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Disable   Listen
adjective
Disable  adj.  Lacking ability; unable. (Obs.) "Our disable and unactive force."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Disable" Quotes from Famous Books



... moonshine in the water that had got blown ashore among the trees by the light wind. I had seen it all, in a moment. And I saw in a moment (as any man would), that the signalled move of the pirates on the mainland was a plot and a feint; that the leak had been made to disable the sloop; that the boats had been tempted away, to leave the Island unprotected; that the pirates had landed by some secreted way at the back; and that Christian George King was a double-dyed traitor, and a ...
— The Perils of Certain English Prisoners • Charles Dickens

... employed about the mast-head, as if it were crippled. "We have had fighting enough for one bout," said Captain Rose; "we must run for it now." Our main-top-gallant mast was hanging over the side, and our sails were riddled with the schooner's shot; she had evidently been firing high, to disable us, that she might carry us by boarding. We clapped on all the sail we could, served out grog to the men, and lay down at our quarters. We were not suffered to remain at peace long: the moment the schooner perceived our intention, ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume VI • Various

... the shock was at the places just mentioned, it must have been still greater in certain parts of the epicentral area. At Dilma, in the Garo hills, the shock seems to have been strong enough to disable men; and, in the neighbourhood of the faults that will be described in a later section, forest trees were snapped in two. Fortunately, as Mr. Oldham remarks, there were in these districts no towns or populous settlements to feel the ...
— A Study of Recent Earthquakes • Charles Davison

... leave to say, that those persons must be inexcusable, and chargeable, with all the bad consequences that may follow, who in such a kingdom as this, disable, disgrace, and divide Protestants; a thing that ought not to be done at any time, or in any place, much less than ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IV: - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Volume II • Jonathan Swift

... Lovebane, born in the Year [1680. [1]] What I desire of you is, That you disallow that a Coxcomb who pretends to write Verse, should put the most malicious Thing he can say in Prose. This I humbly conceive will disable our Country Wits, who indeed take a great deal of Pains to say any thing in Rhyme, tho they say it very ill. I am, SIR, Your ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... points which the driver's grapple with his man naturally exposed, were inflicted on him by the rejoicing urchins numberless punches of tongs, potato-washers, and sticks whose points were from time to time hastily thrust into the coals, that they might more effectually either blind or disable him in ...
— Phelim O'toole's Courtship and Other Stories • William Carleton

... look you lisp and wear strange suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; be out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making you that countenance you are; or I will scarce think you have swam in ...
— As You Like It • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... received a fall vacation and he went home. There was news from the front. Dean had been wounded, so the report came, not seriously, but enough to disable him, and he was returning home. He would always limp. In that awful charge when so many Canadians had been wounded and killed, Smiles had lost his life. It made Ted very sad to think that he would ...
— Ted Marsh on an Important Mission • Elmer Sherwood

... in here and loosened the breech-plug," went on Mark, "and it was evidently done with the idea of delaying us. The enemy could not have desired to utterly disable the projectile, or else he would have tampered with the large motor, ...
— Lost on the Moon - or In Quest Of The Field of Diamonds • Roy Rockwood

... play was over, and nothing more. So exact was he in following nature, that the look of surprize he assumed in the character of Hamlet so astonished Booth (when he first personated the Ghost) as to disable him for some moments from going on. He was so communicative, that in the most capital parts, he would enter into the grounds of his action, and explain, the principles of his art. He was an admirable master of the action of the ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Vol. III • Theophilus Cibber

... Laodice and her sleeping servant. The mute with the stupor of slumber further to disable his dulled ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... that with rapid-fire guns you may shoot away the lightly armored superstructure, but as long as the vitals are protected and the turret armor is intact the guns in the turret will be able to do execution, and large-calibred guns will be necessary to perforate the armor and disable those weapons. Even with her 12-inch guns the Texas can fire at the rate of one round per minute, and this record is as good as that made by any foreign ships. Rapid fire consists in good facilities for handling ...
— Porto Rico - Its History, Products and Possibilities... • Arthur D. Hall

... suddenly round, and drove the beak of his galley with terrible force against the stern or side of the vessel selected for attack. One blow from the long lance- like point, propelled by the whole weight and impetus of the trireme, was sufficient to sink or disable an enemy's ship, and the attacking galley was then backed away from the wreck, and directed against ...
— Stories From Thucydides • H. L. Havell

... the emboldened gang as they formed behind him, with bludgeons and iron knuckles, billies and slings, and whatever would disable but fail to kill. ...
— The Entailed Hat - Or, Patty Cannon's Times • George Alfred Townsend

