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Mendacity   /mɛndˈæsɪti/   Listen
Mendacity

noun
(pl. mendacities)
1.
The tendency to be untruthful.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Mendacity" Quotes from Famous Books



... agreed, with one final effort of mendacity, 'he's fine to look at, but he has no grit in him. Any mongrel from a kraal can make him turn tail. Besides, he is a born fool and can't find his way home. I'm thinking of ...
— Prester John • John Buchan

... the methods expounded in the 'Introduction,' in order to show how the various motives or 'springs of action' and the 'sanctions' based upon them may affect the trustworthiness of evidence. Any motive whatever may incidentally cause 'mendacity.' The second book, therefore, considers what securities may be taken for 'securing trustworthiness.' We have, for example, a discussion of the value of oaths (he thinks them valueless), of the advantages and disadvantages of ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... general are naturally disposed to be very confident about matters of recollection, reflective persons are pretty sure to find out, sooner or later, that they occasionally fall into errors of memory. It is not the philosopher who first hints at the mendacity of memory, but the "plain man" who takes careful note of what really happens in the world of his personal experience. Thus, we hear persons, quite innocent of speculative doubt, qualifying an assertion made on personal recollection ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... Mendacity follows the flag. There never yet was an invader who did not, in obedience to a kindly human instinct, lie abundantly respecting the people whose country he had invaded. The reason is very plain. In all ages men delight to acquire property by ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... those persons who make lies their refuge, must be liable to be doubted, even when they speak the truth. Still, it is possible, that a man's conscience may be so obdurate, as not to perceive the pravity of mendacity, when exercised for his supposed benefit, while he yet retains a regard for truth when engaged in relating his exploits to others. This, we think, is partly the case with our heroes. Their acknowledgment of their disregard of truth, ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... everything with a grin. If he is refused, he remarks, likewise with a grin, that he will come again to-morrow with three thousand light horsemen, and he gallops away; but in many cases he does not return. The secret of the fellow's success lies mainly in his unblushing impudence, his easy mendacity, and that intimate knowledge of every highway and byway of the country which, thanks to the military organisation of the Prussian army, he has acquired in the regimental school. He gives himself out to be the ...
— The Breitmann Ballads • Charles G. Leland

... and there can be no doubt that the race after the pensions offered by this bill would not only stimulate weakness and pretended incapacity for labor, but put a further premium on dishonesty and mendacity. ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... Carlyle commands the fervent adhesion of the honest, the brave, and the good; while in other parts of his writings his infatuated admiration of force, however clothed with brutality, and of strength, however marred with mendacity, are calculated as deeply to alienate the urbane man of the ...
— Great Testimony - against scientific cruelty • Stephen Coleridge

... at her sister-in-law with magnificent mendacity, "you may well look at me. You couldn't make yourself as flat as I am if you tried. There are two books for you, and a thingummy-jig, and a handkerchief to blow ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... Hanway was about the age of Oliver Twist at the time Bill Sykes shoved him through the window, Hiram Hanway caused him to be appointed page in the State Senate. There, for eight years, he lived in the midst of all that treason and mendacity and cowardice and rapacity and dishonor which as raw materials are ground together to produce laws for a commonwealth. He learned early that the ten commandments have no bearing on politics and legislation, and was taught that part of valor which, basing itself on greed ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... observed Enfield, mildly, "Mr. Nixon should have avoided that trap of an empty leadership. Mr. Nixon is no stripling; he knew Tammany and those elements of mendacity and muddy intrigue which are called its 'control'; he knew Mr. Croker, who in these last days was faithful to no promise and loyal to no man. Why did he permit himself to be flattered, cozened and destroyed? Why? He added inexperience to vanity and betrayed himself. It was the old story—the ...
— The Onlooker, Volume 1, Part 2 • Various

