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Comprehension   Listen
noun
Comprehension  n.  
1.
The act of comprehending, containing, or comprising; inclusion. "In the Old Testament there is a close comprehension of the New; in the New, an open discovery of the Old."
2.
That which is comprehended or inclosed within narrow limits; a summary; an epitome. (Obs.) "Though not a catalogue of fundamentals, yet... a comprehension of them."
3.
The capacity of the mind to perceive and understand; the power, act, or process of grasping with the intellect; perception; understanding; as, a comprehension of abstract principles.
4.
(Logic) The complement of attributes which make up the notion signified by a general term.
5.
(Rhet.) A figure by which the name of a whole is put for a part, or that of a part for a whole, or a definite number for an indefinite.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Comprehension" Quotes from Famous Books



... attend these soirees musicales. He considered them bourgeois, and found more diversion at the club. To Madame Ratignolle he said the music dispensed at her soirees was too "heavy," too far beyond his untrained comprehension. His excuse flattered her. But she disapproved of Mr. Pontellier's club, and she was frank enough ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... flash of comprehension reached over, stopped the wheel, and examined it carefully. The heads of the nine other game-owners bent over and joined in the examination. Big Burke straightened up and cast a ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... of his age; but he had a little more pseudo-chivalry at one end of his life, and a little more piety at the other, than the rest. There is a decidedly heroic element in his courage, hardihood, and enthusiasm, softened to the modern observer's comprehension by the humorous contrast between his achievements and his estimate of them. Between his actual deeds as he relates them, and his noble sentiments, there is also sometimes a contrast pleasing to the worldly mind. He is just ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... of Arc do with it? Turn it loose, by the Lord God of heaven and earth, and let it swallow up the foe in the whirlwind of its fires! Nothing shows the splendor and wisdom of her military genius like her instant comprehension of the size of the change which has come about, and her instant perception of the right and only right way to take advantage of it. With her is no sitting down and starving out; no dilly-dallying and fooling around; no ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc - Volume 1 (of 2) • Mark Twain

... the motive is simple enough. The constant introduction of classical allusions, often in the vaguest terms, and the almost unlimited licence as to the order of words, offer quite sufficient obstacles to easy and rapid comprehension. Poetry has been defined by one Chinese writer as "clothing with words the emotions which surge through the heart." The chief moods of the Chinese poet are a pure delight in the varying phenomena of nature, and a boundless sympathy with the woes and sufferings of humanity. ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2 - "Chicago, University of" to "Chiton" • Various

... far-reaching idea, and applied the physical principle of transmitted motion to the plastidules, or active molecules of plasm. I concluded that "heredity is the memory of the plastidules, and variability their power of comprehension." This "provisional attempt to give a mechanical explanation of the elementary processes of evolution" I afterwards extended by showing that sensitiveness is (as Carl Nageli, Ernst Mach, and Albrecht Rau express it) a general quality of matter. This form of panpsychism finds ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... when he wished to say that he would devote his whole work to the love and representation of humanity to symbolise it by a sorrowful street-girl in Venice who wistfully asks an alms; worn and broken with sorrow and wrong; whose eyes appeal for pity, for comprehension of her good and for his love; and whose fascination and beauty are more to him than those of her unsuffering companions. The other side of that class of women is here given with clear truth and just compassion, and the representation is lifted into imaginative strength, ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... general approval, though some persons, M. des Rameures among them, thought it above the comprehension of the humble class for whom it was intended. M. de Tecle, however, backed by republican Durocher, insisted that the intelligence of the people was underrated; that they were frequently debased by those ...
— Monsieur de Camors, Complete • Octave Feuillet

... what the actors say as that we cannot hear their words. The fact is that we hear quite as little under similar conditions at home, only our mind, being fuller of English verbal associations, supplies the requisite material for comprehension upon a much slighter ...
— Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals • William James

... philosophies, and I am sure that his drift was rarely beyond the understanding of his young companion, for it was Mark Twain's gift to phrase his thought so that it commanded not only the respect of age, but the comprehension and the interest of youth. I remember that once he talked, during an afternoon's drive, on the French Revolution and the ridiculous episode of Anacharsis Cloots, "orator and advocate of the human race," collecting the vast populace of France to swear allegiance to a king even then doomed to ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... military commander made such explanations at a private audience granted to him at his request, that it would be impossible to complain of his conduct. He is not very quick of comprehension, and probably was not apprised of the intention to insult. A great law officer was with me, and now declares that he never arraigned the legality of any of the late proceedings from October to the close of the trials, but did not approve ...
— Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1) - From the Original Family Documents • Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... but how any gentleman who has been in the service three months,—not to say three years,—can suppose Somerset House to be a department, is beyond my comprehension. If you ...
— The Small House at Allington • Anthony Trollope

