Free translatorFree translator
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

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




Pitfall   Listen
noun
Pitfall  n.  A pit deceitfully covered to entrap wild beasts or men; a trap of any kind.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Pitfall" Quotes from Famous Books



... hidden traps. But when she led him along the devious, unsuspicious path that conducted to the trap and then suddenly shot at him the question that should have plunged him into it, he very quietly and nimbly walked around the pitfall. Again and again she tried to involve him, but ever with the same result. He was abashed, ready to answer—and always elusive. At the end she had gained nothing from him, and for a minute stood looking silently ...
— Counsel for the Defense • Leroy Scott

... much he had acknowledged to himself, thinking of the confession she had made to him before their marriage. But it was manifestly his imperative duty,—his duty of duties,—to save her from that pitfall into which, as she herself had told him, she had been so ready to fall. For her sake and for his this must be done. It was a duty so imperative, that in its performance he had found himself forced to abandon his ambition. To have his wife taken from him would be terrible, ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... Nature's pitfall—that grim trap for the unwary—no hunter could conceal his snare so perfectly—the light rippled snow bridge gives no hint or sign of the hidden danger, its position unguessable till man or beast is floundering, clawing and struggling for foothold ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... this matter, you, in turn, can render us aid in our business of killing tigers. We want you to find out, for us, when a tiger was last seen near the village; where its lair is supposed to be; and whether, according to its situation, we should have the best chance of killing it by digging a pitfall, on the path by which it usually comes from the jungle; or by getting a kid and tying it up, to attract the tiger to a spot where we shall be stationed ...
— The Tiger of Mysore - A Story of the War with Tippoo Saib • G. A. Henty

... afternoon. Pansie, however, fled onward with outstretched arms, half in fear, half in fun, plying her round little legs with wonderful promptitude, as if to escape Time or Death, in the person of Grandsir Dolliver, and happily avoiding the ominous pitfall that lies in every person's path, till, hearing a groan from her pursuer, she looked over her shoulder, and saw that poor grandpapa had stumbled over one of the many hillocks. She then suddenly wrinkled up her little visage, ...
— The Dolliver Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... dark in this tunnel, and there was no space in which to attempt to kindle a light. Once the thought came into Gaston's head that if he were falling into a treacherous pitfall laid for him with diabolic ingenuity by his foes, nothing could well be better than to entrap him into such a place as this, where it would be almost impossible to go forward or back, and quite out of his power to strike a single ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... hoof-prints then through the trackless bush, painfully slow going over the stones and the fallen trunks, with many a pitfall concealed under the smooth moss. After an hour of this he finally came upon them all five standing dejectedly about in a narrow opening, as if ashamed of their escapade and perfectly ...
— The Woman from Outside - [on Swan River] • Hulbert Footner

... power he knew himself to possess—the power of eloquence. The strength of the suggestion had been almost painful. Men who have attained self-repression are occasionally open to a perilous onrush of feeling. Believing that they know themselves, they walk boldly forward towards the high-road and the pitfall alike. ...
— The Masquerader • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... the above was written Prof. Lloyd Morgan has published a closely similar notice of the passage in question. "This language," he says, "seems to savour of teleology (that pitfall of the evolutionist). The cart is put before the horse. The recognition-marks were, I believe, not produced to prevent intercrossing, but intercrossing has been prevented because of preferential mating between individuals possessing special recognition-marks. To miss this point ...
— Darwin, and After Darwin (Vol. 1 and 3, of 3) • George John Romanes

... blood and of his own initiative, he was compelled to speak to her. No language could describe the anguish and difficulty of these approaches. His way was beset by obstacles and perils, by traps and snares; and at every turn there waited for him the shameful pitfall of the aitch. He whose easy courtesy charmed away the shyness of Miss Flossie Walker, whose conversation (when he deigned to converse) was the wonder and delight of the ladies of his boarding-house, now ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... trip up, it seems, on one snare after another, and kindness ever conceals a pitfall. (To Marie) But tell me ...
— The Resources of Quinola • Honore de Balzac

... must one day reach to the ends of the earth, and truly it sometimes seemeth to me that if the priests, the abbots, and the monks set their faces steadfastly against this light, they will fall into some terrible pitfall, but they will never quench the ...
— The Secret Chamber at Chad • Evelyn Everett-Green

