences became long, under discouragement, and his temper sullen. Earlier than was his custom he bade her good-night and ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... the commander of the felucca Captain Brand was by no means an inattentive observer; and, indeed, he was so extremely critical that he stuck the tube of a powerful telescope through an aperture of the curtains around him, and not only looked at his cautious visitor, but he actually watched the expression ...
— Captain Brand of the "Centipede" • H. A. (Henry Augustus) Wise

... all been selfish and neglected him, so we won't fight about it, but try and do better," said Archie, generously taking more than his share of blame, for he had been less inattentive than either of ...
— Eight Cousins • Louisa M. Alcott

... irritability is less than natural, though it is erroneously supposed to be greater; and the mind is busied in exciting a train of ideas inattentive to external objects; when this train of ideas is dissevered by any unexpected stimulus, surprise is excited; as explained in Sect. XVII. 3. 7. and XVIII. 17. then as the sensibility in these cases is greater, fear becomes superadded to the ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. II - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... theories in regard to the proper relation between mistress and maid. Still, he had never supposed that the spirit of domestic regeneration included a system of public endearments. He pondered upon the matter while he was eating his pudding, and it rendered him inattentive to Theodora's views on the origin of totem poles. Theodora saw his inattention, and, with the tact of the true hostess, she promptly changed the subject to one which should be less ponderous and more interesting. Leaving the totem poles, she began ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... "You're the two most inattentive girls in the class!" cried Miss Frazer indignantly one day, after a specially bad lapse of memory. "You both did far better at Winterburn Lodge. I cannot understand why your work should have fallen off so much lately. This is the third time this week you have had bad marks. If it occurs ...
— The Manor House School • Angela Brazil

... Mary's turn to be inattentive, for she was adding a postscript to her letter, which but for ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... host almost inattentive during the remainder of that afternoon. About five o'clock he dispatched a note, addressed "J. H. McPherson, Euclid House," and astonished and delighted his young waiter by an unusually early putting up of shutters, and of putting things generally to rights ...
— Three People • Pansy

... community-sensation of an hysterical and passing type—with sensational disturbances, falling exercises, shouts, weeping, and the like. A revival is something far different. A revival is an awakening of the community heart and mind. It is a quickening of dead, backsliding, or inattentive souls. ...
— The Warriors • Lindsay, Anna Robertson Brown

... public, and have engaged a little in the societies of this city. You can scarcely imagine, my friend, how different the young gentlemen of Naples are from my former associates in the university. You would hardly suppose them of the same species. In Palermo, almost every man was cold, uncivil and inattentive; and seemed to have no other purpose in view than his own pleasure and accommodation. At Naples they are all good nature and friendship. Your wishes, before you have time to express them, are forestalled by the politeness of your companions, and each seems ...
— Italian Letters, Vols. I and II • William Godwin

... was at least one man of the congregation who was neither drowsy nor inattentive. Repeatedly my eyes left the page off which I was reading and glanced towards him. Not once did I find his eyes turned away ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... circumstances wherein he and Harriot then were, his conduct must appear injurious, and shame and the secret reproaches of his conscience made him take all possible opportunities of avoiding her presence: if he was obliged to converse with her, it was with an air so restrained and inattentive as made her fear his regard for her was entirely vanished. The sincere affection she had for him rendered this apprehension extremely painful. She would have been contented to have seen another woman his wife, but could not bear the thought of losing his friendship. At ...
— A Description of Millenium Hall • Sarah Scott

... the inattentive little boy to himself, "I knows who that was." So, this important question settled in his mind, he gave himself up to the full enjoyment of his chum and to the giving and receiving secret signals, the pleasure of which was decidedly enhanced by the ...
— Miss Minerva and William Green Hill • Frances Boyd Calhoun

... confusion; but this might arise from the singular fact of the alarm that had been given, and the equally singular circumstance of his being thus closely interrogated by the collective body of his officers: he, however, persisted in declaring that he had been in no wise inattentive to his duty, and that no cause for alarm or suspicion had occurred near his post. The officers then, in order to save time, separated into two parties, pursuing opposite circuits, and arranging ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... the remark merely to be polite and was turning away. As Susan's reply penetrated to her inattentive mind she looked sharply at her, eyes opening wonderingly. "Did you get lost? Are you a stranger in town? Why didn't you ask ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... the girls thus employed are indifferent to their work. These are the inattentive, listless girls who look about them idly, instead of attending to the needs of possible customers, or who spend more than half the time talking to their friends visiting the store or to their fellow-workers. One large establishment reports that only one third of their staff ...
— The Canadian Girl at Work - A Book of Vocational Guidance • Marjory MacMurchy

