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Flatness   /flˈætnəs/   Listen
Flatness

noun
1.
The property of having two dimensions.  Synonyms: planeness, two-dimensionality.
2.
A want of animation or brilliance.
3.
A deficiency in flavor.
4.
The property of having little or no contrast; lacking highlights or gloss.  Synonyms: lusterlessness, lustrelessness, mat, matt, matte.
5.
Inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy.  Synonyms: languor, lethargy, phlegm, sluggishness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Flatness" Quotes from Famous Books



... the continuation of the clerestory, the proportions, of the western bays at least, are almost the same as those of the nave, and the whole is covered again with a wooden vault, plastered and ribbed to look like stone; and yet that air of leanness, flatness, and emptiness, the chief fault of the nave, is ...
— The Cathedral Church of York - Bell's Cathedrals: A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief - History of the Archi-Episcopal See • A. Clutton-Brock

... that another may, after all, be wiser than they, handsomer, stronger, or more fortunate. They would kill a man rather than admit a mistake. Noble fellows! And I? Do you wonder that I blush in my corner as I gaze upon them, strive to smooth my hair into the appearance of a manly flatness, strive to set my face hard and feign it knowing, strive to elevate my voice to the dogmatic note, strive to cast out from my mind all those evil ...
— Prose Fancies • Richard Le Gallienne

... The unspeakable flatness of the day! The weariness! The sense of all being finished! She did not even allow herself to speculate as to what Hector was doing with himself. She must never let her thoughts turn that way at all if she could help it. She must devote herself ...
— Beyond The Rocks - A Love Story • Elinor Glyn

... a sound throughout the chapel when the preacher made his appearance. Quite an ordinary-looking man, thought Ishmael with a sense of flatness, unable to note the height of the brow and its narrowness at the temples, the nervous twitching of the lids over the protuberant eyeballs and the abrupt outward bulge of the head above the collar at the back. Abimelech Johns was a tin-miner who had spent his days in ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... reaches it from all directions, and if it is placed as the lens is in the detectascope so that one half of it catches the light, all this light will be refracted through it. Ordinary lenses, because of their flatness, have a range of only a few degrees, the widest in use, I believe, taking in only ninety- six degrees, or a little over a quarter of a circle. So you see my detectascope has a range almost twice as wide as that of any ...
— The Ear in the Wall • Arthur B. Reeve

... of cases from the employment of some animal as a model. Thus, if an alligator or almost any quadruped is embodied in the vessel, the form tends to become elongated; if a crab or a fish is imitated, there is a tendency to flatness &c. The base is almost universally more or less conical, is rarely flat, and never concave, excepting as the result of the addition of an annular foot or stand. The radical shapes do not undergo any considerable change when rims, necks, handles, legs, and other appendages ...
— Ancient art of the province of Chiriqui, Colombia • William Henry Holmes

... Verona, marveling greatly at the richness of the country. The footmen, however, grumbled at the flatness of the plain, and said that it was as bad as marching in the Holy Land. On their right, however, the slopes of the Alps, thickly clad with forests, reached down nearly to the road, and Cuthbert assured them that they would have plenty of climbing before they had done. At Verona they ...
— The Boy Knight • G.A. Henty

... to us are muddy, foul, or dirty: now, of the channels the waters receive a disadvantage, and so come to us as savouring of what came not with them from the fountain, but from the channels. This is the cause of the coolness, and of the weakness, of the flatness, and of the many extravagancies that attend some of our desires. They come warm from the Spirit and grace of God in us; but as hot water running through cold pipes, or as clear water running through dirty conveyances, so our desires [cool ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... to secure its own fulfilment? With a "This won't do!" What? if after such acknowledgments extorted from his own judgment he should proceed from charge to charge of tameness and raving; flights and flatness; and at length, consigning the author to the house of incurables, should conclude with a strain of rudest contempt evidently grounded in the distempered state of his own moral associations? Suppose too all this done without a single ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... The unbroken flatness of the banks of the Mississippi continued unvaried for many miles above New Orleans; but the graceful and luxuriant palmetto, the dark and noble ilex, and the bright orange, were every where to be seen, and it was many days before we were weary of looking at them. We occasionally ...
— Domestic Manners of the Americans • Fanny Trollope

... our adventures thus far, I find it impossible. How, then, make it real to others? To tell of aerial adventure one needs a new language, or, at least, a parcel of new adjectives, sparkling with bright and vivid meaning, as crisp and fresh as just-minted bank-notes. They should have no taint of flatness or insipidity. They should show not the faintest trace of wear. With them, one might hope, now and then, to startle the imagination, to set it running in channels which are strange and delightful to it. For there is something new under the sun: aerial adventure; and the most lively and unjaded ...
— High Adventure - A Narrative of Air Fighting in France • James Norman Hall