... the imperious nature of Lady Camper to summon him in the evening to terminate the conversation of the morning, from the visible pitfall of which he had beaten a rather precipitate retreat. But if his daughter cordially wished him success, and Lady Camper offered him the crown of it, why then he had only to pluck up spirit, like a good ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... cautious ventures, the length of time demanded to ascertain the fact, the precise terms of the forfeit, the provisoes for getting out of paying it at last, led to a long and inextricable discussion. Kirkpatrick's vanity, however, one night led him into a terrible pitfall. He recklessly ventured money on the fact that The Mourning Bride was written by Shakespeare; headlong he fell, and ruefully he partook of the bowl of punch for which he had to pay. As a rule his nightly ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... propose to themselves in writing is to convey no meaning at all. And here is a quite unsuspected pitfall into which they successively plunge headlong. For it is precisely in such cryptographies that mankind are prone to seek for and find a wonderful amount and variety of significance. Omne ignotum pro mirifico. How do we admire at ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... sharply away. Setting my back to the storm again, I followed the lip of this ditch around the wall's angle. Here it shallowed, and here, too, was shelter; but not wishing to mistake a bed of nettles or any such pitfall for solid earth, I kept pretty wide as I went on. The house was dark on this side, and the wall, as before, had no opening. Close beside the next angle there grew a mass of thick gorse bushes, ...
— I Saw Three Ships and Other Winter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... rattled on,—Mr Ramsden's servant crouching in a corner, as far as possible from Mrs Forster, evidently about as well pleased with his company as one would be in a pitfall with a tiger. At last it stopped at the door of the lunatic asylum, and the post-boy dismounting from his reeking horses, pulled violently at a large bell, which answered with a most lugubrious tolling, and struck awe into ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... distractedly ettling at the sanctuaries of distant houses—with their heads all the while insanely twisted back over their shoulders, and the glare of their eyes fixed frightfully on the swift-footed Mad Dominie, till souse over neck and ears, bubble and squeak, precipitated into traitorous pitfall, and in a moment evanished ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... pass now and go first," he whispered. "The passage is very narrow, and dark as dark. Thanks, Saint Simon," he continued, as he squeezed by him; and then, as if to himself, but loud enough for Francis to hear, "and then if there is any trap or pitfall in the way I shall be the sufferer, and they will hear me and escape. Ah," he continued to himself, "the way seems easy, and what did the lad say?—that it led after several turns to some stairs which descended to the ground floor, and finally to a door ...
— The King's Esquires - The Jewel of France • George Manville Fenn

... depended, but strove—each for himself, fortunately—to seize the caves. As they raged against each other no less desperately than against their human adversaries, the issue of the war was never in doubt. The Hillmen stood together solidly, fought with all their cunning of pitfall and ambuscade, and overwhelmed the mightiest by sheer weight of numbers. But again the victory was dearly bought. When the last of the monsters, sullen and amazed, withdrew to seek less difficult encounters, he left mourning and ...
— In the Morning of Time • Charles G. D. Roberts

... predaceous ingenuity, Ceylon has, at least, four species, which seem peculiar to the island.[1] This singular creature, preparatory to its pupal transformation, contrives to excavate a conical pitfall in the dust to the depth of about an inch, in the bottom of which it conceals itself, exposing only its open mandibles above the surface; and here every ant and soft-bodied insect which, curiosity tempts to descend, or accident may precipitate into the trap, is ruthlessly ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... admitted, getting along very well, considering that he had only been presented to the young lady ten minutes before. That was Dick's way; and when the young lady is attractive, it is a way that has many recommendations, only sometimes it leads to a pitfall—a cold ...
— Half a Hero - A Novel • Anthony Hope

... with yours. When I was a young hand at reviewing I used to find that a frightful pitfall—dilating upon subjects I met with, which were novelties to me, and finding afterwards they had been exhausted by the thinking world ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... that the only way to be safe is to do nothing wilfully wrong at all, for you never know how far downward one wilful sin may lead you. The devil is not simple enough to let you see the bottom of his pitfall: but it is so deep, nevertheless, that he who falls in, may ...
— Town and Country Sermons • Charles Kingsley

... peace," she answered; and with a quick movement she closed the door which I had left open behind me. As its sharp bang rang through the room, I realized into what a pitfall I had stumbled. Only a political intrigue of the most desperate character could account for the words I had heard and the actions to which I had been a witness. But I was in no mood to recoil even from such dangers as these, and so my look showed her as she leaned ...
— The Bronze Hand - 1897 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... more to say to her," I cried in great heat, vexed and irritated beyond measure at her capricious temper. I should only be dragged into some pitfall, some snare, some dire unpleasantness. But what did I know of her real character? What of my first doubts and suspicions? She had by no means dispelled them. She had only bamboozled me by her insinuating ways, had ...
— The Passenger from Calais • Arthur Griffiths

... driven along in the darkness of evil, his own hand pulled down his palace of sin on his head. And even "French Charlie" was avenged by the murderer's self-executed sentence. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord; I will repay." The innocent and helpless have wandered past each dark pitfall dug by the wily Hardin, and enjoy their own. Pere Francois, with his eyes cast backward on his own life path, feels that he has not fought the good fight in vain. His gentle heart throbs in sympathy, filled with an infinite compassion for the lonely ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... pitfall the moon-dew is thawing, And, with never a body, two shadows stand sawing— The wraiths of two sawyers (step under and under), Who did a foul murder and were ...
— The Poems of Henry Kendall • Henry Kendall

