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Fatuous   /fˈætʃəwəs/   Listen
Fatuous

adjective
1.
Devoid of intelligence.  Synonyms: asinine, inane, mindless, vacuous.



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"Fatuous" Quotes from Famous Books



... against the blaze of sun which soon must break upon them for a parching season again. The dust lay deep under their feet, gray on their roofs where shingles curled like autumn leaves in the sun. The rainmaker sent up his vain, his fatuous, foolish, infinitesimal breath of smoke. The rain went on ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... as irresistible as the mesmeric influence or hypnotism. I feel towards Sir Stephen as I should feel towards Napoleon the Great, if he were alive. I follow and gaze at him, so to speak, with my mouth agape and a fatuous smile over a countenance which I once flattered myself was intelligent. I am dazed, bewildered by his genius, his audacity, his marvellous courage and resource. Do you know, Stafford, I think it would be an excellent idea ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... conscientiously tried to smother out of sight. At any rate, there she was, more touching, pathetic, striking, to my eyes with her life-time proof of the reality of her passion, than my untried young lovers who up to that time had seemed to me, in the full fatuous flush of invention as I was, as ill-starred, innocent and touching lovers as ...
— Americans All - Stories of American Life of To-Day • Various

... of the Yordas freaks was a fatuous and generally fatal one. For the slightest miscarriage they discharged their lawyer, and leaped into the office of a new one. Has any man moved in the affairs of men, with a grain of common-sense or half a pennyweight of experience, without being taught that an old tenter-hook sits easier ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... of paper money with me was never wholly absent from my mind. It loomed as a badge of omnipotence. I felt in the presence of Luck, which was a living spirit, a goddess. I was mostly grave. The frivolities of the other men in the factory seemed so fatuous, so revolting. A great sense of security and self-confidence swelled my heart. When I walked through the American streets I would feel at home in them, far more so than I had ever felt before. At the same time ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... they're real ones," said Phil; "but I'm glad I've seen him, Nell. I doubt after all that you're such a fool, when you see us together—eh?" He laughed that laugh of conscious superiority which, when it is not perfectly well-founded, sounds so fatuous to the hearer. Elinor did not look at him. She turned her head away and ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... unsightlier angels, see, as we see always, the feet instead of the head, and the shame instead of the honor;—and finally concentrate and rest the sum of our fame, as Titian on the Assumption of a spirit, so we on the dissection of a carcass,—perhaps by such fatuous fire, the less we walk, and by such phosphoric glow, the less we shine, the better it may be for us, and for all who would ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... of another season of perplexity caused by our dangerous and fatuous financial operations. These may be expected to recur with certainty as long as there is no amendment in our financial system. If in this particular instance our predicament is at all influenced by a recent insistence upon the position we should occupy in our relation ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... unquestionably a real lady, she has been elected an honorary member of a night club to which undoubted gentlemen resort. There she occasionally consents to dance; more often she sups to an accompaniment of Viennese music, loud and mirthless laughter, jests which are as fatuous as they are suggestive, and wine which, unlike the humour of the plated youths, her companions, is always sparkling ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 98, March 1, 1890 • Various

... fondly cherished, so beautiful—since it was the outpouring of all the love in his heart, seemed to him to be the one piece of his own work that could hold its own with Chenier's verse; and with a tolerably fatuous glance at Mme. de Bargeton, he announced "TO HER!" He struck an attitude proudly for the delivery of the ambitious piece, for his author's self-love felt safe and at ease behind Mme. de Bargeton's petticoat. And at the selfsame moment Mme. de Bargeton betrayed her own secret to the ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... irony of events, Slade was afterward arrested and imprisoned for fraud, in England. This fact so prejudiced the public mind against Zoellner that his name became a word of scorn, and the fourth dimension a synonym for what is fatuous and false. Zoellner died of it, but since his death public opinion has undergone a change. There is a great and growing interest in everything pertaining to the fourth dimension, and belief in that order of phenomena ...
— Four-Dimensional Vistas • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... with amusement, not wholly unmixed with some less complimentary emotion, the complacent and wholly fatuous letter of James Wilson MacPhail which has lately appeared in your columns upon the subject of the blurring of Fraunhofer's lines in the spectra both of the planets and of the fixed stars. He dismisses the ...
— The Poison Belt • Arthur Conan Doyle

... balance, and sits down involuntarily. His burdens are scattered over the hillside. Cornelius and Father Dempsey turn furiously on him, leaving Broadbent beaming at the stone and the tower with fatuous interest. ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... she protested, dwelling on the vowels in fatuous, maternal love; "the bairn's wearied, man! He's ainything but strong, and the schooling's ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... solemnity. At the same time I was amused. I didn't take a gloomy view of that "vanishing girl" trick. Somehow I couldn't. But I said nothing. None of us said anything. We sat about that big round table as if assembled for a conference and looked at each other in a sort of fatuous consternation. I would have ended by laughing outright if I had not been saved from that impropriety by poor Fyne ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... him, sadly. She suspected that he was promising a miracle he could not perform, counting upon an influencing factor that did not exist. "Was he fatuous enough to believe that Jemima loved him? Her fears for her child's happiness suddenly became fears for the happiness of this life-long friend. She felt that she ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... of an outdoor public meeting the chairman, with fatuous ineptitude, shouts that everybody will sing three verses of "America." Granting that the tune is pitched comfortably, the first verse marches with vigor and certitude, but not for long; dismay soon smites the crowd in sections as the individual consciousness ...
— How To Write Special Feature Articles • Willard Grosvenor Bleyer

