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Incisive   /ɪnsˈaɪsɪv/   Listen
Incisive

adjective
1.
Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions.  Synonyms: acute, discriminating, keen, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp.  "Incisive comments" , "Icy knifelike reasoning" , "As sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang" , "Penetrating insight" , "Frequent penetrative observations"
2.
Suitable for cutting or piercing.



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"Incisive" Quotes from Famous Books



... conventional romance. Conrad penetrates to the motive concealed in it, the psychological spring and basis of it, the whole fabric of weakness, habit and aberration underlying it. The one achieved an agreeable romance, and an agreeable romance only. The other achieves an extraordinarily brilliant and incisive study of the Latin-American temperament—a full length exposure of the perverse passions and incomprehensible ideals which provoke presumably sane men to pursue one another like wolves, and of the reactions of that incessant pursuit upon the men themselves, ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... “You are now going to be introduced to my fellow partner,” Rossetti said. At that time I only knew of the famous firm by name, and I asked Rossetti for an explanation, which he gave in his usual incisive way. ...
— Old Familiar Faces • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... seriously, i. e., neither as a fencing ground for propagandists nor for puling poets, this new Sudermann piece will please. It has triumphed in Berlin and Munich. Its people are portraits taken from fashionable West End Berlin, while the dialogue, witty, incisive, and also characteristic, is one of the consolations of a play that does not for a moment produce any illusion. There are plenty of striking episodes, but logic is lacking, not only the logic of ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... incisive commands, and everyone obeyed as a matter of course, and without jealousy. Daniel Poe was the leader of the wagon train, but Henry Ware, whom they had known but a few days, was its leader ...
— The Forest Runners - A Story of the Great War Trail in Early Kentucky • Joseph A. Altsheler

... that of Paris, if too miscellaneous and extensive to become one multitudinous mutual-admiration-society, will, through cliques and coteries, betray some of its vices. In this voluminous series of papers the critical pen, when most earnestly eulogistic or most sharply incisive, is wielded with so much skill and art and fine temper, that personality is seldom transpicuous. The Parisian reader will no doubt often perceive, in this or that paragraph or paper, a heightening or a subduing of color not visible to the foreigner, who cannot so well trace the marks of political, ...
— Essays AEsthetical • George Calvert

... the text, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone," ever preached such a sermon as Burns in his Address to the unco Guid? and in his epistle of advice to a young friend, what wisdom! what incisive aphorisms! In passages like these scattered throughout his writings, and in some single poems, he has passed beyond all bonds of place and nationality, and spoken home to ...
— Robert Burns • Principal Shairp

... Atlantic for June, 1898, gave the so-called anti-imperialists a thrill of horror. On the cover appeared the defiantly flying American flag; the first article was a vigorous and approving presentation of the American case against Spain; though this was unsigned, its incisive style at once betrayed the author. The Atlantic had printed the American flag on its cover during the Civil War; but certain New Englanders thought that this latest struggle, in its motives and its proportions, was hardly entitled to the distinction. Page declared, however, ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... off to exclaim delightedly. "He has got you there, Monsieur Chichikov. And you will admit that he has a sufficiently incisive pen? ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... luxuries of life. Their states of feeling will be more alike than if a socialistic order had put them all on the same economic level of philistine comfort. The joys of capital are after all much less deeply felt than any of those others, and the sufferings from poverty are much less incisive than those from disappointed ambition, from jealousy, from illness, or from bereavement. It is well known that many more people die from overfeeding than from underfeeding. We may feel disgusted that the luxuries so often fall to the unworthy ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... doctrine, as the loss of their rector himself. The older members of the congregation loved Brenton as a son, the younger ones as something a little dearer than a brother. One and all, they missed his pastoral visitations, his incisive sermons on the righteousness of honest living; above all else, they missed his voice. If they could have kept these personal marks of the man himself, their rector might have been welcome to believe anything he chose. He was their shepherd and their friend. His curate ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... him in quick, incisive tones, "I am going out to Fair Oaks, and probably shall not be at the office for two or three days, unless something of unusual importance should demand my presence. Refer all business callers to Mr. Elliott or Mr. Chittenden. Any personal ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... turned crimson with shame, and she moved two or three steps away; then she turned, and said in cold incisive tones: ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... interrupted. He asked sharp, incisive questions and got busy. Presently he reached for a 'phone, got in touch with a sergeant at the police desk in the upper corridor, and sent an attendant with Johnnie to ...
— The Big-Town Round-Up • William MacLeod Raine