... path before it. The contents of these precious vials are an interesting relic indeed, for they represent to us vividly that period when men who were willing to go to the stake for their religious opinions thought it not wrong to save the souls of their fellowmen by pious mendacity and consecrated fraud. To the scientific eye this miracle is very simple: the vials contain, no doubt, one of those mixtures fusing at low temperature, which, while kept in its place within the cold stone walls of the church, remains solid, but upon being brought ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... approach of a time when Christians will gather together again in the Catacombs, because of the persecution of the faith—a persecution less brutal, perhaps, than that of Nero's day, but not less refined in its severity, consummated by mendacity, derision, ...
— Tragic Sense Of Life • Miguel de Unamuno

... Persian for mendacity is proverbial. One instance of this national weakness was attended with considerable inconvenience to us. By some mischance we had run by the village where we intended to stop for the night, which was situated some distance ...
— Across Asia on a Bicycle • Thomas Gaskell Allen and William Lewis Sachtleben

... and perhaps he will say that the printer took the liberty of adding a sheet or two to his book." "Never," cried the ardent Moultou; "Jean Jacques never puts his name to works to disown them after."[129] Voltaire disowned his own books with intrepid and sustained mendacity, yet he bore no grudge to Moultou for his vehemence. He sent for him shortly afterwards, professed an extreme desire to be reconciled with Rousseau, and would talk of nothing else. "I swear to you," wrote ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... keepsake," she added, with easy mendacity; and affecting to recognize in Mr. Brace's curiosity a not unnatural excuse for toying with her charming fingers, she hid them in chaste and virginal seclusion in her lap, until she could recover the ring ...
— Frontier Stories • Bret Harte

... of the phrase to which so much importance has been assigned in the foregoing paragraph. We meet it first in the episode of Olindo and Sofronia. Sofronia, of all the heroines of the Gerusalemme, is the least interesting, notwithstanding her magnanimous mendacity and Jesuitical acceptance of martyrdom. Olindo touches the weaker fibers of our sympathy by his feminine devotion to a woman placed above him in the moral scale, whose love he wins by splendid falsehood equal to her own. The episode, entirely idle ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... article on the food question, "has still at hand a very large supply of pigs"—even after the enormous number she has exported to Belgium. Germany, however, does not only export pigs; her trade in "canards" with neutrals grows and grows, chiefly with the United States, thanks to the untiring mendacity of Bernstorff and Wolff. Compared with these efforts, the revelations of English governesses at German courts, which are now finding their way into print, make but ...
— Mr. Punch's History of the Great War • Punch

... CASE under consideration, the guilty man, I will assume, lies hard and fast, but, when he fancies that all that is left him will be to reap the reward of his mendacity, behold, he will succumb in the very place where such an accident is likely to be most closely analyzed. Assuming even that he may be in a position to account for his syncope by illness or the stifling atmosphere of the locality, he has none the less given ...
— The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations • Julian Hawthorne

... will not come to light through the mists conjured into life by the mendacity of subsidized newspapers, until the material wherewith to oppose all the mysteries of the Bund (Frankfort) shall be supplied to the Prussian press, with unrestricted liberty to ...
— Blood and Iron - Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its - Founder, Bismarck • John Hubert Greusel

... sage; his warmest admirers cannot but admit that he savours somewhat strongly of the holy impostor. Those charms and amulets, those dark gnomic aphorisms which constitute the stock-in-trade of all religious cheap-jacks, the bribe of future life, the sacerdotal tinge with its complement of mendacity, the secrecy of doctrine, the pretentiously-mysterious self-retirement, the "sacred quaternion," ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... annually diverts from wholesome and useful purposes in the United Kingdom, would be a set-off against the Window Tax. He is one of the most shameless frauds and impositions of this time. In his idleness, his mendacity, and the immeasurable harm he does to the deserving, - dirtying the stream of true benevolence, and muddling the brains of foolish justices, with inability to distinguish between the base coin of distress, and the true currency we have always among us, - he is more worthy of Norfolk Island ...
— Reprinted Pieces • Charles Dickens