... great flatness of floor, with extreme breadth, carried well forward and aft, and possessing the utmost buoyancy, as well as capacity for stowage. They were carried as paddle-box boats (inverted), and thus protected the paddles as well ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... symmetry, observe, but extreme flatness. Feathers are smoothed down, as a field of corn by wind with rain; only the swathes laid in beautiful order. They are fur, so structurally placed as to imply, and submit to, the perpetually swift forward motion. In fact, I have no doubt the Darwinian theory ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... the small streams that trickled from above as to be almost impassable. In the course of the day we passed the scene of a very melancholy accident. Some years ago two families of Indians, induced by the flatness of a small beach which lay betwixt the cliff and the river, chose it as the site of their encampment. They retired quietly to rest, not aware that the precipice, detached from the bank and urged by an accumulation of water in the crevice behind, was tottering to its base. It fell during ...
— The Journey to the Polar Sea • John Franklin

... as a city of shams, is certainly not surpassed in the way of show by any capital in Europe. As to natural situation she may be said to be at once fortunate and infelicitous: the flatness of the land is not redeemed by fertility, the monotony of the panorama is not broken by mountains; the city rides as a raft upon the waters, so heavily freighted as to run the risk of sinking. And yet I know of no capital more imposing when taken from the strong points of view. Almost beyond ...
— Russia - As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Various

... very ordinary request a sudden flatness overspread Ning's manner and he began to describe the many much more profitable rewards that Hia might fittingly demand. As none of these appeared to entice her imagination, he went on to rebuke her want of foresight, and, still later, having unsuccessfully pointed out to her the inevitable penury ...
— Kai Lung's Golden Hours • Ernest Bramah

... of the coolness, and of the weakness, and of the flatness, and of the many extravagances that attend some of our desires: they come warm from the Spirit and grace of God in us; hut as hot water running through cold pipes, or as clear water running through dirty convey ances, so our desires ...
— The Riches of Bunyan • Jeremiah Rev. Chaplin

... joyful things to enjoy. What was best of all about this later delight, was that it left no bitter taste behind it; in youth, a day of abandonment to elation, a day of breezy talk, hearty laughter, active pleasure, would often leave a sense of flatness and dissatisfaction behind it; but the later joy had no sort of weariness as its shadow; it ...
— Beside Still Waters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... think, but one fault in her appearance and one peculiarity. With a white-painted hull, her bridge and the whole of her upper structure, except the masts and funnel, were also white, giving to her general features a certain flatness which masked her fine proportions. Her bridge, instead of being well forward, was placed so far aft that it was only a few feet from the funnel. The object of this departure from custom was to prevent ...
— An Adventure With A Genius • Alleyne Ireland

... psychic forces which the Institute invariably produces must be tempered, along about midway of the week, by some sharp contrast in the communal life. Otherwise, the group, like over-trained athletes, will grow emotionally stale before the week is done, and at the end of that is let-down and flatness. Hence "stunt night." ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... very easily overdone, and I am far from asserting that this may not be in some degree my own case; but there is scarcely so nice a line to distinguish, as that which divides true simplicity from flatness and Sternholdianism (if I may be allowed to coin the word), and therefore it is not surprising, that in endeavouring to avoid the latter, so young and inexperienced a rhymer as myself should sometimes have deviated also from the former."[71] This ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... dhows—which travel to Mombasa and Bombay—and innumerable lesser craft. Basra itself lies up a creek, and is invisible from the river. What you see on the shore is properly called Ashar, but the two places merge into one another. Owing to the absolute flatness of the country, a sense of smallness is produced everywhere. There is no background to give perspective, and the great breadth of the sable ...
— In Mesopotamia • Martin Swayne

... reverts to its former flatness, the hills vanish, the shores are level, but the southern influence is felt, and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... save the usual accidents and delays incidental to travelling in an unexplored region. Oxley's opinion of the value of the new district had, as is evident from his journal, been steadily decreasing since leaving the depot. The flatness of the country, the numerous branches of the river and the want of height visible in its banks, seemingly depressed him very much. On the 6th ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... must be fairly fronted, and the fronting of it brings us to the very core of the business of actually forming the taste. If your taste were classical you would discover in Lamb a continual fascination; whereas what you in fact do discover in Lamb is a not unpleasant flatness, enlivened by a vague humour and an occasional pathos. You ought, according to theory, to be enthusiastic; but you are apathetic, or, at best, half-hearted. There is a gulf. How ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... about Margaret; in a sense my conception of Margaret was entirely poetic illusion. I don't think I was ever blind to certain defects of hers, and quite as certainly they didn't seem to matter in the slightest degree. Her mind had a curious want of vigour, "flatness" is the only word; she never seemed to escape from her phrase; her way of thinking, her way of doing was indecisive; she remained in her attitude, it did not flow out to ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... like the lens of a camera, as Dr. Wood tried it, so that one-half of it catches the light, all the light caught will be refracted through it. Fishes, too, have a wide range of vision. Some have eyes that see over half a circle. So the lens gets its name. Ordinary cameras, because of the flatness of their lenses, have a range of only a few degrees, the widest in use, I believe, taking in only ninety-six, or a little more than a quarter of a circle. So, you see, my detectascope has a range almost twice as wide as that ...
— The Dream Doctor • Arthur B. Reeve

... road. The modern pattern has a convex angle in the roof, and dormer-windows; it is a rustic adaptation of the Mansard. The antique pattern, which is far more picturesque, has a concave curve in the roof, and the eaves project like eyebrows, shading the flatness of the face. Paint is a rarity. The prevailing colour is the soft gray of weather-beaten wood. Sometimes, in the better class of houses, a gallery is built across the front and around one side, and a square of garden is fenced in, with dahlias and hollyhocks and marigolds, and perhaps ...
— Little Rivers - A Book Of Essays In Profitable Idleness • Henry van Dyke

