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Incisive   /ɪnsˈaɪsɪv/   Listen
Incisive

adjective
1.
Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions.  Synonyms: acute, discriminating, keen, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp.  "Incisive comments" , "Icy knifelike reasoning" , "As sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang" , "Penetrating insight" , "Frequent penetrative observations"
2.
Suitable for cutting or piercing.



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"Incisive" Quotes from Famous Books



... Chaps. 1, 9; and S. Low, The Governance of England (London, 1904), Chap. 1. A suggestive characterization is in the Introduction of W. Bagehot, The English Constitution (new ed., Boston, 1873). A more extended and very incisive analysis is Dicey, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, especially the Introduction and ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... incisive gaze met and held irresistibly the boy's wavering one. The sullen obstinacy of ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... Radnor suddenly raised his head and half turned back as if to speak, but thinking better of it, he resumed his chair and watched the approach of the detective with an angry frown. Clancy did not glance at Radnor, but gave his evidence in a quick incisive way which forced the breathless attention of every one in the room. He told without interruption the story of his arrival at Four-Pools and his conclusions in regard to the ha'nt and the theft; he omitted, however, all ...
— The Four Pools Mystery • Jean Webster

... Even Bull, tired as he was, noted the keenly incisive tone of it. He turned, and his steady eyes regarded the dark face of the lumberman speculatively. Then he smiled, and picked up his glass and drained the remains of ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... had taken his opening with his customary incisive shrewdness. The mention of Bacon had settled it, to his mind. Only one imaginable character of manuscript from the philosopher scholar-politician could have value enough to tempt a thief of Enderby's calibre. Enderby's expression told that the shot was a true one. As for Bertram, ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... of others!' She spoke coldly and her voice had an incisive ring in it that wounded him as a knife. He was too inexperienced to know what to do, and he instinctively assumed that look of injured superiority which it is the peculiar privilege of women to wear in such cases, and which, in a man, ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... that Lady Webling was shocked—by the vulgarity, no doubt. "Swine" do not belong in dining-room language—only in the platters or the chairs. Marie Louise caught an angry look also in the eye of Nicholas Easton, though he, too, had been incisive in his comments on the theme of the dinner. His English had been uncannily correct, his phrases formal with the exactitude of a book on syntax or the dialogue of a gentleman in a novel. But he also was drinking too much, and as his lips fuddled he had trouble ...
— The Cup of Fury - A Novel of Cities and Shipyards • Rupert Hughes

... the data before it as the exponent of ideas, moods, visions of its own; in this interest it plays fast and loose with those data, rejecting some and isolating others, and always combining them anew. To him as to Dante, the scene, the colour, the outward image or gesture, comes with all its incisive and importunate reality; but awakes in him, moreover, by some subtle law of his own structure, a mood which it awakes in no one else, of which it is the double or repetition, and which it clothes, that all may ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... long I've been thinking. I have always been materialistic, too. Tell me seriously, doctor, do you believe there is any psychic force capable of killing two men in this incisive fashion?" ...
— The Abandoned Room • Wadsworth Camp

... any part of the Lord's works is as unnecessary and carries with it as little of what we mean as can be. Incidents are greater than description, as the telling to me how a tree looked when it was in full foliage is not near so incisive as that the tree fell with a great crash during a storm in the night. Therefore it would be using needless language, which a Friend's discipline enjoins him to beware of, for me to say how friend Hicks's daughter might have seemed to those to whom I wished to impart how she seemed to me; rather ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... He has subjected all the proposed theories to a severe criticism both on the ground of facts and on that of their innate possibility and logical value. He decides in favor of the mutation theory. His arguments are incisive and complete and wholly adapted to the comprehension of all intelligent readers, so that his book relieves me entirely of the necessity of discussing these general questions, as it could not be done in a better or in a ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... spread of sane principles of national life among all sorts and conditions of men and women who make up our population. But anything and everything that goes by the name of Americanization is not necessarily an effective move in that direction. There is slowly growing up a body of incisive criticism dealing with the current epidemic of Americanization work that is sweeping the country on the wings of clever catch-words and generous emotions. It may be of interest and value to attempt an analysis and statement of the main points of that ...
— Catholic Problems in Western Canada • George Thomas Daly

... did not electrify the house. On the contrary, the audience took it very quietly, awaiting with some curiosity the interference of Henry Beauclerc. And it was at this point that the services of Mr. JOHN HARE in this character were invaluable. Never had his crisp incisive style produced more marked effect. It is a pity that in the Third Act, which being the weak point of the play requires all the strength of the actor to be seriously employed, Mr. HARE should have given a very light comedy, nay, even a farcical touch to his treatment ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, March 4, 1893 • Various

