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Stale   /steɪl/   Listen
Stale

verb
(past & past part. staled; pres. part. staling)
1.
Urinate, of cattle and horses.



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"Stale" Quotes from Famous Books



... these lines. A Greek poet could not have conceived them: unless we imagine to ourselves what AEschylus or Pindar, oppressed by long illness, and forgetful of the gods, might possibly have felt. In its sense of spiritual vacancy, when the world and all its uses have become flat, stale, unprofitable, and the sentient soul oscillates like a pendulum between weariful extremes, seeking repose in restless movement, and hurling the ruins of a life into the gulf of its exhausted cravings, we perceive ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... Crags, the light of dawn stole in through the windows and turned the brilliant light of the lamps into a pale glow. The odor of stale flowers was all about. Mrs. Wellington, with a headache, stood in the doorway. Her husband sat in an armchair with legs outstretched, smoking about his fortieth cigar. Sara Van Valkenberg stood in the middle of ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... dwelling and soon exhausted every hole and corner of it in a vain hunt for some token of the clerk. The kennels at the back were empty and forlorn; and some bread which they found in the hermit's tiny larder was mouldy and very stale. ...
— Robin Hood • Paul Creswick

... side. On the pavement in front of it and of its neighbour, the Cafe Continental, the vendors of lottery tickets were bawling the lucky numbers they had for sale. Even in this wide space the air was close and stale. Within, a few people left over in the town had strayed in to dine at tables placed against the walls under flamboyant decorations in the style of Fragonard. At a table Hillyard was sitting alone over his coffee. Across the room one of the panels represented a gleaming ...
— The Summons • A.E.W. Mason

... out of the inexhaustible store where they were kept for the public entertainment. Austria, and then Germany, made a not bad attempt on public attention by raking up some forgotten sensation over a stale excitement at a place called Sarajevo; but on the twenty-sixth, Ireland magnificently filled the bill again by the far more serious affair of Nationalist Volunteers landing three thousand rifles and marching with them into Dublin. Troops fired on the ...
— If Winter Comes • A.S.M. Hutchinson

... the wood, but its devious windings eventually brought us out on to an open space on the farther side. Here we at once perceived traces of another kind. A litter of dirty rags, pieces of paper, scraps of stale bread, bones and feathers, with hoof-marks, wheel ruts, and the ashes of a large wood fire, pointed clearly to a gipsy encampment recently broken up. I laid my hand on the heap of ashes, and found it still warm, and on scattering ...
— John Thorndyke's Cases • R. Austin Freeman

... found, in its physical aspects, to be typical of the breed and district. It was small, crowded, overheated, underlighted, and stuffy to suffocation with the mingled aromas of stale drink and cheap perfume. As we entered a wrangle was going on among a group of young Frenchmen picturesquely attired as art students—almost a sure sign that they were not art students. An undersized girl dressed in a shabby black-and-yellow frock was doing a Spanish dance on a cleared ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... the things I knew was rotten you said was the way to live. For you muddled with books and pictures, an' china an' etchin's an' fans, And your rooms at college was beastly — more like a whore's than a man's — Till you married that thin-flanked woman, as white and as stale as a bone, An' she gave you your social nonsense; but where's that kid o' your own? I've seen your carriages blocking the half o' the Cromwell Road, But never the doctor's brougham to help the missus unload. (So there ...
— Verses 1889-1896 • Rudyard Kipling

... superfluous. Power: unlimited, absolute power was his goal. With his end achieved he could establish an autocracy, a dynasty of science: whatever he chose. Oh, it was a rich-hued, golden, glowing dream; a dream such as men's souls don't formulate in these stale days—not our kind of men. The Teutonic mysticism—you understand. And it was ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... to get on better, but at the moment the surface changed and we came up over a rise with hard sastrugi. At the top we camped for lunch. What was the difficulty? One theory was that some members of the second party were stale. Another that all was due to the bad stepping and want of swing; another that the sledge pulled heavy. In the afternoon we exchanged sledges, and at first went off well, but getting into soft snow, we found a terrible drag, the second party coming quite ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... weakened him, and whatever for should he walk on, wherever to, to which goal? No, there were no more goals, there was nothing left but the deep, painful yearning to shake off this whole desolate dream, to spit out this stale wine, to put an end to this miserable and ...
— Siddhartha • Herman Hesse

... could not wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety. Other women cloy The appetite they feed. But she made hungry Where ...
— Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World • Anonymous

... is a new Martin Chuzzlewit, told by a wiser Mark Tapley. It is typical of something sombre and occasionally stale in the mood of Dickens when he wrote that book, that the comic servant is not really very comic. Mark Tapley is a very thin shadow of Sam Weller. But if Dickens had written it in a happier mood, there might have been a truer meaning in Mark Tapley's happiness. For it is true that this illogical ...
— What I Saw in America • G. K. Chesterton

... can fancy scenes in which you'd be quite natural." And indeed I could see the slipshod re-arrangements of stale properties—the stories I tried to produce pictures for without the exasperation of reading them—whose sandy tracts the good lady might help to people. But I had to return to the fact that—for this sort of work—the daily mechanical ...
— Some Short Stories • Henry James

