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Contents > Author > Greenville Kleiser > Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases 11 1868- 1953
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Greenville Kleiser
Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases 11
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A bewildering labyrinth of facts

A blank absence of interest or sympathy

A bloodless diplomatist

A breach of confidence

A brilliant and paradoxical talker

A burning sense of shame and horror

A century of disillusionment

A certain catholicity of taste [catholicity = universality]

A cheap and coarse cynicism

A civilizing agency of conspicuous value

A cleanness and probity of life [probity = integrity; uprightness]

A commendable restraint

A condescending and patronizing spirit

A confused and troublesome time

A conscientious anxiety to do the right thing

A conspicuous and crowning service

A constant source of surprise and delight

A contemptible species of mockery

A convenient makeshift

A copious torrent of pleasantry

A course of arrogant obstinacy

A crumb of consolation

A crystallized embodiment of the age

A cynical and selfish hedonist

A dangerous varnish of refinement

A dead theological dogma

A decorous and well-intentioned person

A deep and most impressive solemnity

A deep and strange suggestiveness

A deep authentic impression of disinterestedness

A dereliction of duty

A disaster of the first magnitude

A distorted and pessimistic view of life

A dogmatic and self-righteous spirit

A duel of brains

A dull collocation of words

A fastidious sense of fitness

A fatal moral hollowness

A feeling of lofty remoteness

A feminine excess of inconsequence

A final and irrevocable settlement

A firmness tempered by the most scrupulous courtesy

A fitting interval for penitence

A flippant rejoinder

A flood of external impressions

A flourish of rhetoric

A fund of curious information

A furtive groping after knowledge

A gambler's desperate chance

A ghastly mixture of defiance and conceit

A glaring example of rapacity [rapacity = plundering]

A graceful nonentity

A great and many-sided personality

A great capacity for generous indignation

A great source of confusion

A gross piece of stupidity

A habit of riding a theory too hard

A habit of rigorous definition

A happy and compensating experience

A haughty self-assertion of equality

A hideous absurdity

A hideous orgy of massacre and outrage

A high pitch of eloquence

A homelike and festive aspect

A hopeless enigma

A hotbed of disturbance

A hushed rustle of applause testified to a widespread approbation
[approbation = warm approval; praise]

A keenly receptive and intensely sensitive temperament

A kind of fantastic patchwork

A kind of surly reluctance

A laudable stimulus

A law of retributive justice

A less revolutionary innovation

A life of studious contemplation

A limpidity and lucidity of style
[limpidity = transparent clearity; easily intelligible]

A lingering tinge of admiration

A lively sense of what is dishonorable

A long accumulating store of discontent and unrest

A long tangle of unavoidable detail

A look threatening and peremptory
[peremptory = ending all debate or action]

A many-sided and far-reaching enthusiasm

A marvelous sharpener of the faculties

A melancholy preponderance of mischief

A memory-haunting phrase

A mercenary marriage

A mere conjectural estimate

A microscopic care in the search of words

A misconception which is singularly prevalent

A mixture of malignancy and madness

A modicum of truth

A monstrous travesty

A mood of hard skepticism

A more than ordinary share of baseness and depravity

A most laudable zeal

A most repulsive and incomprehensible idiom

A most unseasonable piece of impertinence

A multitude of groundless alarms

A murderous tenacity about trifles

A mysterious and an intractable pestilence

A mysterious and inscrutable power

A narrow and superficial survey

A nature somewhat frivolous and irresolute

A needlessly offensive manner

A nimble interchange of uninteresting gossip

A noble and puissant nation [puissant = with power, might]

A novel and perplexing course

A numerous company

A painful and disconcerting deformity

A partial disenchantment

A passage of extraordinary daring

A patchwork of compromises

A permanent and habitual state of mind

A pernicious and growing tendency

A perversion of judgment

A phantom of the brain

A piece of grotesque stupidity

A pleasant flow of appropriate language

A pompous failure

A potential menace to life

A powerful and persuasive orator

A prevalent characteristic of her nature

A prey to the tongue of the public

A pristine vigor of style

A profusion of compliments

A proposition inherently vicious

A puerile illusion [puerile = immature; childish]

A quenchless thirst for expression

A rage akin to frenzy

A rare precision of insight

A rather desperate procedure

A reckless fashion

A recrudescence of superstition
[recrudescence = recurrence of a pathological
symptoms after a period of improvement]

A relish for the sublime

A reversion to the boldest paganism

A rigid avoidance of extravagance and excess

A ripple of applause

A restraining and conservative force

A robust and consistent application

A sacred and indissoluble union

A sane philosophy of life

A secluded dreamer of dreams

A secret and wistful charm

A sense of deepening discouragement

A sense of indescribable reverence

A series of brief and irritating hopes

A settled conviction of success

A sharp difference of opinion

A sharp pang of regretful surprise

A shrewd eye to the main chance

A signal deed of justice

A skeptical suspension of judgment

A slight and superficial tribute

A slowly subsiding frenzy

A snare and a delusion

A somewhat complicated and abstruse calculation
[abstruse = difficult to understand]

