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Retort   /rˈitˌɔrt/   Listen
Retort

verb
(past & past part. retorted; pres. part. retorting)
1.
Answer back.  Synonyms: come back, rejoin, repay, return, riposte.






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"Retort" Quotes from Famous Books



... pan, had now poured the whole into a large test-tube, and was holding it in the flame of the burner. At the moment that it reached the boiling point it became colourless. He carefully placed the whole of the liquid in a retort to which he attached a ...
— The Golden Scorpion • Sax Rohmer

... said Marmaduke. She was about to retort, when she saw him looking into his purse with an expression of dismay. The waiter came. Susanna, instead of attempting to be beforehand in proffering the money, changed her mind, and waited. Marmaduke ...
— The Irrational Knot - Being the Second Novel of His Nonage • George Bernard Shaw

... to England by this king in 1858. One of the gentlemen present at the governor's quoted a remark made by the king at the time of the session—a neat retort, and with a touch of pathos in it, too. The English Commissioner had offered a crumb of comfort to Thakombau by saying that the transfer of the kingdom to Great Britain was merely "a sort of hermit-crab ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... girl; and while she colored, and for an instant her eyes flashed fire, she could not find it in her heart to be really angry with one whose very soul seemed truth and manly kindness. Look her reproaches she did, but conquering the desire to retort, she succeeded in answering in a mild ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... think of a retort, so, perhaps thinking she had said enough, madame gave him a dignified bow and compressed ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... to Germany; Germany chose, and let the Armenian massacres go on. But she was in a difficulty. What if the Turkish Government retorted (perhaps it did so retort), 'You are not consistent. Why do you mind about the slaughter of a few Armenians? What about ...
— Crescent and Iron Cross • E. F. Benson

... however, we must admit that his ability in a cross-examination ranks next to his skill in planning an alibi. There is, in the former, a versatility of talent that keeps him always ready; a happiness of retort, generally disastrous to the wit of the most established cross-examiner; an apparent simplicity, which is quite as impenetrable as the lawyer's assurance; a vis comica, which puts the court in tears; and an originality of sorrow, ...
— Phil Purcel, The Pig-Driver; The Geography Of An Irish Oath; The Lianhan Shee • William Carleton

... fired in quick retort, and leading to the sort of giddy play that may be imagined, had given cause for the laughter which had added to the Baroness' troubles by making her compare her daughter's future lot with the present, when she was free to ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... earth. A chemist in the back-ground, happy in his views, watching the moment of projection, is not to be disturbed from his dream by any thing less than the fall of the roof, or the bursting of his retort;—and if his dream affords him felicity, why should he be awakened? The bed and gridiron, those poor remnants of our miserable spendthrift's wretched property, are brought here as necessary in his degraded situation; on one he must try to repose ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... lunch I mind. It's all these infernal clothes," was Van's retort. "I don't see what on earth I wore so ...
— The Story of Sugar • Sara Ware Bassett

... An angry retort sprang to the lips of the Prince, but before he could give vent to it a terrible little shrill sound from the box struck his ears. In sudden dismay he unslung the baby-house, and opened it to discover what was the ...
— Prince Vance - The Story of a Prince with a Court in His Box • Eleanor Putnam

... had risen, was coming slowly across the room. Fear laid hold of the Colonel. She was going to address some aggravating remark to him—he could see it in her eye—which would irritate him into savage retort. ...
— Passing of the Third Floor Back • Jerome K. Jerome

... very temples. He controlled the hasty retort that rose to his tongue. "I came here not to speak in any one's interest but hers. Were she free as air this moment—were she to come to my feet and say, 'Let me be your wife,' I should tell her that the whole world was ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... ears—they stuck out like sails from the side of his head, "trimmed flat across the masts"—and said nothing. He could not retort in his present condition of mind and body. But his schoolmates talked ...
— The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna - or, The Crew That Won • Gertrude W. Morrison

... discussing the status of the individual, we are not referring—at least, not directly—to the struggle between Individualism and Socialism. We know that individualists express the fear that under a socialist regime there would be an end to individual initiative, while socialists retort that the chief sin of the competitive system is {65} that it crushes and destroys individuality; but between the contentions of these rival schools of economics we are not attempting to adjudicate. Perhaps we cannot better indicate the scope of our subject than by quoting ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... black hair and dark blue eyes so palpably proclaimed him Irish! Moreover, it was to his native traits that he really owed his wide popularity. The quiet reserve which usually characterized him hid a fund of brilliant humor, which would occasionally, and often unexpectedly, flash out in some quick retort or witty jest; nor was there ever wanting that indefinable attraction which is the special charm of Erin's sons and daughters all the ...
— Up in Ardmuirland • Michael Barrett

