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Semblance   /sˈɛmbləns/   Listen
Semblance

noun
1.
An outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading.  Synonyms: color, colour, gloss.  "He tried to give his falsehood the gloss of moral sanction" , "The situation soon took on a different color"
2.
An erroneous mental representation.  Synonym: illusion.
3.
Picture consisting of a graphic image of a person or thing.  Synonym: likeness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Semblance" Quotes from Famous Books



... has become of Fred?" Mrs. Byram asked, preserving a semblance of calmness only after ...
— Down the Slope • James Otis

... up they quickly rear, And build a city in an hour's space. When lo, disguised in unusual gear, Two barons bold approachen gan the place; Their semblance kind, and mild their gestures were, Peace in their hands, and friendship in their face, From Egypt's king ambassadors they come, Them many a squire attends, and ...
— Jerusalem Delivered • Torquato Tasso

... Some semblance of national autonomy was maintained by the Jews under Roman dominion, and their religious ceremonials were not seriously interfered with. The established orders in the priesthood were recognized, and the official acts of the ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... weight and density. Silent, still, the world of Unaga seemed to have lost all semblance of life. White, white, eternal white, and above the heavy grey of an overburdened sky. Solitude, loneliness, desperately complete. It was the silence which well nigh drives the human brain to madness. From minutes to hours; from inches to feet. Day and night. Day and night. Snow, ...
— The Heart of Unaga • Ridgwell Cullum

... he admires were so different to the Vicomte's. Of course he had that extraordinary sans-gene of all those men, that absolute unselfconsciousness which is not aware there is anyone else in the room but himself and the lady he is bent upon; but instead of being discreet, and making a semblance of taking an interest in the rest of the company, as the Vicomte did, he just sprawled into a chair near her, monopolised her conversation, and stared blankly in front of him whenever she spoke to any one else. And Tom was doing almost the same by Valerie. It is undoubtedly ...
— Elizabeth Visits America • Elinor Glyn

... Colonial Secretary. It was on one of the five reaches in the westerly course of the Victoria that I passed the second night; the river there measured 120 yards across, and seemed to have a great depth; the rocks and small islets which here and there occurred in its channel giving it the semblance of a lasting and most important river; this unexpected change, however, both in its appearance and course, caused me to return immediately to my camp for the purpose of conducting my party down such a river ...
— Expedition into Central Australia • Charles Sturt

... Negroes for segregated general service. The presence of large numbers of black inductees and the limited number of assignments for them in segregated units prevented the Bureau of Naval Personnel from providing even a semblance of separate but equal conditions. Deteriorating black morale and the specter of racial disturbance drove the bureau to experiment with all-black crews, but the experiment led nowhere. The Navy could never operate a separate but equal fleet. Finally in 1944 Forrestal began to experiment ...
— Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 • Morris J. MacGregor Jr.

... king must have a crown. So one of them ran out to the park in which the palace stood and pulled a few twigs from a tree or bush. These happened to be thorny; but this did not matter, it was all the better; they were plaited into the rude semblance of a crown and crushed down on His head. To complete the outfit, a king must have a sceptre. And this they found without difficulty: a reed, probably used as a walking-stick, being thrust into His right hand. Thus was the mock king ...
— The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ - A Devotional History of our Lord's Passion • James Stalker

... object, a vase, you must draw it flat, and you can only represent the solidity of that vase by resorting to certain devices of light and shade, to the artificial device which is called perspective, in order to make an illusory semblance of the third dimension. There on the plane surface you get a solid appearance, and the eye is deceived into thinking it sees a solid when really it is looking at a flat surface. Now as a matter of fact if you show a picture to a savage, an undeveloped savage, or to a ...
— Avataras • Annie Besant

... good all over, while you escaped from a scolding you know you deserved. A jealous mother makes an artful daughter. But, Sarah Matilda, one word in your ear. Art ain't cleverness, and cunning ain't understanding. Semblance only answers once; the second time the door ain't ...
— Nature and Human Nature • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... Mediterranean, had the brilliant appearance, at a distance, of flowers in bloom[1]; the foot of the Lepas anatifera (Linnaeus) appearing to me like the stalk of a plant growing from the ship's side: the shell had the semblance of a calyx, and the flower consisted of the fingers (tentacula) of the shell-fish, "of which twelve project in an elegant curve, and are used by it for making prey of small fish." The very ancient error was to mistake the foot ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 201, September 3, 1853 • Various

... of Dutch origin, for it was just as apparent in New Jersey or Pennsylvania as in New York, and I think it may be attributed to a very obvious consequence of a general equality of condition, a state of society in which no one is content to wear even the semblance of poverty, but those who cannot by any means prevent it; but, in which all strive to get as high as ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... the curtains and the clash of the iron chains. Just then the dying flame of the fire leaped up, and with one sweeping, hurried glance I saw that the door was shut, and, horror! it is not the dog! it is the semblance of a human form that now throws itself heavily on the bed, outside the clothes, and lies there, huge and swart, in the red gleam that treacherously died away after showing so much to affright, and sinks into dull darkness. There ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... out of a vicious constitution of government and religion. Almost every accession to the throne was contested by numerous competitors of the same family; and a succession of sovereigns, wearing on their brows but the semblance of a crown, came and departed, like the shadows of Macbeth. The motley tribes of Asiatics, of whom the Spanish Arabian population was composed, regarded each other with ill-disguised jealousy. The lawless predatory habits, which no discipline ...
— History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella V1 • William H. Prescott