... buzz. He found himself wondering why Warde was speaking in this smooth, quiet voice, so different from his usual curt, incisive tones. ...
— The Hill - A Romance of Friendship • Horace Annesley Vachell

... distant cry of "All hands," and had tumbled out without waiting for a more formal summons. This man I now found to be excellent in such an emergency as the present; calm, cool, and collected; not hurrying anybody, yet, as it were, infusing his own energy and vitality into the men by the sharp, incisive tones of his voice, and putting quicksilver into them by—as it seemed—the mere exercise of his will. Under such masterful supervision the work progressed rapidly, and in something over half an ...
— The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" • Harry Collingwood

... taken care to repeat the incisive statement of his resolve not to be played on any more; and had tried to penetrate Raffles with the fact that he had shown the risks of bribing him to be quite equal to the risks of defying him. But when, freed from his repulsive presence, Bulstrode returned to his quiet home, ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... the case, his fingers again met Gerrard's with that warning pressure. His friend accepted the cheroot, and resigned himself to further waiting. It was not for long. Charteris's brief summing-up was masterly, so incisive, so searching, so constantly punctuated with popular proverbs and familiar references to the domestic affairs of the litigants, that it drew applause from both sides. Then he pronounced judgment, and the winning side rent the air with their shouts, while ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

... rhythm, tempo, phrasing, dynamics, instead of the slovenly muddling which then passed for breadth of style, and the substitution of the conductor's own subjectivity for that of the composer. It has been well expressed in a few incisive words by one of the greatest of the school: "The privilege of an interesting subjectivity is given to few, its expression will always give evidence of that instinctive logic which is a necessary condition of intelligibility."[6] Call Wagner perverse, dislike his art, say that his dramas ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... for him a peculiar affection. He specially admired Beauclerk's skill in the use of a more polished, if less vigorous, style of conversation than his own. He envied the ease with which Beauclerk brought out his sly incisive retorts. "No man," he said, "ever was so free when he was going to say a good thing, from a look that expressed that it was coming; or, when he had said it, from a look that expressed that it had come." When Beauclerk was dying (in 1780), Johnson ...
— Samuel Johnson • Leslie Stephen

... righted itself; he came back to facts, and to the simple incisive question: what must he do? It was not until the afternoon that, by one tortuous and torturing line of reasoning after another, he came to know that, as her uncle had said, for the present he could ...
— The Iron Woman • Margaret Deland

... transfigured when he spoke. I have seldom seen a man more impressive, more eloquent, incisive or charming in conversation. His rapid, clear, piercing and fantastic imagination seemed to creep into his voice and to lend life to his words. His brusque gestures enlivened his speech, which penetrated one like a dagger, and he had bursts of thought, just as lighthouses ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... to Miss Merriman were curt and incisive; but soon he did not limit his speech to them. Rather he seemed to be uttering his thoughts aloud; the old habit of making a running explanation for the benefit of a clinic or the better understanding of an assistant was subconsciously asserting itself, and it was to Rose as though she were ...
— 'Smiles' - A Rose of the Cumberlands • Eliot H. Robinson

... and statuary. Her mother, sister, and brother made up the household—a pleasing, cultivated trio. The brother was a handsome youth of good judgment, and given to sage remarks; the sister, witty, intuitive, and incisive in speech; the mother, dressed in rich Quaker costume, and though nearly seventy, still possessed of great personal beauty. She was intelligent, dignified, refined, and, in manner and appearance, reminded one of Angelina Grimke as she looked in her younger days. Everything about ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... his rules for diet, etc., forgetting that these simple directions are based on deep knowledge of the human frame. Let them laugh. Many who have tried them know they have been different people in consequence. His incisive words—"My friend, you eat too much!" "My friend, you drink too much!" would not he appreciated by all; but Sir Andrew thought nearly all diseases were the outcome of the constant and apparently unimportant violation of the ...
— The Strand Magazine: Volume VII, Issue 37. January, 1894. - An Illustrated Monthly • Edited by George Newnes

... mantelpiece, talking to her about both cases with a quick incisive common-sense—not unkind, but without a touch of unnecessary sentiment, still less of the superior person—which represented one of the moods she liked best in him. In speaking of the poor he always took the tone ...
— Marcella • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... said, when she came up, and she spoke in a low, clear, incisive voice that considerably startled him. "I am told it was through you that that boy was ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... terse and incisive, and brilliant with epigram and point. It contains pithy aphoristic sentences which Burke himself would not have disowned. But these are not its best features: its sustained power of reasoning, its wide sweep of observation and reflection, its elevated ethical ...
— MacMillan & Co.'s General Catalogue of Works in the Departments of History, Biography, Travels, and Belles Lettres, December, 1869 • Unknown

