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Dumb   /dəm/   Listen
Dumb

adjective
1.
Slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity.  Synonyms: dense, dim, dull, obtuse, slow.  "Never met anyone quite so dim" , "Although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick" , "Dumb officials make some really dumb decisions" , "He was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse" , "Worked with the slow students"
2.
Temporarily incapable of speaking.  Synonym: speechless.  "Speechless with shock"
3.
Lacking the power of human speech.
4.
Unable to speak because of hereditary deafness.  Synonyms: mute, silent.



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"Dumb" Quotes from Famous Books



... for those of their fellow men who did not happen to be slaves. Then came the other extreme of the Middle Ages, when man built himself a Paradise beyond the highest clouds and turned this world into a vale of tears for high and low, for rich and poor, for the intelligent and the dumb. It was time for the pendulum to swing back in the other direction, as I shall tell ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... august, the spaces between them immense, and the black sky faintly strewn with stars seemed to overarch an enchanted city. Not a footstep sounded, not a leaf rustled, not a breath of air drew under the arches. And suddenly, through the dumb night, the sound ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... Helgi, son of Hjoervard and Sigrlinn, was dumb and nameless until a certain day when, while sitting on a howe, he saw a troop of nine Valkyries. The fairest, Svava, Eylimi's daughter, named him, and bidding him avenge his grandfather on Hrodmar (a former ...
— The Edda, Vol. 2 - The Heroic Mythology of the North, Popular Studies in Mythology, - Romance, and Folklore, No. 13 • Winifred Faraday

... Good Feeling re-established between them, they took Marjorie and the Baby over to see the Sacred Cow and the other Dumb Animals. ...
— Knocking the Neighbors • George Ade

... up the pall That to us shall remain as a warrior's banner! Gaze once more on the fast closed eyes; Mark once the mouth that never speaks; Think of the man and his quiet manner: Weep if you will; then go your way; But remember his face as it looks to the skies, And the dumb appeal wherewith it seeks To lead us on, as one should say, "Arise— Go forth to meet your ...
— Dreams and Days: Poems • George Parsons Lathrop

... written. The existence of the Old Maid often has been a precarious one; she has been surrounded by danger, once narrowly escaping cremation. But my humanity towards dumb brutes saved her. I might have sacrificed a woman, but I could not kill a cat. So she lives, unconsciously owing her ...
— The Love Affairs of an Old Maid • Lilian Bell

... Further, Baptism is a sacrament of the greatest necessity. Now in certain cases it seems necessary for several to baptize one at the same time; for instance, suppose a child to be in danger of death, and two persons present, one of whom is dumb, and the other without hands or arms; for then the mutilated person would have to pronounce the words, and the dumb person would have to perform the act of baptizing. Therefore it seems that several can baptize one at the ...
— Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) - From the Complete American Edition • Thomas Aquinas

... they, which in words be most unstable, Would be thought faithful, and the riotous liberal: So that Hypocrisy their doings cloak shall. But whist! not a word, for yonder come some: While I know what they are, I will be dumb. ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI • Robert Dodsley

... the wheel of life and he returned to earth in the shape of a girl. He was often ill, had to take medicine continually, and was pricked and burned with hot needles. Yet he never uttered a sound. Gradually he grew into a beautiful maiden. But since he never spoke, he was known as the dumb maid. A scholar finally took him for his bride, and they lived in peace and good fellowship. And a son came to them who, in the course of two years was already beyond measure wise and intelligent. ...
— The Chinese Fairy Book • Various

... me to tell him that I did not think he had attempted a familiarity, but that I had been mad. I wished to say I could not account for my action, but I was dumb. My tongue refused to work, and I felt as though I would choke. The splash of the water came from the other end of the room. I knew he must be suffering acute pain in his eye. A far lighter blow had kept me sleepless a whole night. A fear possessed me that I might have permanently injured ...
— My Brilliant Career • Miles Franklin

... getting away unnoticed; when we had satisfactorily reached one of our secret nooks, and were sitting side by side, and, at last, the book was slowly opened, emitting a pungent odour, inexpressibly sweet to me then, of mildew and age;—with what a thrill, with what a wave of dumb expectancy, I gazed at the face, at the lips of Punin, those lips from which in a moment a stream of such delicious eloquence was to flow! At last the first sounds of the reading were heard. Everything around me ...
— A Desperate Character and Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... In a valley of dark fear full of pale moonlight: It blooms once a year, and dies in a night, And its petals disappear with the dawn's first light; And when that night has come, black small-breasted maids, With ecstatic terror dumb, steal fawn-like through the shades To watch, hour by hour, ...
— Georgian Poetry 1916-17 - Edited by Sir Edward Howard Marsh • Various