... indentings in the middle of the chin save in men of cool understanding, unless when something evidently contradictory appeared in the countenance. The soft, fat, double chin generally points out the epicure; and the angular chin is seldom found save in discreet, well-disposed, firm men. Flatness of chin speaks the cold and dry; smallness, fear; and roundness, ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... noon at the town of Cheyenne, in Wyoming Territory. Cheyenne, once boasting the title (I was told) "The Magic City of the Plains," was located upon a dreary flatness, although from it one might see, far southwest, the actual Rocky Mountains in Colorado Territory, looking, at this distance of one hundred miles, like low dark clouds. The up grade in the west promised that we should soon cross over their ...
— Desert Dust • Edwin L. Sabin

... surnamed, from the flatness of his feet, Plautus, was the greatest among the comic poets of Rome. Of humble origin, he was driven to literature by his necessities, and it was while turning the crank of a baker's hand-mill that he began the work by which ...
— The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic • Arthur Gilman

... we did find ourselves on the prairie, amid the waving grass, with the land rolling on before us in a succession of gentle sweeps, never rising so as to impede the view, or apparently changing in its general level, but yet without the monotony of flatness. We were on the prairie, but still I felt no satisfaction. It was private property, divided among holders and pastured over by private cattle. Salisbury Plain is as wild, and Dartmoor almost wilder. Deer, they told me, were to be had within reach of Dixon, but for the buffalo one has to ...
— Volume 1 • Anthony Trollope

... young girl wished to attempt this last effort asked by her companion. She found her way by the light from the flashes. They were then crossing a boundless desert, in the midst of which was lost the little river. Not a tree nor a hillock broke the flatness. Not a breath disturbed the atmosphere, whose calmness would allow the slightest sound to travel an ...
— Michael Strogoff - or, The Courier of the Czar • Jules Verne

... it. In some few months less than another year, you know, I shall carry Pussy off from school as Mrs. Edwin Drood. I shall then go engineering into the East, and Pussy with me. And although we have our little tiffs now, arising out of a certain unavoidable flatness that attends our love-making, owing to its end being all settled beforehand, still I have no doubt of our getting on capitally then, when it's done and can't be helped. In short, Jack, to go back to the old song I was freely quoting at dinner (and who ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... remarkable face—a most impressive face. If you could fancy some mighty serpent transformed into man, preserving in the human lineaments the old serpent type, you would have a better idea of that countenance than long descriptions can convey: the width and flatness of frontal—the tapering elegance of contour disguising the strength of the deadly jaw—the long, large, terrible eye, glittering and green as the emerald—and withal a certain ruthless calm, as if from the consciousness ...
— Pausanias, the Spartan - The Haunted and the Haunters, An Unfinished Historical Romance • Lord Lytton

... colony, its size, and the direction from which it comes, render it exceedingly interesting to determine how it is supplied. The sandy nature of the country on its banks, and for many miles east, and the flatness of the country, preclude the idea that it receives its supply of water from the immediately surrounding district. It must either be supplied by a country of a far better character to the eastward, or it is the outlet of another ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

... his cerebrum bears to the subjacent ganglia, as well as in the wider departure from symmetry in its convolutions. If further elucidation be needed, we may find it in every nursery. The infant European has sundry marked points of resemblance to the lower human races; as in the flatness of the alae of the nose, the depression of its bridge, the divergence and forward opening of the nostrils, the form of the lips, the absence of a frontal sinus, the width between the eyes, the smallness of the legs. Now, ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... with the ordinary interests of the day before them. There was a latent unwillingness in Mrs. Egremont's mind to discuss the subject with either aunt or daughter; and when the post brought no letter, Ursula, after a moment's sense of flatness, was relieved, and returned to her eager desire to hurry after the water-soldier. It was feasible that very afternoon. Mary Nugent ...
— Nuttie's Father • Charlotte M. Yonge

... same time, were the projected lines between Chester and Holyhead, between Leeds and Bradford, and between Lancaster and Maryport by the western coast. This latter was intended to form part of a west-coast line to Scotland; Stephenson favouring it partly because of the flatness of the gradients, and also because it could be formed at comparatively small cost, whilst it would open out a valuable iron-mining district, from which a large traffic in ironstone was expected. One of its collateral advantages, in the engineer's opinion, was, that by forming the ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... of her direction, Tess stood still upon the hemmed expanse of verdant flatness, like a fly on a billiard-table of indefinite length, and of no more consequence to the surroundings than that fly. The sole effect of her presence upon the placid valley so far had been to excite the mind of a solitary ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... left, life in the village settled down to its normal level, or more accurately, to its normal flatness as regarded general contours, and its petty inequalities in respect to local detail. It reminded Hadria of the landscape which stretched in quiet long lines to the low horizon, while close at hand, the ground fussed and fretted itself into minor ups and downs ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... in many a sky, all gave to this man the appearance of some god of the forest who had just come forth from its primeval depths bringing with him the laurels of wood and mountain crag and sky, some king standing on the edge of the wood amazed at the flatness and tameness of the valley and plains. Umapine stood there the embodiment and glorification of Indian manners, costume, and tradition, a vivid picture of Indian life and story. The waymarks of such a life are, always tense with interest: they are more so as he points them out himself. We will ...
— The Vanishing Race • Dr. Joseph Kossuth Dixon