... principal or interest. For a few weeks after the successful negotiation of one of these loans, he would be resplendent, opulent, fastidious, even generous. All too soon the last dollar would slip through his unheeding fingers. If during a period of affluence he had succeeded in establishing a little semblance of credit, he would maintain his regal style of living as long as it lasted. Then he would come down to the hall bedroom or even the ten-cent lodging house, the lunch wagon, and the pawn shop. But even at the lowest ebb of his fortunes, he never seemed to lose his cheerfulness, ...
— Analyzing Character • Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

... back more beautiful than my memory of you! You are hotter and nearer than the sun! The pupils of my eyes contract in your light, their lids half close, modestly hiding the joy I feel at seeing you again, and my inscrutable countenance shows but the semblance of a thought painted there in fawn color and black.... Your crackling drowns the soft sound of my purr. Don't snap too much. Be merciful, O inconstant Fire! Don't sputter sparks on my fur. Allow me to adore you without ...
— Barks and Purrs • Colette Willy, aka Colette

... am not ordinarily a close observer, and many things, specially things that pertain to the acts of women, pass by me unnoticed. But I saw in a moment that there was not, and never could be, more than the semblance of cordial amity between ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... Havermeyer's sudden death in November made necessary the election of a mayor, and Kelly, to keep up appearances, selected William H. Wickham, his neighbour, an easy-going diamond merchant, whose membership on the Committee of Seventy constituted his only claim to such preferment.[1448] But here all semblance of reform disappeared. James Hayes, charged with making half a million dollars during the Tweed regime, became the candidate for register, and of fifteen persons selected for aldermen nine belonged to the old Ring, two of whom were under indictment for fraud.[1449] Evidently Warren ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... time we have not felt that either the President or the Secretary of State quite fully realized that there is a good deal of belated encouragement due us and quite a limitless supply of discouragement due those who try "to overthrow or ignore" all semblance of a belief in the right of women to give their consent to their own government. I am glad to have so high an authority that the good time is not only coming but that it has at last arrived—and through the ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... her, so she believed; it had invaded her last citadel to-night. That it sat throned on ruins she had no eyes to see. It sat throned in quiescence, and that was enough. Clarice, in fact, was in that compressed fever-heat of the mushroom passions which takes on the semblance of intense and penetrating calm. And her very consciousness of this calm seemed to ally her to Drake, to give to them both something in common. She was troubled by no plans for the future; she had no regret for anything which had happened in the past. The vague questions which had stirred her—why ...
— The Philanderers • A.E.W. Mason

... spirit in that hour I stood there, to a man of brass akin, That mocks with semblance of ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... spirit of immortality, an utter incapacity to change. As the act was, as the word had been spoken, so would act and word be for ever and for ever. And now this undying thing must be caged and cast about with the semblance of death and clouded over with the shadow of an unreal forgetfulness. Oh, it was bitter, very bitter! What would it be now to go away, quite away from him, and know him married to her own sister, the other woman with a prior right? What would it be to think of Bessie's sweetness slowly creeping ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... which Adrienne was going to make to the doctor, was cut short by Madame Saint-Dizier, who, followed by M. d'Aigrigny, opened abruptly the door. An expression of infernal joy, hardly concealed beneath a semblance of extreme indignation, ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... a dog, unless insane, will bite a human being. The most of their assaults are pure bluster, mere pretence of fury, as is shown by the fact that if, carried away by their pretence, they are led to use their teeth, it is usually a mere sham assault, having no semblance of the ...
— Domesticated Animals - Their Relation to Man and to his Advancement in Civilization • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... portion of the paper was covered with neatly drawn diagrams, which bore some semblance to the machine. Beneath, in the fine copperplate hand of the inventor, were these ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... Then it occurred to him to arrange it for the stereoscope. It cost him a great deal of trouble, but at last he succeeded. He fairly started when he beheld through the glass her figure which had acquired the semblance of bodily substance. But that figure was grey, as though covered with dust ... and moreover, the eyes ... the eyes still gazed aside, as though they were averting themselves. He began to gaze at them for a long, long time, ...
— A Reckless Character - And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... angrily to his feet, rage and shame flushing his face, and it needed Ferguson and the Duke to restore him to some semblance of calm. Indeed, it may well be that it was to complete this that His Grace decided there and then that they should follow Grey's advice and go by way of Taunton, Bridgwater, and Bristol to Gloucester. He was, like all weak men, of conspicuous ...
— Mistress Wilding • Rafael Sabatini

... up your minds," Tai-y put in, "to initiate a poetical society, every one of us will be poets, so we should, as a first step, do away with those various appellations of cousin and uncle and aunt, and thus avoid everything that bears a semblance of vulgarity." ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... Ferdinand; yet there came no news from Henri! Then did the gentle girl sink into all the despondency of disappointment; and as day after day passed and brought no tidings of her lover, her beauty and her health suffered alike, she languished and pined till she scarce retained the semblance ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 267, August 4, 1827 • Various