... have said a great deal too much of myself; but indeed it is all too true." In similar strain he expressed himself to his wife: "It is very true that I have ever served faithfully, and ever has it been my fate to be neglected; but that shall not make me inattentive to my duty. I have pride in doing my duty well, and a self-approbation, which if it is not so lucrative, yet perhaps affords more pleasing sensations." Thus the consciousness of duty done in the past, and the clear recognition of what duty still demanded in the present ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... and, indeed, the situation, of Caracalla were very different from those of the Antonines. Inattentive, or rather averse, to the welfare of his people, he found himself under the necessity of gratifying the insatiate avarice which he had excited in the army. Of the several impositions introduced by Augustus, the twentieth on inheritances and legacies was the most fruitful, as well as ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... A^2) was contemporary, or nearly so, with the scribe. The other (A^3) was considerably later; he wrote a Roman cursive which might belong to the end of the 1st century A.D., or to the early part of the 2nd. The correctors seem to be generally trustworthy; though, like the scribe, they were inattentive to metre, passing over many metrical faults which could easily have been removed. They appear to have compared their MS. with another, or others; but they sometimes made a bad use of such aid, intruding a false reading where their text ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... She was quite glad to see Mr. Brumley again, and no doubt her eyes showed it. She had hoped to see him. Miss Sharsper was sitting nearly opposite to her, a real live novelist pecking observations out of life as a hen pecks seeds amidst scenery, and next beyond was a large-headed inattentive fluffy person who was Mr. Keystone the well-known critic. And there was Agatha Alimony under a rustling vast hat of green-black cock's feathers next to Sir Markham Crosby, with whom she had been having an abusive controversy in the Times and to whom ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... one exception, Elhannon Howard, Saylor's neighbor. He sat in a listless and inattentive attitude, probably thinking of his patch of hillside corn or ...
— Chit-Chat; Nirvana; The Searchlight • Mathew Joseph Holt

... for ten minutes. I have noticed (through an opera-glass) that the congregation wears a very devout appearance. Churchwarden rooks go round while the service is proceeding, and peck any birds that seem inattentive. At the close there is a universal caw, which I believe stands for "Amen." It is a curious fact that the chaplain rook on these occasions always ornaments himself with a wisp of white grass tied round his neck, which increases his clerical aspect. I have tried to induce the rooks—by ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, 19 April 1890 • Various

... turns he has yielded to them all. Many different situations have been filled by him, and in each, as he now sees, he has either neglected or betrayed his trust. He has been a negligent and bad father, an unreasonable, nay, secretly an unfaithful husband, a careless inattentive brother, a hollow, flattering, and designing friend; perhaps, also, a mean time-serving politician, and even a mischievous common acquaintance. Do you ask what has been the turn of his common conversation? Instead ...
— Stories for the Young - Or, Cheap Repository Tracts: Entertaining, Moral, and Religious. Vol. VI. • Hannah More

... officer touched his arm, and, disregarding his gesture of impatience, drew him aside. The intervener seemed to be reminding him of something; and the Colonel, not inattentive, and indeed suspicious, caught the name "Asgill" twice repeated. But Payton was too angry to care for minor consequences, or to regard anything but how he might most quickly escape from the scene of defeat and the eyes ...
— The Wild Geese • Stanley John Weyman

... which, in these dark days of continual horror, could yet amuse, itself by an exhibition of dancing-dogs, under the blood-dropping stage of the guillotine; their cry was then, [55]"Vive la Mort!" Utterly inattentive to these inconsistencies, the French people continue willingly to cry out whatever rallying word may be given to them by those agents who, working in secret, according to the ruling authorities and the prevailing politics of the day, are employed to excite them. The calamitous ...
— Travels in France during the years 1814-1815 • Archibald Alison

... a disgrace to a prime minister for any hostile attack to be made in the country entrusted to his charge without his knowledge, or that he should be careless or inattentive to the same, rather thinking how to obtain the favour of his prince than to secure the ...
— A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore • W. Basil Worsfold

... had slipped away from my sympathies altogether. Those Beltane fires had burnt something in him that worked living still and unsubdued in me, that rebelled in particular at that return of Nettie. I became a little inattentive. I no longer felt with him, nor gathered a sense of complete understanding from his phrases. His Lord Eros indeed! He and these transfigured people—they were beautiful and noble people, like the people one sees in great pictures, like the ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells



Words linked to "Inattentive" :   attentive, attention, careless, scatty, distrait, oblivious, forgetful, abstracted, absent, oscitant, yawning, dreamy, distracted, woolgathering, negligent, moony, drowsy, absentminded, inattentiveness



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