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Retiring   /rɪtˈaɪrɪŋ/  /ritˈaɪərɪŋ/  /ritˈaɪrɪŋ/   Listen
Retiring

adjective
1.
Not arrogant or presuming.  Synonym: unassuming.  "A shy retiring girl"
2.
Of a person who has held and relinquished a position or office.  Synonyms: past, preceding.
3.
Reluctant to draw attention to yourself.  Synonyms: reticent, self-effacing.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Retiring" Quotes from Famous Books



... one, even Mr B. C. himself, ever imagine that Mr Macready ought to be pensioned after he had played Cardinal Wolsey? Was it ever proposed, even in Parliament, that Mr Kean should have a retiring allowance when he had taken off his robes as Henry IV.? These eminent men were, however, just as real, just as actual, during their brief hour on the stage, as His Excellency the Viceroy or the "Lord High." They were there under a precisely similar compact. ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... of his mother, who was the daughter of a nobleman, had much embarrassed the affairs of his father, Sir Edward, on coming into possession of his estate, had wisely determined to withdraw from the gay world, by renting his house in town, and retiring altogether to his respectable mansion, about a hundred miles from the metropolis. Here he hoped, by a course of systematic but liberal economy, to release himself from all embarrassments, and to make such a provision for his younger children, ...
— Precaution • James Fenimore Cooper

... wore on, till at length Beatrice knew that a crisis was at hand. Even the tardiest and most retiring lover must come to the point at last, if he is in earnest, and Owen Davies was very much in earnest. Of late, to her dismay, he had so far come out of his shell as to allow himself to be nominated a member of the school council. ...
— Beatrice • H. Rider Haggard

... well that he was the new tenant of the Priory. It was in his mind to speak to him, but on second thoughts he decided to do so on a more propitious occasion. Standing at the gate, he looked thoughtfully after the retiring figure. There was something familiar about it and about the face of the man. His eyes especially aroused a vague recollection in his mind, but he could not, as the saying goes, "put a name to it." But while walking to the inn it suddenly ...
— A Coin of Edward VII - A Detective Story • Fergus Hume

... begin with, as a special honour to the occasion, those actors had come back to the stage who, I thought, had left it for their own. Indeed, your favourite, my friend Aesop, was in such a state that no one could say a word against his retiring from the profession. On beginning to recite the oath his voice failed him at the words "If I knowingly deceive." Why should I go on with the story? You know all about the rest of the games, which hadn't even that amount of charm which games on a moderate scale generally have: for the spectacle ...
— Letters of Cicero • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... full of armed men; whereas the sentries were members of the escort, who, preceding by short cuts the main party, continued to challenge and to pass. On their arrival, the gentlemen were met by the retiring officials, and were peaceably installed. The new governor called upon the clerk of the court, and ascertained the truth of the statement that the records were entirely safe. He promptly reported his conclusions to General Johnston that there ...
— The Story of "Mormonism" • James E. Talmage

... close to the gateway had been thus covered Jeta asked to be allowed to share in the gift and on receiving permission erected on the vacant spot a gateway with a room over it. "And Anathapindika the householder built dwelling rooms and retiring rooms and storerooms and halls with fireplaces, and outside storehouses and closets and cloisters and halls attached to the bath rooms and ponds ...
— Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch • Charles Eliot

... mazes of the Cabala the pure doctrine of ancient Judaism found its way to the hearts of the faithful. Sects and schools might rise and fall, deafening the ears of the simple with the clamor of their disputes, still the Jew, retiring within his own soul, heard the voice of the God of Abraham. Prophets, messiahs, miracle workers might have their day, still the Jew was conscious that between himself and God no go-between was needed; ...
— The Promised Land • Mary Antin

... in order that I might easily recognize him. "Well," says Harrison, "perhaps I can guide you. A while ago I sat next to a lady during a dinner who took me for Walpole and never discovered her mistake until, when she addressed me as Sir Spencer, I undeceived her just as the ladies were retiring from the table. Now I am the elder by eight years and I don't think I look like Walpole, but that good lady had another opinion." Walpole and Harrison met that Saturday evening at the Academy dinner, and Walpole obtained a personal description of myself. This caution on both our parts was ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... the balance of her mind—doubtful. Gentle her face was as ever; all the crosses of the evening had not brought an angle there; but it was shadowed beyond the fitness of things; and she was still and retiring so far as it was possible to be, shrinking into a ...
— Say and Seal, Volume II • Susan Warner

... subject matter for which the Cabinet and war officers had been convened was disposed of, some of the gentlemen left, and General McClellan was about retiring, when General Scott requested him to remain, and he also desired the President and the rest of us to listen to some inquiries and remarks which he wished to make. He was very deliberate, but evidently very much aggrieved. Addressing General ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... But at Paris, agitated Besenval, before retiring for the night, has stept over to old M. de Sombreuil, of the Hotel des Invalides hard by. M. de Sombreuil has, what is a great secret, some eight-and-twenty thousand stand of muskets deposited in his cellars there; but no trust in the temper ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... on which rice is grown in these mountains form one of the most picturesque and beautiful objects in the country of the Kandyans. Selecting an angular recess where two hills converge, they construct a series of terraces, raised stage above stage, and retiring as they ascend along the slope of the acclivity, up which they are carried as high as the soil extends.[1] Each terrace is furnished with a low ledge in front, behind which the requisite depth of water is retained during the germination of the seed, and what is superfluous is permitted ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... justice of the peace before whom Fraisier pleaded, was a man of sixty-nine, in failing health; he talked of retiring on a pension; and Fraisier used to talk with Poulain of succeeding him, much as Poulain talked of saving the life of some rich heiress and marrying her afterwards. No one knows how greedily every post in the gift of authority is sought after in Paris. Every one wants to ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... to decide at what hour she had died; and when the members of the appalled household were questioned, Muriel and Miss Dexter stated that she had kissed them good night and appeared as well as usual at her customary time of retiring; and Rachel testified that after she was in bed, she rang her bell and directed her to tell the cook that as Dr. Grey would probably come home about daylight, she must get up early and have a cup of coffee ready when he ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... Ulysses, retiring a little out of sight, cleansed him in the cisterns from the soil and impurities with which the rocks and waves had covered all his body, and clothing himself with befitting raiment, which the princess's attendants had given ...
— THE ADVENTURES OF ULYSSES • CHARLES LAMB

