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Flaw   /flɔ/   Listen
Flaw

noun
1.
An imperfection in an object or machine.  Synonyms: defect, fault.  "If there are any defects you should send it back to the manufacturer"
2.
Defect or weakness in a person's character.
3.
An imperfection in a plan or theory or legal document that causes it to fail or that reduces its effectiveness.



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"Flaw" Quotes from Famous Books



... morns, they saw The fishing-schooners outward run, Their low-bent sails in tack and flaw Turned white or dark to shade and sun. Sometimes, in calms of closing day, They watched the spectral mirage play, Saw low, far islands looming tall and nigh, And ships, with upturned keels, sail like a sea ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... has begun to understand the trend of the woman's rights movement, and has rendered its first favorable decision, in the famous Eddy-will case. Wendell Phillips told me that he drew up this will, and that its provisions were so carefully worded, that even the Supreme Court could find no flaw in it. It is in his own hand-writing, and Chandler R. Ransom was the executor. Eliza F. Eddy was the daughter of Francis Jackson, and just before her death in 1882, desiring to help the suffrage cause and thus carry out her father's intentions, ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... has that nasty custom in excess, and it grows worse instead of better, as the influence of the better mannered and better educated diminishes; but this is a spot on the sun—a mere flaw in the diamond, that friction will take out. But what a country—what a glorious country, in truth, it is! You have now done the civilized parts of the old world pretty thoroughly, my dear boy, and must be persuaded, yourself, of the superiority ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... should not be put forward as poetry), could possibly accept these lines as expressionally poetical. It would seem as though, from the first, Browning's ear was keener for the apprehension than for the sustained evocation of the music of verse. Some flaw there was, somewhere. His heart, so to say, beat too fast, and the singing in his ears from the o'er-fevered blood confused the serene rhythm haunting the far perspectives of the brain, "as Arab birds float sleeping ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... in the same field, as in India; for the published proceedings of the court bring down upon him the indignation of society—the moral and religions feelings of his fellow men are arrayed against him, and from these salutary checks no flaw in the indictment can save him. Not so in India. There no moral or religions feelings interpose to assist or to supply the deficiencies of the penal law. Provided he eats, drinks, smokes, marries, and makes his offerings to his priest ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... even yet a certainty, however. The estate of Coila was well worth fighting for. Was there not the possibility, the bare possibility, that the solicitors or advocates of Le Roi, or the M'Rae, who now held the castle and glen, might find some fatal flaw in the evidence which Townley had spent so much time and care in working out ...
— Our Home in the Silver West - A Story of Struggle and Adventure • Gordon Stables

... contest, which was decided by a most remarkable judge. The benchers had determined to have the best organ in London; the competitors for the building were Smith and Harris. Father Smith, a German, was renowned for his care in choosing wood without knot or flaw, and for throwing aside every metal or wooden pipe that was not perfect and sound. His stops were also allowed by all to be singularly equal and sweet in tone. The two competitors were each to erect an organ in the Temple Church, and the best one was to be ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... had called at the post-office. Her anxiety concerning the wayward Tessie constituted the one flaw in her otherwise happy new days. That she could not at once be with her parents was clear and reasonable to the girl, reared in hardship, and accustomed to many personal sacrifices, but that an incriminating letter would surely ...
— The Girl Scout Pioneers - or Winning the First B. C. • Lillian C Garis

... crank-shafts of transatlantic steamers are forged by hydraulic pressure, and the worker has but to turn a tap to give shape to the immense mass of steel, which makes a far more homogeneous metal, without crack or flaw, of the blooms, whatever be ...
— The Conquest of Bread • Peter Kropotkin

... not by a few, And those of true condition, that your subjects Are in great grievance. There have been commissions Sent down among 'em, which hath flaw'd the heart Of all their loyalties; wherein, although, My good Lord Cardinal, they vent reproaches Most bitterly on you, as putter on Of these exactions, yet the King our master— Whose honour Heaven shield from soil!—even he escapes not Language ...
— The Life of Henry VIII • William Shakespeare [Dunlap edition]