... have said, the year 1808. The Peninsular war had begun, and the prisoners we are describing were some of those brave Frenchmen who had fought against us in one of the first engagements, the short but incisive ...
— The French Prisoners of Norman Cross - A Tale • Arthur Brown

... been given by Morgan in his valuable book on evolution and adaptation. He has subjected all the proposed theories to a severe criticism both on the ground of facts and on that of their innate possibility and logical value. He decides in favor of the mutation theory. His arguments are incisive and complete and wholly adapted to the comprehension of all intelligent readers, so that his book relieves me entirely of the necessity of discussing these general questions, as it could not be done in a better or ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... The troops were marching to the Gare Montparnasse to entrain for the front, and in a few days would be in the battle-line. Their bayonets sloped backward, a waving thicket bent toward the morning sun. There was no music in their words, which were sharp and incisive. Each word was a threat, an imprecation, intense with ferocious meaning. Their intonation carried conviction that the men meant literally every impressive line they uttered. The words visualized for me the picture in their own minds. ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... was an able lawyer, a keen incisive speaker, rarely attempting rhetoric, but always a master in clear, distinct statement and logical argument. He had been for a number of years dyspeptic, and this, no doubt, clouded his temper and caused many ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... well-known specialist for diseases of the heart, finally recommended more work, and put a generous portion of his own on to the young man's desk. Hardy, who was in an evil temper, pitched it on to the floor and, with a few incisive remarks on levity unbecoming to age, pursued ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... be ceaseless, incisive and merciless competition in securing and holding circulations, as well as in the outward statements made of individual circulations to those who purchase advertising space. In this, as in all other forms of enterprise, there are honest, clean-cut and business-like methods, and there are the ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 795, March 28, 1891 • Various

... her, did not happen to awaken the elective affinities of the lonely widower. He met her once in a while, and said to himself that she was a good specimen of the grand style of woman; and then the image came back to him of a woman not quite so large, not quite so imperial in her port, not quite so incisive in her speech, not quite so judicial in her opinions, but with two or three more joints in her frame and two or three soft inflections in her voice which for some absurd reason or other drew him to her side ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. VI.,October, 1860.—No. XXXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... off abruptly as the front door was flung suddenly open and a sharp, incisive, dominant voice ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... her to M. Destournier was broken, and it was as if it had never been. She remembered he had once said he would relinquish her in that other country. She had simply been given to him in her sorrow, to care for a brief while. And how grandly he had done it. Rose was too just, perhaps with some of the incisive energy of youth, to cover up miladi's faults at once. If she had been grateful to him for his devotion she would have thought more tenderly of love. Yet ...
— A Little Girl in Old Quebec • Amanda Millie Douglas

... there is much diversity of condition among the inhabitants. Nor did Morrissey mean simply to protest against training as a qualification for the work of administration, as the Tribune assumed in a sharp and incisive lecture which it read him the other day. We doubt if any pugilist in his secret heart despises training. He knows how much depends on it, and as he is not apt to possess much discriminating power, he is not likely to mark off any particular class of work as not needing ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... fixed his keen gray eyes on Paul's face as he spoke. His speech was rather incisive, considering how little he had seen of Paul. Perhaps he intended that it should be, for he watched the effect ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... conspicuous merits characterize these papers, the peculiar power he possessed of enlisting and retaining the attention for what are commonly supposed to be dry and difficult subjects, and the capacity he had for controversy, sharp and incisive, but so candid and generous that it ...
— The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens • Georg Jellinek

... yesterday. All went smoothly and simply. At eight, kit was inspected; in the morning, bareback exercise; at twelve, tents struck; at 12.30 dinner; at one, 'boot and saddle.' When we were hooked in and mounted, the Captain made a splendid little speech in the incisive forcible voice we had learned to know so well, saying we had had for long the most trying experience that can befall a soldier, that of standing fast, while he sees his comrades passing him up to the front. He ...
— In the Ranks of the C.I.V. • Erskine Childers

... voice ringing clearly, though he could not distinguish her words. He heard a great cry from a score of male throats. More minutes passed. Words that were low and tense poured out in a rumbling volume. Above the rumble, Naida's voice presently sounded again, clear and sweet, but incisive. Then, when no more than five or six minutes had gone, Kirby heard the clang of the bronze gate at the foot of the steps, heard ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 • Various