... relief. But somehow, in a subtle way, he was more feverishly wretched than when Margot was near, and while planning to hurry on the marriage. He had been buoyed up with a rather youthful sense of defiance of the world, a hot desire to "get everything over." The flatness of the reaction which he felt on finding himself free, at least of Margot's society, was a surprise; and yet Stephen vaguely understood its real meaning. To be free, yet not free, was an aggravation. And besides, he did not know what to do or where to go, now that ...
— The Golden Silence • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... and replaced by roofs designed in that style prevalent during the fifteenth century. The slope or pitch of the roof is much lower than before, and the form altogether more obtuse, and sometimes approaching nearly to flatness. The exterior is on this account often entirely concealed from view by the parapet. Many roofs of this style are divided into bays or compartments by horizontal tie-beams faced with mouldings, and apparently ...
— The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed. • Matthew Holbeche Bloxam

... common out here, I am told: infants born in Christchurch during the autumn very often die. Owing to the flatness of the site of the town, it is almost impossible to get a proper system of drainage; and the arrangements seem very bad, if you are to judge from the evil smells which are abroad in the evening. Children who ...
— Station Life in New Zealand • Lady Barker

... old and worn, Persis thought, more like the man who must settle for the spring finery of a family of grown daughters, than a complacent young husband paying for his wife's first new gown since the wedding. There was a flatness in his voice that matched the weariness in his eyes, and forthwith a dozen questions raced through ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... and precision of range. All modern guns are capable of being made to shoot straight; but their precision of range depends partly on the successful designing of the gun and ammunition, so as to give uniform velocities, and partly on the flatness of the trajectory. The greater the velocity, the lower the trajectory, and the greater the chance of striking the target. Supposing a heavy gun to be mounted as in the fortresses round our coasts, and aimed with due care, the distance of the object being approximately ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 324, March 18, 1882 • Various

... remember? He was killed in that auto crash coming home from the city last year." There was an odd questing flatness in her voice. ...
— A World Apart • Samuel Kimball Merwin

... them to a somewhat calmer and rather happy state of mind. Charley's sorrow was blunted by sympathy with Kate's joy, and Kate's joy was subdued by sympathy with Charley's sorrow; so that, after the first effervescing burst, they settled down into a calm and comfortable state of flatness, with very red eyes and exceedingly pensive minds. We must, however, do Charley the justice to say that the red eyes applied only to Kate; for although a tear or two could without much coaxing be induced to hop over his sun-burned ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... the level flatness of her tones almost broke the Sculptor Girl's heart. She reached out her hand and caught Felicia's and gripped it hard. She did not say much but what she said ...
— Little Miss By-The-Day • Lucille Van Slyke

... his solid white profile as he stood with hands clasped, near her music, on the chiffonier. She noticed again that strange flatness of the lower ...
— Pointed Roofs - Pilgrimage, Volume 1 • Dorothy Richardson

... imitation to make them; but the difference to which I refer is an indescribable something, which can only be compared to peculiarities of accent. They both speak the same language; perhaps in classical purity of phraseology the fashionable Scotchman is even superior to the Englishman; but there is a flatness of tone in his accent—a lack of what the musicians call expression, which gives a local and provincial effect to his conversation, however, in other respects, learned and intelligent. It is so with his manners; he conducts himself with equal ease, self-possession, and discernment, ...
— The Ayrshire Legatees • John Galt

... (1948:46) and Langebartel and Shannon (1956:165). Lumbar glands are longer than broad, at least one third the distance from axilla to groin, lateral and usually high, and often conspicuous and protuberant. The elevation or flatness of the lumbar glands seems to be due to individual variation; living specimens in the field had conspicuous and protuberant, or non-elevated, indistinct lumbar glands. Lumbar glands are not to be confused with ...
— A New Species of Frog (Genus Tomodactylus) from Western Mexico • Robert G. Webb

... well as we can. For examples of Heads nothing can be better than photographs from Botticelli and other early Tuscan, and from the early Siennese painters. Also from Holbein, and chiefly from his drawings. There is a flatness and firmness of treatment in all these which is eminently suited to stained-glass work. Hands also may be studied from the same sources, for though Botticelli does not always draw hands with perfect mastery, yet he very often does, and the expression ...
— Stained Glass Work - A text-book for students and workers in glass • C. W. Whall

... philandering. Heaps of men do that—go through all the motions of making fools of themselves and actually do nothing. He may be only expressing the discontent of the moment, the revolt from suspense, the flatness of quiet after terrible excitements. One didn't need to be a fighting-man to share those excitements. You say that Phyllis made a nest of her home. Perhaps he didn't like nests. It may be that that's done it. Adair can't have altered so radically over night; he wasn't forceful enough ...
— The Kingdom Round the Corner - A Novel • Coningsby Dawson

