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Curt   /kərt/   Listen
Curt

adjective
1.
Marked by rude or peremptory shortness.  Synonyms: brusk, brusque, short.  "A curt reply" , "The salesgirl was very short with him"
2.
Brief and to the point; effectively cut short.  Synonyms: crisp, laconic, terse.  "A response so curt as to be almost rude" , "The laconic reply; 'yes'" , "Short and terse and easy to understand"



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"Curt" Quotes from Famous Books



... Sewall's displeasure in every sentence of that curt little note. If I had been nursing the hope for understanding from my old employer, it was dead within me now. The letter cut me ...
— The Fifth Wheel - A Novel • Olive Higgins Prouty

... elaborate farewell was curt and somewhat crusty. "Had they known," said the states' envoys, "that their transparencies and worthinesses had no better intention, and the Duke of Terranova no ampler commission, the whole matter might have been despatched, not in six ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... the doorway as the full aroma of the place smote him, now entered at the curt suggestion of Sondheim, but ...
— The Crimson Tide • Robert W. Chambers

... he could chat. The stranger's name was Etienne Lousteau. Two years ago he had left his native place, a town in Berri, just as Lucien had come from Angouleme. His lively gestures, bright eyes, and occasionally curt speech revealed a bitter apprenticeship to literature. Etienne had come from Sancerre with his tragedy in his pocket, drawn to Paris by the same motives that impelled Lucien—hope of fame and ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... the curtains over every chink, and hung a shawl over the end of Pat's bed to still further screen him from draughts, but Pat was not in the mood to be coddled, and had that shawl whisked to the ground before one could say Jack Robinson. He was curt and silent in his manner, and—rare and significant sign!—partook of a fragmentary tea. Nothing was right; everything was wrong; his patience was exhausted, and though he remained studiously polite to his ...
— The Love Affairs of Pixie • Mrs George de Horne Vaizey

... through his breakfast impatiently, as if exasperated by being made a party to some monstrous foolishness, muttered a curt excuse, and went on deck. Shortly afterwards the second mate took his smooth red countenance out of the cabin. With the appetite of a schoolboy, and after two months of sea-fare, he appreciated the generous spread. But I did not. It smacked of extravagance. All ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... man than citizen Chauvelin, the citizen Commissary would, no doubt, have given a curt refusal to a request to see a prisoner at this late hour of the evening. But Chauvelin was not a man to be denied, and whilst muttering various objections in his ill-kempt beard, Cuisinier, nevertheless, ...
— The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... broached, when repeated and amplified by the waiting-maid, naturally brought a favorable answer. It was a decisive moment for the double ambition hidden in Fraisier's mind. Bold as a petty provincial attorney, sharp, rough-spoken, and curt as he was, he felt as captains feel before the decisive battle of a campaign. As he went into the little drawing-room where Amelie was waiting for him, he felt a slight perspiration breaking out upon his forehead and down his back. Every sudorific hitherto employed had failed to produce this ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... the Chancellor containing this proposition, the latter did indeed send a communication to Kohlhaas in which he admonished him not to decline such a proposition should it be made to him; but in a short and rather curt answer to the President himself the Chancellor begged him not to bother him with private commissions in this matter and advised the Chamberlain to apply to the horse-dealer himself, whom he described ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... dollars left. She must get to work at once—and what she earned must supply her with all. A note came from Jeffries—a curt request that she call—curt to disguise the eagerness to have her back. She tore it up. She did not even debate the matter. It was one of her significant qualities that she never had the inclination, apparently lacked the power, to turn back once she ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... many a curt word that had brought the boy up, standing. Whatever else the young herder was he was just. Not only did Donald's liking, but his ...
— The Story of Wool • Sara Ware Bassett

... LARRY [with curt sincerity]. Yes of course I do: why should I tell you lies about it? Nora Reilly was a person of very little consequence to me or anyone else outside this miserable little hole. But Mrs Tom Broadbent will be a person of very considerable consequence indeed. Play your new part well, ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... expected ever to see his wife and bairns again; that I can assure ye." We were again indebted to private courtesy for a trip from Syra to Canea, though the delay was long. I had made an appeal to the commander of our man-of-war on the station to see us back to my post, but received a curt and discourteous refusal. I am not much surprised when I remember some of the occupants of the consulates ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume II • William James Stillman