... words, that means you want me to be somebody I've never pretended to be and never want to be. The idea is fatuous." ...
— Swirling Waters • Max Rittenberg

... he never realized it with such painful clearness as he did this evening. He was filled with a sort of blind terror. He cursed the fate which had taken him to the Charity-Bazaar at which he had first come under the notice of Lady Kimbuck. The fatuous snobbishness which had made him leap at her invitation to spend a few days at Evenwood Towers he regretted; but for that he blamed himself less. Further acquaintance with Lady Kimbuck had convinced him that if she had wanted him, she would ...
— A Man of Means • P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill

... had! How fatuous, and then again how profound, his conversation could be! He took upon himself the impudent liberty of running in and out at Eberhard's whenever he felt like it. He bored him with his discussion of philosophic systems, or with miserable gossip ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... speak to me of coming, and whether I might allude to him, whether it was not too delicate. I shall never forget his answer to this, nor the tone in which he made it, blushing a little, and looking away. "Allude to me? Rather!" It was not the most fatuous speech I had ever heard; it had the effect of being the most modest; and it gave me an odd idea, and especially a new one, of the condition in which, at any time, one might be destined to find Lady Vandeleur. If ...
— The Path Of Duty • Henry James

... her having sunk again to her seat with her long lean but not ungraceful arms locked together in an archaic manner on her knees and her mournful eyes addressing me a message of intentness which foreshadowed what I was subsequently to suffer. She was a singular fatuous artificial creature, and I was never more than half to penetrate her motives and mysteries. Of one thing I'm sure at least: that they were considerably less insuperable than her appearance announced. Miss Ambient was a restless romantic disappointed spinster, consumed with the love of Michael-Angelesque ...
— The Author of Beltraffio • Henry James

... myself. I had grown fatuous, for I had taken it without question that the oaf had followed from his loyalty to me. But I nodded at him and promised recklessly—house, pigs, and granary. The same star ruled master ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith

... of meeting the cost of the war must be laid according to capacity to bear it. It would be crass selfishness to wish it laid otherwise and fatuous folly to endeavor to ...
— Government Ownership of Railroads, and War Taxation • Otto H. Kahn

... general. Life is great that is trivially transmitted; love is great that is vulgarly experienced. Death, too, is a heroic virtue; and to the keeping of us all is death committed: death, submissive in the indocile, modest in the fatuous, several in the vulgar, secret in the familiar. It is destructive because it not only closes but contradicts life. Unlikely people die. The one certain thing, it is also the one improbable. A dreadful paradox is perhaps wrought upon a little nature that is incapable ...
— The Rhythm of Life • Alice Meynell

... who thereupon announced her intention of going to to-night's performance in the park. She would drive, of course, and would be glad to take Mr. Ware along. Or, for that matter, she would set him down first wherever he might want to go. He smiled upon her with the fatuous smile of one who finds he has made an unexpected conquest and said he would be delighted to ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... a packet was put into his hands from the English Queen containing intercepted treasonable letters from the Popish lords in Scotland to the King of Spain and the Duke of Parma, and accompanied by the following letter in Elizabeth's own hand, in which she rates him for his fatuous lenity towards subjects who had joined hands with the enemies of ...
— Andrew Melville - Famous Scots Series • William Morison

... other nationalities were more inclined to amalgamate with the rest of the community. We saw, also, several "Dutch Charleys" who had struck it rich. They were moon-faced, bland, chuckle-headed looking men, generally with walrus moustaches, squat and heavy, with fatuous, placid smiles. I suppose they had no real idea of values, but knew only the difference between having money and not having money. These prosperous individuals carried two or even more watches at the ends of long home-made chains constructed of gold nuggets fastened ...
— Gold • Stewart White

... fatuous words: these are the worst monsters for mortals—long slumbereth and waiteth the fate ...
— Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None • Friedrich Nietzsche

... his nephew (his own money has made the match possible), seems to worry overmuch (absit omen!) about returned prisoners of war. He reveals himself to nobody but his villain brother William (Mr. AYRTON). That fatuous revenue officer, Lomax (Mr. MALLESON), has written a fulsomely flattering life of him at which his gorge rises. Everybody, apart from opening a hospital in his memory (in a bed of which he eventually finds himself), ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, May 3, 1916 • Various