... including even Mr. Perry, experienced a sensation of sudden vacancy and flatness when his Highness left them. It was as though they had been sheltering a royal eagle that was used to dwelling in sunlit heights unknown to them, and now they were left on flat ground to consort with ...
— Frances Waldeaux • Rebecca Harding Davis

... was no line of dark water to guide the pirate captain on his bold and desperate course. He was obliged to trust almost entirely to his intimate knowledge of the coast, and to the occasional patches in the surrounding waste where the comparative flatness of the boiling flood indicated less shallow water. As the danger increased, the smile left Gascoyne's lips; but the flashing of his bright eyes and his deepened color showed that the spirit boiled within almost as wildly as the ocean raged ...
— Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader - A Tale of the Pacific • R. M. Ballantyne

... sullen gray-black spate, and out on the levels the water lies six inches deep, in stretch upon stretch, as far as the eye can reach. Every culvert is full, and the broken ice clicks against the wooden pier-guards of the bridges. Somewhere in this flatness there is a refreshing jingle of spurs along the cars, and a man of the Canadian Mounted Police swaggers through with his black fur cap and the yellow tab aside, his well-fitting overalls and his better set-up back. One ...
— Letters of Travel (1892-1913) • Rudyard Kipling

... breadth together without depth give flatness. Life and love without feeling produce shallow, superficial natures. Feeling is the need of men to ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... her. She was scarcely more than fifteen, slight and lithe, with a boyish flatness of breast and back. Her flushed face and bare throat were absolutely peppered with minute brown freckles, like grains of spent gunpowder. Her eyes, which were large and gray, presented the singular spectacle of being also freckled,—at least they were shot through ...
— Frontier Stories • Bret Harte

... flatness of the terrain in this region and entire absence of cover for the attacker, whether the movement be frontal or enveloping, was responsible for the heavy losses the British incurred in this engagement. Here there were no protecting villages, hedges, or banks. A swift, headlong rush that ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... slim and all articulate; her most characteristic trees are those that are distinct and distinguished, with lines that suggest the etching-point rather than a brush loaded with paint. Cypresses shaped like flames, tall pines with the abrupt flatness of their tops, thin canes in the brakes, sharp aloes by the road-side, and olives with the delicate acuteness of the leaf—these make keen lines of slender vegetation. And they own the seasons by a gentle confession. ...
— The Rhythm of Life • Alice Meynell

... be formed from the fibres of the cirrus sinking into a horizontal position, at the same time that they approach each other sideways. This cloud is to be distinguished by its flatness and great horizontal extension, in proportion to its height; a character which it always retains, under all its various forms. As this cloud is generally changing its figure, and slowly sinking, it has been called the wane-cloud. A collection of these clouds, when seen in the distance, ...
— The Rain Cloud - or, An Account of the Nature, Properties, Dangers and Uses of Rain • Anonymous

... have seen the process of secrecy and aristocracy introduced even into jokes. If a joke falls flat, a small school of aesthetes only ask us to notice the wild grace of its falling and its perfect flatness after its fall. The old idea that the joke was not good enough for the company has been superseded by the new aristocratic idea that the company was not worthy of the joke. They have introduced an almost insane individualism into that one form ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... submerge him, argues a want of confidence in their country, tantamount to a confession of failure. Had they a little more trust in the attractive qualities of their land, a little more imagination to realise that in other eyes its flatness and quaintness might be even alluring, they would accept and acknowledge the compliment by doing as little as possible to ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... administrations of Walpole and Pelham, the commercial war with Spain, the battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy, the foolish prime minister Newcastle, the dull brawls of the Wilkes period, the miserable American war—everywhere alike we seem to remark a want of greatness, a distressing commonness and flatness in men and in affairs.' This would be very sad if it were true, but is it true? A plain man rubs his eyes in amazement at such reproaches. So far from most of us finding the eighteenth century uninteresting, as prosperous rather than memorable, as wanting in greatness, ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 9: The Expansion of England • John Morley

... but the flatness of the country offered no opportunity for anything larger than a gopher to hide. Trees and bushes, alike too small for shelter, and little rises of land, hard enough to climb but easily visible to anyone on horseback, were all that offered themselves. In the distance an arroyo looked ...
— Across the Mesa • Jarvis Hall

... the war wore out of its own violence. People ceased to care how a thing was said, and began to take interest again in what was said. Those who had mimicked Amelie had grown into the habit of mimicry until they half forgot their scorn. The old-time flatness and burr began to soften from attrition, to be modified because they were conspicuous. You would have heard Arthur subduing his twang and unburring the "r." If you had asked him he would have told you his name ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... the days seemed to drag heavily at Lisconnel, where a dulness and flatness had come over society. Dr. Hamilton had carried off Denis O'Meara to Ballybrosna, and there was nothing to fill up the blank he left except speculations about his chances of recovery, and censures upon Hugh McInerney, monotonously unanimous. In his favour, indeed, no one seemingly had a word to say. ...
— Strangers at Lisconnel • Barlow Jane

... the body and becoming shorter towards it's extremity where it ends in an accute point. the hairs of the body are much longer on the side and rump than any other part, which gives the body and apparent flatness, particularly when the animal rests on it's belley. this hair is upwards of 3 inches in length particularly on the rump where it extends so far towards the point of the tail that it almost conceals the shape of that ...
— The Journals of Lewis and Clark • Meriwether Lewis et al