... she said, "seems to me too quiet, too subtle, too retiring." And the Prioress agreed with her, ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... pain: the pain which is intolerable carries us off; but that which lasts a long time is tolerable; and the mind maintains its own tranquillity by retiring into itself, and the ruling faculty is not made worse. But the parts which are harmed by pain, let them, if they can, ...
— Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

... nine o'clock, Elder Penno was retiring to rest in his bedroom, which overlooked his boat-building yard, when a clattering noise broke on the night without, and so startled him that he all but dropped his watch in ...
— Merry-Garden and Other Stories • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... and, without fail, to have their boots polished in time and left at their room doors;—to all which injunctions he severally received the answer of—"Certainly, sir;" and as the bed-room doors were slapped-to, one by one, the last sound of the retiring party was the snappish voice of the indefatigable little man, shouting, ere he shut ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... impossible to do so openly, he stole round to the back and secured a private interview. His personal appearance was against him, but the widow was not altogether uncompliant. She not only entertained the travellers, but agreed to Pa-chieh retiring within the household in the character of a son-in-law, the other three remaining ...
— Myths and Legends of China • E. T. C. Werner

... sagacious, and humane. He was a tremendous worker, incomparably quick, and above all was absolutely punctual in his delivery of "copy"—a virtue quite sufficient to account for his popularity with publishers, who also were attracted by his retiring and distinguished manners. Though his conversation was bright, he preferred to keep his witticisms for his public or private writings, as when, in sending in a parcel of "copy" to Mark Lemon, he ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword [D]; No spies were paid, no special juries known, Blest age! but ah! how different from our own! [pp]Much could I add,—but see the boat at hand, The tide, retiring, calls me from the land: [qq] Farewell!—When youth, and health, and fortune spent, Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent; And, tir'd, like me, with follies and with crimes, In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times; Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid, Still foe to vice, forsake ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... consequences, for his whole behavior indicated the reverse; but exhibited an evident anxiety for the success of their plan, in which his whole soul was embarked. His countenance and behavior were the same when he received his sentence, and his only words were, on retiring, 'I suppose you'll let me see my wife and family before I die?' and that not in a supplicating tone. When he was asked, a day or two after, if it was possible he could wish to see his master and family murdered, who had treated ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 44, June, 1861 • Various

... meanwhile had apparently taken Aunt Plenty at her word, and was turning the house upside down. A general revolution was evidently going on in the green-room, for the dark damask curtains were seen bundling away in Phebe's arms; the air-tight stove retiring to the cellar on Ben's shoulder; and the great bedstead going up garret in a fragmentary state, escorted by three bearers. Aunt Plenty was constantly on the trot among her store-rooms, camphor-chests, and linen-closets, looking ...
— Eight Cousins • Louisa M. Alcott

... him she always said: "Monsieur Planus, my brother!"—and he, with the same affectionate solemnity, interspersed all his sentences with "Mademoiselle Planus, my sister!" To those two retiring and innocent creatures, Paris, of which they knew nothing, although they visited it every day, was a den of monsters of two varieties, bent upon doing one another the utmost possible injury; and whenever, amid the gossip of the quarter, ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... hours' rest at Rupprecht trench, and then pushed on for four days and nights, stealing trenches, capturing patrols, with only a few hours' sleep,—snatched by the roadside while their food was being prepared. They pushed hard after a retiring foe, and almost outran themselves. They did outrun their provisions; on the fourth night, when they fell upon a farm that had been a German Headquarters, the supplies that were to meet them there had not come up, and ...
— One of Ours • Willa Cather

... delicacies, had up till now been contained within the compass of a small, compact, insignificant-looking parcel, which during the journey had occupied a retiring position in the hinder part of Edith's sledge—so true is it that the really great and the useful court concealment until duty calls them forth and reveals their worth and their importance to an admiring world. The admiring ...
— Ungava • R.M. Ballantyne

... escaped from the hut to breathe a little fresh air before retiring for the night. Hardly had I put my head outside when I found myself literally inhaling the mosquitoes that swarmed at nightfall over these marshy flats. I took it for granted that there was to be no rest for me in darkness among the Bagers; but, when I mentioned my trouble ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... beloved Virginia was indeed bounded by the Ohio, and had a nominal line on the Mississippi, the extreme verge of the British claim; but she was the humble vassal of imperial power. He saw that Virginia, when, retiring from the Danube of the West, she gave independence and position to that lovely region, which, under the name of Kentucky, became her equal in the federal union. He saw that Virginia, beneath the banner of the gallant Clark, dipping her feet in the waters of the Northern lakes; and he saw her ...
— Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell • Hugh Blair Grigsby