... alone in the stricken house. The dinner was extremely frugal, this being the opening day of Mrs. Prohack's new era of intensive economy, but the obvious pleasure of Machin in serving only men brightened up somewhat its brief course. Charlie was taciturn and curt, though not impolite. Mr. Prohack, whose private high spirits not even the amazing and inexcusable absence of his daughter could impair, pretended to a decent woe, and chatted as he might have done to a fellow-clubman on a wet ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... boy, and as blond as its father. Mary Fawcett stood its presence in the house for a month, then packed it off to St. Croix. She received a curt acknowledgment from Levine, and an intimation that she had saved herself much trouble. As for Rachael, he would have her back when he saw fit. She wrote an appeal to the Captain-General and he sent her word that the Danes would ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... and what will he be to posterity? Some admirers have already answered the first question, perhaps as satisfactorily as it can be answered, by saying, "Daudet is simply Daudet." As for the second question, a whole school of critics is inclined to answer it and all similar queries with the curt statement, "That concerns posterity, not us." If, however, less evasive answers are insisted upon, let the following utterance, which might conceivably be more indefinite and oracular, suffice: Alphonse ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... stages of the Galician campaign that when our troops, after sweeping away the resistance at Lwow and Jaroslau, loudly knocked at the doors of the fortress of Przemysl, they met with a stern rebuff. In reply to the summons of the Russians to surrender the keys the commandant wrote a curt and dignified note remarking that he considered it beyond his own dignity or the dignity of the Russian General to discuss the surrender of the fortress before it had exhausted all its powers of resistance. During the second invasion of Poland by the Austro-German armies the ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... and left us together, but at first he was almost curt in his effort to hide his sensibility to my beauty—as if that were a weakness!—and I was furiously shy, and felt somehow that I must hold ...
— The Bacillus of Beauty - A Romance of To-day • Harriet Stark

... public man ever came out of a personal discussion less favourable than the noble minister for the colonies on this occasion. The simple truth evoked was, that while a committee of the house supposed that they were possessed of full and complete reports, they were supplied with only curt and crude extracts, calculated to place matters in the ministerial light, but not really affording the committee the opinions of those whose views they purported to be. This practice was, unfortunately, common with great officers ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... is an able man," was the commonplace reply, spoken bluntly, and accompanied by a look of irritation at the sarcastic question. Burr, conscious of the disapproval implied in the officer's curt answer, managed to change partners so as to ride abreast of the younger brother, Thomas, while Dupeister spurred forward and engaged John in discourse on stock-raising and the prospect of crops. With Thomas, an aspiring ...
— A Dream of Empire - Or, The House of Blennerhassett • William Henry Venable

... That curt sentence brought the rogue on his marrow-bones at once. He clasped his hands and debated inwardly. 'If I tell you all I know,' he said, at last, looking about him with an air of abject terror, as if he thought ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen

... thing you ever did in your life," he said, and his words came curt and clipped as though he spoke them ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... contrite and unhappy, hurried away to apologize to the Rev. Cuthbert Eager. Lucy, apparently absorbed in a lunette, could hear the lecture again interrupted, the anxious, aggressive voice of the old man, the curt, injured replies of his opponent. The son, who took every little contretemps as if it were ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... of all this Lucinda was passive as regarded the making of the arrangements, but very troublesome to those around her as to her immediate mode of life. Even to Lady Eustace she was curt and uncivil. To her aunt she was at times ferocious. She told Lord George more than once to his face that he was hurrying her to perdition. "What the d—— is it you want?" Lord George said to ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... even in the excitement of the fight. At one time an officer rode up to him from another portion of the field and exclaimed, "General, I think the day is going against us!" To which Jackson replied in his usual curt manner, "If you think so, sir, you had better not say ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... up from the book she was reading, and Mrs. Harrington tempered her curt manner of expressing her wishes with a rare smile. She often did this for Eve's benefit, almost unconsciously. In some indefinite way she was rather ...
— The Grey Lady • Henry Seton Merriman

... Curt and dry of speech, abrupt at times almost to rudeness, he was a man of whom most people stood in awe, and with whom very few were on terms of intimacy. Yet in the world of men he had made ...
— The Tidal Wave and Other Stories • Ethel May Dell

... all Paris news till my next; and begging you to forgive so curt and unsatisfactory a reply to a letter so important that it excites me more than I like to own, believe me your affectionate ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... consonant with the writer's own rules of quantity. From the citations above, one might expect from this author such an exposition of quantity, as nobody could either mistake or gainsay; but, as the following platform will show, his treatment of this point is singularly curt and incomplete. He is so sparing of words as not even to have given a definition of quantity. He opens his subject thus: "VERSIFICATION is the proper arrangement of words in a line according to their quantity, and the disposition of these lines in couplets, stanzas, ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... to this. He nodded carelessly and passed into the store. Factor Rodwell looked round as he entered, and surveyed him with a measuring eye, as if taking stock of a new acquaintance, then gave him a curt nod and resumed his barter with the Indian. His assistant being also busy for the moment, Stane turned towards the Indian girl whose liquid eyes were regarding him shyly, and addressed ...
— A Mating in the Wilds • Ottwell Binns

... Curt. How say you now? Is not your husband mad? Adri. His inciuility confirmes no lesse: Good Doctor Pinch, you are a Coniurer, Establish him in his true sence againe, And I will please you what you ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... plain, littered with the bones of camels and the slaves whom men pinned into the yokes to perish or survive in twos.* As we mounted foot by foot we fell asleep. Later, as we mounted higher, we shivered under blankets. There is a spirit and a spell of Africa that grip men even in sleep. The curt engine blasts became in my dreams the panting of enormous beasts that fought. A dream-continent waged war on itself, and bled. I saw the caravans go, thousands long, the horsed and white-robed Arab in the lead—the paid, fat, insolent askaris, flattering and ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... she shook her dice rather roughly without paying any more attention to my mother, who after exchanging a curt good-night with the Marquise, returned to the tower, so little convinced of the presence of the cats that she took two screw-rings from one of our boxes, fixed them on to the trap-door, closed them with a padlock, took the key and said, 'Now we ...
— The House of the Combrays • G. le Notre

