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Prim   /prɪm/   Listen
Prim

adjective
(compar. primmer; superl. primmest)
1.
Affectedly dainty or refined.  Synonyms: dainty, mincing, niminy-piminy, twee.



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"Prim" Quotes from Famous Books



... in every sense of the word, "a perfect gentleman!" Mr. Pinckney was one of the members of the first Congress, and during his sojourn in Philadelphia, boarded with an old lady by the name of Hall, I think—Mrs. Hall, a staid, prim and precise dame of the old regime. Mistress Hall was a widow; she kept but few boarders in her fine old mansion, on Chestnut street, and her few boarders were mostly members of Congress, or belonged to the Continental army. Never, since the days of that remarkable ...
— The Humors of Falconbridge - A Collection of Humorous and Every Day Scenes • Jonathan F. Kelley

... the prim young, figure by his side, and his voice again developed a plaintive note. "If you only knew what it was like," he continued, "to be mewed up in an office all day, with not a soul to speak to, and the sun shining, perhaps ...
— Salthaven • W. W. Jacobs

... feverish quest for gold, and the same extravagance of life as in the devil's garden on the blue Mediterranean. On landing, I was struck with the number of well-dressed men and women who rub shoulders in the street with the dilapidated-looking mining element. In the same way palatial banks and prim business houses are incongruously scattered amongst saloons and drinking bars. Front Street, facing the sea, is the principal thoroughfare, so crowded at midday that you can scarcely get along. It is paved with wood, imported here at enormous expense, and a pavement of the same material ...
— From Paris to New York by Land • Harry de Windt

... to be very prim and proper in England," said Gipsy, looking serious, "but I didn't know things were as bad as that. I'll begin to wish I hadn't come here. Oh dear! we were going right through to Chicago if we hadn't been shipwrecked, and I ...
— The Leader of the Lower School - A Tale of School Life • Angela Brazil

... a quiver of expectation in their hearts. The judge stopped at his gate, hesitating a moment before he lifted the latch, and glanced up the street at the country wagon with its two prim little girls on the back seat, and the eager man who drove. They seemed to be waiting for something; the old horse was nibbling at the fresh roadside grass. The judge was used to being looked at with interest, and responded ...
— The Life of Nancy • Sarah Orne Jewett

... dingy hue, like rice boiled in dirty water. The eyes were dark, but dull, and without meaning; the hair was black and glossy, but coarse; and there was the admired crop—a long crop, much like the tail of a horse—a switch tail. The fine figure was meagre, prim, and constrained. The beauty, the grace, and the elegance existed, no doubt, in their utmost perfection, but only in the imagination of her partial young sister. Her father, as Harriet told me, was familiarly called 'Jew Westbrook,' and Eliza greatly resembled one of the ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds

... Prim Margaret Fuller, who was a visitor—and never a member of the community as has often been stated—professed herself disturbed, at first, by the easy and perhaps indifferent manner in which they listened to her long conversations, as they sat on the ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... fools," I said roughly. She was a most respectable and prim old lady; yet I could not resist shocking ...
— The Ghost - A Modern Fantasy • Arnold Bennett

... the sphere of Coventry's influence, we find him losing scruples and daily complying further with the age. When he began the journal, he was a trifle prim and puritanic; merry enough, to be sure, over his private cups, and still remembering Magdalene ale and his acquaintance with Mrs. Ainsworth of Cambridge. But youth is a hot season with all; when a man smells April and May he is apt at times to stumble; and ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... me alone: I am not thine. Prim Creed, with categoric point, forbear To feature me my Lord by rule and line. Thou canst not measure Mistress Nature's hair, Not one sweet inch: nay, if thy sight is sharp, Would'st count the strings upon an ...
— The Poems of Sidney Lanier • Sidney Lanier

... there suddenly trotted a piebald pony, drawing a low, basket phaeton, in which sat two prim, little, old ladies, a fat one and a lean one. Despite the difference in their avoirdupois the two old ladies showed themselves to ...
— Janice Day at Poketown • Helen Beecher Long

... many a fiery glance at me. Only lately he wrote to his uncle from Paris that he was minded to make me his wife. Ah, you may open your eyes wide, most respected every-one's-cousin Maud, and you likewise, prim and spotless Mistress Margery! Cross yourselves in the name of all the Saints! A dead wolf cannot bite, and as for my love for that man, I may boldly declare that it is dead and buried. But mark me," and ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... steam-tram from Tholen to Bergen-op-Zoom was a Dutch maiden. So typical was she that she might have been a composite portrait of all Dutch girls of eighteen—smooth fair features, a very clear complexion, prim clothes. A friend getting in too, she talked; or rather he talked, and she listened, and agreed or dissented very quietly, and I had the pleasure of watching how admirably adapted is the Dutch feminine countenance for the display of the nuances of emotion, the enregistering of every thought. Expression ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... undying name With classic Rogers shall go down to fame, Be this thy crowning work! In my young days How often have I with a child's fond gaze Pored on the pictured wonders thou hadst done: Clarissa mournful, and prim Grandison! All Fielding's, Smollett's heroes, rose to view; I saw, and I believed the phantoms true. But, above all, that most romantic tale Did o'er my raw credulity prevail, Where Glums and Gawries wear mysterious ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... for new magic carpets, finding a "poetry-book" by Longfellow, and a book of American history, and a story called "David Copperfield," and last and strangest of all, another story called "Pride and Prejudice." A curious freak of fortune—the prim and sentimentally quivering Jane Austen in a coal-camp in a far Western wilderness! An adventure for Jane, ...
— King Coal - A Novel • Upton Sinclair

