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utter
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The Scarlet Letter
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utter
Used In
The Scarlet Letter
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as in: utter a sound Define
make a sound with the voice
  • Again, at the first instant of perceiving that thin visage, and the slight deformity of the figure, she pressed her infant to her bosom with so convulsive a force that the poor babe uttered another cry of pain.
  • A pigeon, alone on a low branch, allowed Pearl to come beneath, and uttered a sound as much of greeting as alarm.

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  • She wanted to warn him, but fear kept her from uttering a sound.
  • She wanted to complain, but she was so shocked she could not utter even a single sound.

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as in: utter stupidity Define
complete or total (used as an intensifier--typically when stressing how bad something is)
  • He kept vigils, likewise, night after night, sometimes in utter darkness, sometimes with a glimmering lamp, and sometimes, viewing his own face in a looking-glass, by the most powerful light which he could throw upon it.
  • So deep a stain, indeed, that his dry old bones, in the Charter-street burial-ground, must still retain it, if they have not crumbled utterly to dust!

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  • Not that the Surveyor brought the lesson home to himself, or admitted that he could be so utterly undone, either by continuance in office or ejectment.
  • I, your pastor, whom you so reverence and trust, am utterly a pollution and a lie!
  • It was his genuine impulse to adore the truth, and to reckon all things shadow-like, and utterly devoid of weight or value, that had not its divine essence as the life within their life.
  • Pearl, in utter scorn of her mother’s attempt to quiet her, gave an eldritch scream, and then became silent, not from any notion of obedience, but because the quick and mobile curiosity of her disposition was excited by the appearance of those new personages.
  • Am I mad? or am I given over utterly to the fiend?
  • Beholding it, Hester was constrained to rush towards the child—to pursue the little elf in the flight which she invariably began—to snatch her to her bosom with a close pressure and earnest kisses—not so much from overflowing love as to assure herself that Pearl was flesh and blood, and not utterly delusive.
  • Hester Prynne, gazing steadfastly at the clergyman, felt a dreary influence come over her, but wherefore or whence she knew not, unless that he seemed so remote from her own sphere, and utterly beyond her reach.
  • It was to teach them, that the holiest amongst us has but attained so far above his fellows as to discern more clearly the Mercy which looks down, and repudiate more utterly the phantom of human merit, which would look aspiringly upward.

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  • "I profess, madam," answered the clergyman, with a grave obeisance, such as the lady’s rank demanded, and his own good breeding made imperative—"I profess, on my conscience and character, that I am utterly bewildered as touching the purport of your words!"
  • …been written with a pen like that of Burns or of Chaucer, each of whom was a Custom-House officer in his day, as well as I. It is a good lesson—though it may often be a hard one—for a man who has dreamed of literary fame, and of making for himself a rank among the world’s dignitaries by such means, to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized and to find how utterly devoid of significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.
  • It was a maiden newly-won—and won by the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale’s own sermon, on the Sabbath after his vigil—to barter the transitory pleasures of the world for the heavenly hope that was to assume brighter substance as life grew dark around her, and which would gild the utter gloom with final glory.
  • According to these highly-respectable witnesses, the minister, conscious that he was dying—conscious, also, that the reverence of the multitude placed him already among saints and angels—had desired, by yielding up his breath in the arms of that fallen woman, to express to the world how utterly nugatory is the choicest of man’s own righteousness.

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  • She suffered utter devastation when her child died in the accident.
  • The company is in danger of utter collapse.

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as in: utter a complaint Define
say something aloud
  • When they found voice to speak, it was at first only to utter remarks and inquiries such as any two acquaintances might have made, about the gloomy sky, the threatening storm, and, next, the health of each.
  • But they were uttered only within his imagination.

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  • There can be, if I forbode aright, no power, short of the Divine mercy, to disclose, whether by uttered words, or by type or emblem, the secrets that may be buried in the human heart.
  • The unfortunate physician, while uttering these words, lifted his hands with a look of horror, as if he had beheld some frightful shape, which he could not recognise, usurping the place of his own image in a glass.
  • Yet, uttering his long-restrained emotions so vehemently as he did, his words here offered her the very point of circumstances in which to interpose what she came to say.
  • Now, during a conversation of some two or three moments between the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale and this excellent and hoary-bearded deacon, it was only by the most careful self-control that the former could refrain from uttering certain blasphemous suggestions that rose into his mind, respecting the communion-supper.
  • …with him, to bring his mind into such affinity with his patient’s, that this last shall unawares have spoken what he imagines himself only to have thought; if such revelations be received without tumult, and acknowledged not so often by an uttered sympathy as by silence, an inarticulate breath, and here and there a word to indicate that all is understood; if to these qualifications of a confidant be joined the advantages afforded by his recognised character as a physician;—then, at…

  • There are no more uses of "utter" identified with this meaning in the book.

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  • I was too shocked to utter a complaint.
  • The decision was made before I could utter an opinion.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: utter stupidity Define
complete or total (used as an intensifier--typically when stressing how bad something is)
as in: utter a complaint Define
say something aloud
as in: utter a sound Define
make a sound with the voice
Show Multiple Meanings (More common than this sense)
Go to Book Vocabulary
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