A sordid and detestable motive

A sort of incredulous stupefaction

A source of unfailing delight and wonder

A species of moral usurpation

A spirit inimical to learning

A spirit of complacent pessimism

A startling and unfortunate digression

A state of scarcely veiled insurrection

A state of urgent necessity

A stern decree of fate

A stern foe of snobbishness

A storm of public indignation

A strange mixture of carelessness, generosity, and caprice

A strangely perverse and poverty stricken imagination

A strong assumption of superiority

A subjugated and sullen population

A sudden revulsion

A supposed ground of affinity

A synonym for retrogression

A taunting accusation of falsehood

A tedious and needless drudgery

A temper which brooked no resistance

A temporary expedient

A tender tone of remonstrance

A theme of endless meditation

A thing of moods and moments

A thoroughly sincere and unaffected effort

A thousand mangled delusions

A tissue of dull excuses

A tone of exaggerated solicitude

A touch of exquisite pathos

A trace of obvious sarcasm

A transcript of the common conscience

A trifle prim and puritanic

A truth begirt with fire

A unique and overwhelming charm

A vague aversion

A variety of conflicting and profound emotions

A variety of enfeebling amendments

A vast multitude of facts

A vastly extended vision of opportunity

A vehement and direct attack

A very elusive and delicate thought

A very formidable problem

A vigilant reserve

A violent and base calumniator
[calumniator = makes malicious or knowingly false statements]

A voice of matchless compass and eloquence

A warmth of seemingly generous indignations

A wealth of resource that seemed inexhaustible

A welcome release from besetting difficulties

A whole catalog of disastrous blunders

A whole whirlpool of various emotions

Abounding bodily vigor

Above and beyond and before all else

Absurd and inconsequential career

Abundant and congenial employment

Accidental rather than intentional

Accustomed to ascribe to chance

Acquired sentiments of propriety

Activities of the discursive intellect

Actuated by an unduly anxious desire

Acute sensibility coupled with quickness of intellect

Adhere too tenaciously to forms and modes

Admirable mastery of technique

Admit the soft impeachment

Admitted with a childlike cheerfulness

Advance by leaps and bounds

Advancing to dignity and honor

Adventitious aids to memory
[adventitious = Not inherent; added extrinsically]

Affectation and superfluous ornament

Aggravated to an unspeakable degree

Agitated and perplexed by a dozen cross-currents of conflicting tendency

Agreeable and humanizing intercourse

Aided by strong mental endowments

Airy swiftness of treatment

Alien to the purpose

All sorts of petty tyrannies

All the resources of a burnished rhetoric

Allied by taste and circumstances

Allied with a marked imperiousness [imperious = arrogantly overbearing]

Almost incredible obtuseness

Altogether monstrous and unnatural

Always observant and discriminating

Amaze and confound the imagination

Amiable and indulgent hostess

Amid many and pressing avocations

Amid the homeliest details of daily life

Amid the rush and roar of life

Ample scope for the exercise of his astonishing gifts

An abandoned and exaggerated grief

An accidental encounter

An act of folly amounting to wickedness

An afternoon of painfully constrained behavior

An agreeable image of serene dignity

An air of artificial constraint

An air of round-eyed profundity

An alarmed sense of strange responsibilities

An almost excessive exactness

An almost sepulchral regularity and seclusion

An ample and imposing structure

An apostle of unworldly ardor

An appreciable menace

An ardent and gifted youth

An arid dictum

An artful and malignant enemy

An assumption entirely gratuitous

An assumption which proved erroneous

An atmosphere of sunny gaiety

An attitude of passive impartiality

An authoritative and conclusive inquiry

An egregious assumption [egregious = outrageously reprehensible]

An elaborate assumption of indifference

An endless field for discussion

An enervating and emasculating form of indulgence

An ennobling and invigorating influence

An entirely negligible quantity

An essentially grotesque and commonplace thing

An eternal and imperishable example

An exalted and chimerical sense of honor
[chimerical = highly improbable]

An excess of unadulterated praise

An excessive refinement of feeling

An expression at once confident and appealing

An extensive and populous country

An habitual steadiness and coolness of reflection

An honest and unquestioning pride

An icy indifference

An idle and unworthy action

An ill-assorted vocabulary

An immeasurable advantage

An imminent and overmastering peril

An imperturbable demeanor and steadiness of mind

An implacable foe

An inborn and irresistible impulse

An incongruous spectacle

An incredible mental agility

An indefinable taint of priggishness
[priggishness = exaggerated propriety]

An indescribable frankness and simplicity of character

An indolent surrender to mere sensuous experience

An indomitable and unselfish soul

An ineradicable love of fun and mystification

An inevitable factor of human conduct

An inexhaustible copiousness and readiness of speech

An insatiable appetite for trifles

An insatiable voracity

An inscrutable mystery

An intentional breach of politeness

An interchange of civilities

An intolerable deal of guesswork

An involuntary gesture of remonstrance

An irrelevant bit of magniloquence
[magniloquence = extravagant in speech]

