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pugilism

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Definition fighting with the fists
  • Mrs. Penniman, however, in spite of her pugilism, was a good deal frightened, and she took counsel of her fears.
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • So saying, Turkey rose to his feet and threw his arms into a pugilistic position.
    Herman Melville  --  Bartleby, the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street
  • Here, to his great amazement, he was stopped by Joe's suddenly working round him with every demonstration of a fell pugilistic purpose.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • It was no time for pugilistic chivalry and my brother laid him quiet with a kick, and gripped the collar of the man who pulled at the slender lady's arm.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • A redoubtable method, and one which, united with genius, rendered this gloomy athlete of the pugilism of war invincible for the space of fifteen years.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Gestures of Estragon like those of a spectator encouraging a pugilist.
    Samuel Beckett  --  Waiting for Godot
  • Then, exploding suddenly in maniacal anger, the quiet one sprang upon the amateur pugilist with one bound, and flattened him with a single blow of his fist.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • I guess my dad considered it a matter of time before one of us was faced with a low-flying pugilist and either hurt someone badly or got badly hurt himself.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • John L. Sullivan, the pugilist, was at one end of the glittering bar, surrounded by a company of loudly dressed sports, who were holding a most animated conversation.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
  • He ultimately worked his passage to the United States, where he made a precarious living in various towns as Professor of Gymnastics, Sword Exercise, Fencing, and Pugilism.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • The cha-cha music poured into the room and the dancers followed in beautifully balanced twos and the men and women at the tables got up and danced in place, making pugilistic motions with their hands.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • This acquaintance was useful to him in another way, also before long Jurgis made his discovery of the meaning of "pull," and just why his boss, Connor, and also the pugilist bartender, had been able to send him to jail.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • Two or three masks strove to knock his moccoletto out of his hand; but Albert, a first-rate pugilist, sent them rolling in the street, one after the other, and continued his course towards the church of San Giacomo.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • When they were done, the giant knocked at the front door; it opened to him; and, passing out of the atrium, he led Ben-Hur into a room adjoining, where the latter completed his attire from the coarse garments of the dead pugilist.
    Lew Wallace  --  Ben Hur
  • He drove slowly down-town and, affecting abstraction, traversed the deserted streets of the business section, peopled here and there where a movie was giving out its crowd or where consumptive or pugilistic youth lounged in front of pool halls.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Winter Dreams
  • The latter, without a word, made a rush for him, grasped him by the throat, and, much to the amusement of a group of Americans, who immediately began to bet on him, administered to the detective a perfect volley of blows, which proved the great superiority of French over English pugilistic skill.
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • In addition to these old tragedies, pugilistic encounters almost to the death had come off down to recent dates in that secluded arena, entirely invisible to the outside world save by climbing to the top of the enclosure, which few towns-people in the daily round of their lives ever took the trouble to do.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • A mighty man at cutting and drying, he was; a government officer; in his way (and in most other people's too), a professed pugilist; always in training, always with a system to force down the general throat like a bolus, always to be heard of at the bar of his little Public-office, ready to fight all England.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • He described the different pugilistic qualities of Molyneux and Dutch Sam, offered playfully to give Lady Jane the odds upon the Tutbury Pet against the Rottingdean man, or take them, as her Ladyship chose: and crowned the pleasantry by proposing to back himself against his cousin Pitt Crawley, either with or without the gloves.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • ...a smaller apartment in the rear of the premises, where his lady wife, his amiable son, and accomplished daughter, were in the full enjoyment of each other's society; Mrs Squeers being engaged in the matronly pursuit of stocking-darning; and the young lady and gentleman being occupied in the adjustment of some youthful differences, by means of a pugilistic contest across the table, which, on the approach of their honoured parent, subsided into a noiseless exchange of kicks beneath it.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby

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