... Mrs. Gusty came in with a rustle of garments suggestive of Sunday. Even in his confusion Mr. Opp was aware that there was something unusual in her appearance. Her hair, ordinarily drawn taut to a prim knot at the rear, had burst forth into curls and puffs of an amazing complexity. Moreover, her change of coiffure had apparently affected her spirits, for she, too, was flurried and self-conscious and glanced continually at the clock ...
— Mr. Opp • Alice Hegan Rice

... all as you and I had imagined it to be. There is no high wall around it as there is at Fort Trumbull. It reminds one of a prim little village built around a square, in the center of which is a high flagstaff and a big cannon. The buildings are very low and broad and are made of adobe—a kind of clay and mud mixed together—and the walls are very thick. At every window are ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... awkward and sophisticated youth and a prim maid with down-cast eyes will sit together, waltz together, and the one never get one inch the nearer to the other, though soul and mind and body crave a closer union. The youth would give the solid earth—nay, the solid earth ...
— Hints for Lovers • Arnold Haultain

... household which consisted of an elderly uncle and aunt, and a middle-aged governess, Leo Gordon had never known intimate association with younger people; and while her nature was gentle and tranquil, she gradually imbibed the grave and rather prim ideas which were in vogue when Miss Patty was the reigning belle of her county. Although petted and indulged, she had not been spoiled, and remained singularly free from the selfishness usually developed ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... for the prettiest Master in Town, that no Man teaches a Jigg like him, that she has seen him rise six or seven Capers together with the greatest Ease imaginable, and that his Scholars twist themselves more ways than the Scholars of any Master in Town: besides there is Madam Prim, an Alderman's Lady, recommends a Master of her own Name, but she declares he is not of their Family, yet a very extraordinary Man in his way; for besides a very soft Air he has in Dancing, he gives them a particular ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... wink, as if afraid in that brief proverbial interval to lose a particle of the rich music that floated through the room. For the first time the idea crossed Mary's mind that it was possible the plain little sensible Margaret, so prim and demure, might have power over the heart of the handsome, dashing ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... of the sentry, on the quarter-deck below him, grounding arms, turned the current of his thoughts. A thin, tall, soldier-like man, with a cold blue eye, and prim features, came out of the cuddy below, handing out a fair-haired, affected, mincing lady, of middle age. Captain Vickers, of Mr. Frere's regiment, ordered for service in Van Diemen's Land, was bringing his lady on deck to get an appetite ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... write, but as you think THEY would. This is an art, a kind of fiction, don't you see? We must imagine a certain character, and write a letter consistent with that character. Then it'll sound natural. Now, K. D. B. Well, K. D. B., she's prim. Let's have her prim, and proud of using correct, precise, 'elegant' language. I guess she wears mits, and believes in cremation. Let's have her believe in cremation. And Captain Jack; oh! he's got a terrible voice, like this, ROW-ROW-ROW see? and whiskers, very fierce; and he ...
— Blix • Frank Norris

... lot, and we children like him first-rate; but now he's in Europe. Well, to come back to Nora: she likes to be called Eleanor, but we don't do it; she is so fussy and so very proper that Felix has nick-named her Miss Prim, and we do call her that. Miss Marston thinks Nora is the best behaved of us all; and sometimes, when Nannie is in papa's study, she lets her go in the drawing-room and entertain people that call. You should see the airs that Nora puts on when she comes upstairs ...
— We Ten - Or, The Story of the Roses • Lyda Farrington Kraus

... him. "Do you think you can make your child and hers into a prim miss, to sit at home and work embroidery?" she demanded. "Upon my word, if I were a boy I believe you'd suggest putting ...
— The Fur Bringers - A Story of the Canadian Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... the loveliest scenery you can imagine. Our place is about a mile from the city, so the dirt will not annoy you; and you will meet such pleasant people there that you will not mind the smoke. I am sure, Mary, you will come away quite in love with Limeton, and prefer it to this prim old place.' ...
— The Four Canadian Highwaymen • Joseph Edmund Collins

... whom they first played with." That eloquent trait, her love of animals and her hatred of cruelty, helps to define her character. She was, says Godwin, "a worshipper of domestic life," and, for all her proud independence, in love with love. In Godwin's prim phraseology, she "set a great value on a mutual affection between persons of an opposite sex, and regarded it as the principal solace of human life." Indeed, in the Letters to Imlay, which appeared after her death, it is not so much the strength and independence of her final attitude ...
— Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle • H. N. Brailsford

... Memoirs. She represents a prince of the blood in quite a royal condition. The loudness, the bigness, boisterousness, creaking boots and rattling oaths, of the young princes, appeared to have frightened the prim household of Windsor, and set all the tea-cups twittering on the tray. On the night of a ball and birthday, when one of the pretty, kind princesses was to come out, it was agreed that her brother, Prince William Henry, should dance ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... for she gladdened the pride of Francis by choosing him as her partner. Betty and Billy mutually chose each other. Mrs. Kingdon selected a newcomer. Agatha and the "other girl" asked their particular friends, and the cook spitefully "sat it out." Pen had to follow the prim little steps learned by Francis at a city dancing school the winter before, and Sleepy Sandy thoughtfully timed his tune thereto and shortened the number. Then Jo started for the belle of the ball, but ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... astonished the whole household; the butler made a profound bow to the captain; the footmen forgot their usual smirk when he alighted. Captain Delmar was ushered in solemn silence into the drawing-room, and his aunt, who had notice of his arrival received him with a stiff, prim air of unwonted frigidity, with her arms crossed before her on her ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... Emmy entered the prim drawing-room where he had been waiting for her, the picture of pretty flower-like misery, her delicate cheeks white, a hunted look in her baby eyes. A great pang of pity went through the man, hurting him physically. She gave ...
— Septimus • William J. Locke

