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Sharpness   /ʃˈɑrpnəs/   Listen
Sharpness

noun
1.
A quick and penetrating intelligence.  Synonyms: acuity, acuteness, keenness.  "I admired the keenness of his mind"
2.
The attribute of urgency in tone of voice.  Synonym: edge.
3.
A strong odor or taste property.  Synonyms: bite, pungency, raciness.  "The sulfurous bite of garlic" , "The sharpness of strange spices" , "The raciness of the wine"
4.
The quality of being keenly and painfully felt.
5.
Thinness of edge or fineness of point.  Synonym: keenness.
6.
The quality of being sharp and clear.  Synonym: distinctness.
7.
Harshness of manner.  Synonym: asperity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Sharpness" Quotes from Famous Books



... my dear, that you do not suffer my calamities to sit too heavily upon your own mind. If you do, that will be to new-point some of those arrows that have been blunted and lost their sharpness. ...
— Clarissa, Volume 7 • Samuel Richardson

... besotted but that lucid intervals now and again afflicted her. One seized her this afternoon, as she prepared to bid Damaris good-bye. Either conscience pricked with unusual sharpness, or the young girl's smiling and unruffled acquiescence in her departure aroused latent alarms. She began to excuse her action in leaving her charge thus solitary, to protest her devotion; becoming, it may be added, red and agitated in the process. ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... with Romeo at old lord Capulet's feast. He, seeing Mercutio, accused him bluntly of associating with Romeo, a Montague. Mercutio, who had as much fire and youthful blood in him as Tybalt, replied to this accusation with some sharpness; and in spite of all Benvolio could say to moderate their wrath, a quarrel was beginning, when Romeo himself passing that way, the fierce Tybalt turned from Mercutio to Romeo, and gave him the disgraceful ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... had all the sweetness and softness of an European in his countenance too, especially when he smiled: his hair was long and black, not curled like wool; his forehead very high and large, and a great vivacity and sparkling sharpness in his eyes. The colour of his skin was not quite black, but very tawny, and yet not of an ugly yellow nauseous tawny, as the Brasilians and Virginians, and other natives of America are, but of a bright kind of a dun olive colour, that had in it something very agreeable, though not very ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... enlarge upon the subject. But two things we may note here: (1) that the ritual, being so concrete (and often severe), graves itself on the minds of those concerned, and expresses the feelings of the tribe, with an intensity and sharpness of outline which no words could rival, and (2) that such rituals may have, and probably did, come into use even while language itself was in an infantile condition and incapable of dealing with the psychological ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... to fight with sword only, and on foot, for he would not let her see Frontino, knowing that she would recognize the steed. Nor would he use Balisarda, for against that enchanted blade all armor would be of no avail, and the sword that he did take he hammered well upon the edge to abate its sharpness. He wore the surcoat of Prince Leo, and his shield, emblazoned with a golden, double-headed eagle. The prince took care to let ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... queer happened to me. You've seen a flash of sunlight reflected from a window, far off? Well, it wasn't like that, except in the sharpness of its effect. And I knew there was no house in all that waste of sand. It was just a flash, and was gone. I searched the horizon, and saw nothing but red dunes, and little puffs of sand kicked up ...
— The Heart of Thunder Mountain • Edfrid A. Bingham

... in a couple of strides to the edge of the little stream and there held her threateningly over the bank. The two young men shouted approval and Myrtle began to squirm. At first she demanded coyly to be set down, and then with more sharpness in her tone. Joe looked into her eyes. They were unfathomable. Her peach-bloom cheeks were quite pink. But there were a few tiny wrinkles about her mouth that he had never seen before. Made her look older, somehow. He softened, for the ...
— Stubble • George Looms

... isn't either wrong or right," Rachael said one autumn day when they were walking slowly to the beach. Over their heads the trees were turning scarlet; the days were still soft and warm, but twilight fell earlier now, and in the air at morning and evening was the intoxicating sharpness, the thin blue and clear steel color that mark the dying summer. Alice's three younger children were in school, and the family came to Clark's Hills only for the week- ends, but Rachael and her boys stayed on and on, enjoying the rare warmth and beauty of the Indian ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris

... tone, and old Oliver looked down upon him through his spectacles, with a closer survey than he had given to him before. The boy's face was pale and meagre, with an unboyish sharpness about it, though he did not seem more than nine or ten years old. His glittering eyes were filled with tears, and his colourless lips quivered. He wiped away the tears roughly upon the ragged sleeve ...
— Alone In London • Hesba Stretton

... used to roor wi' laffin' At t' sharpness o' my wit, An' a joke I made one Kersmiss Threw my nuncle ...
— Yorkshire Dialect Poems • F.W. Moorman