... everybody within her reach (her husband included), holding herself up as a model to everybody, and shaming all other families—especially those into which she and her sisters had married—by odious comparisons with the Dodsons. All this we grant is very cleverly done. The grim Mrs. Glegg and the fatuous Mrs. Tulliver and Mrs. Pullet talk admirably in their respective kinds; and we can quite believe that there are people who are not unfairly represented by the Dodsons—with, the narrow limitation of ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... train stopped lived a little girl he knew, who had recently urged upon him to wear a beard or whiskers. To this dreadful young person, and to that persistent good nature of his which was now and then fatuous, was due the ill-designed hairy ornamentation which during his Presidency hid the really beautiful modelling of his jaw and chin. He enquired for her at the station, had her fetched from the crowd, claimed ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... with him. He knew, at last, that he had made Helen very angry and that it might take some time to disentangle things; but the radiance of the heights was with him still, and if, to Helen's eye, he looked fatuous, to Franklin, seeing his face now, for the ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... into the opposite extreme of indifference on these same points; and should be sure to give them their full share of consideration. The ultra conservatism, that holds fast to existing customs and organizations merely because they are old, or from the love of conservation, is quite as fatuous as the radicalism that would destroy the old merely because it is old, or from the love of destruction. He whose conscience knows no higher sanction or restraint than the Statute Book, is not enough of a Christian to be a good citizen; while he who does not respect ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... Calvin Stammark's head. Whatever did Phebe mean by talking like that to Hannah just when she was to marry him! He cursed silently at Richmond Braley's fatuous face, at Mrs. Braley's endorsement of all that her eldest daughter related, at Hosmer's assumption of worldly experience. But Hannah's ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... well he had an inkling of affairs. My letters say he chafes at my delay, Not mine, but thine, thou dull and fatuous House— Which, in a period that whips delay, When men should spur themselves and flash in action, Let'st idly leak the unpurchasable hours From our scant measure of most ...
— Tecumseh: A Drama • Charles Mair

... kicked all over the body and rowelled with sharp spurs about the neck and face because of the great sensitiveness of his military colleague. This gossip of the inland Campo, so characteristic of the rulers of the country with its story of oppression, inefficiency, fatuous methods, treachery, and savage brutality, was perfectly known to Mrs. Gould. That it should be accepted with no indignant comment by people of intelligence, refinement, and character as something inherent in the nature of things was ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... irrational, silly, imbecile, witless, insensate, weak-minded, half-witted, brainless, fatuous, fatuitous, insagacious, unintelligent; indiscreet, imprudent, ridiculous, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... details of the movements, success must have seemed hopeless from the first. Burnside was from the beginning of the campaign overcome by the weight of his responsibilities, and between tears at one time and lack of sleep at another, his fatuous mind failed to evolve for itself, or to accept from others a definite and comprehensive plan of operations. He seemed at successive times to have had hopes of surprising Lee, of breaking his center and overwhelming his left, of seizing two important points in his main line of defence ...
— Heroes of the Great Conflict; Life and Services of William Farrar - Smith, Major General, United States Volunteer in the Civil War • James Harrison Wilson

... married," he announced, and, not to appear too serious, he smiled into her glowing face. She looked happy enough to encourage a man far less fatuous than ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... quite the contrary, there was trouble in the very air—ominous portents of a storm whose dull, grim growling down the horizon could be heard only too clearly by those who did not wilfully close their ears, grin fatuous complacence, and bleat like brainless ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... falter, to come and vanish again in the quivering, heated air. Even so, in the old time, leaning on that familiar gate — are the tell-tale inwoven initials still decipherable? — I used to watch Her pacing demurely towards me through the corn. It was ridiculous, it was fatuous, under all the circumstances it was monstrous, and yet{...}! We were both under twenty, so She was She, and I was I, and there were only we three the wide world over, she and I and the unbetraying gate. Porta eburnea! False visions alone sped through you, though Cupid was wont to light on your topmost ...
— Pagan Papers • Kenneth Grahame

... casuals, the hoboes, the womanless, jobless, voteless men. To him their tragedy was akin to the tragedy of child-life in our commercialized cities. More often than of anything else, he used to talk to me of the fatuous blindness of a civilization that centred its economic activities in places where child-life was perpetually repressed and imperiled. The last time I saw him he was flaming indignation at the ghastly record of children killed and maimed by trucks and automobiles. What business had ...
— An American Idyll - The Life of Carleton H. Parker • Cornelia Stratton Parker

... wander mincingly down the street with an expression of the most fatuous and good-natured satisfaction with themselves. To their minds they have evidently done every last thing that human ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... friends of this curieux fetiche, as Quinet called democracy? It appears to have none, though it has been the subject of fatuous laudation ever since the time of Rousseau. The Americans burn incense before it, but they are themselves ruled by ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... This fatuous note was found on a paper which the notary's clerks had thought of no importance in the inventory of the estate of M. Ferdinand de Bourgarel, who was mourned of late by politics, arts and amours, and in whom is ended ...
— Petty Troubles of Married Life, Second Part • Honore de Balzac

... surprise that his friend Davie was capable of such trust; but the Baron gave him to understand that this poor simpleton was neither fatuous, NEC NATURALITER IDIOTA, as is expressed in the brieves of furiosity, but simply a crack-brained knave, who could execute very well any commission which jumped with his own humour, and made his folly a plea for avoiding every other. 'He has made an interest with us,' continued ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... besotted and third-rate minds, blinded by their own ignorance and fooled by cleverer statesmen than themselves, had suffered England to drift into war with Germany? Was I a sheep to be slaughtered for a government of Nonconformists? Should I consent to be mangled by the Boches because my fatuous country willed to trust the old ...
— The Red Redmaynes • Eden Phillpotts

