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Purposeless   Listen
adjective
Purposeless  adj.  Having no purpose or result; objectless.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Purposeless" Quotes from Famous Books



... that the strong will wins victory and the weak will breaks down. Between the ability to control one's thoughts and the inability to control them lies all the difference between right actions and wrong actions; between withstanding temptation and yielding to it; between an inefficient purposeless life and a life of purpose and endeavor; between success and failure. For we act in accordance with those things which our thought rests upon. Suppose two lines of thought represented by A and B, respectively, lie before you; that A leads to ...
— The Mind and Its Education • George Herbert Betts

... put in order, and every fire replenished. Two of the servants were in their own chambers, enfranchised for an hour: one only remained on duty. All six women had the feeling, which comes to most women at a certain moment in each day, that life had, for a time, deteriorated into the purposeless and the futile; and that it waited, as in a trance, until some external masculine event, expected or unforeseen, should renew its virtue and ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... one life we shall have to admit the truth of Reincarnation, which teaches gradual evolution of the germ of life or the individual soul through many lives and various forms. Otherwise the theory of Evolution will remain imperfect, incomplete and purposeless. The doctrine of Reincarnation differs from the accepted theory of Evolution in admitting a gradual but continuous evolution of the subtle body through many gross forms. The gross body may appear or disappear, ...
— Reincarnation • Swami Abhedananda

... with still fouler audacity, to invent stories designed to tarnish her reputation by throwing doubts on her conjugal fidelity. At such a moment the presence of such a man as the cardinal on the stage was an evil omen. His audacity, it seemed, could hardly be purposeless, and his purpose ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... into the wood, still hoping to find, in some one of its mysterious recesses, my lost lady of the marble. The sunny afternoon died into the loveliest twilight. Great bats began to flit about with their own noiseless flight, seemingly purposeless, because its objects are unseen. The monotonous music of the owl issued from all unexpected quarters in the half-darkness around me. The glow-worm was alight here and there, burning out into the great universe. The night-hawk heightened all the harmony and stillness with his oft-recurring, discordant ...
— Phantastes - A Faerie Romance for Men and Women • George MacDonald

... not mature and deliberate. My brain reminds me at times of the skies that followed Father Moran's visit—skies restlessly flowing, always different and always the same. These last days are merciless days, and I have to write to you in order to get some respite from purposeless thinking. Sometimes I stop in my walk to ask myself who I am and what I am, and where I am going. Will you be shocked to hear that, when I awoke and heard the wind howling, I nearly got out of bed ...
— The Lake • George Moore

... inconspicuous distance. The afternoon sun was gracious, tinged with a pleasant coolness, and far to the west a blue-gray fog bank waited for evening to let down the day's warm barriers. Fred Starratt's thoughts were abrupt and purposeless, like the unsustained flights of wing-clipped birds. He knew that he was being followed, and he had a confused sense of something impending, and yet he was unable or unwilling to face the issue honestly. ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... brought in are laid on the floor and no one can give them any further care. What could one do when all means are lacking? Under those circumstances, it is almost useless to bring them in. Among the passersby, there are many who are uninjured. In a purposeless, insensate manner, distraught by the magnitude of the disaster most of them rush by and none conceives the thought of organizing help on his own initiative. They are concerned only with the welfare of their own families. It became clear to us during these days that ...
— The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki • United States

... which might fairly relieve the placid monotony of a month's domesticity, a month's professional work—some there are to whom this Vanity Fair is as a treadmill or the turning of a crank, the felon's deepest humiliation, purposeless, unprofitable, labour. ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... confused, an impression of events with out sequence, a mass of little prominent purposeless things like rock conglomerate. I remember leaning my elbows on a low window-ledge and watching a poker game going on in the room of a dive. The light came from a sickly suspended lamp. It fell on five ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... held a soul; how you have blighted it; And made the holy miracle of birth A wicked travesty of God's design; Yea, many buds, which might be blossoms now And beautify your selfish, arid life, Have been destroyed, because you chose to keep The aimless freedom, and the purposeless, Self-seeking ...
— Poems of Purpose • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... it be otherwise? Why should she have stayed? Why should he compliment himself by believing that there was aught about him visible through the veneer acquired in a score and odd years of purposeless existence, to attract a young and ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... knows that uncongenial, badly-planned, disconnected, or purposeless effort fatigues, worries, and weakens both body and mind: is it difficult to believe the converse—that thorough, methodical, and helpful activity ...
— The Education of American Girls • Anna Callender Brackett

... feeling that it was good, and suggested all that might have happened had the eyes only been faithful to their duty. When thinking ceased through sheer weariness, there poured into Dick's soul tide on tide of overwhelming, purposeless fear—dread of starvation always, terror lest the unseen ceiling should crush down upon him, fear of fire in the chambers and a louse's death in red flame, and agonies of fiercer horror that had nothing ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... look to deriving from this adventure some benefit more substantial than a sound sleep or minstrels' flattery; and, to speak truth, I am somewhat weary of this saint-king and this purposeless Crusade, and would fain go to aid the Emperor of Constantinople against the Greeks and the Turks; and Baldwin de Courtenay could not but accord a favourable reception to warriors who had saved his kinswoman from the Saracens. What thinkest thou ...
— The Boy Crusaders - A Story of the Days of Louis IX. • John G. Edgar

