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Golden mean   /gˈoʊldən min/   Listen
Golden mean

noun
1.
The proportional relation between two divisions of line or two dimension of a plane figure such that short : long :: long : (short + long).  Synonym: golden section.
2.
The middle between extremes.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Golden mean" Quotes from Famous Books



... "austere," followed by "autumn" in the next line, recalls the afflictive assonance of "high Hymettus," which occurs in the beautiful passage which he stole from The Curse of Minerva and prefixed to the third canto of The Corsair. The sense of the passage is that, as in autumn, the golden mean between summer and winter, the year is at its full, so in the varied scenery of the Rhine there is a harmony of ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 • George Gordon Byron

... seaman's lore: Steer not too boldly to the deep, Nor, fearing storms, by treacherous shore Too closely creep. Who makes the golden mean his guide, Shuns miser's cabin, foul and dark, Shuns gilded roofs, where pomp and pride Are envy's mark. With fiercer blasts the pine's dim height Is rock'd; proud towers with heavier fall Crash to the ground; and thunders smite The ...
— Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace • Horace

... bold enough to advocate it or foolish enough to believe in it. In a very chastened form, however, the spirit that would put a reasonable limit on what the State shall be asked to do happily does survive and is powerful. It seeks a golden mean between letting the State do nothing and asking it to do everything. It is this plan of action that I shall try to outline, and it will appear that even this plan requires that the State should do very much. Under an inert government the ...
— Social Justice Without Socialism • John Bates Clark

... fiddler, flatterer, or buffoon? Whose table, wit or modest merit share, Unelbowed by a gamester, pimp, or play'r? Who copies yours or Oxford's better part, To ease the oppressed, and raise the sinking heart? Where'er he shines, O Fortune, gild the scene, And angels guard him in the golden mean! There, English bounty yet awhile may stand, And Honour linger ere it leaves the land. But all our praises why should lords engross? Rise, honest Muse! and sing the Man of Ross: Pleased Vaga echoes through her winding bounds, ...
— Essay on Man - Moral Essays and Satires • Alexander Pope

... all the temperance meetings of the folly of partial reforms, pointed out the hundreds of relapses, and urged upon the association the duty of absolute abstinence. His zeal warmed with his efforts and he insisted that in the matter of drinking "the golden mean" was the very sin for which the ...
— Winter Evening Tales • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... Humanism has at least the value of an objective standard in the sense that it sets up criteria which are without the individual; it substitutes a collective subjectivism, if we may use the term, for personal whim and impulse. Thus it proclaims a classic standard of moderation in all things, the golden mean of the Greeks, Confucius' and Gautama's law of measure. It proposes to bring the primitive and sensual element in man under critical control; to accomplish this it relies chiefly upon its amiable ...
— Preaching and Paganism • Albert Parker Fitch

... There is nothing to be taken away or altered without an injury to the part or to the whole.' We may afterward descend on the versification. In poetry, there is a greater difference between the good and the excellent than there is between the bad and the good. Poetry has no golden mean; mediocrity here is of another metal, which Voltaire, however, had skill enough to encrust and polish. In the least wretched of his tragedies, whatever is tolerable is Shakespeare's; but, gracious Heaven! how deteriorated! When he pretends to extol ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... strong thy bosom glows, Ill (said the king) should I thy wish oppose; For oft in others freely I reprove The ill-timed efforts of officious love; Who love too much, hate in the like extreme, And both the golden mean alike condemn. Alike he thwarts the hospitable end, Who drives the free, or stays the hasty friend: True friendship's laws are by this rule express'd, Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest. Yet, stay, my friends, ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer, translated by Alexander Pope

... Scylla and Charybdis—the two extremes to be avoided—the Anglican Church hoped to attain the safe and golden mean by steering between these opposites, and find, in this via media course, the ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 212, November 19, 1853 • Various

... folks who waste a fortune on good cheer, For there's no treat in nature more divine Than a fat thrush or a big paunch of swine." I'm just his double: when my purse is lean I hug myself, and praise the golden mean, Stout when not tempted; but suppose some day A special titbit comes into my way, I vow man's happiness is ne'er complete Till based ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... overhead will look humorously malign and cast an oblique light on them, followed by volleys of silvery laughter. That is the Comic Spirit." The Comic Spirit is the just common sense, the subconscious wisdom of the ages. There IS a golden mean, the Comic Spirit shows it to us in the light of our flashing laughter at the deviation therefrom. And because there is, even the unreconciled—reconcilable—difference or conflict is not serious. That is why true Comedy seems to find its best field ...
— The Psychology of Beauty • Ethel D. Puffer