... woman, if she had overheard this speech, that Miss Sherwood's humility was not the calculated affectation of a coquette. Sometimes a man's unsuspicion is wiser, and Harkless knew that she was not flirting with him. In addition, he was not a fatuous man; he did not extend the implication of her words nearly so far as she would ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... all, then, to say that acting reaches the point of Nature, and touches it quick, is to say all. In other arts imitation is more or less fatuous, illusion more or less vulgar. But acting is, at its less good, imitation; at its best, illusion; at its worst, and when it ceases to be ...
— The Colour of Life • Alice Meynell

... Brodonowski's: he no longer brought the sunshine of his expansive, elaborate presence into the limits of the dingy little place; nor did its clever, shabby constituents, with their bright-eyed contempt for the popular slaves of a fatuous public, care to swell the successful throng who worshipped the rising genius in his new temple in Grove Road. The fact that in those days Rainham avoided Lightmark's name, once so often quoted; his demeanour, when the more ignorant ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... possibilities of a ladylike personality that might mean much financial profit in the devious ways of which she was a mistress. With the frankness characteristic of her, she proceeded to paint glowing pictures of a future shared to the undoing of ardent and fatuous swains. Mary Turner listened with curiosity, but she was in no wise moved to follow such a life, even though it did not necessitate anything worse than a fraudulent playing at love, without physical degradation. So, she steadfastly continued ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... jocose draughtsman, and of course what I mean is that his comic force is serious—a very different thin from the absence of comedy. This essential sign of the caricaturist may surely be anything it will so long as it is there. Daumier's figures are almost always either foolish, fatuous politicians or frightened, mystified bourgeois; yet they help him to give us a strong sense of the nature of man. They are some times so serious that they are almost tragic the look of the particular pretension, combined with inanity, is carried ...
— Picture and Text - 1893 • Henry James

... better go to bed. I'll make it up to you, somehow." How fatuous! But what could he ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... ladies present. There were more than a dozen people in that drawing-room, mostly women eating fine pastry and talking passionately. It might have been a Carlist committee meeting of a particularly fatuous character. Even my youth and inexperience were aware of that. And I was by a long way the youngest person in the room. That quiet Monsieur Mills intimidated me a little by his age (I suppose he was thirty-five), his ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... of being betrayed by a speech like this into saying something too hideously fatuous, over the memory of which he would grow hot with shame in the night-watches, so he contented himself with an indulgent smile, perhaps, in default of some impossible combination of wit and ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... And he nudged the fatuous Inspector Letstrayed in the ribs. That worthy, who had been thoughtfully regarding the ceiling for some ...
— The Adventures of the Eleven Cuff-Buttons • James Francis Thierry

... in this little speech when I remembered the fatuous talk at dinner-tables where I had sometimes met Browning, and thought of Tennyson's great talk and the lofty serenity of ...
— Authors and Friends • Annie Fields

... Some have it in an unusual degree, as did Edwin Booth, Franz Liszt, Phillips Brooks and Bismarck. It was surely neither the art nor the ability of Daniel Webster that made his audiences accept some of his fatuous platitudes as great utterances, nor was it the histrionic talent alone of Richard Mansfield that enabled him to wring success from such an obvious theatrical contraption as Prince Karl. Both Webster, with his fathomless eyes and his ponderous voice, ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... Bridget, however, quite good-humouredly refused to entertain any suggestion of the kind, protesting that she had done enough for one morning. With these mitigations, Colonel Faversham's glee appeared fatuous. Always disposed to boast of his capacity to vie with men a quarter of a century younger than himself, he had never, surely, done so well as now! He went to Donaldson's for a diamond ring, which was put on Bridget's finger the same afternoon, although she declared it must be taken off again the ...
— Enter Bridget • Thomas Cobb

... dropped the book. There seemed something rather fatuous about this story, for though it had a thrilling plot, and was full of well-connected people, it had apparently been contrived to throw no light on anything whatever. He looked at the author's name; everyone was highly recommending it. He began thinking, and staring ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... significance. Liberals who had been bored and provoked by the incessant blunders of the Liberal ministry in its last years, and, like Matthew Arnold, had welcomed a change of government, soon began to see that they had exchanged what was merely fatuous and foolish for what was actively mischievous. They were forced to ask themselves how much of the political faith which they had professed was "real stuff," and how much was "claptrap." Disraeli soon taught them that, even when all "claptrap" was laid ...
— Fifteen Chapters of Autobiography • George William Erskine Russell

... of his large eyes was very peculiar. I can liken it to nothing but the sheen of intense moonlight on burnished metal. But that cannot express it. It glared white and suddenly—almost fatuous. I thought of Moore's lines whenever ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... stars, Against the old empyreal Right, They vainly wage their anarch wars, In vain they urge their fatuous light. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... together. Even under the influence of Hahn's encouragement and two glasses of mellow wine whose name he did not know, Wallie did not become fatuous. They talked about music—neither of them knew anything about it, really. Wallie confessed that he used it as an ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... thing, he's not fatuous, though he's so good-looking. He's not a lady-killing sort of person ...
— Tenterhooks • Ada Leverson