... Christmas visitors, for the state of the country did not invite Londoners; but we did not want them. The suppression of Clarence was the only flaw in a singularly happy time; and, after all I believe I felt the pity of it more than he did, who expected nothing, and was accustomed ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Murray's admirable new dictionary, I have remarked a flaw sub voce Beacon. In its express, technical sense, a beacon may be defined as "a founded, artificial ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the number of Christians has increased during the last decade at a certain ratio. Given the continuance of this uniform rate of increase, it will follow that within a computable period India will be a Christian land. One flaw in this method of calculation is that it takes for granted that Brahmans, high-caste Hindus, and Mohammedans will be Christianised at the same rate of progress as prevails at present among ...
— Things as They Are - Mission Work in Southern India • Amy Wilson-Carmichael

... I, 'I am no very perfect craftsman. This is supposed to be a house, and you see the chimneys are awry. You may call this a box if you are very indulgent; but see where my tool slipped! Yes, I am afraid you may go from one to another, and find a flaw in everything. Failures for Sale should be on my signboard. I do not keep a shop; I keep a Humorous Museum.' I cast a smiling glance about my display, and then at her, and instantly became grave. 'Strange, is it not,' I added, 'that a grown man and a soldier should ...
— St Ives • Robert Louis Stevenson

... enough dodge, all right," the man remarked. "The only possible flaw in it is that there might be some gentleman present who's dealt with cattle-duffers in the past. If so, he'd be pretty sure to scent our little game, and ...
— The Lost Valley • J. M. Walsh

... from simple things, such as eating one's breakfast alone in a room which had nice colors in it, clean from the skirting of the boards to the corners of the ceiling, seemed to suit her so thoroughly that she used at first to hunt about for some one to apologize to, or for some flaw in the situation. She had now been six months in London, and she could find no flaw, but that, as she invariably concluded by the time her boots were laced, was solely and entirely due to the fact that she had her work. Every day, as she stood with ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... themselves, being less than all the stream of creative duration to which they belong, will be abstractions, if taken apart from that whole stream, and so distorted. This flaw in what we know even by direct acquaintance can never be wholly remedied short of our succeeding in becoming acquainted with the whole of duration. It is something, however, to be aware of the flaw, even if we cannot wholly remedy it, and the wider the acquaintance the less is ...
— The Misuse of Mind • Karin Stephen

... the Cat had given to him, and there was seen a little dog so tiny that it could go through a ring without touching it; he was also able to dance, and play the castanets, while his ears touched the ground. The King was embarassed, for it was impossible to find a flaw in this lovely ...
— My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales • Edric Vredenburg

... old croaker, will you?" one Chester rooter called out. "How anybody could pick a flaw with this splendid day beats me all hollow. Why, it was made on purpose for Chester to lick that boasting Harmony team, and send them back home like dogs, with their tails between their legs. Hurrah ...
— Jack Winters' Baseball Team - Or, The Rivals of the Diamond • Mark Overton

... Planchette serenely, "the piece of skin is as safe and sound as my eye. There was a flaw in your reservoir somewhere, or a crevice in the ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... McGregor's height, How didst thou grow to such a lofty bearing, For song of bird or beat of breeze uncaring, There where thy shadow touched the dying brow? Were all thy sinewy fibres shaped aright? Was there no flaw? With what mysterious daring Didst thou put forth each murmuring, odorous bough And trust it to the frail support of air? We only know that thou art now supreme: We know not how thou grewest so tall and fair. ...
— Dreams and Days: Poems • George Parsons Lathrop

... speech as he left the room, however, had touched the one flaw in Galen Albret's confidence of righteousness. Wearied with the struggles and the passions he had undergone, his brain numbed, his will for the moment in abeyance, he seated himself and contemplated the images those ...
— Conjuror's House - A Romance of the Free Forest • Stewart Edward White

... that because 'this ship is iron' it will 'sink in water,' Hence syllogistic 'proof' seems quite devoid of the 'cogency' it claimed. After a conclusion has been 'demonstrated' it has still to come true in fact. This flaw in the Syllogism was first pointed out by Mr. ...
— Pragmatism • D.L. Murray

... to revolve these propositions through your mind very seriously. See if you can find a flaw in any of them; and conceive if you can, of any reasonable theory whereby any of them may ...
— Love's Final Victory • Horatio