... inadequate. An effort was made to emancipate the Comitia from the prepondering influence of the aristocracy. The senators were compelled to renounce their public horse on admission to the Senate, and also the privilege of voting in the eighteen equestrian centimes. But there was the semblance of increased democratic power rather than the reality. All the great questions of the day turned upon the election of the curule magistracies, and there was sufficient influence among the nobles to secure ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... if we fail to accomplish it now, may be postponed for half a century. Every delay, every error, may be fatal. And the people through whom we have to work are uneducated, liable to accept any error which wears a semblance of war against the past, and in danger, from their long habit of slavery, of relapsing ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867. • Various

... sacred beauty, the appearance of the church would have suffered fatally by this blaze of artificial brilliancy; but now that the ancient character of the basilica was completely changed, now that from a solemn temple it had been altered to the semblance of a luxurious palace, it gained immensely by its gaudy illumination. Not an ornament along the vast extent of its glorious nave but glittered in vivid distinctness in the dazzling light that poured downwards from the roof. ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... the fertility of Germany, and which imagined themselves marching to a prompt and certain glory, proudly traversed those countries, scattering their money among them, and consuming their productions. War, in that quarter, always bore the semblance of justice. ...
— History of the Expedition to Russia - Undertaken by the Emperor Napoleon in the Year 1812 • Count Philip de Segur

... perfect resemblance of the queen, that would his majesty be pleased to go to her house and look upon it, he would be almost ready to think it was Hermione herself. Thither then they all went; the king anxious to see the semblance of his Hermione, and Perdita longing to behold what the mother she never ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... turn to give the transaction, but I did not oppose; and thus chatting, we entered the little inn, where, confidence once restored, some semblance of comfort already appeared. ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... bears the semblance of a lie, Should never pass the lips, if possible; Tho' crime be absent, still ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... has only found a reflexion of himself in the fantastic reality of heaven where he looked for a superman, will no longer be willing to find only the semblance of himself, only the sub-human, where he seeks and ought to find ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... that? Amanda wondered. Were reality and dreams never coincident? Was the romance of youth just a pretty bubble whose rainbow tints would soon be pierced and vanish into vapor? Castles in Spain—were they so ethereal that never by any chance could they—at least some semblance to ...
— Amanda - A Daughter of the Mennonites • Anna Balmer Myers

... everything that in civilised countries is considered knowledge—their minds being enveloped in the most deplorable darkness—the only semblance of religion in use amongst them being ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Frederick Marryat

... strange Icelandic legends, which I ardently desired to see translated into French. He loved the supernatural, the dismal and grewsome, but he spoke of the most marvellous things with a calmness that was typically English, to which his gentle and quiet voice gave a semblance of reality that ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... annoyed, I humbly apologize," he returned. "Perhaps I was unintentionally rude to frighten you in that way, but my excuse lies in our subservience to the demands of our art. We seldom hesitate at anything which tends to give our pictures the semblance of reality." ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West • Edith Van Dyne

... best, Only devising how to make his joys surmount the rest: Not in that wanton youth, not in that pleasant mate, Could Fortune with her fickleness his wonted mind abate. He rather challengeth to do her very worst, And makes a semblance of delight, although indeed accurs'd. My father thereupon devised how he might Revenge and wreak himself on her, that wrought him such despite: And therefore, I perceive, he strangely useth it, Enchanting and transforming that his fancy did not fit. As I may see by these his vile blasphemous books; ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI • Robert Dodsley

... he says, at a sailors' home, over on Staten Island. He's a typical salt, but he balks at even a semblance of wrong-doing." ...
— The Moving Picture Girls at Sea - or, A Pictured Shipwreck That Became Real • Laura Lee Hope

... borne by the real rulers of Japan. The possession of the power implied by this title enabled Yoritomo to introduce responsible government into the almost ungoverned districts of the empire, and to give to Japan for the first time in many centuries a semblance of peace. ...
— Japan • David Murray

... any noble lord not actually in official circles, if he only chooses to reach out his hand and take what is offered him! Is not that a revolution which has so much raised the working man? Again, he was, formerly, the absolute slave of his employer; he was obliged to take with a semblance of gratitude whatever wages were offered him. What is he now? A man of business, who negotiates for his skill. Is not that a revolution? Formerly he lived where he could. Look, now, at the efforts made everywhere ...
— As We Are and As We May Be • Sir Walter Besant

... one of light! All the doors and windows are open. His correspondences are perfect and unbroken. He is of "quick understanding," keen-scented to discern the essences of things, alert to perceive the reality behind the semblance, to "see things as they are." All the great primary senses are awake, and He has ...
— My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year • John Henry Jowett

... occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war. The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy and the final elements of the Khmer Rouge surrendered in early 1999. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... that bed becomes ours for a moment. Through the dim purple air fly those who have stained the world with the beauty of their sin, and in the pit of loathsome disease, dropsy-stricken and swollen of body into the semblance of a monstrous lute, lies Adamo di Brescia, the coiner of false coin. He bids us listen to his misery; we stop, and with dry and gaping lips he tells us how he dreams day and night of the brooks of clear water that in cool ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... her hand, and once more there was the same monotonous tapping of toes and heels. Then they whirled apart, bent their lithe backs until their brows almost touched the floor in a salute of mock admiration, and danced to and from each other, coquetry in the very tilt of her eyebrows, the bare semblance of masculine indulgence on his eager, passionate face. Suddenly to the surprise of all, she snapped her fingers directly under his nose, waved her hand, turned her back, and made a peremptory gesture to that other ...
— Rezanov • Gertrude Atherton