... it may be assumed, to make clear the point which I am trying to elucidate, namely that a comprehension of the United States of to-day, an understanding of the rise and progress of the forces which have made it what it is, demands that we should rework our history from the new points of view afforded ...
— The Frontier in American History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... was passing beyond the comprehension of his audience, and touching upon the bounds of his bitter secret (for here he was thinking, not of Leonard, but of Nora), Harley gave a new and more homely direction to his terrible irony,—turned into telling ridicule the most elevated sentiments Leonard's speech had conveyed, ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... spread, and at length the doctors determined to amputate. But the marquis was absolutely horrified at the idea,—shrank from it with invincible repugnance. The moment the first dawn of comprehension vaguely illuminated their periphrastic approaches, he blazed out in a fury, cursed them frightfully, called them all the contemptuous names in his rather limited vocabulary, and swore ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... from that strange convention, and try as he might to realise himself back in his familiar places by the riverside at Ladyfield, the wings of his imagining failed in their flight and he tumbled again into that austere parlour sitting with two men utterly beyond his comprehension. ...
— Gilian The Dreamer - His Fancy, His Love and Adventure • Neil Munro

... of course had no real comprehension of the world-forces against which her husband was contending; to Lizzie, life consisted of three babies, whom it was her duty to feed and protect, and a husband, who was her instrument for carrying out this duty. The world outside of these was to her a vague ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... cousin o' mine, heaven rest his sowl!" "And how can the granting of such a request benefit your departed relation, Barney?" quoth I, not a little puzzled by the strangeness of the application. "Sure, that's mighty dare of comprehension, your honor. Teddy O'Rafferty was my own mother's brother's son, and devil o' like o' him there was in all Kilgobbin: we went to ould Father O'Rourke's school together when we were spalpeens, and ate our paraters and butter-milk out o' the same platter; many's the scrape ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... whatever comes to them from their social superiors, and the so-called "useful books," which were scattered broadcast over the land, were of a tediously didactic character, and, moreover, hardly adapted to the comprehension of those to whom they were ostensibly addressed. Wergeland himself, with all his self-sacrificing ardor, had but a vague conception of the real needs of the people, and, as far as results were concerned, wasted much of his valuable ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... of different languages, the medium through which such men received their education, the court-language, so to speak, of religion, and the vehicle of all the literature of knowledge which did not directly stoop to the comprehension of the unlearned; but it was indirectly as well as directly, unconsciously as well as consciously, a schoolmaster to bring the vernacular languages to literary accomplishment. They could not have helped imitating it, if they would; and they did not think ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... the whole world seemed to halt upon its axis, as though aghast at the brief recital which was almost Greek in its sense of inevitable tragedy; and for a wild, hateful moment Anstice told himself that for all her boasted comprehension Iris had not the power to understand the full ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... us the greatest satisfaction to answer the numerous and varied questions of our inquisitive little readers; and except in instances where the answer, were it given correctly, would occupy too much space in our columns, or be too scientific for the comprehension of the youthful querist, we have left but two or ...
— Harper's Young People, October 26, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... difficulty. He had not dreamed that a wife would demand a share, and demand it furiously, in the control of his business affairs. He had sincerely imagined that wives listened with much respect and little comprehension when business was on the carpet, content to murmur soothingly from time to time, "Just as you think best, dear." Life had ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... chapters is that any discussion of the art of painting necessarily demands the use of words or phrases which must be understood. To speak of technical things presupposes the use of technical phrases, and without a knowledge of the words there can be no comprehension of ...
— The Painter in Oil - A complete treatise on the principles and technique - necessary to the painting of pictures in oil colors • Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

... month, which contains a little Drama, to have your opinion of it, and how far I have improved, or otherwise, upon its prototype. Thank you for your kind Sonnet. It does me good to see the Dedication to a Christian Bishop. I am for a Comprehension, as Divines call it, but so as that the Church shall go a good deal more than halfway over to the Silent Meeting house. I have ever said that the Quakers are the only Professors of Christianity as I read it in the Evangiles; I say Professors—marry, as ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... from her knees she put her hands to her head, and, pressing her temples hard, looked about her, as if in search of some object which might help her to the comprehension of her own mood. Then, running her fingers inside the collar of her dress, she drew out, by a slight chain, a small locket, which contained her mother's picture and a lock of her white hair. It was a sort of talisman whose mere touch gave her a sense of comfort. She did not ...
— A Manifest Destiny • Julia Magruder

... of the world as if our sensations were the sum total of experience. But the truth is that there is an infinity of worlds outside our comprehension, worlds of vision and hearing and smell that are beyond our finite capacity, some so microscopic as to escape us at one end of the scale, some so vast and intangible as to escape us at the other end. I ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... evolutions similar to that one in which we live, and in the future there may be other similar evolutions—that is all. The principle of all these evolutions remains, but the concrete results are never twice alike. Man was not; he was; and again he will not be. In eternity which is beyond our comprehension, the particular evolution of that solar satellite we call the "Earth" occupied but a slight fraction of time. And of that fraction of time man occupies but a small portion. All the whole human drift, from the first ape-man ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... expenses. In this respect, the improvidence of his English fellow-workmen struck the cautious young Scotchman very greatly. They lived, he said, from week to week entirely; any time beyond a week seemed unfortunately to lie altogether outside the range of their limited comprehension. ...
— Biographies of Working Men • Grant Allen

... quick comprehension, Phil pounced upon one of these and darted toward the cage which was toppling ...
— The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... powerful explosive, which Fayette had purloined from the store of the workmen who were excavating for the new wing of the building. In a moment more the fuse would have burned unnoticed to its fatal end, and an awful crime, of whose enormity the dull criminal had no real comprehension, would have ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... of his marvelous life. After that all his dreams fused and became one. He felt as if from soft metal he had changed into hard metal. And, moreover, the stimulus of love seemed to induce a vast intellectual growth; things that had been difficult of comprehension became lucidly clear; prejudices and ignorances fell away from him of their own accord. A shut world had ...
— The Devil's Garden • W. B. Maxwell