... facility" cannot be applied to so consummate a draughtsman as the illustrator of Dante, Cervantes and Victor Hugo. But Dore's almost superhuman memory was no less of a pitfall than manual dexterity. The following story will partly explain his dislike of ...
— In the Heart of the Vosges - And Other Sketches by a "Devious Traveller" • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... Miss Esme Elliot, snarer of men's eyes and hearts, sharpening her wits and weapons for the fray; aye, even preparing her pitfall. Cunningly she made a bower of one end of the broad living-room at Greenvale with great sprays of apple blossoms from the orchard, ravishing untold spoilage of her mother and forerunner, Eve, for the bedecking of the quiet, ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... passed through the forest upon a dark and gloomy night. He journeyed in dread; he feared the robbers who infested the route he was traversing; he feared that he might slip and fall into some unseen ditch or pitfall on the way, and he feared, too, the wild beasts, which he knew were about him. By chance he discovered a pine torch, and lighted it, and its gleams afforded him great relief. He no longer feared brambles ...
— Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and - Kabbala • Various

... more than brothers— Lost and gone are those days indeed: Where are the bells, the gowns, the voices, All that made us one blood and breed? Gone—and in many an unknown pitfall You have swinked, and died like men— And here I sit in a quiet chamber Writing on paper with ...
— Songs for a Little House • Christopher Morley

... were shown it was found that in some spectra the visible portions were dimmed; in others the ultra-violet and the infra-red were almost entirely absent. It thus became necessary to investigate the condition of a grating before placing any confidence in the results obtained. This was the first pitfall into which an experimentalist was liable to fall. If prisms were used for obtaining the spectrum, then precautions had also to be taken, since all glass absorbed a portion of the ultra-violet rays and some the infra-red. On the whole, he considered that the best glass to use ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883 • Various

... I was not absolutely sure that I had hit the mark, for in nature, like everything else, every law has its exceptions, and I might possibly have dug a pitfall for myself. On the other hand, if I were right, Esther would no doubt be convinced for the moment, but her belief would speedily disappear if she chanced to discover that the correspondence of moles on the human body was a necessary law of nature. ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... sure that it had all been destroyed from root to branch, the hope and the possibility, and even the memory that might have still comforted him, by Rufus Van Torp, upon whom he prayed that he might live to be revenged. He sought no secret vengeance, either, no pitfall of ruin dug in the dark for the man's untimely destruction; all was to be in broad daylight, by the evidence of facts, under the verdict of justice, and at the hands of ...
— The Primadonna • F. Marion Crawford

... a great pitfall for Sergius lay in the fact of his extreme antipathy to his new Abbot, a cunning worldly man who was making a career for himself in the Church. Struggle with himself as he might, he could not master that feeling. He was submissive to the Abbot, but in the depths of his soul he never ceased ...
— Father Sergius • Leo Tolstoy

... that hideous snarling animal, which snapped at him angrily, evidently looking upon him as being the cause of its sufferings. Even if he had dared to move it would have been very doubtful whether the General could have clambered out of the cunningly contrived pitfall; but situated as he was, and surrounded by such dangerous enemies, the Zulu made a virtue of necessity, and stoically determined to wait for daylight before ...
— Off to the Wilds - Being the Adventures of Two Brothers • George Manville Fenn

... certain unknown men. A dark conspiracy was on foot in the midst of us; and our beloved and innocent friend had been entangled in its meshes. When the Christian hero of a hundred charitable victories plunges into a pitfall that has been dug for him by mistake, oh, what a warning it is to the rest of us to be unceasingly on our guard! How soon may our own evil passions prove to be Oriental noblemen who pounce ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... more, he soon quitted the stream, hoping at least to get rid of the sight of himself; but he had scarcely gone twenty paces when he tumbled into a pitfall that was laid to catch bears; the bear-hunters, descending from some trees hard by, caught him, chained him, and only too delighted to get hold of such a curious-looking animal, led him along with them to the ...
— The Little Lame Prince - And: The Invisible Prince; Prince Cherry; The Prince With The Nose - The Frog-Prince; Clever Alice • Miss Mulock—Pseudonym of Maria Dinah Craik

... the amusement he afforded her, and for the sake of Jerrie, of whom she was never tired of talking. Maude's friendship was very sweet to the young man, who had so few means of enjoyment, and whose life was one of toil and care. So he went blindly on toward the pitfall in the distance, and began at last to look forward with a great deal of pleasure to the readings or talks with Maude, even though he did not find her very intellectual. She amused and rested him, and that was something to the ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... separated from its real nominative or subject by several intervening words and in such cases one is liable to make the verb agree with the subject nearest to it. Here are a few examples showing that the leading writers now and then take a tumble into this pitfall: ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... health has suffered a temporary disorder. It has passed; I have thought enough about the unthinkable; I feel my quiet returning. Is it any merit of mine that I begin to be in health once more? Could I, by any effort of the will, have shunned this pitfall? ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... student as yet unpractised in philosophical reflection, Bergson's skill and clarity of statement, his fertility in illustration, his frequent and picturesque use of analogy may be a pitfall. It all sounds so convincing and right, as Bergson puts it, that the critical faculty is put to sleep. There is peril in this, particularly here, where we have to deal with so bold and even revolutionary ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... Dr. Earle was a rather young and a very handsome man, had been very kind, and was now looking at her with eyes actually moistened with tears, a sudden sense of being on the edge of a pitfall overcame Mrs. Hastings; and she turned pale and red alternately. Yet, with the instinct of a pure woman, to avoid recognizing an ugly thought, she answered with a laugh as gay as she ...
— The New Penelope and Other Stories and Poems • Frances Fuller Victor