... rush with one arm extended; the other—Muriel frowned sharply, peering with eyes half closed, then uttered a queer choked sound that had the semblance of a laugh—in place of the other arm there was an ...
— The Way of an Eagle • Ethel M. Dell

... seizures, and severities were employed with persons of various stations, in order to give some semblance of proof to the above fantastic idea; and they terrorized many persons to make them relate, if possible, what suited their purpose, and no more. Some they tortured; others were left without food for two or three days, and one they ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898—Volume 39 of 55 • Various

... implies relation, not to the one, which is not, but to one another. And they are others of each other not as units but as infinities, the least of which is also infinity, and capable of infinitesimal division. And they will have no unity or number, but only a semblance of unity and number; and the least of them will appear large and manifold in comparison with the infinitesimal fractions into which it may be divided. Further, each particle will have the appearance of being equal with the fractions. For in passing from the greater to the less it must reach ...
— Parmenides • Plato

... skies above, extending in every direction through weary leagues of dismal loneliness. The searching eye caught no relief from desolate sameness, drear monotony. Nowhere was there movement, or, any semblance of life. Behind, the land was broken by ravines, but in every other direction it stretched level to the horizon, except that far off southward arose irregular ridges of sand, barren, ugly blotches, colorless, and forever changing formation ...
— Molly McDonald - A Tale of the Old Frontier • Randall Parrish

... was the pleasing labour of genius—it was to amplify into vastness, to colour into beauty, and to arrange the objects of his meditation with a secret artifice of disposition. Such an historian is a sculptor, who, though he display a correct semblance of nature, is not less solicitous to display the miracles of his art, and enlarges his figures to a colossal ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... represented as flying at the legs of the friendly visitor, from the threshold; and a circular pigeon-house, enveloped in a cloud of pigeons, arose from behind the garden-paling. On the door (when it was shut), appeared the semblance of a brass-plate, presenting the inscription, Happy Cottage, T. and M. Plornish; the partnership expressing man and wife. No Poetry and no Art ever charmed the imagination more than the union of ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... has almost faded from our recollection. It is not difficult to persuade people to commemorate a departed worthy; but in most cases industry has to take the place of enthusiasm, and moribund or extinct remembrances have to be galvanised by assiduity into a semblance of life. In the case of Nelson the conditions are very different. He may have been misunderstood; even by his professional descendants his acts and doctrines may have been misinterpreted; but he has ...
— Sea-Power and Other Studies • Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge

... explanation is," expounded the Girton Girl, "woman is so immeasurably man's superior that only by weighting him more or less heavily with worldly advantages can any semblance ...
— Tea-table Talk • Jerome K. Jerome

... been very unhappy, she loved a benumbed existence with a semblance of tranquillity, and ignorance seemed to her preferable to everything. As if life were not sad enough, good heavens! And then, after all, Sidonie had always been a good girl; why should she not be a ...
— Fromont and Risler, Complete • Alphonse Daudet

... "Think, O Achilles, semblance of the gods, On thine own father, full of days like me, And trembling on the gloomy verge of life. Some neighbor chief, it may be, even now Oppresses him, and there is none at hand, No friend, to succor him in his distress. Yet, doubtless, hearing that Achilles lives, ...
— Mosaics of Grecian History • Marcius Willson and Robert Pierpont Willson

... at last. It was something between a moan and the pained cry of some mild-spirited animal stricken to death. It had no human semblance, and yet—it came from behind the dingy print ...
— The Twins of Suffering Creek • Ridgwell Cullum

... I ran over yesterday?" The semblance of mirth was gone from his voice. "The fool wouldn't move quick enough, and if anyone stands in my way I get them, sooner or later. You're a little queen, Billie, and you've been lording it over the roughnecks around here so long that you ...
— The Fifth Ace • Douglas Grant

... the foundations of his reputation and influence) strongly denouncing the conduct of the minister, as degrading both to his own supporters and still more to the whole House, and recommending him to say frankly to both, "We have gauged your independence, and you may have a semblance of parliamentary freedom as far as this point, but the moment you go farther, you must either submit to public disgrace, or we must submit to private life." The end of the discussion was, that the minister prevailed by a majority a trifle larger than that which ...
— The Constitutional History of England From 1760 to 1860 • Charles Duke Yonge

... convened in obedience to any formal custom, requiring us to assume an empty show of bereavement, in order that we may appear respectful to the departed. We who knew HENRY WINTER DAVIS are not content to clothe ourselves in the outward garb of grief, and call the semblance of mourning a fitting tribute to the gifted orator and statesman, so suddenly snatched from our midst in the full glory of his mental and bodily strength. We would do more than "bear about the mockery of woe." Prompted by a genuine affection, we desire to ignore all idle and merely conventional ...
— Oration on the Life and Character of Henry Winter Davis • John A. J. Creswell

... passing group, the summer-morn, The grass, the elms, that blossom'd thorn— Those cattle couch'd, or, as they rise, Their shining flanks, their liquid eyes— These, or much greater things, but caught 55 Like these, and in one aspect brought! In outward semblance he must give A moment's life of things that live; Then let him choose his moment well, With power divine its ...
— Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum and Other Poems • Matthew Arnold