... comrades and infested by filthy crawling things begotten of decaying sheepskins and Heaven alone knows what other foulnesses of that floating hell. He was sparingly fed upon weevilled biscuit and vile messes of tallowy rice, and to drink he was given luke-warm water that was often stale, saving that sometimes when the spell of rowing was more than usually protracted the boatswains would thrust lumps of bread sodden in wine into the mouths of the ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fye on it, ah fye! 'tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed; things rank and gross in ...
— The plant-lore & garden-craft of Shakespeare • Henry Nicholson Ellacombe

... the closet and opened the door. On a shelf he saw half a loaf of bread, dry and stale. He took ...
— Mark Mason's Victory • Horatio Alger

... live for myself. I have one inseparable companion—that is myself. I want to suffer my own sufferings, and enjoy my own enjoyments. This living for others is absurd. I hate second-hand emotions; they are stale and dull. But, Pensee, you haven't told me ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... stairs soldiers were eating hunches of stale bread and knocking the necks from wine bottles with their bayonets. One lumpish fellow came to the door and offered me part of a sausage which he was devouring, a kindly act that touched me, and I wondered whether the other prisoners might find among their ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... and French prisons, which I shall not repeat; for indeed the public has been surfeited with sea-stories of late, from many sufficiently dull ones up to the genial wisdom of 'Peter Simple,' and the gorgeous word- painting of 'Tom Cringle's Log.' And now the subject is stale—the old war and the wonders thereof have died away into the past, like the men who fought in it; and Trafalgar and the Bellerophon are replaced by Manchester and 'Mary Barton.' We have solved the old sea-going problems pretty well—thanks to wise English-hearted Captain Marryat, now ...
— Prose Idylls • Charles Kingsley

... uprising and with rumors of the Pretender's movements. From many indications Eliza Haywood would seem to have taken a lively interest in the Stuart cause, but certainly she had no exceptional facilities for reporting the course of events, and consequently her budget of information was often stale or filled with vague surmises. But she did not overlook the opportunity to narrate con amore such pathetic incidents as the death of Jemmy Dawson's sweetheart at the moment of his execution, later the ...
— The Life and Romances of Mrs. Eliza Haywood • George Frisbie Whicher

... Lidford House had oppressed him to-night? His youth was fast going—nay, had it not indeed gone from him for ever? had not youth left him all at once when he began his commercial career?—and the pleasures that had been fresh enough within the last few years were rapidly growing stale. He knew the German spas, the pine-groves where the hand played, the gambling-saloons and their company, by heart, though he had never stayed more than a fortnight at any one of them. He had exhausted Brittany and the South of France in these rapid scampers; skimmed the cream of their novelty, ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... this trifling incident, the editor of Astley's Collection gives the following marginal reference, A merry passage. Ludere cum sacris is rather a stale jest, and perhaps the grand Raulim was as ingenious as Correa and his priest, to trick the ignorant unbelievers in ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VI - Early English Voyages Of Discovery To America • Robert Kerr

... to a mortal conception of God—a distant glitter of candles beyond colossal pillars, a fragrance of stale incense, a silence in which the shadowy crimson of banners, suspended high in the nave, was like a soft blaring of celestial trumpets. Exaltation took hold of her as she recalled the miracles of orthodox faith and the ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... editor found that everybody believed it to be a sheer invention of his own to "once more boom" the "Clarion." If they had doubted MR. Dimmidge, they utterly rejected MRS. Dimmidge as an advertiser! It was a stale joke that nobody would follow up; and on the heels of this came a ...
— Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... deal of work to do together. In the end, how well we do that work will depend on the spirit in which we approach it. We must seek fresh answers, unhindered by the stale prescriptions of the past. ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... "I suppose—I shall join you; but as a matter of fact you see, what I've done to-day has been to come right away.... You see I am still in my garden tweeds.... There it was down there, a sort of stale mate...." ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... some undeserved misfortune and of taking possession of a home to which he had some ancient right, was the tone given to Harry's settlement at Yoden, and for a long time he felt compelled to honor it, even after it had become stale and tedious. For it pleased his mother, and she did many unconsidered things to encourage it. For instance, she gave a formal dinner at Hatton Hall to which she invited all the county families and wealthy manufacturers within her knowledge. ...
— The Measure of a Man • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... The book he opened had been a famous novel, a best-seller, some five years ago. It had been thought "advanced." Advanced!—but now how inconceivably flat and stale! How on earth had anyone ever praised it, called it "epoch-marking," bought it by the thousand thousand? Why, the thing was dead—a dead book, than which there is nothing deader. This reflection gave him something to think of for a while. ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... that they were Radicals at all. It denounced the attempt of any man to interfere by violence with slaves or Slavery where protected by the supreme law of the land. It repudiated as stale and ridiculous the charge of Abolitionism against them. And declared that such an accusation is without a shadow of truth to ...
— The Man in Gray • Thomas Dixon