... this catastrophe, the trees had all to be cut down].... Dear H——, I never contemplated sacrificing my child's, or anybody else's, health to my desire for "doing good." There is a difference between living all the year round on a rice-swamp, and retiring during the summer to the pinewood highlands, which are healthy, even in the hot season; nor am I at all inclined to advocate the neglect of duties close at hand for quixotical devotion to remote ones. But you must remember that we are slave owners, and live by slave-labor, and ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots, and the marshalling of affairs, ...
— A Book of English Prose - Part II, Arranged for Secondary and High Schools • Percy Lubbock

... Order of Christ, Governor of the Algarves, born March 4, 1394, who might have travelled from Court to Court like his brother Pedro, but who refused all offers from England, Italy, and Germany, and chose the life of a student and a seaman,—retiring more and more from the known world that he might open ...
— Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A.D. • C. Raymond Beazley

... minister into the pulpit, the hearty singing of the congregation, doubtless had their effect upon Sara, for she had never been to a chapel and hardly to any place of assembly before. From all amusements, the burden of Charley and her own retiring nature had kept ...
— Stephen Archer and Other Tales • George MacDonald

... endurable routine had been arrived at within the walls of the Elephant, we agreed, before retiring to rest, to remain still several days there, availing ourselves of the splendid weather to explore more thoroughly the beautiful, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 30. September, 1873 • Various

... suppose that it is the Passion of ANGER, which is in itself different, or more or less in one than t'other, but that it is the HUMOUR of the Man that is predominant, and urges him to express it in that Manner. Demonstrations of PLEASURE, are as various: One Man has a HUMOUR of retiring from all Company, when any thing has happened to please him beyond Expectation; he hugs himself alone, and thinks it an Addition to the Pleasure to keep it a ...
— An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744) • Corbyn Morris

... every one of note in Paris. The best salons were open to him. Some of his confreres have not hesitated to describe him as a bit snobbish, for during the last ten years of his life he was generally inaccessible. But consider his retiring nature, his suspicious Slavic temperament, above all his delicate health! Where one accuses him of indifference and selfishness there are ten who praise his unfaltering kindness, generosity and forbearance. He was as a rule ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... learned that the retiring and solitary youth was not to be trifled with. He looked his instructor steadily in the eye when he recited, and while his manner was respectful, it was never deferential, nor could he be induced to yield a point, when believing himself in the right, to mere arbitrary ...
— His Sombre Rivals • E. P. Roe

... from the three Confines dark of tribulation Soar to light and liberty— When a heart with kindness glowing He within him shall descry, To Grand Foutsa's image going, Let him gaze attentively: Soon his every wish acquiring He shall triumph glad and fain, And the shades of sin retiring Never more his soul restrain. Whosoever bent on speeding To that distant shore, the home Of the wise, shall take to reading The all-wondrous Soudra tome; If that study deep beginning, No fit preparation made, Scanty shall he find his ...
— Targum • George Borrow

... regular weekly "stunts." Retiring President Vergil Gunch was in the chair, his stiff hair like a hedge, his voice like a brazen gong of festival. Members who had brought guests introduced them publicly. "This tall red-headed piece of misinformation is the sporting editor of the Press," said Willis Ijams; and ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... the infirmities of age, was in the habit of retiring early, and he had dozed off in his chair directly after supper, to be awakened by the shouting and confusion ...
— Tom Swift among the Fire Fighters - or, Battling with Flames from the Air • Victor Appleton

... my father; they have already paid him on account thirty thousand francs. My father bought our house with that money. The minister of justice has awarded me a pension of twelve hundred francs as the daughter of a former judge; my father has his retiring pension of three thousand, and his professorship will give him five thousand more. We are so economical that we are almost rich. My dear Auguste will begin his law studies in two months; but he is ...
— The Brotherhood of Consolation • Honore de Balzac

... ewer, afforded Amy the means of a brief toilette, of which she availed herself as hastily as possible; then took in her hand her small casket of jewels, in case she might find them useful intercessors, and retiring to the darkest and most sequestered nook, sat down on a seat of moss, and awaited till fate should give her some chance of rescue, or of ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... Nov. 4, 1767, after mentioning that he had seen swallows roosting in osier-beds by the river, says:—'This seems to give some countenance to the northern opinion (strange as it is) of their retiring under water.' White's Selborne, Letter xii. See ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... this, and not long afterwards she and Winifred went out together, while when the others were retiring she detained Agatha for a minute or two ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... Every evening, before retiring to rest, the family squatted round the fire and indulged in a mournful kind of chant—singing, as I afterwards learnt, the wonders they had seen on the white man's island; my mirror coming in for special ...
— The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont - as told by Himself • Louis de Rougemont

... this did not appear to his listeners, though they well knew he cared very little about the dead man, who was a very retiring person. ...
— Other Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... died at Christmas, and in the following March, when Anna was going about more sad and listless than ever, the news came that, though his inherited estates had gone to his sons, he had bought a little place some years before with the intention of retiring to it in his extreme old age, and this little place he had left to his ...
— The Benefactress • Elizabeth Beauchamp

... negro had already collected much intelligence as to the events of the day, mostly in the servants' hall, and more particularly from the two golf-caddies, sons of one of the gardeners, who it seemed instead of retiring with the clubs, had taken shelter in some tall whins and thence followed the interview between Barbara and Sir Robert with the intensest interest. Reflecting that this was not the time to satisfy his burning curiosity, Jeekie went ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... Before retiring that night Edith called Mrs. Dunbar, and gave her some directions about preparing another bedroom and the drawing-room. To her orders, which were somewhat positive, Mrs. Dunbar listened in silence, and merely ...
— The Living Link • James De Mille