... whole, Foster was glad he had picked up the letters as the girl threw them down. It is customary in Western cities for people to call for their mail and girl clerks are sometimes curt, but she seemed to think it strange that the fellow had come to the wrong wicket. If he had had an object for doing so, he had learned Foster's name, but the latter did not think he had seen the postmarks or that one letter ...
— Carmen's Messenger • Harold Bindloss

... words had been curt, no grace or kindness had he shown me of countenance. I felt in my heart that to him I was but a pawn in the game of battle. Now I seemed as far off as ever I was from my foolish dream of winning my spurs; nay, perchance never had I sunk lower in ...
— A Monk of Fife • Andrew Lang

... vanity, presumably at his words of endearment, could scarcely expect to be treated otherwise than with disdain by the high-bred girl whom he had previously delighted to honour. As for Edward he was sorely hurt and bewildered. Helene's treatment of him he considered decidedly curt, and natural resentment burned within him at the thought. But before he reached home his anger had passed away, and with it all remembrance of the cold maiden and the unpleasant evening she had given him. In their place lived an intense recollection of ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... crops grow on certain soils, and at what seasons the different plants flower and bear fruit. He made me see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears, for which I shall ever be grateful to him. I fancy I can hear his voice now, saying in his curt cutting fashion— ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... his papers and Dick, thinking his manner somewhat curt, left his tent. But he was pleased to hear that the detail was commanded by Colonel Winchester. Arthur Winchester was a man of forty-one or two who lived about thirty miles north of Pendleton. He was a great landowner, of high character and pleasant manners. Dick ...
— The Guns of Shiloh • Joseph A. Altsheler

... was being done and had taken the credit himself. Cullom's recollection seems to have been accurate, at least as far as relations between the two men were concerned, for three days before the meeting of the Republican nominating convention Blaine sent a curt note to the President resigning his office without giving any reason, and asking that his withdrawal take effect immediately. The President's reply accepting the resignation was equally cool and uninforming. If Blaine expected to take any ...
— The United States Since The Civil War • Charles Ramsdell Lingley

... in curt negation while, caked in mud and inexpressibly serious-faced, Fyne seemed to be backing her up with all the weight of his solemn presence. Nothing more absurd could be conceived. It was delicious. And I went on in deferential accents: "Am I to understand then that you entertain the ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... was military and official and harassed and curt and tired. Joe'd known Sally and therefore her father all his life, but the Major wasn't an easy man to be relaxed with. He spoke into thin air, and immediately his sad-seeming secretary wrote out a pass for Joe. Then Major Holt gave crisp orders on a telephone and asked questions, ...
— Space Platform • Murray Leinster

... hear it. But he was good for the gruel he's got, Lord bless you! without that ... I ask your pardon, sir—no! Not from a gentleman like you! Couldn't think of it! Couldn't think of it!" And with a sudden whip-lash, and a curt hint to his horse, that cabman drove off unpaid. The other took out a pencil, and wrote the number of the cab on his blue wristband, close to a little red spot—Mr. Salter's blood probably. When he had done this he turned towards the restaurant he had taken note of. But he seemed ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... oude Schieten voor de vroome Stadt Haerlem in Holland gheschicht, etc., etc.— Delft, 1574.—This is by far the best contemporary account of the famous siege. The author was a citizen of Antwerp, who kept a daily journal of the events as they occurred at Harlem. It is a dry, curt register of horrors, jotted down without passion or comment.— Compare Bor, vi. 422, 423; Meteren, iv. 79; Mendoza, viii. 174, 175; Wagenaer, vad. Hist., vi. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... interposed. The gloomy distance and silence attendant upon the last hours of the great were not in the way of friendly sympathy, or unfriendly intrusion, here. The back door stood wide open, and people came and went, while the children's sobs mingled with the curt, outspoken directions of the undertaker and the clatter of dishes, which some obliging neighbor was washing at the kitchen sink. The body of the murdered man lay on the bed in a small room off the little sitting-room—an apartment so tiny that the door had to be left open, so that the implements ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... d'Orleans thought the shortest plan would be to encourage hope by delay, in forcing Rion to depart, flattering himself that the declaration would be put off much more easily in his absence than in his presence. I strongly approved this idea, and on the morrow, Rion received at Meudon a curt and positive order to depart at once and join his regiment in the army of the Duc de Berwick. Madame la Duchesse de Berry was all the more outraged, because she knew the cause of this order, and consequently felt her inability to hinder its execution. Rion on his side did not dare to disobey it. ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... restlessly about the room, and he dictated the work the photographer was to do with scrupulous care. Half a dozen times a dazzling flash of magnesium powder lit up the place. Photographs of the room in sections were being taken. Then with a curt order to the photographer to return immediately to Scotland Yard and develop his negatives, he drew up a chair to the couch and began to go methodically through the pockets of ...
— The Grell Mystery • Frank Froest

