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  • If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles:   (source)
    arbitrary = doing things based on chance or impulse
  • Now we know that what we call 'reason' is just an arbitrary game.†   (source)
    arbitrary = based on chance or impulse
  • I kept arguing with him that he was not really pushing out the extension of the human range—it was too arbitrary.   (source)
  • And yet she's firmly persuaded that I'm an arbitrary overbearing bossing kind of person.   (source)
    arbitrary = inclined to make decisions based on chance or impulse
  • At the time of Billy Budd's arbitrary enlistment into the Indomitable that ship was on her way to join the Mediterranean fleet.   (source)
    arbitrary = based on chance or impulse
  • And Nature takes no account of moral consequences, of arbitrary conditions which we create, and which we feel obliged to maintain at any cost.   (source)
    arbitrary = not based on "reality"
  • And, since this rule appeared to be idiotic and arbitrary, she broke it on purpose day after day.   (source)
    arbitrary = based on chance or impulse
  • ...establishing therein an Arbitrary government,   (source)
    arbitrary = unfair (based on impulse rather than law)
  • I started thinking about them running their hurdle races, and jumping over these totally arbitrary objects that had been set in their path.†   (source)
  • To do so by selecting what you arbitrarily think are outstanding examples— whatever dogs happen to catch your fancy—and crossing them into your line will only result in a jumble, and might well create unhealthy or unviable offspring.†   (source)
  • Few people attended these tests, and the targets and other parameters were arbitrarily selected.†   (source)
  • She had to budget, they'd tell her, and they'd put her on some arbitrary plan they'd designed themselves.†   (source)
  • The Court prohibited jurors from hearing "victim impact" statements because they were too inflammatory and introduced arbitrariness into the capital sentencing process.†   (source)
  • I arbitrarily picked eight hours for the test duration, so I was trapped in the rover until then.†   (source)
  • Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary.†   (source)
  • I rank my choices arbitrarily, inserting numbers next to names: Phinneas Jonston (1), Chris McDonnell (2), Brian Scharff (3), Edward Wung (4).†   (source)
  • Though I had credit cards I was determined not to use them—another arbitrary rule in the game I'd devised for myself, a completely irrational precaution because who was I kidding?†   (source)
  • They speak in that slightly strained, silly way that he associates now with flirtation — the exchange feels desperately arbitrary, fleeting.†   (source)
  • For tomorrow, you may prepare a report on the development of the sympathy clock, its differences from the previous, more arbitrary clocks that used harmonic motion, and its effect on the accurate treatment of time.†   (source)
  • It's all more or less arbitrary, of course, just like language itself.†   (source)
  • Nowadays we would call Louis XIV's rule lawless and arbitrary.†   (source)
  • And there between Friml and fringe he read: frindle (frin' dl) n. a device used to write or make marks with ink [arbitrary coinage; originated by Nicholas Allen, American, 1987— (see pen)] Nick went back to the note from Mrs. Granger.†   (source)
  • She said there was comfort to be found in the permanence of mathematical truths, in the lack of arbitrariness and the absence of ambiguity.†   (source)
  • Such behavior, the journal said, "would be called treason in countries less enlightened and more arbitrary than ours."†   (source)
  • The new nation was really an arbitrary assemblage of ethnic groups and tribes with little in common save their location within an imposed and haphazardly drawn border, so ethnic and tribal tensions immediately set in.†   (source)
  • MR. MALLOY: It seems arbitrary.†   (source)
  • The idea of a peninsular Macondo prevailed for a long time, inspired by the arbitrary map that Jose Arcadio Buendia sketched on his return from the expedition.†   (source)
  • Although it is a somewhat arbitrary designation, mountaineers have always attached special prestige to ascents of 8,000-meter peaks.†   (source)