... promontory in Africa was so called, as well as that in Italy. (3) Meaning that her husband gave her this commission in order to prevent her from committing suicide. (4) See Book VIII., line 547. (5) See line 709. (6) This passage is described by Lord Macaulay as "a pure gem of rhetoric without one flaw, and, in my opinion, not very far from historical truth" (Trevelyan's "Life and Letters", vol. i., page 462.) (7) "... Clarum et venembile nomen Gentibus, et multum nostrae quod profuit urbi," quoted by ...
— Pharsalia; Dramatic Episodes of the Civil Wars • Lucan

... in its perfection and integrity, fully satisfies the conditions of artistic triumph. Are we to ignore the grandeur of a colossal statue, and the nobility of the human conceptions which it embodies, because here and there we notice a flaw in the marble, a blemish in its colour, a jagged slip of the chisel? "It is not force of intellect," as George Eliot has said, "which causes ready repulsion from the aberration and eccentricities of greatness, any more than it is force of vision that causes the eye to explore the ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... a miser (or rather did so proclaim you until, less than ten seconds after I had unpacked it from its wrappings of tissue paper, I took it to the open window and had the satisfaction of seeing it shattered to atoms on the pavement). But stay! I perceive a flaw in my argument. Perhaps you were guided in your choice by a definite wish to insult me. I am sure, on reflection, that this is so. ...
— The So-called Human Race • Bert Leston Taylor

... with the directness of allusion in conversation due to a married woman but improper to a young girl—this was very sweet to Rachel. The subdued stir made by Mrs. Tams in clearing the table was for Rachel a delicious background to the scene. The one flaw in it was her short skirt, which she had not had time to change. Louis had protested that it was entirely in order, and indeed admirably coquettish, but Rachel would have preferred a long train of soft drapery disposed with art round the front ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... Emancipation had left bitterness behind, and in addition to this complication, his followers in the Commons included both men like Stanley, who had voted for Parliamentary reform, and its implacable opponents. But in spite of this flaw in the solidarity of the Opposition, the Ministers were far from secure. There were the troubles in Canada, which Lord Durham had been sent out to deal with (the Canadian patriots had a great deal of Lady Fanny's sympathy), and in England ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... gained an Archduke's heart by her beauty and the right to wear his honors by her wit. Nothing was known of the stove at this latter day in Hall. The grandfather Strehla, who had been a master-mason, had dug it up out of some ruins where he was building, and, finding it without a flaw, had taken it home, and only thought it worth finding because it was such a good one to burn. That was now sixty years past, and ever since then the stove had stood in the big desolate empty room, warming ...
— Famous Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... Dietrich, a vintner, and we are soon to be married." There was a flaw in the usual ...
— The Goose Girl • Harold MacGrath

... here about a quarter of an hour ago, proud, and, I may say, swaggering, as he does over his learned friends when he has found a flaw in one ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... The answer is that Germany is not a single national State but a number of dynastic States, federated together under the control of one predominant partner. In other words, the problem of Alsace-Lorraine has led us to the consideration of the second flaw in the development of the national ...
— The War and Democracy • R.W. Seton-Watson, J. Dover Wilson, Alfred E. Zimmern,

... take it for granted that satisfaction goes with the goods; their experience enables them to size up a proposition quickly and if there is any flaw in the advertisements or the company's methods, they pass it by. But women, not so familiar with business affairs, must be approached from a different angle. Little points must be explained and guarantees must be strongly emphasized. The formal letter which appeals to a ...
— Business Correspondence • Anonymous

... which cannot suffer the least injury without damage; it is a precious stone, the price of which is lessened by the least flaw. ...
— Life and Literature - Over two thousand extracts from ancient and modern writers, - and classified in alphabetical order • J. Purver Richardson

... conceptions. The passage was transcribed from my address at the California Philosophical Union, reprinted in the Journal of Philosophy, vol. i, p. 673. I had no sooner given the address than I perceived a flaw in that part of it; but I have left the passage unaltered ever since, because the flaw did not spoil its illustrative value. The flaw was evident when, as a case analogous to that of a godless universe, I thought of what ...
— The Meaning of Truth • William James

... character of merits both spiritual and spectacular, and he brought to the big house an exotic atmosphere that was spicy with delights. The little boy prayed that this hero might be made again the man he once was; not because of any flaw that he could see in him—but only because the sufferer appeared somewhat less than perfect to himself. To Bernal's mind, indeed, nothing could have been superior to the noble melancholy with which Cousin Bill J. looked back upon his ...
— The Seeker • Harry Leon Wilson