... respectively, of but one enormous pane of glass, so transparently pure that it was said to be a finer medium than even the vacant atmosphere. Hardly anybody had been permitted to see the interior of this palace; but it was reported, and with good semblance of truth, to be far more gorgeous than the outside, insomuch that whatever was iron or brass in other houses was silver or gold in this; and Mr. Gathergold's bedchamber, especially, made such a glittering appearance that no ordinary man would have been able to close his eyes there. But, ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... the king had testified at least the semblance of friendship and gratitude toward Madame de Pompadour, but no sooner had she breathed her last than he began to consider how he could, in the speediest manner possible, get rid of her mortal remains. He gave immediate orders for the removal of the body to her house in Paris. As the ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... water, or to distinguish the fading objects that seemed sinking into chaos. Now did the busy fancy supply the feebleness of vision, producing with industrious craft a fairy creation of her own. Under her plastic wand the barren rocks frowned upon the watery waste, in the semblance of lofty towers, and high embattled castles; trees assumed the direful forms of mighty giants, and the inaccessible summits of the mountains seemed peopled with a ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... In spite of the surrender of Lee and Johnston, a show of hostilities was kept up in the trans-Mississippi department, it being supposed that Jeff Davis was making his way in that direction to still retain a semblance of power in a country which had not felt the severest ravages of the war. Upon his capture, however, the rebel army in western Louisiana, rapidly crumbled to pieces, and while the rank and file were seeking their ...
— Reminiscences of two years with the colored troops • Joshua M. Addeman

... in chaste robes, chaste as Diana. She taketh the veil. The virgin-snow is unsullied upon her bosom, just as it dropped softly out of heaven, undefiled by footsteps, dazzling only to conceal. 'Tis but the momentary semblance of purity. The sun is up. Hark! the tumult and excitement is begun. The crowds throng and jostle through the pure element; the horses prance to the gay and perpetual chimes, and Broadway is the paradise of ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... in the Morton home was cheerful with sunshine. It brightened the conventional flowers of the old crimson Brussels carpet into a semblance of life. It caught the gold outline of the wall paper and lingered there—even the somber steel engravings reflected the light from the polished glass over them. Mrs. Morton sat in her low rocking chair by the window reading ...
— Chicken Little Jane • Lily Munsell Ritchie

... reconnaissance was the summit of the hill, directly overlooking Shinawari, and over two thousand feet high. From the plain the ascent appeared to be simple but, when they started to climb, they found that it was rugged and almost impassable. There was no semblance of road, and the men had to toil up the goat ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... of veiled activity and thought, grasped the truth? At first glance, indeed his gossip of oriental theories concerning the disintegration of matter, its passage through solid substances, its reassembly in far places, seemed thoroughly justified. Yet, granted that, who, in the semblance of Silas Blackburn, had they buried to vanish completely? Who, in the semblance of Silas Blackburn, had drowsed without food for three days in ...
— The Abandoned Room • Wadsworth Camp

... the last glad hours that Magnus' life should know, beguiled his anxious slumbers with vain images of joy. He seemed to sit in the theatre himself had built, and to behold the semblance of the countless Roman multitude, and hear his name uplifted to the stars by joyous voices, and all the roaring benches vying in their applause. Even so he saw the people and heard their cheers in the days of ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... carriages glide away in a long curving line. She was gone and he was left behind. She was gone, was it in resentment, was it in disdain? thinking of him in his true aspect as a false lover, believing him to have worn a false semblance, justly despising him for an attempt to play upon her. Was this possible? He thought (with that oblique sort of literary tendency of his) of Hamlet with the recorder. Can you play upon this pipe?—and yet you think you can play upon me! As a matter of fact there could nothing have been ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... nothing loath, conscious that she was about to be reproved, and finding an agreeable sense of support in her lengthened skirts, and the semblance of grown-up-ness ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... was much larger, was entirely covered with Venetian mirrors, and resting on a bright Persian carpet were many couches of crimson velvet, covered with a variety of sumptuous dresses; the third room was a bath, made in the semblance of a gigantic shell. Its roof was of transparent alabaster, glowing ...
— The Rise of Iskander • Benjamin Disraeli

... lady Chia laughingly rejoined. "They're all about pretty girls and scholars. There's no fun in them. They abuse people's daughters in every possible way, and then they still term them nice pretty girls. They're so concocted that there's not even a semblance of truth in them. From the very first, they canvass the families of the gentry. If the paterfamilias isn't a president of a board; then he's made a minister. The heroine is bound to be as lovable as a gem. This young lady is sure to understand all about letters, ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... squadron had waited to watch the killing of Trooper Weldon; more than once there had been an utterly profane pause while the officers had waited for Trooper Weldon to bring his bolting steed back into some semblance of alignment. The pause always ended with Weldon upright in his saddle, his face beaming with jovial smiles and his horse ranged up with mathematical precision. The delays were by no means helpful to discipline. Nevertheless, the officers yielded to the inevitable with the better grace, ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... visit with inevitable death a member of the Legislature of New York, for expressing, with the freedom of an American citizen, his opinion of the proceedings of the French minister;" and "by the formation of a lengthened chain of democratic societies, assuming to themselves, under the semblance of a warmer zeal for the cause of liberty, to control the operations of the government, and to dictate laws ...
— Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. • Josiah Quincy