... again a strong sense of the ludicrous rushes over me. There seems to me something acutely ridiculous in the idea of myself standing here, so finely dressed—of the boys, demure and prim in their tall hats and Sunday coats, gathered to see me ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... battle of Dettingen; they are double loaded, and if any highwayman in England robs you of the value of a pin while I have the honour of being in your company, d—n my heart." When he had expressed himself in this manner, a prim gentlewoman, who had sat silent hitherto, opened her mouth, and said, she wondered how any man could be so rude as to pull out such weapons before ladies. "D—me, madam," cried the champion, "if you are so much afraid at the sight of a pistol, how d'ye propose to stand fire if there should be ...
— The Adventures of Roderick Random • Tobias Smollett

... stiff and prim and sarcastic, did not tend in the least to relieve Mr. Ducklow from the natural embarrassment he felt in giving his version of Reuben's loss. However, assisted occasionally by a judicious remark thrown in by Mrs. Ducklow, he succeeded in telling a sufficiently ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... when she was about fourteen, and I saw her, and was not favourably impressed. She was quiet and prim and proper, as cold as an icicle: a very pretty little girl, I owned that; but then I had thought to find something of my Janet, and was disappointed. Her eyes were indeed blue, but looked one in the face calmly as though they had belonged to a woman ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 1891 • Various

... a quiet, sleek, old creature, and was so prim, that her friends called her an old maid; and some of them even said that she was an old cat, but they were the people who were not asked to her nice tea parties. When she gave a tea party, she sent her page Jacko to invite her friends. Jacko was a clever monkey, who had come ...
— A Apple Pie and Other Nursery Tales • Unknown

... Not far away was the gallant young Sherburne at the head of his troop of cavalry, and in the first brigade was the regiment of the Invincibles led by Colonel Leonidas Talbot and Lieutenant Colonel Hector St. Hilaire. Never had the two colonels seemed more prim and precise, and not even in youth had the fire of battle ever burned more brightly ...
— The Sword of Antietam • Joseph A. Altsheler

... was a sight to be seen—crumpled, infinitely prim, crow-footed like an ivied wall; but extraordinarily wise; with that tempered resolve which says, "I know Evil and I know Good, and dare be just to either." He was thinking profoundly; every one could see it. ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... lovely as the moon and as beautiful as light. The rapid and constant motion of the foliage of the poplar and the aspen reminds him of some nervous and excitable person who is never quiet or easy for a moment. The prim spruce-tree suggests to him some person of formal habits and primness of dress. The symmetrical maple and pine remind him of some quiet and dignified character who is well balanced and rounded at every point. The patriarchal tree which ...
— The Road and the Roadside • Burton Willis Potter

... Enid sat prim and straight on a chair at the foot of his bed. Her flowered organdie dress was very much like the bouquet she had brought, and her floppy straw hat had a big lilac bow. She began to tell Claude about her father's several attacks of erysipelas. He listened but absently. He would never have believed ...
— One of Ours • Willa Cather

... I to do, Frank? What am I to do? Think how desolate I am, how unfriended, how much in want of some one whom I can call a protector! I cannot have you always with me. You care more for the little finger of that prim piece of propriety down at the old dowager's than you do for me and all my sorrows." This was true, but Frank did not say that it was true. "Lord Fawn is at any rate respectable. At least, I thought he was so when I accepted ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... got out and walked on, telling Hiram to follow at his leisure. My heart beat fast as I espied a wagon in the distance with one—yes, two—Shaker bonnets in it. Bessie in masquerade! Perhaps so—it could not be the other: that would be too horrible. But she was coming, surely coming, and the cold prim sister had ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873. • Various

... newsy, delightful epistle to banish the sting of Ruby's postscript. Diana's letter contained a little too much Fred, but was otherwise crowded and crossed with items of interest, and Anne almost felt herself back in Avonlea while reading it. Marilla's was a rather prim and colorless epistle, severely innocent of gossip or emotion. Yet somehow it conveyed to Anne a whiff of the wholesome, simple life at Green Gables, with its savor of ancient peace, and the steadfast abiding love that was there for her. Mrs. Lynde's letter ...
— Anne Of The Island • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... that her power reached its full development, and she even took prizes in magazines and newspapers for some stories with what her friends called "prim heroes and pasteboard heroines," classifications which she good-naturedly accepted, as she readily acknowledged that she ...
— Literary Hearthstones of Dixie • La Salle Corbell Pickett

... little changed; the small, tall, thin, narrow-chested, stooping figure—the same long, fair, freckled, sharp set face—the same prim cap, and clean, scant, faded gown, or one of the same sort—made up her personal individuality. Miss Nancy now had charge of the village post-office; and her early and accurate information respecting all neighborhood affairs, was obtained, it was whispered, ...
— The Missing Bride • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... with that which is not the creature of legislation acting with malice aforethought, but the unnoted outgrowth of ages, is to be ridiculous. It is like comparing the laid-out town of a western prairie, its right-angled streets, prim cottages, "built on the installment plan," and its wooden a-b-c shops, with the grand old town of Oxford, topped with the clustered domes and towers of its twenty-odd great colleges; the very names of many of whose founders have perished from human record ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... that we might get off from that train, and go by another in three or four hours' time, we availed ourselves of the opportunity of calling upon the Rev. Dr. Todd, the author of "Lectures to Children," "The Student's Guide," &c. Instead of the prim, neat, little man we had always imagined him to be, we found him tall, coarse, slovenly, and unshaven; a man of 46 years of age; hair of an iron-grey, rough and uncombed; features large; cheek-bones prominent; and the straps of his trowsers unbuttoned, ...
— American Scenes, and Christian Slavery - A Recent Tour of Four Thousand Miles in the United States • Ebenezer Davies