... responses, pleasing the clergy, and deriving some solace herself from the occupation—at least she always said the services were soothing. She was genuinely shocked by a sign of irreverence, and would sing the most jingling nonsense as a hymn with perfect gravity and without perceiving that there was any flaw in it. In these matters she showed no originality at all. She would repeat "my duty towards my neighbour is to love him as myself, and to do to all men as I would that they should do unto me" fervently, and come out and cut Mrs. Chrimes to the quick just afterward because she had ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... a smile at this faint flaw in an impartiality so scrupulous. Every evidence of feminine inconsequence in Anna seemed to attest her deeper subjection to the most inconsequent of passions. He had certainly promised her his help—but before he knew ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... purest statuary marble would convert the Eve of Powers[2] to a monster. Masculine observers, if the birthmark did not heighten their admiration, contented themselves with wishing it away, that the world might possess one living specimen of ideal loveliness without the semblance of a flaw. After his marriage,—for he thought little or nothing of the matter before,—Aylmer discovered that this ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... been for this accident the visit of the six little Bunkers to Seaview would have been without a flaw. Even as it was, it turned out to be most delightful. Seaview was a fine place to spend the end of the summer, and Cousin Tom and his wife made the children feel so at home, and did so much for them, that Russ and the others said they never had been ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Cousin Tom's • Laura Lee Hope

... better man being beaten, and fools rushing in where angels fear to tread. Such men as he is accept a sentence without disputing it, because they do not think too much of themselves while they think a great deal of other people. It is not a flaw in their sensitive manliness, it is part and parcel of it, to know when they are dismissed, and take the dismissal as final. They are not the most light-hearted and sanguine of mortals, but they are constant enough, and brave enough ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... going to tell you. Life, to me, is like this train, a lot of sections and a lot of couplings. When you're through with a car, side-track it and—yank out the coupling. Like all philosophies, this one has its flaw. Once in a while your soul looks out of the window and sees some long-forgotten, side-tracked car beckoning to be coupled on again. If you try to go back and pick it up, you're done. Never look back, boy; never look back. Live ahead even if you're ...
— Through stained glass • George Agnew Chamberlain

... it, for my ill-timed truth. Was it for me to prop The ruins of a falling majesty? To place myself beneath the mighty flaw, Thus to be crushed, and pounded into atoms, By its o'erwhelming weight? 'Tis too presuming For subjects to preserve that wilful power, Which courts its ...
— All for Love • John Dryden

... also many other precious stones. The king is reported to possess the grandest ruby that ever was seen, being a span in length, and the thickness of a man's arm, brilliant beyond description, and without a single flaw. The grand khan, Kublai, sent ambassadors to this monarch, with a request that he would yield to him possession of this ruby; in return for which he should receive the value of a city. The answer was that he would not sell it for all the treasure of the universe. The grand ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... children of fallen humanity. He has gone there as their surety-Saviour. If his suretyship be accepted—if He meet and fulfil all the requirements of an outraged law, the gates of the dismal prison-house will and must be opened. If, on the other hand, there be any flaw or deficiency in His person or work as the Kinsman-Redeemer, then no power can snap the chains which bind Him; the tomb will refuse to surrender what it has in custody; the hopes of His people must perish along with Him! ...
— Memories of Bethany • John Ross Macduff

... it! I don't believe it!" Jack broke out. "You'll find a flaw in his art, if you find a moral chaos in him. It ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... innovation; the foe to all convention." No less than of Burke, it was said of him that "born for the universe, he did not surrender to party," but General Longstreet declared of Robert Toombs that he needed only discipline to make him a great military genius. This was the radical flaw in his make-up. How near he came to the ideal of ...
— Robert Toombs - Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage • Pleasant A. Stovall