... Kinsella understood them. He felt a warm affection for Miss Rutherford rise in his heart when she told Jimmy, who sat humped up over his oar, to keep his back flat. Jimmy merely smiled in reply. He had known since he was two years old that the flatness or roundness of the rower's back has nothing whatever to do with the progress of a boat in Rosnacree Bay. A few minutes later she accused Priscilla of "bucketing," and Frank loved her for the word. Priscilla replied indignantly ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... down in some convenient spot, with emotion fairly oozing from every pore, and for a solid hour he wrestles with his tools and vocabulary. The result probably does not altogether please him. He feels that he has said too much about his lack of socks, the toughness of his fare, the flatness of his purse. All the love and tenderness he meant to set down have somehow refused to leave him, even in description. But he knows he will be massacred if he goes howling for more paper; and so he sends off what he has written, counting the weary days until ...
— From Yauco to Las Marias • Karl Stephen Herrman

... up and denied the first word of the charge with unpleasant flatness. To be caught means to be in love, to be in love implies a wish and hope to marry, and these were just what Claude could not allow. May not a man, nevertheless, have an ideal of truth and beauty and look worshipfully ...
— Bonaventure - A Prose Pastoral of Acadian Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... And the family devote themselves to the cake-walks and comic medleys, the fandangoes and tangos, the xylophone solos, the shakedowns and break-downs and the rags and tatters of their collection until they have thoroughly exhausted the delights thereof. Then, having had time to forget somewhat the flatness of "Tannhaeuser," and for want of anything better to do, they take out the despised record, dust it, and insert it into the machine. But this time, curiously enough, the thing does not sound quite so flat. After repeated playings, it even begins to rival the "Fashion Plate March" in its appeal. ...
— The Joyful Heart • Robert Haven Schauffler

... appearances, he will long occupy this honourable position. If there is something very fortunate for him in the way that he borrows an added relief from the absence of competitors in his own line and from the general flatness of the literary field that surrounds him, there is also, to a spectator, something almost touching in his situation. He was so modest and delicate a genius that we may fancy him appealing from the lonely honour of a representative attitude—perceiving ...
— Hawthorne - (English Men of Letters Series) • Henry James, Junr.

... had stopped the champagne tap, though the needle-case glasses stood to tantalize the party till about the time that the beverage ought to have been flowing, when Spigot took them off. The flatness then became flatter. Nevertheless, Jack worked away in his usual carnivorous style, and finished by paying his respects to all the sweets, jellies, and things in succession. He never got any of these, he said, at 'home,' ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... thousand men could be drawn up in rank and file, horse and foot and guns. Excepting it be on some special occasion, there are rarely more than two or three hundred persons in sight. The paved emptiness makes one draw a breath of surprise, and human eyes seem too small to take in all the flatness below, all the breadth before, and all the height above. Taken together, the picture is too big for convenient sight. The impression itself moves unwieldily in the cramped brain. A building almost five hundred feet high produces a monstrous ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... which to view bears is, as a general thing, a dangerous experiment, as bears themselves are such capital climbers. But there are times when it is the only possible course available for those who would observe their action, on account of the flatness of the country thereabout. So, speedily as possible, the trees were selected that were considered most suitable. These were situated a little north and south of the spot where the bears had thrown their fish on the shore. They were a little distant from the trail along which ...
— Three Boys in the Wild North Land • Egerton Ryerson Young

... equal height could not be found, her position was not enviable. The third lady preferred an uneasy posture among the ribs and cordage of the boat, and I lay down on the paving-stones of the quay, having found from experience that, in the matter of beds, flatness is the most indispensable of qualities, while hardness is not so awful as one might suppose. Where my comrade the collegian ...
— Freaks on the Fells - Three Months' Rustication • R.M. Ballantyne

... sense of flatness. He embodied the life of the village in a way one could not believe unless one had lived there. I've seen a lot of him in the last few months; we were fairly driven ...
— The Village by the River • H. Louisa Bedford

... up at the well-known door at quite an early hour. Daisy and the baby were already out, but Harold, still something of an invalid, stood by the dining-room window. Harold, a little weary from his journey, a little spoiled by his happy month at Torquay was experiencing some of that flatness, which must now and then visit even a little child when he finds he must descend from a pedestal. For a very long time he had been first in every one's thoughts. He had now to retire from the privileges of an invalid to the everyday position, the everyday life of a healthy child. While ...
— How It All Came Round • L. T. Meade

... "Non, miladi, positivement rien." Strange to say, I too felt desoeuvre by the want of having something to be alarmed or to hope about,—I, who meddle not with politics, and wish all the world to be as quiet and as calm as myself. Every one I see appears to experience this same flatness, just like the reaction produced on the spirits the first day or two after the Italian Carnival, when the cessation of gaiety, though felt to be a relief to the frame, leaves ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... 2,500 to 3,000 feet) is very different from that required for great depths. To reach great depths, the size of shafts must greatly expand, to provide for extended ventilation, pumping, and winding necessities. Moreover inclined shafts of a degree of flatness possible for moderate depths become too long to be used economically from the surface. The vast majority of metal-mining shafts fall into the first class, those of moderate depths. Yet, as time goes ...
— Principles of Mining - Valuation, Organization and Administration • Herbert C. Hoover