  • He was very old, every organ in his body had long since betrayed him, and most of his important decisions regarding Florin had a certain arbitrary quality that bothered many of the leading citizens.†   (source)
  • I still thought it was completely bizarre that once upon a time people lived with these limiting but arbitrary labels on their backs.†   (source)
  • It's like they just arbitrarily decided that one kind of DNA was bad and the other was good.†   (source)
  • Others behaved arbitrarily, picked on workers, yelled at workers, and made unreasonable demands.†   (source)
  • The arbitrary and meaningless tests to decide black from Coloured or Coloured from white often resulted in tragic cases where members of the same family were classified differently, all depending on whether one child had a lighter or darker complexion.†   (source)
  • The vapor became so thick that it obscured the rest of the valley, enveloping them in a featureless gray landscape where even up and down seemed arbitrary.†   (source)
  • On one of those, the Warden disregarded the channel markers—he seemed to think they represented arbitrary rules that he was not obliged to follow—and Jeff said, "Dad, you're not in the channel."†   (source)
  • They have seized the public revenue, and assumed to themselves legislative, executive, and judicial powers, which they already exercise in the most arbitrary manner....And although many of these unhappy people may still retain their loyalty ...the torrent of violence has been strong enough to compel their acquiescence till a sufficient force shall appear to support them.†   (source)
  • His moods were arbitrary and unpredictable.†   (source)
  • Norberg-Hodge had spent seventeen years living just south of these mountains, in Ladakh, a region much like Baltistan, but cut off from Pakistan by the arbitrary borders colonial powers drew across the Himalaya.†   (source)
  • Nine days, seven, until he was down to four, just one more day than the Navy had arbitrarily assigned.†   (source)
  • This show of power couldn't be arbitrary.†   (source)
  • The Talmud contains no punctuation marks, and it is not always a simple matter to determine where a thought unit begins and ends; occasionally, a passage will have a tight, organic flow to it which makes breaking it up into thought units difficult and somewhat arbitrary.†   (source)
  • When Quality enters the picture as a third metaphysical entity, the preselection of facts is no longer arbitrary.†   (source)
  • Pay minimum and you got arbitrary string of letters.†   (source)
  • The Danish scholar Otto Jespersen believed this resistance to arbitrary authority arose from deeply rooted ideas of freedom.†   (source)
  • Could it be that arbitrary?†   (source)
  • They stack up in her mind, soggily, arbitrarily, and she sorts through them like cherished belongings after a flood.†   (source)
  • The Laws handed down by the Angel are arbitrary and nonsensical, and their punishments are worse.†   (source)
  • A life afloat on the wind, then caught and woven into the cloth of humanity; born at some arbitrary time, then struggling to find its way into the fabric, weaving into the strength of it.†   (source)
  • Jefferson once famously said, "To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."†   (source)
  • If we arbitrarily suppose the contrary, we can deduce anything we want.†   (source)
  • But one of the peculiar imbecilities of our time is the grid of morality we have placed on human behavior: so that every act of man must be measured against an arbitrary latitude of right and longitude of wrong—in exact minutes, seconds, and degree!†   (source)
  • But the time is arbitrary.†   (source)
  • Without always knowing what we were doing, we were constantly adjusting to the arbitrariness by which we were surrounded.†   (source)
  • The seemingly incongruous and arbitrary jumble of things and ideas in the work of the Symbolists (Blok, Verhaeren, Whitman) is not a stylistic caprice.†   (source)
  • Miss Eckhart tried all those things and was strict to the last in the way she gave all her love to Virgie Rainey and none to anybody else, the way she was strict in music; and for Miss Eckhart love was just as arbitrary and one-sided as music teaching.†   (source)
  • Telling evidence in the President's favor was arbitrarily excluded.†   (source)
  • The coach arbitrarily formed two practice teams.
    arbitrarily = based on chance or impulse
  • The speed limit seems to be arbitrary. I can't imagine why it is so slow.