... and as he did so the clock struck three, and he opened the door and passed out into the hall. It was paved with black and white marble; the walls were washed in a dull yellowish tint, and the prevalent odour of antiseptics was mingled with a stale smell of cooking. At the back rose a straight staircase carpeted with brass-bound India-rubber, like a ship's companion-way; and down that staircase she would come in a moment—he fancied he heard ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... now soliciting a customer to take his choice of three lank cod-fish, ticketed at so much per lb. Billiard-rooms were silent, save where a solitary marker practised impossible strokes: print-shops exhibited a dull uniformity of stale engravings; and the innumerable horde of mongrel puppies of all varieties, that, particularly towards the end of term, are dragged about three or four in a string, and recommended as real Blenheims, genuine King Charles's, or "one of old Webb's ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... tobacco, and the effects of his heavy meal, he dropped off to sleep. Late in the afternoon his canary bird, in its gilt cage just over his head, began to sing. He woke slowly, finished the rest of his beer—very flat and stale by this time—and taking down his concertina from the bookcase, where in week days it kept the company of seven volumes of "Allen's Practical Dentist," played upon it some half-dozen very ...
— McTeague • Frank Norris

... has been sold by me,' the bookseller's voice replied from far up the Alpine height of the shop-ladder, where he stood dusting stale volumes, as was his habit of a morning before customers came. 'I have never heard of it—probably never shall;' and he shook out the duster, so as to hit the delicate mean between stifling Christopher and not ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... Charley whined as Denver went through the grotesque ritual of donning space helmet and zipping up his glass cloth and metal foil suiting before he dared venture outside. Charley even tried to help by pouring himself through the stale air to hold open the locker where the tool-belts and holstered heat ...
— Master of the Moondog • Stanley Mullen

... trudging from one indifferent editor to another peddling "space." And why not? Mae Smith had been young and good-looking once, also a local celebrity in her way when she had signed a column in a daily. But she had grown stale with the grind, and having no special talent or personality had been easily replaced when a new Managing Editor came. Now, though chipper as a sparrow, she was always in need of a ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... Asia, and America. He alluded more particularly to their application to the dyeing of yarns, &c., by the Scotch Highlanders, under the name of "Crottles." "The process of the manufacture of the various crottles, generally consisted in macerating the powdered lichen for two or three weeks, in stale urine, exposing the mass freely to the air by repeated stirring, and adding lime, salt, alum, or argillaceous and other substances, either to heighten the color or impart consistence. To such an extent did this custom at one time prevail, that, in several of our northern counties ...
— The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom • P. L. Simmonds

... Mr. Alcott stood in front of the fire-place, his long gray hair streaming over his collar, his pale eyes turning quickly from one listener to another to hold them quiet, his hands waving to keep time with the orotund sentences which had a stale, familiar ring as if often repeated before. Mr. Emerson stood listening, his head sunk on his breast, with profound submissive attention, but Hawthorne sat astride of a chair, his arms folded on the back, his chin dropped on ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... difficulty we secured a small wooden compartment with seats sharp and narrow and a smell of cabbage, bad tobacco, and dirty clothes. The floor was littered with sunflower seeds and the paper wrappings of cheap sweets. The air came in hot stale gusts down the corridor, met the yet closer air of our carriage, battled with it and retired defeated. We flung open the windows and a cloud of dust rose gaily to meet us. The whole of the Russian army ...
— The Dark Forest • Hugh Walpole

... misogynist. A map of the Indian Empire occupied the larger part of one wall. The grate was empty, for the weather was extremely warm, and a green-shaded lamp on the littered writing-table afforded the only light. The air was stale, for both windows were closed ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... windows. We woke to the rumbling of distant cannon, which might more correctly be called a trembling of the air rather than a true sound. Still hoarding our provisions, we ate a frugal breakfast of stale bread and of tea made from the dried leaves of linden trees. We started off at half-past seven, receiving a very friendly God-speed from our ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... together almost continually. Songs and glees enlivened their evenings, and nearly every day there were boating excursions, or rides on horseback, in which Mr. and Mrs. King and Mr. and Mrs. Blumenthal invariably joined. No familiarity could stale the ever fresh charm of the scenery. The beautiful river, softly flowing in sunlight through richly cultivated meadows, always seemed to Mr. Blumenthal like the visible music of Mendelssohn. Mr. King, who had been in Germany, was strongly reminded of the Rhine and the Black Forest, ...
— A Romance of the Republic • Lydia Maria Francis Child

... the bear explained that they were very sorry, but they would have to eat him. Michael, the fox, did not run away as the others had done, but smiled in a friendly manner, and remarked: 'Things taste so stale in a valley; one's appetite is so much better up on a mountain.' The wolf and the bear agreed, and they turned out of the hollow where they had been walking, and chose a path that led up the mountain side. The fox trotted cheerfully by his two big companions, but ...
— The Crimson Fairy Book • Various

