toggle menu
1000+ books

in a sentence

show 76 more with this conextual meaning
  • Now, however, he wondered which would have been worse: the gush of smoke and the instant recognition of impending doom that would have come with it—or clean air and the hideously attenuated false hope of a last-minute correction, salvation.†   (source)
  • The beam was attenuated more by the gaseous carbon and iron than by the armor.†   (source)
  • To hear him was to realize how I must have sounded when I was with her, though his tone was elegant, still circumspect, only the least bit attenuated.†   (source)
  • The repetition of symbols was to be enough, without trauma as well perhaps to attenuate it or even jar it altogether loose from her memory.†   (source)
  • Dominating the scene by his height and force was Nathan: broad-shouldered, powerful-looking, crowned with a shock of hair swarthy as a Sioux's, he resembled a more attenuated and frenetic John Garfield, with Garfield's handsome, crookedly agreeable face—theoretically agreeable, I should say, for now the face was murky with passion and rage, was quite emphatically anything but agreeable, suffused as it was with such an obvious eagerness for violence.†   (source)
  • Something attenuated, a nervous caution, suggested itself in all his movements.†   (source)
  • After being unfolded into one dimension, the strong nuclear force within the proton became far more attenuated, weakening the string.†   (source)
  • He glanced at the sky, hoping to see a curtain of rain sweeping toward the camp, but alas, a pair of attenuated clouds drifting high above was the only formation visible.†   (source)
  • At some point she realized that the card game she played with Miles, the game they played with the expensive deck of attenuated knaves and queens, figures of a certain sinister minimalism—she understood gradually that scopa was the same game she'd seen boys playing on the stoop of the building where she lived when she was married to Albert, they were Albert's own students, some of them, Mr. Bronzini's boys, and they played the game with an ordinary dog-eared deck, of course, and called it sweep.†   (source)
  • As with all elf-made structures, the buildings were graceful and flowing and more attenuated than those of dwarves or humans.†   (source)
  • A narrow crest extended from the back of each of their attenuated heads, opposite a long, straight, ebony beak made for spearing prey, and cold, bulbous eyes identical to the Ra'zac's.†   (source)
  • There's nothing to attenuate it.†   (source)
  • Foreign investment, global markets, corporate acquisitions, the flow of information through transnational media, the attenuating influence of money that's electronic and sex that's cyberspaced, untouched money and computer-safe sex, the convergence of consumer desire—not that people want the same things, necessarily, but that they want the same range of choices.†   (source)
  • Outside, the top of the sun slipped below the edge of the horizon, leaving a few attenuated clouds illuminated by its light.†   (source)
  • The cold, his hunger, and his trembling exhaustion gave him a peculiar sense of clarity; he seemed to float apart from his body, as if thebond between his consciousness and his flesh had grown attenuated, and there came upon him a heightened awareness of the city and the island around him.†   (source)
  • But once he'd learned to be patient with her repetitions and attenuations he began to find her presence a source of enormous comfort.†   (source)
  • Bayard attenuated forty miles (it was forty miles, wasn't it?)†   (source)
  • It was as though instead of having been subtly slain and corrupted by the ruthless and bigoted man into something beyond his intending and her knowing, she had been hammered stubbornly thinner and thinner like some passive and dully malleable metal, into an attenuation of dumb hopes and frustrated desires now faint and pale as dead ashes.†   (source)
  • The sky that shows around the dim white building is a peculiarly tender blue, almost turquoise, which invests the scene with a kind of lyricism and gracefully attenuates the atmosphere of decay.†   (source)
  • Generally when tomorrow came, the thought either did not occur at all or it was so attenuated by the delay it was not very troublesome.†   (source)
  • At seventeen, looking back he could see now the long series of trivial, clumsy, vain efforts born of frustration and fumbling and dumb instinct: the dishes she would prepare for him in secret and then insist on his accepting and eating them in secret, when he did not want them and he knew that McEachern would not care anyway; the times when, like tonight, she would try to get herself between him and the punishment which, deserved or not, just or unjust, was impersonal, both the man and the boy accepting it as a natural and inescapable fact until she, getting in the way, must give it an odor, an attenuation, and aftertaste.†   (source)
  • Now he (Quentin) could read it, could finish it—the sloped whimsical ironic hand out of Mississippi attenuated, into the iron snow: —or perhaps there is.†   (source)