... unable to define that thing. There was a vague admission that this last pause before his entry into Jerusalem where he must accomplish so much was an opportunity for some sort of preparation, but he lacked direction and resource. He was irritable and purposeless. ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... not flinch. She knew that Chauvelin had spoken the truth; the man was too earnest, too blindly devoted to the misguided cause he had at heart, too proud of his countrymen, of those makers of revolutions, to stoop to low, purposeless falsehoods. ...
— The Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... world knows by this time that creation is an empty jest; we are all beginning to understand its bathos! And if we must grant that there is some mischievous supreme Farceur who, safely shrouded in invisibility, continues to perpetrate so poor and purposeless a joke for his own amusement and our torture, we need not, for that matter, admire his wit or flatter his ingenuity! For life is nothing but vexation and suffering; are we dogs that we should lick the hand that ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... it was set up amidst those toilsome streets, was it not charged to overawe the disinherited ones, the starvelings, who, exasperated by everlasting injustice, were always ready for revolt? It was not seen in the districts where wealth and enjoyment reigned. It would there have seemed purposeless, degrading and truly monstrous. And it was a tragical and terrible coincidence that the bomb-thrower, driven mad by want, should be guillotined there, in the very ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... (according to the number wanted) put round the table. It is a theory among those who believe that a spirit nourishes all things from within, that there was some competition amongst these chairs as to which should be used at table, so dull, forlorn and purposeless was their life against the wall. Seven pictures hung on that wall; not because it was a mystic number, but because it filled up all the required space; two on each side of the looking-glass and three large ones on the opposite wall. They were all of them engravings, ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... undefined instinct of distrust and disapproval. All that I felt now was the sad tie of brotherhood which united us, poor human atoms, strong only in our capacity to suffer, tossed and driven, whitherward we knew not, in the purposeless play of ...
— Cecilia de Noel • Lanoe Falconer

... them to be for her own mere personal benefit, while the task which she had set herself was for a better purpose. But, although she did not study as had been her wont, while she sewed she occupied her mind in a way that was much more beneficial to it than the purposeless acquisition of facts, the solving of mathematical problems, or conning of parts of speech. Beside her was always an open book, it might be a passage of Scripture, a scene from Shakespeare, a poem or paragraph rich in the wisdom ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... no one to care for in his absence, no one, that is to say, who was specially her charge, to be attended to and made comfortable. He had narrowed her sphere of usefulness down to that by the promise he had exacted, and in his absence she had what to her was a useless, purposeless existence, wandering about from place to place. During this period she made few notes in the "Commonplace Book," but the few all bore witness to one thing, viz., her ever increasing horror of unpleasantness ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... first. It is assumed that recreation means amusement, idle and purposeless, if not skittles with beer and tobacco, then the music-hall with beer and tobacco, the comic man bawling a topical song and executing the famous clog-dance. If one points out that it is not amusement that is meant, but recreation, which is explained ...
— As We Are and As We May Be • Sir Walter Besant

... not say that, Father, dear Father. Listen to you! Every word you have said has sunk into the deepest deep of my heart. Pardon my foolish, purposeless snatch of talk to myself: it is but my way, only my way, ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... the railway station. The sweet dews of morning, the cows and horses looking over the hedges without any particular reason, the early travelers on foot with their bundles, seemed all very melancholy and purposeless to them both. The dingy torpor of the railway station, before the ticket could be taken, was still worse. Gwendolen had certainly hardened in the last twenty-four hours: her mother's trouble evidently counted for little ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... themselves to slavery and the rule of a master, develop an idea of goodness very different from that of princes. From our slave ancestry, says Lester Ward, we learnt to work, and certainly it is from slavery we derive the conception that industry, even though it be purposeless industry, is a virtue in itself. The good slave, too, has a morality of restraints; he abstains from the food he handles and hungers for, and he denies himself pride and initiative of every sort. He is honest in not taking, but he is unscrupulous ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... down the single street of Heart's Desire, a street as straggling and purposeless as his own misdirected life—a wavering lane through the poor habitations of a Land of Oblivion. Longer he looked, and stronger the conviction grew. "No, no," he said, clenching his hand; "not here for ...
— Heart's Desire • Emerson Hough

... the good people of Rheims, some of whom had evidently written to her to ask what was the meaning of the delay, and whether she had given up the cause of the country. There is a terse determination in its brief, indignant sentences which is a relief to the reader weary of the wavering and purposeless campaign: ...
— Jeanne d'Arc - Her Life And Death • Mrs.(Margaret) Oliphant

... never have afforded him. His insight into the order of a man's world had all at once been marvellously quickened, the scope of his reflections incredibly extended. Some vague consciousness of this now and then arrested him in his long purposeless walks; he began to be aware of seeing common things with new eyes. But the perception was akin to fear; he started and looked nervously about, as if suddenly aware ...
— Will Warburton • George Gissing