... talk for a girl you'd see itching and scratching, and she with a stale stink of poteen on her from selling in ...
— The Playboy of the Western World • J. M. Synge

... observant of his master's carving, while the Swedish Cristina served us her good food with the spice of an occasional comment on farm or neighborhood events—how perfect a beginning for the day! How stale beside our breeze-swept table was any board at which I had ever sat! I do declare that I have never seen a more winning face than the bright one of my little cousin whom her world had pronounced "plain." Vere and I basked in ...
— The Thing from the Lake • Eleanor M. Ingram

... visiting my friend's apartment in upper New York. If you ever want me again, you will find me amongst my books. If my invention halts and other interests stale, you have furnished me this day with a problem which cannot fail to give continual occupation to my energies. If I succeed in solving it first, I shall be happy to share my knowledge with you. Till then, trust the laws of nature. No man when once on the outside of a door can button it on the inside, ...
— Initials Only • Anna Katharine Green

... "I'm stale, I guess, or have lost my nerve or—or something." Armstrong smiled,—a crooked smile that failed to extinguish the furrows on his forehead. "By the way, have you got a little superfluous nerve lying about that you could stake ...
— The Dominant Dollar • Will Lillibridge

... that life was stale, flat and unprofitable when she alighted at Riverton station in the dusk of the next evening. She was not expected until a later train and there was no one to meet her. She walked drearily through the ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... turned your head? Charming, talented, you are enthusiastic; but at the same time you can't forget that you want to smoke. Science and technical knowledge are passing through a great period now, but for our sort it is a flabby, stale, and dull time. We are stale and dull ourselves, we can only beget gutta-percha boys, [Footnote: An allusion to Grigorovitch's well-known story.] and the only person who does not see that is Stassov, to whom nature has given a rare faculty for getting drunk on slops. The causes of this are ...
— Letters of Anton Chekhov • Anton Chekhov

... banknote on the kitchen table, with a weight on it to keep it from blowing away. They closed the house door. They'd eaten fully and luxuriously of eggs and partly stale bread and the sensation was admirable. They went out to ...
— Operation Terror • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... fast, O Emir, not so fast, I pray you! Better a double mouthful of stale porpoise fat, with a fin bone in it, than ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... legitimate applause, strikes out a fantastic or monstrous innovation; and arrests the attention of many who would fall asleep over monotonous excellence. Imitators are soon found;—fashion adopts the new folly;—the old standard of perfection is deemed stale and obsolete;—and thus, by degrees, the whole literature of a country becomes changed and deteriorated. It appears to us, that we are now labouring in a crisis of this nature. In our last Number, we noticed the revolution ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... for the English satirist in the exposing of the cant and knavery of the pretenders to religion, what room is there for him to lash the infamies of the law! On this point the French are babes in iniquity compared to us—a counsel prostituting himself for money is a matter with us so stale, that it is hardly food for satire: which, to be popular, must find some much more complicated and interesting knavery whereon to ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... old and stale, it was to be taken away, and new and warm put in its place, to show that God has but little delight in the service of his own people when their duties grow stale and mouldy. Therefore he removed his old, stale, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... POULTICE.—Take stale bread in crumbs, pour boiling sweet milk, or milk and water over it, and simmer till soft, stirring it well; then take it from the fire, and gradually stir in a little glycerine or sweet oil, so as to render the ...
— Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889 • Barkham Burroughs

... have endeavoured to turn to the illustration of our pages. There is no sinister motive in the selection; but if we have hit the white, or rather the black, of such variableness, "let the galled jade wince," and pay the Mirror the stale compliment of veluti ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 482, March 26, 1831 • Various

... young and childish, and so little qualified—how could I be otherwise?—to undertake the whole charge of my own existence, that, in going to Hungerford Stairs of a morning, I could not resist the stale pastry put out at half-price on trays at the confectioners' doors in Tottenham Court Road; and I often spent in that the money I should have kept for my dinner. Then I went without my dinner, or bought a roll, or a slice of pudding. There were two pudding-shops between which I was divided, according ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... She tried to be sad, so as not to be angry; but it made her angry that she couldn't be sad. And yet where was misery, misery too beaten for blame and chalk-marked by fate like a "lot" at a common auction, if not in these merciless signs of mere mean, stale feelings? ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2 • Henry James

... see he's not a common boy? he doesn't whine,' she remarked, and handed me a stale bun, saying, 'Here, Master Charles, and you needn't ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... up at the leg of bacon in the corner, and thought he had made a good pun; but it was fearfully old and stale to be printed in a book, and we do so only out of deference to his feelings. No right-minded and highly moral person will make puns; and our hero is only excusable on the ground that he was alone, and ...
— Little Bobtail - or The Wreck of the Penobscot. • Oliver Optic