  • And before a court less arbitrary and more merciful than a martial one, that plea would largely extenuate.   (source)
  • There were now no more plans than if Dick had arbitrarily made some indissoluble mixture, with atoms joined and inseparable; you could throw it all out but never again could they fit back into atomic scale.   (source)
    arbitrarily = in a manner based on chance or impulse
  • Even could you explain to them—which our official position forbids—they, long moulded by arbitrary discipline have not that kind of intelligent responsiveness that might qualify them to comprehend and discriminate.   (source)
    arbitrary = based on chance or impulse
  • As to Billy's adieu to the ship Rights-of-Man, which the boarding lieutenant had indeed reported to him, but in a deferential way more as a good story than aught else, Captain Vere, tho' mistakenly understanding it as a satiric sally, had but thought so much the better of the impressed man for it; as a military sailor, admiring the spirit that could take an arbitrary enlistment so merrily and sensibly.   (source)
  • "A most arbitrary, if not a hasty decision!" exclaimed Heyward, undecided whether to give vent to his growing anger, or to laugh in the other's face.   (source)
  • But there's an authoritative tone to her voice that makes you feel her appointment wasn't arbitrary.†   (source)
  • Ursula would shout at him every time she learned of some new arbitrary act.†   (source)
  • Just arbitrary at first — they trusted each other a bit, they didn't trust anyone else.†   (source)
  • However, this is an arbitrary classification.†   (source)
  • Mom is arbitrary and inconsistent and always believes she's right.†   (source)
  • The arbitrary is no longer in our hands.†   (source)
  • The result, except in the case of insanity, would be mostly arbitrary.†   (source)
  • But in the town, where all was arbitrary and the law was what it was, all our lives were fluid.†   (source)
  • At first it seems arbitrary, then I see a pattern, like an intricate maze, appearing in the moonlight on Beetee's side.†   (source)
  • Take the word "arbitrary" as an example: it doesn't mean anything inherently; rather, at some point in our past we agreed that it would mean what it does, and it does so only in English (those sounds would be so much gibberish in Japanese or Finnish).†   (source)
  • But he is annoyed with their lack of interest, their blithe ignorance of the arbitrary genetic lottery that has granted them their privileged lives.†   (source)
  • When women hold the helm of government, the state is at once in jeopardy, because women regulate their actions not by the demands of universality but by arbitrary inclinations and opinions.†   (source)
  • The first time I ever used the cell phone that my aunt and uncle share, I was surprised by the patchy interference that kept breaking up my conversation with Hana at random intervals, until my aunt explained that it was just the government's listening devices, which arbitrarily cut into cell phone calls, recording them, monitoring conversations for target words like love, or Invalids, or sympathizer.†   (source)
  • He knew all about the details of the house: Pietro Crespi's suicide, Arcadio's arbitrary acts and execution.†   (source)
  • And so I chose my specialty to even out the odds for people like Thalia, to rectify, with each slice of my scalpel, an arbitrary injustice, to make a small stand against a world order I found disgraceful, one in which a dog bite could rob a little girl of her future, make her an outcast, an object of scorn.†   (source)
  • Thanks to him the Street of the Turks, with its dazzling display of knickknacks, became a melodic oasis where one could forget Arcadio's arbitrary acts and the distant nightmare of the war.†   (source)
  • Some time would have to pass before Aureliano realized that such arbitrary attitudes had their origins in the example of the wise Catalonian, for whom wisdom was worth nothing if it could not be used to invent a way of preparing chick peas.†   (source)
  • Colonel Aureliano, Buendia had him told, word for word, that he was eagerly awaiting that tardy but deserved occasion in order to take a shot at him, not as payment for the arbitrary acts and anachronisms of his regime, but for his lack of respect for an old man who had not done anyone any harm.†   (source)
  • They formed a union and fought for proper contracts, health benefits, and protections against arbitrary firing, and along with that came a push for fairness in hiring.†   (source)
  • It would never have occurred to them that they could be persuaded to reach a conclusion by something SO arbitrary and seemingly insignificant as a smile or a nod from a newscaster.†   (source)
