Online dictionaryOnline dictionary
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Ruthlessness   /rˈuθləsnəs/   Listen
Ruthlessness

noun
1.
Mercilessness characterized by a lack of pity.  Synonym: pitilessness.
2.
Feelings of extreme heartlessness.  Synonyms: cruelty, mercilessness, pitilessness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |
Add this dictionary
to your browser search bar





"Ruthlessness" Quotes from Famous Books



... beautifully wrinkled countenance I ever beheld. Every line seemed to enhance some celestial quality in her expression. And she had the dim look of the very old after they begin to recede spiritually from the ruthlessness of mere realities. She had palsy and used to sit in the Amen Corner of the church at Eureka, gently, incessantly wagging her lovely old head beneath a little black horseshoe bonnet that was tied under her chin with long black ribbons. Sabbath after Sabbath, ...
— A Circuit Rider's Wife • Corra Harris

... account for the assassination we must concede high rank to the German Emperor's. He justly describes it as a "deed unparalleled for ruthlessness," and then adds that ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... "My friends, our strength, so far as it avails, shall never cease to help you, not one whit, when need shall come. But Aeetes is terribly armed with deadly ruthlessness; wherefore exceedingly do I dread this voyage. And he boasts himself to be the son of Helios; and all round dwell countless tribes of Colchians; and he might match himself with Ares in his dread war-cry and giant strength. Nay, to seize the ...
— The Argonautica • Apollonius Rhodius

... which cost them their independence. Indeed, as early as September 1, 1900, the South African Republic was annexed, and on October 25, Transvaal became an English colony. In its international aspect the Boer War cost England temporarily the friendship of many nations, who resented the ruthlessness with which they carried on war, and ridiculed the lack of efficiency which was so noticeable during the early stages of the war. Relations with Germany became especially strained as a result of the strong pro-Boer sentiment which was evident throughout the German Empire, and ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8) - Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers • Various

... and my eyes wide for signs and tokens that I was surrounded by a seething and whirling invisible population of beings, like ourselves, but glorified: yet unlike ourselves in this, that what seemed entirely right, because natural, to them would have been in ourselves horrible. The ruthlessness, for instance, of Quidnunc as he pursued and obtained his desire, had Quidnunc been a human creature, would have been revolting; the shamelessness of the fairy wife of Ventris had she been capable of shame, how shameful had that been! But I knew that these creatures ...
— Lore of Proserpine • Maurice Hewlett

... wild gipsy blood in his veins. Though seemingly a model of decorum and devoted to his art, he complains of his "daily drudging round" and "the cramped monotony of his existence." He commits his crime with the ruthlessness of a beast, his own nature being wholly untamed. If we deduce that his father was an adventurer and a vagabond, we shall not be far wrong. If we deduce that his mother was the opium-eater, prematurely aged, who had transmitted her ...
— The Puzzle of Dickens's Last Plot • Andrew Lang

... with the obsolete or obsolescent remnants in political and religious creeds. He has the healthful intolerance of strong conviction. He is too good a partisan to admit that there may be another side to the question which might be worth considering. With magnificent ruthlessness he plunges ahead, and with a truly old Norse pugnacity he stands in the thick of the fight, rejoicing in battle. Only combat arouses his Titanic energy and calls all his splendid faculties ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... conversational ruthlessness. "Fifteen dollars! Why, I'd give that myself an' set it up out there at the cross-roads for autos to bid on while they run. Its wuth—well, I wouldn't say what 'twas wuth. Maybe you'd laugh, an' I ain't goin' to be laughed at, if I be ...
— Country Neighbors • Alice Brown

... The children of their successors and supplanters, and then their children and children's children, change and develop with extraordinary rapidity. The conditions accentuate vices and virtues, energy and ruthlessness, all the good qualities and all the defects of an intense individualism, self-reliant, self-centred, far more conscious of its rights than of its duties, and blind to its own shortcomings. To the hard ...
— African and European Addresses • Theodore Roosevelt

... would not know how. It's the ingrained innocence which men encounter that they don't allow for or understand in us. Even after we are married, and whether or not we learn to love our husbands, it remains part of us as an educated instinct; and it takes all the scientific, selfish ruthlessness of a man to break it down. That's why I say so few among us ever comprehend the motives attributed to us in romance or in that parody of it called realism. Love is rarer with us than men could ever believe—and ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... and expansion where such policies were beneficial to Rome, with little or no regard for their effects on Roman associates, allies, friends or enemies. Studied ruthlessness. ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... envious counterfeit presentment, which (knowing its poor brief reign) has played us and our friend that mean trick. When this happens we must be merciless, like the fairy-story prince when the wicked creatures in the wood spoke to him in the voice of his mother; piety towards the original arms us with ruthlessness towards the portrait. It was for this same reason that, as I have said, I unpinned from my screen those two facsimiles of drawings, feeling rather a brute while ...
— Hortus Vitae - Essays on the Gardening of Life • Violet Paget, AKA Vernon Lee