... that our wife or daughter should not lack intelligence, yet, for the life of me, I cannot bring myself to approve of a woman like this. And still less likely is it that such could be of any use to the wives of high personages like yourselves. Give me a lovable nature in lieu of sharpness! I quite agree with Sama-no-Kami ...
— Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji Monogatari and Classical - Poetry and Drama of Japan • Various

... explosive anarchy of New York! I made for the river, as I always do wherever a river is, and watched it flowing down in the silver-gray light and catching bits of the rain-washed blue sky. The trees had lost the brittleness and sharpness of winter's drawing and their outlines were softening into greenish velvet. In the coverts, arbutus crept out with a hawthorn-like fragrance from patches of lingering snow. The main street leading into the town from the Massasoit House and the station also had an air of repose ...
— Stories of Achievement, Volume IV (of 6) - Authors and Journalists • Various

... not easily provoked. "It corrects a sharpness of temper, and sweetens and softens the mind." It does not take fire at the least opposition or unkindness, nor "make a man an offender for a word." One of the servants of Nabal described his character in this significant manner: "He is such a son of Belial that a man cannot ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... soft, quiet hand seems to begin to crumble them down and to wear them away to nothing. You write the principle which was so hard to receive upon the tablet of your memory; and day by day a gentle hand comes over it with a bit of india-rubber, till the inscription loses its clear sharpness, grows blurred and indistinct, and finally quite disappears. Nor is the gentle hand content even then; but it begins, very faintly at first, to trace letters which bear a very different meaning. Then it ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... sellers, were nailed like base coin to the counter, there would be no room for the display of goods. It is considered no mean compliment to a business man to say that he is sharp at a bargain; yet this sharpness is rarely more than the faculty of ingenious lying. A man who sells to me an article worth only five dollars for twice that sum is a "sharp man;" but he cannot make such a sale to me without telling me, in some way, a lie. The price he ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... greatest interest and curiosity at the cottage; received the inquiring advances of Fido very graciously; made the boys tell her all the history of his attaching himself to them; and finally made herself the most entertaining and agreeable guest at the board, although the sharpness of her speech and the acid favour of some of her remarks bred a little uneasiness in some of ...
— The Sign Of The Red Cross • Evelyn Everett-Green

... dignity, as Evelina had done before her. Perhaps the resemblance between this young girl and the young girl of the past was more one of mien than aught else, although the type of face was the same. This girl had the same fine sharpness of feature and delicately bright color, and she also wore her hair in curls, although they were tied back from her face with a black velvet ribbon, and did not veil it when she drooped her head, as Evelina's ...
— Evelina's Garden • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... drawers, and outside stockings were drawn on, and Edgar's brain worked the while like the great crank of his own engine; but no feasible plan of escape was evolved. Then the "crinoline" was drawn on, but it added no feminine sharpness to his wits, though it seriously modified and damaged the shape of his person. The crinoline, as we have said elsewhere, is seldom used except at great depths, where the pressure of water is excessive. It was put on Edgar at this time partly because it formed ...
— Under the Waves - Diving in Deep Waters • R M Ballantyne

... everything was borne upon men's backs. In Central Africa the kinglet rides a slave, and on ceremonious occasions mounts his Prime Minister. I have often been reduced to this style of conveyance and found man the worst imaginable riding: there is no hold and the sharpness of the shoulder-ridge soon makes the legs ache intolerably. The classicists of course find the Shaykh of the Sea in the Tritons and Nereus, and Bochart (Hiero. ii. 858, 880) notices the homo aquaticus, Senex Judaeus and Senex Marinus. Hole (p. 151) suggests the inevitable ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... me, then nodded at my sharpness. "That's right, he's dead." He sighed heavily and tapped the folder with all those pudgy fingers. "Normally," he said, "that would be the end of it. File closed. However, ...
— The Risk Profession • Donald Edwin Westlake

... youth itself looked sapless and blasted. It was then March;—the third of March; the weather was unusually severe and biting, even for that angry month. There had been snow in the morning, and it lay white and dreary in various ridges along the street. But the wind was not still in the keen but quiet sharpness of frost; on the contrary, it howled almost like a hurricane through the desolate thoroughfares, and the lamps flickered unsteadily in the turbulent gusts. Perhaps it was the blasts which increased the haggardness of aspect in the young man I have mentioned. His ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... light eyes of M. Fleuriot there came a cold, bright gleam. He took a step forward. His face seemed to narrow to a greater sharpness. In a moment, to Mr. Ricardo's thought, he ceased to be the judge; he dropped from his high office; ...
— At the Villa Rose • A. E. W. Mason

... with his tray. I turned away my head for the second time. He seemed beside himself. With his usual sharpness he had doubtless guessed that Pugatchef was not pleased with me. He regarded him with alarm and me with mistrust. Pugatchef asked him some questions on the condition of the fort, on what was said concerning the Tzarina's troops, and other similar ...
— The Daughter of the Commandant • Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin

... that shows so big throughout the Comedy, an unfaithful partner and lawyer introducing ruin into the house of the widow and orphan. The practice of legal ruse and robbery—in these things Balzac had rung the changes again and again. What Becque added were sharpness of contrast, dramatic concentration, bitterer satire, ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... the woods the Slate-colored Snowbird (Fringilla Hudsonia) starts up before me and chirps sharply. His protest when thus disturbed is almost metallic in its sharpness. He breeds here, and is not esteemed a snowbird at all, as he disappears at the near approach of winter, and returns again in spring, like the Song-Sparrow, and is not in any way associated with the cold and the snow. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866 • Various

... Yet, even lacking sharpness, a head may be excellent if the forehead sink like a perpendicular wall upon horizontal eyebrows, and be greatly ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... that he was—and for the rest he could hardly get his words out with the sharpness of his hunger whetted still keener by the blessed smell of cooking. But he resisted ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... may be misled by mob prejudice or mob enthusiasm; but he is not likely to persist in a policy of crass blundering very long. King Demos may indeed rule a fallible human monarchy, but it is thanks to him, and to his high court held at the Pnyx, that Athens owes at least half of that sharpness of wit and intelligence which is ...
— A Day In Old Athens • William Stearns Davis

... last, "I'm sorry you're such a simpleton. I had a higher opinion of your sharpness. I think Mr. Roberts meant to do well by you. Who has been filling your head with ...
— Three People • Pansy

... talents; had we employed our ridicule to strip the foolish faces of Superstition, Fanaticism, and Dogmatical Pride of the serious and solemn masks with which they are covered, at the same time exerting all the sharpness of our wit to combat the flippancy and pertness of those who argue only by jests against reason and evidence in points of the highest and most serious concern, we should have much better merited ...
— Dialogues of the Dead • Lord Lyttelton

... exquisite surface with even such an insignificant breach and blemish as the shining steel betwixt his forefinger and thumb must occasion. But a slight tremble of the hand he held acknowledged the intruding sharpness, and then the red parabola rose from the golden bowl. He stroked the lovely arm to help its flow, and soon the girl once more opened her eyes and looked at him. Already her breathing was easier. But presently her eyes began ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... delicate shade of difference between civility and intrusiveness, familiarity and common-place, pleasantry and sharpness, the natural and the rude, gaiety and carelessness; hence the inconveniences of society, and the errors of its members. To define well in conduct these distinctions, is the great art of a man of the world. It is easy to know what to do; the difficulty ...
— The Laws of Etiquette • A Gentleman

... present that side of life in Canada which is not wintry and forbidding. There is warmth of summer in both tales, and thrilling air and the beauty of the wild countryside. As for the cold, it is severe in most parts of Canada, but the air is dry, and the sharpness is not felt as it is in this damper climate of England. Canadians feel the cold of a March or November day in London far more than the cold of a day in Winnipeg, with the thermometer many degrees below zero. Both these books present the summer side of Canada, which is as delightful as that ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... seem to add more than a cubit to their stature; men endowed with certain gifts of personal—dignity I may perhaps call it, though the word rises somewhat too high. They look as though they would be able to say a clever thing; but their spoken thoughts seldom rise above a small, acrid sharpness. They respect no one; above all, not their elders. To such a one his horse comes first, if he have a horse; then a dog; and then a stick; and after that the mistress of his affections. But their fault is not altogether of their own making. It is the girls themselves who spoil them and endure their ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... and her father together, present the culmination at once of her trial and of her steadfastness. Hitherto she has made her choice, as it were, in the bodily absence of that love, the abnegation of whose every hope gives its sharpness to her crown of thorns. Now the light and the darkness, the joy and the sorrow, the love whose earthly life she is slaying, and the life of lonely, ceaseless, lingering pain before her, stand, as it were, visibly and tangibly side by side. On the one hand her father, ...
— The Ethics of George Eliot's Works • John Crombie Brown

... of her majesty's mild and gracious clemency, and their slanderous lewdness to be the more condemned, that have in favor of heinous malefactors and stubborn traitors spread untrue rumours and slanders, to make her merciful government disliked, under false pretence and rumors of sharpness and cruelty to those against whom nothing can be cruel, and yet upon whom nothing hath been done but ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... raining. We were nearly naked, having only the remnant of the rags that had already served for more than their time. The bottoms were out of my shoes, and the water stood in the yard several inches deep. The cold, wet wind, swept down with biting sharpness, and almost robbed us of sensation. We paced the narrow bounds, through the mud and water, until too weary to walk any more, and then resigned ...
— Daring and Suffering: - A History of the Great Railroad Adventure • William Pittenger