... a curt admonition to Barbee to mind his own business and flung himself into the saddle. As he spurred away to the outer fringe of his herd he was not thinking over-much of Carr's warning; somehow Barbee's stuck closer in his mind. A spurt of irritation with himself succeeded that first desire to slap ...
— The Desert Valley • Jackson Gregory

... affairs so that they shall be continually increasing the capital of the owner. There is scarcely a laborer in the city who works harder than the master of this office. He transacts all business connected with his estate, and is as cold and curt in his manner as can well be imagined. He wastes neither words nor time, and few persons find him an agreeable man to deal with. He is perfectly informed respecting every detail of his vast business, and it is impossible to deceive him. No tenant can make the ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... after a curt nod in his direction, Galt pushed his way through the lobbyists and glanced into the House of Delegates, where an animated discussion of an oyster bill was ...
— The Voice of the People • Ellen Glasgow

... cut short the war of words. His gesture suggested that of Joshua who made the sun stand still. He tossed a curt order to one of his men, who went off at a run toward a village, whose morning smoke rose blue over a spur of the range a mile away. Then Anazeh sat down to await events, and took no more notice of the horseman's ...
— Jimgrim and Allah's Peace • Talbot Mundy

... boys couldn't help doing well," Mrs. Hunt said, looking almost as pleased as the two beaming faces before her. "They're so keen. I don't know if I should, but shall I read you what Douglas says about them?" They gathered eagerly together over the curt words of praise Major Hunt had written. "Quite ordinary boys, and not a bit brainy," he finished. "But I wish I had a regiment full ...
— Captain Jim • Mary Grant Bruce

... acquiesce with a single word. I certainly hoped no curt objection would be made to the reading of any proposition which any member might deem it his duty to offer. As gentlemen differ from me in this respect, I will hand the paper to the Chair. I hope at least it may be permitted ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... intrusted to him for years; a man who has plundered the orphan and the widow, the most despicable of all men. My mother died of shame, and I knew nothing. My father left last night for South America, taking with him all the available funds, leaving me a curt note of explanation. I have neither money, friends, nor home. The newspapers as yet know nothing; but to-morrow, to-morrow! ...
— Half a Rogue • Harold MacGrath

... form of the phrase tells its own tale, when, in the midst of a detailed narrative, obviously of legendary origin, we come across a curt, dry entry in annalistic style, obviously copied from a written document. That is what we find in Livy (see Nitzsch, Die roemische Annalistik, Leipzig, 1873, 8vo), and in Gregory of Tours (see Loebell, Gregor von ...
— Introduction to the Study of History • Charles V. Langlois

... We started at noon, and before the sun crossed the meridian the next day we found the surveyor busy beside the new steel road which stretched out across the prairie from the trunk line so many fathoms daily. He was a native Canadian, emphatic in gesture, curt in speech, with, as we say here, a snap about him, and he looked us over critically as I explained that we were willing to work for him. I fancied there was satisfaction in his gaze, and this was not unlikely, ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... was a certain young lady, Charlotte Packenham, who found his tongue more eloquent than did his colleagues in the House of Commons. She was the daughter of Lord Longford, who was not so easily won over to the young man's suit. In fact, the nobleman gave him a curt "no." He was looking for a more brilliant match for ...
— Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers • J. Walker McSpadden

... gauche—their tone is still just the same!" And the Doctor described a scene he had witnessed in one of the bureaux of the prefecture only the day before. A German official was at his desk. Enter an Alsatian to make an inquiry about some point in a bankruptcy case. The German answered him with the curt rudeness which was the common official tone in old days, and finally, impatiently told the applicant to go. The Alsatian first opened his eyes in astonishment, and then—suddenly—flamed up. "What!—you think nothing is changed?—that you are the masters here as you used to be—that you can ...
— Fields of Victory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Inn; and there they all were, slapping, stamping, saying, "After you," clipped, curt, jocose, red as the wattles of turkeys, using free speech until Mrs. Horsefield and her friend Miss Dudding appeared at the doorway with their skirts hitched up, and hair looping down. Then Tom Dudding rapped at the window with his whip. A motor car throbbed in the courtyard. Gentlemen, ...
— Jacob's Room • Virginia Woolf

... in Electricity,"—most interesting and beautiful of scientific studies,—in which he tells how to make the instruments and conduct the experiments yourself. And, as if that were not enough, Mr. Curt W. Meyer, of the Bible House, New York, has arranged to supply a complete set of instruments, to suit this book of Professor Tyndall's, at a total cost of $55, packing-case and all; the various articles being obtainable separately at ...
— St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 2, December, 1877 • Various

... a week's delay, you favor me, my Lord, with a curt reply. I can be equally curt on my side. I indignantly deny that I or my wife ever presumed to see your Lordship's name as a means of recommendation to sitters without your permission. Some enemy has slandered ...
— My Lady's Money • Wilkie Collins

... and departed, the commissioners standing, but not another word being uttered on either side. As if to indicate to his hosts how little he regarded the curt order to leave, the commodore proceeded in the Susquehanna up the bay to the point the Mississippi had reached. Here he dropped anchor, the spot being afterwards known as the "American anchorage." On the following day he sent the Mississippi ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... shoulders; I thought he was going to be impatient, but although he gave curt answers at first he slowly broadened out, until, at the end, no one else could get a word ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... emerged from his surprise with a ready, smiling acceptance of her tone, "I was wondering if I oughtn't to apologize to you—if I should ever see you again—for being so curt this morning. And then you spring up out of the ground before me. Well, so I will apologize. ...
— The Squirrel-Cage • Dorothy Canfield