... own form of ruthlessness. The selfless man, by dealing with others in the same extraordinary way in which he deals with himself, may easily under the pressure of extreme conditions become impersonal in his thinking upon duty. The morality of such a state of mind is a question for the philosopher. The historian must content ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... bore a distinct resemblance to that of the Reverend Andrew Hett. That night it seemed to Mark, in one of those waking trances that occur like dreams between one disturbed sleep and another, that the presence of the chaplain was shaking the flimsy foundations of the Abbey with such ruthlessness that the whole structure ...
— The Altar Steps • Compton MacKenzie

... heart. He would subdue her as easily as he had the half-broken colts, sometimes bullying, sometimes mocking, sometimes making love to her with barbaric ardor. There were times when his strength and ruthlessness had fascinated June, but just now she felt only horror weighted ...
— The Fighting Edge • William MacLeod Raine

... outlaw, insurgent and rebel had made him notorious, not only in Spain and Gaul, but in Italy, even among the circles of society amid which I moved by inheritance. His reputation for strength, vigor, valor, resolution, ruthlessness, ferocity and cunning had made me picture him as different as possible from what he ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... were to imitate nature in making the survival of the fittest our aim, we should return to the barbaric ruthlessness of ancient Sparta or Rome, exposing infants, killing the feeble and insane, and becoming just such cold-blooded pursuers of efficiency as Nietzsche admires. That such pitiless competition is moral, or desirable, no one but a few cranks would ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... revenge, revengement^; vengeance; avengement^, avengeance^, sweet revenge, vendetta, death feud, blood for blood retaliation &c 718; day of reckoning. rancor, vindictiveness, implacability; malevolence &c 907; ruthlessness &c 914.1. avenger, vindicator, Nemesis, Eumenides. V. revenge, avenge; vindicate; take one's revenge, have one's revenge; breathe revenge, breathe vengeance; wreak one's vengeance, wreak one's anger. have accounts to settle, have ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... its trim green leaves are brown and crackly. I can do what I like with it after this. So when my other transplanting grows tiresome, I fall upon my phlox. Every year some of it needs thinning, so quickly does it spread. I take the spading-fork, and, with what seems like utter ruthlessness, I pry out from the thickest centers enough good roots to give the rest breathing and growing space. Along the path edges I always have to cut out encroaching roots each year, or else soon there would be no ...
— More Jonathan Papers • Elisabeth Woodbridge

... efficiency, the wisdom and steadfastness, of those who try to practise it. It will help them to enter, more completely than ever before, into the life of the group to which they belong. It will teach them to see the world in a truer proportion, discerning eternal beauty beyond and beneath apparent ruthlessness. It will educate them in a charity free from all taint of sentimentalism; it will confer on them an unconquerable hope; and assure them that still, even in the hour of greatest desolation, "There lives the dearest freshness deep down things." As a contribution, then, to these ...
— Practical Mysticism - A Little Book for Normal People • Evelyn Underhill

... Great Barrington on the Housatonic—which formed a newer New England, less lettered and scriptural than the old, where class distinctions were little known, where contact with the Indian and the wilderness had added a secular ruthlessness and ingenuity to the harsh Puritan temper, and where the individual, freed from an effective "village moral police," learned in the rough school of nature a new kind of conformity unknown to ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... defending himself from their inhuman rage. It seems incredible that such deeds could be possible in the twentieth century. It is incredible to those who have not followed in the bloody trail of the lumber trust and who are not familiar with its ruthlessness, its greed and its ...
— The Centralia Conspiracy • Ralph Chaplin

... orders; but all the old story of his persecution of Hayne would now be revived; all men would see in his participation in the affair only additional reason to adjudge him cruelly persistent in his hatred of the young officer, and, in view of the utter ruthlessness and wrong of this assault, would be more than ever confident of the falsity of his position in the original case. As he was slowly led up-stairs to his room and his tearful wife and silent sister-in-law ...
— The Deserter • Charles King

... exist half German and half free. We have to put an end to the bloody doctrine of the superior race—to that anarchy which is expressed in the conviction that German necessity is above all law. We have to put an end to the German idea of ruthlessness. We have to put an end to the doctrine that it is right to make every use of power that is possible, without regard to any restriction of justice, ...
— Germany, The Next Republic? • Carl W. Ackerman