... echoed the Jinnee, with an admiration that was almost fatuous. "Divinely gifted truly was he who composed ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... believe this, the whole spirit of our education would be changed, which is much more important than to change the subjects taught. It does not matter very much what is taught; the important question to ask is what is learnt. This is why the controversy about religious education was mainly fatuous. The "religious lesson" can hardly ever make a child religious; religion, in point of fact, is seldom taught at all; it is caught, by contact with someone who has it. Other subjects can be taught and can be learnt; but the teaching will be stiff collar-work, and the learning evanescent, if ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... course, a mere student," said I, with a fatuous smile, "hardly more, I might say, than an earnest inquirer. At the same time, it seemed to me that you were a little severe upon Weissmann in this matter. Has not the general evidence since that date tended to—well, to strengthen ...
— The Lost World • Arthur Conan Doyle

... felt thoroughly crushed, after one or two more fatuous remarks moved away, and Zara arose in her character of hostess, and spoke to ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... O follow me, Follow, exulting In the great light that breaks From the sacred companionship: Thrust through the fatuous, Thrust through the fungous brood Spawned in my shadow And gross with my gift! Thrust through, and hearken, O hark, to the Trumpet, The Virgin of Battles, Calling, still calling you Into the Presence, Sons of the Judgment, Pure wafts of the Will! Edged to annihilate, Hilted ...
— The Song of the Sword - and Other Verses • W. E. Henley

... probably justified. A fair case may also be made out for the use of idyllic scenes as a foil to the tragical, for the Shakespearian critics have no monopoly of the overworked plea, "justification by contrast." Nor could a French analogue of Dickens easily resist the temptation to give us a fatuous Passajon, an ebullient Pere Joyeuse—who seems to have been partly modelled on a real person—an exemplary "Bonne Maman," a struggling but eventually triumphant Andre Maranne. The home-lover Daudet also ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... side of the man with which Arnold wholly sympathized showed itself suddenly. At the mention of his wife's name an expression partly fatuous, partly beatific, transformed his homely features. He was looking at her picture which stood always opposite him. He had the air of an adoring devotee before some ...
— The Lighted Way • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... to general rules, were not approved of at our table when '63 port was before them. Everything seemed to be going most hopelessly wrong, and I was so anxious to get into the drawing-room that I made several exceedingly fatuous remarks. ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... allowed to be artists and expected to be nothing more. Elsewhere, the public by its uncritical attitude seems to encourage them to pose as supermen or to become rebels. Assuredly I am not advocating that slightly fatuous open-mindedness which led some Germans to seize on the movement before it was well grown and deal with it as they have dealt with so many others, collecting its artists as though they were beetles, bottling ...
— Since Cezanne • Clive Bell

... the full psi course at some university. Mrs. Farrow was the kind of elderly woman that any man would like to have for a mother. She was sweet and gentle but there was neither foolish softness or fatuous nonsense about her. She was a telepath and she knew her way around and let people know that she knew what the score was. Farrow had a brother, James, who was not at home; he lived in town with his wife but came out to the old homestead about ...
— Highways in Hiding • George Oliver Smith

... relative of my man. The poor fellow vanished in the middle of an unfinished article, which has appeared in the last "Westminster," as his forlorn vale! to the world. After all, that is the way to die, better a thousand times than drivelling off into eternity betwixt awake and asleep in a fatuous old age. ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... petulant, and Johnson many fatuous mistakes about Shakspere; while such minor criticasters as Thomas Rymer[11] and Mrs. Charlotte Lenox[12] uttered inanities of blasphemy about the finest touches in "Macbeth" and "Othello." For if we look closer, we notice that everyone who bore witness to Shakspere's greatness qualified ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... Ponsonby, he was a kind of too terrible bushranger without the romance! He was gauche, he knew, and he hated the tea-parties. They talked about things of which he knew nothing; he was too sincere to cover his convictions with the fatuous chatter that passed, in Fallacy Street society, for brilliant wit. That it was fatuous he was convinced, but his conviction made matters no easier ...
— The Wooden Horse • Hugh Walpole

... bar of the ballad was measured by the double thud of a currycomb against the side of a stall. Whistle, guitar, and voice now attacked the thing in differing keys and at varying points. Jimmie might be said to prevail. There was a fatuous tenderness in his attack and the thudding currycomb gave it spirit. Nor did he slur any of the affecting words; they clave the air ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... learned, had been a weighty conference, resulting in the conclusion that I must have complete rest and diversion. But as my more recent letters home had expressed a determination to rush headlong into business—as a sort of fatuous panacea for jumpy nerves, no doubt—and since the conferees possessed an intimate knowledge of the mulish streak that coursed through my blood, their plans were laid behind my back with the greatest secrecy. Therefore, when entering the library this last night in December ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... heavenly bodies, was a zealous advocate of astrology; and his great predecessor and master, the Prince of Astronomers, as he is called, Tycho Brahe, kept an idiot in his presence, fed him from his own table, with his own hand, and listened to his incoherent, unmeaning, and fatuous expressions as to a ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... Law is an usher to lead the way to grace. God is the God of the humble, the miserable, the afflicted. It is His nature to exalt the humble, to comfort the sorrowing, to heal the broken-hearted, to justify the sinners, and to save the condemned. The fatuous idea that a person can be holy by himself denies God the pleasure of saving sinners. God must therefore first take the sledge-hammer of the Law in His fists and smash the beast of self-righteousness and its brood of self-confidence, ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... the somewhat fatuous, self-conscious grin that no amount of intelligence can keep out of the face of a good-looking fellow who knows that he ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... theory remarkable, when Civilization has wearied itself with distinctions? The attempt to classify one's acquaintance is the common sport of the thinker, from the fastidious who says: "There are two kinds of persons—those who like olives and those who don't," to the fatuous, immemorial lover who says: "There are two kinds of women—Daisy, ...
— Are You A Bromide? • Gelett Burgess