  • But as is your character, I'm afraid, you are satisfied with leaving things to tenuous chance and hope and faith in the arbitrary.†   (source)
  • "Then and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain," Adams would claim.†   (source)
  • We had no true front, simply an area, and the only fighting at the moment was going on several hundred miles away, to our arbitrary right and rear.†   (source)
  • Intersexual—A term adopted for people born with genitalia neither male nor female, as part of a movement to prevent surgical alteration to a gender arbitrarily decided by a doctor.†   (source)
  • He soon saw the region for what it was—bands of tribal powers, shunted into states created arbitrarily by Europeans, states that took little account of each tribe's primal alliance to its own people.†   (source)
  • The first night they woke up the prisoners at two in the morning and made them do pushups, line up against the wall, and perform other arbitrary tasks.†   (source)
  • He studied every floating object fearfully for some gruesome sign of Clevinger and Orr, prepared for any morbid shock but the shock McWatt gave him one day with the plane that came blasting suddenly into sight out of the distant stillness and hurtled mercilessly along the shore line with a great growling, clattering roar over the bobbing raft on which blond, pale Kid Sampson, his naked sides scrawny even from so far away, leaped clownishly up to touch it at the exact moment some arbitrary gust of wind or minor miscalculation of McWatt's senses dropped the speeding plane down just low enough for a propeller to slice him half away.†   (source)
  • One complaint I voiced to the International Red Cross concerned the arbitrary way we were charged by the warders.†   (source)
  • Through events both arbitrary and conceived it so happened that one of his faces fell away, and then another, and another, until he revealed to me a final level that would not strip off.†   (source)
  • I hope you will comply willingly; it will speed the day when I can bow out and life can get back to normal—a new normal, free of the Authority, free of guards, free of troops stationed on us, free of passports and searches and arbitrary arrests.†   (source)
  • The man who had "appeared to be actuated by the principles of integrity" became "beclouded by a partiality for monarchy ....by living long near the splendor of courts and courtiers," and came home enamored by rank, titles, and "all the insignia of arbitrary sway."†   (source)
  • The distinction between artificial and natural flavors can be somewhat arbitrary and absurd, based more on how the flavor has been made than on what it actually contains.†   (source)
  • But to apply these classifications to a whole field of knowledge such as English composition seemed arbitrary and impractical.†   (source)
  • That a man pleasured could so easily resolve himself to the whole spectrum of acts, indifferent and murderous and humane, and choose with such arbitrary will what he shall have to remember forever and forever.†   (source)
  • Nothing in Las Vegas is built to last, hotels are routinely demolished as soon as they seem out of fashion, and the city limits seem as arbitrary as its location, with plastic bags and garbage littering the open land where the lawns end, the desert not far from the Strip.†   (source)
  • To avoid arbitrary decisions, the courts should follow strict rules and precedents that define their duty in every case that comes before them.†   (source)
  • This is an arbitrary definition.†   (source)
  • And: "Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator.†   (source)
  • Judicial despotism comes from arbitrary impeachments, arbitrary methods of prosecuting pretended offenses, and arbitrary punishments on arbitrary convictions.†   (source)
  • Blackstone is worth quoting: "To bereave a man of life, (says he) or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government."†   (source)
  • a generator is an act of faith, no more valid than the belief that it can be produced by a rabbit's foot kissed under a stepladder on the first of the moon-truth is whatever people want it to be, and people are everyone except yourself; reality is whatever people choose to say it is, there are no objective facts, there are only people's arbitrary wishes-a man who seeks knowledge in a laboratory by means of test tubes and logic is an old-fashioned, superstitious fool; a true scientist is a man who goes around taking public polls-and if it weren't for the selfish greed of the manufacturers of steel girders, who have a vested interest in obstructing the progress of science, you would lear†   (source)