... motives. We know the character of our David Hume perfectly well, and though it was not faultless, its fault certainly lay rather in an excessive desire to make the world comfortable for everybody, than in anything like purposeless malignity, of which he never had a trace. Moreover, all that befell Rousseau through Hume's agency was exceedingly to his advantage. Hume was not without vanity, and his letters show that he was not displeased at the addition to his consequence which came ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... in at this moment with her finger in her book, but otherwise as purposeless as a ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... there is a natural chemistry, and those may produce chemic wonders—in others a natural fluid, call it electricity, and these produce electric wonders. But they differ in this from Normal Science—they are alike objectless, purposeless, puerile, frivolous. They lead on to no grand results; and therefore the world does not heed, and true sages have not cultivated them. But sure I am, that of all I saw or heard, a man, human as myself, was the remote originator; and I believe unconsciously to himself ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... center, till, at last, The whirling, gurgling vortex would engulf A maddened multitude in drunkenness. And this was in my thought (the while my heart Was palpitating with its nameless fear), As, wrapped in vaguest dreams, and purposeless, I laced my shoe and gazed upon the sky. Then strange determination stirred in me; And, turning sharply on my chair, I said, "Edward, where'er you go to-day, I go!" If I had smitten him upon the face, It had not tingled with a hotter flame. He turned upon me with a look of hate— A something worse ...
— Bitter-Sweet • J. G. Holland

... of Conrad, and you will have to change scarcely a word. Perhaps one, to wit, "clever." I suspect that Dreiser, writing so of his own creed, would be tempted to make it "stupid," or, at all events, "unintelligible." The struggle of man, as he sees it, is more than impotent; it is gratuitous and purposeless. There is, to his eye, no grand ingenuity, no skilful adaptation of means to end, no moral (or even dramatic) plan in the order of the universe. He can get out of it only a sense of profound and inexplicable disorder. The waves which batter the cockleshells change their direction at ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... march of Humanity is only clogged: it is not stayed. Ere long it breaks away into untrodden paths amidst the busy hives of industry or in the track of the colonizing peoples. The Muse follows in perplexity: her course at first seems dull and purposeless: her story, when it bids farewell to Napoleon, suffers a bewildering fall in dramatic interest: but at length new and varied fields open out to view. Democracy, embattled for seven sad years by Napoleon against her sister, Nationality, ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... the life of humanity, and I am human. I—" The unfinished sentence sank into the silence of things inexpressible or which it was purposeless to express. ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... in purposeless fashion, towards the spot where Chilvers held his court. Their personal acquaintance with Bruno and his family was slight, and though Mrs. Warricombe would gladly have pushed forward to claim recognition, natural diffidence restrained ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... the immense territory from the Second Cataract to the Equatorial Lakes was overrun by his fanatic hordes, who carried "fire, the sword, and desolation" far and wide over that unhappy land. It is not to the British administrators in Egypt that the blame of all this failure, and of the purposeless bloodshed of the two expeditions from Suakin, is to be laid, nor can it be said that after the fall of Khartoum any other course could have been adopted than to retire for a time; but it is to the British administrators ...
— Our Soldiers - Gallant Deeds of the British Army during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... there are some, whom a thirst Ardent, unquenchable, fires, Not with the crowd to be spent, Not without aim to go round In an eddy of purposeless dust Effort unmeaning and vain. Ah yes! some of us strive Not without action to die Fruitless, but something to snatch From dull oblivion, nor all Glut the devouring grave! We, we have chosen our ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... underground colony; their six little legs carrying their curious globular bodies backward and forward over the disturbed area from which the stone had been removed. At first the movements of the ants were extremely erratic and purposeless. Panic and alarm appeared to be the order of the day during the few minutes which elapsed after removal of the stone. But soon the eye could discern movements of purposive kind on the part of the alarmed residents. There was ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... recommendations made here, and these recommendations have the highest medical and scientific support and approval. Other methods than those recommended are referred to in Appendix I; to enumerate here those that have been eliminated would be purposeless and confusing. We are satisfied that we have selected the least harmful and most reliable methods known to science yet. These methods and these only will be explained and recommended. Everything possible has been done to make ...
— Safe Marriage - A Return to Sanity • Ettie A. Rout

... Strong, "and then we shall have a better right to face those in camp. I don't like for our visit to be purposeless." ...
— Mother Carey's Chicken - Her Voyage to the Unknown Isle • George Manville Fenn

... scotched the mutiny. Prickett's narrative of the doings of the ensuing seven weeks deals with what he implies was purposeless sailing up and down James Bay. He casts reflections upon Hudson's seamanship in such phrases as "our Master would have the anchor up, against the mind of all who knew what belongeth thereto"; and in all that he writes there is a perceptible ...
— Henry Hudson - A Brief Statement Of His Aims And His Achievements • Thomas A. Janvier

... here it signifies 'walketh to and fro,' and implies hurry and bustle, continuous effort, habitual unrest. It thus comes to be parallel with the stronger words which follow,— 'Surely they are disquieted in vain'; and one reason why all this effort and agitation are purposeless and sad, is because the man who is straining his nerves and wearying his legs is but a shadow in regard to duration—'He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... conclusion was that though, as at present advised, we might not quite see our way to hail him as a beneficent Invisible King, yet we need not go to the opposite extreme of writing him down a mere Ogre God, indifferent to the vast and purposeless process of groaning and travail, begetting and devouring, which he had wantonly initiated. That is the point at which we ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