... as these Miscreants are for throwing down Religion in general, for stripping Mankind of what themselves own is of excellent use in all great Societies, without once offering to establish any thing in the Room of it; I think the best way of dealing with them, is to retort their own Weapons upon them, which are ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... wrath of the newspaper press of his own country: "Each hour, as life advances," he asserted, "am I made to see how capricious and vulgar is the immortality conferred by a newspaper." This provoked at home the retort "The press has built him up; the press shall pull him down!" He began to be bitterly attacked in some American newspapers, which accused him of "flouting his ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... Die Vernon, she is the one of Scott's heroines with whom one has to fall in love, just as, according to a beautiful story, a thoughtless and reluctant world had to believe the Athanasian Creed. It is painful to say that persons on whom it is impossible to retort the charge, have sometimes insinuated a touch of vulgarity in Di. For these one can but pray; and, after all, they are usually of her sex, which in such judgments of itself counts not. All men, who are men and gentlemen, must delight in her. And here, as always, ...
— Sir Walter Scott - Famous Scots Series • George Saintsbury

... surprised. Coincidences of this astonishing kind are not often met with even by us," was the Inspector's dry retort. ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... took care of this house," came the retort, "an' cooked an' baked, an' washed, an' put up with what I put up, you'd have something to be beat out about. You've got a snap, you have. But just wait." Sarah broke off to cackle gloatingly. "Just wait, that's all, an' you'll be fool enough to get married some day, like me, an' ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... grandmother!" was the trader's retort. "You want to pay up your debts, that's what you want. You owed me twelve hundred dollars Chili. Very well; you owe them no longer. The amount is squared. Besides, I will give you credit for two hundred Chili. If, when I get to ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... deeply, sometimes even to the heart. Humor is good-natured, and does not wound. Wit is founded upon the sudden discovery of an unsuspected relation existing between two ideas. Humor deals with things out of relation—with the incongruous. It was wit in Douglass Jerrold to retort upon the scowl of a stranger whose shoulder he had familiarly slapped, mistaking him for a friend: 'I beg your pardon, I thought I knew you—but I'm glad I don't.' It was humor in the Southern orator, John Wise, to liken the pleasure of spending an evening with a Puritan ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... of a quadrangle, the fourth being occupied by a curious gatehouse or porter's lodge. Note the banded mullions of the windows. On the arch by the road Judge Jeffreys hung two adherents of Monmouth's by way of retort to Lord Stawell for remonstrating with him for his cruelty. On the S. extremity of the Quantocks is Cothelstone Beacon. a round tower, which is a conspicuous object from the valley. The site affords a fine prospect over Taunton Dean and ...
— Somerset • G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade

... not willing to have you dictate to the Lord what—what I must do, and so whip me in line with the scourge of prayer." Peter Junior paused, as he looked in his father's face and saw the shocked and sorrowful expression there instead of the passionate retort he expected. "I am wrong to talk so, father; forgive me; but—have patience a little. God gave to man the power ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... a humour to bear this affront, and she was about to make a very angry retort on the child, when she perceived that the villagers were once again entering the chapel to see the conclusion of the ceremony, so turning to her uncle, she whispered, "You see they do not want you at home, uncle Dorsain, so you may as well stay ...
— The Young Lord and Other Tales - to which is added Victorine Durocher • Camilla Toulmin

... taken, what then? When the fair wicked queen sits no more at her sport Of the fire-balls of death crashing souls out of men? When your guns at Cavalli with final retort ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 3 - Sorrow and Consolation • Various

... believer in the retort direct and no trafficker in the finer shades of sarcasm, cleared his throat and lifted up his voice. ''Ere, why don't you speak when you're spoke to, you lop-eared lager-beer barrel, you. Take your fice out o' that 'orse-flesh cat's-meat sossidge ...
— Between the Lines • Boyd Cable

... Addison to have dispelled. He taught the nation that the faith and the morality of Hale and Tillotson might be found in company with wit more sparkling than the wit of Congreve, and with humor richer than the humor of Vanbrugh. So effectually, indeed, did he retort on vice the mockery which had recently been directed against virtue, that, since his time, the open violation of decency has always been considered among us as the mark of a fool. And this revolution, the greatest and most salutary ever effected by any satirist, he accomplished, ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... throughout the role of leader and moderator. His manner was gracious and he never lost his sense of dignity. He was capable of sharp retort, but always bore in mind that it was high duty to hold a balance and to seek compromise rather than sharp division. He developed it in a most remarkable way on the platform. His appearances were dramatic. His interventions were arresting. The man of the writing ...
— The Jewish State • Theodor Herzl

... time she had ever called him by his Christian name and it went near to toppling down the carefully reared structure of self-restraint. But he made shift to shore the tottering walls with a playful retort. ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... although the daughters and the neighbors saw only the same old wooden house there, it was a two-story brick to Aleck and Sally and not a night went by that Aleck did not worry about the imaginary gas-bills, and get for all comfort Sally's reckless retort: "What of it? ...
— The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... can carry away in less'n half that time—see?" was the minatory retort; and the threat was made good by an awkward buffet which would have knocked the engineer out of his chair if he had remained ...
— A Fool For Love • Francis Lynde