... extraordinary commonplaces, as in the comparison of popular favor to a weathercock, and of woman's love to a flower worn, then thrown aside; and a constant lapsing from the energy and spirit of the dialogue into flatness, familiarity and triviality. There is an occasional not unwholesome coarseness which recalls Mr. Story's Elizabethan masters, as ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 17, - No. 97, January, 1876 • Various

... at that time passed at about a quarter of a mile's distance from the eminence, called Haribee or Harabee-brow, which, though it is very moderate in size and height, is nevertheless seen from a great distance around, owing to the flatness of the country through which the Eden flows. Here many an outlaw, and border-rider of both kingdoms, had wavered in the wind during the wars, and scarce less hostile truces, between the two countries. Upon Harabee, in latter days, other executions had taken place with as little ceremony as ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... our old masters," cried Miss Nancy as those of the first corridor began to slip past us on the walls, with no desire to interrupt. "What do you think of this Greek Byzantine style, Mr. Wick? Somehow it doesn't seem to appeal to me, though whether it's the flatness—or what——" ...
— A Voyage of Consolation - (being in the nature of a sequel to the experiences of 'An - American girl in London') • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... gloomy, even in early summer. Its architect seems to have feared this gloominess, for he planned great bay windows for three rooms, one above the other. He built the bay. It juts out for the whole height of the house, breaking the flatness of the northern wall. But his heart failed him in the end. He dared not put such a window in the house. He walled up the whole flat front of the bay. Only in its sides did he place windows. Through these there is a side view of the sea and a side view of the main wall of the ...
— The Northern Iron - 1907 • George A. Birmingham

... employed on the premises, they fare better, being paid by the piece. The minutest divisions of labor prevail, even more than with us—a shirt passing through many hands, the weekly wage differing for each. The "fitter," for instance, must be a skilled workwoman, the flatness and proper set of the shirt front depending upon correct fitting at the neck. For this fitting in West End houses, the fitter receives a penny a shirt, and can in a week fit twenty dozen—this meaning a pound a week. But slack seasons reduce the amount, so that often she earns ...
— Prisoners of Poverty Abroad • Helen Campbell

... A deadly flatness, although Olga's absence made no difference, descended on the three. Lucia did not resume her arm-work, for after all these years her acting might be supposed to be good enough for Riseholme without further ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... supply of those who are to come after them. Thus, not only a great portion of the country about Rouen—(especially in the direction of the road leading to Caen—) is gradually left desolate and barren, but even here, as you approach the town, there is a dreary flatness of country, unrefreshed by the verdure of foliage: whereas the soil, kind and productive by nature, requires only the slightest attention of man to repay him a hundred fold. What they will do some fifty years hence for fuel, is quite inconceivable. ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... next few days after leaving the third encampment was fatiguing and monotonous. The unvarying routine of our daily life in smoky Korak tents, and the uniform flatness and barrenness of the country over which we journeyed, became inexpressibly tiresome, and we looked forward in longing anticipation to the Russian settlement of Gizhiga, at the head of Gizhiginsk Gulf, which was the Mecca of our long pilgrimage. To spend ...
— Tent Life in Siberia • George Kennan

... Your pedigree would no doubt bear me out: there is as much of the Magyar as of the Pole in your anatomy. Athlete, and yet a tangle of nerves; a ferocious brute at bottom, I dare say, for your broad forehead inclines to flatness; under your bristling beard your jaw must protrude, and the base of your skull is ominously thick. And, with all that, capable of ideal transports: when that girl played and sang to-night I saw the swelling of your eyelid veins, and how that small, tenacious, ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... garden, and every inch of the country in which he lived, rescued as it had been from invasions by armies and the sea. Many painters never left Holland, and found beauty enough there to fill well-spent lives in painting its flatness beneath over-arching clear or clouded skies. Although the earlier Flemings had had a great love of landscape, they had not conceived it as a subject suitable for a whole picture, but only for a background. In the sixteenth century the figures gradually ...
— The Book of Art for Young People • Agnes Conway

... lacking out of it to Lambert as he looked across the verdant flatness with pensive eyes, that great, gray something that took hold of a man and drew him into its larger life, smoothed the wrinkles out of him, and stood him upright on his feet with the breath deeper in ...
— The Duke Of Chimney Butte • G. W. Ogden

... mind upon this latter little man. Picture her disappointment when she found Albert quite unattractive. He was tall and thin and brittle, with a pale, rather dry, flattish face, and with curious pale eyes. His impression was one of uncanny flatness, something like a lemon sole. Curiously flat and fish-like he was, one might have imagined his backbone to be spread like the backbone of a sole or a plaice. His teeth were sound, but rather large and yellowish and flat. A ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... confounding figures were much less to be met than during the months of winter, and indeed they were never frequent at Mrs. Bonnycastle's. At present the social vistas of Washington, like the vast fresh flatness of the lettered and numbered streets, which at this season seemed to Vogelstein more spacious and vague than ever, suggested but a paucity of political phenomena. Count Otto that evening knew every one or almost every ...
— Pandora • Henry James