... ascending the Victoria River. In going down to the well Richards fell down among the reeds, and a splinter entered his wrist, passing under the skin for one and a half inches; but no material injury has occurred, though the wound will disable him for ...
— Journals of Australian Explorations • A C and F T Gregory

... that is bruised which has suffered even one severe contusion. The metaphorical sense of beat, however, so far preponderates that one may be very badly bruised and battered, and yet not be said to be beaten, unless he has got the worst of the beating. To beat a combatant is to disable or dishearten him for further fighting. Hence beat becomes the synonym for every word which implies getting the ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... made her engagement for the second season, M. Vallebrogue demanded such exorbitant terms that the manager tore his hair with vexation, saying that such a salary to one singer would actually disable him from employing any other artists of talent. "Talent!" repeated the husband; "have you not Mme. Cata-lani? What would you have? If you want an opera company, my wife with four or five puppets is quite sufficient." So, during the season of 1808, Catalani actually was the whole company, the ...
— Great Singers, First Series - Faustina Bordoni To Henrietta Sontag • George T. Ferris

... Sciatica. Mr. R., a middle aged man, mechanic, was sent by Dr. ARCULARIUS Nov. 9th, 1874. Had post-rheumatic sciatica of some six weeks' standing. There were no remarkable features about the case, which however was sufficiently severe to disable him from pursuing his avocation. He took his first bath on the date above-mentioned. Another bath was administered next day, and three more every alternate day. He was then almost well. On Nov. 25th he returned, there remaining still some traces of the affection. ...
— The Electric Bath • George M. Schweig

... hunters, hearing a rustling in the jungle, went to the verge of it, to be the first to strike the animal which came out. As usual, I was close to her, when a large tiger burst out, and she pierced him with her javelin, but not sufficient to wound the animal so severely as to disable him. The tiger turned, and I drove my spear into his throat. This checked him, as it remained in, but in a spring which he gave the handle broke short off, and although the iron went further in, our danger ...
— The Privateer's-Man - One hundred Years Ago • Frederick Marryat

... principal cause of the want of fish in the ponds and pools of the Llanos. They, however, kill many more than they devour: and the Indians told us, that when young alligators and gymnoti are caught at the same time in very strong nets, the latter never show the slightest trace of a wound, because they disable the young alligators before they are attacked by them. All the inhabitants of the waters dread the society of the gymnoti. Lizards, tortoises, and frogs, seek pools where they are secure from the electric action. It became necessary to change the direction ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... a little as if intoxicated, and then sink helplessly to the bottom, where, the water being nowhere very deep, it was easy to see them and capture them. The natives secured basket after basket full, getting some so large that they could not carry them in their baskets. These they would disable with a "machete" and then tow ashore. The fish did not eat the "macasla." It seemed simply to have impregnated the water, making a solution too powerful for them to withstand. They were not killed by its effects, but acted as if they were drunk. Those which the ...
— Anting-Anting Stories - And other Strange Tales of the Filipinos • Sargent Kayme

... tradesmen, though it is weak in itself, is not near so weak as the folly of those who first do stoop to marry thus, and yet think to maintain the dignity of their birth in spite of the meanness of their fortune, and so, carrying themselves above that station in which Providence has placed them, disable themselves from receiving the benefit which their condition offers them, upon any subsequent changes of ...
— The Complete English Tradesman (1839 ed.) • Daniel Defoe

... some work on the para condition," Calhoun told him. "I need to be undisturbed in the ship, and I need a patient further along toward being a para than I am. It'll save time. If you'll help, we may be able to beat the thing. If not, I've still got to disable the grid." ...
— The Hate Disease • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... not the most able they have; but Lord Melbourne is told by others, who know Lord Fitzgerald better, that Lord Melbourne overrates him. He is a very good speaker, he has not naturally much industry, and his health is bad, which will probably disable him from a very close and assiduous attention to business. It is, however, upon the whole an adequate appointment, and he is perhaps more likely to go on smoothly with the Court of Directors, which is a ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) • Queen Victoria

... take courage. They spring to their guns, and fire rapidly and wildly, hoping and expecting to disable the rest of the fleet. But the Commodore does not falter; he keeps straight on as if nothing had happened. An eighty-pound shell from the Cincinnati dismounts a gun, killing or wounding every gunner. The boats are so near that every shot is sure to do its work. The fire of the boats ...
— My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field • Charles Carleton Coffin