... in spite of the odd smells. He lay on a high bed, surrounded by prim white walls, and there was even a chart of some kind at the bottom of the bedframe. He focused his eyes slowly on what must be the doctors and nurses there, and their faces looked back with the proper professional ...
— The Sky Is Falling • Lester del Rey

... pathology of potatoes; the connection between potatoes, pauperism, and patriotism,—these and suchlike stupendous subjects for reflection, all branching more or less intricately from the single idea of the Castleton property, the young lord discussed and disposed of in half-a-dozen prim, poised sentences; evincing, I must say in justice, no inconsiderable information, and a mighty solemn turn of mind. The oddity was that the subjects so selected and treated should not come rather from some young barrister, or mature political economist, ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... education prevented me from attempting the higher walks of our profession; but this object of my ambition was gained at last. I had taken a pocket-book from a worthy Quaker, and, unfortunately, was perceived by a man at a shop window, who came out, collared, and delivered me into the hands of the prim gentleman. Having first secured his property, he then walked with me and a police officer to Bow-street. My innocent face, and my tears, induced the old gentleman, who was a member of the Philanthropic Society, not only not to prefer the charge against me, but to send me to the institution ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... bruthrun, we don't want store cloth and yaller buttins, and fat hossis and chickin fixins, and the like doins—no, sirs! we only wants your souls—we only wants beleevur's baptism—we wants prim—prim—yes, Apostul's Christianity, the Christianity of Christ and them times, when Christians was Christians, and tuk up thare cross and went down into the water, and was buried in the gineine sort of baptism by emerzhin. ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.) • Various

... with her prim New England manner, "if you want to marry me, you'll have to come and live in a country where they don't have queens, and you'll work in your shirt-sleeves like an honest man. You might just's well understand that ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... smiled in prim sweetness, and noting that Mrs. Jackson's hands looked reasonably clean, extended one of the first two white kid gloves in Crowheart which Mrs. Jackson shook with heartiness before ...
— The Lady Doc • Caroline Lockhart

... of the world. I was one who could never be still, nor settle down to a quiet existence. After I came to own my own ship there is hardly a port from Archangel to Australia which I have not entered. I was rough and wild and free, but there was one at home, sir, who was prim and white-handed and soft-tongued, skilful in little fancies and conceits which women love. This youth by his wiles and tricks stole from me the love of the girl whom I had ever marked as my own, and who up to that time had seemed in some sort inclined ...
— The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... you, in your working among the poor, run the danger of scarlet fever and small-pox every other day in your life, and you never think about it. How many public men have died by the assassin's hand in my days? Abraham Lincoln, Marshal Prim, President Garfield, Lord Frederick Cavendish—two or three more; and how many young ladies have ...
— The Dictator • Justin McCarthy

... and everyone who lives in the square has a key to open the gate; but it must not be left open, or other people would get in and use the garden too. It has green grass in it and flower-beds, and it is all very prim and proper, and not at all interesting; and, worst of all, the dear dogs, Scamp and Jim, cannot go there, even when they are led by a string. The gardener would turn them out, for he imagines they would kick about in his flower-beds and rake out the seeds. This is not the sort ...
— The Children's Book of London • Geraldine Edith Mitton

... wee pet, Fairest and sweetest of housekeepers yet; Up when the roses in golden light peep, Helping her mother to sew and to sweep. Tidy and prim in her apron and gown, Brightest of eyes, of the bonniest brown; Tiniest fingers, and needle so fleet, Pattern of womanhood, down ...
— Happy Days for Boys and Girls • Various

... much more at ease among ailing old women than prim school-children, and she gave great satisfaction in ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... do want to sit at the head of our table, papa," said Patty; "I'd just like to see a housekeeper there! A prim, sour-faced old lady with a black silk dress and dangling ear-rings! No, I thank you. If I have my way I will keep that house myself, and when I get into any trouble, I will fly to Aunt ...
— Patty at Home • Carolyn Wells

... declared Patricia, standing at the studio window one Sunday night about the middle of February. "She never gets cross or fussed like I do, and she is always so beautifully dressed. I am sometimes quite ashamed of my plain self when we are going about together. I do look awfully little-girly and prim in most of my clothes. I wish I were more ornamental," she ended with a tiny ...
— Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge • Pemberton Ginther

... circumstances; but unfortunately, in the case of John Clare, and as if to damp his military ardour, it also turned out a source of unqualified regret. The corporal under whose immediate orders he was placed, a prim and lady-like youngster, took an aversion to John, partly on account of the bag-trousers, and partly because of the stuffings of his helmet, a fraction of which not unfrequently escaped its confinement, and hung down, in stiff wooden ringlets, over his pale cheeks. At this the dandy-corporal ...
— The Life of John Clare • Frederick Martin

... get itself into a mess; scrambling through the dripping hedges; swarming over tarry fence and slimy paling. On, on it pants—through Bishop's Wood, by tangled Churchyard Bottom, where now the railway shrieks; down sloppy lanes, bordering Muswell Hill, where now stand rows of jerry-built, prim villas. At intervals it stops an instant to dab its eyes with its dingy little rag of a handkerchief, to rearrange the bundle under its arm, its chief anxiety to keep well out of sight of chance wanderers, ...
— Paul Kelver • Jerome Klapka, AKA Jerome K. Jerome