... contrary parties, you have been always regarded as one of the first persons of the age, and yet not one writer has dared to tell you so; whether we have been all conscious to ourselves that it was a needless labour to give this notice to mankind, as all men are ashamed to tell stale news; or that we were justly diffident of our own performances, as even Cicero is observed to be in awe when he writes to Atticus; where, knowing himself over-matched in good sense, and truth of knowledge, he drops the gaudy train of words, and is no longer the ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... must have had in common many pleasant memories of people and places dear to both, so that his ideal of matrimony described in Virginibus Puerisque was realised, and he and his wife had 'many an old joke between them which time cannot wither nor custom stale.' ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson • Margaret Moyes Black

... full of contrasts, for the next day was one of brilliant sunlight and perfect calm. Despite the good weather the dogs seemed almost lifeless. It was impossible to get them to move faster than a walk, light though the loads were. Henson and the Eskimos also appeared to be a bit stale, so that it seemed wise to make a single march here instead ...
— The North Pole - Its Discovery in 1909 under the auspices of the Peary Arctic Club • Robert E. Peary

... Yea. Age cannot wither him, nor custom stale his infinite variety. Wonderful, all the same, what perversely bad hits he will persist in making, at times. Does things now and again you'd think a school-girl with a bat would ...
— Punch Volume 102, May 28, 1892 - or the London Charivari • Various

... It would be a pity if all these problems could be solved. The joy of the intellectual life would be largely gone. I would not rob a man of his problems, nor would I have another man rob me of my problems. They are the delight of life, and the whole intellectual world would be stale and unprofitable ...
— Addresses • Henry Drummond

... forest with little life and no variety—nothing but a deadly monotony of twilit tangle. There is nothing new under the sun—even immediately under it in Central Africa. The only novelty is the human heart—Central Man. That is never stale, and there are depths still unexplored, heights still unattained, warm rivers of love, cold streams of hatred, and vast plains where strange motives ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... not that the historical facts are alluded to in English, unless by Dr. Moore in his View of Italy[368]. His account is false and flippant, full of stale jests about old men and young wives, and wondering at so great an effect from so slight a cause. How so acute and severe an observer of mankind as the author of Zeluco could wonder at this is inconceivable. He knew that a basin of water spilt on Mrs. Masham's ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... that in only once trying them, and viewing them, we find out their secret, and that afterwards the show is too superficial to arrest our attention. As dramatists and novelists repeat their plots, so does man's life repeat itself, and at length grows stale. This is what, in my desponding moments, I have sometimes suspected. What to do, ...
— Septimius Felton - or, The Elixir of Life • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... how greatlie this mishap had discouraged the Romans, and again by the small circuit of their campe, gessing that they could be no great number, and that lacke of vittels sore oppressed them, they stale priuilie away one after another out of the campe, purposing to assemble their powers againe, and to forestall the Romans from vittels, and so to driue the matter off till winter: which if they might doo (vanquishing these or closing them from returning) they trusted that ...
— Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (3 of 8) • Raphael Holinshed

... never-changing tale Of mortal maladies is worn and stale. You cannot charm, or interest, or please, By harping on that minor chord, disease. Say you are well, or all is well with you. And God shall hear your words and ...
— Cheerfulness as a Life Power • Orison Swett Marden

... court feathers properly adjusted, fresh gauzes and pretty toilettes and fragile, fair women, if you desire simply to skim the surface of life, here is your world for you. Be content with meaningless phrases and fascinating simpers, and do not ask for real feeling. For my own part, I abhor the stale intrigues which end in sub-prefectures and receiver-generals' places and marriages; or, if love comes into the question, in stealthy compromises, so ashamed are we of the mere semblance of passion. Not a single one of all these eloquent faces tells you of a soul, ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Honore de Balzac

... entertain. As I moved through the mist and the silence, and felt the tug of the thong that bound me to the wrist of the savage who stalked before me, I cared not how soon they made an end, seeing how stale and unprofitable were all things ...
— To Have and To Hold • Mary Johnston

... Andrew was out of sight he pulled his leather satchel round so that he could open it with ease, and, having taken a handful of broken and very stale crumbs out of it for immediate use, he dropped Winsome's parcel within. There it kept company with a tin flask of milk which his mother filled for him every morning, having previously scalded it well to restore its freshness. This was specially carefully done after a sad occasion upon which his mother, ...
— The Lilac Sunbonnet • S.R. Crockett

... Life was so horribly stale in London without Barty that I became a quite exemplary young man when I woke up from that long nap on the floor of my laboratory in Barge Yard, Bucklersbury; a reformed character: from sheer grief, ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... estate of life that spreads about us all, open to all of us in just the measure that we can scramble out of our individual selves—to a more general self. I seemed to be hanging there at the brim of my stale and painful den, staring at the unthought-of greatness of the world, with an unhoped-for wind out of ...
— The Passionate Friends • Herbert George Wells

... poise which has been fitly named conversion, that to many among us neither heaven nor earth has any revelation till some personality touches theirs with a peculiar influence, subduing them into receptiveness. It had been Gwendolen's habit to think of the persons around her as stale books, too familiar to be interesting. Deronda had lit up her attention with a sense of novelty: not by words only, but by imagined facts, his influence had entered into the current of that self-suspicion and self-blame which awakens ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... 6. Stale or Decayed Foods.—Food which has been allowed to stand until it is spoiled, or has become stale, musty, or mouldy, such as mouldy bread or fruit, or tainted meat, is unfit to be eaten, and is often ...
— First Book in Physiology and Hygiene • J.H. Kellogg

