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foible


She didn’t know all my foibles and shortcomings.
Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  a peculiar behavioral trait in an individual — perhaps a weakness, but never important
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Samples:
  • She didn’t know all my foibles and shortcomings.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • I would read the inscriptions on walls, and carved into floors, a special foible of rich Anglicans who thought they’d get more points with God by being engraved.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
  • When old Jacob died, though, Colum had less patience with his sister’s foibles.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • "Give me time to collect my wits, Father," said he, with a smile that showed that his father’s foibles did not prevent his son from loving and honoring him.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace

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  • THE ZIATYS’ STORY, as well as any, shows the extent to which modern refugees can trace their displacement to the mistakes, greed, fears, crimes, and foibles of men who long preceded them, sometimes by decades—or longer.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • For, these are matters totally beneath a female who is acknowledged by universal admission to be far above the numerous little foibles and weaknesses of her sex.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • Now that was tact, for two of the ruling foibles of the masculine mind were touched.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • But this is a harmless little foible in the English whale-hunters, which the Nantucketer does not take much to heart; probably, because he knows that he has a few foibles himself.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Marguerite Blakeney was, above all, a woman, with all a woman’s fascinating foibles, all a woman’s most lovable sins.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • I see well enough, but I never will seem to look, fearing to distress them; thus I gain a double pleasure when I recite to them my poems; for I leave those poor fellows who have not breakfasted free to eat, even while I gratify my own dearest foible, see you?
    Edmond Rostand  --  Cyrano de Bergerac