... a streak of gray, was set on his shoulders at just the right poise for command. The high-bridged nose, inherited from the Umfravilles, was of the kind commonly considered to show "race." The eyes had the sharpness, and the thin-lipped mouth the inflexibility, that go with a capacity for quick decisions. While he was not so imposing in mufti as in his uniform, the trim traveling-suit of russet brown went well ...
— The Street Called Straight • Basil King

... blend them with the petty disappointments to which even the best of us are liable. The material thus obtained you temper with intentions that seem to be good, and eventually you forge out of it a weapon of marvellous point and sharpness, with which you mercilessly goad your victims along the path that ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, July 11, 1891 • Various

... of Religious Splendor, which has no examples, that remain in the memory with any sharpness in 1922, except The Faith Healer, founded on the play by William Vaughn Moody, the poet, with much of the directing and scenario by Mrs. William Vaughn Moody, and a more talked-of commercial film, The Miracle Man. But not until the religious film is ...
— The Art Of The Moving Picture • Vachel Lindsay

... beforehand with the famous police, which I found not to merit its reputation for sharpness, and went at once, after establishing myself at the hotel, and before my name was reported to the authorities and a spy put on me, to the address of a republican, known to Kossuth, and to whom I was directed to apply for the ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... sylvestris. COMMON MALLOW. Herb. L. E.—The leaves are ranked the first of the four emollient herbs: they were formerly of some esteem, in food, for loosening the belly; at present, decoctions of them are sometimes employed in dysenteries, heat and sharpness of urine, and in general for obtunding acrimonious humours: their principal use is in emollient ...
— The Botanist's Companion, Vol. II • William Salisbury

... writing, she observed smilingly, as she addressed herself to all the young ladies: "I have all along lacked the quality of sharpness and never besides been good at verses; as you, sisters, and all of you have ever been aware; but, on a night like this I've been fain to do my best, with the object of escaping censure, and of not reflecting ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... Honor was in the saddle—a gallant figure in well-cut brown habit and white helmet, the sunlight finding out gleams of bronze in her abundant hair, while all about her shone the uncompromising blue and gold of a mid-March morning—fresh without sharpness, and fragrant with the ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... looking round her the while, in some perplexity, to see whether there was a spare chair and room to place it. She was a delicate, willowy woman, still young in figure, with a fresh colour, belied by the grey circles under the eyes and the pinched sharpness of the features. The upper lip, which was pretty and childish, was raised a little over the teeth; the whole expression of the slightly open mouth was unusually soft and sensitive. On the whole, Minta Hurd was liked in the ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... the R-V line, V indicating valley and R ridge or hill. Note first the difference in sharpness in the contour bends; also how the valley contours point to the highland and the ridge ...
— Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry • War Department

... extreme affection and devotion, so that I passed four years in his service. When I first came there, I found two other pupils of mine own age newly arrived, Hakim Omar Khayyam, and the ill- fated Ben Sabbah. Both were endowed with sharpness of wit and the highest natural powers; and we three formed a close friendship together. When the Imam rose from his lectures, they used to join me, and we repeated to each other the lessons we had heard. Now Omar was a native of Naishapur, while Hasan ...
— Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam • Omar Khayyam

... door!" snapped Sinclair. Roger jerked back. Astro and Tom looked at the planter, startled by the sharpness in ...
— The Revolt on Venus • Carey Rockwell

... gall, yet you expect, foolish man, that they will be read. Why, not even food is pleasant if wholly destitute of acid seasoning, nor is a face pleasing which shows no dimples. Give children your honey, apples, and luscious figs—the Chian fig, which has sharpness, pleases my taste." ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... with the Foreign Office, again, one still less knows. Seizures of Sapienza, and the like sudden appearances of Britain in the character of Hercules-Harlequin, waving, with big bully-voice, her huge sword-of-sharpness over field-mice, and in the air making horrid circles (horrid catherine-wheels and death-disks of metallic terror from said huge sword), to see how they will like it,—do from time to time astonish the world, in a not pleasant manner. Hercules-Harlequin, the Attorney Triumphant, the World's ...
— Latter-Day Pamphlets • Thomas Carlyle

... out from the dust with the same hint of crushing force, the same die cut sharpness, the same METALLIC suggestion—and pointing toward the globes were the claw marks of the ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... imagin'd, but onely a piece of a tapering body, with a great part of the top remov'd, or deficient. The Points of Pins are yet more blunt, and the Points of the most curious Mathematical Instruments do very seldome arrive at so great a sharpness; how much therefore can be built upon demonstrations made onely by the productions of the Ruler and Compasses, he will be better able to consider that shall but view those points and ...
— Micrographia • Robert Hooke

... you let us know?" It was Comrade Dr. Service of the Reception Committee who spoke, and with a decided sharpness in ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... the rain was still falling in the mountains, keeping the streams up to bank level. And Forrest was also on the move. After the Memphis raid there had been a second honing of his army into razor sharpness, a razor to be brought down with its cutting edge across those railroads which carried the lifeblood of supplies to the ...
— Ride Proud, Rebel! • Andre Alice Norton

