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used in Atlas Shrugged

24 uses
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unsafe or in danger of getting worse — especially in danger of falling
  • Philip had always been in precarious health, though doctors had found no specific defect in his loose, gangling body.
    1.2 Part 1 Chapter 2 — The Chain (45% in)
  • Our economy is in a state of extremely precarious equilibrium.
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (30% in)
  • It is such a rare, precarious spark that flashes for a moment somewhere among men, and vanishes.
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (53% in)
  • Uncoiling from among the curves of Wisconsin's hills, the highway was the only evidence of human labor, a precarious bridge stretched across a sea of brush, weeds and trees.
    1.9 Part 1 Chapter 9 — The Sacred and the Profane (69% in)
  • Are you going to run risks and court disasters-at a precarious time like ours-by opposing the existing social order in the name of those imaginary notions of yours which you call your convictions?
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (7% in)
  • If the only goal possible was to wheedle a precarious moment's favor from men who held guns, then neither action nor desire could exist any longer.
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (88% in)
  • They seemed precariously modest, lost in the violent orange and red of the hills...... Under a harsh blue sky, in the sunlight of late October, the sea of leaves looked like a sea of fire .... like waves rolling to swallow the fragile posts of the mine doorways.
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (48% in)
  • Rearden's consciousness became a progression of bending, raising the weight, aiming and sending it down and, before it had reached its unseen destination, bending for the next one again, a consciousness drawn tight upon watching the aim of his arm, to save the furnace, and the precarious posture of his feet, to save himself.
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (91% in)
  • The plows had been kept in precarious repair for two years past the span of their usefulness.
    2.5 Part 2 Chapter 5 — Account Overdrawn (5% in)
  • Beyond the few moving flares and the dulled sounds of screams, Chalmers sensed suddenly, not wanting to look at it, the black immensity of the mountains, the silence of hundreds of uninhabited miles, and the precarious strip of a ledge hanging between a wall of rock and an abyss.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (54% in)
  • It was a stretch of rocks ground against one another, with boulders hanging in precarious formations, with long, dark crevices and a few contorted pine trees growing half-horizontally into the air.
    2.10 Part 2 Chapter 10 — The Sign of the Dollar (96% in)
  • Her glance kept going back over the path they had traveled to get here, over the two exhausting miles of a twisted trail that ran, like a precarious corkscrew, from the tip of her feet down to the floor of the valley.
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (65% in)
  • Through the brilliant purity of the summer air, the plane seemed intimately close, she could see it rock on precarious currents and bank under the thrusts of wind.
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (78% in)
  • Social systems are so precarious.
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (21% in)
  • Dr. Ferris leaned toward Dr. Stadler-through the staccato hoof beats of the announcer's voice galloping across the continent with a description of the new invention-and said in the tone of a casual remark, "It is vitally important that there be no criticism of the Project in the country at this precarious time," then added semi-accidentally, as a semi-joke, "that there be no criticism of anything at any time."
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (23% in)
  • To be himself-he thought, in the drugged, precarious state of floating past the deadliest of his blind alleys, the one that led to the question of what was himself.
    3.4 Part 3 Chapter 4 — Anti-Life (20% in)
  • She answered, the unsmiling earnestness of her voice like a hand extended in support, knowing that a smile would upset some precarious balance, "But it does make up for it, and I do want to hear it."
    3.4 Part 3 Chapter 4 — Anti-Life (54% in)
  • "In a precarious period of emergency, like the present," James Taggart was saying, while she looked at the map, "it is dangerous to find ourselves forced to miss pay days and accumulate wage arrears on some of our divisions, a temporary condition, of course, but-"
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (5% in)
  • They watched, not the news from Minnesota, but the precarious balance of their friendships and commitments; they weighed, not the fate of the harvest, but the unknowable result of unpredictable emotions in unthinking men of unlimited power.
    3.5 Part 3 Chapter 5 — Their Brothers' Keepers (63% in)
  • These are precarious times, Mr. Rearden, the public mood is so uncertain and inflammatory, so .... so dangerous .... and we want to be able to protect you.
    3.6 Part 3 Chapter 6 — The Concerto of Deliverance (8% in)
  • When you listen to a mystic's harangue on the impotence of the human mind and begin to doubt your consciousness, not his, when you permit your precariously semi-rational state to be shaken by any assertion and decide it is safer to trust his superior certainty and knowledge, the joke is on both of you: your sanction is the only source of certainty he has.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (63% in)
  • Reason is the enemy he dreads and, simultaneously, considers precarious; reason, to him, is a means of deception; he feels that men possess some power more potent than reason-and only their causeless belief or their forced obedience can give him a sense of security, a proof that he has gained control of the mystic endowment he lacked.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (65% in)
  • The less efficient the thinking of your brain, the less your physical labor would bring you-and you could spend your life on a single routine, collecting a precarious harvest or hunting with bow and arrows, unable to think any further.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (92% in)
  • Do you wish to continue a struggle that consists of clinging to precarious ledges in a sliding descent to the abyss, a struggle where the hardships you endure are irreversible and the victories you win bring you closer to destruction?
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (98% in)

There are no more uses of "precarious" in Atlas Shrugged.

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