... on the night of arrival, and many of the girls were engaged before they left the ship. I don't object to that. It was a fine, sincere way of doing things; but why the subject of marriage should be made an occasion for archness, for sly looks, for—in extreme cases—nudgings, passes my comprehension. ...
— Olivia in India • O. Douglas

... sweep of country her gaze concentrated upon the moving objects she saw in it. Puzzled at first, her look of perplexity was succeeded by one of consternation, then horror. With swift comprehension she grasped fully the meaning of a scene that was ...
— The Dude Wrangler • Caroline Lockhart

... with a huge long-feathered pen behind his ear, observed that Mr. Mordicai was right in that caution, for that, to the best of his comprehension, Sir Terence O'Fay and his principal, too, were over head and ...
— The Absentee • Maria Edgeworth

... eagerly observant of "how she'll take it" Molly perceived that Dorothy's explanation hadn't been sufficient; or else that it had not dawned upon Miss Isobel's comprehension that her girls had really been so careless, that the loss was genuine. As the lady looked up, after this second reading, with a question but no anger in ...
— Dorothy's Travels • Evelyn Raymond

... yet imperfect knowledge of the Uluan tongue to get a clear comprehension of a somewhat intricate case, took some time, and taxed Kedah's ingenuity to its utmost extent; but Kedah happened to be a vitally interested party, and believing, in common with everybody else, that Earle was in some mysterious fashion, ...
— In Search of El Dorado • Harry Collingwood

... the great powers will go in order to secure enthusiasm for their military establishments is almost beyond comprehension. Each nation has its great military rendezvous, its grand naval parades, its magnificent display of gorgeous military uniforms, its wave of colors, blare of trumpets, and bursts of martial music. The United States is now sending her navy around the world—for the purpose of training the seamen?—certainly, ...
— Prize Orations of the Intercollegiate Peace Association • Intercollegiate Peace Association

... papers read in a swift and formal fashion by Mr. Gorringe. If this was intended to inform the new pastor of the exact financial situation in Octavius, it lamentably failed of its purpose. Theron had little knowledge of figures; and though he tried hard to listen, and to assume an air of comprehension, he did not understand much of what he heard. In a general way he gathered that the church property was put down at $12,000, on which there was a debt of $4,800. The annual expenses were $2,250, of which the principal items were $800 for his salary, $170 for the rent of the parsonage, and $319 ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... turned her flashing eyes upon the one that held this royal honor in his keeping. "Sire," said she, "I am slow of comprehension; for it has just occurred to me that your majesty's criticism upon a window at Trianon is to be productive of results most disastrous to the ...
— Prince Eugene and His Times • L. Muhlbach

... till I arrived in this country, I do not know in what way reporters of intellect here would compare with ours, but it passes my comprehension to understand why those that I have met are content to write for papers that seldom print what is either ...
— My Impresssions of America • Margot Asquith

... on me, Can I do nothing to avert this catastrophe? Is there no hope? For mankind is in itself so noble, so beautiful, so full of all graces and capacities; with aspirations fitted to sing among the angels; with comprehension fitted to embrace the universe! Consider the exquisite, lithe-limbed figures of the first man and woman, as they stood forth against the red light of their first sunset—fresh from the hand of the Mighty One—His graceful, perfected, magnificent thoughts! What love shines ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... of failure may be found in the fact that rules, processes and simple methods of solution, contained in the books, are substituted for the power of comprehension by the pupil. He should be trained to seize an example mentally, whether the slate is to be used or not, and hold it until he can determine by what process the solution is to be wrought. Nor is it a serious objection that he may not at first avail himself of the easiest ...
— Thoughts on Educational Topics and Institutions • George S. Boutwell

... is due to purchases of land which were never included in the estimates; to interest paid on the city subscriptions; to the cost of additional height and breadth of the Bridge; and the increase in strength rendered necessary by a better comprehension of the volume of traffic between the two cities. The items covered by the original estimate of $7,000,000 have thus been raised to $9,000,000, so that $2,000,000 represents the addition to the ...
— Opening Ceremonies of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, May 24, 1883 • William C. Kingsley

... looking round the class. Once more her gaze lingered on Susan's downcast face, but there was no response in its immovable lines. The other girls vouchsafed strained, uneasy smiles. Only from Dreda's ecstatic eyes there flashed back a joyful comprehension. How beautiful the girl looked! Her vivid colouring, all pink, and white, and gold, made an almost startling contrast to the duller tints of ...
— Etheldreda the Ready - A School Story • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... the marks? A strong feeling of ease, peace, rest, is one of them. The transition from a state of puzzle and perplexity to rational comprehension is full of ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... by those European governments which have a right comprehension of human dignity, and who know that whatever is unjust bears with it a germ of destruction; but this impulse, it is melancholy to add, will be powerless if the union of the planters, if the colonial assemblies or legislatures, fail to adopt the same views and ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V3 • Alexander von Humboldt

... strange juxtaposition to his unequalled comprehension of national political problems was a surprising streak of frank insouciance and happy-hearted boyishness, which frequently expressed itself in the open defiance of authority in the shape of his great-aunt Maud, his slightly dropsical ...
— Terribly Intimate Portraits • Noel Coward