An irrepressible and impassioned hopefulness

An irritating and dangerous treatment

An itching propensity for argument

An object of indestructible interest

An obnoxious member of society

An ominous lull and silence

An open and violent rupture

An outburst of impassioned eloquence

An unaccountable feeling of antipathy

An unbecoming vehemence

An undisciplined state of feeling

An unerring sense of humor

An unparalleled and almost miraculous growth

An unparalleled atrocity

An unpatriotic and ignoble act

An unreasoning form of coercion

An utterly vile and detestable spirit

And now I address myself to my task

And the like

Announced in a tone of pious satisfaction

Another thought importuned him
[importuned = insistent or repeated requests]

Anticipated with lively expectation

Apparent rather than real

Appeal to a tardy justice

Appreciably above the level of mediocrity

Arbitrary assumption of power

Ardently and enthusiastically convinced

Argued with immense force and feeling

Arrayed with scrupulous neatness

Arrogance and untutored haughtiness

As an impartial bystander

As belated as they are fallacious

As by a secret of freemasonry

As odious as it is absurd

As ridiculous as it was unnecessary

As we scan the vague unknown

Assailed by poignant doubts

Assume a menacing attitude

Assumed almost heroic proportions

At once epigrammatic and arresting [epigrammatic = terse and witty]

At once misleading and infelicitous

At the mercy of small prejudices

Attained by rigorous self-restraint

Attended by insuperable difficulties

Averted by some happy stroke of fortune

Await the sentence of impartial posterity

Awaited with feverish anxiety


Bandied to and fro

Based on a fundamental error

Beguile the tedium of the journey

Bemoaning and bewailing his sad fortune

Beset with external dangers

Betrayed into deplorable error

Bewildering multiplication of details

Beyond the dreams of avarice

Blended with courage and devotion

Blind leaders of the blind

Blunt the finer sensibilities

Blustering desire for publicity

Bound up with impossibilities and absurdities

Breathed an almost exaggerated humility

Bred in the tepid reticence of propriety

Brief ventures of kindliness

Brilliant display of ingenious argument

Bring odium upon the individual

Brisk directness of speech

Brutal recognition of failure

Bursts of unpremeditated frankness

But delusions and phantasmagoria

But that is beside the mark

But this is a digression

By a curious perversity of fate

By a happy turn of thinking

By a whimsical diversion

By common consent

By means of crafty insinuations

By no means inconsolable

By temperament incompatible

By the common judgment of the thinking world

By the sheer centripetal force of sympathy

By virtue of a common understanding

By way of rejoinder


Calculated to create disgust

Calm strength and constancy

Capable of a severe scientific treatment

Capacity for urbanity and moderation

Carried into port by fair winds

Caught unawares by a base impulse

Ceaseless tramp of humanity

Censured for his negligence

Championing the cause of religious education

Chastened and refined by experience

Checked by the voice of authority

Cherished the amiable illusion

Cherishing a huge fallacy

Childishly inaccurate and absurd

Chivalrous loyalty and high forbearance

Clever and captivating eloquence

Coarse and glittering ostentation

Coherent and continuous trend of thought

Commended by perfect suavity

Common ground of agreement

Complicated and infinitely embittered

Conceded from a sense of justice

Conceived with imperfect knowledge

Concentrated and implacable resolve

Conditions of unspeakable humiliation

Conducive to well-being and efficiency

Confused rumblings presaging a different epoch

Constrained by the sober exercise of judgment

Consumed by a demon of activity

Continuous and stubborn disregard

Contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment

Couched in terms of feigned devotion

Credulous and emotionally extravagant

Creed of incredulity and derision

Criticized with unsparing vigor

Crude undigested masses of suggestion

Cruel and baseless calumnies
[calumnies = maliciously false statements; slander]

Cynically repudiate all obligations


Daily usages and modes of thinking

Dangerously near snobbery

Darkly insinuating what may possibly happen

Dazzled by their novelty and brilliance

Debased by common use

Deep essentials of moral grandeur

Deeply engrossed in congenial work

Deeply moved as well as keenly stung

Deeply rooted in the heart of humanity

Defiant of analysis and rule

Degenerate into comparative feebleness

Degenerated into deadness and formality

Degrading and debasing curiosity

Deliberate and cautious reflection

Delicacy of perception and quick tact

Delude many minds into acquiescence

Dense to the point of stupidity

Descanting on them cursorily [descanting = discussion or discourse]

Devices generally held to be discreditable

Devious and perilous ways

Devoid of hysteria and extravagance

Dexterous modes of concealment

Dictated by an overweening partiality

Differ in degree only and not in kind

Difficult and abstruse questions [abstruse = incomprehensible ]

Diffidence overwhelmed him

Diffusing beneficent results

Dignified by deliberation and privacy

Dimly implying some sort of jest

Discreditable and insincere support

Disdaining the guidance of reason

Disenchanting effect of time and experience

Disfigured by glaring faults

Disguised in sentimental frippery

Dispel all anxious concern

Displayed enormous power and splendor

Distinguish themselves by their eccentricities

Distracted by contending desires

Diversity of mind and temperament

Divested of all personal feelings

Dogged and shameless beyond all precedent

Dominated by no prevailing taste or fashion

Doomed by inexorable fate

Doomed to impermanence and transiency

Draw back in distrust and misgiving

Dreaded and detested rival

Driven towards disaffection and violence

Due to historical perspective

Dull and trite commonplaces

Dwindled to alarmingly small dimensions


Easy-going to the point of lethargy

Elementary principles of right and wrong

Embittered and fanatical agitation

Encrusted with pedantry and prejudice [pedantry = attention to detail]