... upon Fort Jackson. From daylight to dark a shell a minute was fired, and as the practice was remarkably good a great proportion of these fell within the fort. As Farragut had predicted, they did not in the course of six days' bombardment do harm enough to compel a surrender or disable the work; but they undoubtedly harassed the garrison to an extent that exercised an appreciable effect upon the fire of Jackson during ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... matter of seasons, not of months; a horse in hard condition can take without injury a fall that would disable a soft ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... appropriated to relieve temporarily, from the interest thereof, (as I dare say it will be put out to the best advantage,) or even from the principal, if need be, the honest, industrious, labouring poor only; when sickness, lameness, unforeseen losses, or other accidents, disable them from following their lawful callings; or to assist such honest people of large families as shall have a child of good inclinations to put out to ...
— Clarissa Harlowe, Volume 9 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... hundred doubts appalled her. Was she so entirely right as she had supposed? Was it best to relieve the helpless hands of Fred and Susan of their natural duties, and bear these burdens for them, and disable herself, when her time came, from the nobler natural yoke in which her full womanly influence might have told to an extent impossible to it now? These questions made Nettie's head, which knew no fanciful pangs, ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... of a knotty stick sawed upon them till the creature cried like a child; and when I ordered him to desist, told me he would not, till I had given him sixpence. There is something worse than all this. The avaricious rascals, when they can find nothing that they think will excite my pity, disable the first animal which is not dignified with the title of Christian, and then bring it to me as an object worthy of commiseration; so that, in fact, instead of protecting, I destroy. The women have entertained a notion that I hate two-legged ...
— Heads and Tales • Various

... our lives is now likely to be interrupted, Mr Wilder," commenced the former, first glancing his eye around, to make sure they were alone. "I have seen enough of your spirit and steadiness, to be sure, that, should accident disable me to conduct the fortunes of these people, my authority will fall into ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... by Hooker, in most of its details, was familiar to the Southern commander. He was thus able to develop his plans with greater ease than a less familiarity with the terrain would have yielded. He was satisfied that one more vigorous blow would disable his antagonist for this campaign, and he was unwilling to ...
— The Campaign of Chancellorsville • Theodore A. Dodge

... Thither of course, vast numbers repaired, and murdered each other under sanction of the law. At an earlier period in Germany, it was held highly disgraceful to refuse to fight. Any one who surrendered to his adversary for a simple wound that did not disable him, was reputed infamous, and could neither cut his beard, bear arms, mount on horseback, or hold any office in the state. He who fell in a duel was buried with great ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... heatedly, "you take a look at every blasted one of them that has anything to do with a spacecraft having trouble. They have to have an accident in space in order to disable the spaceship so that the hairy-chested hero can show what a great guy he is. So what does the writer do? He has the ship hit by ...
— Hanging by a Thread • Gordon Randall Garrett

... period of disagreeable negotiation with Castaneda, the governor of the Azores. Pretending great courtesy and hospitality, but really acting upon the orders of the king of Portugal, he did his best to disable Columbus and even seized some of his crew and kept them prisoners for some days. When Columbus once had them on board again, he gave up his plans for taking ballast and water on these inhospitable islands, ...
— The Life of Christopher Columbus from his own Letters and Journals • Edward Everett Hale

... the body so that he sank upon the floor dying. Then, fearing lest he should shoot again, the captains fell upon the poor old man, striking him with kerries and the handles of their spears, for they sought to disable him and make him ...
— The Ghost Kings • H. Rider Haggard

... priming of my gun. Then it occurred to me that a bullet, if fired at a foe in the dark, would be very unlikely to hit; I, therefore, drew both charges, and loaded with buckshot instead. You see, thought I, there is no absolute necessity to kill any one. All I can possibly wish to do is to disable, and big shot is more likely to do ...
— The Big Otter • R.M. Ballantyne

... the location of his efforts. Still, I do not think he meditated disabling the Sea Lion. It is more probable that he believed Lieutenant Scott to be the expert in charge of the boat and sought to kill or disable him." ...
— Boy Scouts in a Submarine • G. Harvey Ralphson

... arm which has yet been contrived for aerial operations is the light machine gun which has recently been perfected. The one objective with this weapon is to disable the hostile aircraft's machinery. It fires an armour piercing projectile which, striking the motor of any aircraft, would instantly put the latter out of action. The shell has a diameter of about.75 inch and weighs about four ounces. The gun is ...
— Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War • Frederick A. Talbot

... with 300 lb. weight of explosive, ordinarily supplied to destroyers in 1917, it was necessary to explode it within fourteen feet of a submarine to ensure destruction; at distances up to about twenty-eight feet from the hull the depth charge might be expected to disable a submarine to the extent of forcing her to the surface, when she could be sunk by gun-fire or rammed, and at distances up to sixty feet the moral effect on the crew would be considerable and might force the submarine ...
— The Crisis of the Naval War • John Rushworth Jellicoe