... would be directed, when hundreds of miles distant, to what were known as "Methodist taverns," by the way. The presiding elder, before leaving home for a series of quarterly meetings, always mapped out his journey with reference to these "taverns," and the retiring preacher gave a list of them to his successor with the plan of his circuit, and a long horseback journey to conference was always arranged so as to strike one of these at or about noon or night, and as they were not always located ...
— The Heroic Women of Early Indiana Methodism: An Address Delivered Before the Indiana Methodist Historical Society • Thomas Aiken Goodwin

... with me a day or two ago on the subject of the oratorios. I found Mr. Smith has declined, and is retiring to Bath. Mr. Stanley informed me that on his applying to the king for the continuance of his favor, he was desired by his Majesty to make me an offer of Mr. Smith's situation and partnership in them, and that he should continue his protection, ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... body, tempted beyond their trenches, engaged warmly with the Spaniards. The combat lasted but a few minutes, the patriots were soon routed, and fled precipitately back to their camp. The panic spread with them, and the whole army was soon in retreat. On retiring, they had, however, set fire to the bridges, and thus secured an advantage at the outset of the chase. The Spaniards were no longer to be held. Vitelli obtained permission to follow with 2000 additional troops. The fifteen hundred who had already been engaged, charged ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... As a retiring Congressman he was invited to speak in several places in the East on behalf of Taylor's candidature; and after Taylor's election claimed his right as the proper person to be consulted, with certain others, about Government ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... the pies with my pumpkin," called out Robby, with a laugh which he stopped by retiring into ...
— Little Men - Life at Plumfield With Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... retiring, and I was passing in the aisle, I saw Father Taylor sitting by the pulpit, and he beckoned me aside. "Brother Dewey," he said, in his emphatic way, "did you ever know any one to say what you have been saying this morning?"-"Why," I replied, "does not every one say it?"—"No," he answered; ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... retiring. James, one of the absent sons, was expected home on a visit. He had never seen the last acquisition to the family. Jack had written faithfully of all the merits of his colored protege, and hinted plainly that mother ...
— Our Nig • Harriet E. Wilson

... 'Jesus!' he asked himself, 'will he put me to a block of ice? What is the matter with this woman?' The King put an end to his questions by dismissing Madame Alois, breaking up the assembly, and himself retiring. He was dreadfully fatigued, quite white and breathless. Richard saw him follow the lady through the inner curtain, and again was uncomfortably suspicious. But when his brother John made to slip in also he ...
— The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay • Maurice Hewlett

... advanced to the usual hour for retiring to rest, it was deemed necessary to make Helen acquainted with the meditated outrage, in order to prevent the consequences of a nocturnal alarm for which she might be altogether unprepared. This was accordingly done, and her natural terrors were soothed ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... been frank and sisterly; now it became more distant and constrained. He was quick to observe the change, and in private raved and raged at it. He even made the mistake of showing his pique to her, upon which she became still more retiring and conventional. Then be bemoaned himself in the sleepless watches of the night, and confided to his bed-post that in his belief such a case had never occurred before in the history of the world, and never by ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... common in the Western States, but until lately has seldom been seen in New England. I learn, however, from Mr. Fowler, that "the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is found in Essex County, and, though formerly seldom seen, is becoming every year more common. Like the Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager, it is retiring in its habits, and is usually found in the most sheltered part of the wood, where, perched about midway on a tree, in fancied concealment, it warbles its soft, clear, and melodious notes." He thinks this bird is not heard so frequently by night as by day, though it often sings in the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... sir," said the woman, softly; and then, instead of retiring with her message, she advanced into the room. She looked about her for a moment, and presently went to a table and began to arrange certain books and knick-knacks. Newman was struck with the high respectability of her appearance; he was afraid to address her as a servant. She busied herself for some ...
— The American • Henry James

... jealous, yes, and angry too, that now he must share his vixen with wild foxes. Then he questioned himself if it were not dishonourable to do so, and whether he should not utterly forget her and follow his original intention of retiring from the world, ...
— Lady Into Fox • David Garnett

... before speaking, not wishing Owen to hear them discussing his affairs, Cuthbert learned that the third member of the party had gone out quite a while before, saying that he would return by the time they were thinking of retiring. ...
— Canoe Mates in Canada - Three Boys Afloat on the Saskatchewan • St. George Rathborne

... audit of the accounts of his firm revealed a deficiency. My father had temporarily borrowed a small sum to save a friend in a pressing emergency. Henceforward he was a marked man, at home and abroad. We left the town where we lived. The retiring pension which was granted to him in spite of what had happened sufficed for our daily needs. He lived lost in his disgrace, and I was left entirely to the care of a maid-servant. From her I gathered that our troubles ...
— The Dangerous Age • Karin Michaelis

... water and troubled skies, and ship noises and smells, were all left behind, as it seemed, in the German ocean, and Dolly found herself one morning in the hotel at Rotterdam, eating a very good breakfast, her spirits sprang up in spite of herself. The retiring wave of bodily misery carried with it for the moment all other. The sun was shining again; and after breakfast they stood together at one of the windows looking out upon the new world they had come ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... no less a person than the great sage Durvasas[57], who is known to be most irascible. He it is that has just cursed her, and is now retiring with hasty strides, trembling with passion, and looking as if nothing could turn him. His wrath is like a ...
— Sakoontala or The Lost Ring - An Indian Drama • Kalidasa