... stammer respectfully broken answers to whatever was asked. Assuredly no one had ever dared to tell her that her lodgings were 'filthy'—any ordinary person who had ventured upon such an insult would have been overwhelmed with clamorous retort. But Miss Rodney, with a pleasant smile and nod, went her way, and Mrs. Turpin stood at the open door gazing after her, bewildered 'twixt satisfaction ...
— The House of Cobwebs and Other Stories • George Gissing

... The retort happily hit the mark, for the fellow was the possessor of a richly tinted proboscis of carmine hue, that was somewhat of a landmark in the village. The crowd roared in approbation of the home thrust ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... reply;" i.e., a retort discourteous, in which all the points of the attack are ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, 1890.05.10 • Various

... what must be regarded as the listener's end of the room. We then have the whole story over again from her point of view; and this time it is the gentleman who would bite off his tongue rather than make a retort calculated to ...
— They and I • Jerome K. Jerome

... withdrawn part, if he had not called her bride—with a roaring in his ears, he thus regretfully reviewed his declaration. He got to his feet tottering; and then, in that first moment when a dumb agony finds a vent in words, and the tongue betrays the inmost and worst of a man, he permitted himself a retort which, for six weeks to follow, he was to ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 7 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... composer was fond of nothing but millinery and dogs. Finally, if your publisher clamors for something about Liszt or Chopin, you may quote this; not forgetting the allusion to George Sand. To mention Chopin without Sand would be considered excessively inaccurate. I call the story, "Liszt's Clever Retort." ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... your cheek,' was the shockingly feeble retort which alone occurred to him. The other said nothing. Harrison ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... consider my answer; I was taken aback by his knowledge of the fact he had disclosed. My first impulse was to retort "How do you know that I didn't sleep in the house?" but I was determined to be very cautious at the outset of this cross-examination. Obviously he meant it to take the form of a cross-examination. I was equally determined that I would presently reverse the parts of ...
— The Jervaise Comedy • J. D. Beresford

... of perfuming their hair with oil of benzoin, which they distil themselves from the gum by a process doubtless of their own invention. In procuring it a priuk, or earthen rice-pot, covered close, is used for a retort. A small bamboo is inserted in the side of the vessel, and well luted with clay and ashes, from which the oil drops as it comes over. Along with the benzoin they put into the retort a mixture of sugar-cane and other articles that contribute little or nothing to the quantity or quality of the distillation; ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... language was often lurid, he lavished foul epithets upon his crew, and he was not reluctant to follow terms of abuse by vigorous chastisement. He called Christian a "damned hound," some of the men "scoundrels, thieves and rascals," and he met a respectful remonstrance with the retort: "You damned infernal scoundrels, I'll make you eat grass or anything you can catch before I have done with you." Naval officers of the period were not addicted to addressing their men in the manner ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

... of retort, Delaney drove the spurs into the buckskin and passed the buggy in a single bound. Annixter gathered up the reins and drove on muttering to himself, and occasionally looking back to observe the buckskin flying toward the ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... at the retort, and not without hope that it might offend his kinswoman into departing; but she contented herself with denouncing all imaginable evils from Dennet's ungoverned condition, with which she was prevented in ...
— The Armourer's Prentices • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Raleigh grunted, disdaining, retort, and passed forth to his waiting cab. The day had commenced inauspiciously. The night before, smoking his final cigarette in his upper berth in the wagon-lit, he had tempted Providence by laying out for himself a programme and a time schedule; and it looked as if Providence had been ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... toward his brother on account of his kind manner, was hurt at this sudden change in his words and tone. He was tempted to retort harshly, and even to set his foot more roughly upon the pansies. But he checked himself, and, turning away, walked slowly from ...
— Wreaths of Friendship - A Gift for the Young • T. S. Arthur and F. C. Woodworth

... dispense with secrecy, the President's reply was a significant shrug; and so firmly was his sinister conjecture imbedded, that upon her dignified demand for a just consideration, he only flung back the retort: ...
— The German Classics, v. 20 - Masterpieces of German Literature • Various

... words almost cruelly and looked straight before her, and her eyes sparkled again. His lips parted to make a quick retort, but he checked himself, and ...
— Fair Margaret - A Portrait • Francis Marion Crawford

... teaching him English. The Minister's enemies said that he won the King's heart by taking private lessons from some obscure Briton, and attributing his extraordinary progress to the skill of his royal master. But Decazes had a more effective retort than witticism. He opened the letters of the Ultra-Royalists and laid them before the King. Louis found that these loyal subjects jested upon his infirmities, called him a dupe in the hands of Jacobins, and grumbled at him ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... mightn't, not by any means," was his sharp retort. "I've been in the Sioux lodges ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... saved the labour of framing a suitable retort, for the door of Mr. Beale's flat was flung open and Mr. Beale came forth. His grey hat was on the back of his head and he stood erect with the aid of the door-post, surveying with a bland and inane smile the ...
— The Green Rust • Edgar Wallace