... this?" a chill, incisive voice demanded. Barnabas turned, and lowering the cane, stood looking curiously at the speaker. A tall, slender man he was, with a face that might have been any age,—a mask-like face, smooth and long, and devoid of ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... infinite world, quite evenly grey. The very emphasis of those objects, their importunity to the eye, the ear, the finite intelligence, was but the measure of their distance from what really is. One's personal presence, the presence, such as it is, of the most incisive things and persons around us, could only lessen by so much, that which really is. To restore tabula rasa, then, by a continual effort at self-effacement! Actually proud at times of his curious, well-reasoned nihilism, he could but regard ...
— Imaginary Portraits • Walter Pater

... it, but her brother gave her such a terribly incisive look—a look so like a surgeon's lancet—that she was frightened at her courage. And he answered her in words that corresponded to the look: "It may not prevent me, either, from losing ...
— Washington Square • Henry James

... guidance in hygienic matters, together with a warning of the risks of marriage within four or five years after infection, and in no case without medical advice. Such printed instruction, in clear, simple, and incisive language, should be put into the hands of every syphilitic patient as a matter of routine, and it might be as well to have a corresponding card for gonorrhoeal patients. This plan has already been introduced at some hospitals, and it is so simple and ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... incisive proposals, another French officer breathed nothing but peace. Brouillan, governor of Acadia, wrote to the governor of Massachusetts to suggest that, with the consent of their masters, they should make a treaty of neutrality. The English ...
— A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I - France and England in North America • Francis Parkman

... of individual exploits, such as Lopez de Ayala, Brantome, and the others, they are wholly colourless, and either pseudo-Roman or pseudo-Greek. Even Machiavelli has a personal, Italian side, which is mocking and incisive—and this is all that is worth while in him—and he has a pretentious pseudo-Roman side, ...
— Youth and Egolatry • Pio Baroja

... which was more than some of the Commissioners did. Mr. Ottendorfer and Mr. Drexel, the banker, took many a quiet little nap when things were dull. One man the landlords, who had their innings to the full, never caught off his guard. His clear, incisive questions, that went through all subterfuges to the root of things, were sometimes like flashes of lightning on a dark night discovering the landscape far and near. He was Dr. Felix Adler, whom I met there for the first time. The passing ...
— The Making of an American • Jacob A. Riis

... life, and the life in the great outer world, in which she was girlishly and eagerly interested. She asked him many questions about it—direct and incisive questions which showed that she had already formed decided opinions and views about it. Yet it was plain to be seen that she did not regard it as anything she might ever share herself. Hers was the dispassionate interest with which she might have listened to a ...
— Kilmeny of the Orchard • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... ultimately into the company of Mrs. Eppingwell and Floyd Vanderlip. Mrs. Eppingwell had just found the opportunity to talk with the man. She had determined, now that Flossie was so near at hand, to proceed directly to the point, and an incisive little ethical discourse was titillating on the end of her tongue, when the couple became three. She noted, and pleasurably, the faintly foreign accent of the "Beg pardon" with which the furred woman prefaced her immediate appropriation of Floyd ...
— The God of His Fathers • Jack London

... place among the foremost prose writers of the time. His style is in marked contrast to the dithyrambic eloquence of Carlyle, or to Ruskin's pure and radiant coloring. It is a quiet style, restrained, clear, discriminating, incisive, with little glow of ardor or passion. Notwithstanding its scrupulous assumption of urbanity, it is often a merciless style, indescribably irritating to an opponent by its undercurrent of sarcastic humor, and its calm air of assured superiority. By his insistence on a ...
— Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum and Other Poems • Matthew Arnold

... they were one and all incapable of entering into the spirit of antiquity. Although at the first reading, therefore, this book may seem to be rather fragmentary, there are two main lines of thought running through it: an incisive criticism of German professors, and a number of constructive ideas as to what classical ...
— We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... teachers and to vanquish them in debate. His name was Abelard. Before long he himself became a teacher of Grammar and Logic at Paris, and later of Theology, and, so widely had he read, so clearly did he appeal to the reason of his hearers, and so incisive was his teaching, that he attracted large numbers of students to his lectures. To assist in his teaching of Theology he prepared a little textbook, Sic et Non (Yea and Nay), in which he raised for ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... he had learned to really classify; heavens, how unerringly he could place an insect in its proper niche! It was a sort of sixth sense with him. That cold, clear, incisive power of brain which on a time had made Slippy McGee the greatest cracksman in America, was, trained and disciplined in a better cause, to make John Flint in later years an international authority upon lepidoptera, an observer to whom other observers deferred, a naturalist whose dictum settled ...
— Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man • Marie Conway Oemler