... vague liquid sound fell dulcetly on the ear, and by Miss Long and Miss Heatherton no flaw in this art criticism could be discerned. And the artist, glancing about him, saw with gratification that, in addition to the two young ladies, there had by some vague current of motion been swept into his immediate vicinity human flotsam to ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... this judgment of beauty should be compared Fornander's story of Kepakailiula, where "mother's brothers" search for a woman beautiful enough to wed their protege, but find a flaw in each candidate; and the episode of the match of beauty in ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... been told that "God" was wise to a finish,—from my birth until I was thirty-five years old,—when I saw that all work done by that law of power and wisdom was absolutely perfect in all its requirements. In vegetable life no power of human can detect a flaw or even suggest an additional leaf, limb or fruit. I had made a long study of minerology in which I found each stone or mettle was in a division of life that was its own, and no other stone could appear dressed in its garb, from the black silurian to the purely transparent ...
— Philosophy of Osteopathy • Andrew T. Still

... himself was somewhat chagrined when he learned of our failure to infect any one with mosquitoes, but, like a true believer, was inclined to attribute this negative result more to some defect in our technique than to any flaw in ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... taste she was still vigilant as to his interests—Virginia discovered a flaw in one of the plumes. The sylph in the trailing gown held volubly that it did not fait rien; the man with the open purse said he couldn't see that it figured much, but the small American held firm. That must be replaced by a perfect plume ...
— Lifted Masks - Stories • Susan Glaspell

... they had come hither. But when this fairest of the sisters led them through her palace and showed them all the treasures that were hers, envy grew in their hearts and choked their old love. Even while they sat at feast with her, they grew more and more bitter; and hoping to find some little flaw in her good fortune, they asked a ...
— Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew • Josephine Preston Peabody

... and the servants annoy, and our best-laid plans fall to pieces, and our castles in the air are dissipated like bubbles that break at a breath, then can we walk with God? That religion which fails us in the every-day trials and experiences of life has somewhere in it a flaw. It should be more than a plank to sustain us in the rushing tide, and land us exhausted and dripping on the other side. It ought, if it come from above, to be always, day by day, to our souls as the wings of a bird, bearing us away from and beyond the impediments which seek to hold us down. ...
— Daily Strength for Daily Needs • Mary W. Tileston

... Nelly's looks are blithe and sweet, And what is best of a', [all] Her reputation is complete, And fair without a flaw. ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... Uganda. "Oh yes! of course Bana wrote to Bana Mdogo" (the little master) "as soon as he arrived in Uganda and told him and Rumanika all about it." "Wrote! what does that mean?" and I was called upon to explain. Mtesa, then seeing a flaw in K'yengo's statements, called him a story-teller; ordered him and his party away, and bade ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... couldst not have had Othello's flaw, Not erred with Brutus,—greater, then, than those For all their nobleness. Oh, albeit with awe, Leave we the mighty phantoms and draw near The man that fashioned them and gave them law! The Master Poet found with scarce a peer In all the ages his domain to share, Yet of all singers gentlest ...
— More Songs From Vagabondia • Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey

... reality. He made the receivers and transmitters exactly as Mr. Bell requested; but on testing them out, great was the surprise of the inventor to find that his idea, so feasible in theory, refused to work. Nevertheless, his faith was not shaken. He insisted on trying to discover the flaw in his logic and correct it, and as Watson had now completed some work that he had been doing for Moses Farmer, the two began a series of experiments that ...
— Ted and the Telephone • Sara Ware Bassett

... the muster had been called and a psalm sung, and a prayer offered. They alternated thus throughout the twenty-four hours, each watch having four hours below, after four hours on deck, unless "some flaw of winde come, some storm or gust, or some accident that requires the help of all hands." In these cases the whole ship's company remained on deck until the work was done, or until the master discharged the watch below.[24] The decks were washed down by the swabbers ...
— On the Spanish Main - Or, Some English forays on the Isthmus of Darien. • John Masefield

... had been sent for by his dead relative to inquire into Milburgh's mode of living and that Milburgh was under suspicion of having robbed the firm. Suppose Milburgh had committed the crime? Suppose, to hide his defalcations, he had shot his employer dead? There was a flaw in this reasoning because the death of Thornton Lyne would be more likely to precipitate the discovery of the manager's embezzlements—there would be an examination of accounts and everything would come out. Milburgh himself was not unmindful ...
— The Daffodil Mystery • Edgar Wallace

... no. The astronaut fell victim to a psychological stress that was unforeseen. What he sent made no sense whatever. We blame the medical men for not finding the flaw in ...
— Ten From Infinity • Paul W. Fairman