  • "When a savage who has not learned to speak declares that existence must be proved, he is asking you to prove it by means of nonexistence-when he declares that your consciousness must be proved, he is asking you to prove it by means of unconsciousness-he is asking you to step into a void outside of existence and consciousness to give him proof of both-he is asking you to become a zero gaining knowledge about a zero, "When he declares that an axiom is a matter of arbitrary choice and he doesn't choose to accept the axiom that he exists, he blanks out the fact that he has accepted it by uttering that sentence, that the only way to reject it is to shut one's mouth, expound no theories and die.†   (source)
  • He can count on nothing, he can only wish, and he spends his life on wishing, on begging his demons to grant him his wishes by the arbitrary power of their will, giving them credit when they do, taking the blame when they don't, offering them sacrifices in token of his gratitude and sacrifices in token of his guilt, crawling on his belly in fear and worship of sun and moon and wind and rain and of any thug who announces himself as their spokesman, provided his words are unintelligibl†   (source)
  • But when five Socialists—duly elected members of a legally recognized party—were arbitrarily denied their seats in the New York State Assembly largely on the basis of their unpopular views, Hughes risked his standing and popularity to protest the action as a violation of the public's right to choose its own representatives.†   (source)
  • Life in our town was arbitrary enough.†   (source)
  • To see Raymond answering arbitrariness with a code like the one he had worked out for himself seemed to me extraordinary.†   (source)
  • Why, she was called in the Institution, Harriet Beadle—an arbitrary name, of course.†   (source)
  • I wish Society was not so arbitrary, I wish it was not so exacting—Bird, be quiet!'†   (source)
  • It is my misfortune to be, not so much a man of business, as what the world calls (arbitrarily) a gentleman.'†   (source)
    arbitrarily = in a manner based on chance or impulse
  • This explains the fact that in some places the frontiers between the superstates are arbitrary.†   (source)
  • Thea's standard was high, but she wasn't exactly to blame as having arbitrarily set it high.†   (source)
  • And should this happen, she had no legal rights, no legal redress, except those same drumhead courts of which Tony had spoken so bitterly, those military courts with their arbitrary powers.†   (source)
  • You don't want a card because you want the card, but because in a perfectly arbitrary system of rules and values and in a special combination of which you already hold a part the card has meaning.†   (source)
  • I have no doubt that they are for the most part fictitious, not, however, in the sense of arbitrary invention.†   (source)
  • If we adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one's land or treasure, seeking to lay no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men; if all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the high-roads of the future will be clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time, but for a century to come.†   (source)
  • The essence of his position was that the principle of exclusion has no inner check; that arbitrarily barring one minority from the exercise of its rights can be both a precedent and a moral sanction for barring another, and that it creates a frame of mind from which no one can expect justice or security.†   (source)
  • Not absent from the place, the arbitrary square of earth which he had named Sutpen's Hundred not that at all.†   (source)
  • Artistic theories such as Tolstoy's are quite worthless, because they not only start out with arbitrary assumptions, but depend on vague terms ("sincere", "important" and so forth) which can be interpreted in any way one chooses.†   (source)
  • So, making a perfectly arbitrary choice of a dozen volumes or so, I sent my slips of paper to lie in the wire tray, and waited in my stall, among the other seekers for the essential oil of truth.†   (source)
  • It is an act of injustice—to every human being on earth whom you rob of the affection arbitrarily granted to one.†   (source)
  • But why impose my arbitrary design?†   (source)
  • If we adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one's land or treasure, seeking to lay no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men; if all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the high-roads of the future will be clear, not only for us but for all, not only for our time, but for a century to come.†   (source)
  • Under the arbitrary and destructive Nazi rule, virtually every possible enterprise was geared into the German war machine.†   (source)