  • It should have been all; that afternoon four years later should have happened the next day, the four years, the interval, mere and-climax: an attenuation and prolongation of a conclusion already ripe to happen, by the War, by a stupid and bloody aberration in the high (and impossible) destiny of the United States, maybe instigated by that family fatality which possessed, along with all circumstance, that curious lack of economy between cause and effect which is always a characteristic of fate when reduced to using human beings for tools, material.†   (source)
  • That was it that it should have been in the middle of the afternoon, when he should not have been anywhere near the house at all but miles away and invisible somewhere among his hundred square miles which they had not troubled to begin to take away from him yet, perhaps not even at this point or at that point but diffused (not attenuated to thinness but enlarged, magnified, encompassing as though in a prolonged and unbroken instant of tremendous effort embracing and holding intact that ten-mile square while he faced from the brink of disaster, invincible and unafraid, what he must have known would be the final defeat) but instead of that standing there in the path looking at m†   (source)
  • We have a few old mouth-to-mouth tales; we exhume from old trunks and boxes and drawers letters without salutation or signature, in which men and women who once lived and breathed are now merely initials or nicknames out of some now incomprehensible affection which sound to us like Sanskrit or Chocktaw; we see dimly people, the people in whose living blood and seed we ourselves lay dormant and waiting, in this shadowy attenuation of time possessing now heroic proportions, performing their acts of simple passion and simple violence, impervious to time and inexplicable—Yes, Judith, Bon, Henry, Sutpen: all of them.†   (source)
  • But we were afraid of them), we waked and fulfilled the endless tedious obligations which the sheer holding to life and breath entailed; we would sit before the fire after supper, the three of us in that state where the very bones and muscles are too tired to rest, when the attenuated and invincible spirit has changed and shaped even hopelessness into the easy obliviousness of a worn garment, and talk, talk of a hundred things—the weary recurrent triviata of our daily lives, of a thousand things but not of one.†   (source)
  • In very breathing they draw meat and drink from some beautiful attenuation of unreality in which the shades and shapes of facts—of birth and bereavement, of suffering and bewilderment and despair—move with the substanceless decorum of lawn party charades, perfect in gesture and without significance or any ability to hurt Miss Rosa ordered that one.†   (source)
  • Maybe attenuation is better)—an attenuation from a kind of furious inertness and patient immobility while they sat in the cart outside the doors of doggeries and taverns and waited for the father to drink himself insensible, to a sort of dreamy and destinationless locomotion after they had got the old man out of whatever shed or outhouse or barn or ditch and loade†   (source)
  • of the saw, the flat deliberate hammer blows that seemed as though each would be the last but was not, repeated and resumed just when the dulled attenuation of the wearied nerves, stretched beyond all resiliency, relaxed to silence and then had to scream again: until at last I went out there (and saw Judith in the barnlot in a cloud of chickens, her apron cradled about the gathered eggs) and asked them why?†   (source)
  • Then on the table before Quentin, lying on the open text book beneath the lamp, the white oblong of envelope, the familiar blurred mechanical Jefferson Jan 10 1910 Miss and then, opened, the My dear son in his father's sloped fine hand out of that dead dusty summer where he had prepared for Harvard so that his father's hand could lie on a strange lamplit table in Cambridge; that dead summer twilight—the wistaria, the cigar-smell, the fireflies—attenuated up from Mississippi and into this strange room, across this strange iron New England snow: My dear son, Miss Rosa Coldfield was buried yesterday.†   (source)
  • It is then that the plight of being alive becomes attenuated to its least possible dimensions.†   (source)
  • A manor-house clock from the far depths of shadow struck the hour, one, in a small, attenuated tone.†   (source)
  • I went and stared at nothing in my shaving-glass, at nothing save where an attenuated pigment still remained behind the retina of my eyes, fainter than mist.†   (source)
  • What if the wretched Bertha, finding in all the long hours no soul to turn to—but by this time Lily's eager foot was on the side-ladder, and her first step on the Sabrina showed the worst of her apprehensions to be unfounded; for there, in the luxurious shade of the after-deck, the wretched Bertha, in full command of her usual attenuated elegance, sat dispensing tea to the Duchess of Beltshire and Lord Hubert.†   (source)