... and sacred recess of her heart—not daring to look at it, unless she invoked heavenly strength to bear the sight—that, some day soon, she should cry aloud for her mother, and no answer would come out of the blank, dumb darkness? Yet he knew all. She saw it in his pitying eyes. She heard it in his grave and tremulous voice. How reconcile those eyes, that voice, with the hard-reasoning, dry, merciless way in which he laid down axioms of trade, and serenely followed them out to their full consequences? ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... were dumb. Roderick saw the tears rolling down her pale cheeks, and offered no word of consolation. He knew that she was thinking of ...
— Vixen, Volume II. • M. E. Braddon

... he spoke not: "wake!" but still he slept:— "But yesterday and who had mightier breath? A thousand warriors by his word were kept In awe: he said, as the Centurion saith, 'Go,' and he goeth; 'come,' and forth he stepped. The trump and bugle till he spake were dumb— And now nought left him but the ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... dumb. She blushed, and did not know what to say. She would not have liked to hear that Harry had been set down to dinner in the servants' hall at Fairfield, though she had not herself been hurt by a present ...
— The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax • Harriet Parr

... wild excitement and confusion. But the spectacle of that shaggy and enormous front, that seemed to fill the whole gully, rising with awful deliberation between him and escape, sent a thrill of terror through his frame. The great, dull, bloodshot eyes glared at him with a dumb, wondering fury; the large wet nostrils were so near that their first snort of inarticulate rage made him reel backwards as from a blow. The gully was only a narrow and short fissure or subsidence of ...
— A Waif of the Plains • Bret Harte

... to the balls and the races A lonely companionless elf, And the ladies bestow all their graces On others less grey than myself; While the talk goes around I'm a dumb one 'Midst youngsters that chatter and prate, And they call me 'the Man who was Someone Way back in the ...
— The Man from Snowy River • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... an emotion, and lay bare a heart-beat in print, knows a subtle joy. The misery that can explain itself is not all misery. Complete misery is dumb; and pain that is all pain is quickly transformed into insensibility. Schopenhauer's life was quite as happy as that of many men who persistently depress us by requesting us to "cheer up." Schopenhauer says, "Don't try ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... 277 D: The poet of the "War of the Titans", whether Eumelus of Corinth or Arctinus, writes thus in his second book: 'Upon the shield were dumb fish afloat, with golden faces, swimming and sporting ...
— Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica • Homer and Hesiod

... taken all the humanity out of the men. They move like machines, either destroying or rolling on to destruction, and they often act with the dumb sense of the machine ...
— The Sequel - What the Great War will mean to Australia • George A. Taylor

... that luxurious fire you fed Your dangerous longing daily, crumb by crumb; Nor ever cared that still above your head The shadow grew; for that your lips were dumb. You knew full keenly you could never wed: 'Twas all a dream: the end must surely come; For not on thee her father's eyes were turned To find a son, when mighty ...
— Among the Millet and Other Poems • Archibald Lampman

... heard. At length the sheriffs were given to understand that a poll was demanded. The mayor hearing of the proposed poll thereupon came on to the hustings and declared Rich to be duly elected. The whole business was carried on in dumb show, it being impossible to hear anything that was said. Having done this, the mayor dissolved the Common Hall and went home. The sheriff proceeded nevertheless to open the poll in the afternoon, with the result that 2,082 votes were found in favour of standing ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume II • Reginald R. Sharpe

... Spring a stranger sight was seen, A sight that never yet by bard was sung, As great a wonder as it would have been If some dumb animal had found a tongue! A wagon, overarched with evergreen, Upon whose boughs were wicker cages hung, All full of singing birds, came down the street, Filling the air ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... little triangle planted with young elms that made a green quiet, and murmured to the silence with their stiffening leaves. It was an effect possible only to that wonderful London which towers so massively into the present that you are dumb before the evidences of its vast antiquity. There must have been a time when there was no London, but you cannot think it any more than you can think the time when there shall be none. I make so sure of these reflections that ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... hostile lines. Every grove in that blue distance appears enchanted ground, and yonder loitering gray-back, leading his horse to water in the farthest distance, makes one thrill with a desire to hail him, to shoot at him, to capture him, to do anything to bridge this inexorable dumb space that lies between. A boyish feeling, no doubt, and one that time diminishes, without effacing; yet it is a feeling which lies at the bottom of many rash actions in war, and of some brilliant ones. For one, I could never quite outgrow it, though ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... the greasy streets, but he plunged boldly into the delights of Shadwell, and was presently cast up, shattered in health, civilised in costume, penniless, and, except in matters of the direst necessity, practically a dumb animal, to toil for James Holroyd and to be bullied by him in the dynamo shed at Camberwell. And to James Holroyd bullying was ...
— The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... the neck of lamb," Rachel continued. She fixed her gaze upon the pebbles. "There's a very ugly yellow china stand in front of me, called a dumb waiter, on which are three dishes, one for biscuits, one for butter, and one for cheese. There's a pot of ferns. Then there's Blanche the maid, who snuffles because of her nose. We talk—oh yes, it's Aunt Lucy's afternoon at Walworth, so we're rather quick over luncheon. ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... Indra, "but nevertheless there is a preeminence among the pranas. Man lives deprived of speech, for we see dumb people. Man lives deprived of sight, for we see blind people. Man lives deprived of hearing, for we see deaf people. Man lives deprived of mind, for we see infants. Man lives deprived of his arms, ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... good time. Hence, my writing is the measure of my life. I can write only about what I have previously felt and lived. I have no legerdemain to invoke things out of the air, or to make a dry branch bud and blossom before the eyes. I must look into my heart and write, or remain dumb. Robert Louis Stevenson said one should be able to write eloquently on a broomstick, and so he could. Stevenson had the true literary legerdemain; he was master of the art of writing; he could invest a broomstick with charm; if it remained a broomstick, it was ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... bannocks—'Rocky Mountain dead shot' Westerners call the slap-jacks—in silence. While the old man still pondered mazed and dumb, the Ranger dabbled the cups and plates in the River and recinched the pack saddle, the little mule blowing out his sides and groaning to ease the girth, the bronchos wisely eating to the process of reharnessing. ...
— The Freebooters of the Wilderness • Agnes C. Laut