  • The nonrepresentational or "abstract," if it is to have aesthetic validity, cannot be arbitrary and accidental, but must stem from obedience to some worthy constraint or original.†   (source)
  • The frontiers between the three super-states are in some places arbitrary, and in others they fluctuate according to the fortunes of war, but in general they follow geographical lines.†   (source)
  • "Men moving only in an official circle," he told Carpenter, "are apt to become merely official—not to say arbitrary—in their ideas, and are apter and apter with each passing day to forget that they only hold power in a representative capacity."†   (source)
  • Her voice was dry and arbitrary.†   (source)
  • But he wasn't silent any more, and his old reserve was gone to pieces; he was boisterous, capricious, haughty, critical, arbitrary, mimicking and deviling, and he crowed, croaked, made faces and had the table all but spinning in this dining room of stable and upright wealth.†   (source)
  • We knew the arbitrary, unpredictable and unscrupulous character of our employer, but we took the chance, willing to sacrifice ourselves to our professional duty.†   (source)
  • The freedom from arbitrary rules, for which Cameron had fought, the freedom that imposed a great new responsibility on the creative builder, became mere elimination of all effort, even the effort of mastering historical styles.†   (source)
  • People lost their humanity, and took values as arbitrary as those in a pack of playing-cards.†   (source)
  • She uttered homely shrewd sayings, was of noble birth, and was eccentric and arbitrary.†   (source)
  • She forgot that her "higher" and "lower" were arbitrary.†   (source)
  • How shallow were the arbitrary definitions of ordinary psychologists!†   (source)
  • Actions such as hers are measured by an arbitrary scale.†   (source)
  • It is a closed corporation, and you create arbitrary objections in order to keep people out.†   (source)
  • i used it quite arbitrarily, simply because my head is a little muddled.†   (source)
  • Forgive me, Mynheer Peeperkorn, for having arbitrarily completed your sentence.†   (source)
  • Lavinia has made me a speech; she thinks me very arbitrary.†   (source)
  • But that is very arbitrary; I have done nothing to prove that.†   (source)
  • No, you are not, and you never will be, arbitrary or capricious.†   (source)
  • The Americans make a no less arbitrary classification of men's vices.†   (source)
  • The movement of humanity, arising as it does from innumerable arbitrary human wills, is continuous.†   (source)
  • A distinction must be drawn between tyranny and arbitrary power.†   (source)
  • And the farther we go back in examining events the less arbitrary do they appear.†   (source)
  • Tyranny usually employs arbitrary means, but, if necessary, it can rule without them.†   (source)
  • Even at the moment when it manifested itself in this crowning mercy, my father's conduct towards me was still somewhat arbitrary, and regardless of my deserts, as was characteristic of him and due to the fact that his actions were generally dictated by chance expediencies rather than based on any formal plan.†   (source)
  • It was this maddening course of being shouted at, checked without rhyme or reason, arbitrarily chased out of my cabin, suddenly called into it, sent flying out of his pantry on incomprehensible errands, that accounted for the growing wretchedness of his expression.†   (source)
  • She was ashamed of herself for her gloom of the night, based on nothing more tangible than a sense of condemnation under an arbitrary law of society which had no foundation in Nature.†   (source)
  • There is undoubtedly a security to the blacks in their very numbers,—a personal freedom from arbitrary treatment, which makes hundreds of laborers cling to Dougherty in spite of low wages and economic distress.†   (source)
  • —Not that I wish to be arbitrary; but why should I waste your time in discussing what is inevitable?†   (source)
  • He had never before seen the work of that enigmatic master; and at the first glance he was bothered by the arbitrary drawing: the figures were extraordinarily elongated; the heads were very small; the attitudes were extravagant.†   (source)
  • Fine, no one else had anything better, so let the spirit share this arbitrary item from the fullness of its knowledge.†   (source)
  • If we employ an arbitrary symbol, and pay, say, five dollars a day for farm work, then the cost of a bushel of wheat is fifty cents.†   (source)
  • Somehow, with the defection of Isabelle the idea of undergraduate success had loosed its grasp on his imagination, and he contemplated a possible failure to pass off his condition with equanimity, even though it would arbitrarily mean his removal from the Princetonian board and the slaughter of his chances for the Senior Council.†   (source)