... inside before your sister came with her husband to see me—to beg me to go with her to Flint House and reason with your brother. To reason with him! He was beyond the futility of argument, the folly of retort. I did not want to go—at first. Then it dawned upon me that a kindly fate offered me a providential chance of securing my safety. No suspicion could fall on me if I ...
— The Moon Rock • Arthur J. Rees

... grandson at that time, and when the nurse announced my birth, she was not sufficiently courageous to tell the truth, and said: "A boy, sir!" Her faltering manner possibly betrayed her, as the sarcastic retort was: "I ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... me up, father, and it is but fair that I should be allowed to retort now and then. But to return to plants, Ernest; you say ...
— Willis the Pilot • Paul Adrien

... just as he was going up the fore-ladder, and though he could not just then take his pipe from his mouth to utter a retort, he gave a fierce look with one of his ferrety eyes, which showed that he acknowledged himself deeply in his messmate's debt. His pipe sounded more shrill than usual, as he could not give any other vent ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... when in a moment the dog quitted the sop, and, with a furious bark sprung against the wall as if he would seize some imaginary object that he fancied was there. "Did you see that?" was my reply. "What do you think of it?" "I see nothing in it," was his retort: "the dog heard some noise on the other side of the wall." At my serious urging, however, he consented to excise the part. I procured a poor worthless cur, and got him bitten by this dog, and carried the disease from this dog to the third victim: they all became rabid one after the other, ...
— The Dog - A nineteenth-century dog-lovers' manual, - a combination of the essential and the esoteric. • William Youatt

... profane hands, between the closed outer shutters and the panes, I used to keep my chemicals, bought for a few sous cheated out of the weekly budget in the early days of our housekeeping. The bowl of a pipe was my crucible, a sweet jar my retort, mustard pots my receptacles for oxides and sulfides. My experiments, harmless or dangerous, were made on a corner of the fire beside the ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... Ridgely will tell you when he comes," was the indifferent retort. "Have you a place to ...
— Dave Dashaway and his Hydroplane • Roy Rockwood

... rest of the evening, and was complimented by her mother and sister when poor Harry took his leave. He was not ready of wit, and could not fling back the taunts which Hetty cast against him. Nay, had he been able to retort, he would have been silent. He was too generous to engage in that small war, and chose to take all Hester's sarcasms without an attempt to parry or evade them. Very likely the young lady watched and admired that magnanimity, ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... spotless victims. It is the mistakes of the people that matter in a Satyagraha campaign. Mistakes, even insanity must be expected from the strong and the powerful, and the moment of victory has come when there is no retort to the mad fury of the powerful, but a voluntary, dignified and quiet submission but not submission to the will of the authority that has put itself in the wrong. The secret of success lies therefore ...
— Freedom's Battle - Being a Comprehensive Collection of Writings and Speeches on the Present Situation • Mahatma Gandhi

... and it would have been policy for the lady to have made the best of her present game. But she who had murmured as a wife was not complaisant as a mistress. Reproaches made an interlude to caresses, which the noble lover by no means admired. He was not a man to retort, he was too indolent; but neither was he one to forbear. "My charming friend," said he one day, after a scene, "you weary of me,—nothing more natural! Why torment each other? You say I have ruined you; my sweet friend, let me make you reparation. Become independent; I will settle an annuity ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... shy for make-believe, but this time she was stirred to stand with her fat doll-arms akimbo, and to retort, "You'll get nothing here, young fellow. This is a place ...
— The Innocents - A Story for Lovers • Sinclair Lewis

... though what, they could not imagine; or, something had been driven off that was in its nature light, namely, phlogiston. To decide between these hypotheses, Lavoisier hermetically sealed some tin in a glass retort, and weighed the whole. He then heated it; and, when the tin was calcined, weighed the whole again, and found it the same as before. No substance, therefore, either light or heavy, had escaped. Further, when the retort was cooled and opened, the air rushed in, showing ...
— Logic - Deductive and Inductive • Carveth Read

... reader might retort that the love of romantic scenery is so subtle a sentiment, and so far from being universal even now, that it would be rash to argue from its absence among savages, Greeks, and Romans, that love, a sentiment so much stronger and more prevalent, could have been in ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... exclaims, in a rich anger, "Your Fathers!" as if Scott's must either have been Presbyterians or Cavaliers, the retort is cleverly put by Sir Walter in the mouth of Jedediah. His ancestors of these days had been Quakers, and ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... warning in the abrupt retort silenced Werner for the moment; the distant peril seemed the ...
— The Return of Blue Pete • Luke Allan