... within the limits of legitimate warfare. Nor do I deny that England, in certain respects, has arbitrarily and it seems rather fatuously interfered with the rights of neutrals; that she has employed against you some irritating measures of petty and apparently purposeless chicanery and given you cause for resentment by certain vindictive and perhaps unfair provisions and procedures enacted at the very start of the war against German firms and German ...
— Right Above Race • Otto Hermann Kahn

... his companion. There were great beads of perspiration on his ashen-gray forehead and on the ends of his lank hair; the hand which twitched spasmodically in his was cold and clammy, the other, which was free, had a vague, purposeless, jerky activity, as if attached to some deranged mechanism. Without any apparent concern in these phenomena, Tommy halted, and, seating himself on a log, motioned his companion to a place beside him. Johnson ...
— Mrs. Skaggs's Husbands and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... behind—besides the great cutlass at his waist, and a pistol in each pocket of his square-tailed coat. To complete his strange appearance, Captain Flint sat perched upon his shoulder and gabbling odds and ends of purposeless sea-talk. I had a line about my waist, and followed obediently after the sea-cook, who held the loose end of the rope, now in his free hand, now between his powerful teeth. For all the world, I was led ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and Wilkins passed on, thoughtfully, towards Royal-street. In the excitement of the recent adventure, he had almost forgotten what had called him forth at that time of night, and now walked on, like one who wanders forth purposeless, into darkness and solitude. But suddenly, in passing a brilliantly lighted cafe, the thought of Arthur crossed his mind; and, for the first time, the idea flashed upon him, that he might have been one of those concerned in the capture ...
— The Brother Clerks - A Tale of New-Orleans • Xariffa

... true. Man thus divested would be God—would be unindividualized. But he can never be thus divested—at least never will be—else we must imagine an action of God returning upon itself—a purposeless and futile action. Man is a creature. Creatures are thoughts of God. It is the nature of thought ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... said Daniel, a poet of the Elizabethan era, "how poor a thing is man!" Without a certain degree of practical efficient force—compounded of will, which is the root, and wisdom, which is the stem of character—life will be indefinite and purposeless—like a body of stagnant water, instead of a running stream doing useful work and keeping the machinery of a ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... Christian Church has always held that the punishment in question consists essentially in the "penalty of loss"—the loss of goodness and of GOD, the loss of capacity for the life which is life indeed—rather than in any imagined "penalty of sense," or purposeless prolongation of pain. The imagery which our Lord employed to describe the spiritual condition known as "hell" is taken from the Valley of Hinnom, a ravine just outside the walls of Jerusalem, in which ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... resist anything but temptation," says a character in one of Oscar Wilde's plays. Too many of us have exactly this strength of will. We perhaps do not fall into gross crime, but because of our flabby resolution our lives become purposeless, negative, negligible. No one would miss us in particular if we were out ...
— It Can Be Done - Poems of Inspiration • Joseph Morris

... made many who knew him much, but not truly, feel that he was purposeless and restless. They knew his talent, his opportunities. Why does he not concentrate? Why does he not bring himself to bear? He did not plead his ill-health; nor would they have allowed the plea. The difficulty was deeper. He felt ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 46, August, 1861 • Various

... fortnight of Kant's life, he busied himself unceasingly in a way that seemed not merely purposeless but self-contradictory. Twenty times in a minute he would unloose and tie his neck handkerchief—so also with a sort of belt which he wore about his dressing-gown, the moment it was clasped, he unclasped ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... deepest dejection. It was true that he had made no advance of late in his pursuit of her, but so long as she remained there had always been hope. Now that she was gone for ever, even his riding and hunting became uninteresting and purposeless. What was the use of excelling in them when she was not there ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... good purpose, and another life in which there is a chance for further growth, if not for glory. But when I bump up against a series of afflictions such as you have been subjected to, I fall back upon Fred's philosophy of a purposeless or else a cruel God. ... I simply have a sinking of the heart, a goneness, a hopelessness—not even the pleasure of a resignation. Old Sid's cold mind has worked itself through to a decision that there is no purpose and no future, ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... memories, of mighty warrior princes, and of lovely ladies with names sweet as music and perfume of potpourri. Wandering in a splendid confusion of feudal and mediaeval relics—walls with carved doorways, and doorways without walls; beautiful, purposeless columns whose occupation had long been gone; carved marvels of fireplaces standing up sadly from wrecked floors of fair ladies' boudoirs or great banqueting halls, the stout, painted woman broke in ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... Mr. Thornton; that if he had not been there, things would have gone on very differently,—very badly, indeed. He swept off his business right and left that day. It seemed as though his deep mortification of yesterday, and the stunned purposeless course of the hours afterwards, had cleared away all the mists from his intellect. He felt his power and revelled in it. He could almost defy his heart. If he had known it, he could have sang the song of the miller who ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... crawl away; it was again swallowed and again disgorged; and now the snake had learnt by experience, for it seized the toad by one of its legs and drew it out of the hole. The instincts of even the higher animals are often followed in a senseless or purposeless manner: the weaver-bird will perseveringly wind threads through the bars of its cage, as if building a nest: a squirrel will pat nuts on a wooden floor, as if he had just buried them in the ground: a beaver will cut up logs of wood and drag them about, though there is no water to dam up; ...
— The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the action of worms with • Charles Darwin