... not complaining. It was a bare recital of facts. But it raised a series of keen incisive thoughts ...
— The Seventh Noon • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... heed the foreman's scoffing. Instead, he began in a low incisive voice the narration of his experiences of the previous night, beginning with the bear hunt and ending with his finding his way out of the forest ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Montana • Frank Gee Patchin

... good of you to come and see us once a month; I wonder you don't send us your cards in an envelope. When you do, pray have them with black edges; it will be for the death of my last illusion." It was in this incisive strain that Mrs. Tristram moralized over Newman's so-called neglect, which was in reality a most exemplary constancy. Of course she was joking, but there was always something ironical in her jokes, as there was always something jocular ...
— The American • Henry James

... the men who took the field against him was John Eck,[13] Professor of Theology and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ingolstadt. He was a man well versed in the Scriptures and in the writings of the Fathers, a ready speaker and an incisive writer, in every way qualified to meet such a versatile opponent. While on a visit with the Bishop of Eichstatt he was consulted about Luther's theses, and gave his opinion in the /Obelisks/ on the dangerous character ...
— History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French • Rev. James MacCaffrey

... face of the little hostess imposed an added restraint and formality upon the oddly assorted company of guests. Beatrice Egerton played with her rings, yawned without dissimulation, and wished she had stayed at home; Eleanor bravely parried Nettie Dwight's incisive questions about "her set"; and Betty, stirring and talking to the cousins and Dora, had time to admire Eleanor's self-control and to wonder pityingly if there were many girls in Harding College so completely "out of it" as these ...
— Betty Wales, Sophomore • Margaret Warde

... her with the keen, incisive eye of his profession, and pressed his ear once more to her heart, listening to the irregular and ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... placidly, had listened—well, as you and I, dear reader, would listen to a tale which had no very great interest for us. If the truth must be told, the worthy Inspector was rather disappointed; he had expected the great man to display a hawk-like acuteness and to ask a number of incisive questions; but Mr. Jacobs asked none; he said merely, when the ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... "Two of his conspicuous merits characterize these papers, the peculiar power he possessed of enlisting and retaining the attention for what are commonly supposed to be dry and difficult subjects, and the capacity he had for controversy, sharp and incisive, but so candid and generous that it left no ...
— The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens • Georg Jellinek

... regarding the soundness of their rector's doctrine, as the loss of their rector himself. The older members of the congregation loved Brenton as a son, the younger ones as something a little dearer than a brother. One and all, they missed his pastoral visitations, his incisive sermons on the righteousness of honest living; above all else, they missed his voice. If they could have kept these personal marks of the man himself, their rector might have been welcome to believe anything ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... are branch and blossom, pruning and careful handling, sun and shade, dew and rain, so there are betweens here before full ripening of fruit comes. There's purifying, cleansing by blood, cleansing by a soft fire burning within, and pruning by the Gardener and by His human assistant, you, sharp, incisive, hurting pruning. ...
— Quiet Talks on John's Gospel • S. D. Gordon

... who are no fools, that are headlong in their language as in their acts, because of their want of forbearance and self-restraining patience. The impulsive genius, gifted with quick thought and incisive speech—perhaps carried away by the cheers of the moment—lets fly a sarcastic sentence which may return upon him to his own infinite damage. Even statesmen might be named, who have failed through their inability to resist the temptation of saying clever and spiteful ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... had a most extraordinary habit of crediting their friends with their own wise and witty sayings; thus Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. Procter would say, "Ah yes, you know, as you once said," and then would follow something so sparkling, profound, concise, incisive, and brilliant, that you remained, eyes and mouth open, gasping in speechless astonishment at the merit of the saying you never said (and couldn't have said if your life had depended on it), and the ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... not to an Inconnue. They were written to his paper, the Tribune, and have redressed the balance between the Old World and the New by furnishing New York from week to week with brilliant, incisive, and faithful pictures of life in London. The initials, "G.W.S.," appended in their original form, are as familiar throughout the United States as are those of our own "G.A.S." in the still United Kingdom. Mr. SMALLEY goes everywhere, sees everything, knows everybody, and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, November 15, 1890 • Various

... that she was near, Lady Muriel realized that the conversation was not low or under uttered. The smart voice was, in fact, loud and incisive. It was the heavy house that reduced the sounds. In fact, the conversation was keyed up. The two men ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... The command came sharp and incisive. A rattle of tin dishes followed. Pails and pans were raised to the rail as five figures stood up suddenly. "Stand by to repel boarders!" was the second command. Five pans and pails of water were tilted, sending a ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls Afloat • Janet Aldridge