... foreseen, his words decided the matter. The cold and haughty manner which he knew so well how to assume, his few but incisive ...
— The Honor of the Name • Emile Gaboriau

... was near, Lady Muriel realized that the conversation was not low or under uttered. The smart voice was, in fact, loud and incisive. It was the heavy house that reduced the sounds. In fact, the conversation was keyed up. The two ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... placidly, had listened—well, as you and I, dear reader, would listen to a tale which had no very great interest for us. If the truth must be told, the worthy Inspector was rather disappointed; he had expected the great man to display a hawk-like acuteness and to ask a number of incisive questions; but Mr. Jacobs asked none; he said merely, when ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... together, while the old men tell again the exploits and the tricks of former times, all the ancient tales of nights in the mountains; they speak a variety of Basque different from that of Etchezar, the village where the language is preserved more clearly articulated, more incisive, more pure, perhaps. Ramuntcho and Arrochkoa are surprised by this accent of the high land, which softens the words and which chants them; those white-haired story tellers seem to them almost strangers, whose talk is a series of monotonous ...
— Ramuntcho • Pierre Loti

... I," pursued the Doctor, his voice growing more incisive, his manner more stern, "both enjoyed ourselves in that club, and we are most curious to know why we were ...
— The Mermaid of Druid Lake and Other Stories • Charles Weathers Bump

... ecclesiastical than to secular politics. Of his opponents, by far the ablest was William Law, the only theologian whom Gibbon may be said to have respected, and the parent, through his mystical writings, of the Wesleyan movement. Snape, then Provost of Eton, was always incisive; and his pamphlet went through seventeen editions in a single year and provoked seven replies within three months. Thomas Sherlock would not be either himself or his father's son, were he not caustic, ...
— Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham • Harold J. Laski

... knew this thing!" Keen, sharp, incisive, the words rang out. "I saw it in your face when he began ...
— Agatha Webb • Anna Katharine Green

... Convention was held at Springfield, Ill., which nominated Abraham Lincoln as the Republican candidate for United States Senator to succeed Senator Douglas in the National Legislature. On June 16th—after such nomination—Mr. Lincoln made to the Convention a speech—in which, with great and incisive power, he assailed Mr. Douglas's position as well as that of the whole Democratic Pro-Slavery Party, and announced in compact and cogent phrase, from his own point of view, the attitude, upon the Slavery question, of ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... of national character. In the same way you may note that the French popular airs are those most calculated to strike the imagination, the best-modulated melodies are taken over by the people; clearness of thought, the intellectual simplicity of an idea attracts them; they like the incisive sayings that hold the greatest number of ideas. France is the one country in the world where a little phrase may bring about a great revolution. Whenever the masses have risen, it has been to bring men, affairs, and principles into agreement. No nation ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... mysterious, the wonderful light of the fields we traverse—these fields intoxicated with life and vibrant with the music of birds; while, by contrast, the distant landscape, unshaded by clouds, is resplendent with a more incisive clearness and the desert beyond seems deluged ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... shortness of hind foot (18 mm.), shortness of tail (18 mm.), narrowness across zygomata (16 mm.), and grayish pelage. In the long braincase, heavy rostrum, greater condylobasilar length, greater lambdoidal breadth, long rostrum, and longer incisive foramina, it agrees closely with specimens of S. c. saturatus, to which subspecies we ...
— Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of North American Microtines • E. Raymond Hall

... stoutness. By this time millionaires had lost their novelty for the girl. She had met some who were more distinguished in appearance than this man, but never one who seemed possessed of more nervous energy and virility. Jarvis Hammon had a bold, incisive manner that was compelling and stamped him as a big man in more ways than one. Playfully he pinched Lilas's cheek, then turned ...
— The Auction Block • Rex Beach

... 1844, Columbian Magazine), perhaps the best of his humorous stories. The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether (November, 1845, Graham's Magazine) may be rated higher, but it is not essentially a humorous story. Rather it is incisive satire, with too biting an undercurrent to pass muster in the company of the genial in literature. Poe's humorous stories as a whole have tended to belittle rather than increase his fame, many of them verging on the inane. There are some, however, which are at least excellent ...
— The Best American Humorous Short Stories • Various