... things, nor even an outward heaven, is the guerdon of the soul; but a larger possession of Him who alone fills the heart, and fills the heart alone. Other riches may be counted, but this is 'exceeding great,' passing comprehension, and ever unexhausted, and having something over after all experience. Both these aspects of God's preciousness are true for earth; but we need a shield only while exposed to attack. In the land of peace, He is ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers • Alexander Maclaren

... resolutions you at first professed, and the impressions you appeared to feel, I had conceived the most sanguine hopes, and the sincerest pleasure. These are all now vanished. I cannot account for this. But your conduct is now as mysterious to my comprehension, as it was before disgusting to my judgment. I am bewildered in a maze of uncertainty. I am lost in unwelcome obscurity. May your resolutions and designs be better than my hopes! But ah, Roderic, for how much have you to answer, how deep must be your guilt, if all this be mummery, ...
— Imogen - A Pastoral Romance • William Godwin

... the country farther north. By this time the wild Bushmen, who had hitherto fled at our approach, had gained confidence, and came freely to the camp, and I had guides in plenty. For a time their extraordinary "click" language was utterly beyond my comprehension, but at length I learnt enough of it to make them understand what ...
— A Rip Van Winkle Of The Kalahari - Seven Tales of South-West Africa • Frederick Cornell

... she asked what I would like her to play. Before I had time to answer she had seated herself, taken up some music, hurriedly opened it, and begun to play. I loved music from childhood, but at that time I had but little comprehension of it, and very slight knowledge of the works of the great masters, and if Mr. Ratsch had not grumbled with some dissatisfaction, 'Aha! wieder dieser Beethoven!' I should not have guessed what Susanna had chosen. It was, as I found out afterwards, the celebrated sonata in F minor, opus 57. Susanna's ...
— The Jew And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... cultivated, he has too much aplomb. But his works show both more personal feeling and more national character than the works of his contemporaries elsewhere. For line he has a very intimate instinct, and of mass, in the sculptor's as well as the painter's sense, he has a native comprehension. Compare his "Diana" of the Louvre with Cellini's in the adjoining room from the point of view of pure sculpture. Goujon's group is superb in every way. Cellini's figure is tormented and distorted by an impulse ...
— French Art - Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture • W. C. Brownell

... Dr. Knapp describes it as 'shallow'—for 'he was one of the kindest of men, as my documents show.' The description is shallow enough, because the writer had no kind of comprehension of Borrow, but then, perhaps, his champion had not. Borrow was neither one of the 'kindest of men' nor the reverse. He was a good hater and a whole-hearted lover, and to be thus is to fill a certain ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... seem to be easily understood. Our difficulty seems to be this: the promise is so "exceeding great" that we cannot conceive God really to mean what he clearly appears to have revealed. The blessing seems too vast for our comprehension; we "stagger at the promises, through unbelief," and thus fail to secure the treasure which was purchased for us by ...
— The Life of Trust: Being a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings With George Mueller • George Mueller

... his head. Evidently the mystery of the whole thing, beyond the fact that the tenants of the cabin had killed themselves in battle, was beyond his comprehension. ...
— The Wolf Hunters - A Tale of Adventure in the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... is the custom for the pen-men of Scripture to deliver their judgments in many things according to the common received opinion that their times had of them." Even Copernicus himself, knowing the power of custom, and unwilling to create confusion in our comprehension, continues to talk of the rising and setting of the sun and stars and of variations in the obliquity of the zodiac. Whence it is to be noted how necessary it is to accommodate our discourse to our accustomed manner ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... themselves. "Nothing can please many and please long but just representations of general nature." "Shakespeare always makes nature predominant over accident. . . . His story requires Romans but he thinks only on men"; "there is a kind of intellectual remoteness necessary for the comprehension of any great work"; "nature (i. e. genius, what a man inherits at birth) {215} gives no man knowledge"; "upon the whole all pleasure consists in variety"; "love has no great influence upon the sum of life." It is startling to find Johnson anticipating Mr. Bernard Shaw, ...
— Dr. Johnson and His Circle • John Bailey

... things he had encountered in New York, a sort of fellowship which no one else had evoked. The Grey One had felt something of this, but had learned to expect so little, that she had not allowed herself to think about it. Only she had felt suddenly easier, perceiving the comprehension in his glance. ...
— Fate Knocks at the Door - A Novel • Will Levington Comfort

... Finally, a proper comprehension of the idea of God will neutralize the skepticism and despondency sometimes stealthily nourished or crushingly impressed by contemplations of the immensity of nature. If one, from regarding the cold and relentless mechanism of the surrounding ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... hamlet, but here it is designated by the extraordinary name of a "nest of cockatoos." This expression puzzled me so much when I first heard it, that I must give you as minute an explanation as I myself found necessary to the comprehension of the subject. ...
— Station Life in New Zealand • Lady Barker

... dispirited and out of temper. He had been pitchforked among easy-going people, when all the while mysterious things, dangerous things, seemed to hang in the air. He had not the material for even the first stages of comprehension. No one suspected, every one was satisfied; and at the same time came those broken hints of other things. He felt choked and muffled, wrapped in the cotton-wool of this easy life; and all the afternoon he chafed at his own impotence ...
— The Half-Hearted • John Buchan