  • Vertical black figures in twos and threes would advance, stop, watch, and advance again, spreading out as they did so in a thin irregular crescent that promised to enclose the pit in its attenuated horns.†   (source)
  • Much did she censure the attenuated Cupids who encircle the ceiling of the Queen's Hall, inclining each to each with vapid gesture, and clad in sallow pantaloons, on which the October sunlight struck.†   (source)
  • So long as I travelled at a high velocity through time, this scarcely mattered; I was, so to speak, attenuated—was slipping like a vapour through the interstices of intervening substances!†   (source)
  • With no excuse and less encouragement he isolated blackleg organisms from sick cattle and prepared an attenuated vaccine of his own.†   (source)
  • He certainly felt that he was part of a different, more restricted society, was anything but a tourist; and his more recent, broadening perspective had brought with it attenuating duties and a dignity that distanced him from others, so that he was not of a mind to join them in their romps or to roll in the snow like a fool.†   (source)
  • I winced at my mistake, which I attenuated as I could, and opened my letter again to repeat it to her; then, faltering in the act and folding it up once more, I put it back in my pocket.†   (source)
  • The colourless clearness that comes after the sunset flush was darkling; the blue sky above grew momentarily deeper, and the little stars one by one pierced the attenuated light; the interspaces of the trees, the gaps in the further vegetation, that had been hazy blue in the daylight, grew black and mysterious.†   (source)
  • Kerry read "Dorian Gray" and simulated Lord Henry, following Amory about, addressing him as "Dorian" and pretending to encourage in him wicked fancies and attenuated tendencies to ennui.†   (source)
  • He knew, and she knew, that, though the fascination which each had exercised over the other—on her part independently of accomplishments—would probably in the first days of their separation be even more potent than ever, time must attenuate that effect; the practical arguments against accepting her as a housemate might pronounce themselves more strongly in the boreal light of a remoter view.†   (source)
  • Its air is much more attenuated than ours, its oceans have shrunk until they cover but a third of its surface, and as its slow seasons change huge snowcaps gather and melt about either pole and periodically inundate its temperate zones.†   (source)
  • A few years later, living on the tiny inheritance from his father, a petty banker, and quite carelessly and cheerfully exhausting it, he was analyzing critically the ptomain theory of disease, and investigating the mechanism of the attenuation of virulence of microorganisms.†   (source)
  • What lessened it was that the facts of her life which had led to the parting had not changed—could never change; and that, if her presence had not attenuated them, her absence could not.†   (source)
  • The river had stolen from the higher tracts and brought in particles to the vale all this horizontal land; and now, exhausted, aged, and attenuated, lay serpentining along through the midst of its former spoils.†   (source)
  • —old Mr Clare; one of the most earnest of his school; one of the few intense men left in the Church; not so intense as the extreme wing of Christian believers with which I have thrown in my lot, but quite an exception among the Established clergy, the younger of whom are gradually attenuating the true doctrines by their sophistries, till they are but the shadow of what they were.†   (source)
  • His person, though muscular, was rather attenuated than full; but every nerve and muscle appeared strung and indurated by unremitted exposure and toil.†   (source)
  • Although he could not have been less than eighteen or nineteen years old, and was tall for that age, he wore a skeleton suit, such as is usually put upon very little boys, and which, though most absurdly short in the arms and legs, was quite wide enough for his attenuated frame.†   (source)
  • It is a sort of attenuated variety of Ixion's punishment, and contributes a dismal chapter to the history of gaols.†   (source)
  • I saw him look at the loaf at supper (which happened to be a small one), as if nothing else stood between us and famine; and when my aunt insisted on his making his customary repast, I detected him in the act of pocketing fragments of his bread and cheese; I have no doubt for the purpose of reviving us with those savings, when we should have reached an advanced stage of attenuation.†   (source)
  • How vain and foolish, then, thought I, for timid untravelled man to try to comprehend aright this wondrous whale, by merely poring over his dead attenuated skeleton, stretched in this peaceful wood.†   (source)
  • If she had had a little more self-control she would have attenuated the emotion to nothing by sheer reasoning, and so have killed it off.†   (source)
  • After he had left her she went, the first thing, and lifted from the mantel-shelf the attenuated coffee-cup in which he had mentioned the existence of a crack; but she looked at it rather abstractedly.†   (source)