... intervening years. His delicate features had withered like a woman's, and the fine irony of his smile had taken an edge of cruelty. His face suggested a worn engraving, the lines of which have been deepened by a too-incisive instrument. ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... President Finney's useful life were indeed mellow and most lovable. In the days of his prime he had a commanding form, a striking face and a clear, incisive style of speech. Simple as a child in his utterances, he sometimes startled his hearers by his unique prayers. For example, he was one day driven from his study at Oberlin by a refractory stovepipe which persisted in tumbling down. At family worship in the evening ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... complain of her little ailments when anything went wrong with her usually sound health. Philippus was indeed too much overburdened to chatter, but his professional advice was good and helped her to endure the fires of this pitiless sky. She liked this incisive, shrewd, plain-spoken man—often indeed sharp and abrupt in his freedom—and he appreciated her bright, natural ways. Now and then Martina even succeeded in winning a smile from "Hermes Trismegistus," who was "generally ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Martha's voice was clear and incisive, with a ring of determination through it that, for ...
— Felix O'Day • F. Hopkinson Smith

... tells me: "I cannot quite accept Mr. J.R. Green's sentences as your father's; though I didn't doubt that they convey the sense; but then I think that only a shorthand writer could reproduce Mr. Huxley's singularly beautiful style—so simple and so incisive. The sentence given is ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... his letters and dispatches, one is surprised sometimes at the incisive thought and its vigorous expression. There is a passage in which he describes the way in which his soldiers would occasionally desert into some town which he was besieging. "They knew," he writes, "that they must be taken, ...
— Through the Magic Door • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Letters are not to an Inconnue. They were written to his paper, the Tribune, and have redressed the balance between the Old World and the New by furnishing New York from week to week with brilliant, incisive, and faithful pictures of life in London. The initials, "G.W.S.," appended in their original form, are as familiar throughout the United States as are those of our own "G.A.S." in the still United Kingdom. Mr. SMALLEY goes everywhere, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, November 15, 1890 • Various

... smiled. He came to her after that interview with Mr. Wharton and told her, speaking with the soft yet incisive voice which she used to love so well, that they were to dine in the Square on the following day. "Let there be an end of all this," he said, taking her in his arms and kissing her. Of course she did ...
— The Prime Minister • Anthony Trollope

... "But," Sir Leopold's incisive tones cut in upon the bewildering conversation, "Miss Hohsmann is in error in supposing that she received the card from me. I have not handled it—neither, I believe, has Lady Vignoles?" He turned to ...
— The Sins of Severac Bablon • Sax Rohmer

... had been raised: and one was made to realise how it stirs the blood of good men here. And not merely were there this evening a fire, a keenness, a power of stirring a multitude to the depth of their nature, which are rare indeed, but an incisive severity of denunciation which few had expected from that calm, cautious man. And if the preacher was at white-heat, so was the congregation long before he was done. Several times there would have been loud applause, ...
— The Scottish Reformation - Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders, and Distinctive Characteristics • Alexander F. Mitchell

... Each word was incisive, and seemed to cut slightly like falling steel from those soft, warm lips. A sudden desire rushed through me to teach her—at any rate, to exert myself to the utmost to teach her—that her life was valuable to her for other things than the capacity it gave to work. But I checked the words and the ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... details of his journey; nor did the blind man seem in any way interested in his personal affairs. It was the news of men, and matters concerning the world, that they discussed. And the rancher's information and remarks, and keen, incisive questions, set the newcomer wondering. He watched the face before him, the red, sightless eyes. He studied the quiet, gentle-voiced man, as one may study an abstruse problem. The result was disheartening. ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... life, and its unaffected devotional accent. But Cowper is now appreciated more for his incomparably delightful epistles to his friends than for his poetry. Few letters in our language can compare with these for incisive but kindly and gentle irony; innocent but genuine fun; keen and striking acumen, and tender melancholy. Cowper died on April ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... words stand for realities with them, and are, therefore, used with sincerity. Shakespeare's Richard III. uses plain speech as a hypocritical mask, but already Shakespeare is a dramatist and in his clever hands Richard's plain speaking is so allied with his incisive intelligence that it appears to be now a mask, now native shamelessness, and thus the characterization wins in depth and mystery. Every now and then, too, this Richard sees things which no Englishman has been capable of seeing, except Shakespeare himself. ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... they amuse, they entertain, they call a check to the feverishness of modern life; but they are rarely stimulating or suggestive. They are better adapted, it must be owned, to please the many than the critical few, who demand more incisive treatment and a deeper consideration of the problems of life. And it is very fortunate that a writer who can reach the great public and entertain it can also elevate and refine its tastes, set before it high ideas, instruct it agreeably, and all this in a style that belongs to the ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... the employment of a knife-edged hardened steel instrument, so arranged as to be set at any required angle, and its edge caused to penetrate the surface of a cylindrical bar of soft steel or brass. This bar being revolved under the incisive action of the angularly placed knife-edged instrument, it thus received a continuous spiral groove cut into its surface. It was then in the condition of a rudimentary screw; the pitch, or interval between the threads, being determined by ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... Once more the mask of indifference had fallen over him, veiling the keen, incisive interest he ...
— The Air Trust • George Allan England