... in an instant; and though, if dying at sea, I might sink to the depth, where something of Dorothy remains, I would as soon be reduced to ashes and scattered on the shores of this lake that I have known so long. That would be symbolical of my purposeless and wasted life. ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... can ever hope to become a really great or celebrated novel-reader who does not begin his apprenticeship under the age of fourteen, and, as I said before, stick to it as long as he lives. He must learn to scorn those frivolous, vacillating and purposeless ones who, after beginning properly, turn aside and whiling away their time on mere history, or science, or philosophy. In a sense these departments of literature are useful enough. They enable you often to perceive the most cunning and profoundly interesting touches in fiction. Then ...
— The Delicious Vice • Young E. Allison

... new acquaintances. But besides this she filled page after page with "impressions," "outpourings," queer little speculations about her soul, quotations from poets, solemn criticisms of new novels, or as often as not mere purposeless meanderings of words, exclamatory, rhapsodic—involved lucubrations quite meaningless and futile, but which at times she re-read with vague thrills of emotion ...
— The Pit • Frank Norris

... be a pretty regular thing, that Mr. Copley spent the evening abroad, excused himself from going anywhere with his family, and when they did see him wore an uncertain, purposeless, vagrant sort of look and air. By degrees this began ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... around me, the small-minded thoughts, the sodden round of grinding tasks—a monotonous, purposeless, needless existence. But patience, O heart, surely I can make a purpose! For the present, of my family I am the most suited to wait about common public-houses to look after my father when he is inebriated. It breaks my mother's heart to do it; it is dangerous for my ...
— My Brilliant Career • Miles Franklin

... and influence those more powerful than she—though operant in Elfride, was decidedly purposeless. She had wanted her friend Knight's good opinion from the first: how much more than that elementary ingredient of friendship she now desired, her fears would hardly allow her to think. In originally wishing to please the highest class of man she had ever intimately known, there ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... of, and will make it the hand by which we grasp His strong hand, which lifts us 'out of the horrible pit and the miry clay, and sets our feet upon a rock.' But if He lie dead in the grave your faith is vain, because it grasps nothing but a shadow; and it is vain as being purposeless; you are yet ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... scene, threatening. "The bow is drawn, the hen setting." This last comparison, the reader will remark, would be simply impossible as the termination of an act in a serious English play. This last scene, too, is wofully weak and purposeless. ...
— Frederic Mistral - Poet and Leader in Provence • Charles Alfred Downer

... upon him with no vain regrets, but in a spirit of submission to his father's wishes. Writing of these days many years later, when as a Minister of the Crown he was in attendance upon her Majesty at Balmoral, he says: "I thought my life was aimless, purposeless, and I wanted something else to do; but events compelled me to what promised to be a dull life and a useless one: the result is that few men have had more interesting work ...
— Beneath the Banner • F. J. Cross

... Nevertheless, his instinct was correct in urging him to a moral conflict and a momentous decision. The question was simply whether he could pick up his life again, could find faith that anything was worth living for; or whether life was to be a hollow going through the forms—frustrated, purposeless, full of brooding regret and jealousy, shame, and sense of wrong. But he could not drag his bruised mind up to the question; he could not even think what it was. He lifted himself up, stepped down into the dry channel, and knelt on the white stones, obeying old association ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 9 • Various

... as yet on dangerous game-those easy rhinos hardly counted-and I think we both preferred to feel that we had backing until we knew what our nerves were going to do with us. Nevertheless, occasionally, I would take Memba Sasa and go out for a little purposeless stroll a few miles up or down river. Sometimes we skirted the jungle, sometimes we held as near as possible to the river's bank, sometimes we cut loose and rambled through the dry, crackling scrub over the low volcanic hills ...
— The Land of Footprints • Stewart Edward White

... the lower organisms a form of reaction by the help of which they, in a partly fortuitous way, escape from the threatening element in their environment. The higher animals are stimulated in a parallel manner to vague and originally purposeless movements, one of which removes the discomfort under which they suffer, and the organism finally learns to perform the appropriate movement without going through the tentative series ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... any wounds upon their limbs; it is the mind that feels the direful stroke. She had brought, too, with her a monstrous composition of liquid poison, the foam of the mouth of Cerberus, and the venom of Echidna;[64] and purposeless aberrations, and the forgetfulness of a darkened understanding, and crime, and tears, and rage, and the love of murder. All these were blended together; and, mingled with fresh blood she had boiled them in a hollow vessel of brass, stirred about with {a stalk of} green hemlock. And while ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... abandon with which Alexander committed his crimes, we are forced to conclude that he was an atheist and a materialist. There is a time in the life of every philosophic and unhappy soul when all human endeavor seems nothing more than the despairing, purposeless activity of an aggregation of puppets. But in Alexander VI we discover no trace of a Faust, nothing of his supreme contempt of the world, of his Titanic skepticism; but we find, on the contrary, that he possessed an amazingly simple faith, coupled with a capacity for every crime. The ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... of achievements of the human mind than as the conquest of any single individual. It has sometimes taken centuries of experience to ascertain the value of a single fact in its various bearings. Like man himself, experience is feeble and apparently purposeless in its infancy, but acquires maturity and strength with age. Experience, however, is not limited to a lifetime, but is the stored-up wealth and power of our race. Even amidst the death of successive generations it is constantly advancing and accumulating, exhibiting at the same ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... militant, they form an incongruity at a time when sovereignty and property are separated, when the Government is centralized, when the regime is a pacific one. The bondage which, in the tenth century, was necessary to re-established security and agriculture, is, in the eighteenth century, purposeless thralldom which impoverishes the soil and fetters the peasant. But, because these ancient claims are liable to abuse and injurious at the present day, it does not follow that they never were useful and legitimate, nor that it is allowable to abolish them without indemnity On the ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 2 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 1 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... and donkeys in the vicinity would be bought, hired or stolen, and half the community would be off for the mountains, following in the wake of Whiteman. But W. would drift about through the mountain gorges for days together, in a purposeless sort of way, until the provisions of the miners ran out, and they would have to go back home. I have known it reported at eleven at night, in a large mining camp, that Whiteman had just passed through, and in two hours the streets, so quiet ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... learned in all the past, Desires are barren and tears yield no fruit. How long will ye besiege the thrones of gods With lamentations? When lagged Death for all Your timorous shirking? We work not like you, Delaying and relenting, purposeless, With unenduring issues; but our deeds, Forever interchained and interlocked, Complete each other and explain themselves." "Ye will a life: then why not any life?" "What care we for the king? He is ...
— The Poems of Emma Lazarus - Vol. I (of II.), Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic • Emma Lazarus