... dear," she went on, as I remained dumb and sick at heart at such an imputation. "Of course I told them it was only your enthusiasm for good works. 'She meets him in her district and at the mothers' meeting; and what can be the harm of that?' I said to them. 'And of course she cannot refuse to sing at the ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... she went out to the garden seat under the birch, carrying with her an old green speller found in a bookcase upstairs. In the back of it she had discovered the deaf and dumb alphabet, so now she would not have to wait for Maurice to teach her; she could learn it by herself. It did not seem difficult. With the spelling book propped open in one corner of the bench she went carefully over it, and then tried to think of words she was most likely to want to ...
— Mr. Pat's Little Girl - A Story of the Arden Foresters • Mary F. Leonard

... woman and for the most part Roger McKay—fighting man and very strong though he was—looked at her in dumb worship, speaking little, his heart a-throb, and his brain reeling in the marvel of what at last had come into ...
— The Country Beyond - A Romance of the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... prayers and intimidated by his threats, I met him and attempted to save him from ruin. They may say that I was rash and imprudent; but they dare not call me guilty. There is a voice in every heart which is not palsied, or deadened, or dumb, that will plead in my defence. The child who endeavors to shield a father from destruction, however low and steeped in sin he may be, cannot be condemned. If I am, I care not; but oh, Ernest, as ...
— Ernest Linwood - or, The Inner Life of the Author • Caroline Lee Hentz

... of a lone woman, and there you may live until your task is finished." The seven wild geese then flew back to the marsh, and Sheen went to the house beyond the trees. The Spae-Woman lived there. She took Sheen to be a dumb girl, and she gave her food and shelter for the services she did—bringing water from the well in the daytime and grinding corn at the quern at dusk. She had the rest of the day and night for her own task. She gathered the bog-down ...
— The King of Ireland's Son • Padraic Colum

... to an endless gymnasium, and every now and then I came across an Indian club or a dumb-bell, wielded by energetic female athletes. I should have liked to ask them whether they felt well, but I realised—only just in time—that the question would have ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 102, May 21, 1892 • Various

... that straightness of spine, that vigour of step, only that you may feed the crows? or to be torn on the rack, scorched in the flame, or hung on the gibbet? is this your gratitude to nature? What has been your price? for what have you sold yourself? Speak, man, speak. Are you dumb as well as dement? Are you dumb, I ...
— Callista • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... blackness of a night without moon or stars, without cloud or sky, with only a blank density around and about, Ralph seemed to see in fitful flashes that came and went—now on the right and now on the left of him, now in front and now behind, now on the earth at his feet and now in the dumb vapor floating above him—the spectre of that riderless horse. Sometimes he would stop and listen, thinking he heard a horse canter close past him; but no, it was the noise of a hidden river as its waters leapt over the stones. Sometimes he thought he heard the neigh of a horse in the distance; ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... see in these tones they express their tender affection for their little wives, for among frogs only the little husband has a voice—the lady is dumb. The frog exclaims all night to his wife, 'How lovely, how charming you are!' Can there be a more affectionate creature than ...
— Timar's Two Worlds • Mr Jkai

... captive packers, who sat near her lord, armed with a willow wand, watchful of intruding wasps, sand-flies, and even the more ostentatious advances of a rotund and clerical-looking humble-bee, with his monotonous homily. Content, dumb, submissive, vacant, at such times, Wachita, debarred her husband's confidences through the native customs and his own indifferent taciturnity, satisfied herself by gazing at him with the wondering but ineffectual sympathy of a faithful dog. Unfortunately for ...
— A Drift from Redwood Camp • Bret Harte