... Carleton replied that he held opposite views; and that in any case it was a point of honour with him that no troops should embark until the last person who claimed his protection should be safely on board a British ship. As time went on, his replies to Congress grew shorter and more incisive. On being requested to name an outside date for the evacuation of the city, he declared that he could not even guess when the last ship would be loaded, but that he was resolved to remain until it was. He pointed out, moreover, that the more the uncontrolled violence of their citizens drove refugees ...
— The United Empire Loyalists - A Chronicle of the Great Migration - Volume 13 (of 32) in the series Chronicles of Canada • W. Stewart Wallace

... of Medicine. It is a problem how to reconcile his ignorance, his weakness and superstition, his crude notions and erroneous observations, his ridiculous inferences and theories, with his grasp of method, his lofty views of the true scope of Medicine, his lucid statements, his incisive and epigrammatic criticisms of men and motives.[244:1] After remaining at Basle for about a year, he resumed his wanderings, frequenting taverns and spending whole nights in carousals, with the lowest company. ...
— Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery • Robert Means Lawrence

... know, his speeches are remarkable for their point, force, logical reasoning, incisive language, and straight, hard hitting, but, as I have observed, he rarely if ever essays to be funny. By his sharp remarks and his adept turns of speech he often, however, creates much laughter—as, for instance, when he once spoke of an ex-Premier's opportunism ...
— A Tale of One City: The New Birmingham - Papers Reprinted from the "Midland Counties Herald" • Thomas Anderton

... plainly, and he was one of the usual type of Western citizen, keen-eyed, quick and nervous of movement and gesture, and incisive of speech. He had a bundle of papers before him, and appeared to be making calculations in pencil while he dictated to his companion. Now and then she caught disjointed fragments of ...
— Alton of Somasco • Harold Bindloss

... on the hillside at Troezene, the seizure in Phormio's house, the coming of Democrates and his boasts over the captives, the voyage and the pursuing. The son of Neocles never hastened the recital, though once or twice he widened it by an incisive question. At the end ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... Loyalists are Sir Charles Tupper, long a prominent figure in politics; Christopher Robinson, a distinguished lawyer, who was counsel for Canada at the Bering Sea arbitration; Sir Richard Cartwright, a liberal leader remarkable for his keen, incisive style of debate, and his knowledge of financial questions; Honourable George E. Foster, a former finance minister of Canada. We might extend the list indefinitely did space permit. In all walks of life we see the descendants of the loyalists, exercising ...
— Canada • J. G. Bourinot

... never heard an order from a man's lips so incisive, so truly commanding, so fearful. The American turned pale and in the twinkling of an eye smothered the flame. The beautiful Canadian closed her eyes. But the captain, as if nothing had occurred, continued to converse ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... would do for me without the vegetable fibre. You understand me; I would have a person whose sole business should be to read day and night, and talk to me whenever I wanted him to. I know the man I would have: a quick-witted, out-spoken, incisive fellow; knows history, or at any rate has a shelf full of books about it, which he can use handily, and the same of all useful arts and sciences; knows all the common plots of plays and novels, and the stock company of characters that ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... An incisive voice from the doorway way interrupted, "Never mind what he thinks, Carson. I'll do the thinking ...
— The Copper-Clad World • Harl Vincent

... subordination and years of habit. His slight frame seemed to grow taller and broader as he faced the Chief with an air of quiet determination that made him at once master of the situation. His voice was as low as ever but it took on a keen incisive note that compelled attention, as he continued: "Herbert Thorne is the murderer of Leopold Winkler. Now that he knows an innocent man is under accusation for his deed it is only a question of time before he will come himself to confess. He will doubtless make this confession ...
— The Lamp That Went Out • Augusta Groner