... they gentlemen then?" cried Barbara; "or where is the good of being a gentleman? Is it that he knows better how to lie to a woman? A knight used to be every woman's castle of refuge; a gentleman now, it seems, is a pitfall in the bush!" ...
— There & Back • George MacDonald

... glistening black eyes! But he is now a "fish out of water," and is about as helpless, nature never having intended him to be seen outside of his burrow—at least, in this present form. There he dwells, setting his circular trap at the mouth of his pitfall, and waiting for the voluntary sacrifice of his insect neighbors to fill ...
— My Studio Neighbors • William Hamilton Gibson

... ghastly countenance; and trembling herself almost to the point of falling, caught him by the arm and sought to read his face what had happened. Something disastrous she was sure; something which he had feared and was partially prepared for, yet which in happening had crushed him. Was it a pitfall into which the poor little lady had fallen? If so—But he is speaking—mumbling low words to himself. Some of them she can hear. He is reproaching himself—repeating over and over that he should never have taken such a chance; that he should have remembered her youth—the weakness of a young ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... things from a miser's standpoint, could not understand that there might lurk in the Indian a tinge of sentiment. He was mistaken, and the mistake was a little pitfall placed in ...
— Pocket Island - A Story of Country Life in New England • Charles Clark Munn

... with light branches and leaves, and located in the path where a tiger has been tracked. For some reason this animal, having once passed through a jungle, will ever after follow as nearly as possible his own foot-prints, and can thus easily be led into a pitfall of the character we have described. Having once got into this well he cannot possibly get out, and here he is permitted to become so nearly starved as to deprive him of all powers of resistance, in which condition he is secured. ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... great numbers. Interests ought to control, being checked and verified by ethical principles of approved validity. Slavery is an interest which is sure to break over all restraints and correctives. It therefore becomes mistress of folkways and dictates the life policy. It is a kind of pitfall for civilization. It seems to be self-evident and successful, but it contains a number of forms of evil which are sure to unfold. The Moslems have suffered from the curse of it, although in entirely other ways than the Christians. It intertwines ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... But there is one pitfall. Toward the growth of esprit, the attitude, "My organization first, and the rest nowhere," never pays off. It begins with the idea, "The service first, and my unit the best in the service." In all human ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... impression—that what I saw was innocent and normal. Besides, I was thinking what I should say to Pavannes when I saw him—in what terms I should warn him of his peril, and cast his perfidy in his teeth. We had hurried along in this way—and in absolute silence, save when some obstacle or pitfall drew from us an exclamation—for about a quarter of a mile, when my companion, turning into a slightly wider street, slackened her speed, and indicated by a gesture that we had arrived. A lamp hung over the porch, to which ...
— The House of the Wolf - A Romance • Stanley Weyman

... appointment. It is true that, like his predecessors, Fitzroy was not fairly supported by the authorities at Home. They supplied him with neither men nor money, and on them therefore the chief responsibility of the Colony's troubles rest. But a study of his two years of rule fails to reveal any pitfall in his pathway into which ...
— The Long White Cloud • William Pember Reeves

... greater pitfall before us is that we read history not as men, but as gods, knowing the event. The name of Marathon to us implies not struggle, not danger, but triumph; and as we think of the little band of Athenians defiling from the mountains and looking on the sea, with the utmost determination we cannot quite ...
— The Age of Erasmus - Lectures Delivered in the Universities of Oxford and London • P. S. Allen

... might not altogether have expected) from a fault than which hardly any is more disagreeable in letters. This is the manifestation of what is called, in various more or less familiar terms, "giving oneself airs," "side," "patronising," etc. He may sometimes come near this pitfall of "intellectuals," but he never quite slips into it, being probably preserved by that sense of humour which he certainly possessed, though he seldom gave vent to it in verse and not very often ...
— A Letter Book - Selected with an Introduction on the History and Art of Letter-Writing • George Saintsbury

... and there were those born who would now be sixty years old if they had not in unwary infancy tumbled into the enormous rainwater-troughs with which every well-regulated house was furnished. I have seen one or two of these having a capacity of fifty barrels dug from a single tulip bole. In such a pitfall some budding Washington or Lincoln may have been whelmed without causing so much as a ripple on the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, August, 1885 • Various

