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Dexterity   /dɛkstˈɛrəti/  /dɛkstˈɛrɪti/   Listen
Dexterity

noun
1.
Adroitness in using the hands.  Synonyms: manual dexterity, sleight.



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"Dexterity" Quotes from Famous Books



... man of vanity when he never complained of criticism and never solicited praise? Was it on account of some of his tastes, particularly the importance he attached to his superiority in boyish games, in bodily exercises, on those which showed dexterity in swimming, fencing, shooting? But all these tastes were as manly as they were innocent. The really trifling tastes common to the youth of his rank and country ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... combatants brought all their warrior skill into requisition. Challenge after challenge was given and taken with equal confidence. The impression on the warrior spectators was exciting; admiration of such unexampled dexterity gradually increased, finally swelling into sounds that denoted lively opposition in sentiment, when suddenly, with an ominous flourish of his bow, as it fell at the feet of Great Oak, Black Snake with a single bound stood in front of the Chiefs. ...
— Birch Bark Legends of Niagara • Owahyah

... ideal picture, strictly adherent to local colour and conditions, of an ancient city prolonging its vitality into the present and future by providing a very high form of training for its citizens, a training not of intellect only, but of the senses, of manual dexterity, of imagination, of Republican sympathy—a training in which "laborious inacquaintance with dead languages," infusing into the few touched by it a tincture of caste and militarism, gives way to comprehensive study of the evolution of ...
— Civics: as Applied Sociology • Patrick Geddes

... withdrew, congratulating himself on his dexterity in having saluted the stranger ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... all the machinations of the Jacobites had been carried on with secrecy and dexterity, but now was the time for action and decision. To aid the cause, it was considered expedient that some one of known fidelity should be sent to Amsterdam, where the projects of William might be discovered more easily than in England: for, as he communicated with the States General, ...
— Snarley-yow - or The Dog Fiend • Frederick Marryat

... fleets were brought together and there ensued the grimmest of battles, and many were slain on both sides, albeit the host of Hakon was it which fared the worst, for the Jomsborg vikings fought stoutly both with boldness & dexterity, shooting clean through the shields. So great in number were the missiles which struck Earl Hakon that his shirt of mail became all rent and useless so that he ...
— The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade) • Snorri Sturluson

... Thucydides, the son of Melesias, stands on record, spoken by him by way of pleasantry upon Pericles's dexterity. Thucydides was one of the noble and distinguished citizens, and had been his greatest opponent; and, when Archidamus, the king of the Lacedaemonians, asked him whether he or Pericles were the better wrestler, he made this answer: "When I," said he, "have thrown him and given him a fair fall, ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... at the table. After glibly repeating a few words, of which Clemence could only distinguish "food spread before us," and "duly thankful," he asked, pausing and balancing a saucer of coffee with great dexterity on the ...
— Clemence - The Schoolmistress of Waveland • Retta Babcock

... censorious. And to him there was doubtless something unwholesome and repellent in the most innocent of my tastes; I could not even sin roundly, like other boys, by pilfering or truantry, but must display an exotic passion for reading forbidden books, an abhorred dexterity at caricature. I think we were equally headstrong and unreasonable, I in my young way, he in his old one; and as I trudged along the quiet homeward paths, it shamed me to remember with what ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... old Knight thy Master has raged his fill for the loss of the chain, tell him thou hast a Kinsman in prison, of such exquisite Art, that the devil himself is French Lackey to him, and runs bare-headed by his horse-belly (when he has one) whom he will cause with most Irish Dexterity to fetch his chain, tho twere hid under a mine of sea-coal, and ne'er make Spade or Pickaxe his instruments: tell him but this, with farder instructions thou shalt receive from me, and thou shoust thy self a ...
— The Puritain Widow • William Shakespeare [Apocrypha]

... conscience or common sense in dealing with Mac's idiosyncrasies. The child never seemed to bore him, or to come into collision with him, yet there was never any question who was the master. Again and again, Hope had wondered at the dexterity with which the young musician had led Mac away from his small iniquities, had coaxed him into giggling forgetfulness of his bad temper. She wondered yet more at the obedience which Mac readily accorded to his new friend, ...
— Phebe, Her Profession - A Sequel to Teddy: Her Book • Anna Chapin Ray

... man with a flaxen wig, Kersey-mere breeches, a blue straight-cut coat, and a broad-brimmed white hat. To the most daring courage he added great dexterity and cunning; and was said, 'in propria persona', to have taken more thieves than all the other Bow ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... the mind of the Americans to be the keenest and most adaptable in the world. They acquire information of any kind so rapidly, and have such ready dexterity in mechanical employments, that the very slightest efforts put them on a par with Europeans of far greater experience. After describing New York—which we shall return to, if we have space—the author gives the results of a visit to the ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 454 - Volume 18, New Series, September 11, 1852 • Various

... Irgalac, "but Iriel good at arms, great-kneed son of Conall Cernac. He is a Conall for havoc, a Cuculain for dexterity of feats. He is a Catbad, a right-wonderful Druid, for intelligence and counsel, he is a Senca son of Ailill for peace and for good speech, he is a Celtcair son of Utecar for valor, he is a Concobar son of Factna Fatac for kingliness and wide-eyed-ness, for giving of treasures ...
— Ireland, Historic and Picturesque • Charles Johnston