... in custody, and was committed for trial, and his chums at La Force, to whom he had never mentioned his accomplices, had given him such small comfort, that he was entirely hopeless after his examination, and this simple expedient had been quite overlooked by these prison-ridden minds. This semblance of a hope almost stupefied ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... window-seat, Beneath a cloudless moon; You hear a sound, that seems to wear The semblance of a tune, As if a broken fife should strive To drown ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... of local groups, but of trade groups, or of organizations embodying some set of opinions. In the East, men are subject to different laws according to the religion they profess. Something of this kind is necessary if any semblance of liberty is to exist where there is great ...
— Political Ideals • Bertrand Russell

... recovered from their fits of laughter, and attempted to proceed with the feast in some semblance of order, a glance at Baby was sufficient to start them up anew. And here a surprising thing occurred. As before stated, he never had been known to laugh. But now Baby laughed, for the first time. And then the boys and the Professor ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Exploring the Island • Roger Thompson Finlay

... goblin sphere took on with bewildering rapidity changing guises. Its rotundity was first lost, it assumed the semblance of a featureless disk of pallid light, which swiftly widened till it obscured all else, then seemed to advance upon and envelope her bodily, so that she became spiritually a part of it, an atom of identity engulfed in a limpid ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... gradually crowded them along to a higher portion of the house near the door, through which they could more easily effect their escape in case of necessity. The confusion and clamor which now filled the hall can scarcely be imagined. Scarcely the semblance of a deliberative assembly was maintained. The triumphant mob was holding there its wildest orgies. In vain Lamartine, Ledru Rollin, and others endeavored to make themselves heard, calling for a provisional government. The howling of the mob drowned ...
— Louis Philippe - Makers of History Series • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... as the human anatomy. When both engines are going well, and synchronized to the same speed, the roar of the exhausts develops into one long-sustained and not inharmonious boom-m-m-m-m! It is a song of pleasant melody to the pilot, whose ear is ever pricked to catch the first semblance of a "sharp" or "flat" note telling him that one or more of the twelve cylinders of each busy engine is missing fire and needs ...
— Around the World in Ten Days • Chelsea Curtis Fraser

... have lasted more than ten minutes. The whole skirmish had the semblance of a moonlight dream, interrupted by interludes of darkness. So rapid had been the movements of the forces engaged, that after the first fire not a gun was reloaded. As for the guerrilleros, the Indian war-cry seemed to have shaken the pieces out of their hands, for the ground where they had ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... a very large one, and appeared to extend along the whole coast. Seaward, it was formed entirely of cocoa trees, but inland a large number of other trees were mingled with the palms. All day the boys attempted to find some semblance of gum oozing from these trees. With sharp pieces of shell they made incisions in the bark of each variety that they met with, to see if any fluid exuded which might be useful for ...
— Under Drake's Flag - A Tale of the Spanish Main • G. A. Henty

... presented; this is true particularly of temporal honor. These words of the apostle, then, are a fine thrust at ambitious and self-centered preachers and Christians. Not only do they run in vain and fight to no purpose; they become actual castaways with only the semblance—the color—of Christianity. ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... went about with their lives literally in their hands, tending the sick, cheering the despondent, frightening the cowards into some semblance of self-respect and dignity. And during these three days, wherein they never took an organised meal or three consecutive hours of rest, Joseph, Meredith, and Oscard rose together to that height of manhood ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... their own country, if we cannot be allowed to rule according to our own traditions, who then is to dictate to us? Because your arms are powerful and other nations have joined in the task of conquest, do you think that there is the faintest semblance of right in the crime you would perpetrate? You speak of Egypt having no right to deal with you as it likes; it has all the right to do so, that you people of the West have to come and wrest our country from us. Your talk is not sound, and you cannot think ...
— Under the Rebel's Reign • Charles Neufeld

... left to pull The few scared, ragged flowers— All that was ours, and, God, how beautiful! All, all that was once ours, Lies faceless, mouthless, mire to mire, So lost to all sweet semblance of desire That we, in those fields seeking desperately One face long-lost to love, one face that lies Only upon the breast of Memory, Would never find it—even the very blood Is stamped into the horror of the mud— Something that mad men ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... of something tugging at, and jerking him away whenever he strove to catch hold of the nearest stone, till, what with the scalding, strangling sensation in his nostrils, the deadening feeling of helplessness and weakness coming over him rapidly, all seemed to be darkening into the semblance of a feverish dream, from which he was roused ...
— Three Boys - or the Chiefs of the Clan Mackhai • George Manville Fenn

... once—likewise her decorum. She clapped her hand over her mouth and fled, uttering sounds. The governess, however, set herself to comfort her heartbroken charge, and presently succeeded in restoring Miss Rennsdale to a semblance of that poise with which a lady receives callers and accepts invitations to dance cotillons. But she continued ...
— Confessions of a Book-Lover • Maurice Francis Egan

... both standing by now opposite each other. The face of Archie wore the wretched semblance of a smile; hers was convulsed ...
— Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Editor, your choice of authors is par excellence. I can't too highly emphasize this, because we don't want the authors who write for other Science Fiction magazines. Why? Because they can't even write a story that has a semblance of coherence or plot to it, and never any action. If you should ever use any of these writers, I shall give up Science Fiction altogether. Please, Mr. Editor, continue to run Astounding Stories yourself, and don't heed the request of a minority who want dead authors to write dead ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