... Rachel stepped out of the lane into the backyard of Green Gables. Very green and neat and precise was that yard, set about on one side with great patriarchal willows and the other with prim Lombardies. Not a stray stick nor stone was to be seen, for Mrs. Rachel would have seen it if there had been. Privately she was of the opinion that Marilla Cuthbert swept that yard over as often as she swept her house. One could have eaten a meal off the ground without overbrimming the proverbial ...
— Anne Of Green Gables • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... the Black Islands, and whom Ormond had never seen, was to accompany Dora on her return to Corny Castle: our young hero had settled it in his head that this aunt must be something like Aunt Ellenor in Sir Charles Grandison; a stiff-backed, prim, precise, old-fashioned looking aunt. Never was man's astonishment more visible in his countenance than was that of Harry Ormond on the first sight of Dora's aunt. His surprise was so great as to preclude the sight of ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... is a suburb of the second city in Ireland, and one of the most beautiful spots about the town. What a prim, bustling, active, green-railinged, tea-gardened, gravel-walked place would it have been in the five-hundredth town in England!—but you see the people can be quite as happy in the rags and without the paint, and I hear a great deal more heartiness and affection from these children than from their ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors - Vol. II Great Britain And Ireland, Part Two • Francis W. Halsey

... calls home, What white-winged ships have braved the wild sea-foam. Prows of the Norsemen, etched against the blue! Helmets agleam! Faces of wind-bronzed hue! On roll the years, and in a forest green The Princess Pocahontas next is seen; And then in prim white cap and somber gown Lovely Priscilla, Maid o' Plymouth Town. Benjamin Franklin supping at an Inn, A 'prentice lad with all his world to win. Then Washington encamped before a blaze O' fagots, swiftly learning woodland ways. Next the brave times of 1773 When Boston folk would ...
— Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People • Constance D'Arcy Mackay

... dresses down the stairs outside, and two thin little girls, looking excessively proper and prim, came in with an elderly gentlewoman who was their governess and wore a pince-nez to impart the necessary suggestion of a superior intellect. They were the Miss Mutlows, sisters of one of the day-boarders, and attended the course by special favour as friends of Dulcie's, ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... attitude as he was dragged through the dust, clinging desperately to the frayed end of the broken rope. So she scrambled nimbly to her place on the running board, and there Mr. Haskell found her sitting prim and decorous when he had finally recovered his breath and made himself sufficiently presentable to face the ...
— Tabitha's Vacation • Ruth Alberta Brown

... him, except in a rather external way. He says, "We found Mrs. Thaxter sitting in a neat little parlor, very simply furnished, but in good taste. She is not now, I believe, more than eighteen years old, very pretty, and with the manners of a lady,—not prim and precise, but with ...
— Sketches from Concord and Appledore • Frank Preston Stearns

... Kellys, thirteen Burkes, and four Sheas. It seemed that Ireland had soldiers for the world. Don Patricio, Don Miguel, Don Carlos, Don Tadeo took the place of Patrick, Michael, Charles, and Thadeus. O'Hart gives a list of sixty descendants of the "Wild Geese" in places of honor in Spain. General Prim was a descendant of the Princes of Inisnage in Kilkenny. An O'Donnell was Duke of Tetuan and field marshal of Spain. Ambrose O'Higgins, born in county Meath, Ireland, was the foremost Spanish soldier in Chile and Peru; Admiral ...
— The Glories of Ireland • Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox

... few moments the door opened, and Joe entered the drawing-room. She was pale, and her great brown eyes had a serious expression in them that was unusual. There was something prim in the close dark dress she wore, and the military collar of most modern cut met severely about her throat. If Ronald had expected a very affectionate welcome he was destined to disappointment; Joe had determined not to be affectionate until all was over. To prepare him in ...
— An American Politician • F. Marion Crawford

... and see all my philosophy refuted, all my prim little opinions lying prone like dolls with the sawdust knocked out of them. All these years I have been judging Judith with an ignorance as cruel as it has been complacent. Verily I have been the fag end of wisdom. So I forbear to ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... The prim and the precise, or the exact, the homogeneous, the single, the puritanic, the mathematic, the pure, the perfect. We can have illusion of this state—but only by disregarding its infinite denials. It's a drop of milk afloat in acid that's eating it. The positive swamped ...
— The Book of the Damned • Charles Fort

... contemporaries. These Professor Erdmann has incorporated in his edition of the Philosophical Works. Beside these we may mention, as particularly deserving of notice, the "Meditationes de Cognitione, Veritate et Ideis", the "Systeme Nouveau de la Nature", "De Prim Philosophi Emendatione et de Notione Substanti", "Reflexions sur l'Essai de l'Entendement humain", "De Rerum Originatione Radicali", "De ipsa Natura", "Considerations sur la Doctrine d'un Esprit universel", "Nouveaux Essais sur ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... at all. All that the Protestants do there is to hear sermons—it is all so dismal and noisy. But here, with you, you have a proper soul. It seems to me that you are like a little herb-garden, very prim and plain, but living and wholesome and pleasant to walk in at sunset. And these Protestants that I know are more like a paved court at noon—all hot and hard and glaring. They give me the headache. Tell ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... against the current rules of truth. These, however, did not include the commandment to use in disputation only such arguments as could be employed in a positive doctrinal presentation. Basilius (Ep. 210 ad prim. Neocaes) was quite ready to excuse an utterance of Gregory Thaumaturgus, that sounded suspiciously like Sabellianism, by saying that the latter was not speaking [Greek: dogmatikos], but [Greek: agonistikos]. Jerome also (ad Pammach. ep 48, c. 13), after defending the right of ...
— History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7) • Adolph Harnack