... how justly the event has perhaps demonstrated. Among the Northern generals, I think that the only one who became to some extent generally popular, though bitterly denounced in adverse quarters, was Sherman,—not only for the splendor and originality of his practical achievements, but for a certain incisive and peremptory realism in his administrative proceedings, which almost marked him with a touch ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

... be lasting is hardly to be presumed. The lesson given by firing on Atua was not sufficiently sharp and incisive to leave a lasting impression on the forgetful Samoan temperament. In fact, conditions are existing which show that peace will not last and is not seriously intended. Malietoa, the King, and his chiefs are convinced that the ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... was brought about only by the return of Morrell from his engagement. Keith had utterly forgotten his fatigue, and was tingling with the enthusiasm to which his nature always rose under stimulus. The Englishman, very self-contained, clean-cut, incisive, brought a new atmosphere. He was cordial and polite, but not expansive. Keith came down from the clouds. He remembered, with compunction, Nan sitting in the armchair, the lateness of ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... seen Clyde Fitch on many diverse occasions. Through incisive comment on people, contemporary manners, and plays, which was let drop in conversation, I was able to estimate the natural tendency of Fitch's mind. His interest was never concerned solely with dominant characters; ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: The Moth and the Flame • Clyde Fitch

... of pose or expression a significance which had previously escaped our shallow observation, but of which the truth is forced upon us. By comparison, one feels that, despite the fine finish of his pencil work, in the latter medium he loses, to a certain extent, the opportunities for that incisive sureness—so suited to his own unerring vision—which pure line affords him. Consider the drawing (on page 32) of the girl singing in a Paris cafe. There is no dependence on aught extraneous for the achievement of the effect sought. Yet here, if ever, a human ...
— Frank Reynolds, R.I. • A.E. Johnson

... Caesar and Wellington, Sir John French has forged a literary style for himself. There is nothing amateurish or journalistic about his communications from the front. The dispatch from Mons, for instance, is a masterpiece of lucid and incisive English. It might well be printed in our school-histories, not merely as a vivid historic document, but as a ...
— Sir John French - An Authentic Biography • Cecil Chisholm

... things sought to be entrusted to her care, share and share alike with the sterner sex. After a graceful introduction by Colonel J. W. Bush, the lecturer plunged at once with ease and distinction into her subject and line of argument.... She is a very able and incisive speaker, talks fluently and distinctly, and makes easy and graceful gestures. In a word, she is as good a lecturer as a ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... darted a glance at his brother, and the keen instinct of childhood had perceived that Donald was not in league with his judges. So he looked up into the minister's face and said with incisive impudence, "It's ...
— Duncan Polite - The Watchman of Glenoro • Marian Keith

... City of God, amidst the clear dissolution of a mighty past and the dim presage of a problematical future, and died at Hippo, his episcopal city, in 430, whilst the Vandals were besieging it. St. Augustine is more largely a convert and a rigorist even than St. Paul when St. Paul is most incisive. But here he shall testify only to the natures of Eternity and of real time, a matter in which he remains unequalled in the delicate vividness and balance of his psychological analysis and religious perception. 'Thou, O God, precedest all past times by the height of Thine ever-present Eternity; ...
— Progress and History • Various

... can't," Talbot replied in the same calm, incisive way, that contrasted strongly with the coarse, ...
— A Girl of the Klondike • Victoria Cross

... by men who were very far from identifying themselves with the Evangelical school. Thus Paley, in his seventh charge,[682] comments upon this point. And Bishop Horsley, in his first Charge to the Diocese of St. David's in 1709, stigmatises the unchristian method of preaching in that dignified but incisive language of which he was a ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... fund of incisive wit and humor, which often appear in picturesque setting, as when he said to a physician: "A man might as well pour his sorrows into the long hairy ear of a jackass." As the satiric censor of his time, Carlyle found frequent occasion for caustic wit. He lashed the age for its ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... can it not be? Oh, I cannot—I cannot give him up!" She threw herself upon her knees and laid her face in the bed. In a few minutes there came a tap at the door, and her Aunt Frances's voice was heard, "Maimie, your father has gone down; we must not delay." The tone was incisive and matter-of-fact. It said to Maimie, "Now let's have no nonsense. Be a sensible woman of the world." Maimie rose from her knees. Hastily removing all traces of tears from her face, and glancing in the glass, ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor



Words linked to "Incisive" :   incision, perceptive, incise



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