... prairie warbler. I have not heard that sound before since the 6th of July, and it is now the 22d of August. The singers had not gone, I knew; I saw several of them (and beautiful creatures they are!) a few days ago among the pitch pines; but why did that fellow, after being dumb for six or seven weeks, pipe up at that precise moment, as if to punctuate my ruminations with an interrogation point? Does he like this dog-day morning, with its alternate shower and sunshine, and its constant stickiness and heat? In any case I was glad to hear him, ...
— The Foot-path Way • Bradford Torrey

... most excessive development. It had grown to be repulsive, and he knew not how to fill the void in his life. With a single spark of genius, and a little more culture, he might have become a passable author or artist; but he was doomed to be one of those deaf and dumb natures that see the movements of the lips of others, yet have no conception of sound. No wonder his savage old father looked upon him with contempt, for even his vices were without strength ...
— Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home • Bayard Taylor

... Miss Wycliffe, and was an effort to make her forget the conversation in which his animus had led him to transgress even his elastic limits with her. There was something almost comical in the concerned expression of his light blue eyes, no longer fierce, as he gazed at her. But she met this dumb appeal coldly. ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... knows plainly that these dumb attendants stand there like mutes, but harbour every evil thought against ...
— Hiero • Xenophon

... let the bier be set within a barge, with one to steer it until I be come to London, Then, perchance, Sir Launcelot will come and look upon me with kindness." So she died, and all was done as she desired; for they set her, looking as fair as a lily, in a barge all hung with black, and an old dumb man went ...
— The Junior Classics, V4 • Willam Patten (Editor)

... hands to him in a little dumb fashion. Her tongue seems frozen. But he repulses this ...
— April's Lady - A Novel • Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

... of stark, palsied silence. The rector, his wife, and McPherson looked at the all-unconscious boy with dumb horror. A horror that for the time crowded out indignation. Frederik, ignorant as he was of any cause for emotion, was struck by the tense bearing of the trio and looked from one to the other with the air of the only man in the room who does not ...
— The Return of Peter Grimm - Novelised From the Play • David Belasco

... hands for a moment and wrung them in his, then, with a look of dumb agony in his blue eyes, turned his back upon her and continued his way down ...
— The Empire Annual for Girls, 1911 • Various

... wait, you dumb, beautiful ministers! you novices! We receive you with free sense at last, and are insatiate henceforward; Not you any more shall be able to foil us, or withhold yourselves from us; We use you, and do not cast you aside—we ...
— Poems By Walt Whitman • Walt Whitman

... powerless to make any comment. After the first shock of discovery he was dumb from sheer fury. Indignant beyond words at what seemed to him a rank insult to his father, the emotion he felt struck to the very root of his being. For the moment he saw red. At last he ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... instances, where Nature digresses from her usual course, and which are not of rare occurrence. 1st. Some persons are born with their ears impervious to sound, and as language is acquired by imitation,[4] such as are deaf, remain mute or dumb.[5] With the exception of the sense of hearing, they are like animals the creatures of perception. Some have displayed considerable curiosity in examining objects by the eye, and by the organs of touch, taste, and smell: but they do not, with these elements of knowledge, progressively ...
— On the Nature of Thought - or, The act of thinking and its connexion with a perspicuous sentence • John Haslam

... with bowed head 'neath the skies Bound by the fascination of her eyes And winning voice—and manly thought he stood, He humbly bowed before that womanhood Which seemed with conscious might to grasp the power Of fame, the world's alluring, phantom flower. Amazed he stood, before her words struck dumb; And startled gazed—the maid he loved had come This night to teach him that her woman's soul Had dared to seek, ...
— Love or Fame; and Other Poems • Fannie Isabelle Sherrick

... late to every passing thought With finest change (might I but half as well So write) the pale magician of the bow, Who brought from Italy the tales, made true, Of Grecian lyres; and on his sphery hand, Loading the air with dumb expectancy, Suspended, ere it ...
— Famous Violinists of To-day and Yesterday • Henry C. Lahee

... the tragedy is preceded by a dumb-show significant of what is forthcoming, and the first four are followed by choruses, moralizing the events. But the most notable fact about it is, that all except the choruses is in blank-verse; in which respect it was a great and noble innovation. And the versification runs abundantly smooth; ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... in trying to disguise his astonishment. He looked into the face of this tall young girl, searched it for familiar features, recognised a lovely paraphrase of the freckled face and thin figure he remembered, and remained dumb before this radiant reincarnation of that other unhappy, shabby, and meagre child he had ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... his wounded self-love than love itself ever could have inflicted upon him. Judge Knox straightened up from his doze in bewildered astonishment, and made a displeased exclamation, but it passed unheard. The old ladies by the hearth were dumb with amazement. The boy stood unnoticed in his dark corner ...
— Round Anvil Rock - A Romance • Nancy Huston Banks