... subjects one of the other, differed considerably in character and culture. But the scarcity of timber and the lack of good building-stone except in the limestone table-lands and more distant mountains of upper Mesopotamia, the abundance of clay, and the flatness of the country, imposed upon the builders of both nations similar restrictions of conception, form, and material. Both peoples, moreover, were probably, in part at least, of Semitic race.[4] The Chaldans ...
— A Text-Book of the History of Architecture - Seventh Edition, revised • Alfred D. F. Hamlin

... process of unloading with perplexed and even agitated interest, was a whimsical figure—large of girth, short of limb, convex where the accredited lines of beauty demand, if not concavity, at least a refined flatness of surface. ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... admitting), that fault may doubtless be found in the fact that their scenery as a rule tends to be just a trifle monotonous. Though fine in themselves, they lack variety. To be sure, very few of the deserts of real life possess that absolute flatness, sandiness and sameness, which characterises the familiar desert of the poet and of the annual exhibitions—a desert all level yellow expanse, most bilious in its colouring, and relieved by but four allowable academy properties, a palm-tree, ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... the end of this dreary plain presently,' Reuben cried. 'Its insipid flatness is enough to set the best of friends by the ears. We might be in the deserts of Libya instead of his most ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... sometimes—great banks of bloom rising up out of crystal rivers, in deep gorges, full of sunshine and scent. How nice it is to be idle! I'm sure I've earned it, after that deplorable chapter. It really is a miracle of flatness! You go back to your work, my boy, and thank God you can say what you mean! And then you can bring it to me, and I'll tell you to an inch ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... every movement, rapid and almost convulsive in his gestures when excited. Still he could be at any time graceful in attitude, and elegant in manner. Even then he stooped a little, so that his shoulders inclined forward, which gave something of flatness to his chest. His face was thin and elongated; but what a forehead! What eyes! What beauty in the contour of his intellectual visage! In repose, its habitual expression was reflective and concentrated, with a ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... fair land! I never before grasped the charm of French colouring; the pinkish-yellow of the pan-tiled roofs, the lavender-grey or dim green of the shutters, the self-respecting shapes and flatness of the houses, unworried by wriggling ornamentation or lines coming up in order that they may go down again; the universal plane trees with their variegated trunks and dancing lightness—nothing more charming than plane trees in winter, their delicate twigs and little ...
— Another Sheaf • John Galsworthy

... The time still demands some explanation why the leading juvenile wears no gold chevrons on his left sleeve. As a matter of fact, our young servant of the Grey-Matter Agency had been declined by a recruiting station and a draft board on account of flat feet; although I must protest that their flatness detracts not at all from his outward bearing nor from his physical capacity in the ordinary concerns of amiable youth. When the army "turned him down flat," as he put it, he had entered the service of the Committee on Public Information, and had carried on mysterious ...
— The Haunted Bookshop • Christopher Morley

... without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... I knew from many pictures must be the Rialto, but there was no disappointment, no flatness in the impression of having seen this all before, for not the greatest genius who ever lived could paint Venice at her every day best. Palace after palace; and by-and-by a church with a front carved in ivory by the growing moonlight, thrown up ...
— My Friend the Chauffeur • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... those spectacles as clearly as if they had been plain window-glass; and they had certainly given an inverted reflection of the candle-flame like that thrown from the surface of a concave lens. Now they obviously could not be both flat and concave; but yet they had the properties peculiar to both flatness and concavity. And there was a further difficulty. If I could see objects unaltered through them, so could Mr. Weiss. But the function of spectacles is to alter the appearances of objects, by magnification, reduction or compensating distortion. If they leave the ...
— The Mystery of 31 New Inn • R. Austin Freeman

... his vellum, he fettered himself unnecessarily, and instead of a picture he has only succeeded in producing a surface enamel, or a mere reticulation of surface-patterns. This very defect has by some writers been held up to admiration as the true perfection of all illumination. Its flatness was applauded because it had to be shut up in a book, and was therefore the only appropriate way of making a picture for such a purpose. But whoever would dream that because a picture, painted in due perspective and proper light ...
— Illuminated Manuscripts • John W. Bradley

... only by their faces, I am the very devil when I find out they have neither souls nor hearts—when they open to me a perspective of flatness, triviality, and perhaps imbecility, coarseness, and ill-temper: but to the clear eye and eloquent tongue, to the soul made of fire, and the character that bends but does not break—at once supple and stable, tractable and consistent—I ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... below. The actual roof of oak and lead was so flattened as to be invisible in accordance with the ideas of the architect. "No Roofs almost but Spherick raised to be visible." "The Ancients affected Flatness." "No Roofs can have Dignity enough to appear above a ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul - An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch • Arthur Dimock

... Oland on the left, and on the right by Schmoland. In front rose the mountain-island the Jungfrau, to which every Swede points with self-satisfied pride. Its height is only remarkable compared with the flatness around; beside the proud giant-mountain of the same name in Switzerland it would seem ...
— Visit to Iceland - and the Scandinavian North • Ida Pfeiffer



Words linked to "Flatness" :   gustatory perception, inactiveness, style, flat, dullness, gustatory sensation, taste, inertia, taste perception, taste sensation, expressive style, dimensionality, inactivity



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