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Unsteadiness   Listen

The quality of not being steady or securely fixed in place.  Synonym: ricketiness.
The quality of being unsteady--varying and unpredictable.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Unsteadiness" Quotes from Famous Books

... There was an unsteadiness about his movements as he descended the marble steps, and he grasped the iron railing like one in danger of falling. A waiter who had followed him to the door stood looking at him with a half-pitying, half-amused expression ...
— Danger - or Wounded in the House of a Friend • T. S. Arthur

... was as pretty as ever, and there was the same curious discrepancy between the freshness of her aspect and the stateness of her theme, but something was gone of the blushing unsteadiness with which she had fired her first random shots at Greek art. It was not that the shots were less uncertain, but that she now had an air of assuming that, for her purpose, the bull's-eye was everywhere, so that there was no need ...
— The Greater Inclination • Edith Wharton

... he was inordinately ambitious for public life, and his amiability admirably fitted him for it; but like Tallmadge, he was not always governed by principle so much as policy. He showed at times a lamentable unsteadiness in his leadership, listening too often to the whispers of cunning opponents, and too easily separating himself from tried friends. In 1838, he practically left his party; and, soon after, he ceased to practise ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... to unarmored ships of great tonnage and speed, we shall find these difficulties intensified; and if we pass on to the little gunboats, advocated in some quarters for attacking ironclads in a swarm, we shall find that unsteadiness of platform in a sea-way renders them a helpless and harmless mark for the comparatively accurate practice of their solitary but ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882 • Various

... ruminating in their shade, seem to lie on the revolving arc of an indefinite circle. The views dissolve before their best aspect is caught by the eye. The flowers, like Eastern beauties, can only be seen "half hidden and half revealed," in the general unsteadiness. As for bees, you cannot hear or see them at all; and the songs of the happiest birds are drowned altogether by the clatter of a hundred wheels on the metal track. If there are any poor, flat, or fen lands, your way is sure to lie through them. In a picturesque and ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... contempt, Tata," she admonished with a laugh of some unsteadiness. "It is not certain that I am going to belie you to the guards, or that I have lost faith in your sign. Let me sharpen my weapon for some space among these precious things, and it may be that I shall go hence panting ...
— The Ward of King Canute • Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

... before him with a half-frowning expression. How often Robert had seen some rash exuberant youth quelled by that momentary frown! Essentially conservative as was the inmost nature of the man, for all his radicalism there were few things for which Henry Grey felt more instinctive distaste than for unsteadiness of will and purpose, however glorified by fine names. Robert knew it, and, strangely enough, felt for a moment in the presence of the heretical tutor as a culprit ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... regard to questions wherein we have most interest, and which every day affords us fresh opportunity to examine: we may examine, indeed, but we never can decide, because our faculties are unequal to the subject; we see a little, and form an opinion; we see more, and change it. This inconstancy and unsteadiness, to which we must so often find ourselves liable, ought certainly to teach us moderation and forbearance towards those who cannot accommodate themselves to our sentiments: if they are deceived, we have no right to ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... you—you needn't be afraid," he said. Reassured by the unsteadiness of his voice she raised her eyes to perceive that his face was ashy, his manner nervous, apprehensive, conciliatory,—a Ditmar she had difficulty in recognizing. "I didn't mean to frighten, to offend ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... of the situation comes from the unsteadiness of the deck. How is one to cope with the caprices of an inclined plane? The ship had within its depths, so to speak, imprisoned lightning struggling for escape; something like the rumbling of thunder during an earthquake. In an instant the crew was ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... kind of way, and with growing unsteadiness, Orlando walked towards the camp-fire. He was leaning against his horse, and opening his coat and waistcoat to find the wound in his side and staunch it with the kerchief from his neck, when ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... search-lights was achieved in recent years by Beck, who developed an intensive flame carbon-arc. His chief object was to send a much greater current through the arc than had been done previously without increasing the size of the carbons and the unsteadiness of the arc. In the ordinary arc excessive current causes the carbons to disintegrate rapidly unless they are of large diameter. Beck directed a stream of alcohol vapor at the arc and they were kept from oxidizing. He thus achieved a high current-density ...
— Artificial Light - Its Influence upon Civilization • M. Luckiesh

... from the N. N. E. which forced him to lie-to. He brought the schooner to the wind under a double-reefed foresail alone, when she rode as well as any vessel could be expected to do, and shipped not a drop of water. Toward night the gale somewhat abated, and she rolled with more unsteadiness than before, but still did very well, until a heavy lurch threw her upon her beam-ends to starboard. The corn was then heard to shift bodily, the force of the movement bursting open the main hatchway. The vessel went down ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... be pacified by protestations about oysters and cigars from the lips of a husband who was thick of utterance, and who betrayed a general imbecility of mind and unsteadiness of body. This London excursion, which had begun in sunshine, threatened to end in storm and darkness. Georgy Sheldon and his set had taken possession of the young farmer; and Georgy had no better amusement in the long blustrous March evenings than to sit at her work under the flaming ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... in need of advice, and incidentally a fellow-sufferer in Paris; for he had no knowledge of music, and had no particular interest in it. We soon became so intimate that I had him dropping in nearly every evening with Anders, Lehrs being extremely useful to his friend, whose unsteadiness in walking obliged him to use an umbrella and a walking-stick as crutches. He was also nervous in crossing crowded thorough-fares, and particularly so at night; while he always liked to make Lehrs cross my threshold ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... unsteadiness in his tone, no trace of emotion, as he stood up before her. Irene was deeply moved, and when she essayed to thank him, found it impossible to pronounce her words. Tears were gliding down her cheeks; he put back the hair, and taking the face softly in his palms, looked ...
— Macaria • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... fingers touched those of his wife as she waved off the mosquitos; but at each contact with them he shivered and his fears increased. He tried, vainly, to get his thoughts straight, and lit a cigarette with apparent calmness, swaggering to the window; but his legs did not cease to tremble, and the unsteadiness of his gait caused Xantippe to smile as she watched him. Resting by the window, Gregorio widened the lips of the lattice and let in a stream of moonbeams that rested on wife and child, illumining the ...
— Stories by English Authors: Africa • Various

Words linked to "Unsteadiness" :   steadiness, unregularity, unstableness, irregularity, unsteady, movableness, movability, ricketiness, instability

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