... while the two men resumed their watches beside the couch, Zulma carried a little table near the head, covered it with a white cloth, set upon it two lighted candlesticks, and a little vessel of holy water in which rested a twig of cedar. She did this calmly, methodically, with mechanical dexterity, as if it had been an ordinary household duty. Never once did she raise her eyes from her work, but, from the increased light in the room, one might have noticed that there was a spot of fiery red upon either cheek. Cary, however absorbed in his meditations, ...
— The Bastonnais - Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76 • John Lesperance

... second rectorship pronounced an oration on him, affirms that—"he so conducted himself that no one could charge him with want of perseverance in building up the truth, or of judiciousness in examining the errors of others, or of faithfulness and dexterity in the counsels he gave." M'Kenzie, who has inserted a sketch of his career in his 'Lives of Eminent Scotsmen,' assures us that in the conference of Naumburg he acquitted himself to the admiration of the whole assembly, for which he is highly commended by Camerarius ...
— The Scottish Reformation - Its Epochs, Episodes, Leaders, and Distinctive Characteristics • Alexander F. Mitchell

... for our departure from Chiloe now approached. The wind, which had heretofore been unfavorable for leaving the port, promised to change, and we began to ship provisions. Whilst I was waiting for the boat which was to take me on board, I had an opportunity of observing the dexterity with which the Indians slaughter their cattle. This business is performed on the Mole, where, in the space of a quarter of an hour, and by two men only, an ox is killed, and the carcase cut up into the proper pieces. When ...
— Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests • J. J. von Tschudi

... that Mr. Carewe desired to present his daughter to no one until he presented her to all. Fanchon Bareaud, indeed, made one hurried and embarrassed call, evading Miss Betty's reference to the chevalier of the kitten with a dexterity too nimble to be thought unintentional. Miss Carewe was forbidden to return her friend's visit until after her debut; and Mr. Carewe explained that there was always some worthless Young men hanging about the Bareaud's, where (he did not add) they interfered with a worthy oh ...
— The Two Vanrevels • Booth Tarkington

... dexterity rose to fire-making, how fire-making led to the subjugation of electricity. Much of the most telling work of fire can be better done by its great successor, while electricity performs many tasks possible only to itself. Unwitting truth there was in the simple ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - Invention and Discovery • Various

... the harpooners belonging to the whale fishery were exercising themselves in darting their harpoons, most of whom were drunk. One of them, Herman Rogaar by name, a hero among these people, for his dexterity with his snickasnee, came up, and passed some of his coarse jests upon my Turkish sabre, and offered to fillip me on the nose. I pushed him from me, and the fellow threw down his cap, drew his snickasnee, challenged me, called ...
— The Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck - Vol. 1 (of 2) • Baron Trenck

... it, and the severe self-restraint of the native school disappeared, or was caricatured by antiquarian imitators. The great nurse of Roman eloquence was Freedom; when that was lost, eloquence sank, and while that existed, the mere lack of technical dexterity cannot have greatly abated from the ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... he shot in among the trees, avoiding them with as much ease and dexterity as would a bird on the wing. Going a hundred yards in this manner, he arose in his canoe and looked around. A shade of displeasure crossed his face, apparently of disappointment at not discovering some person or object ...
— Oonomoo the Huron • Edward S. Ellis

... into personalities and back again, as a conversation may three days before a wedding, but Patty was not entirely won over to Hawley's view of his responsibility for having with unprecedented dexterity and precision planted a smashing "right" on the bridge of his friend's nose in the course of an ...
— New Faces • Myra Kelly

... soil, now pariahs. What are they doing here? And how comes it that the eyesore has not yet been detected and uprooted by those keen-sighted authorities that perform such wonders in making the visitor feel at home, and hush up with miraculous dexterity everything in the nature of ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas

... scooped out of solid rock thousands of years ago, that great kings and their queens and families and friends might rest with their kas in eternal privacy. Enid Biddell waited until Harry Snell happened to be exactly behind her, and then fainted, with dexterity beyond praise. Cleopatra, however, was in her element. She felt at home, and did not turn one of those auburn hairs scorned by "Miss Bean," at sight of the royal mummies lit up by electricity in their coffins. These gave the rest of ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... paper was nothing, and wood was the only material on which it was worth one's pains to work. Accordingly, whenever the boy asked paper for drawing, he threw him a bit of wood; so that Gottfried was fain to try also cutting animals in wood, an art in which he speedily attained such dexterity, that, by degrees, his wooden sheep and goats came to ornament all the presses and mantel-pieces in the village. Occasionally, too, he tried drawing likenesses of some peasant boys of Worblaufen, or carving them in wood; and these attempts were ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 333 - Vol. 12, Issue 333, September 27, 1828 • Various