... help feeling surprised at Narcisse's language, for he remembered his incisive voice and clear, precise, financial acumen when speaking of money matters. And, at this recollection, the young priest's mind reverted to the castle fields, and intense sadness filled his heart as for the last time all the want and suffering ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... beginning of 1570, and the Admonition was printed at Stirling a few months later. In the same year Buchanan wrote that curious tract called the Chameleon, a satirical attack upon Lethington, which is not very brilliant either in language or conception, and fails altogether in the incisive bitterness which characterises most of Buchanan's other political papers. "It is at least equal in vigour and elegance to that of most compositions in the ancient Scottish language," says Buchanan's biographer, but few modern readers will agree in this verdict. Buchanan's ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... acquisition was the assurance that the circulatory system of the blood is a closed system of vessels, and that the enclosing epithelium is not permeable by non-incisive solid bodies such as vegetable microbes, and still less by rounded protozoa, which are much larger than microbes and soft in substance. This well-known and clearly demonstrated fact ought to have suggested a problem to the minds of students: ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... fund of incisive wit and humor, which often appear in picturesque setting, as when he said to a physician: "A man might as well pour his sorrows into the long hairy ear of a jackass." As the satiric censor of his time, Carlyle found frequent occasion for ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... Martha's voice was clear and incisive, with a ring of determination through it that, for the moment, ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... nor raised his incisive, high-bred voice for any man. His reply left no doubt of the question. "No, Mr. Upham," said Doctor Prescott. "You must pay me in money for medicine. I have enough ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... The clear incisive strokes of an adjacent clock proclaiming midnight awoke Frye. He raised his head, and in that almost total darkness for a moment knew not where he was. Then, ere the echoes of those funeral knells died away, he arose, lit the two gas-jets, and ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... born prose writer than his half-namesake, Nash. His best work, unlike Nash's, was done in verse, and, while he was far Nash's superior, not merely in poetical expression but in creative grasp of character, he was entirely destitute of Nash's incisive and direct faculty of invective. Nevertheless his work, too, is memorable among the prose work of the time, and for special reasons. His first pamphlet (according to the peculiarity already noted in Rowlands's case) is not prose at all, but verse—yet not the verse of which Dekker ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... next morning and, hurrying off to the nearest post-office, filled up a telegraph-form with a few incisive words dashed off at white heat. He destroyed six forms before he had arrived at what he considered a happy mean between strength and propriety, and then at the lady clerk's earnest request altered one of the words ...
— Salthaven • W. W. Jacobs

... the mystery, and music with which evils are set forth, may make them not only tolerable but tender and appealing. What would be as immediate experience altogether heartrending, for example the torturing remorse of a Macbeth, is made splendid and moving in the incisive majesty and penetration of his monologues. At the end of Hamlet, the utter wreck, unreason, and confusion is made bearable and beautiful by the tender finality of ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... can't," Talbot replied in the same calm, incisive way, that contrasted strongly with the coarse, whisky-thickened tone of ...
— A Girl of the Klondike • Victoria Cross

... recognized him, and burst out anew in violent denunciations, to which respect would never have allowed him to give utterance, except under the stimulus of delirium. The count writhed and shrank beneath the fierce stabbing of those incisive words, and, in his ungovernable grief, flung himself beside the son, whom he feared death would shortly snatch from his arms, pouring forth assurances Maurice would once have hailed as words of life, but which now fell powerless upon his unheeding ears. ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... marry a man that has a drop of this 'hound's' blood in his veins, hey?" Page had snarled. "Well, you just watch the old 'hound' close his jaws." Suddenly he became the masterful, domineering man the world knew; he addressed Maillot in the curt, incisive tones which ...
— The Paternoster Ruby • Charles Edmonds Walk

... it is not on the literary map, Will Levington Comfort's Apache (1931) remains for me the most moving and incisive piece of writing on Indians of the ...
— Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest • J. Frank Dobie