  • He is a seemingly arbitrary man, this is because he knows what he is talking about better than any one else.†   (source)
  • Sondelius arbitrarily dragged bookkeepers and porters from their work, to pursue the rats with poison, traps, and gas, or to starve them by concreting and screening stables and warehouses.†   (source)
  • Here was the truth, here was reality, here was the life that belonged to him; and he, who fancied himself so scornful of arbitrary restraints, had been afraid to break away from his desk because of what people might think of his stealing a holiday!†   (source)
  • But if their names thus permanently absorbed the image that I had formed of these towns, it was only by transforming that image, by subordinating its reappearance in me to their own special laws; and in consequence of this they made it more beautiful, but at the same time more different from anything that the towns of Normandy or Tuscany could in reality be, and, by increasing the arbitrary delights of my imagination, aggravated the disenchantment that was in store for me when I set out upon my travels.†   (source)
  • Lady Britomart is a woman of fifty or thereabouts, well dressed and yet careless of her dress, well bred and quite reckless of her breeding, well mannered and yet appallingly outspoken and indifferent to the opinion of her interlocutory, amiable and yet peremptory, arbitrary, and high-tempered to the last bearable degree, and withal a very typical managing matron of the upper class, treated as a naughty child until she grew into a scolding mother, and finally settling down with plenty of practical ability and worldly experience, limited in the oddest way with domestic and class limitations, conceiving the univers†   (source)
  • In reality they all lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs; as when Mrs. Welland, who knew exactly why Archer had pressed her to announce her daughter's engagement at the Beaufort ball (and had indeed expected him to do no less), yet felt obliged to simulate reluctance, and the air of having had her hand forced, quite as, in the books on Primitive Man that people of advanced culture were beginning to read, the savage bride is dragged with shrieks from her parents' tent.†   (source)
  • And finally he had upset the whole household when he arrived an hour and a half late for luncheon and covered with mud from head to foot, and made not the least apology, saying merely: "I never allow myself to be influenced in the smallest degree either by atmospheric disturbances or by the arbitrary divisions of what is known as Time.†   (source)
  • de Guermantes,' appeared to me in dreams, since this one had not been, like the others, formed arbitrarily by myself, but had sprung into sight for the first time, only a moment ago, here in church; an image which was not of the same nature, was not colourable at will, like those others that allowed themselves to imbibe the orange tint of a sonorous syllable, but which was so real that everything, even to the fiery little spot at the corner of he†   (source)
  • And scientific accuracy likewise prohibited even thinking of engaging in any such arbitrary departure and return.†   (source)
  • I was sorry that my mother did not dye her hair and redden her lips, as I had heard our neighbour, Mme. Sazerat, say that Mme. Swann did, to gratify not her husband but M. de Charlus; and I felt that, to her, we must be an object of scorn, which distressed me particularly on account of the daughter, such a pretty little girl, as I had heard, and one of whom I used often to dream, always imagining her with the same features and appearance, which I bestowed upon her quite arbitrarily, but with a charming effect.†   (source)
  • If so, we needed some light for it—please forgive my arbitrarily taking care of the matter," he said, waving one small hand toward the ceiling lamp.†   (source)
  • He was thirteen years old, a seventh-grader in short pants, and he was standing in the schoolyard talking with another boy about his age, but from a different class—a conversation that Hans Castorp had initiated more or less arbitrarily and that delighted him no end, although it would be a short one, given the limited scope offered by the physical object under discussion.†   (source)
  • But she was wrong; it was what gave her away; she had not taken into account that this fragmentary detail of the truth had sharp edges which could not: be made to fit in, except to those contiguous fragments of the truth from which she had arbitrarily detached it, edges which, whatever the fictitious details in which she might embed it, would continue to shew, by their overlapping angles and by the gaps which she had forgotten to fill, that its proper place was elsewhere.†   (source)