... held them out over the stove and nodded to Billy. Bucky had opened his can, and approached the stove with a pan of water, coming in beside Billy without noticing him. He brought with him a foul odor of stale tobacco smoke and whisky. After he had put his water over the fire he turned to one of the bunks and with half a dozen coarse epithets roused Thompson, who sat up stupidly, still half drunk. Henry had gone to a small table, and Sweedy followed him with the bacon. ...
— Isobel • James Oliver Curwood

... own territory. The whole metaphysical realm consisted in nothing more than creatures of fancy and heavenly things at the precise time when real beings and earthly things were beginning to concentrate all interest upon themselves. Metaphysics had become stale. Helvetius and Condillac were born in the same year that Malebranche and Arnauld, the last great French metaphysicians of the seventeenth ...
— Selected Essays • Karl Marx

... was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven. Oh times In which the meager, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute took at once The attraction of a ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... Beth, believing that she understood horse language. She took a stale piece of candy out of her pocket, and gave it to Dolly. This attention sealed a ...
— A Little Florida Lady • Dorothy C. Paine

... throng'd with faces, the broadcloth and laces, The booths, and the tents, and the cars, The bookmakers' jargon, for odds making bargain, The nasty stale smell of cigars. ...
— Poems • Adam Lindsay Gordon

... I tried to sleep, but the atmosphere in the carriage, of smoke, babies, stale clothes, and the peculiar smell of the Russian peasantry which no one who has known it can forget, made sleep impossible. But I travelled fairly comfortably, resolutely shutting my ears to the talk, thinking of fishing in England, and shifting from one bone to another as each ached in turn from ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... will be of as high a quality as anything that the average commercial photographer can produce, and, better yet, it will not have any flat and stale commercial flavor about it. Nothing is more static and banal than the composition that the ordinary professional will produce if you fail to prevent him from having his own way. Ten to one, all the lower half of the picture ...
— If You Don't Write Fiction • Charles Phelps Cushing

... humor, detects and saves himself on the verge of pious caricature and solemn bathos; knows how to meet important committees on microscopic reforms as well as self-appointed theological inquisitors and all the insistent cranks that waylay a busy pastor. Life cannot grow stale; and by letting the boys lead him forth by the streams of living water and into the whispering woods he catches again the wild charm of that all-possible past: the smell of the campfire, the joyous freedom and good health of God's ...
— The Minister and the Boy • Allan Hoben

... almost as much as she. Therefore she could say to herself, without the imputation of heartlessness, that when she left her mother it was for a noble, a sacred use. In point of fact, she left her very little, and she spent hours in jingling, aching, jostled journeys between Charles Street and the stale suburban cottage. Mrs. Tarrant sighed and grimaced, wrapped herself more than ever in her mantle, said she didn't know as she was fit to struggle alone, and that, half the time, if Verena was away, she wouldn't have the nerve to ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... gave him an entirely innocent but delightful pleasure merely to see a flapper. The reaction from the battle-field produced a condition of hyperaesthesia in which all the theatrical values were altered. Trivial things gained intensity and stale things novelty. The actor, instead of having to coax his audiences out of the boredom which had driven them to the theatre in an ill humor to seek some sort of distraction, had only to exploit the bliss of smiling men who were no longer under fire and under military discipline, but actually ...
— Heartbreak House • George Bernard Shaw

... plain—the reasons for Lady Beldonald's fond calculation, which they quite justified—were written large in her face, so large that it was easy to understand them as the only ones she herself had ever read. What was it then that actually made the old stale sentence mean something so different?—into what new combinations, what extraordinary language, unknown but understood at a glance, had time and life translated it? The only thing to be said was that time and ...
— The Beldonald Holbein • Henry James

... once elaborately tooled, patent springs, fairy lock, fit receptacle for bank-notes, billets-doux, memoranda of debts of honour, or pleasurable engagements. Now how worn, tarnished, greasy, rascallion-like, the costly bauble! Filled with what motley, unlovable contents: stale pawn-tickets of foreign monts de piete, pledges never henceforth to be redeemed; scrawls by villanous hands in thievish hierolgyphics; ugly implements replacing the malachite penknife, the golden toothpick, ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... dinner was not exactly a success. We invited all the foreigners in Hiroshima, twelve in number, and everybody talked a great deal and laughed at everybody's stale jokes, and pretended to be terribly hilarious. But there was a pathetic droop to every mouth, and not a soul referred to home. Each one seemed to realize that the mere mention of the word would ...
— Lady of the Decoration • Frances Little