... too early yet for breakfast, and he sauntered about idle and purposeless. Suddenly he came upon the young man upon whose advice he had purchased his ticket. He, too, had a Herald in his hand, but was ...
— Sam's Chance - And How He Improved It • Horatio Alger

... sure that you know very well, Mary, that I mean the vocation of taking care of me, which you repudiated with scorn—in fact refused to entertain it seriously at all. Of course there may have been other grounds, but the one you laid stress on was that I was lazy and purposeless, and that if you ever did take up such a vocation it would be to take care of some one you could respect. I don't say for an instant that I approach to that altitude, but at least I may say I am no longer an ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... ideals change that the very graces of face and form that a while ago had pleased her in Kenneth, seemed now effeminate attributes, well-attuned to a vacillating, purposeless mind. Far greater beauty did her eyes behold in this grimfaced soldier of fortune; the man as firm of purpose as he was upright of carriage; gloomy, proud, and reckless; still young, yet past the callow age of adolescence. Since ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... right,' muttered Reardon. 'Do as you think best.' Amy was in her most practical mood, and would not linger for purposeless talk. A few minutes, ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... was in no hurry to share his happiness. Since his youth he had made few friends, and in all his life had never known comradeship with a woman. Suddenly, and as a well-spring in the desert, Vashti had come into the dull round of his duty—his purposeless, monotonous duty—to refresh it; nor perhaps were the waters less sweet for the feeling that they were stolen. So he lived in the day, and put off thinking of the ...
— Major Vigoureux • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... persistent motive, as when the idle warrior occupied his leisure in meaningless ornamentation of his garment or tipi, or spent hours of leisure in esthetic modification of his weapon or ceremonial badge, and to this purposeless activity, which engendered design with its own progress, the incipient graphic art of the tribes was largely due. The more important and characteristic sports were organized and interwoven with social organization and belief so as commonly to take the form of elaborate ceremonial, ...
— The Siouan Indians • W. J. McGee

... development has a moral character, and terminates in the highest holiness and happiness of all obedient men and angels; but the atheistic development contemplates and promises only the evolution of animal instinct and passions, the eternal death of the individual, and, for the universe, only purposeless cycles of ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... a little and started back along William's tracks to find the water cans. He followed a winding, purposeless trail that never showed the track of burros, and after an hour or so he came upon the pack and the cans. Evidently the water supply had suffered in the wind, for only four cans were with ...
— Casey Ryan • B. M. Bower

... was sent for but professed to know nothing of the matter, nor could any inquiry clear it up. Another item had been added to that constant and apparently purposeless series of small mysteries which had succeeded each other so rapidly. Setting aside the whole grim story of Sir Charles's death, we had a line of inexplicable incidents all within the limits of two days, which included the receipt ...
— Hound of the Baskervilles • Authur Conan Doyle

... nothingness. And his brain turned to nought at the idea. It was a state of nothingness. On the other hand, he might give in, and fawn to her. Or, finally, he might kill her. Or he might become just indifferent, purposeless, dissipated, momentaneous. But his nature was too serious, not gay enough or ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... myself with books, pictures, talk? No, because it is all a purposeless passing of dreary hours. Before, there was always an object ahead of me, a light to which I made my way; and all the pleasant incidents of life were things to guide me, and to beguile the plodding path. Now I am adrift; ...
— The Altar Fire • Arthur Christopher Benson

... weeks ago, my memory came back to me, I realized a sort of shock. I saw how tremendous the change was, and is. A few years ago I was home for a long leave, and I went a good deal into society. What did I see? I saw that the women of England were in the main a mass of useless, purposeless butterflies. I saw that the great mass of the young men of our class were mere empty-headed, worthless parasites. The whole country was given over to money getting and pleasure seeking. I didn't realize it then; but I do now. On every hand they were craving for ...
— "The Pomp of Yesterday" • Joseph Hocking