... wanted is a little taste and dexterity, for of course you must try to avoid making your frames look stiff. Begin at the top of the frame, and make it higher and more imposing than the sides; put first a fir-cone, and then a couple of beech-nuts, and then an oak-ball, or a piece of lichen, ...
— Little Folks (October 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... uniform of the Helmans waved his sword, and the Cossacks pulled up their horses and turned them with inconceivable dexterity. This movement showed the length of their column. The gipsy was right, there ...
— The Son of Monte Cristo • Jules Lermina

... husband and perfections of the said Gauttier, a gentleman who was not over affected with his twenty-three years, but held himself upright as a ninepin in the saddle, and as wide-awake as the matin chimes, while in contrast to him, slept the seneschal; he had courage and dexterity there where his master failed. He was one of those smart fellows whom the jades would sooner wear at night than a leathern garment, because they then no longer fear the fleas; there are some who vituperate them, but no one should be blamed, because every ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... she, unfastening, as she spoke, her long cashmere scarf. Mechanically M'Dermot and myself obeyed. With the speed of light and a woman's dexterity, she knotted together her scarf, a long silk cravat which I gave her, M'Dermot's handkerchief and mine, and securing—how, I know not—a stone at either extremity of the rope thus formed, she threw one end of it, with sure aim and steady ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 365, March, 1846 • Various

... corpulent men, whose delicate mode of walking we witness with ever-recurring surprise. If the shoulders slope downwards, with the spine bending inwards, the individual 'cannot throw a stone, or handle firearms with dexterity.' When inclined forwards, and well relieved from the body, he may be a proficient in these exercises. A peculiarity in walking is given by the size of the head and neck being out of proportion; and an instance is mentioned of a man being discharged ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 442 - Volume 17, New Series, June 19, 1852 • Various

... Finn's wrath was not lessened, but his blind rage was, and he pulled himself together with a jerk, a cold determination to kill cooling his brain like water. This time he allowed the dingo to rush him, which the beast did with admirable dexterity, aiming low for the legs. Finn plunged for the back of the dingo's neck, and missed by the breadth of two hairs. Then he pivoted on his hind-legs and feinted low for the dingo's legs. The dingo flashed ...
— Finn The Wolfhound • A. J. Dawson

... other critical periods of ancient republics, we shall find that opinions did not exist as the grounds of feud, nor could by any dexterity have been applied to the settlement of feuds. Whereas, on the other hand, with ourselves for centuries, and latterly with the French, no public contest has arisen, or does now exist, without fighting its way through every stage of advance ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... chair, watching his dexterity in clearing up the numerical fogs which had been allowed to grow so thick in Henchard's books as almost to baffle even the Scotchman's perspicacity. The corn-factor's mien was half admiring, and yet it was not without a dash of pity ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... glimpse of one has yet been seen by any of our people. Our last crop was cut and carried off with the precision of an English harvesting. Our spirit stores—(you will be amazed to hear that these creatures pick locks with the dexterity of London burglars)—have been broken open and ransacked, though half the establishment were on the watch; and the brutes have been off to their mountains, five miles distant, without even the dogs giving an alarm. I could almost persuade myseif at times, such are ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 402, Supplementary Number (1829) • Various

... you," she haughtily declared, and slipped by him with such dexterity she was out of the gate ...
— Agatha Webb • Anna Katharine Green

... it is settled that we shall descend again to the beach. Stimulated by the ease with which my worthy leader goes down beneath me, I get over-confident in my dexterity, and begin to slip here, and slide there, and come to awkward pauses at precipitous places, in what would be rather an alarming manner, but for the potent presence of the guide, who is always beneath me, ready to be fallen upon. Sometimes, when ...
— Rambles Beyond Railways; - or, Notes in Cornwall taken A-foot • Wilkie Collins

... example thus set before him, began to attach himself to Catherine Roger, who, though the youngest, and perhaps the fairest, seemed to have no sweetheart present. But Catherine, though thus left alone, was far from encouraging his attentions; and, with great dexterity, she contrived, during what remained of the breakfast hour, always to keep her mother's person between her and him—thus defeating his strong inclination to imitate the conduct of some of his fellow-labourers, by placing ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume III • Various

... two waiters—an immovable waiter, and a flying waiter; and the three brought in with them as much fog as gave a new roar to the fire. The flying waiter, who had brought everything on his shoulders, laid the cloth with amazing rapidity and dexterity; while the immovable waiter, who had brought nothing, found fault with him. The flying waiter then highly polished all the glasses he had brought, and the immovable waiter looked through them. The flying waiter then flew across ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... which Breckenridge was doing—work which could be done only by a man who had had long training in the profession and who was possessed of instantaneous nervous reaction and of the highest degree of manual dexterity and control. Under his right and left hands were the double-series potentiometers actuating the variable-speed drives of the flight-angle directors in the hour and declination ranges; before his eyes was the finely marked micrometer screen upon which the guiding goniometer threw its needle-point ...
— Spacehounds of IPC • Edward Elmer Smith

... Everard's affectionate apprehension. He tried to counterbalance these propensities, by engaging his nephew in field sports, which had been the chief pleasure of his own youthful days. But although Edward eagerly carried the gun for one season, yet when practice had given him some dexterity, the pastime ceased to afford ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... Proprietor feels no hesitation in affirming, that his feats of activity are more various and pleasing than any preceding exhibition of a similar nature, all of which will be made manifest to every spectator, by his dexterity and precision in exhibiting ...
— The Olden Time Series, Vol. 4: Quaint and Curious Advertisements • Henry M. Brooks