... this ain't enough to dumbfound a codfish,' exclaimed Bill. 'Here's two total strangers, disguised as undertakers, actually accusin' us of stealin' our own Puddin'. Why, it's outside the bounds of comprehension!' ...
— The Magic Pudding • Norman Lindsay

... she said. "It is called the Toinnette. Take it, dear, and keep it—for memory." Then, as he took it from her, her eyes widened in a sudden anguish of dread and comprehension. ...
— Many Kingdoms • Elizabeth Jordan

... be a very fine thing for Dosia—if Dosia could——! Yet now the idea revolted Lois. To marry a man without loving him would have been to her, at any time or under any stress, a physical impossibility. Marriage for friendship or suitability or support were outside her scheme of comprehension. She spoke ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... gathered Laura's roses to adorn their buttonholes, and stripped the consecrated laurel of its leaves to make garlands for their own dull heads, and poured forth international compliments, and glorified one another, and hugged themselves for delight at their fine comprehension of the poet, and fell on their knees before him, and immolated their individual hearts and souls at the shrine of his genius; and, lo! there was not a true appreciater of Petrarch among them all! The right appraiser of Petrarch has been there ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... his eye fell on Dick and Crusoe sitting by their little fire. Charlie looked hard at them, and then again at the horizon; and then, coming to the conclusion, no doubt, that the matter was quite beyond his comprehension, he quietly took ...
— The Dog Crusoe and his Master • R.M. Ballantyne

... studied the life of antiquity, but understood nothing of the life going on around him. Raisky felt himself drawn to this young man, at first because of his loneliness, his reserve, simplicity and kindness; later he discovered in him passion, the sacred fire, profundity of comprehension and austerity of thought and delicacy of perception—in all that pertained to antiquity. Koslov on his side was devoted to Raisky, whose vivacious temperament could not be permanently bound by anything. The outcome was the great gift of an ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... Protestants, by enlarging the terms of communion so as to take in all sorts of dissenters, who are now shut out of the pale upon account of a few ceremonies which all sides confess to be things indifferent: That this alone will effectually answer the great ends of a scheme for comprehension, by opening a large noble gate, at which all bodies may enter; whereas the chaffering with dissenters, and dodging about this or t'other ceremony, is but like opening a few wickets, and leaving them at jar, by which ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. • Jonathan Swift

... upon Nature with his eyes. A Tree, a Snake, a Bull, an Ear of Corn. WE know so well from our botany and natural history books what these things are. Why should our minds dwell on them any longer or harbor a doubt as to our perfect comprehension of them? ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... blushed painfully; partly, I think, at my accurate comprehension of the difference between our worldly lots, and partly in sheer modesty at my realizing the ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... to study your crude material in the concrete will prove of value to you. It enables you to crystalize into ideas what were mere phantasms of the brain, to arrange your thoughts in their proper order, and to condense or expand details with a ready comprehension of the effect of such alterations upon the general proportions of the story. It makes your purposed work objective enough so that you can consider it with a coolness and impartiality which were impossible while it was still in embryo in your brain; and it often ...
— Short Story Writing - A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story • Charles Raymond Barrett

... extraordinary difficulty he had found in translating the Bible into Eskimo. It was useless to talk of corn or wine to a people who did not know even what they meant, so he had to use equivalents within their powers of comprehension. Thus in the Eskimo version of the Scriptures the miracle of Cana of Galilee is described as turning the water into BLUBBER; the 8th verse of the 5th chapter of the First Epistle of St. Peter ran: "Your adversary the devil, as a roaring Polar ...
— The Days Before Yesterday • Lord Frederick Hamilton

... community; even at the minister's, the Rev. John Cameron's, he was perfectly at home, and Mrs. Cameron was by him affectionately called "Aunt Polly." It was not only his kindly service which made Lincoln loved; it was his sympathetic comprehension of the lives and joys and sorrows and interests of the people. Whether it was Jack Armstrong and his wrestling, Hannah and her babies, Kelso and his fishing and poetry, the schoolmaster and his books—with one and all he was at home. He possessed in ...
— McClure's Magazine, Volume VI, No. 3. February 1896 • Various

... the low murmur ran through the silence of the room; Grant raised his hand and a man brought in the prisoner. He looked at the set faces, and made a little gesture of comprehension. ...
— The Cattle-Baron's Daughter • Harold Bindloss

... all distinguish things above reason from those contrary to it, and whilst they deny that revelation teaches any doctrine of the latter class, admit and believe a number of its doctrines, such as the Trinity, Incarnation, &c., to be above the comprehension of human reason. With them, moreover, we maintain, that in doctrines which lie within the grasp of human reason, it is proper and a duty to expect and to inculcate a harmony between the teachings of revelation and the dictates of reason, thus to exhibit and confirm ...
— American Lutheranism Vindicated; or, Examination of the Lutheran Symbols, on Certain Disputed Topics • Samuel Simon Schmucker

... to be done, a charge to be obeyed. She had this before her, as a girl in ordinary circumstances has the new developments of life to think of, and how to be a wife and mother. And the news brought by every passer-by would prove doubly interesting, doubly important to Jeanne, in her daily growing comprehension of what she was called upon to do. As she felt the current more and more catching her feet, sweeping her on, overcoming all resistance in her own mind, she must have been more and more anxious to know what was going on in the ...
— Jeanne d'Arc - Her Life And Death • Mrs.(Margaret) Oliphant