... false, as will be clear to those who may have perused the preceding pages. Considering that it was Perron's own employer who kept the Imperial House in penury and durance, it was the extreme of impudence for one of Perron's compatriots to retort the charge upon the English, to whom Shah Alam was indebted for such brief gleams of good fortune as he had ever enjoyed, and whose only offence against him had been a fruitless attempt to withhold him from that premature return to Dehli, which ...
— The Fall of the Moghul Empire of Hindustan • H. G. Keene

... right, perhaps," was the retort, "but not a moral right to disregard her husband's wishes ...
— Vicky Van • Carolyn Wells

... this religion, which is formed on the earthly model of one king or God, his ministers or angels, and the rebellious spirits who oppose his government. As these tribes of the Volga have no images, they might more justly retort on the Latin missionaries the name of idolaters, (Levesque, Hist. des Peuples soumis a la Domination des Russes, tom. ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... at him ferociously, at the same time struggling to keep back the laughter that rose to his lips because of Stacy's sharp retort. ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Ozarks • Frank Gee Patchin

... certain sarcasm, of which Marthe felt the sting. But, before she had time to retort, Philippe appeared ...
— The Frontier • Maurice LeBlanc

... with a scowl. She knew quite well that he had married her for the child's sake alone. A savage retort was on his tongue, but ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... presence of mind which would seize him on any conventional emergency not included in the daily social routine. In a real one he was never at fault. He never failed in a sympathetic response or a playful retort; he was always provided with the exact counter requisite in a game of words. In this respect indeed he had all the powers of the conversationalist; and the perfect ease and grace and geniality of his manner on such occasions, arose probably far more ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... I might be too courteous to say so," was the calm retort. "What makes you imagine that I think you a thief? You must have some reason—you must believe there is some truth in your self-accusation, or you would not be ...
— The Circus Boys On the Mississippi • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... the part of the archangel more by act than word. Words are hushed in great encounters. Debate with a pirate, a body-snatcher, would be folly; no arguments, therefore, were wasted, on the top of Nebo, by Michael, over the grave of Moses. "The Lord rebuke thee," was his retort; his heavenly form stopping the way, his baffling right arm hindering the accursed design, were the invincible ...
— Catharine • Nehemiah Adams

... understand chemistry?" asked Lindsley. But the trapper did not answer. He got out the retort, and in five minutes the oxygen was bubbling furiously through the wash bottle into the India-rubber receiver. Edwards stood at the window scanning the road toward Gager's with his telescope until it grew dark, which in that latitude was at about ten o'clock. Then the magic ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... stake did you offer in your wager with my cousin?" "Twenty she-camels," said Hadifah. "As for this first wager," answered Cais, "I cancel it, and propose another one in its stead: I will bet thirty camels." "And I forty," replied Hadifah, "I make it fifty," was the retort of Cais. "Sixty," quickly added the other; and they continued raising the terms of the wager, until the number of camels staked was one hundred. The contract of the bet was deposited in the hands of a man named ...
— Oriental Literature - The Literature of Arabia • Anonymous

... here I suppose I might just glance into the house," was the capitalist's rather magnificent retort. "I don't often get around to this part of the estate. To-day I followed the river and came farther away from Aldercliffe than I intended. When I got to this point the sun was so pleasant here on the float ...
— Ted and the Telephone • Sara Ware Bassett

... says Sir W. Scott, "made a happy retort on Dr. Johnson's definition of oats, as the food of horses in England, and men in Scotland." "Yes," said he, "and where else will you see such horses, ...
— The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes - Historical, Literary, and Humorous—A New Selection • Various

... resonance as of wooden echoes from a platform, in the great historic chord of his lyre. "He is very English, too English, even," says the Master on whom his enemies alone—assuredly not his most loving, most reverent, and most thankful disciples—might possibly and plausibly retort that he was "very French, too French, even"; but he certainly was not "too English" to see and cleave to the main fact, the radical and central truth, of personal or national character, of typical history or tradition, without seeking to embellish, to degrade, in either or in any way to falsify ...
— A Study of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... his lip, and stood at a loss for a retort. He tried to saying something about "family and domestic circumstances," but ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... blacks in chains, was not only pathetic but mortifying! It was part of the sentimental drapery of British reports and despatches, to which I became accustomed in Africa. I did not retort upon my dashing captain with a sneer at his ancestors who had taught the traffic to Spaniards, yet I resolved not to let his official communications reach the British admiralty with a fanciful tale about my barracoons and starvation. Accordingly, ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... liana, shrub, or vine, yet the Bug's artesian product is clear, tasteless and wholly without the possibility of being blown into bubbles. When a large drop has collected, the tip of the abdomen encloses a retort of air, inserts this in the drop and forces it out. In some way an imponderable amount of oil or dissolved wax is extruded and mixed with the drop, an invisible shellac which toughens the bubble and gives it an astounding glutinous endurance. As long as ...
— Edge of the Jungle • William Beebe