... Mexican War had made serious inroads upon his health, from which he never entirely recovered. It was hoped that his life in the East would be beneficial, but it proved otherwise. Meanwhile, the Civil War was raging in the United States, but the news concerning it was very stale long before it reached us. We did not receive the particulars of the battle of Bull Run, for example, until three months after its occurrence. In view of the turbulent state of affairs at home, the government ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... in another direction. He went to the cafe where he fiddled. At this hour it was like an empty cavern. A smell of stale beer and tobacco smoke pervaded the imprisoned air. He sat down upon the deserted platform and pretended to practise. He played erratically, feverishly. The waiters, moving about their morning preparations with an almost uncanny quiet, listened attentively. Finally one ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... that the worst half of their journey was accomplished, they made a halt, under the lee of a sheltering mountain, for rest and refreshment. And, sitting down on a fallen tree, from whose barkless trunk they brushed off the snow, they took out and commenced chewing their stale and frozen bread, with a few small pieces of duck-meat, remaining from their breakfast, and comprising the last of their provisions. The animal heat, produced by their great and continued exertions in travelling, had thus far prevented ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... Thario having shown in many ways he was growing stale on the job and in need of a vacation, I decided to take him with me. Besides, if the thought of using the weed as a source of cheap rawmaterial came to anything, the engagement of his interest at an early stage would increase his usefulness. Before setting out for the field ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... in the very agitation that accompanies the first shocks of trouble, just as an acute pain is often a stimulus, and produces an excitement which is transient strength. It is in the slow, changed life that follows; in the time when sorrow has become stale, and has no longer an emotive intensity that counteracts its pain; in the time when day follows day in dull, unexpectant sameness, and trial is a dreary routine,—it is then that despair threatens; it is then that the ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... a raid, and were seeking a supposed new "listening post" of the enemy. There had been a very heavy bombardment of the German trenches all day, and it was only held up for three-quarters of an hour to let us do our job. The new-stale earth turned up by the shells extended fifty yards in No Man's Land. (Only earth that has been blown on by the wind is fresh "over there." Don't, if you have a weak stomach, ever turn up any earth; though there may not be rotting ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... he, "evidently is the result of other peculiarities which nullify the harmony of the more important features; in the first place the thinness of the cheeks and their hue of old wood dotted here and there with freckles, calm stains of the colour of stale bran; then the flat braids of white hair drawn smooth under a frilled cap, and finally the modest dress, a black dress clumsily made, dragging across the bosom, and showing the lines of her stays stamped in relief ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... saying a great deal, he reflected, one seldom enough, in our staid, our stale society, meets a person of whom one can say ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... ye!) Can sightless touch—can vision keen Hunt where the Winds of the World have been And searching, learn what rumors mean? (Nay, ye who are wise! Nay, listen ye!) When tracks are crossed and scent is stale, 'Tis fools who shout—the fast who fail! But wise ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... decidedly an ass. His jokes strike you as funny at first; but there's nothing in him, he's a mere hawker of stale puns; there's nothing but selfishness under his jesting exterior. I have no belief in him. Yet he is an old school friend; the only one of my twenty-eight classmates whose acquaintance I have kept up. Four are ...
— The Ink-Stain, Complete • Rene Bazin

... was meagre and stale-smelling, with bare floor and stained and sagging wall-paper; unfurnished save for a battered ...
— The Secret House • Edgar Wallace

... bread after an honest fashion. The Grinder's mode of life was too well known for even a mother to attempt to deny it. But she pretended that she was very honest herself, and appealed to sundry brandy-balls and stale biscuits in her window, to prove that she lived after ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... drink only from your canteens. If the canteens fail, never fill them from flowing water unless the Indians also drink from the stream. There are always small pools to be found, and, though their water may be warm and stale, it is not likely to be poisoned, as the ...
— The Pathless Trail • Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel

... spring red seed, in preference to the white, is put into a clean pot; milk or stale beer is poured upon it, and it is left for two or three days in this state; it is then mixed with a quantity of fine fat earth, and set aside in a hot chamber, till the seeds begin to put out shoots. They are then sown in a hot-bed. ...
— Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce • E. R. Billings

... New York, tired of dancing, tired of everything. Broadway was full of people hurrying to the theatres. Cars rattled by. All the electric lights in the world were blazing down on the Great White Way. And it all seemed stale ...
— The Man with Two Left Feet - and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... journey—and it was with the utmost difficulty that the horses performed it. Though they had started so early, it was quite late in the afternoon when they turned the flank of an eminence which formed part of the upland called Greenhill. While the horses stood to stale and breathe themselves Tess looked around. Under the hill, and just ahead of them, was the half-dead townlet of their pilgrimage, Kingsbere, where lay those ancestors of whom her father had spoken and sung to painfulness: Kingsbere, the spot of all spots in the world which could be ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... hosses; everybody knows about that. It got so the ginnies would line up in a bunch, every time he starts, 'n' holler: 'They're off—there he goes!' They does it regular, 'n' pretty soon the crowds get next 'n' then everybody does it. He begins to stale off at Pimlico, so I ships him to Miss Goodloe, 'n' writes her to turn him out ...
— Blister Jones • John Taintor Foote