... educated by teachers of the highest character, scholars and gentlemen, men who can pretend quite honestly that Darwinism hasn't upset the historical fall of man, that cricket is moral training, and that Socialism is an outrage upon the teachings of Christ. A sort of dignified dexterity of evasion is the national reward. Germany, with a larger population, a vigorous and irreconcilable proletariat, a bolder intellectual training, a harsher spirit, can scarcely fail to drive us at last to a realisation of intolerable ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... charge of every printed book and delivers it into the appropriate hands, and if not always, yet very often keeps at home the undeserving: that genius holds the key to every true production of heart and soul, and opens and closes it with never-failing dexterity. ...
— Peter Schlemihl • Adelbert von Chamisso

... the use of past experience. To give her no chance of such dodging, Lucian rapidly detailed the evidence against her so that she would be hard put to baffle it. But in this estimate he quite underrated Lydia's nerve and capability of fence, let alone the dexterity with which she produced a satisfactory reply ...
— The Silent House • Fergus Hume

... hunter ranks next to the brave warrior in the estimation of the savage. Before starting on his grand expeditions, he prepares himself by a course of fasting, dreaming, and religious observances, as if for war. He hunts with astonishing dexterity and skill, and regards this pursuit rather as an object of adventure and glory than as ...
— The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Warburton

... basket and the other put the purse therein, whereupon Ali took it and drugged the child. Then he aroused the woman and making off by the back way as he had entered, returned with the child and the purse and the basket of cakes to the barrack and showed them all to the Forty, who praised his dexterity. There-upon he gave them cakes, which they ate, and made over the boy to Hasan Shuman, saying, "This is Zurayk's child; hide it by thee." So he hid it and fetching a lamb, gave it to the hall-keeper who cooked it whole, wrapped in a cloth, ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 7 • Richard F. Burton

... their heads, stumpy little infantry soldiers in grey uniforms, priests, friars, venders of boot-laces and thread, vegetable sellers pushing hand-carts of green things in and out among the horses and vehicles with amazing dexterity, and yelling their cries in super-humanly high voices—there is no end to the multitude. If the day is showery, it is a sight to see the confusion in the Tritone when umbrellas of every age, material ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... sword combat was the most deadly. It presented the most sudden changes, because it was the one in which the individual valor and dexterity of the combatant had the greatest and most immediate influence. Other ...
— Battle Studies • Colonel Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph Ardant du Picq

... the first constitutional Hungarian premier. It was on this occasion that Deak called him "the providential statesman given to Hungary by the grace of God.'' As premier, Andrassy by his firmness, amiability and dexterity as a debater, soon won for himself a commanding position. Yet his position continued to be difficult, inasmuch as the authority of Deak dwarfed that of all the party leaders, however eminent. Andrassy ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... land. [Footnote: This circumstance actually occurred to the passengers on board the Argyle steam-boat, in the autumn of the year 1814.]—A poor little lark was pursued, at no great distance from our vessel, by a merciless hawk; the little creature continued, for some time, with surprising dexterity, to elude the grasp of its intended destroyer. At length, quite exhausted by its efforts, it alighted on our boat. I incautiously ran to catch it, purposing to shield it from the threatened danger. ...
— Domestic pleasures - or, the happy fire-side • F. B. Vaux

... this little journey. We felt that every element of danger was eliminated by the coolness and dexterity of our conductors, yet the sense of hazard and adventuresomeness was there! My more stout-hearted companion was a little disappointed, would fain have had an experience nearer akin to Niagara. It is as well to remind the traveller that these apparently playful rapids are by no means ...
— The Roof of France • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... Herr von Staden in his charming Oxford accent, and forthwith snapped Michael J. Murphy's shoulder into place with great dexterity. ...
— Cappy Ricks Retires • Peter B. Kyne

... a good purchase," said the minister, in a friendly manner. "His majesty will be very much pleased with the extraordinary zeal and the great dexterity with which you have arranged the matter. Count Schmettau has just been here, and he could not sufficiently commend your zeal and prudence, and the sympathy and interest which you showed in the smallest matters, as if the purchase ...
— Old Fritz and the New Era • Louise Muhlbach

... trifle of wood before mentioned and throwing it at him with such dexterity that it was well the boy disappeared before it reached the spot on which he ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... not hold above 3 of 4 of them at most; they are made out of one piece of wood, and the natives stand up in them, paddling them on by means of long oars; their arms are arrows, bows, assagays and callaways, which they use with great dexterity and skill; broken iron, parangs and knives are in special demand with them. The lands which we have up to now skirted and touched at, not only are barren and inhabited by savages, but also the sea in these parts yields no other fish than sharks, sword-fishes and the like unnatural ...
— The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 • J. E. Heeres