Endless and intricate technicalities

Endowed with undreamed-of powers

Enforced by coercive measures

Enormities of crime and anomalies of law

Entangled in theological controversy

Entirely futile and negligible

Erroneous assumptions and sophistries

Espoused with extraordinary ardor

Essentially one-sided and incomplete

Eternally fruitful and stimulating

Evidently malicious and adroit

Evinces a hardened conscience and an insensibility to shame

Exact and resolute allegiance

Examples of terrific and explosive energy

Exasperating to the last degree

Excruciating cruelty and injustice

Exposed to damaging criticism

Exposing his arrogance and folly to merited contempt

Expressions of unrestrained grief

Exquisite lucidity of statement

Extraordinarily subtle and penetrating analysis

Exuberant rush of words


Facile and fertile literary brains

Faithfully and religiously eschewed [eschew = avoid; shun]

Fallen into the convenient oblivion of the waste-basket

Fanatical and dangerous excesses

Far off and incredibly remote

Fastidious correctness of form

Fate had turned and twisted a thousand ways

Fed by many currents from the long stream of human experience

Feigning a virtuous indignation

Fertility of argumentative resource

Fictitious and adventitious aid

Finely touched to the fine issues

Fit to stand the gaze of millions

Fits and starts of generosity

Fixed convictions of mankind

Flouted as unpractical

Foolish and inflexible superstition

Fostering and preserving order

Free from all controversial pettifogging
[pettifogging = quibbling over insignificant details]

Freighted with the most precious cargoes

Frequently recurring forms of awkwardness

Fresh and unsuspected loveliness

From the standpoint of expediency and effectiveness

Full and tuneful diction

Full of ardent affection and gratitude

Full of presentiments of some evil

Full of singular freshness, insight and power

Full of speculation and a deep restrained excitement

Fumble and stumble in helpless incapacity


Gain the applause of future ages

Generous to a pathetic and touching degree

Give vent to his indignation

Giving an ear to a little neighborly gossip

Glances and smiles of tacit contempt

Gnawing at the vitals of society

Grace and gentleness of manner

Graceful succession of sentences

Gratuitous and arbitrary meddling

Greeted with unalloyed satisfaction

Grooves of intellectual habit

Growing sense of bewilderment and dismay

Guilty and baffled antagonists


Habits of unintelligent routine

Habitual self-possession and self-respect

Happy and gracious willingness

Hard-souled and joyously joyous

Haunted by blank misgivings

He affected neither pomp nor grandeur

He became more blandly garrulous [garrulous = excessive and trivial talk]

He declined the proffered hospitality

He dropped into an eloquent silence

He eludes analysis and baffles description

He glanced at her indulgently

He had the habit of self-engrossed silences

He harbored his misgivings in silence

He poured bitter and biting ridicule on his discomfited opponents

He spoke with sledgehammer directness

He suffers nothing to draw him aside

He took his courage in both hands

He turned on me a glance of stored intelligence

He was disheveled and untidy

He was inexhaustibly voluble

Heavily freighted with erudition [erudition = extensive learning]

Heights of serene contemplation

Her voice had a wooden resonance and a ghost of a lisp

Hidebound in official pedantry [pedantry = attention to detail]

High and undiscouraged hope

High-handed indifference to all restraint

His chin had too vanishing an aspect

His first zeal was flagging

His general attitude suggested an idea that he had an oration for you

His gestures and his gait were untidy

His mood was one of pure exaltation

His plea was irresistible

His tone verged on the ironical

His work was ludicrously perfunctory

Hopelessly belated in its appearance


I adjured him [adjured = command or enjoin solemnly, as under oath]

I am not without a lurking suspicion

I bemoaned my unlucky fate

I could almost allege it as a supreme example

I have somewhat overshot the mark

I lost myself in a reverie of gratitude

I made bold to retort

I must hazard the story

I was extremely perplexed

I will permit myself the liberty of saying

I would fain believe [fain = happily; gladly]

Illuminate with sinister effect

Immediate and effectual steps

Immense capacity for ceaseless progress

Immunity from criticism and control

Impartial and exacting judgment

Impatience of despotic influence

Impelled by strong conviction

Imperiled in a restless age

Imperious in its demands [imperious = arrogantly domineering]

Impotent outbreaks of unreasoning rage

Impromptu parades of noisy patriotism

In a diversity of application

In a fever of apprehension

In a frenzy of fussy excitement

In a frowning abstraction

In a great and fruitful way

In a high degree culpable

In a kind of confused astonishment

In a most commendable fashion

In a most impressive vein

In a position of undisputed supremacy

In a rapture of imagined ecstasy

In a secret and surreptitious way
[surreptitious = done by clandestine or stealthy means]

In a spirit of friendliness and conciliation

In a state of mulish reluctance [mulish = stubborn and intractable]