... gave him, for the most part, a curt greeting. They glanced more covertly at his wife; he understood exactly what thoughts brought out this condemnation soiled by private speculation; and his disdain mounted at their sleek backs and glossy tile, hats supported on ...
— Java Head • Joseph Hergesheimer

... angry, because his vanity was hurt, and the pin-prick spurred him to a counterfeit so specious that consciously he gloried in it. He was superb, and she believed him now; there was no questioning the fact, he saw it plainly, and with exultant cruelty; then curt as lightning came the knowledge that what Branwen believed was ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... curt exchange of question and answer, which had taken place in the cottage at Passy, between two gentlemen artificially friendly to one another, led to no regrettable result. Lord Harry had been too readily angry: he remembered what was due to Mr. Mountjoy. Mr. Mountjoy had been too thoughtlessly abrupt: ...
— Blind Love • Wilkie Collins

... &c. 596; monostich[obs3]; brunch word, portmanteau word. V. be concise &c. adj.; condense &c. 195; abridge &c. 201; abstract &c. 596; come to the point. Adj. concise, brief, short, terse,close; to the point, exact; neat, compact; compressed, condensed, pointed; laconic, curt, pithy, trenchant, summary; pregnant; compendious &c. (compendium) 596; succinct; elliptical, epigrammatic, quaint, crisp; sententious. Adv. concisely &c. adj.; briefly, summarily; in brief, in short, in a word, in a few words; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... Now and again Joey would creep, a mental shadow of his former self, into the Club where once every member would have risen with a smile to greet him. They gave him curt answers and turned away from him. Peter Hope one afternoon found him there alone, standing with his hands in his pockets looking out of window. Peter was fifty, so he said, maybe a little older; men of forty ...
— Tommy and Co. • Jerome K. Jerome

... out on strange adventures, but whose orders were sealed and whose destination was unknown. Wagg's stolid appearance of knowing just what he was about had been a steadying aid in helping the young man control his doubts; in issuing his final, curt commands Wagg did not abate his confidence; Vaniman felt that he was in no position ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... in intention, and not rudely spoken. After a moment's delay the bald, respectable man made a curt response. ...
— The House of Cobwebs and Other Stories • George Gissing

... A curt refusal trembled upon Geoffrey's lips, when he reflected that, as soon as the work was finished, his relations with Savine would be drawn closer still. In the meantime, it was not advisable to give any hint ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... at times be curt and arbitrary enough. Fault was found with the blockade of Genoa on the ground that it did not comply with the requirements of international law; the complaint resting, apparently, on the statement that the blockaders could not be seen ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. II. (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... stated that our friend spoke at hundreds of temperance meetings, and his bluntness of manner, curt style of address, and nautical phrases, won for him a ready hearing. Whenever he rose on the platform eyes beamed and hearts throbbed with delight. Not that his hearers expected to listen to an eloquent speech, or to be amused by laughter-exciting and fun-making eccentricities, but he rose ...
— The Hero of the Humber - or the History of the Late Mr. John Ellerthorpe • Henry Woodcock

... shocked with a sharp argument between two young fellows at the poker table. No, it was not about the game. One said something; the other shrieked his answer; the first shouted back; the second in a violent burst that had a finality about it slammed down his cards and said something curt, with a solemn rolling of ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... followed what perhaps is not very familiar to some of us, that strange scene in which the dying man is far fuller of energy and vigour than the young king, and takes the upper hand of him, giving him a series of curt, authoritative commands, each of which he punctiliously obeys. 'Take bow and arrow,' and he took them. Then the prophet lays his wasted hand for a moment on the strong, young hand, and having thus either in ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... it, but I'll take it if you'll alter it," Mr. Locket's rather curt note had said; and there was no waste of words in the postscript in which he had added: "If you'll come in and see me, I'll show you what I mean." This communication had reached Jersey Villas by the first post, and ...
— Sir Dominick Ferrand • Henry James

... arrived, Megget gave a curt order for his own men to follow and galloped in the same direction the ranch ...
— Comrades of the Saddle - The Young Rough Riders of the Plains • Frank V. Webster

... on the Tasajara turnpike, whom Mr. Daniel Harcourt passed with his fast trotting mare and sulky, saw that their great fellow-townsman was more than usually preoccupied and curt in his acknowledgment of their salutations. Nevertheless as he drew near the creek, he partly checked his horse, and when he reached a slight acclivity of the interminable plain—which had really been the bank of the creek in bygone days—he pulled up, alighted, tied his horse ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... either too wordy or too curt; it either loses the subject in a mass of words or loses the reader by offensive abruptness. Some letters gush upon the most ordinary of subjects; they are interspersed with friendly ejaculations such as "Now, my dear Mr. Jones," and give the impression that if one ...
— How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters) - A Complete Guide to Correct Business and Personal Correspondence • Mary Owens Crowther