... become cunning, deceitful, fruitful in shifts and chicanery, endeavoring to silence those who are weak enough to argue with them; for when one is obliged to give them an account of things above their comprehension, they attribute the most prudent conduct to caprice, because they are incapable of understanding it. In a word, the only way to render children docile and capable of reasoning is not to reason with them at all, but to convince them that it is above their childish capacities; ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)—Continental Europe I • Various

... do—kick the cat through the window—so, with tears of rage and pain in his eyes, he affects to be very much amused, and sorts out a bit of fish from his plate and hands it down. The cat gingerly receives it, with a look in his eyes that says: "Another time, my friend, you won't be so dull of comprehension," and purrs maliciously as he retires to a safe distance from the guest's boot before eating it. A cat isn't a fool—not ...
— Three Elephant Power • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... recognized the mountain. The side of it which they saw was not at all like the familiar side which faced Temple Camp. That frowning, jungle-covered ascent seemed less forbidding from the river, but how Tom could identify it was beyond Hervey's comprehension. ...
— Tom Slade on Mystery Trail • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... page of artistic and literary history. But the true and complete historian, while containing in himself, as necessary pre-requisites, both the learned man and the man of taste, must add to their qualities the gift of historical comprehension ...
— Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic • Benedetto Croce

... eloquent man. Lucullus with great labor made him his friend and companion, and set him up against Philo's auditors, among whom Cicero was one, who wrote an admirable treatise in defense of his sect, in which he puts the argument in favor of comprehension in the mouth of Lucullus, and the opposite argument in his own. The book is called Lucullus. For as has been said, they were great friends, and took the same side in politics. For Lucullus did not wholly retire ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... medium of expression, and one which they sought, as a matter of policy, to impress upon the subject races of the island. Beyond enlightening us upon the social system prevalent many hundred years ago, it would seem that a knowledge of their literature could contribute but slightly towards a comprehension of the Javanese. This opinion, however, is modified by the fact that the Kavi literature has been popularized by translation into modern Javanese, and that the mass of the population are still acquainted with its main features by means of these versions accompanied by the representations ...
— A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore • W. Basil Worsfold

... but only one person in the opera house knew why. Miss Strange had shown no comprehension of or sympathy with his errand. Though she chatted amiably enough between duets and trios, she gave him no opportunity to express his wishes though she knew them well enough, owing to the signal he had ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... that it seems very difficult to fix any positive idea to it: if, indeed, there be any general meaning which may comprehend all its different uses, that of the head or chief of any body of men seems to be most capable of this comprehension; for whether they be a company of soldiers, a crew of sailors, or a gang of rogues, he who is at the head of them is always styled ...
— Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon • Henry Fielding

... she cried, "Don't you see?—It will mean that we can never be married!" And, for the first time, I understood. If only I could re-capture some conception of that love! I have always known, since the last shred of comprehension slipped from me, that I lost something very wonderful when I lost love. But what does it matter? I lost Alice too, and I could not have ...
— The Coming of the Ice • G. Peyton Wertenbaker

... surgeon in charge of the "Bragg," but when a larger field was assigned to him Dr. Gore succeeded, Dr. Bemiss still retaining in some way the position of superior officer. Both these men were eminent surgeons and physicians, possessing in a remarkable degree the subtle comprehension and sympathy which is so valuable a quality in a physician. The tie that bound these two embraced a third, apparently as incongruous as possible,—Dr. Benjamin Wible, also of Louisville, a former partner of Dr. Bemiss. Diogenes ...
— Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War • Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers

... enlightening you, then. The anagorical is what the dictionaries call the anagogical sense. A sense beyond this world; a sense above the senses; a spiritual sense making common things divine. It is hard to be arrived at and difficult of comprehension. Now in the matter of the nice little boy's question about the Giant and the carraway seed, (for none but a nice little boy could have excogitated any thing so comical), I have set my heart upon talking to you about it in the four above mentioned senses. And having ...
— The Fairy Godmothers and Other Tales • Mrs. Alfred Gatty

... had the Baron listened, Smiling he puffed many smoke-clouds From his clay-pipe, and then answered: "Dearest child, you women always Thoughtlessly do talk of many Things beyond your comprehension. It is true that soldiers often Take up many evil habits, Not adapted to the boudoir. But my daughter finds with smoking Too much fault; for through this habit I have won my wife and household. ...
— The Trumpeter of Saekkingen - A Song from the Upper Rhine. • Joseph Victor von Scheffel

... for the same period to have the minister removed from Drumtochty. Donald, deprived by one stroke of both his friends, fell back on me, and told me many things I loved to hear, although they were beyond my comprehension. ...
— Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush • Ian Maclaren

... They had never dreamed of a God of love; their only notion of a superior power was one which inspired them with awe and terror. I have frequently observed that the unsophisticated minds of savages grasp the simple and glorious truths of the gospel with an avidity and a power of comprehension which would be surprising to those who have been accustomed week after week and year after year to set the same truths before those to whom they are familiar. As I heard Mr Bent and Vihala addressing the people, whose upturned eager earnest countenances I watched, my heart glowed within me, ...
— The Cruise of the Mary Rose - Here and There in the Pacific • William H. G. Kingston