... after waiting weeks for the opportunity, suddenly grasp an innocent person, and, kneeling upon him with his beam-like legs, knead him out of all semblance of humanity. ...
— The Jungle Fugitives • Edward S. Ellis

... Idiot Boy, The Thorn, and We are Seven.] in which it was agreed that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith. Mr. Wordsworth, on the other hand, was to propose to himself as his object, to give the charm of novelty to things ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... called from the noise rut, rut made by the oil-mill in turning. They say they are descended from the Nag or cobra. They salute the snake when they see it and refrain from killing it, and they will not make any drawing or sign having the semblance of a snake or use any article which may be supposed to be like it. The Sao Telis are the highest group in Wardha, and have eschewed the pressing of oil. The word Sao or Sahu is the title of a moneylender, but they are usually cultivators ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV - Kumhar-Yemkala • R.V. Russell

... looking a dreadful guy," she said; "and it is very good of you two not to laugh at me. I dare not even think of my hat, for nobody ever did, nor ever will, succeed in straightening that article into any semblance of its former shape when it has been once stove in. I have only one thing to be thankful for. Do ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... dark for June, he had no difficulty in recognizing Doris Martin's graceful movements. No other girl in Steynholme walked like her. She was slim enough to dispense with tight corsets, and tall enough to wear low-heeled shoes, nor did she need to pinch her toes in order to gain the semblance of small feet. ...
— The Postmaster's Daughter • Louis Tracy

... charitable must feel a certain degree of pity, if not of scorn, for those who, like Mr. and Miss Sandford, contrive to wear the outward semblance of respectability, boarding with fashionable people and wearing garments a la mode, while they have neither fortune nor visible occupation. Miss Sandford, to be sure, had a few pupils in music,—young friends, who, as she averred, "insisted ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... well as to deride the practices of the Friars, to accuse them of lying against St. Francis, and to desiderate for them an actual abode of fire, resembling that of which in their favourite religious shows they were wont to present the mimic semblance to the multitude. It was they who became in England as elsewhere the purveyors of charms and the organisers of pious frauds, while the learning for which their Order had been famous was withering away into the yellow leaf of scholasticism. ...
— Chaucer • Adolphus William Ward

... scoundrels, who, lost to all sense of decency and honour, boldly assume the outward semblance of worthy citizens, and, by the pretentious nature of their appearance, not only seek the better to impose upon the noble incredulity of Puddin'-owners, but, with dastardly cunning, strike a blow at Society's most ...
— The Magic Pudding • Norman Lindsay

... coming into closer quarters with Brenton's wife. Now, from all accounts, the wife was somewhat in abeyance; and the sudden reversal of Brenton's collar buttons had turned him from the picture of a priest to at least the semblance of ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... that preparations were making for a great campaign against the Iroquois. Champigny, the new Intendant, had scoured the country for supplies, and now was building bateaux and buying canoes. Regulars and militia were drilling into the semblance of an army, and palisades and defences were everywhere built or strengthened, that the home guard might keep the province secure during the long absence of the troops. Menard wondered, as he snapped bits of stone off the parapet, and watched the last boatload of galley slaves embarking ...
— The Road to Frontenac • Samuel Merwin

... in the harbor, how intelligently it adjusts itself to the winds and the tides! I have seen a log, caught in an eddy in a flooded stream, apparently make such struggles to escape that the thing became almost uncanny in its semblance to life. Man himself often obeys just such unseen currents of race or history when he thinks he is acting ...
— Ways of Nature • John Burroughs

... lips of Scotch peasants. It was a fabrication as ingenious as brazen. As a matter of fact, Macpherson had found only an insignificant portion of his extensive work in popular ballads; and what little he had found he had expanded and changed out of all semblance to genuine ancient legend. Both the guiding motive of his prose-poem (it is his as truly as King Lear is Shakespeare's), and the furore of welcome which greeted it, may be understood by recalling the position of the sentimental school on the eve of its appearance. ...
— English Poets of the Eighteenth Century • Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Ernest Bernbaum

... whereof the face was as the face of Hataska spread his golden wings and passed away to his own place, and the Ka that was in the semblance of Hataska drew near to the dead one's knees, and passed back into her from whom she came. And all the thousand thousand faces melted though the fiery eyes still ...
— The World's Desire • H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang

... the modern structures held out for imitation, the bee-house, or apiary, is an expensive, pretentious affair, got up in an ambitious way, with efforts at style, in the semblance of a temple, a pagoda, or other absurdity, the very appearance of which frightens the simple bee from its propriety, and in which we never yet knew a colony of them to become, and remain successful. The insect is, as we have observed, wild and untamable—a savage in its habits, ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... discovery that the Bishop had captured and bound their Indian sentinels as prisoners. Las Casas at once assumed the entire blame, explaining exactly how he had surprised them and why he had bound them. A storm of vituperation greeted his explanation—all semblance of respect, either for his age or office, was abandoned—and one taunted the protector of the Indians with himself tying them up and draging them three leagues.(64) Amidst all these reproaches and insults Las Casas replied to one of his tormentors saying: "I do not wish, sir, to answer you, ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... he began, "and, if you will allow me to say so, handsomer, every day. Your trip to the Eastern Shore last spring did you no end of good," and the young attorney crooked his long neck and elevated his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth in the effort to give to his sinuous body a semblance of mirth. ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... long; the prey, exhausted, fled out of doors and the master subsided into a chair. He brought the school to some semblance of order and made a feeble attempt at teaching. But by the afternoon he was uproariously genial. He spent an hour conducting a competition in which the boy who could stand longest on the hot stove received the highest marks, and finally went to sleep with his feet on the desk and his red handkerchief ...
— The Silver Maple • Marian Keith