... however, even when the unveiled fair ones, turning from the King to the Poet, laid all their garlands at his feet,—he scarcely noticed the piled-up flowers, and still less the lovely donors, who, retiring modestly backwards, took their places on low silken divans, provided for their accommodation, in a semicircle round the throne. Again a silence ensued,—Sah-luma was evidently centred like a spider in a web of his own thought- weaving,—and his attendant gently swept the strings ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... Design. Morse was elected its first president and was annually reelected to that office until the year 1845, when, the telegraph having now become an assured success, he felt that he could not devote the necessary time and thought to the interests of the Academy, and he insisted on retiring. ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Samuel F. B. Morse

... blown into the air and buried together in the ruin. After the smother had fairly cleared away, our troops met with very little difficulty in mounting the breach and scouring the ramparts, the French throwing down their arms and retiring into the town itself, where after a brief contest in the streets, the whole surviving garrison surrendered; but it was not without the loss of many of the bravest men on our side ...
— The Autobiography of Sergeant William Lawrence - A Hero of the Peninsular and Waterloo Campaigns • William Lawrence

... one running south of it. On account of our coming, various motorists had set out to meet us, and on the northern road were a number of cars, full of fluttering females. On the southern road stood but one. Now we were supposed to be retiring before a superior force; but their disposition offering an excellent chance to give them a jolt, our company was sent through the southern fields against their flank. There was much standing stubble and high weeds in the field through which we stole silently by rushes, ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... evidence that it was a white, and felt convinced that the grave we saw was that of a white man; plenty of clover and grasses the whole distance travelled, about eighteen miles. Kept watch as usual (but did not intend doing so) but just as we were retiring a fire suddenly struck up and we thought some of the natives had followed us, or some others had come to the lake, rather a strange matter after dark. The fire soon after disappeared, which made us more certain still that it was natives. Intend spelling the camels ...
— McKinlay's Journal of Exploration in the Interior of Australia • John McKinlay

... both showed themselves skilful and valorous in fighting, and if Mole and Figgins failed to distinguish themselves so much, and preferred the more modest and retiring rearguard of the army, we must consider the weak nerves of one and the ...
— Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks - Book Number Fifteen in the Jack Harkaway Series • Bracebridge Hemyng

... basest ingratitude, and returned home after having expended a large part of his fortune and permanently injured his health in the inestimable services he had rendered. In other respects besides those exploits connected with the sea, his genius was remarkable. After retiring from active service he devoted himself to inventions, and some of these paved the way to later scientific achievements, giving him a place ...
— With Cochrane the Dauntless • George Alfred Henty

... conversation was vastly entertaining to Jack, who, knowing how unlike were the dispositions of his brother and his wife's cousin, had contrived their meeting with special reference to his own amusement. When the clock told the hour for retiring he brought Bessie a tin candlestick, in which a tallow candle smoked and spluttered in a feeble way, but filled the soul of the young lady with admiration, it was so "full ...
— The House that Jill Built - after Jack's had proved a failure • E. C. Gardner

... beautiful to see young Christians, as the days pass, growing more and more confident and heroic in their confession of Christ. At first they are shy, retiring, timid, and disposed to shrink from public revealing of themselves. But if, as they receive more of the Spirit of God in their heart, they grow more courageous in speaking for Christ and in showing their colors, they ...
— Personal Friendships of Jesus • J. R. Miller

... There was a great rush to get downstairs, but Charley was so clever that even this did not put him out. Of course there was no sitting down; which means that the bashful, retiring, and obedient guests were to stand on their legs; while those who were forward, and impudent, and disobedient, found seats for themselves wherever they could. Charley was certainly among the latter class, and he did not rest therefore till he had got Katie into an old arm-chair in one corner ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... fantastic shapes, and danced like demons to the tune. In gray-brown desolation the sand dunes rolled away to the foothills, far and violet and dim. All was cold and bleak and forbidding, and the sun itself appeared to be retiring eagerly from a scene so ...
— The Heart of Thunder Mountain • Edfrid A. Bingham

... Oxford, there took to dissipation and extravagance, neglected all rules and application, wore out the patience of the authorities, and the liberality of his uncle, and, after about a year's trial, was withdrawn from the University to save him from retiring by compulsion. He was then sent to travel for a year under the prudent care of his elder brother. It will be unnecessary to track them through their wanderings; suffice it to say, that they did what ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847. • Various

... Thence they were gradually moving off to another superb apartment, where the violins were beginning to give note of coming melody, to which flying feet were eager to respond; but I thought one o'clock in the morning quite late enough for retiring, and so came away before the first set was made up. I do not doubt the dancing was maintained with spirit ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... "a parson's week," so as to include the wedding. He looked very fresh and youthful; but his manner, though still gentle and retiring, had lost all that shrinking diffidence, and had, now, a very suitable grave composure. Everybody was delighted to have him; and Ethel, more than any one, except Margaret. What floods of Cocksmoor histories were poured upon him; and what comparing ...
— The Daisy Chain, or Aspirations • Charlotte Yonge

... and withdrew, retiring, But not by the same door through which came in Baba and Juan, which last stood admiring, At some small distance, all he saw within This strange saloon, much fitted for inspiring Marvel and praise; for both or none things win; And I must say, I ne'er could see the ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... put on, and they threw into the rushing water again, watching their lines as they were swept to and fro by the coming and retiring waves. ...
— Fire Island - Being the Adventures of Uncertain Naturalists in an Unknown Track • G. Manville Fenn