... charlatans who place their services at the public disposal, whether they be Spanish Figaros or French perruqiers. At the bottom the same self-possession, the same knowledge of human weakness, the same description of threadbare witticisms, the same amusing dexterity, and, on the part of the natives, the same wide-mouth astonishment, the same curiosity, the same credulity as the simple folk of ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... "The dust around the rim has been disturbed. The trap opens into the hollow of the roof. A man of extraordinary dexterity might open the trap with a billiard cue, throw up a fine manila rope, climb up the rope and ...
— Winsome Winnie and other New Nonsense Novels • Stephen Leacock

... course on the dexterity of the pupil, and particularly on his manual dexterity—on what is known, colloquially, as "hands." Some men, even after they have been carefully taught, are apt to remain heavy and clumsy in their control. Others, though, seem to acquire ...
— Learning to Fly - A Practical Manual for Beginners • Claude Grahame-White

... quitted the room, followed by Mavra's grateful eyes, now filled with tears. From that day Mavra worshipped the countess; to approach her, to touch what she had worn, to serve her, to receive her orders and execute them with the utmost speed and dexterity, was the great joy of this humble girl. Her mistress, wrapped in all this gorgeous luxury, the elements of which had been so long under her eyes in the workroom, appeared to her as some august being nearer her Creator than any other of her fellow-creatures. ...
— The Little Russian Servant • Henri Greville

... a side glance I had marked well where he stood; and backing towards him, under pretence of getting a fairer "break," I came close up to the savage. Then suddenly wheeling, with the spring of a cat and the dexterity of a thief, I caught the tomahawk and ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... qualities which make a man great in the senate, the field, or the chamber of commerce, give him a corresponding eminence in the social world. Many a gray-mustached veteran in Paris leads the german. A senator of France aspires to appear well in the boudoir. With these men social dexterity is a requisite to success, and is cultivated as a duty. It is not so here, for the two great factors of success in America, wealth and learning, do not always fit a man for society, and still less does society ...
— Manners and Social Usages • Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

... puzzler indeed. But Whiskerandos was ever ready at expedients. With neat dexterity he extracted the stopper; but here the difficulty did not end, for the neck of the bottle was too narrow by far to admit the head of a rat; and the position of the flask, in a wooden box, rendered it ...
— The Rambles of a Rat • A. L. O. E.

... whirlwind of events. He raised himself under the Directory to the height from which men of genius could see the future and judge the past, and then, like certain commonplace actors who suddenly become admirable through the light of some vivid perception, he gave proofs of his dexterity during the rapid revolution of the 18th Brumaire. This man with the pallid face, educated to monastic dissimulation, possessing the secrets of the montagnards to whom he belonged, and those of the royalists to whom he ended by belonging, had slowly and silently studied the men, ...
— An Historical Mystery • Honore de Balzac

... rejoined Levy, with dexterity. "It might 'ave been 'Industani or 'Eathen Chinee for all I know! But there was no error about the revolver. I can see it covering me, and his shooting eye looking along the barrel into mine—as plainly as I'm looking into yours ...
— Mr. Justice Raffles • E. W. Hornung

... useless. Were they to attempt to land they would soon be swamped and knocked to pieces, and the crews drowned. Native canoes of from eight to twenty paddles are only used, and it requires great caution and dexterity by the black boatmen to prevent their being upset. I once came off in a large canoe with twenty paddles. On the third rolling surf she was half filled, and I was washed out of the chair among the paddlers. As soon as the sails were furled, a large canoe came off from the Governor with ...
— A Sailor of King George • Frederick Hoffman

... as they relate to self. In this respect the American cousin was his antipodes. His whole body had a psychical expression—slim, elastic, alert. Over his bright gray eyes the eyelids drew themselves horizontally, showing his dexterity and acuteness of mind; indeed, his ...
— The Man Between • Amelia E. Barr

... me, but, after a most painstaking and conscientious investigation, I am convinced that we have been misinformed and blinded by a propaganda against King Nicholas and his people which has rarely been equaled in audacity of untruth and dexterity of misrepresentation. To employ the methods used by certain Balkan politicians in their attempted elimination of Montenegro as an independent nation even Tammany ...
— The New Frontiers of Freedom from the Alps to the AEgean • Edward Alexander Powell

... before him. I have never seen a swimmer attempt to convey more than one barrel at a time; but I am told there are experts who manage as many as three barrels together,—pushing them forward in line, with the head of one against the bottom of the next. It really requires much dexterity and practice to handle even one barrel or cask. As the swimmer advances he keeps close as possible to his charge,—so as to be able to push it forward with all his force against each breaker in succession,—making it dive through. If it once glide ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... her with bitter words, and the next moment they saw Macdougal riding furiously along the side of the gorge, swinging his apparently maddened horse through the thick timber with marvellous dexterity. Done uttered a cry, and ran for the horses, and Lucy followed him, calling piteously. She saw Jim spring upon Wallaroo and turn his head down the gully, and, knowing his intention, snatched the ...
— In the Roaring Fifties • Edward Dyson