... have been imagining fit, economic fear and most economic hope will be alike removed out of life. No one will be haunted by the dread of poverty or driven into ruthlessness by the hope of wealth. There will not be the distinction of social classes which now plays such an immense part in life. The unsuccessful professional man will not live in terror lest his children should sink in the scale; the aspiring ...
— Proposed Roads To Freedom • Bertrand Russell

... fire. Not attainable except through love! It would be better that no children be born at all unless born of such beautiful love. Perhaps that was why so few children were born. Nature's balance and revenge! In Arizona Carley had learned something of the ruthlessness and inevitableness of nature. She was finding out she had learned this with many other ...
— The Call of the Canyon • Zane Grey

... Mothe knew it as he knew the justice of the King. Had he not given his satire a loose rein over the safe-conduct which drew this very Guy de Molembrais to Valmy, and the swift ruthlessness which brushed aside any such feeble plea as a King's good faith? If Villon was right then this little inch or two of new-cut twig might indeed be all he said, the shadow of death, revenge, hate, and a warning against further attempts of a like kind ...
— The Justice of the King • Hamilton Drummond

... they settled in Eastern and Southern Britain, were a horde of barbarous heathen pirates. They massacred or enslaved the civilised or half-civilised Celtic inhabitants with savage ruthlessness. They burnt or destroyed the monuments of Roman occupation. They let the roads and cities fall into utter disrepair. They stamped out Christianity with fire and sword from end to end of their new domain. They occupied a civilised and Christian land, and they restored it to its ...
— Early Britain - Anglo-Saxon Britain • Grant Allen

... to surfeit you with the horrors that were perpetrated during that hideous week of July, when no man's life was safe from the royal butchers. The awful campaign of Jeifreys and his four associates was yet to follow, but it is doubtful if it could compare in ruthlessness with that of Feversham and Kirke. At least, when Jeifreys came, men were given a trial—or what looked like it—and there remained them a chance, however slender, of acquittal, as many lived to prove thereafter. With Feversham ...
— Mistress Wilding • Rafael Sabatini

... before her as she talked, that horrid encounter with commercial ruthlessness: she saw again poor 'Gene's outraged face of helpless anger, felt again the heat of sympathetic indignation she and Neale had felt, recognized again the poison which triumphant unrighteousness leaves behind. She shook her head impatiently, to shake off the memory, and said aloud, ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... about your gallantry," said Dan with all a brother's ruthlessness, "until I told them it was merely a habit of mind with you; then Sis ...
— The Iron Trail • Rex Beach

... that grim significance passed on to "Red" Pierre, indeed, because he never impressed the public imagination as did the terrible ruthlessness of McGurk. At that he did ...
— Riders of the Silences • John Frederick

... commended itself to him on no principle of practical efficacy. He had care enough to drown, Heaven knew, but against any temptation to fly to the bottle in order to swamp it he was proof. His very cynicism, selfish, egotistical as it might be in its hard and sweeping ruthlessness, was a safeguard to him in this connection. That he, Laurence Stanninghame, to whom the vast bulk of mankind represented a commingling of rogue and fool in about equal proportion, should ever come to render himself unsteady on his feet, and hardly responsible for the words which came ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... thinking, feeling being, that loves us, still he acts toward us individuals with the exalted greatness and seeming ruthlessness of a natural force, of a divine power. He can love us and know us, better than we know the cells of our own body, and yet take no account of our little worries, because he knows how insignificant they are. And he always acts through ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... capable of descending, if he ever succeeded in eliminating death from the equation of his immediate future, it was impossible to say. The wisdom of ages bids us beware of the man of one idea. He is to be feared for his ruthlessness, for his concentration, for the singular strength he has acquired in the centralization of his intellectual power, and because he has welded, as it were, the rough metal of many passions and of many talents into a single deadly weapon which he wields for a single ...
— The Witch of Prague • F. Marion Crawford