... evenly, without raising his voice. His manner, even more than his words, expressed fixed determination. Farwell lifted his eyebrows, and puckered his lips in a silent whistle. His diplomacy was turning out badly, and he repressed an inclination to retort. ...
— Desert Conquest - or, Precious Waters • A. M. Chisholm

... liberal, and charitable principle, "Do as you would be done by," influences the conduct of the better educated muselmen who have had long intercourse and negociations with Christians; and they do not fail to retort it upon us, whenever our conduct deviates from it. Thus, the minds of muselmen, wherever European commerce flows, are tinctured with this great principle of the Christian doctrine. And, to an accurate 227 observer of mankind, it will appear that this principle, from its own intrinsic beauty, ...
— An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa • Abd Salam Shabeeny

... the bishop, who became sensible of his own extreme imprudence the very moment after the words had escaped him. However, the man contented himself with saying, after a pause, "A poor man's cabin is to him as dear as a palace." It is probable that this retort was far from expressing the deep moral indignation at his heart, though his readiness of mind failed to furnish him with any other more stinging; and, in such cases, all depends upon the first movement of vindictive feeling being ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... shook his picturesque head in sad remonstrance at this vulgar, coarse, but latterly frequent retort of insurgent democracy upon indignant aristocracy. ...
— The Grain Of Dust - A Novel • David Graham Phillips

... to the obvious retort. His pardner came round the pile and his eyes fell on their common sleeping-bag, the two Nulato rifles, and other "traps," that meant more to him than any objects inanimate in all ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... stir a muscle. The one and only solution that would have calmed his feelings, that is to say, for him to throttle his adversary then and there, was so absurd that he preferred to accept Daubrecq's gibes without attempting to retort, though each of them cut him like the lash of a whip. It was the second time, in the same room and in similar circumstances, that he had to bow before that Daubrecq of misfortune and maintain the most ridiculous attitude in silence. And he felt convinced in his innermost being ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... my dear M. Bourget, to retort upon me by dictation, if you prefer that method to writing at me with your pen; but if I may say it without hurt—and certainly I mean no offence—I believe you would have acquitted yourself better with the ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... lovely that graceful, clinging vine is," she exclaimed, ignoring his retort and pointing up to a vine covered tree, while Steve thrust back into the secret place of his heart all the cherished memories which the old wood held for him, realizing decidedly that Nancy was no longer a shy, timid little girl ready to place her hand in his, but a young woman ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... staircase of Westminster Hall. Mr. Plunket rose and quietly replied, in his effective, hesitating manner, "I am not responsible for the fearful creatures either in Westminster Hall or in this House," a retort which "brought down the House" and caused it to laugh loud and long. This I chronicled in a drawing for Punch ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... instead of a retort. He appreciated her sharpness too much to get one ready in time. Turning away, he left the room with a quiet, steady step, taking his grin with him: it had drawn the clear, scanty skin yet tighter on his face, and remained ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... she dealt her robust young admirer such a slap in the face, that it sounded like the report of a pocket-pistol. The blow was well meant, and admirably administered. It left the mark of every finger on the cheek of the sturdy little fellow. The lad clenched his fist, seemed much disposed to retort in kind, and ended by telling his beautiful antagonist that it was very fortunate for her she was not a boy. But it was the face of the girl herself that drew my attention. It was like a mirror which reflected every ...
— Recollections of Europe • J. Fenimore Cooper

... the close of his life he used to remark, that when he first came to this country, the topic of sermons was "Jesus Christ and Him crucified; now it was nothing but niggers and rum." He was good at retort. Early one Monday morning he was going home from the market, with some mackerel which he had just purchased strung upon his cane. "Mr. Milton," said some passer-by, "them mackerel was caught Sunday." "Well," was the reply, ...
— Old New England Traits • Anonymous

... a Dutch boss av any kind clane-shaved an' not hairy-faced?" was Kildare's just retort, "or see a crowd av Doppers gathered together that the blue smoke av the Blessed Creature was not curlin' out av their mouths an' ears an' noses, an' Old Square Face or Van ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... mouth to retort, but thought better of it and closed it again. Many of the hair ribbons in question had been on the ragged edge and beautiful was a little strong—but discretion was sometimes the better part. She kept her big eyes intently on her mother's face. ...
— Chicken Little Jane • Lily Munsell Ritchie

... back to the Station in the Rue Mouffetard," was Chauvelin's curt retort; "there to give notice that I might require a few armed men presently. But he should be somewhere about here by now, looking for us. Anyway, I have my whistle, ...
— The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... repeated, and there was something in his voice that caused the delegate to check a second retort. ...
— Calumet 'K' • Samuel Merwin

... retort aroused in the mind of Themistocles a strong feeling of indignation and anger against the Corinthian. He loaded his opponent, in return, with bitter reproaches, and said, in conclusion, that as ...
— Xerxes - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... in with a lot of psalm-singing goody-goodies?" was the sneering retort of one, and it needed only a glance to show that the ...
— Ned, Bob and Jerry on the Firing Line - The Motor Boys Fighting for Uncle Sam • Clarence Young