... room pleasant with white-enameled woodwork; a denim-covered couch and a narrow, prim brass bed, a litter of lingerie and sheets of newspaper; and, as the dominating center of it all, a woman of thirty, tall, high-breasted, full-faced, with a nose that was large but pleasant, black eyes that were cool and ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... Arcadian age at the capital, before the easy- going Southern ways had gone out and the prim new Northern ways had come in, and when the domestic animals were treated with distinguished consideration and granted the freedom of the city. There was a charm of cattle in the street and upon the commons; goats cropped your rosebushes through ...
— Birds and Poets • John Burroughs

... aristocratic, but somewhat prim and precise. Nevertheless, when the company had been telling of college pranks, she relaxed slightly, and told of a lark that had caused excitement in Cambridge when she was a girl there. This was to the effect that two maidens of social standing ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... pointed to anything but a prosperous trade in wood and sea-coal. Faggots, but not the treasonable kind! Try as he might, he could-get no farther with that pillar of the magistracy, my Lord Danly's friend, the beloved of Aldermen. He hated his solemn face, his prim mouth, his condescending stoop. Such a man was encased in proof armour of public esteem, and he heeded Mr. Lovel no more than ...
— The Path of the King • John Buchan

... that there was a young female in the house, as it would make the time pass away more agreeably; not that he expected much. Judging from the father, he made up his mind, as he took his clothes out of his valise, that she was very short, very prim, and had ...
— Snarley-yow - or The Dog Fiend • Frederick Marryat

... Warburton; to him he devoted all his genius, though that, indeed, was moderate; aided him with all his ingenuity, which was exquisite; and lent his cause a certain delicacy of taste and cultivated elegance, which, although too prim and artificial, was a vein of gold running through his mass of erudition; it was Hurd who aided the usurpation of Warburton in the province of criticism above Aristotle and Longinus.[191] Hurd is justly characterised by ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... town, however, there stood, by the odd freakishness of an artillery bombardment, complete houses hardly touched by shells and, very neat and prim, between masses of shapeless ruins. One street into which I drove was so undamaged that I could hardly believe my eyes, having looked back the night before to one great torch which men called "Dixmude." Nevertheless some of its window- frames had bulged with heat, and panes of glass fell with a ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... large in his imagination, was a house built of the soft stone of the country, mellowed by time. It looked dismal enough from the street, and inside it was extremely plain; there was the usual provincial courtyard—chilly, prim, and neat; and the house itself was sober, almost convent-like, but in ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... accepted Wentworth. She was so transfigured by happiness, so radiant, so absolutely unlike her former listless, colourless, carping self that Magdalen could only suppose that two shocks of joy had come simultaneously, the discovery that she loved her prim suitor, and the overwhelming relief to her tortured ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... legends of Robin Hood and his merry outlaws, which have charmed readers young and old for more than six hundred years. These entertaining stories date back to the time when Chaucer wrote his "Canterbury Tales," when the minstrel and scribe stood in the place of the more prim and ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... than a passion came over her to see herself in that less jealous arrangement of drapery which the Beauty of the last century had insisted on as presenting her most fittingly to the artist. She rolled up the sleeves of her dress, she turned down its prim collar and neck, and glanced from her glass to the portrait, from the portrait back to the glass. Myrtle was not blind nor dull, though young, and in many things untaught. She did not say in so many words, "I too am a beauty," but she could mot help seeing that she had ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... is my native place, and a city I love dearly—with all its formalities and inhospitalities toward strangers. Philadelphia is a prim matron, with a warm heart but a most frigid, repulsive exterior, until you become acquainted with her—one ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 4 October 1848 • Various

... mourners. The louder they exhorted the louder the sinners cried. The fourth preacher walked down the aisle searching for those who were yet hardening their hearts and stiffening their necks. He paused beside a prim little old maid who had lately arrived from Tidewater Virginia. Her ...
— The Southerner - A Romance of the Real Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... jolly mother took her seat at the top of the room; next to her sat a lady in a riding habit, whom I soon found to be Mrs. Dobson;(120) below her sat a gentlewoman, prim, upright, neat, and mean; and, next to her, sat another, thin, haggard, wrinkled, fine, and tawdry, with a thousand frippery ornaments and old-fashioned furbelows; she was excellently nick-named, ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay Volume 1 • Madame D'Arblay

... sidewalk, see her pass, I pay homage to her beauty, and her lover can do no more; and if, perchance, my garments—which must seem quaint to her, with their shining knees and carefully brushed elbows; my white cravat, careless, yet prim; my meditative movement, as I put my stick under my arm to pare an apple, and not, I hope, this time to fall into the street,—should remind her, in her spring of youth, and beauty, and love, that there are age, and care, and poverty, also; then, perhaps, ...
— Prue and I • George William Curtis

... The men and women associate very little; the former employ themselves either in the business of life, or in hunting horse-racing, and gaming; while the latter meet in large parties, composed entirely of themselves, to sip tea and look prim!" Would a stranger who had been among us, who had witnessed the polished state of our society, the elegance of our parties, the case and sociability of manners which prevail there, the constant and agreeable intercourse between the sexes, the accomplishments of our ladies, that proud and elevated ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... that lies so thin and prim On either side the sunken brows! And soldered eyes, so deep and dim, No word of man could now arouse! And hollow hands, so virgin slim, ...
— Poems • Madison Cawein

