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used in The Magic Mountain

12 uses
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not serious
  • in behavior or attitude — as when acting silly or without appropriate seriousness
  • in content — as when describing something as trivial or unimportant
  • Well, when you say 'fancier' " (actually, Hans Castorp did not recall putting it that way) "that's not a bad word for it—it has a hint of delicate frivolity.
    4.4 - Politically Suspect (63% in)
  • Since walking downhill is not a matter of strenuous exertion but more a sport, where you brace your legs and apply the brakes to keep from tripping or running—nothing more than helping yourself fall, really—there was a kind of nimble frivolity to their gait, which spread even to their faces, until the whole effect might very well have made you want to join their party.
    3.3 - Teasing/Viaticum/Interrupted Merriment (26% in)
  • True, some people did enjoy sweet melodies from their balconies, and three or four of the chairs in the arcade were occupied; but the majority of the guests sat at little white tables placed out on the covered porch, although frivolous and fashionable society, for whom sitting on chairs was apparently too respectable, took up a position on the stone steps leading down to the garden and gave free rein to merriment—youthful patients of both sexes, most of whose faces or names Hans...
    4.4 - Politically Suspect (18% in)
  • Nor was there anything to inspire greater reverence for suffering in his appearance; in its own way, this incident, too, bolstered Hans Castorp's impression that he was being exposed up here, against his will, to frivolous slovenliness, and, counter to all local custom, he hoped to offset this process by paying closer attention to those seriously ill and moribund.
    5.8 - Danse Macabre (39% in)
  • To be sure, just as Herr Settembrini had put it so graphically, the comforts on an ocean liner allowed one only superficially to forget the real situation and its dangers, and there was, if he might be permitted to add a comment of his own, even a kind of frivolous provocation about that perfect comfort, somewhat like what the ancients called hubris (in his desire to please, he was even citing the classics)—"I am the king of Babylon," and that sort of thing—in a word, sacrilege.
    6.1 - Changes (50% in)
  • Since our intent all along has been to make him no better or worse than he was, it should also be noted that when poor Wehsal approached him privately one evening and begged with ashen words for God's sake to please tell him in strict confidence about his experiences that night of the Mardi Gras party, Hans Castorp had complied with calm charity, although, as the reader can well imagine, he did not permit anything the least bit base or frivolous to sully that hushed scene.
    6.5 - An Attack Repulsed (17% in)
  • A perfect example was this tubercular pack up here, with their frivolity, stupidity, depravity, their aversion to becoming healthy again.
    6.6 - Operationes Spirituales (39% in)
  • His was a counterforce that they all could feel, but of which he was surely not even aware, or aware to God only knew what extent; but its weight was of no use to either argument, so that the issue itself seemed to pale, to lose its critical importance, indeed—though we hesitate to say it—to take on the stamp of frivolity.
    7.4 - Mynheer Peeperkorn (Continued) (33% in)
  • In short, it was a good plan, indeed incontrovertible; and if there seemed to be something uncanny and frivolous, sinister and mad about it, that was due simply to the skewed fanaticism with which the erstwhile artist pursued and advocated his one and only economic plan—which he evidently did not take seriously enough to make even the least attempt to put into action.
    7.6 - The Great Stupor (65% in)
  • Frivolous conflicts multiplied throughout the Berghof, with recriminations exchanged right in front of the authorities, who attempted to arbitrate but could themselves lapse into bellowing abuse with frightful ease.
    7.9 - The Great Petulance (3% in)
  • And yet when you looked closer, it wasn't actually so much that as moral fanaticism and hatred of imported foreign frivolity.
    7.9 - The Great Petulance (57% in)
  • "Cold morning, at least zero," he said with every good intention; but then, alarmed at the frivolity of his words, he added, "Gentlemen, I am convinced that ..."
    7.9 - The Great Petulance (90% in)

There are no more uses of "frivolous" in The Magic Mountain.

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