... Dominic Iglesias deeply, begetting in him an almost hopeless sense of isolation. The vapid talk at dinner, poor little Mrs. Porcher's misplaced advances—the fact of which it appeared to him equally idle to deny and fatuous to admit—the dreary scene with his unhappy fellow-lodger, the good deed done which just now appeared fruitless—all these contributed to make the complaint of the exiled cedar's tormented branches an echo of the complaint of his own heart. For a long while he listened to these voices of ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... you that they were the model couple. He was as devoted as it was possible to be without appearing fatuous. So well set up, with such honest blue eyes, such a touch of stupidity, such a warm goodheartedness! And she—so tall, so splendid in the saddle, so fair! Yes, Leonora was extraordinarily fair and so extraordinarily the real thing ...
— The Good Soldier • Ford Madox Ford

... audience he offers nothing more and nothing less than what is universal to mankind. Of the common range of thought and feeling he is perfect and absolute master; and in the graver passages of the epistles, as in the sad and noble cadence of his most fatuous odes, the melancholy temper which underlay his quick and bright humor touches the deepest springs of human nature. Of his style the most perfect criticism was given in the next generation by a single phrase, Horatii curiosa felicitas, of no poet can ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... sigh of relief. "Thank heaven! Isn't he maddening?" he exclaimed, reassembling his brushes. "Isn't he the most fatuous idiot that ever escaped from his native menagerie? Did you hear him commence to criticize my work? The oaf! I'm afraid—" glancing at her face—"that I swore at him, but he deserved it for butting in like that, and he ...
— The Nest Builder • Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

... said. "The amazing, fatuous fools. They simply want to sell the paper. They have ...
— The Blue Germ • Martin Swayne

... claw the tiny bandit who ruins her home; she could crunch her with her mandibles, run her through with her stiletto. She does nothing of the sort, but leaves the robber in peace, to sit quite close, motionless, with her red eyes fixed on the threshold of the house. Why this fatuous clemency? ...
— Bramble-bees and Others • J. Henri Fabre

... encouraged to be fatuous, and he said, in a manner which quite dismissed Phil Dunleavy: "I don't believe he's very deep. Ra-ther ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... threw this obvious precaution to the wind. Hamilton, to whom we are indebted for this information (for it did not transpire at the court martial) says that "the great length of the voyage would not permit it." How fatuous a proceeding it was in unsurveyed and unknown waters may be judged from the fact that in coral seas that have been carefully surveyed all ships of war are now compelled to keep the lead going whenever they move in coral ...
— Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora - Despatched to Arrest the Mutineers of the 'Bounty' in the - South Seas, 1790-1791 • Edward Edwards

... like that. For every added pound an added excuse, for each multiplying inch at the waistline a new plea in abatement to be set up in the mind. I see the truth of it now. When you start getting fat you start getting fatuous. With the indubitable proof of his infirmity mounting in superimposed folds of tissues before his very gaze, with the rounded evidence presented right there in front of him where he can rest his elbows on it, your average fattish ...
— One Third Off • Irvin S. Cobb

... changed to the savage. Every warning that had been uttered for years past concerning that floor was remembered with startling distinctness. Every impatient reassurance offered by Darius for years past suddenly seemed fatuous and perverse. How could any man in his senses expect the old floor to withstand such a terrific strain as that to which Darius had at last dared to subject it? The floor ought by rights to have given way years ago! His men ought to have declined to obey instructions that were obviously insane. These ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... excursive grown, Scan his glad coast from radiant zone to zone, Then Fortune's minion in a foreign clime, Cursed by his own and damned to later time, Of incest born and by the chances thrown A tainted alien on a ravished throne, Gapes the foul flatteries of a fawning train, And fatuous mock'ries, which themselves disdain, A fancied monarch, but the witless sport Of adulation, and a practiced court, Vaunts to his broad realms and Timour-like proclaims Illusive titles of barbaric names, Cheats his own nature, and now generous grown,[18] Dispenses souls ...
— Autographs for Freedom, Volume 2 (of 2) (1854) • Various

... set fire to training ships? Why do they break out of reformatory institutions? Bawling is not necessarily happiness. Yet fatuous fools are content if only they can hear a ...
— Amaryllis at the Fair • Richard Jefferies

... hideous—social Age is surely drawing to its end, The debacle we are witnessing to-day all over Europe (including the British Islands), the break-up of old institutions, the generally materialistic outlook on life, the coming to the surface of huge masses of diseased and fatuous populations, the scum and dregs created by the past order, all point to the End of a Dispensation. Protestantism and Commercialism, in the two fields of religion and daily life have, as I have indicated before, been occupied in concentrating the mind of each man solely ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... Barbara. He stood with his pudgy hands in his pockets, gazing at the averted face, unconcealed and growing amusement in the scrutiny, until Caleb, not yet aware of the boy's woods-taught habit of seeing while seeming not to see, was simultaneously annoyed at Allison's fatuous grin, and glad of the fact that Steve apparently was looking the other way. After a time Allison raised quizzical ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... same fatuous determination he had shown at first. There was no doubt he would do ...
— The Crusade of the Excelsior • Bret Harte