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  • Everybody knew of Gawaine’s foible.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • Rumpled stockings, it may be, possibly is, a foible of mine but still it’s a thing I simply hate to see.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Catherine feared, as she listened to their discourse, that he indulged himself a little too much with the foibles of others.
    Jane Austen  --  Northanger Abbey
  • We all have our little foibles, and mine is the prompt settling of accounts.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • The assertion of racial beauty was not a reaction to the self-mocking, humorous critique of cultural/racial foibles common in all groups, but against the damaging internalization of assumptions of immutable inferiority originating in an outside gaze.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • When they signed up with Hall’s expedition, none of them had known that a reporter would be in their midst-scribbling constantly, quietly recording their words and deeds in order to share their foibles with a potentially unsympathetic Public.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • An old woman’s foibles.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • He had gathered and stacked all manner of foibles, devices, playthings of his egotism and now, between all the silly corridors of books, the toys of his life swayed.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Surely I don’t have to remind you that our professional duty is not to our own foibles and sentiments, but to the wishes of our employer.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • K. took this to be just a foible of the painter’s, and it irritated him as it made him lose time.
    Franz Kafka  --  The Trial
  • This ridiculous foible is perhaps one of our most fatal characteristics; for is there anything more absurd than to wish to carry continually a burden which one can always throw down? to detest existence and yet to cling to one’s existence? in brief, to caress the serpent which devours us, till he has eaten our very heart?
    Voltaire  --  Candide
  • She worked with too many therapists, saw that they were human, full of foibles, in need of help themselves.
    Amy Tan  --  The Bonesetter’s Daughter
  • He knew that this was like the sudden impulse of a madman—incongruous even with his habitual foibles.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • It had been as simple as that—and infinitely more complex, the marriage of two intelligent people who had over fifteen years learned each other’s foibles and strengths and grown ever closer.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • I pray you, then, receive my little book in all charity, studying my words with me, forgiving mistake and foible for sake of the faith and passion that is in me, and seeking the grain of truth hidden there.
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • Prince John, indeed, and those who courted his pleasure by imitating his foibles, were apt to indulge to excess in the pleasures of the trencher and the goblet; and indeed it is well known that his death was occasioned by a surfeit upon peaches and new ale.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • You select great materials; the foibles, the afflictions of human nature, the peculiarities of nations!
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • All her husband’s faults and foibles she had buried in the grave with him: she only remembered the lover, who had married her at all sacrifices, the noble husband, so brave and beautiful, in whose arms she had hung on the morning when he had gone away to fight, and die gloriously for his king.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • ’My dear Louisa, then consent to receive the submissive representation of your devoted friend, who knows something of several varieties of his excellent fellow-creatures — for excellent they are, I am quite ready to believe, in spite of such little foibles as always helping themselves to what they can get hold of.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • Fortunately for those who pay their court through such foibles, a fond mother, though, in pursuit of praise for her children, the most rapacious of human beings, is likewise the most credulous; her demands are exorbitant; but she will swallow any thing; and the excessive affection and endurance of the Miss Steeles towards her offspring were viewed therefore by Lady Middleton without the smallest surprise or distrust.
    Jane Austen  --  Sense and Sensibility
  • In Gopher Prairie the only ardent new topics were prohibition, the place in Minneapolis where you could get whisky at thirteen dollars a quart, recipes for home-made beer, the "high cost of living," the presidential election, Clark’s new car, and not very novel foibles of Cy Bogart.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • …beings infinite in difference; some happy, many serene, a few depressed, one here and there bright even to genius, some stupid, others wanton, others austere; some mutely Miltonic, some potentially Cromwellian—into men who had private views of each other, as he had of his friends; who could applaud or condemn each other, amuse or sadden themselves by the contemplation of each other’s foibles or vices; men every one of whom walked in his own individual way the road to dusty death.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • The foibles and vices of men, in whom there is great mixture of good, become more glaring objects from the virtues which contrast them and shew their deformity; and when we find such vices attended with their evil consequence to our favourite characters, we are not only taught to shun them for our own sake, but to hate them for the mischiefs they have already brought on those we love.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • Miss Squeers knew as well in her heart of hearts that what the miserable serving-girl had said was sheer, coarse, lying flattery, as did the girl herself; yet the mere opportunity of venting a little ill-nature against the offending Miss Price, and affecting to compassionate her weaknesses and foibles, though only in the presence of a solitary dependant, was almost as great a relief to her spleen as if the whole had been gospel truth.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Most Loonies ignored them and granted them their foibles.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • You select great materials; the foibles, the afflictions of human nature, the peculiarities of nations!
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • For all of Mum’s foibles, she didn’t mistake sludge for coffee.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Maelstrom
  • But that foible his father had of increasing his age to magnify his guilt had long ago become familiar to him.
    Henry Roth  --  Call It Sleep
  • They made up for the respect with which unconsciously they treated him by laughing at his foibles and lamenting his vices.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • He sang Lord Robert to sleep every night, and tweaked the noses of Lady Lysa’s suitors with verses that made mock of their foibles.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Storm of Swords
  • I don’t choose to discuss scandal out loud: A woman laughs at these masculine foibles, And never plagues her mate with paltry troubles.
    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere  --  Tartuffe
  • While she has been doing all these things, you no doubt have been observing her failings and foibles and deciding what effect they have had on her opinions.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Room of One’s Own
  • So she headed toward Cop Central, rested, well fed, and in her newly repaired vehicle, which in under five blocks decided to surprise her with a new foible.
    J.D. Robb  --  Immortal in Death
  • She must have thought from his silence and gravity afterwards that he was very much displeased with her, that he was inclined to be harsh and severe towards her foibles.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • Young Anne Bingham, who was married to the immensely wealthy William Bingham, was, Abigail agreed, "very handsome," but "rather too much given to the foibles" of France.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • But, without being provocative, she had that rare gift for immediate intimacy; she spoke to me as a very old friend might speak, friends who knew each other’s smallest foibles and were utterly easy tete-a-tete.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • Never mind about that, it is only a foible; but just now he assured me that all his life, from the day he was made an ensign to the 11th of last June, he has entertained at least two hundred guests at his table every day.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • "Is it then a creature of your forming?" said Ellen, turning away from her fruitless examination, with a sudden lighting of her sprightly blue eyes, that showed she knew how to play with the foible of her learned companion.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Prairie
  • The death of Marmaduke’s father, and the consequent division of his small estate, rendered such an offer extremely acceptable to the young Pennsylvanian; he felt his own powers, and saw, not only the excellences, but the foibles in the character of his friend.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • In free countries, where everyone is more or less called upon to give his opinion in the affairs of state; in democratic republics, where public life is incessantly commingled with domestic affairs, where the sovereign authority is accessible on every side, and where its attention can almost always be attracted by vociferation, more persons are to be met with who speculate upon its foibles and live at the cost of its passions than in absolute monarchies.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
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Associated words [difficulty]:   foible [6]
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