... ears. He had heard of these Calabasas men—of Sandusky and of the little fellow, Logan. They had much more than a local reputation as outlaws; they were known from one end of the Superstition Range to the other as evil-doers of more than ordinary ruthlessness. De Spain, from force of habit, studied every detail of their make-up. Both showed more than traces of drink, and both securing partners joined rudely in the dancing. It had become second nature to de Spain to note even ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... wished him to know it; and he accepted her admiration, and now made a bold return. For soon the change in her was matched by the change in him. The open resolution of his face, which on the ship had often attracted Nigel, was now mingled with a something sharp, as of cunning, with a ruthlessness she could understand and appreciate. As she looked at him in the gathering darkness of the night, she realized that housed within him, no doubt with many companions, there was certainly a brigand, without any fear, without much ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... Miss Falconer," I answered with almost Teutonic ruthlessness. Confound it! I couldn't sit here forever bullying her; sheer desperation lent me strength. "The Espagne sails from Bordeaux on Saturday, I see by the Herald, and if I were you, I should most certainly ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... symposia of wit and learning which Lady Poynter assembled on the strength of her own personality and her husband's cellar. There was a long-standing gentle competition between the two, which they abandoned in common hostility to Lady Maitland, who excelled them both in the ruthlessness and speed of her hunting. At the moment, however, Mrs. Shelley had eclipsed both her rivals by the chance of having known Eric Lane for ten years; to Lady Maitland he was still "Mr. Eric," to Lady Poynter ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... is preserved of Rauparaha's resource and ruthlessness. One night, when retreating with a weak force, he had the Waikatos at his heels. He held them back by lighting enough watchfires for a large host, and by arming and dressing his women as fighting-men. Again, when he was duck-hunting near the coast of the South Island, his ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... the patronage of such an individual. He took charge of the little fellow, and was not slow in discovering that his protege possessed not only a muscular framework and ready wit, but the malice, the concentrated ruthlessness and rapacity of fifty devils rolled into one. Something could be made out of that boy, he concluded; the Society, always ready to adopt promising neophytes on the recommendation of a qualified practitioner like himself, would doubtless enrol him in due course. Meanwhile he instructed him, by ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... is a weird and unhealthy practice, akin to vivisection, but without its excuse. It is like the Chinese custom of dwarfing their women's feet. The result is pleasing to the eye; but it hurts the mind by its abnormality, and the heart by its ruthlessness. ...
— Kimono • John Paris

... and devoured of the flies, and therewithal to refuse me even a cup of water, though the very murderers condemned to death by the law, as they go to execution, not seldom are allowed wine to drink, so they but ask it. Lo now, I see that thou art inexorable in thy ruthlessness, and on no wise to be moved by my suffering: wherefore with resignation I will compose me to await death, that God may have mercy on my soul. And may this that thou doest escape not the searching glance of His just eyes." Which said, she dragged herself, ...
— The Decameron, Vol. II. • Giovanni Boccaccio

... she had never seen in human eyes before. The ruthlessness left no room for appeal. Unless the courage to tame him lay in her ...
— A Texas Ranger • William MacLeod Raine

... wrote in chalk on the door of a house where he had been well received, "Guete Leute hier," and these poor people got chalk and tried to copy the difficult German writing on every door in the street. I am afraid that did not save them, however, when their turn came. It was the utter ruthlessness and foresight with which every contingency was prepared for that appalled me and made me realize what a powerful enemy we were up against. Everything was thought out down to the last detail and must have been prepared months beforehand. Even their ...
— Field Hospital and Flying Column - Being the Journal of an English Nursing Sister in Belgium & Russia • Violetta Thurstan

... giants, who must be fought with steadily, warily, wearily, over dreary heaths and snow-capped fells, and rugged nesses and tossing sounds, and away into the boundless sea—or who could live?—till he got hardened in the fight into ruthlessness of need and greed. The poor strip of flat strath, ploughed and re-ploughed again in the short summer days, would yield no more; or wet harvests spoiled the crops, or heavy snows starved the cattle. And so the Norseman launched his ships ...
— Historical Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... by himself and his followers, and his ruthlessness in permitting the plunder and burning of churches and convents, kept back the much greater hosts who would otherwise have flocked to his ranks. And at this critical moment in his career he committed the signal error of failing to march on Moscow, the principal seat of the ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... fraternal hatred. For all the rest, it were a hard judge that had anything but praise. The brilliant blackguardism of the Master; his touch of sentiment as he leaves Durisdeer for the last time, with a sad old song on his lips; his fascination; his ruthlessness; his irony;—all are perfect. It is not very easy to understand the Chevalier Bourke, that Barry Lyndon, with no head and with a good heart, that creature of a bewildered kindly conscience; but it is easy to like him. How admirable is his undeflected belief in and affection for the Master! ...
— Essays in Little • Andrew Lang

... on the grounds that Bolshevism was a Jewish movement. He and I differed on the subject of Bolshevism. I have never seen any signs either of constructive ability or sound principles in any Bolshevik leader; nothing but enterprise, driving-power, vindictiveness, Hebrew cunning, and a criminal ruthlessness. They're not statesmen. And Bolshevism, as so far manifested, isn't a statesmanlike system; it holds the reins too tight. I don't condemn it for the cruelties committed in its name, because whenever Russians get excited there'll be fiendish cruelties; ...
— Potterism - A Tragi-Farcical Tract • Rose Macaulay