In a state of nervous exacerbation

In a state of virtuous complacency

In a tone of uneasy interrogation

In a transport of ambitious vanity

In a whirlwind of feeling and memory

In accents embarrassed and hesitating

In alliance with steady clearness of intellect

In amazed ejaculation

In an eminent and unique sense

In an eminent degree

In deference to a unanimous sentiment

In extenuation of the past

In high good humor

In his customary sententious fashion
[sententious = terse and energetic; pithy]

In its most odious and intolerable shape

In language terse yet familiar

In moments of the most imminent peril

In quite incredible confusion

In seasons of difficulty and trial

In spite of plausible arguments

In terms of imperishable beauty

In the dim procession of years

In the highest conceivable degree

In the local phrase

In the nature of things

In the ordinarily accepted sense

In the realm of conjecture

In the scheme of things

In the tone of one who moralizes

In the twinkling of an eye

In the world of letters

In tones of genuine admiration

Incapable of flashy make-believe

Incited by a lust for gain

Incomparable lucidity and penetrativeness

Inconceivable clumsiness of organization

Indulge a train of gentle recollection

Indulging a sickly and nauseating petulance

Ineffably dreary and unpicturesque

Infected with a feverish dissatisfaction

Infuse a wholesome terror

Inimical to true and determined principle [Inimical = harmful; adverse]

Inimitable grace and felicity [inimitable = defying imitation; matchless]

Injudicious and inelegant ostentation

Innumerable and incessant creations

Inordinate greed and love of wealth

Insatiably greedy of recognition

Insensibility to moral perspective and proportion

Insolent and riotous excess

Inspired by a vague malevolence

Inspirited by approval and applause

Instances might be multiplied indefinitely

Instantly alive to the slightest breach of decorum

Insufferable violence to the feelings

Intense and stubborn dogmatism

Intense sensitiveness to injustice

Intercourse with polished society

Intervals of respite and repose

Inveigh against established customs
[inveigh = angry disapproval; protest vehemently]

Invested with a partial authority

Inveterate forces of opposition

Invincible jealousy and hate

Involuntary thrill of gratified vanity

Involved in profound uncertainty

Involving ourselves in embarrassments

Inward appraisal and self-renouncement

Irregulated and desultory education [desultory = haphazard; random]

Irrelevant to the main issue

Irresistibly impelled by conscience

Irritable bitterness and angry suspicion

It assumes the shape of malignity

It betrays a great want of prudence and discernment

It defies description

It dissipates every doubt and scruple

It enslaves the imagination

It extorted from him expressions of irritability

It gives one a little grip at the throat

It has been stigmatized as irrelevant

It has more than passing interest

It has seldom been surpassed

It imposes no constraint

It is a capital blunder

It is a common error among ignorant people

It is a consoling reflection

It is a mark of great instability

It is a staggering thought

It is always something vicious

It is an odd jealousy

It is an intolerable idea

It is impossible to resist acknowledging this

It is little more than a platitude

It is not consistent with elevated and dignified character

It is not wholly insignificant

It is notoriously easy to exaggerate

It is the common consent of men

It is unnecessary to multiply instances

It makes life insupportable

It must be a matter of conjecture

It occasions suspicion and discontent

It runs counter to all established customs

It was a matter of notoriety

It wears a ragged and dangerous front

It would be a fruitless and unthankful task

It would be superfluous to say

It would not seem an improbable conclusion

Its dominating and inspiring influence


Jealous and formidable foes

Justifiable in certain exigencies [exigencies = urgent situations]


Keen power of calculation and unhesitating audacity

Kindle the flames of genuine oratory

Knotty and subtle disquisitions [disquisitions = formal discourse]


Labored and far-fetched elocution

Laid down in a most unflinching and vigorous fashion

Lamentable instances of extravagance

Lash themselves into fury

Lax theories and corresponding practises

Lay hold of the affections

Leaden mood of dulness

Lend a critical ear

Lest the requirements of courtesy be disregarded

Links in the chain of reasoning

Little less than scandalous

Lofty and distinguished simplicity

Long-sighted continuity of thought and plan

Looking at the matter by and large

Looming large and ugly in the public view

Loose and otiose statement [otiose = lazy; indolent; of no use]

Lost in indolent content

Lovely beyond all words

Lucidity and argumentative vigor

Lulled into a sense of false satisfaction


Maddened by a jealous hate

Maintained with ingenuity and vigor

Manifestly harsh and barbarous

Marvelous copiousness of illustration

Marvelously suggestive and inspiring

Men of profound erudition [erudition = extensive learning]

Mere effects of negligence

Microscopic analysis of character

Mingled distrust and fear

Ministering to mere pleasure and indulgence

Minutely and rationally exposing their imperfections

Morbid and subjective brooding

More or less severe and prolonged

Moved to unaccustomed tears

My worst suspicions were confirmed

Mysterious and invincible darkness


Naked vigor of resolution

Naturally prone to believe

Necessity thus imposed by prudence

Nerveless and faithless folly

No more than brief palliatives or mitigations

Noble and sublime patience

Noisy torrent of talk

Not averse to a little gossip

Not so much polished as varnished

Noted for their quixotic love of adventure

Nothing could be more captious or unfair
[captious = disposition to find and point out trivial faults]