... moaning and groaning and declaring that he felt very ill, and I went in quest of information. The corporal in command of the gendarmes was exceedingly curt with me at first, but after a time he unbent and condescended to tell me that my landlord had been denounced for permitting a Bonapartiste club to hold its sittings in his house. So far so good. Such denunciations were very frequent these days, and often ended unpleasantly for those ...
— Castles in the Air • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... occurred that evening, however, except that Mary bade her a curt "good night." But Marjorie hugged even that short utterance to her heart and went to sleep in a buoyantly hopeful ...
— Marjorie Dean - High School Sophomore • Pauline Lester

... man who at some period has not been tormented, for example, by an earnest desire to tantalize a listener by circumlocution. The speaker is aware that he displeases; he has every intention to please, he is usually curt, precise, and clear, the most laconic and luminous language is struggling for utterance upon his tongue, it is only with difficulty that he restrains himself from giving it flow; he dreads and deprecates the anger of him whom he addresses; yet, the thought strikes him, that by certain involutions ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... where you started from." And I remember Clement—who generally disputed a point, if possible—said, "How do you know she wouldn't get back, if you let her work out each train of thought in peace? The curt, clean-cut French style may suit some people, whose brains won't stretch far without getting tired; but others may have more sympathy with a ...
— Six to Sixteen - A Story for Girls • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... A curt answer was given by the concierge in reply to Vanderlyn's enquiry for Madame d'Elphis. "Walk through the courtyard; the person you seek occupies the entresol of the house you will ...
— The Uttermost Farthing • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... Max returned, with the curt politeness of tone which irritated Stanton. "I'll stand ...
— A Soldier of the Legion • C. N. Williamson

... Coquenil entered and all rose with cordial greetings, that is, all except Gibelin, whose curt nod and suspicious glances showed that he found anything but satisfaction in the presence ...
— Through the Wall • Cleveland Moffett

... method, he announced that he would prove it by blasting a way into space through the heaviside layer, a thing which would be patently impossible were it a field of force. He had lapsed into silence for two years and his curt note to the Associated Press to the effect that he was now ready to demonstrate his experiment was the first intimation the world had received of ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science July 1930 • Various

... finally the great white building where his fathers for generations had lived loomed mysteriously before him. He hurried up the broad stairs and besieged the massive doors with heavy blows. A startled footman opened it, and with a curt word Zaidos entered and demanded his father. The man bowed and led him up to a closed door. Here he knocked softly and a stout old woman answered. She looked hard at the young man in uniform, then with a little cry clasped him in a warm embrace. It ...
— Shelled by an Unseen Foe • James Fiske

... Democrats played politics and followed Davis. The motion was carried unanimously.(4) It was so much of a sensation that the 'American Minister at Paris, calling on the Imperial Minister of Foreign Affairs, was met by the curt question, "Do ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... a curt "Good-day," and thought him an impudent fellow—which was not justified by anything Esteban had done. He had been discretion itself; and, indeed, to his eyes there had been nothing of necessity remarkable in the pair on the horse. ...
— The Spanish Jade • Maurice Hewlett

... was so touched by his curt story, and by the grotesquerie of his appearance in the faint light from the exterior lamp which lit the dial of the taximeter, that she lost control of herself. And the man gave a sob, or possibly it was only a gulp ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... morning of his departure. He had sent forward his detachment under Adams, the senior captain, and they were marching by the fort with drums beating and colors flying, when Monckton sent out his aide-de-camp with a curt demand that the colors should be given up, on the ground that they ought to remain with the regiment. Whatever the soundness of the reason, there was no courtesy in the manner of enforcing it. "This transaction raised my temper some," writes Winslow in his Diary; and he proceeds to ...
— Montcalm and Wolfe • Francis Parkman

... no Where more seen than in the dispatches of the one and the bulletins of the other. In his demeanour to his men, the Duke was reserved; in his language, curt and laconic. If his troops felt the moral certainty that he was leading them to victory, and honoured him accordingly, it was not from personal enthusiasm, such as the wild love the emperor inspired in those ...
— Maxims And Opinions Of Field-Marshal His Grace The Duke Of Wellington, Selected From His Writings And Speeches During A Public Life Of More Than Half A Century • Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

... liberal order. An apt pupil, he had picked up various items of knowledge, and had blended them into a whole that was scarcely harmonious. Bits of slang learned from Jim and the stockmen were mingled with fragments of hymns warbled by Mrs. Brown and sharp curt orders delivered to dogs. A French swag-man, who had hurt his foot and been obliged to camp for a few days at the homestead, supplied Fudge with several Parisian remarks that were very effective. Every member of the household had tried to teach him to whistle some special tune. Unfortunately, the ...
— A Little Bush Maid • Mary Grant Bruce

... beautiful; and when, in the course of events, we are called to the contemplation of something grand or lovely, followed rather abruptly by something curiously contemptible or absurd, we are tempted to give utterance to the thoughts that are too complicated and deep for rapid analysis, in the curt expression "Such ...
— The Red Eric • R.M. Ballantyne