... the demons fled, And the fire went out and ended Then they brought me to a plain Where the blackened earth presented Fruits of thistles and of thorns, 'Stead of pink and rose sweet scented. Here a biting wind passed by, Which with subtle sharpness entered Even my bones, whose faintest breath Like the keenest sword-edge cleft me. Here in the profoundest depths Sadly, mournfully lamented Myriad souls, their parents cursing From whose loins they had descended. Such despairing shrieks and ...
— The Purgatory of St. Patrick • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... Shagpat and fix him for his operation; second, how the barber must be possessed of more than mortal strength to master him in so many strokes; third, how the barber must have a blade like no other blade in this world in sharpness, in temper, in velocity of sweep, that he may reap this crop which flourisheth on Shagpat, and with it the magic hair which ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... child whom he met there did not drink it, and her father seemed but to wet his lips, so that Leila and he had all the rest. Rather a wonderful little scene it made in his mind, very warm, glowing, yet with a strange dark sharpness to it, which came ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... arrived. Elective affinity brought us at once to friendly intercourse. He was of the Hebrew race, as the larger half of the Warsaw population still are. He was a typical Jew (all Jews are typical), though all are not so thin as was Beninsky. His eyes were sunk in sockets deepened by the sharpness of his bird-of-prey beak; a single corkscrew ringlet dropped tearfully down each cheek; and his one front tooth seemed sometimes in his upper, sometimes in his lower jaw. His skull-cap and his gabardine might ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... with unusual care and tried to smile back the radiance of her face, and fixed her hair this way and that in a pitiful attempt to take away the sharpness of her expression, and when her little clock showed seven she put on hat and coat with trembling hands and went swiftly down and out at the front door. She was shaking with terrible emotions, fire ...
— The Nine-Tenths • James Oppenheim

... a good deal of her mother's sharpness in the way she said this, and plucked Bobby by the strings of his pinafore, until he took an uncomfortable seat ...
— John Ward, Preacher • Margaret Deland

... temperature that can be used in the furnace, and the quantity of clinker that can be left therein without interfering with its operation, thus permitting of having the grates always black. These latter in no wise change, and after five months of work the square bars still preserve their sharpness ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 344, August 5, 1882 • Various

... so far lost and gained, in being transplanted from Europe to the New England soil and climate, is well illustrated by the writings of Emerson. There is greater refinement and sublimation of thought, greater clearness and sharpness of outline, greater audacity of statement, but, on the other hand, there is a loss of bulk, of unction, of adipose tissue, and shall we say ...
— Birds and Poets • John Burroughs

... the refreshment and instruction, which the greatest never cease to need from the experience of the humblest. Carlyle allows no one a chance, but bears down all opposition, not only by his wit and onset of words, resistless in their sharpness as so many bayonets, but by actual physical superiority, raising his voice and rushing on his opponent with a torrent of sound. This is not the least from unwillingness to allow freedom to others; on the contrary, ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... any difference what the difference is," said Olive, speaking quickly and with perhaps a little sharpness in her voice, "all I want is for you to ...
— The Captain's Toll-Gate • Frank R. Stockton

... what we are to digest into our Hearts, and work into our Thoughts and our Passions. And I would hope, that if we do in good earnest make the Attempt, we shall find this Discourse a cooling and sweetening Medicine, which may allay that inward Heat and Sharpness, with which, in a Case like ours, the Heart is often inflamed and corroded. I commend it, such as it is, to the Blessing of the great Physician, and could wish the Reader to make up its many Deficiencies, by ...
— Submission to Divine Providence in the Death of Children • Phillip Doddridge

... knife, and returning with it to Goisvintha, cut the rope that confined her wrists. Then she became silent when the first sharpness of her suffering was assuaged; he whispered softly in her ear, ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... of the night before had vanished, giving place to her customary sharpness of tone. Lucy paid no heed ...
— The Wall Between • Sara Ware Bassett

... scarcely repress a gasp of surprise and apprehension. The trail was laid upon the merest granite shelf, above that terrible chasm. She was terrified, frankly. The man and pony in the lead were cut with startling sharpness against the gray of the rock—the calico coloring, the muscular intensity, the bending of the man to every motion—as they balanced with terrifying slenderness above ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... man-of-the-world, which he prided himself upon having become, was visible through all by certain indefinable trifles, and above all by those eyes, of a restlessness so singular in so wealthy a man, indicating an enigmatical and obscure past of dark and contrasting struggles, of covetous sharpness, of cold calculation and indomitable energy. Fanatical Montfanon, who abused the daughter with such unjustness, judged the father justly. The son of a Jew of Berlin and of a Dutch Protestant, Justus Hafner was inscribed on the civil state registers as belonging to his mother's faith. But the ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... with a good deal of sharpness in her voice, "I want you to take down this hammock and carry it away. I can't stay here any longer. I thought that at least one quiet place out-of-doors could be found where I would not be disturbed, but it seems there is no such place. Perhaps you can hang the ...
— The Associate Hermits • Frank R. Stockton