... me through. Mr. Parris, you must be a man of singular shamelessness, craft, ruthlessness and impudence, withal. You began your operations with sharp bargaining about your stipend and sharp practice in appropriating the house and land assigned for the use of successive pastors. You wrought ...
— The Witch of Salem - or Credulity Run Mad • John R. Musick

... the case of the Fry, in which, it will be recalled, the German Government admitted its liability for damages, and the lives of the crew, as in the case of the Fry, were safeguarded with reasonable care. The case of the Law, which was carrying lemon-box staves to Palermo, disclosed a ruthlessness of method which deserves grave condemnation, but was accompanied by no circumstances which might not have been expected at any time in connection with the use of the submarine against merchantmen as the German Government ...
— President Wilson's Addresses • Woodrow Wilson

... predictable correlation between intelligence and ethics, nor is ruthlessness necessarily an evil thing. And there is nothing like enforced, uninterrupted contemplation to learn to distinguish ...
— Gone Fishing • James H. Schmitz

... hurried back from—who knew where?—to stand behind us, saying "I forbid you entrance, in the name of the ancient gods!" We could not see him, nor hear his voice; but we could feel that he was there, and something in us revolted against the ruthlessness of disobeying, of forcing our way into the room in spite of him, to ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... gallery of lovers is a long one, and the greatest portraits in it are of women. There is the jealous, terrific Hermione; the delicate, melancholy Junie; the noble, exquisite, and fascinating Berenice; there is Roxane with her voluptuous ruthlessness, and Monime with her purity and her courage; and there is the dark, ...
— Landmarks in French Literature • G. Lytton Strachey

... can't admit your ability without admitting their own inferiority, so it isn't ability at all. It's just dirty underhanded trickery and selfish ruthlessness." He thought for a moment. "How did Government House find ...
— Oomphel in the Sky • Henry Beam Piper

... she was aware that there was no pause in the accumulating force of the passion that was seizing her. She was being drawn along by two opposite powers—the tenderness of protective maternal love and the ruthlessness ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... her face between his hands, and there was something of insistence, something that even bordered upon ruthlessness, in his hold. Though the tears were running down her face, he would ...
— Greatheart • Ethel M. Dell

... consider their appalling and brutal violence as exhibited in such institutions as that of the Index and Excommunication, the fierceness with which they insist upon absolute and detailed obedience to authority, the ruthlessness with which they cast out from their company those who will not pronounce their shibboleths. It is true that in these days they can only enforce their claims by spiritual threatenings and penalties, but history shows us that they would do more if they could. The story of the ...
— Paradoxes of Catholicism • Robert Hugh Benson

... intended to convey a threat of submarine warfare. I should only like you to remind the Ambassador before his interview with the President of the expectations we based in the spring on Wilson and to call his attention to the increasing ruthlessness with which the enemy is carrying on the war. I take it for granted that Gerard will treat my memoir as strictly confidential ...
— My Three Years in America • Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

... and troops—suppressed monastic institutions—granted absolute liberty of opinion—abolished the laws against the liberty of the press—created many literary institutions; and whatever were his political errors, and the ruthlessness with which in the name of liberty and reform he marched to the attainment of his object, without respect for the most sacred things, he is generally allowed to be a man of integrity, and even by his enemies, an enthusiast, who deceives himself as much as others. Now in the hopes of obtaining ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... the hands of that woman with the cruel eyes or a victim to the ruthlessness of Strangwise made Desmond cold with apprehension. If they believed the girl knew where the jewel had disappeared to, they would stop at nothing to force a confession from her; Desmond was convinced of that. But what had ...
— Okewood of the Secret Service • Valentine Williams

... had said, a pair of fine, well-made men, naked, save for a kind of breech-clout round their loins, of sturdy physique, and apparently but little the worse for their adventure. Nor were they especially unprepossessing in appearance, although there was a certain character of ruthlessness in the expression of their eyes and about their mouths and chins that caused Leslie to determine that he would keep a very wary eye upon them, at all events until he had learned a little more about ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... Savinien. "In a minute or two he collected his wits and addressed himself to the situation. It was worth seeing. He shook his depression from him like a dog shaking water from its coat, and sat up. Enterprise, determination, ruthlessness were eloquent in his countenance; I felt like a child before such a combination of qualities. Then he began to talk. He has an air, that brigand; he can cock his head so as to deceive a bailiff; he can wear a certain nobility of countenance; and with it all ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... at fault. I soon received the expected summons, and it brought me into the most amazing of my diplomatic adventures-a mission which showed me the utter ruthlessness that characterizes foreign ministers, particularly when the vital interests of their ...
— The Secrets of the German War Office • Dr. Armgaard Karl Graves