... in Domesday Book, where it appears as Bermengeham, and can find its record as an English Damascus in the fifteenth century, before which it had been already famous for leather-tanning. The death, a year ago, of one of the most gifted though retiring men of the English nobility, the late Lord Lyttleton, makes it worth mentioning that his house, Hagley, stands twelve miles from Birmingham, and that both his house and his forefathers were well known as the home and patrons of literary men: Thomson, Pope and other poets have described ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878. • Various

... the enemy, they were turned upon us, in addition to their own guns, and afterwards, on came Stuart in a head-long charge with one of those hideous yells peculiar to the Southern 'chivalry.' With thousands of others who were rapidly retiring, I had recrossed Bull Run Creek when my attention was arrested by a mounted officer who sprang out from the mass of flying men, and waving his sword above his head, called on every one, irrespective of regiment, to rally around him and face the foe. He wore no golden leaf—no ...
— Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier • John Algernon Owens

... sure line of a Roman road divided it, cutting tyrannically through the cowed hovels of the town as an arrow drives through a flock of pigeons. On either side were the dim shapes of great rocks and semi-recumbent cedars. Retiring into shadow were the darker outlines of the surrounding circle of hills, rived by intervals of black night where wadies entered. From their summits the flying arch of the heavens sprang, printed with a few faint stars, but all silvered with the flood-light of a moon cold and pure as ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... On retiring to my room that afternoon I could not help laughing at my absurd antipathy against Bourgonef. All his remarks had disclosed a generous, ardent, and refined nature. While my antipathy had specially fastened upon a certain falseness in his smile—a falseness the more poignantly ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... Retiring softly to his own room, under the same roof, the author of "The Amateur Detective" smiled at himself before the mirror with marked complacency. "You're a long-headed one, my dead-beat friend," he said, archly, "and ...
— Punchinello Vol. II., No. 30, October 22, 1870 • Various

... beheld that noble soldiery slowly breaking ground, and retiring towards the camp, even Muza could not control their ardour. They rushed forward, harassing the retreat of the Christians, and delaying the battle ...
— Leila or, The Siege of Granada, Book II. • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... time we were getting our guns around to fire upon the enemy inside the works, as the retiring Texans were falling back past us, Dr. Carter stepped quickly out, and in his courteous manner, called out to them, "Gentlemen, dear gentlemen, I hope that you are not running." A passing infantryman, a gaunt, unwashed, ragged chap, replied, "Never you mind, old fellow! We are just ...
— From the Rapidan to Richmond and the Spottsylvania Campaign - A Sketch in Personal Narration of the Scenes a Soldier Saw • William Meade Dame

... trimming it off short with scissors. No Turk could have more indignantly resented the process than did that small quadruped,—his Celtic feelings being so severely wounded by it, in fact, that he abstained from sustenance for three days, putting himself into moral sackcloth and ashes for that period by retiring into his penitential cell under a chest ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... Saviour, for the special purpose of noticing how much they abounded in prayer. Our Lord never undertook anything of importance, without first observing a special season of prayer. Oft we find him retiring into the mountains, sometimes a great while before day, for prayer. Indeed, on several occasions, he continued all night in prayer to God. If, then, it became the Lord of life and glory to spend much time in prayer, how much more, such weak ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... children (trow ye) now passing homewards, laughed to scorne? What thincke ye your selues to be, which were warned to depart, at the sound of the trumpet? What (suppose ye) wil all they thinke, which do meete this multitude retiring homewards, to their great reproch and shame? Truly excepte there be some secrete occasion, whereby we should be suspected to violate the plaies or commit some other crime, and so forced to relinquish the company and fellowship of ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... ugly laugh was the recollection of her grand hope of retiring into the country after twenty years passed in ironing. Well! she was on her way to the country. She was going to have her green corner in ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... of the Barracks, held by the naval companies, the ball was to be given. I relinquished my pretty charge to Lady Coleville at the door of the retiring-room, and strolled off to join Sir Peter and the others, gathering in knots throughout the cloak-room, where two ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... to restore one so beautiful and so accomplished as his young ward to what he considered her true place in society, and the latter was as firmly determined that nothing should make her forgetful of the friends of her childhood. In furtherance of this resolve, Mr. Trevanion, instead of retiring to his country-seat with his family on the approach of summer, sent his younger children thither under the care of their faithful and intelligent nurse; and with Mrs. and Miss Trevanion, and Lilian, set out ...
— Evenings at Donaldson Manor - Or, The Christmas Guest • Maria J. McIntosh

... operations the enemy had a signal-station on Three Top Mountain, almost overhanging Strasburg, from which every movement made by our troops could be plainly seen; therefore, early on the morning of the 17th he became aware of the fact that we were retiring down the valley, and at once made after us, and about sundown drove Torbert out of Winchester, he having been left there-with Wilson and Lowell, and the Jersey brigade of the Sixth Corps, to develop the character of the enemy's pursuit. ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... On retiring, Bourke would empty his pockets upon the dressing-table, where the boy Marcel, bringing up Bourke's petit dejeuner the next morning, would see displayed a tempting confusion of gold and silver and copper, ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... Miss Grace pleaded a headache and left us; my mother asked leave; and presently our hostess and host departed. Harry and I remained to stare at each other moodily. I admit I was glad when finally he announced his intention of retiring. ...
— The Way of a Man • Emerson Hough