... naked, red, loamy plain, over which the wind from the heights of Usagara, now rising a bluish-black jumble of mountains in our front, howled most fearfully. With clear, keen, incisive force, the terrible blasts seemed to penetrate through an through our bodies, as though we were but filmy gauze. Manfully battling against this mighty "peppo "— storm—we passed through Mukamwa's, and crossing a broad sandy bed of a stream, we entered the territory of ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... all their opinions up in one piquant phrase, which it appears he was unable to resist, and which made him smile in uttering it. "Conde," said he, "for that once, was wanting in boldness." The dictum is both brief and incisive, but there was no foundation for it, in a military point of view. There was, in truth, no want of boldness on Conde's part throughout that campaign: far from it, his whole line of conduct was a succession of audacious actions ...
— Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... had no means of explaining to the prisoners that they were to take their turn to get rations and water at a dump nearby. It was a war correspondent, young Valentine Williams, afterward a very gallant officer in the Irish Guards who gave the orders in fluent and incisive German. He began with a hoarse shout of "Achtung!" and that old word of command had an electrical effect on many of the men. Even those who had seemed asleep staggered to their feet and stood at attention. The habit ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... these things going on and believed the city was being robbed, but they could not prove it. There were two attacking parties, however, who did not wait for proofs—Thomas Nast, the brilliant cartoonist of Harper's Weekly, and the New York Times. The incisive cartoons of Nast appealed to the imaginations of all classes; even Tweed complained that his illiterate following could "look at the damn pictures." The trenchant editorials of Louis L. Jennings in the Times reached a thoughtful circle of readers. In one of these editorials, February ...
— The Boss and the Machine • Samuel P. Orth

... moment that a case is stated with any vehemence, that moment it is certain that the speaker has antagonists in his eye. There is a story of Professor Blackie at Edinburgh making a tirade against the stuffiness of the old English universities to Jowett, the incisive Master of Balliol. At the end, he said generously, "I hope you people at Oxford do not think that we are your enemies up here?" "No," said Jowett drily; "to tell the truth, we don't think about you at all!" The man who ...
— Escape and Other Essays • Arthur Christopher Benson

... At that moment I was gazing at the funnel, trying to decipher a monogram upon it; but I heard a new voice, rapid and incisive, sure of its subject, resolving doubts, and making the crooked straight. It was the man with the brown paper parcel. That was still under his arm—in fact, the parcel contained pink pyjamas, and there was hardly enough ...
— London River • H. M. Tomlinson

... He could make no reply to such a question. Mrs. Luttrell scored a triumph, and continued in her hard, incisive way:— ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... Hill Pope complained of these lines, and had the hypocrisy to say that he never thought any great matters of his poetical capacity, but prided himself on the superiority of his moral life. Hill returned a masterly and incisive reproof to this ridiculous statement, in the ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... you! I love you! Oh, why can it not be? Oh, I cannot—I cannot give him up!" She threw herself upon her knees and laid her face in the bed. In a few minutes there came a tap at the door, and her Aunt Frances's voice was heard, "Maimie, your father has gone down; we must not delay." The tone was incisive and matter-of-fact. It said to Maimie, "Now let's have no nonsense. Be a sensible woman of the world." Maimie rose from her knees. Hastily removing all traces of tears from her face, and glancing in the glass, she touched the little ringlets into place ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... order, but order is not restored. What is the average policeman as a criminal-taker? Cloddy and coarse of fiber, rarely with personal heredity of mental or bodily vigor, with no training at arms, with no sharp, incisive quality of nerve action, fat, unwieldy, unable to run a hundred yards and keep his breath, not skilled enough to kill his man even when he has him cornered, he is the archetype of all unseemliness as the ...
— The Story of the Outlaw - A Study of the Western Desperado • Emerson Hough

... his head had scarcely regained the perpendicular when the name began to impress him. "Martha." "Pizen-neat." He bit his lip, and without venturing again to meet Miss Lacey's cool, incisive gaze he turned and vanished into ...
— The Opened Shutters • Clara Louise Burnham

... written in public for the public; but it was universally read, as its author had been universally sought and admired in the sphere of her art; and no one who knew anything of her truly, but knew what an incisive eye, what a large heart, what a candid and vigorous mind, what real humanity, generosity, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... is strong and effective: the modelling, the poise of the figure and the breadth of the shadows in dry point, are masterly. The Salon articles, five in number, are from the pen of M. Ph. Burty, the most radical, incisive and original writer on the staff—champion of the Impressionists, bitter enemy of the Academics and warm admirer of any fresh, sincere and individual talent. In his short review of the work of American ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... nobles, literati, and artists, counting it the highest honour to visit the liberator of their land; and to them Bonaparte behaved with that mixture of affability and inner reserve, of seductive charm alternating with incisive cross-examination which proclaimed at once the versatility of his gifts, the keenness of his intellect, and his determination to gain social, as well as military and political, supremacy. And yet ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... said in incisive tones, "did you write a po'try piece for the first page of the Herald, not ...
— Michael O'Halloran • Gene Stratton-Porter