... sawed a little wood or dug a few potatoes now and then under the pretence of working for their living, used to go and fish through the ice for pickerel every winter. And here those three young people were drowned, a few summers ago, by the upsetting of a sail-boat in a sudden flaw of wind. There is not one of these smiling ponds that has not devoured more youths and maidens than any of those monsters the ancients used to tell such lies about. But it was a pretty pond, and never ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... how the blessed sunlight had suffered dire eclipse;—so that the Earth revolved in a horror of great darkness. My faith however is not troubled,—nor even perplexed,—by the strangeness of these things. Shall I think it a mere matter of course that one little flaw in a pipe shall, in a second of time, transform the orderly well-compacted seats of a goodly Church to one unsightly mass of shapeless and disordered ruin[278]; and shall I pretend to stand aghast at the strangeness of a similar overthrow of this ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... defect, imperfection, failing, foible, shortcoming, blemish, flaw; demerit, dereliction, offense, indiscretion, lapse, delinquency. Antonyms: merit, perfection, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... might not have been, the knowledge remained with him that she herself had suspected and convicted him. In all that mattered their friendship had ended there. Distrust was unbearable between friends. It was a flaw in his little lady that she could believe him capable of baseness.... But not an unforgivable flaw, it would seem, since every hour that he had spent in her presence had become roses and music in his memory, and the thought ...
— Queed • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... my voice must have been drowned in the creaking of blocks and yards. They were alert enough for every chance of getting away—for every flaw of wind. Already the ship was less distinct, as if my eyes had grown dim. By the time a voice on board her cried, "Belay," faintly, she had gone from my sight. Then the puff of wind passed away, too, and left us more alone than ever, with only the small disk of the moon ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... mellowness of the country around the Bavarian lakes and the golden glow of the Wiener Wald. But across all this glory that I drank in leaning back on the comfortable seat in luxurious contentment, there steadily ran an ugly black spot—a flaw in the window-pane. That is the way my obstinate comrade flits across woods and walls, stands still when I stand still, dances over the faces of passers-by, over the asphalt paving wet from the rain, over everything my eyes happen to fall upon. He interposes himself between me and the world, ...
— Men in War • Andreas Latzko

... of reasoning," Cyril remarked. "There's scarcely a flaw in it, as you'll see by my account of the affair. After saying good-by to Prescott on the night I left the settlement, I went on until I was near the muskeg and had dismounted to camp when a stranger rode up. We sat talking for a while and I foolishly told him ...
— Prescott of Saskatchewan • Harold Bindloss

... particular cases, it was not better to cripple the easy, irresponsible, and delightfully casual social instincts of the House of Seagrave. Educated according to my own ideas, they must inevitably have become, in a measure, types of the set with which they are identified.... And the only serious flaw ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... the old Polynesian paradise—a world seemingly without flaw except the subtle one of being too perfect, too welcoming, too wooing. Its long, uneventful, unchanging days enticed forgetfulness, offered a life without ...
— Key Out of Time • Andre Alice Norton

... carried the affair so far with a for him—commendable lightness of touch, he should be at a loss for a delicate word to convey a harsh accusation began to anger him. And once Garnache began to be angered, the rest followed quickly. It was just that flaw in his character that had been the ruin of him, that had blighted what otherwise might have been a brilliant career. Astute and wily as a fox, brave as a lion, and active as a panther, gifted with intelligence, insight and ...
— St. Martin's Summer • Rafael Sabatini

... she saw Than ever yet had charmed her eyes, A fairer picture, void of flaw, Than any, ...
— Fringilla: Some Tales In Verse • Richard Doddridge Blackmore

... laud him as unequalled; why should not Paradoxus displace him and be praised in like manner? It would be unfair, perhaps, to say that the paradoxist consciously argues thus. He doubtless in most instances convinces himself that he has really detected some flaw in the theory of gravitation. Yet it is impossible not to recognise, as the real motive of every paradox-monger, the desire to have that said of him which has been said of ...
— Myths and Marvels of Astronomy • Richard A. Proctor

... his mind had thrown up against the grievous flaw in his character, which made him feel uncertain of himself when he should have felt strong and capable, crumbled away completely. He could no longer pretend, no longer deceive himself. He hated his father because the elder Burnett had never known a moment of profound self-distrust ...
— Rescue Squad • Thomas J. O'Hara