... as we have seen, was opposed to fighting as a system he could not submit to this sort of thing without at least some attempt to defend himself; and judging it of the highest importance to disable his adversary in the most effectual manner before the latter had time to carry out his offensive designs, he turned sharply round and hit him a very severe blow in the lower part of ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... the English frigate, and she had made a feint of flight and then turned on them and managed to sink one and disable the other. She would have to wait for repairs. So much the good landlady had told before her lodger could ask a question, and when she paused for breath he inquired whether she knew the name of the English ship. ...
— Two Maiden Aunts • Mary H. Debenham

... Bills might be passed, which would put Mr. Lincoln in immediate condition for hostilities; whereas, by remaining in our places until the 4th of March, it is thought we can keep the hands of Mr. Buchanan tied, and disable the Republicans from effecting any legislation which will strengthen the ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... intention of the old English custom of burying a suicide at a cross-road with a stake driven through his body. And if some burial customs are plainly intended to pin down the dead in the earth, or at least to disable him from revisiting the survivors, so others appear to be planned with the opposite intention of facilitating the departure of the spirit from the grave, in order that he may repair to a more commodious lodging or be born again into the tribe. For example, the Arunta of Central Australia always ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... accident should happen to the Resolution in the course of the voyage, so as to disable her from proceeding any farther, you are, in such case, to remove yourself and her crew into the Discovery, and to prosecute your voyage in her; her commander being hereby strictly required to receive you on board, and to obey your orders, the same, in every respect, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 15 (of 18) • Robert Kerr

... 2006 and subsequently signed two agreements on denuclearization. The 13 February 2007 Initial Actions Agreement shut down the North's nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in July 2007. In the 3 October 2007 Second Phase Actions Agreement, Pyongyang pledged to disable those facilities and provide a correct and complete declaration of its nuclear programs. Under the supervision of US nuclear experts, North Korean personnel completed a number of agreed-upon disablement actions at the three core facilities at the Yongbyon nuclear complex by the ...
— The 2008 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... "I would disable them for a few hours by means of the irons. There are five or six ...
— In the King's Name - The Cruise of the "Kestrel" • George Manville Fenn

... to be a very large meeting at Kennington on Monday, and Alfred Potocki said he would take me to it, but as I have to act that night I am afraid it would be hardly conscientious to run the risk of an accidental blow from a brickbat that might disable me for my work, which is my duty, though, I confess, it is a great temptation. My friend, Comte Potocki, is young and tall and strong and active, but I would a great deal rather have paid a policeman to look after me, as I did when I went to see a fire, than have depended upon the care of a ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... next afternoon teaching two new men the use and abuse of a tractor, and plainly bored by his task. Sharon seized the moment to talk pungently about the good old times when a farm hand didn't have to know how to disable a tractor, or anything much, and would work fourteen hours a day for thirty dollars a month and his keep. He named the wage of the two pupils in a tone of disgruntled awe that piqued them pleasantly but did not otherwise impress. When they had gone ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... and he said, "I tell you frankly, Earl, you will have to disable me before you get ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... Doctor. "You've disabled this poor fellow of yours, and made him—on that point—a lunatic for life; and now you want to disable me. But, for once, I'll do it. To save appearance, if you'll give me a bed, I'll come over ...
— The Open Door, and the Portrait. - Stories of the Seen and the Unseen. • Margaret O. (Wilson) Oliphant

... present perplexities, would not fail to pursue him to his proposed paradise of Xaragua. He determined, therefore, to march again to the Vega, and endeavor either to get possession of the person of the Adelantado, or to strike some blow, in his present crippled state, that should disable him from offering further molestation. Returning, therefore, to the vicinity of Fort Conception, he endeavored in every way, by the means of subtle emissaries, to seduce the garrison to desertion, or to excite ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... health. We hold it, therefore, a point of that grateful duty we owe to your Majesty's goodness and graciousness, to make this melancholy statement at once, rather than to stay till absolute incapacity might disable me from offering one small but sincere tribute of profound respect to your Majesty,—the only one in my power—that of continuing the high honour of attending your Majesty, till your Majesty's own choice, time, and convenience nominate ...
— The Diary and Letters of Madam D'Arblay Volume 2 • Madame D'Arblay

... apprehended, I find, has taken place. Three sheets were too much for a first attempt. It will, I fear, discourage you, if not disable you from more moderate experiments. Yet I will hope to receive by this day's mail at least one line, announcing your progressive recovery, under your ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... their automatics, and trying to disable each other," admitted Rob, "though, between us, Merritt, I don't believe the tiny puff of smoke could be seen away down here, unless you had a strong glass. Of course, when moving as fast as they do, the chance of making a shot tell is ...
— The Boy Scouts on Belgian Battlefields • Lieut. Howard Payson