Nothing remained but a graceful acquiescence

Notoriously distracted by internecine jealousies


Objects of general censure

Obscured beneath the rubbish of the age

Obsessed with an overweening pride

Obstacles that are difficult but not insuperable

Obviously at variance with facts

Occasioned by direct moral turpitude [turpitude = depravity; baseness]

Oddly amenable to the proposed innovations

Often employed promiscuously

Ominous and swift days

Omitting all compliments and commonplaces

On a noble and commanding scale

On sure ground of fact

On the edge of great irritability

On the horns of a dilemma

One of life's ironical adjustments

One of the foreseen and inevitable results

One tissue of rashness, folly, ingratitude, and injustice

Openly flouted and disavowed

Oppressed by some vague dread

Organs of party rage and popular frenzy

Our opinions were diametrically opposed

Our vaunted civilization

Outward mark of obeisance and humiliation
[obeisance = attitude of deference]

Overcome by an access of misery

Overshadowed by a fretful anxiety

Overwhelmed with reproach and popular indignation


Painful and lamentable indifference

Palpably and unmistakably commonplace

Parading an exception to prove a rule

Paralyzed by infirmity of purpose

Paralyzing doubts and scruples

Paramount obligation and righteousness

Partial and fragmentary evidence

Passionately addicted to pleasure

Patently inimical to liberty

Patience under continual provocation

Peculiarly liable to misinterpretation

Peddling and pitiful compromises

Pelting one another with catchwords

Perfectly illustrated and exemplified

Perpetually excite our curiosity

Pierced to the quick

Pitiful shifts of policy

Plainly dictated by a lofty purpose

Pleading the exigencies of strategical interest
[exigencies = urgent situations]

Plunged into tumultuous preoccupation

Pointed out with triumphant malice

Polished beauty of diction

Political storm and stress.

Position of titular command

Preached with a fierce unction [unction = exaggerated earnestness]

Precipitate and arbitrary changes

Predict the gloomiest consequences

Pregnant with a lesson of the deepest import

Presented with matchless vigor and courage

Princely generosity of praise

Prodigious and portentous events

Protracted to a vexatious length

Proud schemes for aggrandizement

Provocative of bitter hostility

Pruned of their excrescences and grotesque extremes
[excrescences = abnormal growth, such as a wart]

Purged of glaringly offensive features

Pursued to a vicious extent


Questioned and tested in the crucible of experience

Quickened into a stabbing suspicion

Quickness to conceive and courage to execute

Quite destitute of resources

Quixotically generous about money


Radiantly and transparently happy

Railed at the world

Rare candor and flexibility of mind

Rare fidelity of purpose and achievement

Rarely brought to pass

Reeling headlong in luxury and sensuality

Regarded with sincere abhorrence

Regulated by the fixed rules of good-breeding

Religious rights and ceremonies

Reluctant to appear in so equivocal a character

Render null and void

Rent by internal contentions

Repugnant alike to reason and conscience

Resigned to growing infirmities

Resist a common adversary

Resting on some collateral circumstance

Rhetorical and ambitious diction

Rich and exuberant complexities

Rigid and exact boundaries

Rooted in immeasurable error and falsity

Roused to tumultuous activity

Rude and blind criticism


Sadly counterbalanced by numerous faults

Said with epigrammatic point [epigrammatic = terse and witty]

Salutary in the extreme

Salutary tonic of a free current of public criticism

Sanity and quietness of soul

Scorned as an impracticable theory

Scornful of petty calculations

Screen themselves from punishment

Scrupulous and chivalrous loyalty

See with eagle glance through conventionalisms

Seem to savor of paradox

Seize the auspicious moment

Self-centered anxiety and preoccupation

Self-command born of varied intercourse

Self-interest of the most compelling character

Selfish and uselessly recondite [recondite = not easily understood]

Selfishness pampered by abundance

Senses of marvelous acuteness

Sensible diminution of our comfort

Sensitive and apprehensive temperament

Sentimental wailings for the past

Serve the innocent purposes of life

Set down with meticulous care

Shames us out of our nonsense

Sharp outbursts of hatred and bitterness

Sharp restrictions of duty and opportunity

Sharply and definitely conceived

She had lost her way in a labyrinth of conjecture

She took refuge in a passionate exaggeration of her own insufficiency

Sheer midsummer madness

Silly displays of cheap animosity

Simple and obvious to a plain understanding

Sinister and fatal augury [augury = sign of something coming; omen]

Skulking beneath a high-sounding benevolence

Slack-minded skimming of newspapers

Slavish doctrines of sectarianism

Slow and resistless forces of conviction

Smug respectability and self-content

Snatch some advantage

Socialized and exacting studies

Some very undignified disclosures

Something essentially inexpressible

Something stifling and over-perfumed

Spinning a network of falsehoods

Spiritual and moral significance

Staring in helpless bewilderment

Stealthily escaping observation

Stern determination to inflict summary justice

Stigmatized as moral cowards

Stimulated to profitable industry

Stopped as if on the verge of profundities

Strange frankness of cynical brutality

Strange streak of melancholy

Strangled by a snare of words

Strenuous and conscientious endeavor

Stretched out in dreary monotony

Strict and unalloyed veracity

Struck incessantly and remorselessly

Stupendous and awe-inspiring spectacle

Subject to the vicissitudes of fortune
[vicissitudes = sudden or unexpected changes]