... courtyard in front, where the rose-bushes grew and clambered up to the windows of the upper story. Behind lay a little country garden, with its box-edged borders, shut in by damp, gloomy-looking walls. The prim, gray-painted street door, with its wicket opening and bell attached, announced quite as plainly as the official scutcheon ...
— The Jealousies of a Country Town • Honore de Balzac

... plain, square, prim porches to all the dwellings, the ladies commonly took positions therein of evenings, and a grand promenade commenced of all the young Federals in the town. The streets were pleasantly shaded, and a leafy coolness pervaded the days, though sometimes, of afternoons, the still heat was almost ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... thing which caught his eyes as he entered the drawing-room before dinner was Argemone listening in absorbed reverence to her favourite vicar,—a stern, prim, close-shaven, dyspeptic man, with a meek, cold smile, which might have become a cruel one. He watched and watched in vain, hoping to catch her eye; but no—there she ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

... and through a drive gateway half hidden in trees. When I opened my eyes again I looked for the sunken garden; but except for a few very prim-looking flower-beds the grounds in front of the house consisted entirely of a lawn, round which the drive took a broad ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Oct. 3, 1917 • Various

... was short. He was bulky, promising to be fat. She was thin, and, with a paring here and there, would have been skinny. His face was sternly resolute, solemn indeed, hers was prim, and primness is the most everlasting, indestructible trait of humanity. It can outface the Sphinx. It is destructible only by death. Whoever has married a prim woman must hand over his breeches and his purse, ...
— Here are Ladies • James Stephens

... I are not boys, you see, and so the same rules do not apply to us, for girls always have to observe the conventions," said Nealie, with the prim little air which she sometimes put on for the sake ...
— The Adventurous Seven - Their Hazardous Undertaking • Bessie Marchant

... her clad in muslin white, With eyes downcast and manner prim, May well be minded by the sight, ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... day as I stood at the Bridge of Luckeen, Above the bright water all glancin' an' green, There strayed down the path from the top of the pass Such a slim little, prim ...
— Sprays of Shamrock • Clinton Scollard

... him no explanations. It stood as usual, large and prim and precise, the very acme of solid, sober wealth and assertive moral rectitude. He was strongly tempted to call and ask for Miss Brandt, but it was only ten o'clock in the morning, and the house looked so truly an embodiment in stucco of Mrs. Grundy ...
— Pearl of Pearl Island • John Oxenham

... with her back to it, smiled in enjoying recognition of the thin, high academic note, the prim finish of the inflection. It reminded her of a man she knew who "did" curates beautifully. Arnold walked past her with his quick, humble, clerical gait, and it amused her to think that he bent over Alicia's hand as if he ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... some such kindred emotion, stared fixedly over my head at a point on the further wall. It was as though he had seen something that turned him to stone. I instinctively followed the direction of his eyes, but I could see nothing unusual. The still feebly flickering ashes in the grate, and the row of prim ornaments on the ...
— The Mysterious Affair at Styles • Agatha Christie

... winter, raged violently among the Irish Loyalists. Nowhere were the recruiting officers more fervently besieged than in Dublin. Youthful squireens who boasted of being admirable snipe shots, and possessed a knowledge of all that pertained to horses, struggled with prim youths out of banks for the privilege of serving as troopers. The sons of plump graziers in the West made up parties with footmen out of their landlords' mansions, and arrived in Dublin hopeful of enlistment. ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... attire there was still a formal suggestion of the sect to which their father belonged, their summer frocks—differing in color, yet each of the same subdued tint—were alike in cut and fashion, and short enough to show their dainty feet in prim slippers and silken hose that matched their frocks. As the afternoon sun glanced through the leaves upon their pink cheeks, tied up in quaint hats by ribbons under their chins, they made a charming picture. At least Paul thought so as he advanced towards ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... scarcely drawn up before a small, prim house in Brompton Square when the door was opened by a neat maid in immaculate cap and apron. She was so neat and respectful as to appear almost passionless. She had the high complexion of a Country girl, good gray eyes, a slim, ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... remark that the choice spirits of the day, the go-ahead lads of that time, had let down the flaps of their cocked hats into slouching, and we must say, most slovenly circular brims. There was a sort of free-and-easy look affected in that day about the head, totally at enmity with the prim rigidity of the cocked beaver; you might have taken off your chapeau rond, as it then came to be called, and you might have sat on it—it would have been never the worse; but not so with its stiff old father—no liberties were to be taken with him; once sit upon him, and you would ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 • Various

... travelling down the ridges to the water. The ruling passion is strong in death, they say, and my heart was dead that night. But, independently of my trouble, no man who has for forty years lived the life I have, can with impunity go coop himself in this prim English country, with its trim hedgerows and cultivated fields, its stiff formal manners, and its well-dressed crowds. He begins to long — ah, how he longs! — for the keen breath of the desert air; he dreams of the sight of Zulu impis ...
— Allan Quatermain • by H. Rider Haggard

... located within a few minutes' walk of the Temple Grammar School, and numbered about thirty-five pupils, the majority of whom boarded at the Hall—Primrose Hall, as Miss Dorothy prettily called it. The Prim-roses, as we called them, ranged from seven years of age to sweet seventeen, and a prettier group of sirens never got together even in Rivermouth, for Rivermouth, you should know, is famous ...
— The Story of a Bad Boy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... waistcoat with a dozen buttons and huge flaps, the ruffled sleeve, the bob-wig, all belong to the outer man; but the calm, quiet, almost enquiring face, the look half of melancholy, half of reproach, and, as the Milesian would say, the other half of sleek wisdom; the long nose, the prim mouth and joined lips, the elevated brow, and beneath it the quiet contemplative eye, contemplative not of heaven or hell, but of this world as it had seen it, in its most worldly point of view, yet twinkling with ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... a singularly quaint-looking personage presented himself. He was very stiff and prim in his appearance; dressed in a blue coat and scarlet waistcoat, with a rich bandanna handkerchief tied very neatly round his neck, and a very new hat, to which his head ...
— The Young Duke • Benjamin Disraeli