... this Eulalie excelled. My aunt might say to her twenty times in a minute: "The end is come at last, my poor Eulalie!", twenty times Eulalie would retort with: "Knowing your illness as you do, Mme. Octave, you will live to be a hundred, as Mme. Sazerin said to me only yesterday." For one of Eulalie's most rooted beliefs, and one that the formidable list of corrections which her experience must have compiled was powerless to eradicate, was that ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... retort puzzled him, and her tone increased his annoyance. But why, he asked himself, should he trouble to lift her to a higher level of thought? He relapsed ...
— Elder Conklin and Other Stories • Frank Harris

... dressed up in their finest apparel, come quietly marching into the Mission House, and gravely kiss Mrs Young on her cheek. When I used to rally her over this strange phase of unexpected missionary experience, she would laughingly retort, "O, you need not laugh at me. See that crowd of women out there in the yard, expecting you to go out and kiss them!" It was surprising how much work that day kept me shut in my study; or if that expedient would not avail, ...
— By Canoe and Dog-Train • Egerton Ryerson Young

... sympathy and love, as one who, amid greater temptations and with fewer advantages, may be the least offender of the two? A man who goes with this spirit, has the best hope of doing good to those who may offend. And yet even this spirit will not always save a man from angry retort, vexatious insinuation, jealous suspicion, and the misconstruction of his motives. A reprover, therefore, if he would avoid a quarrel and do the good he aims to secure, must be possessed of that meekness which can receive evil for good, with patient benevolence. And ...
— An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism - With reference to the duty of American females • Catharine E. Beecher

... great an advantage in all his Anti-Utopian utterances is his unconsciousness of his own limitations. He thinks in little pieces that lie about loose, and nothing has any necessary link with anything else in his mind. So that I cannot retort upon him by asking him, if he objects to this synthesis of all nations, tongues and peoples in a World State, ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... Controversy revived. The majority of the church withdrew, and for a while met in a private house for services, which were conducted by Solomon Paine or by some other layman. As a result, the Windham Association passed a vote of censure against the seceders. Paine wrote a sharp retort, for which he was arrested, although ostensibly on the charge of unlawfully conducting public worship. He refused to give bonds and was committed to Windham jail in September, 1744. Such crowds flocked to the prison ...
— The Development of Religious Liberty in Connecticut • M. Louise Greene, Ph. D.

... until you are asked, Miss Wren," replied Robinette, feeling he had better retire from the argument after this retort, for Jenny, like all females, would try to have the ...
— The Story of a Robin • Agnes S. Underwood

... was the unexpected retort. "Lieutenant Larson, if you and Lieutenant McBride will get the balloon ready, Captain Wakefield and myself will work out the ...
— Dick Hamilton's Airship - or, A Young Millionaire in the Clouds • Howard R. Garis

... gran'mom!" was the doctor's elegant retort. "What's ailin' YOU, anyways, that you want to be so spunky about Teacher? I guess you're mebbe thinkin' he'll cut you ...
— Tillie: A Mennonite Maid - A Story of the Pennsylvania Dutch • Helen Reimensnyder Martin

... Marquis of Salisbury once scored a clumsy partner at whist by his answer to someone who asked how the game progressed: "I'm doing as well as could be expected, considering that I have three adversaries." So the retort of Lamb, when Coleridge said to him: "Charles, did you ever hear me lecture?". * * * "I never heard you do anything else." And again, Lamb mentioned in a letter how Wordsworth had said that he did not see much difficulty in writing like Shakespeare, if he had a mind ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... almost everything, about herself, and it soon became apparent that she was no ordinary woman. She had never had a set-back; in innumerable conversational duels she had always given the neat and deadly retort, and she had never been worsted, save by base combinations deliberately engineered against her—generally by women, whom as a sex she despised even more than men. Her sincere belief that no biographical detail ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... suppression of what seems to be of the essence or integrity of matrimony is obvious enough, and yet finds many a retort even in the realm of nature, where the passage to a higher grade of life so often means the stultifying of functions proper to the lower. As to the pre-eminence of that state in which the spiritual excellencies of marriage and ...
— The Faith of the Millions (2nd series) • George Tyrrell

... she would have answered nonchalantly to any one else; for him there woke from the depths of her nature a fierce retort: ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... can use Avice Caro as a retort. But don't vex me about her, and make me do such an unexpected thing as regret ...
— The Well-Beloved • Thomas Hardy

... But their next retort to their enemies was the grandest of all. At a Synod held in Lindsey House, they resolved that a Book of Statutes was needed, and requested Zinzendorf to prepare one {1754.}. The Count was in a quandary. He ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... for the retort, but it did not come. A pleased wonderment filled him. Could these ...
— The Man Upstairs and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... wonderful thing that our minds should be so in tune, and is there not an object in all this? Did I believe as you do, I should say that it was Heaven working in us—no: do not answer that the working comes from lower down. I take no credit for reading that upon your lips; the retort is too easy and obvious. I am content to say, however, that the work is that of instinct and nature, or, if you will, of fate, pointing out a road by which together we might travel ...
— Benita, An African Romance • H. Rider Haggard