... show you the dishonour into which the villainy and mendacity of the defendant have brought our country, passing by all besides, I will mention a fact known to you all. Formerly, men of Athens, all the other Hellenes used to watch attentively, to see what had been resolved ...
— The Public Orations of Demosthenes, volume 1 • Demosthenes

... the boat" of happiness at least once during a love affair—usually by trying to leap out of it before it lands in the port of Matrimony. All a man needs in order to win any woman is a little audacity, a little mendacity and ...
— A Guide to Men - Being Encore Reflections of a Bachelor Girl • Helen Rowland

... together his first morning home. The party had broken up late, and then there had been the excitement of opening the presents he had brought back from Terra. Nobody had had a chance to talk about Merlin, or about what he was going to do, now that he was home. That, and his career of mendacity, would start at breakfast. He wanted to let his father get to the table first, to run interference for him; he took his time with his toilet and dressed carefully and slowly. Finally, he zipped up the short waist-length jacket and ...
— The Cosmic Computer • Henry Beam Piper

... conscientiousness upon conversation. Nowhere does conversation seem to have flourished as brilliantly as in France during the last century. But, if we read old French memoirs, we see how many brakes of scrupulosity which tie our tongues to-day were then removed. Where mendacity, treachery, obscenity, and malignity find unhampered expression, talk can be brilliant indeed. But its flame waxes dim where the mind is stitched all over with conscientious fear of violating the moral ...
— Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals • William James

... state of complete panic, owing to the fact that all the convicts recently confined at Shortland have broken out, and are indulging in frightful excesses in the neighbourhood." The convicts have not broken out; but an epidemic of gratuitous mendacity has done ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, July 5, 1890 • Various

... neither here nor there. I am not speaking of men who lie with an object. There is some excuse for that: indeed, it is sometimes to their credit, when they deceive their country's enemies, for instance, or when mendacity is but the medicine to heal their sickness. Odysseus, seeking to preserve his life and bring his companions safe home, was a liar of that kind. The men I mean are innocent of any ulterior motive: they prefer a lie ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... the balance of probabilities turned in her favor. Winterborne's apparent strength, during the last months of his life, must have been delusive. It had often occurred that after a first attack of that insidious disease a person's apparent recovery was a physiological mendacity. ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... tourists report, and in Spain I saw none at all. If the reader asks how with this gentleness, this civility and integrity, the Spaniards have contrived to build up their repute for cruelty, treachery, mendacity, and every atrocity; how with their love of bull-feasts and the suffering to man and brute which these involve, they should yet seem so kind to both, I answer frankly, I do not know. I do not know how the Americans are reputed ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... of spiritualism in America, with its associations and lyceums and annual camp-meetings, and its itinerancy of mediums and trance speakers, is a system of mere imposture. In the honest simplicity of many of its followers, and in the wicked mendacity of its leaders, it seems to be on a par with the other American contribution to the religions ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... Edward O'Connor, who sat beside him, to sing; but Edward whispered, "For Heaven's sake don't stop the flow of the lava from that mighty eruption of lies!—he's a perfect Vesuvius of mendacity. You'll never meet his like again, so make the most of him while you have him. Pray, sir," said Edward to the colonel, "have you ever been in any of the cold climates? I am induced to ask you, from the very wonderful anecdotes you have told ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... retires from office without a stain upon his ermine. Millions might have been amassed by venality. He retires as poor as when he entered, owing nothing and owning little, except the title to the respect of good men, which malignant mendacity cannot wrest from a public officer who has deserved, by a long and useful career, the grateful appreciation of his fellow-citizens. We think that we may safely predict that, in his new place, Justice Field will fulfill the sanguine ...
— Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State • Stephen Field; George C. Gorham