... is possible to you to send me soon the proofs of the five piano arrangements I shall be glad, as they make the comprehension and ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... will go on, and the Sir Wilfrid Lawson of some near generation may find it his duty and pleasure to make the silvery spray of his wisdom tintinnabulate against the tea-tray. These facts lead naturally to the comprehension of others. Fresh raw meat was once a dish for a king. Now refined persons scarcely touch meat unless it is cunningly disguised. Again, consider the case of turnips; the raw root is now a thing almost uneatable, but once ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... for the purposes of the fair. Had we been bound for Parinacochas at the proper season nothing could have been more reasonable and praiseworthy. Why anybody should want to go to Parinacochas during one of the other fifty-one weeks in the year was utterly beyond the comprehension or understanding of these village worthies. So, to our "selectmen," are the idiosyncrasies of itinerant gypsies who wish to ...
— Inca Land - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru • Hiram Bingham

... her cheeks burned with two red spots. She chatted eagerly, too eagerly, trying to throw into the expedition the air of a holiday excursion. Bob responded to her rather feverish gaiety, but Ware looked at her with an eye in which comprehension was slowly dawning. He had nothing to add to the rapid-fire conversation. Finally Amy inquired with mock anxiety, over his ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... "solidus,'' but in more complex cases the solidus is often curved. At temperatures between the solidus and the liquidus a mixture is partly solid and partly liquid. This general case has been discussed at length because a careful study of it will much facilitate the comprehension or the similar but more complicated cases that occur in the examination of alloys. A great many mixtures of metals have been examined ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... pile of things to the window, glancing out at the still smouldering ruins of the stable. Whatever had occurred, neither the lady nor Peter remained in or about the house. Of this I was satisfied, yet with the realization there came a sudden comprehension of my own helplessness to be of any aid. I was alone, unmounted, and with no weapon but an old pistol. There might be other weapons on those dead men below, but I could conceive of no effective way of making them useful. The raiders were doubtless on horseback; they would ...
— My Lady of Doubt • Randall Parrish

... youth, did not hesitate to smile at the Excursion, picking out an awkward line here and there as especial food for laughter even. But many of his smaller pieces he enjoyed very heartily, although not thoroughly—the element of Christian Pantheism, which is their soul, being beyond his comprehension, almost perception, as yet. So he made up his mind, after a moment's reflection, that this should be the next author he recommended to his pupil. He hoped likewise so to end an interview, in which he might otherwise be compelled to confess that he could ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... continuing steadily to lose ground. But if the Government is not only to last, but to succeed, those who are responsible for its guidance will have at all hazards to abandon their present policy of suspicion and exclusion, and to adopt that of tolerance and comprehension, which, with magnificent effect upon the power of France, was followed by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801. If they continue in their present course, the result must be fatal to the reputation and to the influence ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... intently at the floor. Something vague yet sure was forming in his brain, something that grew to comprehension before ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... simplify matters! More than twice or thrice she had tried to reveal her overstrained heart in broken sections; but on her approach to the very outer confines of the matter, Clotilde had always behaved so strangely, so nervously, in short, so beyond Aurora's comprehension, that she invariably failed ...
— The Grandissimes • George Washington Cable

... have known it, was closer to his comprehension, because it is not beyond man's imagination to guess, approximately, the frame of mind into which a woman would be thrown upon hearing of such a prospective meeting. What he could not see was the importance that his own part played ...
— A Tar-Heel Baron • Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton

... the paper fell to the ground. He held her wrist; he felt only the magnetic touch, looked into her eyes, and understood. From wonder at his outburst they passed to fear, to appeal, to love. Yes, they shrank from him, sick with shame and self-comprehension, pitifully seeking to hide the wound. But it would not by any means be hid. A light flowed from it, ...
— Fort Amity • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... come to him until that instant—this man was Girnway. In the flash of awful comprehension he dropped, a sickened and nerveless heap, beside the dead man, turning his head on the ground, and feeling for any sign ...
— The Lions of the Lord - A Tale of the Old West • Harry Leon Wilson

... evident indeed that it bewildered Claude and so completely diverted his attention from Grio, the real target, that when the bully, who had listened stupidly to the exchange of wit, proved by a brutal oath his comprehension of the reference to himself, the young ...
— The Long Night • Stanley Weyman

... rested on his in grim comprehension of all that Recklow had left unsaid. Swift and savage as would be the fate of a man caught within German frontiers on any such business as he was now engaged in, the fate of a ...
— In Secret • Robert W. Chambers

... essential to the comprehension of the progress of any engagement, the position of both armies on Long Island, just before the attack, is now known nearly to the last detail. The record here is clear and satisfactory. On the night of the 26th, the various regiments ...
— The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn • Henry P. Johnston

... to the musicians and carried out his directions. As he did so he saw adoring looks of comprehension come into their dark faces, and, turning, he caught a wonderful smile that was meant for them flickering on the soft lips of Miss Van Tuyn. That smile was as provocative, as definitely full of the siren quality, as ...
— December Love • Robert Hichens

... the story of a girl whom she had known intimately in early life, which she no doubt thought would help Grace to a better comprehension of her difficulties; but the dear lady lost herself in the domestic entanglement of many families, on the subject of which she contributed much curious information, without, however, elucidating the matter in hand. She wandered ...
— Spring Days • George Moore