... am like that foolish philosopher who, walking abroad to read the destinies of nations in the stars, fell down a pitfall dug by idle children and broke his bones and perished there. Never did I guess that with all these glories stretched before thee like mountain top on glittering mountain top, making a stairway for thy mortal feet to the very dome of heaven, thou wouldst still ...
— Ayesha - The Further History of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed • H. Rider Haggard

... I understand the word, is a pitfall for Mysticism to avoid, not an error involved in its first principles. But we need not quarrel with those who have said that speculative Mysticism is the Christian form of Pantheism. For there is much truth in Amiel's dictum, that "Christianity, ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... young. For this purpose I made snares to hamper them; and I do believe they were more than once taken in them; but my tackle was not good, for I had no wire, and I always found them broken and my bait devoured. At length I resolved to try a pitfall; so I dug several large pits in the earth, in places where I had observed the goats used to feed, and over those pits I placed hurdles of my own making too, with a great weight upon them; and several times I put ...
— Robinson Crusoe • Daniel Defoe

... though classing parties with the pomps and vanities from which he would shield his child, still remembered that he once was young, that fifty years ago he, too, like Maddy, wanted "to see the folly of it," and not take the mere word of older people that in every festive scene there was a pitfall, strewn over so thickly with roses that it was ofttimes hard to tell just where its boundary line commenced. Besides that, grandpa had faith in Guy, and so his consent was granted, and Maddy was soon on her way to Aikenside, which presented a gayer, busier appearance ...
— Aikenside • Mary J. Holmes

... For a catchy starter, I could tell her about Nowhere, how these five other buggers and me found ourselves independently skulking along after this scavenging expedition from Porter, how we naturally joined forces in that situation, how we set a pitfall for their alky-powered jeep and wrecked it and them, how when our haul turned out to be unexpectedly big the four of us left from the kill chummied up and padded down together and amused each other for a while and played games, you might say. Why, at one point we even ...
— The Night of the Long Knives • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... do things. The world judges by outward appearances. If your heart is sick, if your courage is low, don't show it. Put up a stiff attitude and act with confidence and that attitude will carry you over many a pitfall and ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... grain of hope till her child gets so rooted in her heart that"—But conscience and good sense interrupted this temporary thought, and made him see to what a horrible life of suspense he should condemn a human creature, and live a perpetual lie, and be always at the edge of some pitfall or other. ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... and Latin quantities are a luxury of English growth—a mere social test—a little pitfall of our own invention, like the letter h, for the tripping up of unwary pretenders; or else, French education being so deplorably cheap in those days, the school-masters there could not afford to take such fanciful superfluities into ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... ourselves with Germany. And then there are the thousand millions of lire* swallowed up in Rome! That was the real madness; pride and enthusiasm led us astray. Old and solitary as I've been for many years now, given to deep reflection, I was one of the first to divine the pitfall, the frightful financial crisis, the deficit which would bring about the collapse of the nation. I shouted it from the housetops, to my son, to all who came near me; but what was the use? They didn't listen; they were ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... these pieces The Alchemist is wholly free. Jonson here escaped his usual pitfall of the unsympathetic, for the vices and follies he satirises are not loathsome, only contemptible at worst, and not always that. He found an opportunity of exercising his extraordinary faculty of concentration as he nowhere else did, ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... of youth are the roads of Manhattan beset "with pitfall and with gin." But the civic guardians of the young have made themselves acquainted with the snares of the wicked, and most of the dangerous paths are patrolled by their agents, who seek to turn straying ones away from the peril that menaces ...
— The Trimmed Lamp • O. Henry

... is no time to dally; on every side I see a pitfall. Let every man look to himself. If I must play in my last trump, let ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... mind throughout. On the one hand, the book must suffer a loss of objectivity; but, on the other hand, there may be some compensating gain of intensity. The author trusts, at all events, that, though he has not written with indifference, he has escaped the pitfall of undue partiality. ...
— Judaism • Israel Abrahams

... they could destroy me with this letter," he said, in a low voice. "It could, wild and silly as it is, be made to represent me as a traitor. Perhaps it is a pitfall which has been prepared for me. Is it possible that the authorities should have allowed this letter, coming evidently from inimical Austria, to pass unread through their hands? I will go immediately ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... to the popular expression, was so "slow" as to perform a fatal surgical operation upon himself, in emulation of a juggling trick achieved by his arch enemy at breakfast-time; not even he fell half so readily into the snare prepared for him as the old lady into this artful pitfall. The fact of Tackleton having walked out; and furthermore, of two or three people having been talking together at a distance, for two minutes, leaving her to her own resources; was quite enough ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... passionate ring in his voice surprised her, and she looked searchingly at him, wondering into what pitfall it was intended ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... Mr Nickleby,' said old Arthur, eagerly. 'The only other. Nobody else went to the expense of lodging a detainer, trusting to our holding him fast enough, I warrant you. We both fell into the same snare; oh dear, what a pitfall it was; it almost ruined me! And lent him our money upon bills, with only one name besides his own, which to be sure everybody supposed to be a good one, and was as negotiable as money, but which turned out you know how. Just as we should have come upon him, ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... privileged education, and accustomed to think deliberately, in order to shine in politics, literature, art, commerce or private life—that these men should all marry with the intention of being happy, of governing a wife, either by love or by force, and should all tumble into the same pitfall and should become foolish, after having enjoyed a certain happiness for a certain time,—this is certainly a problem whose solution is to be found rather in the unknown depths of the human soul, than in the quasi physical truths, on the basis ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part I. • Honore de Balzac