... another by signs before they were near enough to see it; and then the best mode of bringing it down and disposing of it. They practised shooting at a target, with both gun and bow, hurling a knife or tomahawk, and handling the Indian's war club daily. Mrs. Duncan's tent bore more the semblance of a large room in a thriving farmer's house, than a temporary camp in the wilderness, so homelike was its appearance. A cupboard made by standing two boards perpendicular, with cleats nailed across, in which were ...
— The American Family Robinson - or, The Adventures of a Family lost in the Great Desert of the West • D. W. Belisle

... contemptuously casts aside useless; others he works, plays, and pensions; still others serve as jackals or servitors and proudly flaunt his livery; a few, the strong, independent souls, tempted with great rewards and beguiled by the man's baleful, intellectual charm into his clutches, preserve a semblance of freedom; but let the boldest of these turn restive—he is maimed or garroted ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... brokage. How they lived at all surprises me. Want, filth, and the infected atmosphere of their dens, had impoverished their blood, made them wan and haggard, and stamped disgrace upon their looks. Some of them scarcely retained the semblance of humanity. They might have been taken for brutes; yet they were notoriously intelligent, apt at business, resigned to their lot, good-tempered, kind-hearted, devoted to their families, and ...
— The Roman Question • Edmond About

... delighted with Lord Beaconsfield and his appurtenances. As for the Joy, she was quite beside herself. Anything with the semblance of a horse would excite the Joy. I got in with the driver, and we made our way to the river-front, where I saw His Lordship to his state-room and the surrey stored away. I don't suppose in all his twenty years he had ever taken a voyage before, but he showed no nervousness ...
— Dwellers in Arcady - The Story of an Abandoned Farm • Albert Bigelow Paine

... one day to greet Dosia, and to ask her, with a tentative semblance of her old effusion, to come and make her a visit—an effusion which immediately died down into complete non-interest, on Dosia's polite refusal; and the incident was not especially heart-racking at the time, though afterward it set her unaccountably ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... animated, and full of pleasant conversation. Marjorie kept her Eugene and the new gentleman busy. She reported on the creek, and presented her faded bouquet of wild flowers, which Eugene received with all the semblance of lively satisfaction. She made many enquiries regarding the big girl in front, and insisted especially on knowing if she was nice. Then she turned to Mr. Douglas and asked ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... suddenly astonished and electrified by rapid traits of illumination, which opened the depths of difficult subjects, and roused the researches of more systematic reasoners. To these qualifications were added an independence in forming opinions, and a boldness in avowing them, which wore at least the semblance of honesty; a perfect knowledge of the world, and that facility of manners, which in the commerce of society ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... The Peloponnesian confederates, having suffered a severe defeat at sea from the Athenians, demanded Lysander, who had before served with success in that capacity, to command the combined fleets. The Lacedaemonians, to gratify their allies, and yet preserve the semblance of an adherence to their ancient institutions, had recourse to the flimsy subterfuge of investing Lysander with the real power of admiral, under the nominal title of vice-admiral. This instance is selected from among a multitude that might be cited to confirm the truth already advanced ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... powers, and talismans ... I thought life might be a dream, or I an Angel, and all this world a deception, my fellow-angels by a playful device concealing themselves from me, and deceiving me with the semblance ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... and that she mingled Goddesses in love with mortal men. Therefore Zeus sent into her heart sweet desire of Anchises, who as then was pasturing his kine on the steep hills of many-fountained Ida, a man in semblance like the Immortals. Him thereafter did smiling Aphrodite see and love, and measureless desire took hold on her heart. To Cyprus wended she, within her fragrant shrine: even to Paphos, where is her sacred garth and odorous altar. Thither went she in, and shut the ...
— The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological • Andrew Lang

... more: the deliverance, Dear bought in the days past, their hearts have forgotten, But faintly their dim eyes a feared face remember, Their dull ears remember a stern voice they hated. What then, shall I waken their fear and their hatred, And then wait till fresh terror their memory awaketh, With the semblance of love that they have not to give me? Nay, nay, they are safe from my help and my justice, And I—I am freed, ...
— Poems By The Way & Love Is Enough • William Morris

... image stood near me. Before they could touch me I had fallen on my knees, and wound my arms so closely round it that they could not unloose them without absolute violence and injury. I knew that in such a position it was impossible even to go through the semblance of marrying me. I felt Armand's hand and the Abbe's try to untwist my arms and unclasp my hands, but they could not prevail against that grip with which I held, and I ...
— Stray Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... be the pencil which from death can save The semblance of the virtuous, wise and brave, That youth and emulation still may gaze On those inspiring forms of ancient days, And, from the force of bright example bold, Rival their worth, ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan



Words linked to "Semblance" :   ikon, color of law, icon, camouflage, guise, face value, irradiation, pretence, appearance, fantasm, Identikit, phantasma, Identikit picture, simulacrum, verisimilitude, gloss, disguise, image, portrayal, colour of law, portrait, picture, phantom, phantom limb, visual aspect, pretext, pretense, apparition, shadow, phantasm



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