... Channel, by the name of Duty Point. Near the end of this walk there lurked a soft and silent bower, made by Nature, and with all of Nature's art secluded. The ledge that wound along the rock-front widened, and the rock fell back and left a little cove, retiring into moss and ferny shade. Here the maid was well accustomed every day to sit and think, gazing down at the calm, gray sea, and filled with rich content ...
— Frida, or, The Lover's Leap, A Legend Of The West Country - From "Slain By The Doones" By R. D. Blackmore • R. D. Blackmore

... its recognition and remuneration. Her time, her property, and her influence have been held sacred to benevolence of that character that will assist in true progress. Nevertheless, she is one of the most retiring of women, never voluntarily coming before the world except at the call of manifest duty, and shrinking with peculiar sensitiveness from ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... full-throated, if somewhat hoarse, cheer which they elicited from the men assembled behind Dick and Jan, as well as from the group beside the chief, had the curious effect of filling Dick's eyes with moisture of a sort that pricked most painfully, so that as he came to the salute before retiring he saw the familiar buildings in front of him but dimly, ...
— Jan - A Dog and a Romance • A. J. Dawson

... said the landlord, "I don't know how to reply to you, for the greater part of your discourse is utterly unintelligible to me. Perhaps you are a better Welshman than myself; but however that may be, I shall take the liberty of retiring in order to give ...
— Wild Wales - Its People, Language and Scenery • George Borrow

... though, at that time, the practice was common throughout our Indian possessions. He had a Hindoo servant with him; and this servant every night stretched himself along the "sill" or outer threshold of the door; so that he might have been trodden on by the general when retiring to rest; and from this it was but a moderate step in advance to say that he was trodden on. Upon which basis many other wonders were naturally reared. Miss Smith's father, therefore, furnished matter for a not very ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... Sancho; and then he begged his master to hasten away from such evil premises. Of course, he also had to say something scornful about Don Quixote's having abandoned him in the heat of battle; but the knight begged him to consider that there was a difference between flying and retiring. ...
— The Story of Don Quixote • Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... too, ran back and brought Marian; who, indeed, was very willing to come. On our retiring out of sight, she began to call to Ara, using the endearing expressions she had been accustomed to apply to him. He looked down and nodded, and then flew to a lower bough. She went on, and held out her hand with some palm-fruit, of which he was especially ...
— The Wanderers - Adventures in the Wilds of Trinidad and Orinoco • W.H.G. Kingston

... the retiring modesty of your last remark," he smiled, "that you consider yourself an expert as regards all other forms ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... was still more active when the trial of criminal issues passed into their hands (1833). They asserted that the criminal at the bar was too literally tried by his peers, and that scenes disgraceful to public justice were enacted in the retiring room. It required all the authority of the court to repress antipathies so openly avowed. The rancour excited by this question is scarcely credible: a gentleman addressed the judge from the box before he was sworn, and asked if he was expected to deliver a verdict with twice ...
— The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2) • John West

... lower ground, and, after frequent floodings, was finally destroyed by an inundation in 1287. King Edward I. founded the new town upon the hill above. It enjoyed a lucrative trade until the fifteenth century, when, like most of the others, its prosperity was blighted by the sea's retiring. The harbor then became useless, the inhabitants left, the houses gradually disappeared, and, the historian says, the more massive buildings remaining "have a strangely spectral character, like owls ...
— England, Picturesque and Descriptive - A Reminiscence of Foreign Travel • Joel Cook

... salary? Don't be foolish. Besides, I'm retiring from my agency. Selling out. That'll set us ...
— The Deadly Daughters • Winston K. Marks

... and ready sports. His health was extremely delicate, and violent exertion was forbidden. His recreations took other forms. The work of the course of study itself appealed to him, particularly the glories of the literatures of Rome and France and England. While somewhat reserved and retiring, he took delight in vying with his companions in debate and in forming a circle of chosen spirits to discuss, with all the courage and fervour of youth, the questions of their little world, or the echoes that reached them of the political tempests without. Occasionally ...
— The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time • Oscar D. Skelton

... Parker's at noon, and devoted the afternoons and evenings to theatres. Then after that usually a tete-a-tete supper at a cozy place where the best was to be had, and a little chat in his or her room before retiring. It was during one of these brief visits that she noticed some of the pictures that hung ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... lifetime, however, there is a ceremony. There does not appear to be a special dance and feast connected with this, it being always tacked on to some other ceremony or group of ceremonies. This particular ceremony does not, in fact, begin until after the pig-killing. The retiring chief will have provided one or more pigs for the purpose of his ceremony, and these will have been killed with the others. He addresses the people and tells them that he is giving up his office and transferring it to his successor; but in doing so he says nothing about that successor's title ...
— The Mafulu - Mountain People of British New Guinea • Robert W. Williamson

... Nono called upon the retiring enemy. They shook their fists at him and laughed mockingly, and called out that they would "give it to him" if he undertook to follow them now. He could call for piggie when he had seen the princess; and again they pointed out ...
— The Golden House • Mrs. Woods Baker

... was by no means general, or in equal degrees; and it so happened that this married couple felt completely at variance on the subject. Granting it to have been so, one would have thought that the laird, owing to his retiring situation, would have been the one that inclined to the stern doctrines of the reformers; and that the young and gay dame from the city would have adhered to the free principles cherished by the court party, and indulged ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... timorous, stealthy way. A hand to the ear intimates that he thinks he hears some one approaching. He therefore retires a little distance, and after reassuring himself that all is well, proceeds to attain his object. It is only after protracted circling, approaching, and retiring, that he simulates the attainment of his desire. No indications of bashfulness nor delicacy are exhibited, by the ...
— The Manbos of Mindano - Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume XXIII, First Memoir • John M. Garvan