... to an end in the Law Courts, the Anglo-Saxon peoples had had no cause to complain of any lack of effort on their part to be entertaining. The upshot of the law proceedings had been that the Court, with a futility almost fatuous, had ordered the duchess to return to her husband, and, what was far more important, had given the custody of their little daughter of twelve, Lady Marion Ricksborough, ...
— Happy Pollyooly - The Rich Little Poor Girl • Edgar Jepson

... upright and turned his face to glance at mine with a fatuous smile; but I would not look at him. I kept my eyes straight in front. Then a swerve of the carriage swung his body away from me, and he subsided into the corner. The intoxication was gaining on ...
— Sacred And Profane Love • E. Arnold Bennett

... moment Lady Cantourne hesitated between two strokes of social diplomacy—but only for a moment. She had heard the bell ring, and trusted that at the other end of the wire there might be one of those fatuous young men who nibbled at that wire like foolish fish round a gilt spoon-bait. Her ladyship decided to carry on the social farce a few minutes longer, instead of offering the explanation which ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... stupid, fatuous, fungus-grown, doddering, drivelling dolts anywhere, past or future, I alone am far and away ahead of the whole lot of 'em in silliness and absurd behaviour! Damnation! I'm ashamed! The idea of my being made a fool of twice at my time of ...
— Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi • Plautus Titus Maccius

... pleasure as an attitude of mind—but this evening it warmed into something concrete. "There's plenty of little dicky-birds haven't got such a nest as my two," he said to the twins, who failed to see that this speech, which they wriggled over, but privately thought fatuous, had the elements of ...
— The Squire's Daughter - Being the First Book in the Chronicles of the Clintons • Archibald Marshall

... that their 'work' would turn into wealth if they could but get at it. They are kept idle because those who own the country cannot find them employment at a profit to themselves, because the blind, fatuous insanity of your 'system of trade' makes no provision even for ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... wanted the thirty shillings. Why anybody ever read it, I fail to understand to this day; but I believe it was one of the popular features of the paper. Longrush invariably brings back to my mind the dreary hours I spent penning that fatuous record." ...
— Tea-table Talk • Jerome K. Jerome

... this, but, like many, many other managers, Schofield and Williams restrained their choler, and even laughed fulsomely when their principal attraction essayed the role of a comedian in private, and capered and squawked in sheer, fatuous vanity. ...
— Penrod • Booth Tarkington

... which, if really intended by the architect, would imply an utterly fatuous habit of concealing elaborately what he desired to symbolise, the pyramidalists base their belief that 'a Mighty Intelligence did both think out the plans for it, and compel unwilling and ignorant idolators, in a primal age of the world, to work mightily both for the future glory of the ...
— Myths and Marvels of Astronomy • Richard A. Proctor

... saint's eye-sight; drew a seer out of a well, etc, etc. Many scholars follow Bergaigne in imagining all these miracles to be anthropomorphized forms of solar phenomena, the healing of the blind representing the bringing out of the sun from darkness, etc. To us such interpretation often seems fatuous. No less unconvincing is the claim that one of the Acvins represents the fire of heaven and the other the fire of the altar. The Twins are called n[a]saty[a], the 'savers' (or 'not untrue ones[113]'); explained by some as meaning 'gods ...
— The Religions of India - Handbooks On The History Of Religions, Volume 1, Edited By Morris Jastrow • Edward Washburn Hopkins

... may seem to have over-praised this Community Club House; with the whole country to draw from for examples it may well appear fatuous to concentrate the reader's attention, for so long, on a building in a remote part of the Middle West: cheap, temporary, and requiring only twenty-one days for its erection. But of the transvaluation of values brought about by the war, this building is an ...
— Architecture and Democracy • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... widen surprisingly with laughter. Betty, who had only seen her smile slightly at rare intervals, happened to glance up. Harriet's mouth had stretched itself into a grin revealing nearly every tooth in her head. And it was the fatuous grin of the negro, and again Betty saw her black. She gasped and covered her ...
— Senator North • Gertrude Atherton

... them were noisy Americans, neatly dressed, and a good many prim, self-conscious ladies on the stage who had come on from their matinees and were accompanied mostly either by very young and rather chinless adorers, or by fat, fatuous men with dark moustaches, hair inclined to curl, and clothes a ...
— The Limit • Ada Leverson