... dumb with amazement, and her suspicions were more than ever aroused. There was something wrong with Percy; he might not be ill—he was sure not to be if the absolutely truthful Lena denied it, but he was in some trouble, and she would not rest until ...
— Bessie Bradford's Prize • Joanna H. Mathews

... near 400 Surveyed the tangled ground, Their center ranks, with pike and spear, A twilight forest frowned, Their barded horsemen, in the rear, The stern battalia crowned. 405 No cymbal clashed, no clarion rang, Still were the pipe and drum; Save heavy tread, and armor's clang, The sullen march was dumb. There breathed no wind their crests to shake, 410 Or wave their flags abroad; Scarce the frail aspen seemed to quake, That shadowed o'er their road. Their vaward scouts no tidings bring, Can rouse no lurking foe, 415 Nor spy a ...
— Lady of the Lake • Sir Walter Scott

... Percivale was made knight of King Arthur, and how a dumb maid spake, and brought him to the ...
— Le Morte D'Arthur, Volume II (of II) - King Arthur and of his Noble Knights of the Round Table • Thomas Malory

... moped during the weeks that followed, for he was not even allowed to come into the kitchen for a comforting cup of tea as of old. "And if anybody can't have a bit of a clack sometimes," groaned poor Jabez, "nor a cup of tea neither, why he might so well be dumb to once. I've ackshally got to talk to the 'orses and the cat to keep my powers of speech ...
— Kitty Trenire • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... the king's tirade. Beautifully they are silent, and refer the blusterer to God, whose voice they believe that He will hear in His deed. 'But Thou shalt answer, Lord, for me,' is the true temper of humble faith, dumb before power as a sheep before her shearers, and yet confident that the meek will not be left unvindicated. Let us leave ourselves in God's hands; and when conscience accuses, or the world maligns or threatens, let us be still, and feel that ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... Elsewhere with the egotism they excommunicate in its hardly more odious forms of avarice and self-indulgence. How could he speak with the old physician and the old black woman about a sorrow and a terror which but to name was to strike dumb the lips ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... felicity. He must assume that particular hue or form which is beneficial in view of the particular object which he seeks to accomplish.[354] A king who can assume diverse forms succeeds in accomplishing even the most subtle objects. Dumb like the peacock in autumn, he should conceal his counsel. He should speak little, and the little he speaks should be sweet. He should be of good features and well versed in the scriptures. He should always be heedful in respect of those gates through which dangers may come and overtake him, like ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... to go into particulars, for many reasons, but one of those instances which we read of as happening in this day, and which seems more shocking than the rest, is when the poor dumb victim is fastened against a wall, pierced, gashed, and so left to linger out its life. Now, do you not see that I have a reason for saying this, and am not using these distressing words for nothing? For what was this but the very cruelty inflicted upon ...
— Great Testimony - against scientific cruelty • Stephen Coleridge

... promised very differently as a boy. A younger man who had been at school with him, having come out for his health, travelled some hundreds of miles to see Carmichael, whose conversation struck him absolutely dumb. "He was captain of our house," the visitor explained to Carmichael's subordinates, "and you daren't say ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... the lily dumb For Man alone. He sees them when they come Glad from the soil; but what they mean thereby, And what they dream of, when they front the sky, Eludes his learning. But the birds can tell. Moths talk to flowers; and breezes in the dell Hear more confessions than we men reveal; And oaks and cedars ...
— A Lover's Litanies • Eric Mackay

... of its own. June knew her father's plan, the precise time the fight would take place, and the especial danger that was Hale's, for she knew that young Dave Tolliver had marked him with the first shot fired. Dry-eyed and white and dumb, she watched them make ready for the start that morning while it was yet dark; dully she heard the horses snorting from the cold, the low curt orders of her father, and the exciting mutterings of Bub and young Dave; dully she watched the saddles thrown on, the pistols buckled, the ...
— The Trail of the Lonesome Pine • John Fox, Jr.

... peculiar nature; it was a morsel of platonism, which is rather too curious to pass unrecorded; for as far as I have been able, upon the most minute investigation to ascertain, they never spoke to each other during the period of their tender acquaintance. No; they were not dumb, but lacking a mutual friend to give them an introduction; their regard for decorum and etiquette was too great to permit them to speak otherwise than with their eyes. Millington had kept three terms, when I arrived at —— College, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, - Issue 372, Saturday, May 30, 1829 • Various

... Nakabairu, watching the interesting exercises going on. Under the supervision of teachers in black frock-coats and Derby hats, a class of girls are ranged in two rows, throwing and catching pillows, altogether back and forth at the word of command. Classes of boys are manipulating wooden dumb-bells and exercising their muscles by various systematic exercises. The youngsters are enjoying it hugely, and the whole affair looks so thoroughly suggestive of the best elements of Occidental school-life that it is difficult to believe ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle Volume II. - From Teheran To Yokohama • Thomas Stevens