... little and fierce and restless, Hingston large and kind and calm. What they joined in saying prevailed in questions of public interest; those who yielded to their wisdom liked to believe that Enraghty's opinion ruled with Hingston. Matthew Braile alone had the courage to disable their judgment which he liked to say was no more infallible than so much Scripture, but the hardy infidel, who knew so much law and was inexpugnable in his office, owned that he could not make head against their gospel. He could darken their counsel with citations from "Common ...
— The Leatherwood God • William Dean Howells

... won't disable him," said the minister. "For my part, I think he is a daring young rascal; and indeed, if there is any mischief going in the countryside you may be sure ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... last session, the corps called the "king's friends" made a hardy attempt, all at once, TO ALTER THE RIGHT OF ELECTION ITSELF; to put it into the power of the House of Commons to disable any person disagreeable to them from sitting in parliament, without any other rule than their own pleasure; to make incapacities, either general for descriptions of men, or particular for individuals; and to take into their body, persons who avowedly never been chosen by the majority of ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... only about four months before his death. A little later he wrote: "I spin my thread of life from week to week, rather than from year to year." Constant attacks of bleeding from the lungs sapped his little remaining strength, but did not altogether disable him from lecturing. He was amused by one of his friends proposing to put him under trustees for the purpose of looking after his health. But he would not be restrained from working so long as ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... les dents [French]. collapse, faint, swoon, fall into a swoon, drop; go by the board, go by the wayside; go up in smoke, end in smoke &c. (fail) 732. render powerless &c. adj.; deprive of power; disable, disenable[obs3]; disarm, incapacitate, disqualify, unfit, invalidate, deaden, cramp, tie the hands; double up, prostrate, paralyze, muzzle, cripple, becripple[obs3], maim, lame, hamstring, draw the teeth of; throttle, strangle, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... sound of many horses' footfalls on the distant road? I did not wait to assure myself. Knowing that, if the governor's troops had indeed found Maury abandoned, and had returned, quick work was necessary, I attacked at the same instant as my adversary did. As I would no more than disable an antagonist less protected than myself, I made to touch him lightly in his right side; but my point, tearing away a part of his jerkin, gave the sound and feel of metal, and thus I learned that he too wore body armor. I was pleased ...
— An Enemy To The King • Robert Neilson Stephens

... gun requires more care. There is a weight of 20,000 lbs. moving on friction Rollers along a metal plate, down an inclined plane—if once permitted to get loose and to be propelled by the motion of the ship, the momentum is immense, and must disable some of the apparatus, perhaps the Gun-Carriage itself. On such an occasion the preventer breeching is invaluable, and will be the best safeguard, if fitted so that when well stretched it will not permit the fore trucks to ascend on the curve of the Fore-hurter, for it is this ...
— Ordnance Instructions for the United States Navy. - 1866. Fourth edition. • Bureau of Ordnance, USN

... cravings of a year and a half without drink or tobacco, or a decent meal. I was about to engage in a little business as a vender of lottery policies when I first began to feel a strange sense of lassitude, which soon increased so as quite to disable me from work of any kind. Month after month passed away, while my money lessened, and this terrible sense of weariness went on from bad to worse. At last one day, after nearly a year had elapsed, I perceived ...
— The Autobiography of a Quack And The Case Of George Dedlow • S. Weir Mitchell

... resort once before, or he may not. Doubtless the fever was still lingering in his system. What the degree of his illness was we cannot tell. It may have unfitted him for active service with his regiment; it did not disable him from pursuing his occupations in writing and political agitation. His request was granted on May twentieth. The history of Corsica was now finally revised, and the new dedication completed. This, with a letter and ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... of his adversary, who struck at random, without either skill or economy. Pickle could have beaten the cudgel out of his hand at the first blow; but as in that case he would have been obliged in honour to give immediate quarter, he resolved to discipline his antagonist without endeavouring to disable him, until he should be heartily satisfied with the vengeance he had taken. With this view be returned the salute, and raised such a clatter about the squire's pate, that one who had heard without seeing the application, would have taken the sound for that ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... possibly procured from the whites, which they attempt to employ in the destruction of enemies, rivals, or others. It may be possible that the instances above referred to were cases in which the dose was not sufficient to kill the victim, but was enough to disable him temporarily. Strychnia is the only substance attainable by them that could produce such symptoms, and then only when given in an exceedingly small dose. It is also alleged by almost every one acquainted with ...
— The Mide'wiwin or "Grand Medicine Society" of the Ojibwa • Walter James Hoffman

... all would be well if they could once get a fair go-in at the enemy. Pot-shots up and down the valleys were unsatisfactory, and the bayonet never seemed to get a chance. Perhaps it was as well, for a long-limbed Afghan with a knife had a reach of eight feet, and could carry away lead that would disable three Englishmen. ...
— Soldier Stories • Rudyard Kipling