... and callous doctrine, but you know there are aspects of common sense which decidedly are hard and callous. And one finds constantly in plain common-sense persons (O rare and select band!) a surprising quality of ruthlessness mingled with softer traits. Have you not noticed it? The past is absolutely intractable. One can't do anything with it. And an exaggerated attention to it is like an exaggerated attention to sepulchres—a sign of barbarism. ...
— Mental Efficiency - And Other Hints to Men and Women • Arnold Bennett

... and clutched at his hair with her fingers. She slowly turned over and twisted the unresisting hair, drew herself up, her lips curled with triumph, while her eyes, wide and clear, almost white, expressed nothing but the ruthlessness and glutted joy of conquest. The hawk, as it clutches a captured bird, has eyes ...
— The Torrents of Spring • Ivan Turgenev

... Alexandria, and avenged on the moment, at the very beginning of the great civil war? That is a diary worth the reading. There is told the story of not alone vain hopes and ungratified ambitions, but of an empty stomach and dizzy head to supplement the mental agony and make its ruthlessness complete. There were, too, the high courage which was sorely tested—and an empty stomach is a dreadful shackle—and the bulldog pertinacity which ever does things. That was a diary of real life, with little room for dreams, and ...
— A Man and a Woman • Stanley Waterloo

... overheard your conversation with M. Rossigny this morning and it did not appear to me that you were accompanying him with a light heart. I admit the ruthlessness and bad taste of my interference and I apologise for it humbly; but I risked being taken for a ruffian in order to give you a few hours ...
— The Eight Strokes of the Clock • Maurice Leblanc

... ever grudged the time to people in difficulties when he felt he could really help and save. That seemed to him an opportunity of using all his powers; and when he took a soul in hand, he could display a certain sternness, and even ruthlessness, in dealing with it. "You need not consult me at all, but if you do you must carry out exactly what I tell you," he could say; but he did grudge time and attention given to mild sentimentalists, who were not making any way, but simply ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... priests' dwellings, so down the passages which led to them I made my way. It would have surprised me little to have found even these deserted. That the old order was changed I knew, but I was only then beginning to realise the ruthlessness with which it had been swept away, and how much it had ...
— The Lost Continent • C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

... "faked" claims and the like. The elder of the two officers in particular drew a vivid and damning picture of the man's life and personality, of the cunning with which he had evaded the law, and the ruthlessness with which he had avenged ...
— Lady Merton, Colonist • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... opportunity. To-night, he will attack us.". It is true that Tametomo afterwards refrained from taking his brother's life, but the above proves that he would not have exercised any such forbearance had victory been attainable by ruthlessness. History does not often repeat itself so exactly as it did in these Hogen and Heiji struggles. Fujiwara Yorinaga's refusal to follow Tametomo's advice and Fujiwara Nobuyori's rejection of Yoshitomo's ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... Bollo's Wine Shop. The hunchback was sitting on a garbage-can, almost at the entrance. At the sight of this misshapen figure, the irritating memory of the Italian and his impossible music recurred to Suvaroff. A sudden sinister cruelty came over him; he felt a wanton ruthlessness that the sight of ugliness sometimes engenders in natures sensitive to beauty. He went up to the hunchback and looked searchingly into the man's face. It was a strangely handsome face, and its incongruity struck ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... ruthlessness of the ancient pagans in the atrocities practiced in later times, and even in our day, by the Mohammedans in Africa. Livingstone, Cameron, and still more recently Cardinal Lavigerie, Archbishop of Carthage, who was furnished with information by his missionaries, declare that at least 400,000 ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 2, 1917 • Various