... seemed to be in a restless mood, and she soon saw that he was bent upon a swift victory. He made his moves with a quick dexterity that baffled her completely, and but a very few minutes elapsed before he ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... honourable. He had, when Popery was in the ascendant, resolutely refused to purchase the royal favour by apostasy. Roman Catholic ecclesiastics had been sent to convert him; and the town had been much amused by the dexterity with which the layman baffled the divines. A priest undertook to demonstrate the doctrine of transubstantiation, and made the approaches in the usual form. "Your Lordship believes in the Trinity." "Who told you so?" said Middleton. ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... cabarets offered to the promenaders the brandy of pisco and the chica, whose copious libations excited to laughter and clamor; cavaliers made their horses caracole in the midst of the throng, and rivaled each other in swiftness, address, and dexterity; all the dances in vogue, from the loudon to the mismis, from the boleros to the zamacuecas, agitated and hurried on the caballeros and black-eyed sambas. The sounds of the viguela were soon no longer sufficient for the disordered ...
— The Pearl of Lima - A Story of True Love • Jules Verne

... clay available for the purpose is abundant on the banks of the Ohio all the way from Pittsburg to Kingston (60 miles). A few miles below New Cumberland, on the Ohio shore, we inspected the tile works at Freeman, and admired the dexterity ...
— Afloat on the Ohio - An Historical Pilgrimage of a Thousand Miles in a Skiff, from Redstone to Cairo • Reuben Gold Thwaites

... found that among amateur students there is almost universal deficiency in the power of expressing the roundness of a surface. They frequently draw with considerable dexterity and vigour, but never attain the slightest sense of those modulations in form which can only be expressed by gradations in shade. They leave sharp edges to their blots of colour, sharp angles in their ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... Chancellor the executor. It was this: a train of gunpowder was to be laid on two of the neatly shaven lawns of St. John's and Trinity Colleges, in such a manner, that, when set on fire, the singed grass would exhibit the ominous words, Liberty and Equality, which, with able ladlike dexterity, was duly performed. ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... His power rested above all on the trading classes, and these were still persuaded that wealth meant gold and silver, and that commerce was best furthered by jealous monopolies. It was only by patience and dexterity that the mob of merchants and country squires who backed him in the House of Commons could be brought to acquiesce in the changes he proposed. How small his power was when it struggled with the prejudices around him was seen in the failure of the first great measure he brought forward. The ...
— History of the English People, Volume VIII (of 8) - Modern England, 1760-1815 • John Richard Green

... evidenced by the success which has attended every intelligent effort for the establishment of schools for instruction in cookery in various parts of the United States. While those in charge of these schools have presented to their pupils excellent opportunities for the acquirement of dexterity in the preparation of toothsome and tempting viands, but little attention has been paid to the science of dietetics, or what might be ...
— Science in the Kitchen. • Mrs. E. E. Kellogg

... of course, but he was as intensely an American as any man who has lived on this continent before or since. A man of the people, he was American by the character of his genius, by his versatility, the vivacity of his intellect, and his mental dexterity. In his abilities, his virtues, and his defects he was an American, and so plainly one as to be beyond the reach of doubt or question. There were others of that period, too, who were as genuine Americans as Franklin or Lincoln. Such were Jonathan ...
— George Washington, Vol. II • Henry Cabot Lodge

... fellow in a grey shirt had attracted general attention by his dexterity. He was resolved to have Nero's rosette. He managed to wrench it from between the bull's horns, but not completely to disengage it. The bull drove after him so close that it was impossible for another ...
— In Troubadour-Land - A Ramble in Provence and Languedoc • S. Baring-Gould

... surprising rapidity and apparent confidence Lieutenant Gjertsen disposed of the most complicated cases — whether invariably to the patient's advantage is another question, which I shall leave undecided. He drew teeth with a dexterity that strongly reminded one of the conjurer's art; one moment he showed an empty pair of forceps, the next there was a big molar in their grip. The yells one heard while the operation was in progress seemed to indicate that ...
— The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2 • Roald Amundsen

... sheer endurance of their school-hours—that stolid lending of ears that do not hear—that objectless looking without ever once seeing, and straining their minds without an aim; alternating, it may be, with some feats of dexterity and effort, like a man trying to lift himself in his own arms, or take his head in his teeth, exploits as dangerous, as ungraceful, and as useless, except to glorify the showman and bring wages in, as the feats ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... ready, and shott so near the marke, that he farre surpassed all his fellow schollars, and became a teacher of that art to them before the thretteenth year of his oune age. And really, I have often admired his dexterity in this, both at the exercizeing of his soulders, and when for recreatione. I have gone to the gunning with him when I was but a stripeling myself; and albeit that passetyme was the exercize I delighted most in, yet could I never attaine to any perfectione comparable to ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... together, on the principle of division of labour, can make several thousands of pins per man in one day. Division of labour, in a highly developed state of society, is carried into almost every practical art; and its great benefits depend upon the increase of dexterity in each workman, upon the saving of time otherwise lost in passing from one kind of work to another, and finally, upon the use of many labour-saving machines, which is made possible by the ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... hear of "M. Fredersdorf," Head Valet at this time? Fredersdorf will become, as it were, Privy-Purse, House-Friend, and domestic Factotum, and play a great part in coming years. "A tall handsome man;" much "silent sense, civility, dexterity;" something "magnificently clever in him," thinks Bielfeld (now, or else twenty years afterwards); whom we can believe. [Ib. p. 49.] He was a gift from General Schwerin, this Fredersdorf; once a Private in Schwerin's regiment, at Frankfurt-on-Oder,—excellent ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. X. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—At Reinsberg—1736-1740 • Thomas Carlyle