... would produce a certain sort of horror, that I do not remember to have seen effected in literature. Possibly the ancient emigrant might be supposed to have fallen into an ancient mine, down a precipice, into some pitfall; no, not so. Into a river; into a moat. As Middleton's pretensions to birth are not publicly known, there will be no reason why, at his sudden death, suspicion should fix on Eldredge as the murderer; and it shall be his object so to contrive ...
— The Ancestral Footstep (fragment) - Outlines of an English Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... as yet, only instinctive wariness; for fear comes largely from others' example, from alarms and excitement and cries of danger, which only the grown animals understand. The old wolf had been undisturbed; no dog or hunter had chased her; no trap or pitfall had entangled her swift feet. Moreover, she had chosen her den well, where no man had ever stood, and where only the eyes of two children had seen her at a distance. So the little ones grew and played in the sunshine, and had yet to learn ...
— Northern Trails, Book I. • William J. Long

... told about a girl who was not straightforward it might have been a different thing. Be thankful for your head-mistress's trust in you, and always act up to the principles you have been taught; it will save you from many a pitfall or from the trouble a weak young lady like Miss Eva ...
— A City Schoolgirl - And Her Friends • May Baldwin

... is not written in the spirit of carping criticism or fault-finding. We hold no such mental attitude, and indeed could not if we remain true to our conception of Truth. We are mentioning these matters simply that the student may avoid this "I Am God" pitfall which awaits the Candidate just as he has well started on the Path. It would not be such a serious matter if it were merely a question of faulty metaphysics, for that would straighten itself out ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... then send a band of his warriors to lie in ambush for the raiding party, and, as the enemy would not suspect anything they would go blindly into the pitfall of death thus set for them. Thus the crow was the scout of this chief, whose reputation as a Wakan (Holy man) soon reached all of the different tribes. The Chief's warriors would intercept, ambush and annihilate every war ...
— Myths and Legends of the Sioux • Marie L. McLaughlin

... known that she was only luring me on to some pitfall of mockery, but I did not, and must needs burst out in some clumsy disclaimer meant to shield my dear lad. And in the midst of it ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... rope from his saddle-bag and tied it about the priest's waist and his own. "If you have any holy pitfall in view for me, I shall have the pleasure of your company. And if I am led into labyrinths to die of starvation, you at least will have a meal: I could ...
— The Doomswoman - An Historical Romance of Old California • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... refused to yield to ordinary measures. It was a difficult problem, for the rocky river-bed held many a snare and pitfall. There was a certain ledge under the water, so artfully placed that every log striking under its projecting edges would wedge itself firmly there, attracting ...
— Homespun Tales • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... excellent puddings of them; abundance of them also we ate boiled or fried alone, and often as sauce to our fish. As for the birds themselves, having long omitted to fire at them, I had an effectual means of taking them otherwise by nets, which I set between the trees, and also very large pitfall nets, with which I used to catch all sorts, even from the size of a thrush to that of a turkey. But as I shall say more of these when I come to speak of my ward by and by, and of my poultry, I shall omit any further mention of ...
— Life And Adventures Of Peter Wilkins, Vol. I. (of II.) • Robert Paltock

... honest Scotch bailiff or financier, and the vigilance of his father's executor, Mr. Mortimer. This "fashionable lover" promises marriage to a vulgar, malicious city minx named Lucinda Bridgemore, but is saved from this pitfall ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... thinking ahead. 'Civil Service,' was my prepared answer to the next question, but again (morbidly, perhaps) I saw a pitfall. That letter from my chief awaiting me at Norderney? My name was known, and we were watched. It might be opened. Lord, how casual ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... bring; Go you before, and show me the way, And as to follow you I will not say nay: For, by God's body, and you be in once, By the mass, I will shit[150] the door at once, And then ye be take in a pitfall. ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume I. • R. Dodsley

... to the authority that is to be exerted. It shall be exerted as mildly as you permit. It shall be exerted as inexorably as the necessities of the case demand I have told you already many times into what a pitfall you were descending, but until last night I never dared to warn your husband. He knows the truth now, knows it all, and he leaves you in my hands. You have not heeded advice or beseeching, and—I say it, believe ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... became a pitfall to her now. She was, it must be admitted, sometimes provokingly and unnecessarily willing to saddle herself with manual labours. She would go to the kitchen instead of ringing, "Not to make Phoebe come up twice." She went down ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... said. "You can step across. It's only about three feet over. Wait till I've lit another match. Yes," he said as the light flashed up, "it's just as wide as it is across. I believe that originally the place was quite dark, and this hole was a pitfall for the enemies who ...
— Charge! - A Story of Briton and Boer • George Manville Fenn

