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brief
in
Moby Dick
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brief
Used In
Moby Dick
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unspecified meaning
  • It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances.
  • But in brief, they are these: lungs and warm blood; whereas, all other fish are lungless and cold blooded.

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  • His body was reaching eagerly forward, his hand stretched out like a wand, and at brief sudden intervals he continued his cries.
  • But the monster’s run was a brief one.
  • Starting from a brief standing sleep, I was horribly conscious of something fatally wrong.
  • My God! what is the matter with me? thought I. Lo! in my brief sleep I had turned myself about, and was fronting the ship’s stern, with my back to her prow and the compass.
  • …remained unseen by me; though, indeed, in many cases, a whale-ship will be completely fitted out, and receive all her crew on board, ere the captain makes himself visible by arriving to take command; for sometimes these voyages are so prolonged, and the shore intervals at home so exceedingly brief, that if the captain have a family, or any absorbing concernment of that sort, he does not trouble himself much about his ship in port, but leaves her to the owners till all is ready for sea.
  • The vast swells of the omnipotent sea; the surging, hollow roar they made, as they rolled along the eight gunwales, like gigantic bowls in a boundless bowling-green; the brief suspended agony of the boat, as it would tip for an instant on the knife-like edge of the sharper waves, that almost seemed threatening to cut it in two; the sudden profound dip into the watery glens and hollows; the keen spurrings and goadings to gain the top of the opposite hill; the headlong, sled-like slide…
  • But the added power of the boat did not equal the added power of the whale, for he seemed to have treble-banked his every fin; swimming with a velocity which plainly showed, that if now, under these circumstances, pushed on, the chase would prove an indefinitely prolonged, if not a hopeless one; nor could any crew endure for so long a period, such an unintermitted, intense straining at the oar; a thing barely tolerable only in some one brief vicissitude.
  • A brief pause ensued; the preacher slowly turned over the leaves of the Bible, and at last, folding his hand down upon the proper page, said: "Beloved shipmates, clinch the last verse of the first chapter of Jonah—’And God had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.’

  • There are no more uses of "brief" in the book.


To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: briefed her Define
to give a summary of important information to someone
as in: legal brief Define
a summary of important facts -- especially an opinion of a legal case
Show Multiple Meanings (More common than this sense)
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