... him loved him. The major really interested him enormously. He represented a type which was new to him, and which it delighted him to study. The major's heartiness, his magnificent disregard for meum and tuum, his unique and picturesque mendacity, his grandiloquent manners at times, studied, as he knew, from some example of the old regime, whom he either consciously or unconsciously imitated, his peculiar devotion to the memory of his late wife,—all appealed to Jack's sense of humor, and to his ...
— A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others • F. Hopkinson Smith

... the ceremonies due to une jeune fille honnete. For he had at once detected the girl's reckless temper. From what social stratum did she come—she and the brother? In her, at least, there was some wild blood! When he sounded Madame Cervin, however, she, with her incurable habit of vain mendacity, had only put her lodger in a light which Montjoie felt ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... mean a struggle for life an' death. Thar's plenty of bunkless gents, however, besides him, an' as he sinks into them sound an' dreamless slumbers which is the her'tage of folks whose consciences run trop, he hears 'em drinkin' an' talkin' an' barterin' mendacity, an' ...
— Wolfville Days • Alfred Henry Lewis

... evening under the fire of questions that assailed him in reference to the fair deserter. But he kept loyal faith with her, adhering even to the letter of her instructions, and only once was goaded into more active mendacity. The conversation had turned upon "Debs," and the consul had remarked on the singularity of the name. A guest from the north observed, however, that the name was undoubtedly a contraction. "Possibly it might have been 'Debborough,' ...
— Stories in Light and Shadow • Bret Harte

... third of his race to perish in the New Forest, the scene of the Conqueror's cruelty to his people. He was a thick-set man with a red face, a debauchee of the deepest dye, mean in money matters, and as full of rum and mendacity as Sitting Bull, the former Regent of the Sioux Nation. He died at the age of forty-three years, having reigned and cut up in a ...
— Comic History of England • Bill Nye

... years the paper was single and invaluable: in it one could find set forth acutely and dispassionately the broad facts and the real purport of all great legislative proposals, free from the rant and mendacity, the fury and distortion, the prejudice and counter-prejudice ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... offered prices which utterly deranged the market; the judges found at his hospitable board entertainment for man and beast, the like of which had never been spread in the Territory; with mendacious witnesses he confronted witnesses of superior mendacity. ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... hypocrisies, conscious and unconscious: this man is capable of shaking it a little out of its stupid refuges of lies and ignominious wrappages, and of intimating to it afar off that there is still a Veracity in Things, and a Mendacity in Sham Things,' and so forth, in the well-known strain.[17] It is impossible to overrate the truly supreme importance of the violent break-up of Europe which followed the death of the Emperor Charles VI., and in many respects 1740 is as important a date in the history ...
— Critical Miscellanies, Vol. I - Essay 2: Carlyle • John Morley

... could hardly have happened before 1513, the Battle of Pisa was at the Palace of the Medici, and the Battle of Anghiari at the Sala del Papa. The way in which it finally disappeared is involved in some obscurity, owing to Vasari's spite and mendacity. In the first, or 1550, edition of the "Lives of the Painters," he wrote as follows: "Having become a regular object of study to artists, the Cartoon was carried to the house of the Medici, into the great upper ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... chap has a certain natural gift of rhetoric. Observe the rhythm of his native woodnotes wild. "I'm willing to tell you: I'm wanting to tell you: I'm waiting to tell you." Sentimental rhetoric! That's the Welsh strain in him. It also accounts for his mendacity and dishonesty. ...
— Pygmalion • George Bernard Shaw

... than twenty-two on his table directed against himself, which he carefully preserved as his best eulogium and claim to immortality. He advocated the severe repression of the seditious; yet, with a stretch of hypocrisy and mendacity uncommon even with a Guise, he expressed himself as for his own part very sorry that such "grievous executions" had been inflicted upon those who went "without arms and from fear of being damned to hear preaching, or who sang psalms, neglected the mass, or engaged in other observances ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird



Words linked to "Mendacity" :   veracity, mendacious, untruthfulness



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