... that rent cave-mouth of the mountains and falling chill adown the haunted tunnel; Christian's further progress along the causeway, between the two black pools, where, at every yard or two, a gin, a pitfall, or a snare awaits the passer-by—loathsome white devilkins harbouring close under the bank to work the springes, Christian himself pausing and pricking with his sword's point at the nearest noose, and pale discomfortable ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Worse than these negative defects, she was positively attractive! Mrs. Vavasour almost shuddered as she thought of the son "missed" at Lucerne, the son who would arrive at Maloja on the morrow, in the company of someone whom he preferred to his mother as a fellow traveler. What a pitfall she had escaped! She might have made a friend of this impossible person! Nevertheless, rendered wary by many social skirmishes, she did not declare war at once. The girl was too outspoken to be an adventuress. She must wait, and watch, and furbish ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... the pitfall at its lowest depths. Here where they first saw the place, more than two hundred feet below the level of the sea, great beds of rock salt covered its floor worn by the wind into a myriad of pinnacles, as high as a man's waist, sharp as knives and coated with brown dust. ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... rushing icy waters and shot down to a violent fate with Pauline's wild voice in his ears and Pauline's pale face before his eyes. Yet, the peril over, he breathed freely again, and carefully holding on by the rail all along the path lest some other treacherous pitfall should lurk beneath the snow, reached the end of the bridge ...
— Ringfield - A Novel • Susie Frances Harrison

... upon Traddles in this manner was immense, and of the best quality; but it had no other effect upon Dora than to depress her spirits, and make her always nervous with the dread that it would be her turn next. I found myself in the condition of a schoolmaster, a trap, a pitfall; of always playing spider to Dora's fly, and always pouncing out of my hole to ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... scampered about beneath the trees, picking up fruits and nuts, and digging for roots. His bolts, though capable of penetrating the more delicate skin of the deer, glanced off the thick hide of the pigs. He bethought him, therefore, after watching their runs, that he would make a pitfall in which some might be caught without difficulty. Finding the ground tolerably soft, he set to work immediately with a wooden spade, and dug a hole four feet square and the same in depth, which he covered over carefully with bushes and earth. His success was greater than he expected, for the ...
— The Rival Crusoes • W.H.G. Kingston

... the use of abstract and general terms in our thinking and speaking, but we should be on our constant guard against viewing them as forces and attributing to them the vigor of personality. Animism is, as already explained, a pitfall which is always yawning before us and into which we are sure to plunge unless we are ever watchful. Platonism is its ...
— The Mind in the Making - The Relation of Intelligence to Social Reform • James Harvey Robinson

... remain unshaken. I am what they made me. Belief in humanity, pity for the poor, hatred of injustice, all that Shelley gave may never have been very deep or earnest; but I did love, I did believe. Gautier destroyed these illusions. He taught me that our boasted progress is but a pitfall into which the race is falling, and I learned that the correction of form is the highest ideal, and I accepted the plain, simple conscience of the pagan world as the perfect solution of the problem that had vexed me so long; I cried, "ave" to it all: lust, cruelty, slavery, ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... meets the ear; Delphic oracle; le dessous des cartes [Fr.], undercurrent. implication, logical implication; logical consequence; entailment. allusion, insinuation; innuendo &c 527; adumbration; something rotten in the state of Denmark [Hamlet]. snake in the grass &c (pitfall) 667; secret &c 533. darkness, invisibility, imperceptibility. V. be latent &c adj.; lurk, smolder, underlie, make no sign; escape observation, escape detection, escape recognition; lie hid &c 528. laugh in one's sleeve; keep back &c (conceal) 528. involve, imply, understand, allude to, infer, leave ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... a most extraordinary animal; a stuffed specimen does not at all give a good idea of the appearance of the head and beak when fresh; the latter becoming hard and contracted. (19/5. I was interested by finding here the hollow conical pitfall of the lion-ant, or some other insect: first a fly fell down the treacherous slope and immediately disappeared; then came a large but unwary ant; its struggles to escape being very violent, those curious little jets of sand, described ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... again. My followers Surround the house; my vessels are a match For all of thine, and I myself have come To win the country in an honest fight. Thyself hast urged me with thy plots to do it. Thou standest like a despicable thrall In his own pitfall caught at last; but I Will make no use of these advantages Which fate has granted me. I am convinced That I may boldly meet thee face to face. Thy purpose, as thou seest, has wholly failed, And in his own blood does thy ...
— The World's Best Poetry, Volume 8 • Various