... as if the girl were going to flash out a bitter retort that might have betrayed her. Then she showed the same self-control as before, and went, without a word, into the next room. She was absent for a few minutes, and when she reappeared, carried what was unmistakably a bundle of soiled ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... they love us and have kindly feelings toward us, or that they will be just and kind and sympathetic in their actions that affect us or relate to us. Have you not seen children who, when one would hurt another and say, "Oh, I did not mean to do it!" the other would retort, "Yes, you did; you just did it on purpose"? There are many older persons who are always ready to say, "It was just done on purpose; they just meant to hurt my feelings!" This is childish, but alas, how many professed Christians hold such an attitude! This is a sure way to destroy fellowship ...
— Heart Talks • Charles Wesley Naylor

... an oil found in certain plants, mostly from the camphor laurel. This oil is separated from the plant, and then undergoes the process of refining. It is mixed with water, and then boiled in a sort of retort. It makes steam, which is allowed to escape through a small aperture, which is then closed, and the camphor becomes solid in the upper part of the vessel. This is the article which ...
— Four Young Explorers - Sight-Seeing in the Tropics • Oliver Optic

... to preface his audacities by the assurance that he dared not utter them. But the retort pleased Borso. ...
— Little Novels of Italy • Maurice Henry Hewlett

... The retort was a just one. Vane had attempted to usurp the government. Cromwell turned to the speaker, who obstinately clung to his seat, declaring that he would not ...
— Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... will not discuss the matter with you; in this scene you are not the principal actor. What do you want of me, madam?"—he added, addressing his wife. "Have not I done for you all that I could? Do not retort, that you have not plotted this meeting; I shall not believe you,—and you know that I cannot believe you. What, then, do you want? You are clever,—you never do anything without an object. You must understand ...
— A Nobleman's Nest • Ivan Turgenieff

... His retort came fierce and hot. It was as unmeasured and contemptuous as Francesco's erst recriminations, and it terminated in a challenge to the Count to meet him on horse or foot, with sword or lance, and that as soon as ...
— Love-at-Arms • Raphael Sabatini

... of decency in foul language addressed to the negro woman; but if one of the helpless creatures, goaded to resistance and crazed under tyranny, should answer back with impudence, or should relieve his mind with an oath, or retort indecency upon indecency, he did so at the cost to himself of one dollar for every outburst. The agent referred to in the statute was the well-known overseer of the cotton region, who was always coarse and often brutal, sure to be profane, and scarcely ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... assonances, Now must serve. Pegasus prances, Like a Buffalo Bill buck-jumper, When you have a "regular stumper" (Such as "silver") do not care about Perfect rhyming; "there or thereabout" Is the Muse's maxim now. You may get (bards have, I trow) Rhyme's last minimum irreducible, From dye-vat, retort, or crucible. ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, VOL. 103, November 26, 1892 • Various

... the social register. Indeed the old gentleman was rather inclined to be very snobbish on this point, and when any of his descendants chose to take him to task for the crudeness of his manners he was accustomed to look them coldly over and retort that things had come to a pretty pass when comparatively new people ventured to instruct the oldest of the old settlers as to what was or was not good form. The only person who ever succeeded in bowling him over on this point was Uncle Zib, hitherto referred to as the billionaire member ...
— The Autobiography of Methuselah • John Kendrick Bangs

... coldly, and the conversation flagged. In despair she blurted out, "General, what woman could you love the most?" "My own," was the stinging reply. ("Quelle femme?" "La mienne.") Woman and wife being the same word in French, Napoleon's retort was a disdainful pun. "Very well; but which would esteem you the highest?" she persisted. "The best housekeeper." "Yes, I understand; but which one would be for you the foremost among women?" "She who should bear the most children, ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. III. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... of cruelty to any boy who ventured to talk of his "aunties." On the whole, however, she has a fine understanding of boy-nature, and if there are some improbabilities in these ingenious stories, she is armed with the crushing retort that the chief characteristic of any properly equipped boy is ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914 • Various

... in her retort, although it was accompanied by a smile: "I don't. I have to take that chance. I have no other ...
— The Ghost Breaker - A Novel Based Upon the Play • Charles Goddard

... conversation to Bessie. When the old lady opened her mouth, it was to snub me. The snub direct, the snub indirect, the snub implied, and the snub far-fetched,—I submitted to all with a cheerful spirit, and not a hasty retort escaped me. ...
— That Mother-in-Law of Mine • Anonymous



Words linked to "Retort" :   rejoinder, sassing, respond, sass, vessel, still, mouth, backtalk, lip, reply, alembic, answer, back talk, response



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