... anything. That countryside really looked remote enough from the centre of affairs, from the place where men, undistracted by the news and pictures of the halfpenny illustrated Press, were getting work done. Clayton was deaf and dumb. Some miles away the smoke of the London train was streaming across the dim fields like a comet. We both stood watching that comet going sure and bright to its destiny, leaving Clayton behind, regardless of us, and as though all we there were nothing worth. We ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... Betty said. "Nancy's struck dumb with the privilege of adding fuel to a flame of genius like that. Wake up and eat your ...
— Outside Inn • Ethel M. Kelley

... Lafitte, who was of a practical turn of mind: and on the map I showed him all the old trails of the fur traders, explorers and adventurers, French and English, who had discovered our America long ago; whereat their eyes kindled and their tongues went dumb. ...
— The Lady and the Pirate - Being the Plain Tale of a Diligent Pirate and a Fair Captive • Emerson Hough

... spoke, he helped himself unconsciously out of the brandy-flask to a degree to which he was wholly unaccustomed, for he was a very temperate man, his reserve gradually melted away. He who would keep himself to himself should imitate the dumb animals, and drink water. At last he said, "I will tell you all. When the cage stopped, I found myself on a ridge of rock; and below me, the chasm, taking a slanting direction, shot down to a considerable depth, ...
— The Coming Race • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... palm across his eyes. Then, in dumb grief, he set the edge of his right hand against his left wrist, the left hand to the right wrist, and then marked a place on ...
— The Rainy Day Railroad War • Holman Day

... so much ever since I heard the words, "Take what you want, but find Livingstone." What I saw was deeply interesting intelligence to me, and unvarnished truth. I was listening and reading at the same time. What did these dumb ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... Tailleur's face wore, like a veil, the shadow of the incredible past and of the future; it was reminiscent and prophetic of terrible and tragic things. Across the great spaces of the public rooms his gaze answered her call. Then Mrs. Tailleur's face would become dumb. Like all hurt things, she was manifestly shy of observation ...
— The Immortal Moment - The Story of Kitty Tailleur • May Sinclair

... do you fear? There isn't anything else?" she said, as he still remained dumb for a moment. ...
— A Husband by Proxy • Jack Steele

... that for all other things in his life words could be found—but for the thrill of the touch of her body there were no words. It was as if a star had slipped out of the sky and given its glow and radiance to his life—the music of existence had touched him—and the magic of it held him dumb and still. ...
— The Flute of the Gods • Marah Ellis Ryan

... with Captain Bland for coming in one evening, even though Mary accompanied him, because Bill became suddenly far more reticent than usual in his presence, if not altogether dumb, and when he did speak, merely described in a modest tone some very commonplace occurrences. I could not make it out. After some time, when Bill was out of ear-shot, I heard Captain Bland remark ...
— The Two Whalers - Adventures in the Pacific • W.H.G. Kingston

... over her face. Her only answer was to lead him into the room where the old net-mender lay helpless, turning appealing eyes to her as she entered, with the look in them that one sees in the eyes of a grateful dumb animal. His gaze did not reach as far as the Towncrier, who halted on the threshold until Belle joined him there. ...
— Georgina of the Rainbows • Annie Fellows Johnston

... hotel to his numerous Malay employes, we make our first acquaintance with native music. Dancing girls, in mask and tinsel, gyrate to the weird strains of the Gamelon, an orchestra of tiny gongs, bamboo tubes, and metal pipes. Actors perform old-world dramas in dumb show, and conjurors in gaudy attire attract people of all ages to those time-honoured feats of legerdemain which once represented the sorcery of the mystic East. The simple Malay has not yet adopted the critical ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... torture of Peacham, an old clergyman, who was charged with having written treason in a sermon which he never preached nor published. As nothing could be extorted from him by the rack, Bacon informed the king that Peacham "had a dumb devil." It should be some palliation of this deed, however, that the government was quick and sharp in ferretting out treason, and that torture ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... of his neck, running between his shoulders, larger than a two- quart bowl, that has been over thirty years coming. It was caused by heavy lifting and continued hard work during his slave-life. He came to Topeka, Kansas, in July, 1880, with his aged wife and deaf and dumb grandson of eighteen years. His advanced age and deformity induced me to inquire more closely into the cause of leaving his State (Louisiana). After giving the sad history of his slave-life—the common lot of that class of goods and chattels—he said: "Missus I stay'd ...
— A Woman's Life-Work - Labors and Experiences • Laura S. Haviland

... Garth. "At first, I forgot. And when I remembered, I had been thinking of other things, and somehow—ah, Miss Gray! I cannot sing to-night. My soul is dumb ...
— The Rosary • Florence L. Barclay

... maintained, a fault. There was such a kindness in him, however, that I have no doubt it gave him ideas to see me sit open-mouthed, as I suppose I did. Not so the two ladies, who not only were very nearly dumb from beginning to the end of the meal, but who had not the air of being struck with such an exhibition of wit and knowledge. Mrs. Ambient, placid and detached, met neither my eye nor her husband's; she attended to her dinner, watched the servants, ...
— The Author of Beltraffio • Henry James