... arranged the glasses in the ordinary form of spectacles, I applied them gingerly in their proper position; while Madame Simpson, adjusting her cap, and folding her arms, sat bolt upright in her chair, in a somewhat stiff and prim, and indeed, in a somewhat ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... same blue-eyed lady, now with hair curled, now in a ball dress, now in a yellow gown with leg-of-mutton sleeves. And all this—consoles, King of Rome, marshals, yellow-gowned, short-waisted ladies, with that prim stiffness which was considered graceful in 1806, this atmosphere of victory and conquest—it was this more than anything we could say to him that made him accept so naively ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... clean-eyed Navarrese—" Now for a little, Jehane paced the gleaming and sun-drenched apartment as a bright leopardess might tread her cage. Then she wheeled. "Friend, I think that God Himself has deigned to avenge you. All misery my reign has been. First Hotspur, then prim Worcester harried us. Came Glyndwyr afterward to prick us with his devils' horns. Followed the dreary years that linked me to the rotting corpse which God's leprosy devoured while the poor furtive thing yet moved, ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... a withering rebuke or a vigorous flagellation. If we add, that these writers exhibit that accuracy of statement which usually accompanies the assumption of infallibility, and that their English is of that prim and painful kind, common to pedagogues, which betrays a constant fear of being caught tripping while engaged in correcting others, the comparison—to cite once more M. de Pontmartin—"will appear only the more exact." We forbear to descend to a far lower class, judges who know nothing ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... long the plainly furnished room into which Mrs. Herndon ushered him to await the girl's appearance—the formal look of the old-fashioned hair-cloth furniture, the prim striped paper on the walls, the green shades at the windows, the clean rag carpet on the floor. The very stiffness chilled him, left him ill at ease. To calm his spirit he walked to a window, and stood staring out into the warm sunlight. Then he heard the rustle of Naida's skirt and turned to meet ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... our flag waving every time he lifts up his head." Time was worth more than gold; it was worth brave men's lives. The Danes were toiling day and night to prepare the defence of their capital. But prim Sir Hyde anchored, and sent up a single frigate with his ultimatum, and it was not until March 30 that the British fleet, a long line of stately vessels, came sailing up the Sound, passed Elsinore, and cast anchor fifteen ...
— Deeds that Won the Empire - Historic Battle Scenes • W. H. Fitchett

... "Laisser faire." The shock came not from the blow delivered, but from the blow received. With the effect of a schoolmaster entering the play-room of his pupils was that blow administered. Women pulled down their sleeves and laid prim hands against their ruffled side locks. Men looked at their watches. There was nothing of the effect of a brawl about it; it was purely the still panic produced by the sound of the ax of the fly cop, Conscience hammering at the gambling-house doors ...
— The Trimmed Lamp and Others • O Henry

... better from her, as he always does, for faring worse from me: for there was, How do you now, Sir? And how do you now, Mr. Hickman? as he ambled now on this side of the chariot, now on that, stealing a prim look at me; her head half out of the chariot, kindly smiling, as if married to the man but a fortnight herself: while I always saw something to divert myself on the side of the chariot where the ...
— Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... triumphantly to see her husband die. He had played the widower in sight of all Edinburgh, and now it would be seen how great was the lie, and nobody could dispute that the widowhood was hers. She hoped that he would turn his prim figure and formal face her way, that she might make him, too, an easy bow, showing how she despised the hypocrite, and how completely he had failed in breaking her spirit. She hoped she should be in good looks at that time, not owning the power of her enemies by looking worn and haggard. ...
— The Billow and the Rock • Harriet Martineau

... had died but two months before and if perhaps then her younger sister had felt any pang of pity for the orphaned children, it did not enter her thoughts this morning. She plumped up the pillows on the prim horsehair sofa, painfully recalling the pillow fight she had once seen between her cousin's children. Children were a nuisance, and these two—Myra's dreadful boy and girl—were bound ...
— Pearl and Periwinkle • Anna Graetz

... means to be just," defended Dorothy. "She has rather prim ideas about things, but she's a stickler for principle. I am glad she's over her ...
— Jane Allen: Right Guard • Edith Bancroft

... him handsomer than any man in the world. When he says that he loves me, I can see, I can feel that it is true; I feel displeased, and at the same time delighted. M. de la Marche seems insipid and prim since I have known Bernard. Bernard alone seems as proud, as passionate, as bold as myself—and as weak as myself; for he cries like a child when I vex him, and here I am crying, too, as I think ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... hall as she indicated the depository for his hat and stick and opened the door of the sitting-room. She had barely smiled. Indeed she had not smiled. She had not mentioned the weather. On the other hand, she had not been prim or repellent. She had revealed nothing of herself. Her one feat had been to stimulate mightily his curiosity and his imagination concerning her—rampant enough even before ...
— The Roll-Call • Arnold Bennett



Words linked to "Prim" :   refined, fit out, contract, constrict, clothe, apparel, change, enclothe, garment, press, squeeze, proper, dress, habilitate, compact, raiment, garb, tog, compress



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