... observations upon the soup, Mr. Osborne made a few curt remarks respecting the fish, also of a savage and satirical tendency, and cursed Billingsgate with an emphasis quite worthy of the place. Then he lapsed into silence, and swallowed sundry glasses ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... supposed to have quoted his contemporary Curtius once or twice. Cf. Sen. Ep. 56, 9, 'Nihil tam certum est quam otii vitia negotio discuti'; and Curt. vii. 1, 4, 'Satis prudens, otii vitia negotio discuti.' Cf. also viii. 10, 29 with Sen. ...
— The Student's Companion to Latin Authors • George Middleton

... acknowledged the gift with curt military punctilio, then added respectfully, "I thank you, Herr ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... curt and harsh, that broke the odd silence as he jerked his horse up and dismounted. "Get yore tools out an' don't waste ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... and passing a hand over her eyes, as if to clear away some mist that obscured her vision, she read it. Then she considered the curt summons that gave no clue, and lastly looked ...
— The Strolling Saint • Raphael Sabatini

... his consular than in his imperial days. On the other hand he might be absolutely ferocious, with an insulting observation for everyone with whom he came in contact. As a rule he was between these two extremes, silent, morose, ill at ease, shooting out curt little remarks which made everyone uncomfortable. There was always a sigh of relief when he would pass from one room into ...
— Uncle Bernac - A Memory of the Empire • Arthur Conan Doyle

... which he is unwilling to have pressed. But there are unconscionable people who will not be put off, and who, either out of malice or out of stupidity, ply you with questions against all rules of good breeding. This direct assault may sometimes be retaliated, and a rude question met by a curt answer. But such a reply is not always prudent or charitable, and would not unfrequently convey the very information required. Silence would serve no better, for silence gives consent, and is eloquent at times. There is nothing left for ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... the Prince entered, had stepped forward, expecting this introduction. He bowed very low, whilst the Prince returned his salute with a curt ...
— The Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... visibly that kind of adventure which both would treasure up for future celebration to their different friends; and it had a brilliancy and interest which they could not even now consent to keep to themselves. They talked to each other and at all the company within hearing, and exchanged curt speeches which had for them ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... put a y into occasional words that begin with the k sound. For instance, they say Mr. K'yahtah (Carter) and speak of playing k'yahds or of riding in the k'yahs. And they have the pleasant custom—long ago fallen into decay in the North—of frequently employing the respectful 'Sir.' Instead of the curt Yes, and the abrupt No, they say 'Yes, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... stories in which he never failed. That was the scene in the last chapter where Quayle, confronting his quarry, unmasked him. Quayle might have floundered in the earlier part of the story, but in his big scene he was exactly right. He was curt, crisp ...
— Something New • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... Yet how curt is the version last quoted, and how blundering the sentence! Washington's spelling was always faulty, but it is not characteristic of him to write "abtain" for "abstain." This is one of many signs of haste, suggesting that his pen was following oral instruction. ...
— George Washington's Rules of Civility - Traced to their Sources and Restored by Moncure D. Conway • Moncure D. Conway

... at sea," he observed, finally, and stopped to drink a long draught. Lingard, bending over the table, had been listening with eager attention. Carter went on in his curt and ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... had been advised of the robbery; and as soon as the news of the ship's arrival was reported to him he sent a curt message to the captain saying simply, "Get out of my harbour." At this Wenamon gave up all hope, and, hearing that there was then in port a vessel which was about to sail for Egypt, he sent a pathetic message to the prince asking whether he might be allowed to travel ...
— The Treasury of Ancient Egypt - Miscellaneous Chapters on Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology • Arthur E. P. B. Weigall

... only a plain white card that lay in the road. A few lines were typed on the back of it. The words might have been curt, but they ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White

... in five or six days, was advertised, he wondered vaguely whether it was about that that Hermann wanted to see him, and, if so, why he could not have said whatever he had to say on the telephone, instead of cutting things short with the curt statement that he wished to see him urgently, and would come round at once. Then remembering that Francis had been playing cricket for the Guards yesterday, he turned briskly over to the last page ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... for six months. The same day came a cheque for ten pounds from The Planet, the honorarium for the Elegy. He sent the ten pounds to Dicky at once (by way of showing what he could do) with a curt note informing him of his appointment and requesting a renewal for three months, by which time his salary would ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... tact. She judged that if she asked Miss Morley, tired at the end of a busy morning, she would probably meet with a curt refusal, but that if she found her, seated in her own bed-sitting-room, soothed with afternoon tea and reading a delectable book, her sympathy would be much more readily aroused. On this occasion Delia's judgment was correct. After a perfectly harmonious interview ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... and slowly some of the fear left his face—though not all of it. He turned and left with a curt bow of his head, while Pietro added a few details that weren't exactly lies to Lomax's hasty cover-up, along with a grateful glance at the chemist. It seemed to work, for the time being—at least enough for Riggs to begin making ...
— Let'em Breathe Space • Lester del Rey

... Swift as had come the burst of passion, Landor was himself again; curt, all-seeing, self-sufficient, "There'll be no blood shed." Early as it was, a crowd had collected now, and, as he had done with the newcomers, he addressed them collectively, authoratively. "When I fight it will not be with one who abandons a woman and a child at a time ...
— Where the Trail Divides • Will Lillibridge