... words that were to carry deliverance to one he longed to kill. He had expected a wait—the man, confidant in his security, would be sleeping—but almost on top of his request for Mr. Mayer came a voice, wide-awake and incisive: ...
— Treasure and Trouble Therewith - A Tale of California • Geraldine Bonner

... new writer's work,—he almost forgot, while reading, whether it was man or woman who had given such a production to the world, so impressed was he by the masterly treatment of a simple subject made beautiful by a scholarly and incisive style. It was literature of the highest kind,—and realising this with every sentence he perused, it was with a shock of surprise that he remembered the personality of the author—the unobtrusive girl who had been the "show animal" at Her Grace ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... man plainly, and he was one of the usual type of Western citizen, keen-eyed, quick and nervous of movement and gesture, and incisive of speech. He had a bundle of papers before him, and appeared to be making calculations in pencil while he dictated to his companion. Now and then she caught disjointed fragments ...
— Alton of Somasco • Harold Bindloss

... case, and affect distrust of his own opinion. Though there was not one of these which were not more or less restrictions on him, he could be brilliant and witty when occasion served, and there was an incisive neatness in his repartee in which he had no equal. Some of those he was to meet were well known amongst the most agreeable people of society, and he rejoiced that at least, if he were to be put upon his trial, he should be judged ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... the heat. Before the door were five saddle horses, with a groom or two. The staff came from the house, then the President in grey Confederate cloth and soft hat. He spoke to one of the officers in his clear, incisive voice, then mounted his grey Arab. A child waved to him from an upper window. He waved back, lifted his hat to the two girls as they passed, then, his staff behind him, rode rapidly off toward the ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... the office with alert eyes, which took in everything, and said, in a brisk, incisive voice: "I am the Duke of Charmerace. I am here on behalf of M. Gournay-Martin. Last evening he received a letter from Arsene Lupin saying he was going to break into his Paris house this ...
— Arsene Lupin • Edgar Jepson

... made to realise how it stirs the blood of good men here. And not merely were there this evening a fire, a keenness, a power of stirring a multitude to the depth of their nature, which are rare indeed, but an incisive severity of denunciation which few had expected from that calm, cautious man. And if the preacher was at white-heat, so was the congregation long before he was done. Several times there would have been loud applause, had ...
— The Scottish Reformation - Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders, and Distinctive Characteristics • Alexander F. Mitchell

... mankind. This psychologic ability contributes vastly to the interest aroused by Mr. Dubnow's historical works outside of the limited circle of scholars. There is a passage in one of his books[1] in which, in his incisive manner, he expresses his views on the limits and tasks of historical writing. As the passage bears upon the methods employed in the present essay, and, at the same time, is a characteristic specimen of our author's style, I ...
— Jewish History • S. M. Dubnow

... while but slouch through the minutes. The other may be taut and intensive, working at white heat, and the output will be more extensive and of better quality. The mind that ambles through the period shows forth results that are both meager and mediocre; but the mind whose impact is both forceful and incisive produces results that serve to magnify the work of the school. Thus we have placed before us two basic considerations, one of which is the time itself, in actual minutes, and the other is the character of the reactions to ...
— The Vitalized School • Francis B. Pearson

... the sublingual ranula, form in the other glands in the floor of the mouth—for example, the incisive gland, which lies just behind the symphysis menti, as well as in the apical gland on the under aspect of the tip of the tongue. The latter is distinguished by the fact that it moves with the tongue. In rare ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... Moderately dry, cooling, and incisive; sharpens Appetite, exceedingly refreshes and resists Putrefaction: We speak of the Sub acid; the sweet and bitter Orange being of no use in our Sallet. The Limon is somewhat more acute, cooling and extinguishing Thirst; of all the [Greek: Oxubapha] the best succedaneum to Vinegar. ...
— Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets • John Evelyn

... the indisputable truth as words cannot easily tell it to the ear. In this way caricature is one of the most powerful agents in public discussion. But, like speech or writing, it may be merely blackguard. The incisive wit, the rich humor, the withering satire of speech, gain all their point and effect from the truth. They have no power when they ...
— Ars Recte Vivende - Being Essays Contributed to "The Easy Chair" • George William Curtis

... free hand to command the silence of David. Then, like a hunted creature at bay, he glanced over his shoulder. Seeing an open door almost at his elbow, he resolutely drew his wife after him into the room beyond. As he turned to slam the door with vicious energy, the tense, incisive voice called out once more from the head of ...
— The Rose in the Ring • George Barr McCutcheon