... Kaspar's written account (1829); the published account of July 1828, derived from 'the expressions of a half-dumb animal' (as Feuerbach puts it), is much more prolix and minute in detail. The animal said that he had sat on the ground, and never seen daylight, till he came to Nuremberg. He used to be hocussed with water of an evil taste, and wake in a clean shirt. 'The man' once hit him and ...
— Historical Mysteries • Andrew Lang

... Hollanders—practiced ovariotomy for the utilitarian purpose of creating a supply of prostitutes, without the danger of burdening the population by unnecessary increase. MacGillibray found a native ovariotomized female at Cape York who had been subjected to the operation because, having been born dumb, she would be prevented from bearing dumb children,—a wise, though primitive, method of ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... dense, And rul'st the storm by thine omnipotence! Making the collied cloud thy ear, Coursing the winds, thou rid'st afar, Thy blessings to dispense. The early and the latter rain, Which fertilize the dusty plain, Thy bounteous goodness pours. Dumb be the atheist tongue abhorr'd! All nature owns thee, sovereign Lord! And works thy gracious will; At thy command the tempest roars, At thy command is still. Thy mercy o'er this scene sublime presides; 'Tis mercy ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... alert, was to be deplored; who homesteaded squirrels, gave rabbits their own licentious ways, was whimsically tolerant of lichens, mushrooms, and vagabond vines. This was also the man who, when his gardener's wife gave birth to a deaf and dumb baby, encouraged his own wife to make a pet of the unfortunate youngster, and when he could walk gave him his freedom of the ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... this little community the dumb brutes were almost as well known as the human inhabitants. The meaning was wholly plain to him too, and the term did not apply to the horse's color. Yellow, on the frontier, means just one thing: the most damning and ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... lasted until they were set down at the door of the department whereat they had interviewed the high official. Celia Lennard was thoroughly upset; the sight of the dead woman had disturbed her even more than she let her companions see; she remained dumb and rigid, staring straight before her as if she still gazed on the white face set in its frame of dark hair. Allerdyke, too, stared at the crowds in the streets as if they were abstract visions—his keen brain felt dazed and mystified by this accumulation of strange events. ...
— The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation • J. S. Fletcher

... resembled narrow niches for coffins in a whitewashed and lighted mortuary. Voices buzzed louder. Archie, with compressed lips, drew himself in, seemed to shrink into a smaller space, and sewed steadily, industrious and dumb. Belfast shrieked like an inspired Dervish:—"... So I seez to him, boys, seez I, 'Beggin' yer pardon, sorr,' seez I to that second mate of that steamer—'beggin' your-r-r pardon, sorr, the Board of Trade must 'ave been drunk when they granted you your certificate!' 'What do you say, you———!' ...
— The Nigger Of The "Narcissus" - A Tale Of The Forecastle • Joseph Conrad

... strong wine save at the slender dearling's hand, v. 66. Drink not upon thy food in haste but wait awhile, v. 222. Drink the clear draught, drink free and fain, i. 88. Drive off the ghost that ever shows, vii. 109. Dumb is my tongue and scant my speech for ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... craftsmanship more exquisite, than in this monument to the sea-mined prey. The symbolism is perfect, and of the essence of the design. The dead sink slowly to their resting-place, but the merciful twilight of the sea veils from us the glazed horror of the eyes that no piety can now close. Even the dumb, senseless fish shoots from the scene in mute and terrified protest, while from these poor corpses there rise surfaceward the silver bubbles of their expiring breath. One seems to see crying human souls prisoned in these spheres. And it is, indeed, such sins as these that cry to Heaven for ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... minds set on fire by this ideal have not all received an equal share of calm from the creative genius—that great and patient temper which is required to impress the ideal on the dumb marble, or to spread it over a page of cold, sober letters, and then entrust it to the faithful hands of time. This divine instinct, and creative force, much too ardent to follow this peaceful walk, often throws itself immediately on the present, on active life, and strives to transform the shapeless ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... 'twixt lid and eye-ball in the dark. Mocked I thee not in every guise of life, Hid in girls' eyes, a naiad in her well, Wooed through their laughter, and like echo fled, Luring thee down the primal silences Where the heart hushes and the flesh is dumb? Nay, was not I the tide that drew thee out Relentlessly from the detaining shore, Forth from the home-lights and the hailing voices, Forth from the last faint headland's failing line, Till I enveloped thee from verge to verge And hid thee in the hollow of my being? And still, because between ...
— Artemis to Actaeon and Other Worlds • Edith Wharton

... word from Barbara. Nothing from Vandeman. Less than nothing: I watched in astonishment how the gorgeous leader stopped dumb, while those next him backed into the couple behind, side stepping, so that the whole line yawed, swayed, and began to ...
— The Million-Dollar Suitcase • Alice MacGowan