... dust, pillar-stove, gum, hot-pressed paper and Russia leather. He sat in the middle of them, in an atmosphere so thick that it could be seen hanging about him like an aura, luminous in the glare of the electric light. His slender, nervous hands worked rapidly, with a business-like air of dexterity and dispatch. But every now and then he raised his head and stared for quite a long time at the round, white, foolish face of the clock, and whenever he did this his eyes were the eyes of a young man who has no adequate ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... did not, however, incline to these studies half so fondly as to the games of his companions, or the shows or riots in the street, into all of which he managed to thrust himself, and from which he had always the happy dexterity ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... view, in opposition to Walpole. Satire can only flourish under some such conditions as then existed. It supposes, among other things, the existence of a small cultivated class, which will fully appreciate the personalities, the dexterity of insinuation, and the cutting sarcasm which gives the spice to much of Pope's satire. Young, a singularly clever writer, was eclipsed by Pope because he kept to denoting general types and was not intimate with the actors on the social stage. Johnson, still ...
— English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century • Leslie Stephen

... the Reformatory," she became impressed by its audacious cleverness. It would have been impossible to manage a tremendous shift in position with more consummate dexterity. Indeed, she was almost ready to take the Post's word for it that no shift at all had been made. From beginning to end the paper's unshakable loyalty to the reformatory was everywhere insisted upon; that was the strong keynote; the ruinous qualifications ...
— Queed • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... for days on bread and water. The offences most severely punished were chiefly conventional; those against morals being little regarded, compared with those against unreasonable discipline. Thus the horrid vices with acts of brutal violence, or of dexterity in theft and robbery, were detailed to me by the officers with little direct censure, and rather as anecdotes calculated to astonish and amuse a new-comer. While the possession of a pipe, a newspaper, a little tea, etc., or the omission of some ...
— A Plea for the Criminal • James Leslie Allan Kayll

... scarcely removed his drab figure from the doorway when Captain Dashwood blotted out the light and dived in upon them with a dexterity born ...
— With Haig on the Somme • D. H. Parry

... stock of everything, examining everything, and arranging in every respect for the comfort of her dear Marshal. Lisbeth, quite as Republican as he could be, pleased him by her democratic opinions, and she flattered him with amazing dexterity; for the last fortnight the old man, whose house was better kept, and who was cared for as a child by its mother, had begun to regard Lisbeth as a part of ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... for large sums for a short time, and are lucky enough to "break the bank at Monte Carlo;" but they return and give it all back to the prince with interest. All he asks of them is that they shall keep on playing at his game. The visitor wonders most at the dexterity with which the money of all varieties is raked, tossed and flung about the board by the croupiers, with apparently the utmost recklessness and without mistakes. They have spent their lives at it and know it the way Paderewski knows his keyboard. Three men are employed at each table ...
— A Fantasy of Mediterranean Travel • S. G. Bayne

... operation of his business, and shall not necessarily lose his position on having attained such knowledge. But there are so many more important things to be thought of, in the qualifications of a foreign resident, that his technical dexterity or clumsiness ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... notice one peculiarity. Speaking or listening—sitting or standing—walking or resting—his long, white, lissom fingers are never still; they cannot handle the commonest object without betraying a swift, subdued dexterity. Look closer yet, and all his glib, sham-soldier talk will not deceive you. That gallant belongs to a great army, whose spoils—if not bloodless—must be won with knife and pistol, instead of rifle ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... out as a secondary circumstance the prudent dexterity of Shakspeare, who could still contrive to flatter a king by a work in every part of whose plan nevertheless the poetical views are evident. James the First drew his lineage from Banquo; he was the first who united the threefold sceptre of England, ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... his head for a moment, then lifted it with a smile, and sailed in the spirit into the China seas, and there told them how the Chinamen used to slip on board his ship and steal with supernatural dexterity, and the sailors catch them by the tails, which they observing, came ever with their tails soaped like pigs at a village feast; and how some foolhardy sailors would venture into the town at the risk of their lives; and how one day they had to run for ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... first work. The exterior gave great satisfaction to the captain. The wall was not only solid and secure, but it was really handsome. This was in some measure owing to the quality of the stones, but quite as much to Jamie's dexterity in using them. The wall and chimneys, of the latter of which there were no less than six, were all laid in lime, too; it having been found necessary to burn some of the material to plaster the interior. Then the gates were massive, being framed in oak, filled in with four-inch plank, and ...
— Wyandotte • James Fenimore Cooper

... claws with surprising dexterity, he seized the nut, and stripped off the outer husk in a twinkling; then setting it upon one end, he began to hammer away at the orifices through which the stalk and root of the future tree make their way when the nut germinates. ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... this book will be a rare treat. But in virtue of its humour, its extreme and felicitous dexterity of workmanship both in rhyme and metre ... it will appeal to a ...
— The Battle of the Bays • Owen Seaman