... informed him that the share was worth fifteen thousand dollars. Booth kept his accounts latterly with great regularity, and was lavish as ever, but took note of all expenditures, however irregular. He was one of those men whom the possession of money seems to have energized; his life, so purposeless long before, grew by good fortune to a strict computation with the world. Yet what availed so sudden reformation, and of what use was the gaining of wealth, to throw one's life so soon away, and leap from ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... seemed to crawl out to Kingston Heights. As it at last neared its terminus, a strong temptation seized the boy Cyrus. He had been on a purposeless errand to this place once that day. The corner of West and Dwight streets lay more than half a mile from the end of the car route, and it was an almost untenanted district. His legs were very tired; his stomach ached with emptiness. Why not wait out the interval ...
— A Court of Inquiry • Grace S. Richmond

... to purposeless copying, without thought, each blade of grass, as commended by the inconsequent, but in the long curve of the narrow leaf, corrected by the straight, tall stem, he learns how grace is wedded to dignity, how strength enhances sweetness, that ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... you that if I have brought any happiness into your life, you have brought far, far more into mine. My soul seemed to come into full being upon the day when I loved you. It was so small, and cramped, and selfish, before—and life was so hard, and stupid, and purposeless. To live, to sleep, to eat, for some years, and then to die—it was so trivial and so material. But now the narrow walls seem in an instant to have fallen, and a boundless horizon stretches around me. And everything appears beautiful. London Bridge, King William ...
— A Duet • A. Conan Doyle

... am not going to burst forth into laudatory rodomontade, (which is a word, gentlemen that I employ only among an enlightened community such as I now have the honour of addressing),—neither do I propose to waste your time in purposeless verbiage, (which is another of the same kind, gentlemen),—therefore, without further preface, or preamble, we will proceed at once to business. The first lot I have to offer you is a screen,—six foot high,—bring out the screen, ...
— The Money Moon - A Romance • Jeffery Farnol

... now be standing over you, dog-whip in hand, to thrash you as a defaulting coward and a perjurer .... Bah!" he added with a return to his habitual bonhomie, "I would no doubt even have lost my temper with you. Which would have been purposeless and excessively bad ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... of his voice or reach of his hand. He realized with an overwhelming certainty how badly he needed her, how much he wanted her—not only in ways that were sweet to think of, but as a friendly beacon in the murky, purposeless vista of years that stretched before him. Yes, and before her also. They had not spent all those hours together without talking of themselves. No matter that she was cheerful, that youth gave her courage and ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... ground. A bare lopsided weatherbeaten pole was planted in the ashes there, and had been there many a year. Hard by this pole, his lantern stood: lighting a few feet of the lower part of it and a little of the ashy surface around, and then casting off a purposeless little clear trail of light into ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... others' claims takes its place. Hypnotism, suggestion, and group enthusiasm are used to their utmost possibilities. The success of the Boston moral clinic is due to establishing in the mind of the neurasthenic, the alcoholic, the world-weary, and the purposeless a truer conception of the pleasures that result from vitality and ...
— Civics and Health • William H. Allen

... that a few books, which were favorites of Madeleine and once belonged to her father, had been removed from the table; but what of that?—they had probably been placed somewhere else. Continuing her almost purposeless search, Bertha now drew out the drawers of the bureau: they usually held Madeleine's linen; they were empty! In violent agitation the kneeling girl sprang to her feet; her undefined fear was taking ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... becomes great, for he realises truth. Even to be efficiently selfish one has to recognise this truth, and has to curb his immediate impulses—in other words, has to be moral. For our moral faculty is the faculty by which we know that life is not made up of fragments, purposeless and discontinuous. This moral sense of man not only gives him the power to see that the self has a continuity in time, but it also enables him to see that he is not true when he is only restricted to his own self. He is more in ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... tray of the fritterman. It is like a vast gitano-camp. The hurrying crowd which is going nowhere, the blazing fires, the cries of the venders, the songs of the majos under the great trees of the Paseo, the purposeless hurly-burly, and above, the steam of the boiling oil and the dust raised by the myriad feet, form together a striking and vivid picture. The city is more than usually quiet. The stir of life is localized in the Prado. The ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... happy-go- lucky Irish customs, and had died before her time, worn-out with the strain of trying to make both ends meet. When she looked down from heaven with those clear angel eyes, would it seem more noble to her that her baby should preserve a puny social distinction at the cost of a purposeless life, or that she should use the talents which had been given to her for her own good ...
— More about Pixie • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... tired, and we both, I think, were busy with our thoughts. Presently I saw a man, a negro, come into the avenue a little before us with a bundle of tools on his back. He went as slowly as we, with an indescribable, purposeless gait. His figure had the same look too, from his lop-sided old white hat to every fold of his clothing, which seemed to hang about him just as it would as lieve be off as on. I begged Preston to hail him and ask him the ...
— Daisy • Elizabeth Wetherell

... King Made royal and gentle answer, with like grace By Nala met. To whom spake Rituparna:— "Joy go with thee and her, happily joined. But say, Nishadha, wrought I any jot Wrongful to thee, whilst sojourning unknown Within my walls? If any word or deed, Purposed or purposeless, hath vexed thee, friend, For one and all thy pardon grant to me!" And Nala answered: "Never act or word, The smallest, Raja, lingers to excuse! If this were otherwise, thy slave was I, And might not ...
— Hindu Literature • Epiphanius Wilson

