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mercurial
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mercurial
as in:  mercurial twists of temperament


Nobody knows her mercurial moods better than Mary.
  tending to change quickly, frequently, and unpredictably
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mercurial mercurially mercurials
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Samples:
  • Nobody knows her mercurial moods better than Mary.
  • those whom I, with my mercurial temperament, had hurt or offended
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • she admires him, as though his mercurial nature, his temper, his massive dreams and little cruelties, served her only as sharp reminders of the turbulent longings within him, longings which she shares but lacks the temperament to utter and follow to their end.
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • Who knew that my extroverted, mercurial, overcaffeinated boyfriend would be so patient, so capable, and so resourceful?
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black

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  • Now he was just Will—maddening, mercurial, clever, funny Will—who patronized me and liked to play Professor Higgins to my Eliza Doolittle.
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • Sedgwick had fulfilled his obligations as administrative head with a mercurial visit to the island at the end of November.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • ) Other friends, like Mr. Abernathy —my dad’s age, with some ill-articulated scandal or disgrace in his past—were so mercurial and articulate, so utterly dismissive of me ("And where did you say you obtained this child, James?
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • According to members of the extended family, his moods can be dark and mercurial, although they say his famous temper has lost much of its volatility in recent years.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • "A mercurial product," Rinaldi said.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  A Farewell to Arms
  • They are expressed in the most plain and simple terms, wherein those people are not mercurial enough to discover above one interpretation: and to write a comment upon any law, is a capital crime.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels

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  • Jack knew him to be a mercurial man, affable one moment, brittle the next.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • My way led through Pleasant Meadow, an adjunct of the Baker Farm, that retreat of which a poet has since sung, beginning,— "Thy entry is a pleasant field, Which some mossy fruit trees yield Partly to a ruddy brook, By gliding musquash undertook, And mercurial trout, Darting about."
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • He was in a mercurial Hastings temper, and a halter and chain looped over his bridle barely restrained him.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • But his mercurial mood shifted on me.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • Then, mercurially, as though he’d read the letter, by God, for the last time in his life, he stuffed it like so much excelsior into its envelope.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • Goethe presents the masculine guide in Faust as Mephistopheles—and not infrequently the dangerous aspect of the "mercurial" figure is stressed; for he is the lurer of the innocent soul into realms of trial.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • It was just that Mike, brilliant, mercurial, irreverent Mike, was a little older and a little higher in the Shipboard pantheon than young Merin Aspic.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • Observers have described Charlestonians as vainglorious, obstinate, mercurial, verbose, xenophobic, and congenitally gracious.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • Yet, although if occasion demanded he could do or think a thing with as mercurial a dash as can the men of towns who are more to the manner born, his special power, morally, physically, and mentally, was static, owing little or nothing to momentum as a rule.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • And then, after explaining to the newspapers about a reported double drowning at Big Bittern, he seized his own blue-banded straw hat, some two sizes too large for him, and hurried down the hall, only to encounter, opposite the wide-open office door of the district attorney, Zillah Saunders, spinster and solitary stenographer to the locally somewhat famous and mercurial Orville W. Mason, district attorney.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • His moods are as black as my own at times and his temper just as mercurial.
    Libba Bray  --  Sweet Far Thing
  • Neither would she give the satisfaction of being confused by his mercurial mood changes.
    Nora Roberts  --  Summer Pleasures
  • Arthur Lee was known for his "mercurial temperament."
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • He is cruel and mercurial.
    Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Lincoln
  • Under the punishment inflicted by the Council his mercurial spirit had fallen low and he had become the apathetic wretch the sight of whom had so much shocked Bigwig.
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • Once out of the trees, the driveway dipped sharply and they could see the broad, mercurial Genesee River, and, right up against the river, on the nearer bank, the high, many-gabled house.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • Mr. Van der School was a well-educated man, but of slow comprehension, who had imbibed a wariness in his speeches and actions, from having suffered by his collisions with his more mercurial and apt brethren who had laid the foundations of their practice in the Eastern courts, and who had sucked in shrewdness with their mother’s milk.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • "He’s …. mercurial.
    Sara Gruen  --  Water for Elephants
  • Mercurial Malachi.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • None of that, because he’s alive," was the answer of Jose Arcadio Buendia, who finished the seventy-two hours with the mercurial incense as the body was already beginning to burst with a livid fluorescence, the soft whistles of which impregnated the house with a pestilential vapor.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • I was famous among my roommates for my mercurial mood-swings.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • He was as mercurial and unpredictable as the English history course he taught.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • (He upturns his eyes) Mercurial Malachi!
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Herman Blake, a black professor at the college who had been born on a sea island further up the coast, was the mercurial, driving force behind the program; he devised it, implemented it, and was the strong shaft that supported the experiment in the early days and nurtured it past the stormy and vehement disapproval of the island troll, Ted Stone.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • Numbers of physicians and ordinary citizens performed heroically, doing all they could for the stricken, and no one more so than Rush, though whether his ministrations—his insistence on "mercurial purges" and "heroic bloodletting"—did more good than harm became a subject of fierce controversy.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • …when proposing this problem for solution, he had conjectured as a working hypothesis which could not be proved impossible that a more adaptable and differently anatomically constructed race of beings might subsist otherwise under Martian, Mercurial, Veneral, Jovian, Saturnian, Neptunian or Uranian sufficient and equivalent conditions, though an apogean humanity of beings created in varying forms with finite differences resulting similar to the whole and to one another would probably…
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • He was not a mercurial man, who easily changed his point of view.
    Eliot, George  --  Brother Jacob
  • So our mercurial Ladislaw has a queer genealogy
    Eliot, George  --  Middlemarch
  • mercurial twists of temperament
  • the Mercurial canals
  • more than Mercurial thievishness
  • mercurial preparations
  • mercurial sore mouth
  • Astor was not overconfident of the stability and firm faith of these mercurial beings.
    Irving, Washington  --  Astoria or Anecdotes  of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains
  • And mercurial trout,
    Thoreau, Henry David  --  Walden & on the Duty of Civil Disobedience
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Associated words [difficulty]:   mercurial [6]
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