... watchful waiting, although at the time we neither of us realized it, and of dislike of the house and its surroundings. It extended itself to the very garden, where she gathered flowers for the table with a ruthlessness that was almost vicious. And, as July went on, and Miss Emily made her occasional visits, as tiny, as delicate as herself, I had a curious conclusion forced on me. Miss Emily returned her antagonism. I was slow to credit it. What ...
— The Confession • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... insight, their inventiveness, and their highly developed social sense are all pressed into the service of this patriotic cause. And it is to these permanent qualities, more even than to their thirty years' military and economic preparation, that they owe their many successes. The cynicism and ruthlessness of our arch-enemy should not be allowed to blind us to his enterprise, his stoicism, his meticulous applications of the law of cause and effect. These are among his most valuable assets, and unless we have solid advantages of our own to set against ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... wasted all the places which he saw would be hard to protect, distrusting his power to guard them, and he so far forestalled the ruthlessness of the foe in ravaging his own land, that he left nothing untouched which could be seized by those who came after. Then he shut up the greater part of his forces in a town of undoubted strength, and suffered the enemy to blockade him. ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... was living at the rate of ten thousand a year. Well, we dined as we were, Carville insisting that as I was up from the country they should bar evening dress for one night. This was rather pretty in its way, and I found he was a curious mixture of prettiness and downright brutal ruthlessness. I found a man I knew slightly among the guests, a chap named Effon, son of the soap man, and he told me that Carville was one of the most extraordinary men he had ever met, that women would almost come to him at the crooking of his finger, and even men of mature age ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... benumbs the Arab of vitiated stock. For little by little the soft, moist airs of Zanzibar had corroded the spirit of the Oman Arabs, who had sailed thither, in the old days, from their own rugged land, in great fierceness and ruthlessness, unconquered by men, and incapable of foreseeing that some day they would be vanquished by perfumed breezes. As for Hamoud-bin-Said, he was typical of his kind to-day in that humid paradise, where want of energy, and lack of discipline ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... fascination. He sins more often now. I watch him sin. Sometimes under my contemplation I see him writhing like a thing in a trap—the semblance of myself. How the woman despises him now! Sometimes I feel deeply sad at my own ruthlessness. It is frightful to contemplate the physical wreck of a being whom, in some strange and hideous way, one always feels to be oneself. When I look at him it is as if his fallen face, his hanging nerveless hands, his down-drooping figure and eyes lit with despair were mine. ...
— The Dweller on the Threshold • Robert Smythe Hichens

... voluntary organisation for deciding claims which can exist in a unified country. A Government so hard driven must, even if liberally minded, have enforced the law with much actual hardship. A belief in the ruthlessness of the Southern conscription penetrated to the North. If was probably exaggerated from the temptation to suppose that secession was the work of a tyranny and not of the Southern people. Desertion and failure of the ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... severity, brutality, hard-heartedness, inhumanity, rigor, sternness, cruelty, hardness, mercilessness, ruthlessness, truculence. ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... cherished any lingering doubts as to the loyalty of Mallow, erstwhile victim of his ruthlessness, or of McWade and Stoner, the wildcat promoters, those doubts vanished during the next day or two. As a matter of fact, the readiness, nay, the enthusiasm with which they fell in with his schemes convinced him that he had acted wisely in yielding to an impulse ...
— Flowing Gold • Rex Beach

... in her thoughts that she allowed Marcian to leave her without another word. He, having carried his machination thus far, could only await the issue, counting securely on Heliodora's passions and her ruthlessness. He had but taken the first step towards the end for which he schemed; were this successful, with the result that Heliodora used her charms upon the Greek commander, and, as might well happen, obtained power over ...
— Veranilda • George Gissing

... with a change of commanders. But I have been long enough Military Secretary both in India and at home to realize that ruthlessness here is apt to be a two-edged sword. You can't clap a new head on to old shoulders without upsetting circulation and equilibrium. Still, I would harden my heart to it now—to-night—were not my hands tied by Mahon's seniority. Mahon is the next senior—in the whole force he stands next ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 • Ian Hamilton

... turned into horror when it was found that cruelty such as this was avowed and sanctioned by the king. Even the cold heart of General Churchill, to whose energy the victory at Sedgemoor had mainly been owing, revolted at the ruthlessness with which James turned away from all appeals for mercy. "This marble," he cried as he struck the chimney-piece on which he leant, "is not harder than ...
— History of the English People, Volume VII (of 8) - The Revolution, 1683-1760; Modern England, 1760-1767 • John Richard Green

... power. It never denotes merely a physical quality; in such expressions as 'leur fauve volee', speaking of the ravens in La Fin de Satan, 'le desert fauve' (Androcles), 'son bec fauve', of the vulture (Sultan Mourad), the suggestion of wildness or ruthlessness predominates. Usually the word is used in a wholly figurative sense. Thus in La Fin de Satan the fallen archangel, flying from Jehovah, is 'fauve et hagard', Barabbas stumbling against the Cross is 'fauve', and of the lunatic in the tombs it is said: 'fauve il mordait'. In ...
— La Legende des Siecles • Victor Hugo