  • Two kitchen chairs, and a round table, and an attenuated old poker and tongs were, however, gathered round the fire-place, as was a saucepan over a feeble sputtering fire.†   (source)
  • 'But my father threatened me,' gasped the boy, clasping his attenuated fingers, 'and I dread him — I dread him!†   (source)
  • Though evidently so near its dissolution, his attenuated frame still stood like the shaft of seasoned oak, dry, naked, and tempest-driven, but unbending and apparently indurated to the consistency of stone.†   (source)
  • "What is your answer, Bartleby?" said I, after waiting a considerable time for a reply, during which his countenance remained immovable, only there was the faintest conceivable tremor of the white attenuated mouth.†   (source)
  • The bay window projecting into the street, whose interior was so popular among the frequenters of the inn, was closed with shutters, in each of which appeared a heart-shaped aperture, somewhat more attenuated in the right and left ventricles than is seen in Nature.†   (source)
  • Nor were there wanting other indications of the good gentleman's having gone down in the world of late: for a great scarcity of furniture, and total absence of comfort, together with the disappearance of all such small moveables as spare clothes and linen, bespoke a state of extreme poverty; while the meagre and attenuated condition of Mr. Sikes himself would have fully confirmed these symptoms, if they had stood in any need of corroboration.†   (source)
  • Thus she did not amuse herself with those preparations that stimulate the tenderness of mothers, and so her affection was from the very outset, perhaps, to some extent attenuated.†   (source)
  • The bronze face, the shaggy black hair and beard, the coarse woollen red cap, the rough medley dress of home-spun stuff and hairy skins of beasts, the powerful frame attenuated by spare living, and the sullen and desperate compression of the lips in sleep, inspired the mender of roads with awe.†   (source)
  • In the new path which he had entered on, in judging the mistakes of the old regime, as in measuring the glory of Napoleon, he neglected the attenuating circumstances.†   (source)
  • Meagre old chairs and tables, of spare and bony make, and hard and cold as misers' hearts, were ranged, in grim array, against the gloomy walls; attenuated presses, grown lank and lantern-jawed in guarding the treasures they enclosed, and tottering, as though from constant fear and dread of thieves, shrunk up in dark corners, whence they cast no shadows on the ground, and seemed to hide and cower from observation.†   (source)
  • Misfortune had struck them gracefully, cutting off their erratic histories with a catastrophic dash, instead of, as with many, attenuating each life to an uninteresting meagreness, through long years of wrinkles, neglect, and decay.†   (source)
  • But as a memory, nothwithstanding such conditions, Lucetta's image still lived on with him, her weaknesses provoking only the gentlest criticism, and her sufferings attenuating wrath at her concealments to a momentary spark now and then.†   (source)
  • Register this attenuating circumstance.†   (source)
  • Some were marked with great splotches, red as arterial blood, others were saffron yellow, and others tall and attenuated, with stems like macaroni.†   (source)
  • We may be stopped; the fact may be put to us in general terms, which is one way of attenuating it; we may be told, that all trades, professions, it may be added, all the accidents of the social hierarchy and all forms of intelligence, have their own slang.†   (source)
  • All the lights in the scene were yellow as to colour, and all the shadows were attenuated as to form.†   (source)
  • The son of a father to whom history will accord certain attenuating circumstances, but also as worthy of esteem as that father had been of blame; possessing all private virtues and many public virtues; careful of his health, of his fortune, of his person, of his affairs, knowing the value of a minute and not always the value of a year; sober, serene, peaceable, patient; a good man and a good prince; sleeping wit†   (source)
  • By the outer margin of the Pit was an oval pond, and over it hung the attenuated skeleton of a chrome-yellow moon which had only a few days to last—the morning star dogging her on the left hand.†   (source)
  • The little attenuated voices of the children brought to her ear in distinct utterance the words they sang without thought or comprehension— Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on.†   (source)
  • The night before I had felt uncomfortable when I saw the men waiting in lines outside the doorways, smoking and taunting and singing to one another as they waited, their exuberance amazingly whole, unattenuated.†   (source)
    standard prefix: The prefix "un-" in unattenuated means not and reverses the meaning of attenuated. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.
  • On my attenuated physique, this magnificent, striped, green, double-breasted suit hung like window drapes on a scarecrow.†   (source)
▲ show less (of above)