  • When I had groped my way, blindly, through these difficulties, and had mastered the alphabet, which was an Egyptian Temple in itself, there then appeared a procession of new horrors, called arbitrary characters; the most despotic characters I have ever known; who insisted, for instance, that a thing like the beginning of a cobweb, meant expectation, and that a pen-and-ink sky-rocket, stood for disadvantageous.†   (source)
  • He had wanted to do something sudden and arbitrary, something unexpected and refined; to mark the difference between his sympathies and her own, and show that if he regarded his daughter as a precious work of art it was natural he should be more and more careful about the finishing touches.†   (source)
  • But it happens, on the contrary, that my strongest effort is to avoid any such arbitrary picture, and to give a faithful account of men and things as they have mirrored themselves in my mind.†   (source)
  • Seeing this, the opponents of the elders declared that the sacrament of confession was being arbitrarily and frivolously degraded, though the continual opening of the heart to the elder by the monk or the layman had nothing of the character of the sacrament.†   (source)
  • My lover wanted to buy me; but I knew that Dr. Flint was too willful and arbitrary a man to consent to that arrangement.†   (source)
  • As for my division of people into ordinary and extraordinary, I acknowledge that it's somewhat arbitrary, but I don't insist upon exact numbers.†   (source)
  • The hungry servant attended Miss Squeers in her own room according to custom, to curl her hair, perform the other little offices of her toilet, and administer as much flattery as she could get up, for the purpose; for Miss Squeers was quite lazy enough (and sufficiently vain and frivolous withal) to have been a fine lady; and it was only the arbitrary distinctions of rank and station which prevented her from being one.†   (source)
  • The architect had designed both buildings with the approval of the deceased Odintsov, who could not endure—as he expressed it—idle and arbitrary innovations.†   (source)
  • Another party demanded that all written constitutions, set forms of government, legislative acts, statute-books, and everything else on which human invention had endeavored to stamp its arbitrary laws, should at once be destroyed, leaving the consummated world as free as the man first created.†   (source)
  • A statesman gains little by the arbitrary exercise of iron-clad authority upon all occasions that offer, for this wounds the just pride of his subordinates, and thus tends to undermine his strength.†   (source)
  • To slay, and not to bring off the proof of victory, indeed, was scarcely deemed honorable, even these rude and fierce tenants of the forest, like their more nurtured brethren of the court and the camp, having set up for themselves imaginary and arbitrary points of honor, to supplant the conclusions of the right and the decisions of reason.†   (source)
  • The only security of that active and enlightened obedience which a court of justice cannot impose upon public officers lies in the possibility of their arbitrary removal.†   (source)
  • I refer you to article eighty-one of the law of the 13th of December, 1799, in regard to arbitrary detention.†   (source)
  • Middleton and Inez, Paul and Ellen, Obed and the trapper, were all brought forth and placed in situations that were deemed suitable to receive the sentence of their arbitrary judge.†   (source)
  • It was a sort of vault on the ground floor at the back, with a despotic monster of a four-post bedstead in it, straddling over the whole place, putting one of his arbitrary legs into the fireplace and another into the doorway, and squeezing the wretched little washing-stand in quite a Divinely Righteous manner.†   (source)
  • 'Tis planned most wisely, if I judge aright:
    We climb the Brocken's top in the Walpurgis-Night,
    That arbitrarily, here, ourselves we isolate.†   (source)
  • Although the presiding Genii in such an office as this, exercise a summary and arbitrary power over the liberties, the good name, the character, almost the lives, of Her Majesty's subjects, expecially of the poorer class; and although, within such walls, enough fantastic tricks are daily played to make the angels blind with weeping; they are closed to the public, save through the medium of the daily press.†   (source)
  • But the principle of equality cannot fail to root out whatever is merely conventional and arbitrary in the forms of thought.†   (source)
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