... or disable a portion of something, as a wire from a computer or a subroutine from a program. A standard slogan is "When in doubt, dike it out". (The implication is that it is usually more effective to attack software ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... enterprise, the capture of this important place is to be ascribed. The naval armaments of Britain had intercepted the reinforcements designed by France for her colonies; and the pressure on Canada was such as to disable the governor of that province from detaching troops to fort Du Quesne. Without the aid of these causes, the extraordinary and unaccountable delays of the campaign ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 2 (of 5) • John Marshall

... hemisphere, formerly under the dominion of Spain, have not undergone any material change within the past year. The incessant sanguinary conflicts in or between those countries are to be greatly deplored as necessarily tending to disable them from performing their duty as members of the community of nations and rising to the destiny which the position and natural resources of many of them might lead them justly to anticipate, as constantly ...
— State of the Union Addresses of John Tyler • John Tyler

... demanded, rearing a little again. "You people assume too much, it's a dangerous habit. Before we have any trouble and somebody squawks about me cheating, let's get one thing straight. If anybody jumps me I'll try to disable them, I'll try to hurt them in any way short of killing, and that means hamstringing and rabbit-punching and everything else. Every least thing, Alice. And if they happen to die while I'm honestly just trying to hurt ...
— The Night of the Long Knives • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... such great penetration that if the soldiers were all bunched together a single bullet might kill or disable several men and the explosion of a single shell might kill or disable a whole company. Consequently, soldiers must be scattered,—extended ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... she had now thought of a better plan. It was that she should arrange with her husband and son and the Meyers, all of whom loved me, that they should rescue me, or if need be, kill or disable Pereira before he could ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... other side he beheld their zeal for his Majesty's cause to be still so active, that often hurried them into inevitable ruin. He saw this with much grief; and tho' he approved their constancy as much as any man living, yet he found their unreasonable shewing it, did only disable themselves, and give their adversaries great advantages of riches and strength by their defeats. He therefore believed it would be a meritorious service to the King, if any man who was known to have followed his interest, could insinuate into the ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than ...
— Common Sense • Thomas Paine

... ground. The dogs should be taught to reserve their attack until the emu is thoroughly tired out, and then to spring upon the neck; but an unwary puppy will bitterly rue his temerity should he come within reach of the powerful legs, which deal kicks fiercely around, and of sufficient power to disable any assailant. The ostrich always kicks forward, in which he differs from the emu, whose blow is delivered sideways and backwards, like a cow. This bird is very good eating, if you know the part to select; the legs proving tough and unpalatable, while the back is nearly as tender ...
— Australian Search Party • Charles Henry Eden

... with a diarrhoea, which left not till warm weather returned and removed it: and this distemper did, as he grew older, seize him oftener, and continue longer with him. But though it weakened him, yet it made him rather indisposed than sick, and did no way disable him from studying—indeed too much.—In this decay of his strength, but not of his memory or reason,—for this distemper works not upon the understanding,—he made his last Will, of which I shall give some account for confirmation of what hath been said, ...
— Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Rich'd Hooker, George Herbert, - &C, Volume Two • Izaak Walton

... that Burrows intended only to disable the horse—he was a good enough shot to do that without endangering his rider. But as Pearson stooped the ball went through his shoulder and then through Road Runner's neck. The horse fell and the cowman pitched over his head ...
— Waifs and Strays - Part 1 • O. Henry

... with my eye, that I might have his height and figure explicit and exact; for I know how moonlight and fire distort, how the eye may be deceived. I looked for every button; for the spot in his lean, healthy body where I could disable him, spit him, and yet not kill him—for this was the thing furthest from my wishes, God knows. Now the deadly character of the event seemed to impress him, for he was pale, and the liquor he had drunk had given him dark hollows round the eyes, and a gray shining sweat was on ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... learned that the strap was safer than a knock-down, however, as a dose of it overnight did not hinder his wife from crawling out of bed to prepare the breakfast and get to work, whereas a kick such as he preferred, had been known to disable her for a week, with inconvenient results as to his own dinners ...
— Prisoners of Poverty Abroad • Helen Campbell

... this absolute necessity did not subsist, since the victor did not actually kill him, but made him prisoner. War is itself justifiable only on principles of self-preservation; and therefore it gives no other right over prisoners, but merely to disable them from doing harm to us, by confining their persons: much less can it give a right to kill, torture, abuse, plunder, or even to enslave, an enemy, when the war is over. Since therefore the right of making slaves by captivity, ...
— Commentaries on the Laws of England - Book the First • William Blackstone

