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sinecure

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Definition a paid position that involves minimal duties
  • Life was not a task to him, but a sinecure.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • The something appeared vaguely to his imagination as a private secretaryship or a sinecure of some sort.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Pygmalion
  • His job was not a sinecure.
    Isabel Allende  --  The House of Spirits
  • By some writers this office is called a sinecure.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • The average working week was now about twenty hours— but those twenty hours were no sinecure.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood's End
  • There is no such position officially, but it sometimes came into existence through necessity, and was the opposite of a sinecure.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • He looked as though he did not take his salary from the public company, whose servant he was, for a sinecure.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • After confessing to these things they had been pardoned, reinstated in the Party, and given posts which were in fact sinecures but which sounded important.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • She tried to have him appointed to the postmastership, which, since all the work was done by assistants, was the one sinecure in town, the one reward for political purity.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • Ser Ilyn's appointment had been a wedding gift from Robert Baratheon to the father of his bride, a sinecure to compensate Payne for the tongue he'd lost in the service of House Lannister.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • He set up a government within the government-by moving the decimal points in appropriations and salaries, sending his speechless enemies to tiny towns in Calabria, and rewarding sycophants with sinecures.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • The eldest son was following in his father's footsteps only in another department, and was already approaching that stage in the service at which a similar sinecure would be reached. the third son was a failure.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  The Death of Ivan Ilych
  • He does have a job in the company library, an undemanding sinecure where he can do a lot of reading without bothering anyone, and occasionally he does a little research for one of the legitimate biologists on the staff.
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice
  • Miss Briggs was not formally dismissed, but her place as companion was a sinecure and a derision; and her company was the fat spaniel in the drawing-room, or occasionally the discontented Firkin in the housekeeper's closet.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • That he entered; and he learnt the rules of the game so well and played it so assiduously that he emerged at the age of sixty with a Lady Margaret for wife, with a knighthood, with a sinecure of some sort, three sons, and a country house.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Sketch of the Past
  • In short, I went on thus for a long time (I may say it without boasting), faithfully minding my business, till it became more and more evident that my townsmen would not after all admit me into the list of town officers, nor make my place a sinecure with a moderate allowance.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • I walked in a world of their invention—they had no occasion whatever to draw upon mine; so that my time was taken only with being, for them, some remarkable person or thing that the game of the moment required and that was merely, thanks to my superior, my exalted stamp, a happy and highly distinguished sinecure.
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • CHAPTER III RELATES HOW OLIVER TWIST WAS VERY NEAR GETTING A PLACE WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A SINECURE For a week after the commission of the impious and profane offence of asking for more, Oliver remained a close prisoner in the dark and solitary room to which he had been consigned by the wisdom and mercy of the board.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • Were he a gentleman doing his best to get a pension or a sinecure instead of sweeping a crossing, nobody would blame him; for deciding that so long as the alternative lies between living mainly at the expense of the community and allowing the community to live mainly at his, it would be folly to accept what is to him personally the greater of the two evils.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • Some laughed; some said, by way of complete excuse, that the post was virtually a sinecure, and any fool who could spell his name was good enough for it; some, and these the more solemn political oracles, said that Decimus did wisely to strengthen himself, and that the sole constitutional purpose of all places within the gift of Decimus, was, that Decimus should strengthen himself.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit

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