... at the same time raise the rifle above the shoulder farthest from the opponent, butt elevated and to the rear, elbows slightly bent and knees straight. Each individual takes such position of the feet, shoulders, and hands as best accords with his natural dexterity. SWING. Tighten the grasp of the hands and swing the rifle to the front and downward, directing it at the head of the opponent, and immediately return to the position of club rifle by completing the swing of the rifle downward ...
— Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry • War Department

... head well turned along the straight high-road with its high-tangled hedge-rows on either side than she began to show symptoms of behaving very badly indeed. She bucked and pranced, and stood on her hind legs; she whipped suddenly round, pirouetted upon her own axis with the dexterity of a circus performer, and demonstrated very plainly that, if she only dared, she would like to take to her heels in the reverse direction to that which her ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... to me,' said Boldheart. 'Boy, my harpoon. Let no man follow;' and leaping alone into his boat, the captain rowed with admirable dexterity in the ...
— Holiday Romance • Charles Dickens

... the ground she built between them a fragile grass-blade platform. Then she started on the nest itself. Her only tools were her fore-paws, tail, and teeth. The latter she employed to soften stiff material. The weaving she did from below upwards by pure dexterity of hand and tail. For six hours she worked indefatigably, and in six hours it was finished. But it was not meant to live in; it was merely a nursery. All day long the happy pair enjoyed each other's company aloft, leaping from corn-ear to thistle-head, from thistle-head to poppy, and back again to ...
— "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" - Studies of Animal life and Character • Douglas English

... washing paper, a dangerous art for the Treasury. He washed out Lucien's four lines and replaced them, imitating the handwriting with a dexterity which augured ill for his ...
— Eve and David • Honore de Balzac

... and thereby the new State was defined for all coming time: the boundless future alone could complete the structure. But precisely because the building was an endless one, the master so long as he lived restlessly added stone to stone, with always the same dexterity and always the same elasticity busy at work. Thus he worked and created as never did any man before or after him: and as a worker and creator he still, after well-nigh two thousand years, lives in the memory of the nations—the first ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... remember, also, that the battle is to those who fight with faith and undespairing devotion. Knowing that nothing is worth fighting for at all unless God reigns, let us, at least, believe as much in the goodness of God as we do in the dexterity of the devil. And, viewing this prodigious spectacle of our country—this hope of humanity, this young America, our America—taking the sun full in its front, and making for the future as boldly ...
— Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia • Various

... language, or to please their phantasies with foolish jugglings, and pedantic or boyish wit; or to be admired for their ability in dividing of an hair, their metaphysical acuteness, and scholastic subtilty, or for their doughty dexterity in controversial squabbles.' And I add, had you joined herewith, such as vilify and trample upon the blood of the Lord Jesus, preferring the snivel of their own brains before him, you had herein but drawn your own picture, and given your ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... of the species Attache have a mania for talking in the style of Talleyrand. Their wit is often so refined that the point is imperceptible; they are like billiard-players who avoid hitting the ball with consummate dexterity. These individuals are usually taciturn, and when they talk it is only about Spain, Vienna, Italy, or Petersburg. Names of countries act like springs in their mind; press them, and the ...
— Madame Firmiani • Honore de Balzac

... Mediterranean no less foresight and dexterity was shown in forwarding the interests of the States. The Advocate's son-in-law, Van der Myle, went in 1609 as ambassador to Venice; and the following year the first Venetian envoy, Tommaso Contarini, arrived in Holland. In 1612 ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... of a pike was a common term, and signified, I believe, the manner in which it was fixed to receive the rush of the enemy. A morris-pike was a pike used in a morris or a military dance, and with which great exploits were done, that is, great feats of dexterity were shewn. There is no need ...
— Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I Comedies • Samuel Johnson

... parliamentary party, by the organ of the councillor Joly, confirms such panegyric: "She had so much intelligence, and a talent so peculiar for business, that no one in the world ever succeeded better than she did." The Princess Palatine's political dexterity cannot therefore be contested: the testimony of the most opposite camps are thereupon agreed, and it is certain that, without the least exaggeration, it may be said that no one at that epoch, save Mazarin, better understood the ...
— Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... language teacher. If it is mere drill that is wanted, a very small corner of one language would suffice. The teacher and the pupil alike are placed between the two stools—interpretation and drill. A new generation of teachers must arise to attain the dexterity requisite for ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... in rest we rushed upon the advancing Hulans, who received our charge with great intrepidity. Martinitz was my immediate opponent. The shock of our meeting was so great that both the horses recoiled upon their hams, and, but for the dexterity of the riders, must have rolled over upon the ground. The lances were shivered up to the very gauntlets. We glared on each other for an instant with eyes which seemed to flash fire through the bars of our ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... test. This knowledge is the child of practice and theory. Practice is the continuous and regular exercise of employment where manual work is done with any necessary material according to the design of a drawing. Theory, on the other hand, is the ability to demonstrate and explain the productions of dexterity ...
— Ten Books on Architecture • Vitruvius



Words linked to "Dexterity" :   mental dexterity, adeptness, dextrous, quickness, sleight, adroitness, deftness, facility



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