... little of the reserve of the savage. His silence was always eloquent, and in it was neither stupidity nor vacuity. With friends he was witty, affable, generous, lovable. In business negotiation he was rapid, direct, incisive; or smooth, plausible and convincing—all depending upon the man with whom he was dealing. He often did to others what they were trying to do to him, and he did it first. He had the splendid ability to ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen • Elbert Hubbard

... Act was put in operation against Talleyrand, nominally his adviser, and the champion of the Anglo-French entente. The ex-Bishop of Autun penned an eloquent protest, which apparently had some effect, for he was not expelled until March 1794.[168] Far more incisive was Chauvelin's complaint. We can imagine his feelings when Grenville curtly declined to receive it.[169] At the same time Grenville refused to discuss or explain the stoppage of certain cargoes of grain destined ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... of voices grew louder overhead. It stopped suddenly, and she could only hear Sobrenski's slow, incisive tones. No doubt they were listening to him as to one inspired while he preached his gospel of destruction. Arithelli shivered, pressing her hands over her ears that she might shut out the sound of that hated voice that had bidden her outrage ...
— The Hippodrome • Rachel Hayward

... late in the afternoon, as Lucius Brady was beaming on him through his spectacles, and indulging in an incisive criticism on the champagne at Government House, Stingaree quietly garroted him. A gag was in all readiness, likewise strips of coarse sheeting torn up for the purpose in the night. Black in the face, but with breath still in his body, the criminologist was carefully ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... satire, is largely autobiographical. It shows, as does The Powers of the Pen, some clever turns of phrases, pithy expressions, and amusing images. It also contains incisive criticism of corruption in the Church, of declining respect for Christianity, and, what seems to Lloyd almost the same thing, of a collapsing class structure. The Church wardens, "uncivil and unbred! / Unlick'd, untaught, un-all-things—but unfed!" are "but sweepers of the ...
— The Methodist - A Poem • Evan Lloyd

... work has come down to us in the form of aphorisms and paragraphs. He was, essentially, a poet among the metaphysicians, which again favors the conception of him as a pituitary-centered with a dominant post-pituitary. Yet his incisive critical faculty, as well as his love of music, also document the ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... began to buzz. He found himself wondering why Warde was speaking in this smooth, quiet voice, so different from his usual curt, incisive tones. ...
— The Hill - A Romance of Friendship • Horace Annesley Vachell

... to inspect a motor that lay dismounted on a wooden stand, as if there were nothing further to discuss. Indeed, though his speech was rapid and incisive, and his every movement full of an allure that spoke of splendidly poised muscles, he was in face and manner alike the most singularly immobile man I had ever met. He gave the impression of employing neither words nor actions except in ...
— Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 • Collected and Arranged by Francis J. Reynolds

... in quiet, incisive tones the voice of Henry Scott (of the Psychical Research Society). "I hardly dared to hope for so complete a triumph! My good friends, it is one a.m. As the clock struck twelve you sank into hypnotic trance; on the point of its striking one, you emerged. The hour of interval was telescoped ...
— The Tale Of Mr. Peter Brown - Chelsea Justice - From "The New Decameron", Volume III. • V. Sackville West

... his words decided the matter. The cold and haughty manner which he knew so well how to assume, his few but incisive words, produced a ...
— The Honor of the Name • Emile Gaboriau

... seizure in Phormio's house, the coming of Democrates and his boasts over the captives, the voyage and the pursuing. The son of Neocles never hastened the recital, though once or twice he widened it by an incisive question. ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ; and whether any particular Church- government be jure divino, and what that government is?"—such is the first of the nine queries; and the other eight are no less incisive. They were duly communicated to the Assembly; it was requested that the Answers should be precise, with the Scripture proofs for each, in the express words of the texts; every Divine present at a debate on any of the Queries ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... the employment of a knife-edged hardened steel instrument, so arranged as to be set at any required angle, and its edge caused to penetrate the surface of a cylindrical bar of soft steel or brass. This bar being revolved under the incisive action of the angularly placed knife-edged instrument, it thus received a continuous spiral groove cut into its surface. It was then in the condition of a rudimentary screw; the pitch, or interval between the threads, being determined by the greater or less angle ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... called by him a continuation of Noli Me Tangere, but with which it really has no more connection than that some of the characters reappear and are disposed of. [10] There is almost no connected plot in it and hardly any action, but there is the same incisive character-drawing and clear etching of conditions that characterize the earlier work. It is a maturer effort and a more forceful political argument, hence it lacks the charm and simplicity which assign Noli Me Tangere to a preeminent place in Philippine literature. ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... poet attempted, though of minor importance to the trilogy just spoken of. These were "The Falcon," the groundwork of which is to be found in "The Decameron;" "The Cup," a tragedy, rich in action, with an incisive dialogue, borrowed from Plutarch. The former was staged by Mr. and Mrs. Kendal, and had a run of sixty-seven nights; the latter also was staged with liberal magnificence, by Irving, and met with considerable success. "The Promise of May" is another play which ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... divided into transverse laminae; infra-orbital opening as in typical Muridae; incisive foramina and auditory bullae small; form myoxine (or dormouse-like); fur mixed with flat spines; tail densely hairy. The general resemblance of this animal to the dormouse (Myoxus) is striking, to which its hairy tail and ...
— Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon • Robert A. Sterndale