... friendship I have borne your father, for the sake of the position of honor and trust I hold in your father's court, for the sake of my great love for Houdania, let me say that when you find you are sinking deeper and deeper into a pitfall of errors and unhappiness and treachery, I shall be ready and willing to aid and advise you as best I may. I think I know you better than you know yourself. You have an inheritance of wild passion, a nature that swayed by irresistible and fiery impulse, will ...
— Diane of the Green Van • Leona Dalrymple

... you, you will have to make her feel that you care for her in herself.' It was her own pride that now steadied her pulses and steeled her nerves. She would be as fair to Gerald's case as though he were her brother; she would be too fair, perhaps. Here was the pitfall of her pride that she did not clearly see. Perhaps it was with a grim touch of retribution that she promised herself that since he could think of Althea Jakes, he most certainly should ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... mosquitoes, sun on back, serenely fishing. He had supposed the horse grazing near by, enjoying semi-freedom with his grass. Now it seemed far otherwise. Miss Sapphira had even had him telephone to Bob to bring her hither. With his own hands he had dug his pitfall. ...
— Fran • John Breckenridge Ellis

... another example of want of intelligence! You read the words, and never trouble about the connection. Who in their sane senses would ask you to compare a warrior king with old Miss Yonge? A little reflection would have saved you from the pitfall into which you have all fallen headlong. Five bad marks each! Now, then, for the next two. What have you got to say ...
— Tom and Some Other Girls - A Public School Story • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... going back to Germany. If he missed a Wednesday, or failed to write, she slipped out of the house at night and paced Central Park for hours, fighting her rebellious nerves with her pride and the strong independent will that she had believed would enable her to leap lightly over every pitfall in life. ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... a state of hallucination concerning the things about it. Truth, essential truth, is hidden. Always. Of course there must be a measure of truth in our working illusions, a working measure of truth, or the creature would smash itself up and end itself, but beyond that discretion of the fire and the pitfall lies a wide margin of error about which we may be deceived for years. So long as it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter. I don't know ...
— Soul of a Bishop • H. G. Wells

... tapirs in our pitfall; but being older than the first, they showed no inclination to become domesticated, so we were compelled to kill them, and to cut up and dry their flesh—which, though rather tough, was not otherwise unpalatable. Notwithstanding the quantity around him, ...
— The Wanderers - Adventures in the Wilds of Trinidad and Orinoco • W.H.G. Kingston

... It has smashed itself three feet deep and more, a pitfall for horse and rider, a trap to the unwary. There is a briar rose smashed to death; there is grass uprooted and a teazle crushed aside, a farmer's drain pipe snapped and the edge of the pathway broken down. Destruction! So they ...
— The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth • H.G. Wells

... midst; if, on the contrary, they are for it, their legislation will favour its extension." Douglas had decided. Southern newspapers took up his statement and the tide of anger rose against the "little giant" that cost him the presidency. Lincoln had digged a pitfall for unwary feet, and the great ...
— The Battle of Principles - A Study of the Heroism and Eloquence of the Anti-Slavery Conflict • Newell Dwight Hillis

... when a disputant is so eager to refute an opponent as to lay down, or imply, principles from which an easy inference destroys his own position. To appeal to a principle of greater sweep than the occasion requires may easily open the way to this pitfall: as if a man should urge that 'all men are liars,' as the premise of an argument designed to show that another's assertion is less credible than ...
— Logic - Deductive and Inductive • Carveth Read

... imagined to have the power of healing. To punish fraud when it is detected, is the proper act of vindictive justice; but to prevent frauds, and make punishment unnecessary, is the great employment of legislative wisdom. To permit Intromission, and to punish fraud, is to make law no better than a pitfall. To tread upon the brink is safe; but to come a step further is destruction. But, surely, it is better to enclose the gulf, and hinder all access, than by encouraging us to advance a little, to entice us afterwards a little further, and let ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... the two horns of General von Buelow's army could not combine without crossing those marshes, now boggy enough, and growing boggier every second. The task was harder than General Foch anticipated, for the same rainy conditions that provided a pitfall for the Germans were also a manifest hindrance to the rapid execution of military maneuvers. But, in spite of all difficulties, by evening of that day, the flank broke and gave way, and two entire ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... Another pitfall, however, opens here. These contrasted doctrines may change roles. So long as by redemption we understand, in the mystic way, exaltation above finitude and existence, because all particularity is sin, to be redeemed is to abandon the Life of Reason; but redemption might mean extrication from untoward ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... familiar, familiar as the beating of my heart. For madame, my wife, had called to me more or less often in the twin of that voice with its slurring deliberateness and its insolent disregard of the pitfall accents of a foreign tongue. And now I turned to meet her cousin, the man whom she had promised to marry; the man who had deserted her to the knives of savages; the man whom she despised and yet feared, and who now called to me in a voice that was hers and yet was not; that haunted ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith



Words linked to "Pitfall" :   trap, pit, booby trap, difficulty



Copyright © 2018 Free Translator.org