... its elements. In the latter, there is the capacity for the synthesis, for the discovery of far-reaching relationships. Again, we hear that the wise head invents, the acute mind discovers, the deep mind seeks out. The first combines, the second analyzes, the third founds. Wit blends, sharpness clarifies, deepness illuminates. Wit ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... breast, while He demands the release of the cowering flock, He is doing on a small scale what He did once and forever on Calvary; when, exposing Himself to the penalty due to sin, and braving the concentrated antagonism of a broken law, the drawn sword of inviolable justice, the sharpness of death, the shame of the cross, and the humiliation of the grave, He said, "If ye seek Me, let these ...
— Love to the Uttermost - Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. • F. B. Meyer

... the sharpness of his penetrating gaze, which no secret was capable of resisting. "You are ...
— Louise de la Valliere • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Senator, whose ideas of the Roumanian and Bulgarian neighbourhood were vague, and who had a general notion that all such people lived in tents, wore sheepskins with the wool inside, and ate curds: "Oh, they have politicians there! I would like to see them try their sharpness in the west." ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... rushing current of chilly water. Rauparaha said: "Here am I. What do you want with me?" Mr. Thompson said he must go to Nelson; and an irritating conversation ensued. Rangihaeata drew up his tall form, his curly black hair setting off a face of eagle sharpness, and from his eye there gleamed an angry light. Behind him stood his wife, the daughter of Rauparaha, and near them this latter chief himself, short and broad, but strong and wiry-looking, a man with a cunning face, yet much dignity of manner. ...
— History of Australia and New Zealand - From 1606 to 1890 • Alexander Sutherland

... first place that God has endowed human intelligence with a native wit, sharpness and cunning that has its legitimate uses, the exercise of this faculty is evil only when its methods and ends are evil. Used along the lines of moral rectitude strategy and tact for profiting by circumstances are perfectly in order, especially when one acts in the defense of his natural rights. ...
— Explanation of Catholic Morals - A Concise, Reasoned, and Popular Exposition of Catholic Morals • John H. Stapleton

... conversely ("cushion-shaped distortion'') (see fig. 7). Systems free of this aberration are called "orthoscopic'' (orthos , right, skopein to look). This aberration is quite distinct from that of the sharpness of reproduction; in unsharp, reproduction, the question of distortion arises if only parts of the object can be recognized in the figure. If, in an unsharp image, a patch of light corresponds to an object point, the "centre of gravity'' ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... many folds of muslin twisted round it. The flowing hair fell over his shoulders, above which he wore a soolham of red cloth, while gaily-worked yellow boots, and a pair of spurs of cruel length and sharpness, adorned his feet. He evidently felt his importance, as the protector and fighting-man of the party. Another personage followed, of inferior rank, with a mule, which carried the chief part of the baggage. The country through which they travelled was of ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... are false to me—to me, your lover, who had never a thought that was false to you!—to me, your mate of many years!—to me, your almost husband!" cried the youth, losing all self-command in the sharpness of his pain, and bursting into a tempest of grief and rage, and launching ...
— Her Mother's Secret • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... cleverest tricks in the world. It is true I am quick-tempered, and now and then rather too hasty; but yet, when I have a mind to it, I can plan as many tricks as any man alive; even you shall own that what I have done shows an amount of sharpness ...
— The Blunderer • Moliere

... reached Tunbrook, and Richard was introduced to the terrible Colonel Brockridge. He was a little man of fifty, with great bushy red whiskers, whose whole face seemed to be eclipsed by the wonderful sharpness of his eyes. He shook hands with Richard, spoke to him very kindly, and hoped they should be good friends. The new recruit was shown to his quarters, as his room was called, and Mr. Grant took ...
— In School and Out - or, The Conquest of Richard Grant. • Oliver Optic

... distance, and their hearts the silence fills— Not long: for unto them, as unto all, Down from love's height unto the world of men Occasion called with many a sordid voice. So forth they fared with sweetness in their hearts, That took the sense of sharpness from the thorn. Sweet is love's sun within the heavens alone, But not less sweet when tempered by a cloud Of daily duties! Love's elixir, drained From out the pure and passionate cup of youth, Is sweet; but better, providently used, A few ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 47, September, 1861 • Various