... undiluted oxygen to breathe, the tissues would dry and shrivel, fuel burn with a fury none could withstand, and every operation of nature be conducted with such energy as soon to exhaust and destroy all power. But "a mixture of the fiery oxygen and inert nitrogen gives us the golden mean. The oxygen now quietly burns the fuel in our stoves, and keeps us warm; combines with the oil in our lamps, and gives us light; corrodes our bodies, and gives us strength; cleanses the air, and keeps it fresh and invigorating; ...
— The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking - Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes • Helen Campbell

... the habit of conquering, as well as of concealing emotion, vigorously and earnestly strove to dethrone the image that had usurped his heart. Still vain of his self-command, and still worshipping his favourite virtue of Fortitude and his delusive philosophy of the calm Golden Mean, he would not weakly indulge the passion, while he so sternly fled ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... were summoned to dinner, and hurried down. The dinner passed very strangely; some were in very high spirits, others in a very melancholy mood; Eleanor and Maurice alone preserved the golden mean; and the behaviour of the merry ones was perfectly unintelligible to the rest. Reginald, still bound by his promise to Marianne, was wild to make his discovery known, and behaved in such a strange and comical manner as to call forth various reproofs ...
— Scenes and Characters • Charlotte M. Yonge

... sit for her picture—he does not go to her. She must consult his time, his convenience, and his humour; and wear a sombre or a fantastic garb, or his Lordship turns his back upon her. There is no ease, no unaffected simplicity of manner, no "golden mean." All is strained, or petulant in the extreme. His thoughts are sphered and crystalline; his style "prouder than when blue Iris bends;" his spirit fiery, impatient, wayward, indefatigable. Instead of ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... the mate's further instigation he asked whether that was all they had got, and being told that it was, looked at them all over again. It is ever a difficult thing to fit an absent man, but he and the mate tried on every jacket in the hope of finding a golden mean, until the mate, dropping his lighted cigar in the coat-sleeve of one, and not finding it as soon as the tailor could have desired, the latter lost all patience and insisted upon ...
— The Skipper's Wooing, and The Brown Man's Servant • W. W. Jacobs

... denies himself shall gain the more (III, xvi, 21). He that ruleth his spirit is better than the lord of Carthage. Hold fast the golden mean (II, x, 5). The poor man's supper, spare but neat and free from care, with no state upon the board except his heirloom silver saltcellar, is better than a stalled ox and care therewith (II, xvi, 13). And he practised what he ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... produced a temporary lull in the culinary enthusiasm, and a frugal fit would ensue, during which the poor man was put through a course of bread pudding, hash, and warmed-over coffee, which tried his soul, although he bore it with praiseworthy fortitude. Before the golden mean was found, however, Meg added to her domestic possessions what young couples seldom get on ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... dwell on this aspect of the classics. He who cares to follow their full working in this direction, as did our English humanist, may find it exhibited in Plato's political and ethical scheme of self-development, or in Aristotle's ideal of the Golden Mean which combines magnanimity with moderation, and elevation with self-knowledge. If a single word were used to describe the character and state of life upheld by Plato and Aristotle, as spokesmen of ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... pamphlet uniformly couples "ultra slaveholders" and "northern manumissionists" in the same censure. They are the two objectionable extremes; colonizationists and moderate slave-holders being, I suppose, the golden mean. One illustration more of the animus with which he ...
— A Visit To The United States In 1841 • Joseph Sturge

... of monogamic fellowship, the out-coming of the deep hunger for a unique experience in affection, can be greatly misinterpreted by failing to see that it is human nature's effort to keep to the golden mean as one is driven by tremendous impulses toward the supreme man-woman comradeship. In all such relationships there is on one side the extreme which shows itself when one member of the intimacy crushes and destroys the personality of the other. This eventually spoils the ...
— The Good Housekeeping Marriage Book • Various

... audience of the Queen for the Parliament, the First President strenuously urged the great necessity of inviolably preferring that golden mean between the King and the subject; proved that the Parliament had been for many ages in possession of full authority to unite and assemble; complained against the annulling of their decree of union, and concluded with a very earnest motion for suppressing ...
— The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete • Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

... Allow me, just one word! The Slavophils are right; but I always told my husband that one ought never to exaggerate anything! "The golden mean," you know. What is the use of maintaining that the common people are all perfect, when ...
— Fruits of Culture • Leo Tolstoy

... upon the ground, he was without a blanket, or any covering except his ordinary clothes; and he needed nothing more. The surrounding rocks shut out all wind, and the air was not warm enough to cause perspiration. The fact was, he had struck that golden mean which leaves nothing to be ...
— In the Pecos Country • Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)

... of Cleveland composers is Wilson G. Smith. He has been especially fortunate in hitting the golden mean between forbidding abstruseness and trivial popularity, and consequently enjoys the esteem of those learned in music as well as of those merely ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes



Words linked to "Golden mean" :   moderation, moderateness, golden section, proportion



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