... cast your fly always up and let it come down the stream floating on the surface of the water in a natural and easy way; if a fish rises and does not swallow it, do not pull your fly away, the odds are he will follow and take it, his motive I suppose in the first instance being to disable; however when Trout are fairly glutted with the May-fly, they may rise, but will not even touch it. When a fish has seized your fly, do not strike too hard or hastily, numbers of fish are lost by doing so, let them always turn their ...
— The Teesdale Angler • R Lakeland

... in my very advanced age, to which, after a very tempestuous life, I thought myself entitled. But God has thought fit (and I unfeignedly acknowledge His justice) to dispose of things otherwise. So heavy a calamity has fallen upon me as to disable me for business and to disqualify me for repose. The existence I have I do not know that I can call life. Accordingly, I do not meddle with any one measure of government, though, for what reasons I know not, you seem to suppose me deeply in the secret of affairs. ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VI. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... have made it necessary for the safety of the institution of slavery, to pass laws, forbidding millions of our countrymen to read. You should have, also, mentioned the horrid sanctions of these laws—stripes, imprisonment, and death. Now, these laws disable the persons on whom they bear, from fulfilling God's commandments, and, especially, His commandment to "search the Scriptures." They are, therefore, wicked. What then, in its moral character, must be a relation, which, to sustain it, requires the aid of wicked laws?—and, ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... in us, doth not only bring darkness, guilt, fear, mistrust, and the like; but it doth oft-times as it were hamstring us, and disable us from going to God by faith and prayer for pardon. It makes the heart hard, senseless, careless, lifeless, spiritless as to feeling, in all Christian duty; and this is a grievous thing to a gracious soul. The other things will create a doubt, and drive ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... praefect was silent, the emperor addressed himself to the soldiers with eloquence and propriety. He gratified their avarice by a liberal distribution of treasure, under the names of pay and donative. He engaged their esteem by a spirited declaration, that although his age might disable him from the performance of military exploits, his counsels should never be unworthy of a Roman general, the successor ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... obliged for this to sell my notes. I may be romantic, but I preserve them as a sacred deposit. Their full amount is justly due to me, but as embarrassments, the natural consequences of a long war, disable my country from supporting its credit, I shall wait with patience until it is rich enough to discharge them. If that is not in my day, they shall be transmitted as an honourable certificate to posterity, that I have humbly imitated our illustrious ...
— The Contrast • Royall Tyler

... learned that General Lee was ill—confined for a day or two to his tent, at the time he was confronting General Grant on the North Anna—this terrible thought forced itself upon us: Suppose disease should disable him, even for a time, or, worse, should take him forever from the front of his men! It could not be! It was too awful to consider! And we banished any such possibility from our minds. When we saw him out again, on the lines, riding Traveller as usual, it was ...
— Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee • Captain Robert E. Lee, His Son

... our Stern-Chase. There was a sad Complaint for Shot; however we fir'd Bolts. I call'd out to the People to have good Hearts, and went into the Round-house to encourage them there. It was very hard we could stand no Chance for a Mast of theirs, nor no lucky Shot to disable some of them, in all the Number that we fir'd. As to our small Arms, they were of little Service, they keeping their Men so close. The Rigging of the Foremast being gone, and that fetching so much way, I expected it to go every ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... Captain Byron at 2 P. M. was near enough to exchange bow—and stern-chasers with the Constitution, out of range however. Hull expected to be overtaken, and made every arrangement to try in such case to disable the first frigate before her consorts could close. But neither the Belvidera nor the Shannon dared to tow very near for fear of having their boats ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... to disable, but to kill. It penetrated the heart of the savage, and, staggering back, he fell, his face distorted with ...
— Do and Dare - A Brave Boy's Fight for Fortune • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... he was not able to catch the ox by the horns and hold it until he could cut its throat, so the next plan was to get hold of the animal's tail with one hand, and with the big knife in the other cut his hamstrings so as to disable him, and then cut his throat. The ox seemed fond of being rubbed and petted, so after a little time a firm hold on the tail was secured, and the big knife vigorously applied, but it was so very dull that he could not ...
— Death Valley in '49 • William Lewis Manly

... habitat is among loose soil on the tops of open hills; they are slow and unwieldy, and very open in all their actions. They are good shooting guns; Tom on the 7th made a day's lovely practice all round our battery. They are impossible to disable behind their huge epaulements unless you actually hit the gun, and they are so harmless as hardly to be ...
— From Capetown to Ladysmith - An Unfinished Record of the South African War • G. W. Steevens

... streams, Twinkling another counterfeited beam, So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes. Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak: I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind. Fie, de la Pole! disable not thyself; Hast not a tongue? is she not here? Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight? Aye, beauty's princely majesty is such, Confounds the tongue ...
— King Henry VI, First Part • William Shakespeare [Aldus edition]