... have been the inefficient bunglers they showed themselves to be. At the same time, most of us hate spies and insects for the same reason. We regard them as noxious creatures intruding where they have no right to be, preying upon us and giving us nothing but evil in return. Hence our ruthlessness. We say: "Vermin," and destroy them. To regard a human being as an insect is always the first step in treating him without remorse. It is a perilous attitude and in general is more likely to beget crime than justice. There has never, I believe, been an empire built in which, at ...
— The Pleasures of Ignorance • Robert Lynd

... the tavern and, helping themselves, or rather compelling the inmates of the house to help them to whatever they wanted, they treacherously and with ruthlessness shot down John Raymond, an infirm old man, only because he, alarmed at this roughness and brutal conduct, was about leaving the house to seek a place of greater safety." ...
— Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times - 1769 - 1776 A Historical Romance • Charles Carleton Coffin

... better backwoodsmen, the upright, church-going men, who loved their families, did justice to their neighbors, and sincerely tried to serve God, not only waged an unceasing war on the red and white foes of the State and of order, but carried it on with a certain ruthlessness that indicated less a disbelief in, than an utter lack of knowledge of, such a virtue as leniency ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Two - From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1777-1783 • Theodore Roosevelt

... seeming fragment of personal experience lies the visible endorsement of the universe. The hopes not of a lover but of humanity are crushed beneath its rhythm. The ruthlessness of the event is intensified in the motion of the poem till one can hear the even pad of destiny, and a moment comes when to a sense made eager by the strain of intense attention it seems to have been written by the destiny ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... numbered 600. Grey doubtless regarded the measure as a just return for the doings of the Inquisition, and the punishment of English sailors as pirates, for his retort to the garrison's overtures had been that their presence in Ireland was piracy. But the whole business illustrates the sheer ruthlessness which characterised both sides, at least where there was a technical excuse for denying belligerents' rights ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... opinions is anything like an elaborate or detailed historical judgment. Attila, though he loses his political importance and most of his historical acquisitions in the Teutonic heroic poems in which he appears, may retain in some of them his ruthlessness and strength; at other times he may be a wise and peaceful king. All that is constant, or common, in the different poetical reports of him, is that he was great. What touches the mind of the poet out of the depths of the past is nothing but the tradition, undefined, ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... hurriedly, "he must have lived with his mother in a house. The name of the country they lived in was Egypt. And Egypt had a wicked King. This wicked King ordered all the little boy babies—" She paused, appalled at the thought of telling these infants of that long-past ruthlessness. But, again to her surprise, the infants now showed pleasurable ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... or deploring Germany's obvious sins: her exaltation of Might against Right, her lust of world-dominion, the ruthlessness of her foreign policy, the vainglorious boastings of her professors. No great harm in this!—for all these have contributed to bring this war about, and are therefore relevant. But when the preacher turns to the ...
— Nicky-Nan, Reservist • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... appearance they resembled their mother, and they had often much of her enervated and almost decaying manner. Her beauty was of the dropping-to-pieces type, bound together by wonderful clothes of a fashion peculiar to herself and very effective. But they had the energy, the ruthlessness, and the indifference to opinion of their father, and loved to startle the world he had won for himself. They were shameless, ultra-smart, with a sort of half-condescending passion for upper Bohemia. And as neither their ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... there in time for business. We've gained a reputation for inhospitableness at Las Palmas that I want to overcome." In spite of their recent clash, in spite of the fact that this fellow's ruthlessness and indifference to human life shocked her, Alaire was conscious of her obligation to him, and aware also of a growing friendship between them which made the present situation all the more trying. Law was likable, and he inspired her with a sense of security to which she had long been ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach

... Franco-British combination until she had formed a counterbalancing alliance with America, Italy, and Turkey. And he had most certainly not encouraged her to depend on England sparing her: on the contrary, he could not sufficiently admire the wily ruthlessness with which England watches her opportunity and springs at her foe when the foe is down. (He little knew, poor man, how much he was flattering our capacity for Realpolitik!) But he had reckoned without his creed's fatal and fundamental ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... There was a difference between the fighters of the Fleet and the politicoes of Headquarters. The politicoes were no harder, perhaps, nor more ruthless, than the fighters, but they were of a different breed. Theirs was the ruthlessness of the bully who steps on those who are weaker rather than the ruthlessness of the man who kills only to win a battle. MacMaine had the feeling that the Headquarters Staff preferred to spend their time browbeating their ...
— The Highest Treason • Randall Garrett



Words linked to "Ruthlessness" :   unmercifulness, hardheartedness, heartlessness, ruthless, coldheartedness



Copyright © 2022 Dictionary One.com