... to prevent it. On a flat piece of green in front of the rocky kopjes, where the enemy evidently was, I could see men, not running, but walking about in different directions. They were not crowded, but they seemed to be moving about like black ants, only in a purposeless kind of way. "They are Boers, and we've got them between our men and our battery," said a Gordon officer. But I knew his hope was a vain one. Very slowly they were coming towards us—turning and firing and advancing a ...
— Ladysmith - The Diary of a Siege • H. W. Nevinson

... most unmeaning and purposeless murder imaginable. Even as I write down its well-remembered particulars there comes again the sense of its strangeness, its pointlessness, its incompatibility with any of the neat and definite theories people hold about life and the meaning of the world. I did this thing and I want to tell of my ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... hesitating, she looked as far as the autumnal haze on the marshy ground would allow her to see distinctly. There was the fragment of a hedge—all that remained of a 'wet old garden'—standing in the middle of the mead, without a definite beginning or ending, purposeless and valueless. It was overgrown, and choked with mandrakes, and she could almost fancy she heard their shrieks.... Should she withdraw her hand? No, she could not withdraw it now; it was too late, the act would not imply refusal. She felt ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... printer's ink, and his rescue as of one escaping by mercy from a region where there was water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. Let us confess that books by their very multitude bewilder, and that careless and purposeless reading destroys the mind. Let us admit, too, that books no more mean culture than ...
— A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character • Newell Dwight Hillis

... than another. I have nowhere expressed an opinion as to the comparative philosophical value of the systems of Sankara and Rmnuja; not because I have no definite opinions on this point, but because to introduce them into a critical enquiry would be purposeless if ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... heel, and to be permitted to admire. I have seen him sit for half an hour on a doorstep, a canine monument of patience, waiting for her to come out, and I have seen her travel about the Place in apparently purposeless zigzags and circles for the mere pride and vanity of knowing how closely he would follow her ...
— Schwartz: A History - From "Schwartz" by David Christie Murray • David Christie Murray

... in each other's eyes with this terrible exchange of domestic confidences. Nevertheless, after a moment's pause, they deliberately turned again, and, facing each other with frightful calmness, left the room by purposeless and deliberate exits other than those they had contemplated—a crushing abnegation of self, that, to some ...
— Devil's Ford • Bret Harte

... after-proceedings went on very comfortably till about half-past nine o'clock, when Dutton's perturbation, increased perhaps by the considerable quantity of wine he had swallowed, not drunk, became, it was apparent to everybody, almost uncontrollable. He rose—purposeless it seemed—sat down again—drew out his watch almost every minute, and answered remarks addressed to him in the wildest manner. The decisive moment was, I saw, arrived, and at a gesture of mine, Elsworthy, who was in my confidence, addressed ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 440 - Volume 17, New Series, June 5, 1852 • Various

... as if the Fates had been lying in watch to entrap her and chain her, that they might have her at their mercy, her dreams of Evan's high nature—hitherto dreams only—were to be realized. With the purposeless waywardness of her sex, Pony Wheedle, while dressing her young mistress, and though quite aware that the parting had been spoken, must needs relate her sister's story and Evan's share in it. Rose praised him like one forever aloof ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... upon which to rain the blows. Edward was told to sit down at the principal's own desk and copy the lesson. He sat, but he did not write. He would not for one thing, and he could not if he would. After half an hour of purposeless sitting, the principal ordered Edward again to stand up and hold out his hand; and once more the rattan fell in repeated blows. Of course it did no good, and as it was then five o'clock, and the principal had inflicted all the ...
— The Americanization of Edward Bok - The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After • Edward William Bok (1863-1930)

... stroke, denoting the accomplished oarsman, with which he had urged the little boat through the water, had given way to an idle and purposeless drift. He longed to cast himself down before the little feet, in their smart high-heeled buckled shoes and clocked stockings, which peeped out at him from under her embroidered camlet petticoat in such a maliciously coquettish manner; he longed to kneel down there in the skiff, ...
— For Love of Country - A Story of Land and Sea in the Days of the Revolution • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... so rightly irritating, the departure of the "young couple" and Isabel had left Tilling, already shocked and shattered by the death of Captain Puffin, rather flat and purposeless. Miss Mapp alone refused to be flat, and had never been so full of purpose. She felt that it would be unpardonably selfish of her if she regarded for a moment her own loss, when there was one in Tilling who suffered so much more keenly, and she ...
— Miss Mapp • Edward Frederic Benson

... served some necessary purpose in human economy, though he could himself no more understand the good of it than he could comprehend the use of human existence in any shape. Since men and women were here, idiotic and purposeless as they might be, they had what they chose to call a right to amuse themselves in their own way, and if this way made some happy without hurting others, Strong was ready enough to help. He was as willing to help Hazard as to help Esther, provided the happiness of either seemed to be within reach; ...
— Esther • Henry Adams

... Daimon Begat him fair children On nymphs of the vineyard, On nymphs of the rock:— And in the heart of the forest Lay bound in white arms, In action creative a father Without a thought for his child:— A purposeless god, The forbear of men To corrupt, ape, inherit and spoil That fine race beforehand ...
— Georgian Poetry 1911-12 • Various



Words linked to "Purposeless" :   directionless, pointless, adrift, afloat, superfluous, rudderless, desultory, worthless, undirected, purposeful, purposelessness



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