... which excited their admiration and wonder. Thus I sat at the little, round, three- legged table, inside the out-spreading chimney, for an hour or more, and made as cozy and pleasant a meal of it as ever I ate. Besides all this, I had the best bed in the house, and several "Good nights!" on retiring to it, uttered with hearty good-will by voices softened to an accent of kindness. Next morning I was introduced into the best parlor, and had a capital breakfast, and then resumed my walk with a pleasant memory of my entertainment in ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... among the Great Powers, evidentlv crouching for a spring—that should settle things. Time was building the funeral pyre for the Phoenix, and building it of the debris of ruined worlds. In the early sixth century, the best minds were retiring in disgust to the wilds;—you remember the anchorite's rebuke to Tse-Lu. But now they were all coming from their retirement—the most active minds, whether the best or not—to shout their nostrums and make confusion ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... each sixty minutes; sliding along a grooved way, like a railway; advancing to the clock-bell, with uplifted manacles; striking it at one of the twelve junctions of the four-and-twenty hands; then wheeling, circling the bell, and retiring to its post, there to bide for another sixty minutes, when the same process was to be repeated; the bell, by a cunning mechanism, meantime turning on its vertical axis, so as to present, to the descending mace, the clasped hands of the ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... edifices, breathing through the spiracles of one great chimney. The many lattices, with their small, diamond-shaped panes, admitted the sunlight into hall and chamber, while, nevertheless, the second story, projecting far over the base, and itself retiring beneath the third, threw a shadowy and thoughtful gloom into the lower rooms. Carved globes of wood were affixed under the jutting stories. Little spiral rods of iron beautified each of the seven peaks. On the triangular portion of the gable, that fronted next ...
— Composition-Rhetoric • Stratton D. Brooks

... Attila's attack. Clovis captured it in 498, but at his death it became the capital of an independent kingdom which was afterward, in 613, united with that of Paris. Activities no less extensive or vivid followed, till the English besieged the city in 1429, only retiring before the conquering hosts led by the Maid of Orleans on the 7th of May; the Huguenots held it as a stronghold under Coligny; and latterly the Germans occupied it, were driven out, and again reoccupied it as a base in 1870-71. ...
— The Cathedrals of Northern France • Francis Miltoun

... down for a change. Lucy had had to give up at least a dozen things that required dry weather and sunshine. She seemed to take the rain as something directed particularly against herself by malicious persons. Evelyn, also cross and nervous, was on the point of retiring to her own room to write letters. Just then Dawson Cooper telephoned to know if she cared to take a little walk in the rain ...
— We Three • Gouverneur Morris

... along the river had become terrific; to the east a New Jersey battery, obscured in flame-shot clouds, was retiring by its twenty-eight-foot prolonges, using cannister; the remains of a New Hampshire infantry regiment supported the retreat; between the two batteries Claymore in his shirt, sleeves rolled to his elbows, heavy revolver swinging in his ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... Matignon, he had a flat, on the entresol-floor, of which none of his gang, excepting Gilbert, knew, a flat with a private entrance. He was glad to take off his clothes and rub himself down; for, in spite of his strong constitution, he felt chilled to the bone. On retiring to bed, he emptied the contents of his pockets, as usual, on the mantelpiece. It was not till then that he noticed, near his pocketbook and his keys, the object which Gilbert had put into his hand at ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... the first order, and became equally distinguished by the uncommon beauty of his person. No sooner had he grown to years of maturity than he began to reflect deeply on the depravity and misery of mankind, and he conceived the idea of retiring from society and devoting himself to meditation. His father in vain opposed this design. Buddha escaped the vigilance of his guards, and having found a secure retreat, lived for six years undisturbed in his devout contemplations. At the expiration of that period he came forward ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... way alone Fortune seemed to have abandoned her favourite: Maitre Penautier had a great desire to succeed the Sieur of Mennevillette, who was receiver of the clergy, and this office was worth nearly 60,000 livres. Penautier knew that Mennevillette was retiring in favour of his chief clerk, Messire Pierre Hannyvel, Sieur de Saint-Laurent, and he had taken all the necessary, steps for buying the place over his head: the Sieur de Saint-Laurent, with the full support of the clergy, obtained the reversion for nothing—a ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... the trap-door and had already crouched through it when Heathcote, perceiving that one of the Den had come back for another look, decided, in the kindness of his heart, to take one last turn round before retiring. ...
— Follow My leader - The Boys of Templeton • Talbot Baines Reed

... tomorrow morning, join us. It is we who are likely to have the first fighting; for the Austrians must come to the relief of the Saxons, who are shut up, as in a trap, by our divisions. They made a great mistake in not retiring, at once, into Bohemia; which they could have done without difficulty, ...
— With Frederick the Great - A Story of the Seven Years' War • G. A. Henty

... toward that lump sum, and how much might "remain." "My grandfather, as you know, of course, is soon going to retire from business altogether." This was another lie absolute, as Mr. Emblem had no intention whatever of retiring. ...
— In Luck at Last • Walter Besant

... passed in a struggle between heath and the tough make-up of a mountaineer. The waiting light of dawn saw death defeated, retiring from the scene. As the sun rose high, the victim seemed to gain considerably in strength. There was no immediate danger of ...
— Rolf In The Woods • Ernest Thompson Seton



Words linked to "Retiring" :   outgoing, reticent, preceding, modest, past, unassuming, self-effacing, unassertive



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