Subjected to the grossest cruelties

Subordination to the common weal

Subservient to the ends of religion

Sudden and inexplicable changes of mood

Suddenly and imperatively summoned

Suddenly swelled to unprecedented magnitude

Sufficient to repel vulgar curiosity

Suggestive sagacity and penetration [sagacity = farsighted; wise]

Suit the means to the end

Sullen and widespread discontent

Superior in strength and prowess

Supported by a splendid fearlessness

Supremely and undeniably great

Susceptible to every impulse and stimulus

Sustained dignity and mellifluous precision
[mellifluous = flowing with honey; smooth and sweet]

Swamping every aspiration and ambition

Swift and vehement outbursts of feeling


Take root in the heart

Take vengeance upon arrogant self-assertion

Taken in their totality

Tamed and wonted to a settled existence

Tempered by the emotional warmth of high moral ideals

That way madness lies

The abysmal depths of despair

The accumulated bitterness of failure

The agonies of conscious failure

The air was full of the cry and clamor

The animadversions of critics [animadversions = Strong criticism]

The applause was unbounded

The best proof of its timeliness and salutariness
[salutariness = favorable]

The bewildered and tumultuous world

The blackest abyss of despair

The blemishes of an extraordinary reputation

The bluntness of a provincial

The bogey of bad luck [bogey = evil or mischievous spirit; hobgoblin]

The bounding pulse of youth

The brunt of life

The capacity for refined pursuits

The charming omniscience of youth

The cloak of cowardice

The collective life of humanity

The combined dictates of reason and experience

The companion of a noble and elevated spirit

The complaining gate swung open

The complex phenomena of life

The consequence of an agitated mind

The consequence of ignorance and childish assumption

The constant pressure of anxieties

The creature and tool of a party

The critical eyes of posterity

The dead and dusty past

The delimitation is sufficiently definite

The dictates of plain reason

The disjointed babble of the chronicler

The dull derision of the world

The dullest and most vacant minds

The dumb forces of brute nature

The dupe of some imposture

The eager pretentiousness of youth

The ebb and flow of events

The everlasting deluge of books

The evil was irremediable

The exchange of harmless amenities

The exertion of an inherent power

The expression was keenly intellectual

The facile conjectures of ignorant onlookers

The facts took him by the throat

The fitful swerving of passion

The flabbiness of our culture

The flaccid moods of prose

The flame of discord raged with redoubled fury

The flattest and most obvious truisms

The flippant insolence of a decadent skepticism

The foe of excess and immoderation

The fog of prejudice and ill-feeling

The frustration of their dearest hopes

The garb of civilization

The general infusion of wit

The gift of prophecy

The golden years of youth and maturity

The gratification of ambition

The grim reality of defeat

The hall-mark of a healthy humanity

The handmaid of tyranny

The hint of tranquillity and self-poise

The hints of an imaginable alliance

The hobgoblin of little minds

The holiest and most ennobling sensations of the soul

The hollowest of hollow shams

The homely virtue of practical utility

The hubbub and turmoil of the great world

The huge and thoughtful night

The hurly-burly of events

The idea was utterly hateful and repugnant

The idle of all hobbledehoys [hobbledehoys = gawky adolescent boy]

The ignoble exploitation of public interests

The imminent fatality awaiting him

The impulse of prejudice or caprice

The incorrigibility of perverse human nature

The incursions of a venomous rabble

The indulgence of an overweening self-conceit

The inevitable climax and culmination

The inference is inescapable

The infirmity and fallibility of human nature

The inflexible serenity of the wheeling sun

The ingenuities of legal verbiage

The inmost recesses of the human heart

The insipidity of indifference

The insolence of power

The irony of circumstances

The jaded weariness of overstrained living

The jargon of well-handled and voice-worn phrases

The jostling and ugliness of life

The lawyer's habit of circumspection and delay

The long-delayed hour of retribution

The lowest grade of precarious mendacity [mendacity = untruthfulness]

The makeshifts of mediocrity

The malarious air of after-dinner gossip

The mazes of conflicting testimony

The mean and frivolous affections of the idle

The menacing shadow of want

The mere fruit of his distempered imagination

The mere reversal of the wheel of fortune

The merest smattering of knowledge

The meticulous preciosity of the lawyer and the logician
[preciosity = extreme overrefinement]