... lightning; and he still saw it, as one seems still to see the object in the after-darkness. Every line of the features lived in his eyes, even an almost indistinguishable scar there was on the girl's right cheek near the temple. It was not a flaw, that faint scar; it seemed somehow to heighten her loveliness, as an accent over a word sometimes gives it one knows not ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... than ten seconds after I had unpacked it from its wrappings of tissue paper, I took it to the open window and had the satisfaction of seeing it shattered to atoms on the pavement). But stay! I perceive a possible flaw in my argument. Perhaps you were guided in your choice by a definite wish to insult me. I am sure, on reflection, that this was so. I shall not forget. Yours, etc., ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... up to him, shook him cordially by the hand, and led him up to the assembled guests. "My daughter—Miss Quirk; Mrs. Alderman Addlehead; Mrs. Deputy Diddle-daddle; Mrs. Alias, my sister;—Mr. Alderman Addlehead; Mr. Deputy Diddle-daddle; Mr. Bluster; Mr. Slang; Mr. Hug; Mr. Flaw; Mr. Viper; Mr. Ghastly; Mr. Gammon you know." Miss Quirk was about four or five and twenty—a fat young lady, with flaxen hair curled formally all over her head and down to her shoulders; so that she very much resembled one of those great wax dolls seen ...
— Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. • Samuel Warren

... leetle more is so easily carried up into the garden; and a beet of nice strong wire might so easily be found in a cellar, and afterwards in the lock! No, Senhor Cole, I do not expect to 'ang. My schims have seldom one seengle flaw. There was just one in the Lady Jermyn; there was—Senhor Cole! If there is one this time, and you will be so kind as to point it out, I will—I will run the reesk of ...
— Dead Men Tell No Tales • E. W. Hornung

... surface. Two causes have co-operated to produce the illusion. Everybody agrees that Great Britain has acted in a most blackguardly fashion towards Ireland; everybody assumes that blackguardism always succeeds in this world, therefore Ireland is a failure. The only flaw in this syllogism is that it is in direct conflict with every known fact. For the rest we have to thank or blame the sentimentalism of Mr Matthew Arnold. His proud but futile Celts who "went down to battle but always fell" ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... kind of supernatural character. It is true that blessings, equally with afflictions, come from Heaven; but this truth is not so generally felt. A sharp disappointment will suddenly drive us to God. The mariner of life sails, unthinking, over its prosperous seas, but a flaw of storm will bring him to his prayers. And religion, reason as we will, is peculiarly associated with affliction. And does not sorrow possess this supernatural air, not merely because it interrupts the usual order ...
— The Crown of Thorns - A Token for the Sorrowing • E. H. Chapin

... a flaw somewhere in the argument, but I only said, "'Valeat quantum valere potest.'" Bez looked solemn; a little Latin goes a long way with some people. He was an object of charity, and I made ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... himself. Men are merciful to him, and let him alone, for if he be once driven from his humour, he is like two inward friends fallen out: his own bitter enemy and discontent presently makes a murder. In sum, he is a bladder blown up with wind, which the least flaw crushes ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... with it does not end here. The flaw runs through the whole constitution of things; there is no possible equation between the anomalies and dislocations on which he turns the dry light of that sceptical philosophy which has usurped the place ...
— The Contemporary Review, January 1883 - Vol 43, No. 1 • Various

... if the train is stopped from some trivial motive it will be found either that the strength of the necessary influences has been miscalculated, or that the man has been miscalculated, in the same way as an engine may break down from an unsuspected flaw; but even in such a case there will have been no spontaneity; the action will have had its true parental causes: spontaneity is only a term for ...
— Erewhon • Samuel Butler

... the goddess of wisdom, had a character without a flaw, and ranked with Apollo in wisdom. She even expostulated with Zeus himself when he was wrong. But on the other hand she had few attractive feminine qualities, ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... over the embryo or a vessel over its cargo. Parent and offspring are like successive copies of books printed from the same "type." A battered letter in the "type" will display its effects in both earlier and later copies alike, but a purely extraneous or acquired flaw in the first copy is not necessarily repeated in subsequent copies. Unlike printer's type, however, the material source of heredity is of a fluctuating nature, consisting of competing elements derived from two parents and from ...
— Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited? - An Examination of the View Held by Spencer and Darwin • William Platt Ball