... prevented games for three days, and the players were getting a bit "stale" with nothing to do. Then the sun came out, the grounds dried up and the series was resumed. But the ...
— Baseball Joe in the Big League - or, A Young Pitcher's Hardest Struggles • Lester Chadwick

... civilization. The sort of attraction these unchaste, nakedly adorned, women "of fashion" hold out can never inspire that precious, priceless thing which "passeth all understanding," which survives all the travail of tribulation, that beautiful emotion that "age cannot wither nor custom stale," which radiates the dark places with ...
— Heart and Soul • Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)

... Stone solemnly, "burned incense upon any and all occasions—red letter days, labor days, celebrating Columbus Day and the morning after, I presume. But we moderns burn gasoline. And, phew! I believe I should prefer the stale smoke of incense in the unventilated pyramids of Egypt to this odor of gas. O-o-o-o, Tommy, ...
— Ruth Fielding Down East - Or, The Hermit of Beach Plum Point • Alice B. Emerson

... the place. I divined on the instant that this was his habit, to stand by the door before supper and say just those words to the last arrivals. I had a vision of him standing by his mission door aforetime, repeating one jest, or more likely one stale euphuism night after night. ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... wonder Valeria had warned her against playing with fire! Was it always like this when people fell in love? What a ridiculous, uncomfortable, outrageous thing it was! How destructive to common sense and sanity and everything that kept life running on reasonable lines. A poor joke at best, and oh, how stale! ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... just finished dinner. The neatly cleaned bone of a chop was on a plate by her side; a small dish which had contained a rice-pudding was empty; and the only food left on the table was a small rind of cheese and a piece of stale bread. Mr. Henshaw's face fell, but he drew his chair up to the ...
— Short Cruises • W.W. Jacobs

... enfranchisement usually made by our legislators. We found on comparing notes that the arguments usually made were the same in the House of Commons as in the halls of Congress. If the honorable gentlemen could only have heard their stale platitudes with good imitations in voice and manner, I doubt whether they would ever again air their absurdities. I regretted that our Caroline Gilkey Rogers had not been there to have given her admirable impersonation ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... Occasionally, during a lull, songs were sung by music-hall artistes of past celebrity, who were now glad of the chance to earn a few shillings before an uncritical audience. The atmosphere was charged with the scent of rouge and powder, brandy and stale sherry. Coarse jest and laughter, ringing on the ...
— In Friendship's Guise • Wm. Murray Graydon

... Desmond," was the verdict of grateful subalterns, who found these tea-drinkings a vast improvement on stale home papers, and half-hearted gambling at the Club. There was always music. Honor, besides playing magnificently, could be safely relied upon for impromptu accompaniments. The Chicken, and an irrepressible Irishman of the Sikhs, who gloried in ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... full view, in the second row of benches, that night, and I began on him. I tried him with mild jokes, then with severe ones; I dosed him with bad jokes and riddled him with good ones; I fired old stale jokes into him, and peppered him fore and aft with red-hot new ones; I warmed up to my work, and assaulted him on the right and left, in front and behind; I fumed and sweated and charged and ranted till I was hoarse and sick and frantic and furious; ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the clouds, the sun, he had the Rampio, he had Annunziata, he even had Annunziata's uncle; and with all this he had a sense of having stepped out of a world that he knew by heart, that he knew to satiety, a world that was stale and stuffy and threadbare, with its gilt rubbed off and its colours tarnished, into a world where everything was fresh and undiscovered and full of savour, a great cool blue and green world that from minute to minute ...
— My Friend Prospero • Henry Harland

... pause then, while the wheels squelched through the mud below, and the rain beat rhythmically on the windows and roof of the cab. Its noise seemed to ally itself to the interior smell of the vehicle, an odor of damp leather and stale straw and ancient stables. The Professor stared intently through the wet glass, and Mary remembered, with a touch of amusement, her first meeting with him, when she had sat beside him and occupied her thoughts with the ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... one never noticed, or a scented herb which has always grown upon those rocks, but might as well never have done so, but for the other pair of eyes which drew ours to it, or the other hand which crushing made us know its fragrance. Pages of books, seemingly stale, revive into fresh meaning; new music is almost certain to be learned; and a harmony, a rational sequence, something very akin to music, perceived in what had been hitherto but a portion of life's noise and confusion. The changes of style which we note in the case of great ...
— Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life • Violet Paget, AKA Vernon Lee

... to find brandy in the cellars of Craig-nure (the invaders never thought of seeking a cellar for anything more warming than peats), a boll of meal in handfuls here and there among the meal-girnels of the commoner houses that lay open to the night, smelling of stale ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro



Words linked to "Stale" :   hard, wee, spend a penny, moldy, staleness, piss, addled, spoiled, urinate, moth-eaten, make water, fresh, dusty, wilted, mouldy, putrescent, cold, tainted, putrid, musty, rotten, old, corrupt, pee, relieve oneself, bad, limp, maggoty, pee-pee, unoriginal, puddle, spoilt, make, pass water, take a leak, piddle, flyblown, wee-wee, micturate, rancid, day-old



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