He had a decided propensity for bullying: derived no inconsiderable pleasure from the exercise of petty cruelty; and, consequently, was (it is needless to say) a coward.
The Dodger had a vicious propensity, too, of pulling the caps from the heads of small boys and tossing them down areas; while Charley Bates exhibited some very loose notions concerning the rights of property, by pilfering divers apples and onions from the stalls at the kennel sides, and thrusting them into pockets which were so surprisingly capacious, that they seemed to undermine his whole suit of clothes in every direction.
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…now, and he knew she had a sense of humor, and she knew he did, too, and somehow he made her feel safe, made her trust that he would never bring it up again, that this terrible thing she said would remain betWeen them, that they both understood mistakes are made by all and that they should, if everyone is acknowledging our common humanity, our common frailty and propensity for sounding and looking ridiculous a thousand times a day, that these mistakes should be allowed to be forgotten.
Dave Eggers -- The Circle
I was too nervous to bother explaining that one of my father’s vices had been his propensity for dirty limericks.