... me, boys!" Applehead's voice had a masterful sharpness that made the three tighten reins involuntarily. "You foller me and don't crowd up on me, neither. Send back a shot or two if ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... won't give him a farthing!" she said with a sudden sharpness that startled him—"not a farthing! If he wants money, let him work for it, as other people do; and then, when he has done that, if he is to have any of my money, he must be beholden for it to his ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... easy to go."[6] "What may it be?" asked the lad. "Great cause have I. [7]The horses have become wild, so that I cannot go by them.[7] If I stir at all from where I am, the chariot's iron wheels will cut me down [8]because of their sharpness[8] and because of the strength and the power and the might of the career of the horses. If I make any move, the horns of the deer will pierce and gore me, [9]for the horns of the stag have filled the whole space between the two shafts of ...
— The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tain Bo Cualnge • Unknown

... Allen's words lasted long, and the sheriff fidgeted impatiently. When he again spoke there was the sharpness ...
— The Trail to Yesterday • Charles Alden Seltzer

... look at all that sort of age?" was Lady Sellingworth's thought as, for a brief instant, she contemplated him, with an intensity, a sort of almost fierce sharpness which she was ...
— December Love • Robert Hichens

... of this book is so masterly that we make no apology for presenting it to our readers. "Bunyan conceals nothing, assumes nothing, and exaggerates nothing. He makes his bad man sharp and shrewd. He allows sharpness and shrewdness to bring him the reward which such qualities in fact command. Badman is successful; is powerful; he enjoys all the pleasures which money can bring; his bad wife helps him to ruin, but otherwise he is not unhappy, and he dies in peace. ...
— The Life of John Bunyan • Edmund Venables

... piled artificial curls hiding bald spots and gray hairs. Her green pupils, when freed from their near-sighted glasses, had the tranquil opacity of ox-eyes; but the minute these gold-mounted crystals were placed between her and the outer world, the two glaucous drops took on a sharpness which fairly perforated persons and objects. At other times they appeared a glacial and haughty void, like the circle that a ...
— Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) - A Novel • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... had committed, in view of his ambitions, though to the better ends of justice, the lawyer, in whom seven years' experience had perfected the sharpness that comes to a man who in his practice has had to measure his wits against the grisettes of Paris, was anxious to have some shield against the resentment of two women of fashion. The taper in which he had burned the note was still alight, and he used it to seal up the Duchesse de Maufrigneuse's ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... son of your father. I didn't give 'e credit for sharpness enough to perceive that. ...
— Twice Bought • R.M. Ballantyne

... the Reformation!" said the Bishop, with a new sharpness of note. "We should be here all night. But let me at least point out to you that the Church kept her Creeds!—the Succession!—the four great Councils!—the unbroken unity of essential dogma. But you"—he turned with renewed passion on his companion—"what have you done with the Creeds? Every ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... but I went and pretended to be looking for rooms for a girl clerk I knew, and I saw—Oh! no end of rooms. And such poor old women, such dingy, worked-out, broken old women, with a kind of fearful sharpness, so eager, so dreadfully eager to get that girl clerk ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... on the deck close beside me, I could see that the shock had rendered him insensible; but I did not dare to quit the tiller for an instant, as it required all my faculties, bodily and mental, to manage the schooner. For an hour the blast drove us along, while, owing to the sharpness of the vessel's bow and the press of canvas, she dashed through the waves instead of breasting over them, thereby drenching the decks with water fore and aft. At the end of that time the squall passed away, and left us rocking on the bosom ...
— The Coral Island • R.M. Ballantyne

... if my papa tells it," spoke up the Daughter of the House. And John Gayther was pleased to note a sharpness in her voice. ...
— John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein • Frank R. Stockton

... to hear. Instead, he picked up a drill, looked at its point, then started toward the small forge which they had erected just at the foot of the little raise leading to the stope. There Harry joined him; together they heated the long pieces of steel and pounded their biting faces to the sharpness necessary to drilling in the hard rock of the hanging wall, tempering them in the bucket of water near by, working silently, slowly,—hampered by the weight of defeat. They were being whipped; they felt it in every ...
— The Cross-Cut • Courtney Ryley Cooper

... you have been Helen's constant companion. Do you think you have been as good friends as you were when you came to Briarwood, Ruth?" asked Mrs. Tellingham, with sharpness. ...
— Ruth Fielding at Briarwood Hall - or Solving the Campus Mystery • Alice B. Emerson

... successful in all his undertakings, resolved not to be idle in future; he therefore furnished himself with a horse, a cap of knowledge, a sword of sharpness, shoes of swiftness, and an invisible coat, the better to perform the wonderful enterprises that ...
— The Junior Classics, Volume 1 • Willam Patten