... Department of State, transmitting to them the complaint of the British government against this law. In this state of things, for me to say anything gratifying to the feelings of the South Carolinians on this subject, would be to abandon the ground taken by the administration of Mr. Monroe, and disable us from taking hereafter measures concerning the law, which we may be compelled to take. To be silent is not to interfere with any state rights, and renounces no right ...
— Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. • Josiah Quincy

... we're going to do," the boy who had spoken with Jim replied. "No one shall interfere, and you said it wouldn't take you five minutes to disable Amos Richardson for life. Now go ahead and do it. If any one attempts to help him, ...
— Under the Liberty Tree - A Story of The 'Boston Massacre' • James Otis

... to try the novel and absurd experiment in politics of tying up the hands of government from offensive war founded upon reasons of state, yet certainly we ought not to disable it from guarding the community against the ambition or enmity of other nations. A cloud has been for some time hanging over the European world. If it should break forth into a storm, who can insure us that in its progress a part of its fury would not be spent ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... permitted, in another place, to stultify and disable himself, and to plead against his own acts, is another question. The law will decide it. I shall only speak of it as it concerns the propriety of public conduct in this city. I do not pretend to lay down rules ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... coup d'etat—for as such these dismissals may be considered—was decisive. The hostile majority was broken down; and when Mr. Grattan, still confident in his resources, brought forward his Pension Bill, to disable persons who held pensions during pleasure, or offices that had been created after a certain time, from sitting in Parliament, he was defeated by a majority of 9. This was justly claimed as a conclusive victory by ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... stopped him, and said: "Digging is too heavy work for you, my boy. There is enough that you can do without overtaxing yourself. We must all act like good soldiers. The campaign of work is just opening, and it would be very foolish for any of us to disable ourselves at the start. We'll plant only half a dozen rows of these dwarf peas this morning, and then this afternoon we'll have the bonfire and get ready for Mr. ...
— Driven Back to Eden • E. P. Roe

... Kitchen, on one of the large hospital-boats plying between Louisville and Nashville. While on duty on board this boat in January, 1865, she fell through one of the hatchways, and received injuries which will probably disable her for life, and her condition was for many months so critical as not to permit her removal to her native State. It would seem that here was cause for repining, had she been of a querulous disposition. Herself an invalid for life, ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... the whole body of besiegers, whose number was reckoned by Nathan at full fifteen or twenty, must have produced the same success, though with the loss of several lives. A random shot might at any moment destroy or disable one of the little garrison, and thus rob one important corner of the hovel, which, from its dilapidated state was wholly indefensible from within of defence. It was indeed, as Roland felt, more than folly to hope that all should ...
— Nick of the Woods • Robert M. Bird

... of range, part of another broadside. The firing of the Chesapeake was furious and deadly enough to have disabled an ordinary ship. It is computed that forty effective shots would be enough to disable a frigate; the Shannon during the six minutes of the firing was struck by no less than 158 shot, a fact which proves the steadiness and power of the American fire. But the fire of the Shannon ...
— Deeds that Won the Empire - Historic Battle Scenes • W. H. Fitchett

... contrariwise, it is almost without instance contradictory that ever any government was disastrous that was in the hands of learned governors. For howsoever it hath been ordinary with politic men to extenuate and disable learned men by the names of pedantes; yet in the records of time it appeareth in many particulars that the governments of princes in minority (notwithstanding the infinite disadvantage of that kind of state)—have ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... sooner been communicated to the King than he resolved to profit by so favourable an opportunity of repossessing himself, not only of the town itself, but of the whole province of Messin, in order to disable the Duc d'Epernon (against whom his suspicions had already been aroused) from making hereafter a disloyal use of the power which his authority over so important a territory afforded to him of contravening the measures of the sovereign. The fortress was one of great importance to Henry, ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... the army, which already looks sadly, as pitying both me and itself in this comfortless action; when I must encourage the rebels, who doubtless will think it time to hew upon a withering tree, whose leaves they see beaten down, and the branches in part cut off; when I must disable myself for ever in the course of this service, the world now perceiving that I want either reason to judge of merit, or freedom to right it, disgraces being there heaped where, in my opinion, rewards are due; give just grief leave once to complain. O! miserable employment, and more miserable ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... have plotted to disable you. The trapeze yonder—Murdock has cut the ropes, secured the bar with thread, and the slightest touch will send a performer to ...
— Andy the Acrobat • Peter T. Harkness



Words linked to "Disable" :   wound, nobble, handicap, disablement, disenable, pinion, lay up, incapacitate, hold, enable, invalid, alter, change



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