... right learn'd I've long desired, And of the natural world aspired To have a perfect comprehension In this ...
— Faust • Goethe

... whole life; even men of science are as children before him. Sir Thomas Bodley wrote to Lord Bacon, remonstrating with him on his new mode of philosophising. It seems the fate of all originality of thinking to be immediately opposed; a contemporary is not prepared for its comprehension, and too often cautiously avoids it, from the prudential motive which turns away from a new and solitary path. BACON was not at all understood at home in his own day; his reputation—for it was not celebrity—was confined to his history ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... bridle, and the pony swerved about and plunged away at such a fast pace that poor Rose could only cling to the bridle and saddle and cry. But Russ remained where he was. He was greatly amazed, but slowly a comprehension of the whole thing was forming in ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Cowboy Jack's • Laura Lee Hope

... the best chance of killing game even a day out of season, would not permit either Harry or himself to shoot at the objects of Ugly's furious energy until it was legitimate. That conduct of Walter and Harry was beyond Ugly's comprehension. I have often seen him try to understand it. The chase having ended as usual in a safe burrow, I have noticed Ugly—who, after a very short experience, had learned not to waste his time in vain digging—turn toward us with a waddling, ...
— Captain Mugford - Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors • W.H.G. Kingston

... depart from its initial elliptic orbit in ever widening circuits, the motion would be unstable. This case affords an example of stable motion, but I have adduced it principally with the object of illustrating another point not immediately connected with stability, but important to a proper comprehension of the ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... body will persevere in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, until it is compelled to change that state by disturbing forces. A clear perception of this fundamental principle is essential to a comprehension of the elementary facts of physical astronomy. Since all the motions that we witness taking place on the surface of the earth soon come to an end, we are led to infer that rest is the natural condition of things. We have made, then, a very great advance ...
— History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science • John William Draper

... out of all comprehension; but he was killed by a feather from his own wing. His {51} former pupil, John Buteo,[50] the same who—I believe for the first time—calculated the question of Noah's ark, as to its power to hold all the ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... her with an expression that was never intended to be worn in a public conveyance, and the thin-faced Polish woman on whose toes they were all but standing looked at them with such lively comprehension that Eleanor felt called upon to assume her most haughty and dignified manner for ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... Majesty the Queen, Empress of India, in which, if the Congress promoters are to be believed, the people have an implicit trust; for the Congress circular, specially prepared for rustic comprehension, says the movement is 'for the remission of tax, the advancement of Hindustan, and the strengthening of the British Government.' This paper is headed in large letters-'MAY THE PROSPERITY OF THE ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... is not to amuse the hours of leisure; it is to awake oneself, it is to be alive, to intensify one's capacity for pleasure, for sympathy, and for comprehension. It is not to affect one hour, but twenty-four hours. It is to change utterly one's relations with the world. An understanding appreciation of literature means an understanding appreciation of the world, and it means nothing else. Not isolated and unconnected parts of life, but all of life, brought ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... she said, nodding complete comprehension. "You want to have a place that you can call your own; a place where you can go and come as you please and settle down to work. You are going to work, aren't you?—on the ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... know. It was something intangible, a charm without definite form; and his thoughts returned to Cytherea—if he could grasp the secret of her fascination he would be able to settle a great many disturbing feelings and needs. Yes, what she mutely expressed was what, beneath his comprehension, he had come to long for. He had never recognized it as the property of any woman ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... things as nobody else does them is to her irresistible. But how a woman of her sense and understanding of human nature could fail to see the complications of a situation in which secrecy and mystery were elemental parts is beyond my comprehension." ...
— Miss Gibbie Gault • Kate Langley Bosher

... though the word had no meaning for her, and she shook her head to signify entire want of comprehension. ...
— The Underground City • Jules Verne

... captain, "you haven't understood a word of my story!" He then proceeded to explain a toll-gate and its office and emoluments; but it was at once evident that the Frenchman knew all about the thing—he did not know the English words which expressed it; and he had a clear comprehension of ...
— John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein • Frank R. Stockton

... wealth or honour; in fact, some one thing, some another; nay, oftentimes the same man gives a different account of it; for when ill, he calls it health; when poor, wealth: and conscious of their own ignorance, men admire those who talk grandly and above their comprehension. Some again held it to be something by itself, other than and beside these many good things, which is in fact to all these the cause ...
— Ethics • Aristotle

... Mrs. Gillespie, "and there is a grace in her politeness that can only proceed from great natural delicacy and refinement of character. How she can have such manners, living and working in the way you say she does, I confess is beyond my comprehension." ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... check which had been growing with his growth. He found the inward bent toward comprehension and thoroughness diverging more and more from the track marked out by the standards of examination: he felt a heightening discontent with the wearing futility and enfeebling strain of a demand for excessive retention and dexterity without any insight into the principles which ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... by the effect of an intensely poisonous infusion. What he really did whisper, the minister could never afterwards recollect. There was, perhaps, a fortunate disorder in his utterance, which failed to impart any distinct idea to the good widow's comprehension, or which Providence interpreted after a method of its own. Assuredly, as the minister looked back, he beheld an expression of divine gratitude and ecstasy that seemed like the shine of the celestial city on her face, so wrinkled and ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne



Words linked to "Comprehension" :   discernment, incomprehension, understanding, inclusion, involvement, comprehend, apprehension



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