The most absurd elementary questions

The most amazing impudence

The most exacting and exciting business

The most fallacious of all fallacies

The most implacable logic

The most preposterous pride

The multitudinous tongue of the people

The outcome of unerring observation

The outraged conscience of mankind

The overpowering force of circumstances and necessity

The overweening exercise of power

The panacea for the evils of society

The panorama of history

The pernicious doctrines of skeptics

The perpetrator of clumsy witticisms

The precarious tenure of fame

The precursor of violence

The pretty and delicate game of talk

The primitive instinct of self-preservation

The property of little minds

The prophecies of visionaries and enthusiasts

The proprieties of etiquette

The purse-proud inflation of the moneyed man

The question was disconcertingly frank

The ravening wolves of brute instinct

The remark was sternly uncompromising

The result of caprice

The rigor of the law

The sanction and authority of a great name

The severest shocks of adverse fate

The sharp and vehement assertion of authority

The sinister influence of unprincipled men

The speaker drew an indignant breath

The springs of human action

The staple of conversation

The stillness of finality

The stings of self-reproach

The straightforward path of inexorable logic

The strong hand of executive authority

The sum and fruit of experience

The sum total of her impressions was negative

The summit of excellence

The supernatural prescience of prophecy

The sweet indulgence of good-nature

The sycophants of the rich
[sycophant = servile self-seeker attempting to win favor by flattery]

The taint of fretful ingratitude

The talk flowed

The target for ill-informed criticism

The tears welled up and flowed abundantly

The tediousness of inactivity

The tendency to evade implicit obligations

The ties of a common cause

The tranquil aspects of society

The tribute of affectionate applause

The ultimate verdict of mankind

The unbroken habit of a lifetime

The unimpeachable correctness of his demeanor

The unlicensed indulgence of curiosity

The unsophisticated period of youth

The utmost excitement and agitation

The vanishing thoughtlessness of youth

The vanity and conceit of insular self-satisfaction

The very texture of man's soul and life

The victim of an increasing irritability

The victorious assertion of personality

The virtue of taciturnity [taciturnity = habitually untalkative]

The voice was sharp and peremptory
[peremptory = ending all debate or action]

The want of serious and sustained thinking

The widest compass of human life

The wonderful pageant of consciousness

The words stabbed him

Their authenticity may be greatly questioned

Their indignation waxed fast and furious

Themes of perennial interest

There was a blank silence

There was no sense of diminution

They affected the tone of an impartial observer

They rent the air with shouts and acclamations

Thoughts which mock at human life

Through ever-widening circles of devastation

Through the distortions of prejudice

Thwarted by seeming insuperable obstacles

Time was dissolving the circle of his friends

Times of unexampled difficulty

Tinseled over with a gaudy embellishment of words

To a practised eye

To be sedulously avoided [sedulously = persevering]

To prosecute a scheme of personal ambition

To state the case is to prove it

Too preposterous for belief

Too puerile to notice

Too sanguine a forecast [sanguine = cheerfully confident; optimistic]

Torn asunder by eternal strife

Totally detached from all factions

Touched with a sort of reverential gratitude

Transcend the bounds of human credulity

Transitory in its nature

Transparent and ridiculous self-importance

Treasured up with a timid and niggardly thrift

Treated the idea with lofty scorn

Tremendous exploits and thrilling escapades

True incentives to knowledge


Unamiable and envious attributes

Unbounded devotion and indulgence

Uncharted oceans of thought

Unconquerable fidelity to duty

Under all conceivable circumstances

Under the sway of arbitrary opinions

Undertaken under propitious circumstances
[propitious = auspicious, favorable; kindly]

Uneasy sense of impending change

Unequaled simplicity and directness of purpose

Unexceptional in point of breeding

Unexpected obstacles and inextricable difficulties

Unfailing and miraculous foresight

Unfeigned astonishment and indignation

Unfounded and incredible calumnies
[calumnies = maliciously false statements]

Unhampered by binding alliances

Universal in their signification

Unjust and unrighteous persecution

Unreasoning and unquestioning attachment

Unrivaled beauty and excellence

Unrivaled gift of succinct and trenchant speech
[trenchant = forceful, effective, vigorous; incisive; distinct]

Unsparing industry and attention

Unspeakably alluring and satisfying

Unsurpassed in force and fitness

Unswerving and unselfish fidelity

Untiring enunciation of platitudes and fallacies

Unutterably trivial and paltry

Unwavering and unquestioning approbation
[approbation = warm approval; praise]

Unworthy and ungenerous treatment

Upbraid ourselves with folly

Urgent warning and admonition

Utterly and essentially irreverent


Vast and vague aspirations

Vastly complex and far-reaching problems

Vehemently and indignantly repudiated

Venerable and dignified conservatism

Versatile and essentially original

Versed in the arts of exciting tumult and sedition
[sedition = insurrection; rebellion]

Viewed in its general tenor and substance

Vigorous and well compacted

Violating all decency

Violent and unforeseen vicissitudes
[vicissitudes = sudden or unexpected changes]

Vitiated by intolerance and shortsightedness
[vitiated = reduce the value; corrupt morally; debase]

Vivid even to oppressiveness

Voracious and insatiable appetite

Vulgar eagerness for place


Warnings too pregnant to be disregarded

Warped by personal pretensions and self-consequence

We may parenthetically note

We must profoundly revere it

Weigh the merits and demerits

Welcomed at first with skeptical contempt

Well-concerted and well-timed stratagems

Whirled into rapid and ceaseless motion

Wholesale friction and discontent

Wholly devoid of public interest

Widely divergent social traits

Wield an unequaled and paramount authority

Wiser counsels prevailed

Withal decidedly handsome

Written in indelible characters upon his heart


Yield to urgent representations


Zealous in the cause he affected to serve

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