... which should be thoroughly encouraged. It aims to teach the Negro that he can do his own race the best service by cultivating those hereditary racial traits which are worth preserving, and not by a fatuous imitation ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... Virgil: "Gnatique patrisque, alma, precor, miserere," perfectly uttered, and with a fitting accent. At the sudden clear sound of it we started from our several occupations; but it was in vain we turned to him; he sat there silent, and, to all appearance, fatuous. A little later he was had to bed with more difficulty than ever before; and some time in the night, without any ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... paper on my way back to the Cafe Suisse. Of news here was very little. A leading article commented, with what to me seemed fatuous satisfaction, upon our improved foreign relations. Our entente with France was now in a fair way to be supplemented by a better understanding with Germany. Great things were hoped from the friendly visit of our fleet to Kiel; such international courtesies ...
— The Great Secret • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... the polished floor of the library. The florid, Georgian decoration of ceiling and walls, and the busts of placid gentlemen with curling wigs which stood at intervals among the glass cases, wore an air of trivial or fatuous repose beside the hunted young fellow walking up and down. Lester resolutely forbore to cross-examine him. But at last the walk came to ...
— The Coryston Family • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... his shrinking victim—in brief, the Don Juan idea in fresh bib and tucker. In such bilge lie the springs of many of the most vexatious delusions of the world, and of some of its loudest farce no less. It is thus that fatuous old maids are led to look under their beds for fabulous ravishers, and to cry out that they have been stabbed with hypodermic needles in cinema theatres, and to watch furtively for white slavers in railroad stations. It is thus, indeed, that the whole white-slave mountebankery has been launched, ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... the fatuous youth; "but they allow he killed Tom for his money. And they do say it's mighty queer doin's in yo' writin' religious letters to him, and ...
— Colonel Starbottle's Client and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... Turnhill, and he had the reputation of being the oldest Sunday School teacher in the Five Towns. He was indeed exceedingly old, foolish, and undignified in senility; and the louts were odiously jeering at his defenceless dotage, and a young policeman was obviously with the louts and against the aged, fatuous victim. ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... of the story. Any man in America or anywhere else who supposes that the free industry and enterprise of the world can continue if the Pan-German plan is achieved and German power fastened upon the world is as fatuous as the dreamers ...
— In Our First Year of the War - Messages and Addresses to the Congress and the People, - March 5, 1917 to January 6, 1918 • Woodrow Wilson

... Spitta, indeed, goes further than this. So bent is he on proving the superiority of the "Matthew" that what he sees as a masterstroke in that work is in the "John" a gross blunder; and, on the whole, the pages on the "John" Passion are precisely the most fatuous of the many fatuous pages he wrote when he plunged into artistic criticism, leaving his own proper element of technical or historical criticism. This is a pity, for Spitta really had a very good case to spoil. ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... from one to the other. On each face she read a fatuous eagerness. She knew the futility of pleading with Frederik. She knew still more surely the uselessness of trying to make Peter Grimm change his stubborn wishes. With a little catch in her breath, she gave ...
— The Return of Peter Grimm - Novelised From the Play • David Belasco

... scarce an hour to sundown, and therefore should'st eat well. How say ye now to a toothsome haunch o' cold venison, in faith, cunningly cooked and sufficiently salted and seasoned—ha? And mark me! with a mouthful of malmsey, ripely rare? Oho, rich wine that I filched from a fatuous friar jig-jogging within the green! Forsooth, tall brother, 'tis a wondrous place, the greenwood, wherein a man shall come by all he doth need—an he seek far enough! Thus, an my purse be empty, your beefy burgher shall, by dint of gentle coaxing, haste to fill ...
— Beltane The Smith • Jeffery Farnol

... hopes for a still greater fall in the birth-rate; and those who seek to restore the birth-rate of half a century ago are engaged on a task which would be criminal if it were not based on ignorance, and which is, in any case, fatuous. ...
— The Task of Social Hygiene • Havelock Ellis

... fatuous for their imaginative interpretation of nature, high rank must be given to William Browne, who belongs in the list headed by Spenser, and including Thomas Lodge, Michael Drayton, Nicholas Breton, George Wither, and Phineas Fletcher. ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... Writing," he generalised, and possibly not without some reason, "when it is n't the sordidest of trades, is a mere fatuous assertion of one's egotism. Breaking stones in the street were a nobler occupation; weaving ropes of sand were better sport. The only things that are worth writing are inexpressible, and can't be written. The only things that can be written are obvious ...
— The Cardinal's Snuff-Box • Henry Harland

... material possessions they have been trained to esteem above all else in the world. As it was, those last few months of anxiety—Mrs. Whitney worrying lest her luxury and social leadership should be passing, Ross exasperated by the daily struggle to dissuade his father from fatuous enterprises—had changed Whitney's death from a grief to a relief. However, "appearances" constrained Ross to a decent show of sorrow, compelled Mrs. Whitney to a still stronger exhibit. Janet, who in far-away France had not been touched by the financial anxieties, ...
— The Second Generation • David Graham Phillips

... Government in the island of Guernsey. His appointment to the more onerous and responsible post of Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada was heralded as the precursor of better times. It was announced that he had come over charged with instructions to reverse the fatuous policy of his predecessor, and to conduct the administration in accordance with the well understood wishes of the people. It seems tolerably certain that some such general directions as these had actually ...
— The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... only too vividly the effect of the Lawtons on this lady's aristocratic prejudices. He knew, only too well, that Bill Lawton's table manners would not be allowed even in her kitchen. He could imagine Mrs. Lawton's fatuous conversation in the de Laney's drawing-room, or Maude Eliza's dressed-up self-consciousness. The experience of having the three Westerners to dinner just once would, Bennington knew, drive his lady mother to the verge of ...
— The Claim Jumpers • Stewart Edward White

... broke on this fatuous preachment with an oath. Mr. Orne thriftily withheld further sympathy; it ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day



Words linked to "Fatuous" :   fatuity, mindless, foolish



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