... Dick," was the curt rejoinder. "This is to be a campaign, not only of possibilities, but of things done. We go into Copah with the steel gangs before ...
— Empire Builders • Francis Lynde

... their blankest. She had journeyed to Wroote, and from her humble lodging there had written an honest letter to her father, begging only to see her mother or Molly, promising to hold no communication with them if he refused. He had refused, in a curt note of three lines. From Wroote she returned to Louth, to face her trouble alone; for the preliminaries of selling the Lincoln business had brought old Wright's creditors about her husband's ears like a swarm of wasps. Until then they had waited ...
— Hetty Wesley • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... deeply sunk under the broad arched eyebrows, the fixed oblique look, as penetrating as a rapier, and the two creases which extend from the base of the nose to the brow as if in a frown of suppressed anger and determined will. Add to this the accounts of his contemporaries who saw or heard the curt accent, or the sharp, abrupt gesture, the interrogating, imperious, absolute tone of voice, and we comprehend how, the moment they accosted him, they felt the dominating hand which seizes them, presses them down, holds them firmly, and ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... issuing an order requesting a part of Gates' force. To secure these troops as if the suggestion came from Gates was a most delicate commission. Alexander Hamilton was dispatched to Gates' headquarters, armed, as a last resort, with a curt military order to the effect that he should turn over a portion of his army to Washington. Hamilton's orders were: "Bring the troops, but do not deliver this order ...
— Little Journeys To the Homes of the Great, Volume 3 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... replied Justine. "Beyond a grave courtesy and the curt answers to our reports, with liberal payment, we know no more now than when the prattling child of ...
— A Fascinating Traitor • Richard Henry Savage

... its sear and wintry state, the unhappy house came to be inhabited by a series of miserable tenants, who, though they sanguinely engaged to pay the twelve pounds, never paid them. I still remember the brief, curt letters from our agent, the late Mr. Veitch, town-clerk of Leith, that never failed to fill my mother with terror and dismay, and very much resembled, in at least the narrative parts, jottings by the poet Crabbe, for ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... anger, and he demanded in fluent French an explanation from Bond Moore in a manner which was peremptory in the extreme. Bond Moore knew no more of French than he did of Turkish, but my interpreter having explained the position, the Pasha turned round upon the complainant and, after a few curt and angry questions, set about him with the malacca cane until he roared: "Amaan, Eccellenza, amaan!" (which, being interpreted, is "have pity,") and finally took to his heels and ran for it with the irate little Pasha in full ...
— Recollections • David Christie Murray

... von Holleuffer arranged a meeting in Mexico City with Julio Rosenberg of 13 San Juan de Letran and Curt Kaiser at 34 Bolivar, the latter's home. He offered them fifty thousand pesos to take the contraband off the boat and transport it through the chicle jungles to the destination he would ...
— Secret Armies - The New Technique of Nazi Warfare • John L. Spivak

... at the door. Miss Brown dismissed him with a curt nod. He sank thankfully into his desk as Sid DuPree sprang forward to admit the newcomer—a new girl and her mother. From the shelter of his big geography, John surveyed the couple with that calmly critical stare which only a ...
— A Son of the City - A Story of Boy Life • Herman Gastrell Seely

... unorthodox as Samuel Butler; it is thoroughly "modern" in tone, in temper, and in emphasis. Although entirely original, it reminds one in many ways of the verse of Thomas Hardy. It has his paganism, his pessimism, his human sympathy, his austere pride in the tragedy of frustration, his curt refusal to pipe a merry tune, to make one of ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... remembered her aunt's injunctions and threats; but, partly from a kind of paralysis caused by his coolness, partly from its being impossible to her nature to be curt with any one with whom she was not angry, partly from mere lack of presence of mind, not knowing what to do, yet feeling she ought to run to the house, what should she do but drop down again on the very spot whence she had been scared! Instantly Tom threw ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... two hundred and forty-two pages long is likely to have its weak points. The volume before us is rather the plea of an advocate retained to defend the General's professional character and expound his political opinions than the curt, colorless, unimpassioned statement of facts which is usually so refreshing in the official papers of military men, and has much more the air of being addressed to a jury than to the War Department at Washington. It is, in ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... never let it disturb the even tenor of his daily behavior or warp his actions in the slightest degree, save only that when he was twice or thrice brought face to face with the intending assassin he treated the fellow with somewhat more curt brusqueness than was his wont. But when the danger was over he bore his would-be murderer no malice, and long afterward actually ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... hell," returned Thornton, and his coolness had grown into curt insolence. "I never saw the man yet that I'm going to do that for." He came on two more quick, long strides, thrust his face forward and cried in a voice that rang out commandingly above the crash of the wind, "Drop ...
— Six Feet Four • Jackson Gregory

... in his singular composition, he was undoubtedly callous from long over-stimulation. Yet, if his emotions were dulled, his intellectual perceptions were exceedingly active. There was no trace then of the horror which I had myself felt at this curt declaration; but his face showed rather the quiet and interested composure of the chemist who sees the crystals falling into position from his ...
— The Valley of Fear • Arthur Conan Doyle



Words linked to "Curt" :   concise, discourteous



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