... responsibilities he had carried for twelve years. Storrow, in a different way, was fully as indispensable as Smith. It was he who built up the superstructure of the Bell defence. He was a master of details. His brain was keen and incisive; and some of his briefs will be studied as long as the art of telephony exists. He might fairly have been compared, in action, to a rapid-firing Gatling gun; while Smith was a hundred-ton cannon, and Lockwood was the ...
— The History of the Telephone • Herbert N. Casson

... the speaker should be uncompromising was to be supposed, but this was an attitude unexpected and astonishing. One or two men started up as if to reply, but the Father went on again. His voice was thin and incisive, with a vibrating quality when it was raised which affected the nerves. It was easy to dislike his tones, but it was not easy to resist their influence. He passed to another point, and his words had ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... world. His tall form, as though robbed of its substance, hovered noiselessly over invisible things with stooping and indefinite movements; his voice, heard in that remoteness where he could be glimpsed mysteriously busy with immaterial cares, was no longer incisive, seemed to roll voluminous and grave—mellowed ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... multitudinous mutual-admiration-society, will, through cliques and coteries, betray some of its vices. In this voluminous series of papers the critical pen, when most earnestly eulogistic or most sharply incisive, is wielded with so much skill and art and fine temper, that personality is seldom transpicuous. The Parisian reader will no doubt often perceive, in this or that paragraph or paper, a heightening or a subduing of color not visible to the foreigner, who cannot so well trace the marks of political, ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... The Atlantic for June, 1898, gave the so-called anti-imperialists a thrill of horror. On the cover appeared the defiantly flying American flag; the first article was a vigorous and approving presentation of the American case against Spain; though this was unsigned, its incisive style at once betrayed the author. The Atlantic had printed the American flag on its cover during the Civil War; but certain New Englanders thought that this latest struggle, in its motives and its proportions, was hardly entitled to the distinction. Page declared, ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... in a clear, incisive voice, though he could hardly control the trembling of his legs. "I will have no more of it. I shall not permit anyone.... I can see very well what you are at with those allusions.... Inquire, investigate! I defy you, but I will ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... her brother gave her such a terribly incisive look—a look so like a surgeon's lancet—that she was frightened at her courage. And he answered her in words that corresponded to the look: "It may not prevent me, either, from losing the ...
— Washington Square • Henry James

... you were coming, sir. That's mighty nice of you," he said, as they walked down Boylston Street together, and his father waited a moment and then spoke in his usual incisive tone. ...
— The Courage of the Commonplace • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... own, to the commander of the escort, Captain Muffet remained at department head-quarters long enough to impress the officials thereat on duty with his version of the riot at Bluff Siding,—its inciting cause and its incisive cure. Then he went back to the cavalry depot and presumably improved on his initial effort. The story of Muffet's wild ride with the raw recruits and Muffet's method of quelling a mob was often told that summer at the rear long after ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... incisive comment on politics to-day is indifference. When men and women begin to feel that elections and legislatures do not matter very much, that politics is a rather distant and unimportant exercise, the reformer might as well put to himself a few searching doubts. Indifference ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... thematic writing respectively. The prelude in C minor, for instance, is almost an exercise, being without clearly expressed melody (although the accents in the soprano distinctly suggest a melody), and the whole is rapid and incisive. The fugue, on the other hand, opens with a very sprightly idea, which is carried out delightfully, quite in the manner of a scherzo. The prelude in D major, again, is very light and graceful, yet having a character somewhat between a fancy piece of tone-poetry and an exercise, being capable ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... sharply. She was more incisive than her sister. Both were below the medium height, and stout, but Sophia was firm where Amanda was flabby. Amanda wore a baggy old muslin (it was a hot day), and Sophia was uncompromisingly hooked up in a starched and boned cambric over her high ...
— The Wind in the Rose-bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural • Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman

... sound of the incisive voice Adrian had returned with a slight shiver from distant musing to the consciousness of the ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... palpitation of her heart was almost suffocating, and in her ears the surging as of an ocean tide, drowned the accents of the magistrate. At first the words were as meaningless as some Sanskrit formula, but gradually her attention grasped and comprehended. In a strident incisive voice he read from a paper ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... a great burst of sunlight into a dark place, the coming of this earnest, joyous, outspoken nature into the old woman's narrow and monotonous and comparatively uncheered life. She had never seen a person of Mercy's temperament. The clear, decided, incisive manner commanded her respect, while the sunny gayety won her liking. Stephen had gentle, placid sweetness and much love of the beautiful; but his love of the beautiful was an indolent, and one might almost say a-haughty, demand in his nature. Mercy's was a bounding ...
— Mercy Philbrick's Choice • Helen Hunt Jackson

... there was the usual subdued gossip about the door, and while Gifford waited for his aunts, who had something to say to the rector, he listened to Mrs. Dale, who said in her incisive voice, "Isn't it too bad Helen isn't here? I should think, whether she wanted to or not, she'd come for her husband's sake." Even the apology of death had not made ...
— John Ward, Preacher • Margaret Deland

... gray eyes on Paul's face as he spoke. His speech was rather incisive, considering how little he had seen of Paul. Perhaps he intended that it should be, for he watched the effect of his words ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... over the writer of stories. The writer must present a clear image and make a vivid impression,—all with words. The teller has face, and voice, and body to do it with. The teller needs, consequently, but one swiftly incisive verb to the writer's two; but one expressive adjective to his three. Often, indeed, a pause and an expressive gesture ...
— How to Tell Stories to Children - And Some Stories to Tell • Sara Cone Bryant

... her once in a while, and said to himself that she was a good specimen of the grand style of woman; and then the image came back to him of a woman not quite so large, not quite so imperial in her port, not quite so incisive in her speech, not quite so judicial in her opinions, but with two or three more joints in her frame, and two or three soft inflections in her voice, which for some absurd reason or other drew him to her side and so bewitched him that he told her half his secrets and looked into her eyes all that ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... Grady, who had for some purpose gone "back," resumed his seat at the author's side and, between incisive criticism shouted through his megaphone, suggested, in the contrast of a conversational tone, "Don't you ever look in your letter box? Here's mail ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... for another attack when suddenly there came a sound of voices from the stairs. One voice was a mere murmur, but the other was sharp and unmistakable, the incisive note of Lora Delane Porter. It brought Steve and Mamie to ...
— The Coming of Bill • P. G. Wodehouse

... there stood one man, pale of face but with burning eyes. It was John Eddring, attorney for the defense in the case of the state against Calvin Blount, charged with murder. His voice, clean-cut, eager, incisive, reached every corner of the room. His gestures were few and downright. He was swept forward by his own convictions of ...
— The Law of the Land • Emerson Hough

... no friend of Gray's other work, Dr. Johnson went on to commend the "Elegy" as abounding "with images which find a mirrour in every mind and with sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo." Universality, clarity, incisive lapidary diction—these qualities may be somewhat staled in praise of the "classical" style, yet it is precisely in these traits that the "Elegy" proves most nobly. The artificial figures of rhetorical arrangement that are so omnipresent in the antitheses, chiasmuses, parallelisms, etc., of Pope ...
— An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751) and The Eton College Manuscript • Thomas Gray

... for the kind of part. She, who had made one of her early successes as the spirit of Astarte in "Manfred," was known to a later generation of playgoers as the aristocratic dowager of stately presence and incisive repartee. Her son, Fuller Mellish, was also in the cast as Curio, and when we played "Twelfth Night" in America was promoted to the part of Sebastian, my double. In London my brother Fred played ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... then added in his most incisive accents: "But if not, the law must take its course, and Roma Roselli must complete what Roma ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... you heard me, Nan." Lady Gertrude's incisive voice cut sharply across the pulsing excitement of ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... not here to argue," was the incisive interruption. "Take your pen and fill out a check payable to your own order for one hundred thousand dollars, and do it now. If that door opens before we have concluded, you ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... preached them before an imaginary audience, so earnest was his desire to reach the hearts of his hearers and produce upon them a lasting influence. His sermons were born not of the crowd, but for the crowd, in deep religious fervour and conviction. His lectures, incisive and far-reaching as they were in their conceptions and in their moral and social effects, were not so impressive as his sermons, with their ...
— T. De Witt Talmage - As I Knew Him • T. De Witt Talmage



Words linked to "Incisive" :   incise, perceptive, incision



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