... was struck dumb. The good-natured Dutchman had taken a fancy to the little pale-faced, sad-looking stranger, and really felt very kindly disposed toward her, but she neither knew, nor at the moment cared about that. She stood motionless, ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... seriously, and pointed to the house, inviting him by gesture to go in and rest there. Evidently she believed that, being a stranger, he could not speak or understand much of her language. He did not even try to undeceive her. It amused him to watch her dumb show, for her face spoke eloquently and her pretty, brown hands knew a language that was delicious. He had no longer any thought of sleep, but he felt curious to see the interior of the cottage, and he nodded his head in ...
— The Call of the Blood • Robert Smythe Hichens

... his wife, fair he her gret,* *greeted And wept, that it was ruthe for to see, For at the firste look he on her set He knew well verily that it was she: And she, for sorrow, as dumb stood as a tree: So was her hearte shut in her distress, When she ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... made camp. Soon we were visited by many small boys who afterward came every day to look for tin cans. With few exceptions they were not prepossessing in appearance; nearly all were thin, and one was deaf and dumb, but they were inoffensive and well-behaved. During my travels among Dayaks I never saw boys or girls quarrel among themselves—in fact their customary behaviour is better than that of most white children. Both parents treat the child ...
— Through Central Borneo: - An Account of Two Years' Travel in the Land of Head-Hunters - Between the Years 1913 and 1917 • Carl Lumholtz

... was surely natural that I should wish to see once more a place sacred to such memories as these? I am only twenty-three years old; I have no child to comfort me, no companion of my own age, nothing to love but the dumb creature who is so ...
— Little Novels • Wilkie Collins

... the stairs stood gazing at Fenwick as if they were stricken dumb. There was not one of them who had the slightest advice to offer, not one of them but felt that Fenwick's time was close at hand. Every man there knew by heart the strange story of the Four Finger Mine, and of ...
— The Mystery of the Four Fingers • Fred M. White

... he craved God's pity? Once his poor child was blither than the panther of the wilderness and happier than the young lamb that sports in springtime. If she was blind, she knew not what it was to see; and if she was deaf, she knew not what it was to hear; and if she was dumb, she knew not what it was to speak. Nothing did she miss of sight or sound or speech any more than of the wings of the eagle or the dove. Yet he would not be content; he would not be appeased. Oh! subtlety of the devil which had brought this evil ...
— The Scapegoat • Hall Caine

... had been another Shakspeare, the situation was a fine one for a display of original genius. But I was paralyzed. A sense of the general embarrassment was my first impression, and I was absolutely struck dumb. But this was soon shaken off. My next was a sense of the particular burlesque of my situation; I burst out into laughter, in which the whole house joined; and throwing down my mattock, rushed off the stage. My theatrical dream was ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... began with pantomime; and this was Chopin's invention. He sat at the piano and extemporized, whilst the young people acted scenes in dumb show and danced comic ballets. These charming improvisations turned the children's heads and made their legs nimble. He led them just as he chose, making them pass, according to his fancy, from the amusing ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... Moore Street, in which may found two or three pictures of fierce looking tragedians; a cot covered with a quilt of various colors, and looking as if it had been used for a horse blanket; a carpet the colors have long since been worn out of; a dumb clock over the dingy mantel piece; a portrait of the deceased husband of the hostess; and a table well supplied with pipes, tobacco, and French plays. The French plays are, when slightly altered and rendered into English, for the public; the ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... awhile; but as the statue gave no answer, he thought this surely was a man of few words. So he said, "Friend, will you buy my cloth? I'll sell it you cheap." And seeing that the statue still remained dumb, he exclaimed, "Faith, then, I've found my man at last! There, take the cloth, examine it, and give me what you will; to-morrow I'll ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... magnificently that Zielinski declared it alone was worth a thousand ducats." Ah, these enamored ones! Chopin left Warsaw November 1, 1830, for Vienna and without declaring his love. Or was he a rejected suitor? History is dumb. He never saw his Gladowska again, for he did not return to Warsaw. The lady was married in 1832—preferring a solid certainty to nebulous genius- -to Joseph Grabowski, a merchant at Warsaw. Her husband, so saith a romantic biographer, Count Wodzinski, became blind; perhaps even a blind country ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... men going to a Manchester regiment, the Yorkshire men being drafted to a Surrey unit. By R.T.O.'s and A.M.L.O.'s and camp commandments and town majors and staff pups men were bullied and bundled about, not like human beings, but like dumb beasts, and in a thousand ways injustice, petty tyranny, hard work, degrading punishments for trivial offenses, struck at their souls and made the name of personal liberty a mockery. From their own individuality they argued to broader issues. Was this war for liberty? Were the masses of men on ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs



Words linked to "Dumb" :   stupid, inarticulate, unarticulate



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