... book comes hot from the fight. It is not a retrospect written in the calm after-years, when the outline of things has grown indistinct and the sharpness of life is blurred. There is nothing mellowed about a battle-field. Even as I write these words, the post comes in and brings two letters. One tells of a child of twelve in whom the first faint desires have awakened to lead a different life. "She is a Temple girl. Pray that she may have ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... world knows yours can see farther than other people's,' returned Richard. 'Heaven knows whence they have their sharpness. But suppose it were a heartache now, have you got e'er a charm to ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... the chisel mark with wonderful precision. It looks as though, when fresh, it must have had the pliancy of clay, so delicately are the finest curves in scroll or foliage scooped from its substance. And yet it preserves each cusp and angle of the most elaborate pattern with the crispness and the sharpness ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... the little collection in this diminutive house a Gallery of Pictures, in the usual sense of that title, many would smile and remind me of what Foote said with his characteristic sharpness of David Garrick, when he joined his brother Peter in the wine trade: "Davy lived with three quarts of vinegar in the cellar, calling ...
— Yesterdays with Authors • James T. Fields

... what you think for yourself?" pursued the editor, giving sharpness and definition ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... in church, and, like Anna, serves the Lord with fastings and with prayers. There she takes up the cross in the morning, bears it through the day, and returns at night to give thanks, and press it to her bosom with all its thorns and all its sharpness. ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... me dislike her. I never knew unkindness till I knew her. I never felt the sting of poverty till she made me feel all its sharpness. I never knew that I was steeped in sinful pride until she ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... pleasant rest; Here may a wretch have refuge from his pains. No gold, which Tagus' sands bestow, Nor which on Hermus' banks doth flow, Nor precious stones which scorched Indians get[138], Can clear the sharpness of the mind, But rather make it far more blind, And in the farther depth of darkness set. For this that sets our souls on work Buried in caves of earth doth lurk. But heaven is guided by another light, Which ...
— The Theological Tractates and The Consolation of Philosophy • Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

... been minutes or it may have been hours before I next came to myself, and then my arm lay bandaged by my side, and the sharpness ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... Darwin and Haeckel conclusions to which they certainly do not lead. But in the majority of cases, his work is full of real convincing power, and with the breadth of its philosophical view and with the sharpness of its definitions, as well as with its abundance of philosophic and especially botanical teachings and their ingenious application, it is directly destructive to the use of the selection theory as the principal key to the solution of the problems. Eduard von Hartmann describes ...
— The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality • Rudolf Schmid

... the policy to be pursued in respect to the affiliated duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg.[782] During the (p. 557) later years of the reign successive ministries grappled vainly with this problem, and the political forces of the kingdom came to be divided with unprecedented sharpness by the conflict between the separatist tendency and the demand for immediate and complete incorporation. The king himself was brought eventually to consent to the framing of a constitution for the whole of his dominions, ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... their imagination. The centre pier of the doorway is formed into a niche enclosing the basin for holy water, protected by a carved canopy of great beauty; but time and exposure have worn away much of the sharpness ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 1891 • Various

... said Colonel Woodville, his old sharpness returning, "we shall be on even terms, young sir. Your uniform bears a faint resemblance to that of your own army, and Slade, cunning and cruel, may have had you shot as a spy. You would be taken within our lines and this is no ...
— The Rock of Chickamauga • Joseph A. Altsheler

... heath. But she became gay. She could not keep in the medium, nor be, as was usual with her, placidly content. Every one remarked her exhilaration of spirits; as all actions appear graceful in the eye of rank, her guests surrounded her applaudingly, although there was a sharpness in her laugh, and an abruptness in her sallies, which might have betrayed her secret to an attentive observer. She went on, feeling that, if she had paused for a moment, the checked waters of misery ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... said, with a slight sharpness in his accent. Then he added quickly, "No, for I am a born shopkeeper in another sense than because I am one ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... hardly ever the practice of focussing their eyes sharply upon objects farther off than the length of the vessel or the top of the mast, say at a distance of fifty paces. The horizon itself as seen from the deck, [4] and under the most favourable circumstances, is barely four miles off, and there is no sharpness of outline in the intervening waves. Besides this, the life of a sailor is very unhealthy, as shown by his growing old prematurely, and his eyes must be much tried by ...
— Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development • Francis Galton

... scanned most carefully as the boat skimmed along, my uncle steering, and after trying the sharpness of the hooks he performed what always seemed to me a conjuring trick, in bringing a couple of mother-of-pearl baits out of his waist-cloth, ...
— Nat the Naturalist - A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern Seas • G. Manville Fenn

... domestic shrine; and this fitly marks her out as the centre of silent or unemphatic interest in her father's household. She is always thoughtful, never voluble; and when she speaks, there is no sting or sharpness in her tongue: she is even proud of her brilliant cousin, yet not at all emulous of her brilliancy; keenly relishes her popping and sometimes caustic wit, but covets no such gift for herself, and even shrinks from the ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson



Words linked to "Sharpness" :   conformation, intelligence, spice, indistinctness, focus, clarity, softness, spiciness, legibility, configuration, definition, dullness, sharp, painfulness, shape, discernability, spicery, uncloudedness, urgency, clearness, steel trap, distressingness, contour, form, ill nature



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