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subtle
in
The Mill on the Floss
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subtle
Used In
The Mill on the Floss
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as in: a subtle difference or thinker Define
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions) or: capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
  • Most of Mr. Spray’s hearers, however, were incapable of following his subtleties, and many old-fashioned Dissenters were much pained by his "siding with the Catholics"; while others thought he had better let politics alone.

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  • She used subtle reasoning to expose the absurdity of his argument.
  • She guessed which spices were used by their subtle aromas.

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unspecified meaning
  • In the enlightened child of civilization the abandonment characteristic of grief is checked and varied in the subtlest manner, so as to present an interesting problem to the analytic mind.
  • Doubtless there remained a subtle aroma from his juvenile contact with the "De Senectute" and the fourth book of the "AEneid," but it had ceased to be distinctly recognizable as classical, and was only perceived in the higher finish and force of his auctioneering style.

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  • And he had really given himself the trouble of recommending Mr. Stelling to his friend Tulliver without any positive expectation of a solid, definite advantage resulting to himself, notwithstanding the subtle indications to the contrary which might have misled a too-sagacious observer.
  • Tom was not given to inquire subtly into his own motives any more than into other matters of an intangible kind; he was quite sure that his own motives as well as actions were good, else he would have had nothing to do with them.
  • Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart.
  • And it was in this way that Philip justified his subtle efforts to overcome Maggie’s true prompting against a concealment that would introduce doubleness into her own mind, and might cause new misery to those who had the primary natural claim on her.
  • But some subtle influence prevented him from foreseeing the good fortune as happening to himself.
  • It was a subtle act of conscience in Stephen that even he himself was not aware of.
  • But with the Catholic Question had come a slight wind of controversy to break the calm: the elderly rector had become occasionally historical and argumentative; and Mr. Spray, the Independent minister, had begun to preach political sermons, in which he distinguished with much subtlety between his fervent belief in the right of the Catholics to the franchise and his fervent belief in their eternal perdition.
  • These familiar flowers, these well-remembered bird-notes, this sky, with its fitful brightness, these furrowed and grassy fields, each with a sort of personality given to it by the capricious hedgerows,—such things as these are the mother-tongue of our imagination, the language that is laden with all the subtle, inextricable associations the fleeting hours of our childhood left behind them.

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  • I am afraid there would have been a subtle, stealing gratification in her mind if she had known how entirely this saucy, defiant Stephen was occupied with her; how he was passing rapidly from a determination to treat her with ostentatious indifference to an irritating desire for some sign of inclination from her,—some interchange of subdued word or look with her.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a subtle poison Define
working in an indirect or hidden way
as in: a subtle shade of blue Define
understated so as not to draw attention to itself
as in: a subtle difference or thinker Define
not obvious, but understandable by someone with adequate sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps depending upon fine distinctions) or: capable of understanding things that require sensitivity and relevant knowledge (perhaps understanding fine distinctions)
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