... Majesty's reception of these poor people could not but be good; nothing now wanting in the formal kind. But better far, in all the essentialities of it, there had not been hitherto, nor was henceforth, the least flaw. This Salzburg Pilgrimage has found for itself, and will find, regulation, guidance, ever a stepping-stone at the needful place; a paved road, so far as human regularity and punctuality could pave one. That is his Majesty's shining merit. "Next Sunday, after sermon, they [this first lot of Salzburgers] ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... wisdom which had enabled him to live through all the perils of a well-known trout-stream and grow to his present fame and stature. Behind that red hackle which hooked him in his youth had been a good rod, a crafty head, and a skilful wrist. His hour had sounded then and there, but for a fortunate flaw in the tackle. The leader had parted just at the drop, and the terrified trout (he had taken the tail fly) had darted away frantically through the rapids with three feet of fine gut trailing from his jaw. For several weeks ...
— The Watchers of the Trails - A Book of Animal Life • Charles G. D. Roberts

... these worthies on this occasion—whether the attorney really persuaded Jack that, if he set about it, he would undertake to find him a flaw in his contract with Squire Bull, which would enable him to take the matter of the usherships into his own hand, and to do as he pleased; or whether Jack—as he seemed afterwards to admit in private—believed nothing of what the attorney told him, but was ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... tall ones, about an inch in diameter, and taking care that they tapered as little and as regularly as possible. Cutting them off at both ends and leaving them about fifteen feet in length, he next cut three or four small canes, very long and green ones, without flaw. ...
— Captain Sam - The Boy Scouts of 1814 • George Cary Eggleston

... this moment, and the mention of this last point, Cosmo had believed Mr. Burns an immaculate tradesman, but here the human gem was turned at that angle to the light which revealed the flaw in it. There are tradesmen not a few, irreproachable in regard to money, who are not so in regard to the quality of their wares in relation to the price: they take and do not give the advantage of their superior knowledge; and well can I imagine how such ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... the general good health upon which vitality depends, unless the intestinal tract is in a healthy and vigorous condition, so that the functions of this particular part of the body- machine may be performed without a flaw. The entire digestive system may be compared to a boiler supplying the energy by which the ...
— Vitality Supreme • Bernarr Macfadden

... he was suited to the delicate and responsible post he was sent to fulfil. In fact, all his actions prove him to have been without an atom of tact, judgment, or administrative quality, and his nature had a big unsympathetic flaw in it. The fact is, there are indications that his nature was warped from the beginning, and that he was just the very kind of man who ought never to have been sent to a post of such varied responsibilities. His appointment shows how ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... he said was not free from consciousness of self, from that perpetual presence of self to self which is common enough in men of great ability and ambition, and yet never ceases to be a flaw; but he said it soberly enough; there ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... suspense indeed for a last "curtain" but one; and my fancy glows, all expertly, for the disclosure of the final scene, than which nothing could well have been happier, on all the premises, save for a single flaw: the installation in Forty-fourth Street of our admirable aunt, often, through the later years, domiciled there, but now settled to community of life with a touching charge and representing near him his extinguished, ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... in establishing an alternative theory, this man is lost. You can hardly find a flaw in the case which can now be presented against him, and all further investigation has served to strengthen it. By the way, there is one curious little point about those papers which may serve us as the starting-point for an inquiry. On looking over the bank-book I found that the ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes • Arthur Conan Doyle

... holder, whether it contains air or gas, first all the likely spots (joints, &c.), then the entire length of pipe is carefully brushed over with strong soapy water, which will produce a conspicuous "soap- bubble" wherever the smallest flaw occurs. The tightness of a system of pipes put under pressure from a loaded holder cannot be ascertained safely by observing the height of the bell, and noting if it falls on standing. Even if there is no issue of gas from the holder, the position of the bell will alter with ...
— Acetylene, The Principles Of Its Generation And Use • F. H. Leeds and W. J. Atkinson Butterfield

... stiletto type than the dagger. An inscription ran lengthwise down the steel, which was of a distinct bluish tinge where it was not darkly stained. About an inch from the tip a tiny triangular nick had been made in one of the sharp edges, the only flaw in the weapon's perfection. Creighton looked up from it to meet ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... Debt? What about that little lyric on Winchelsea that you thought of writing six years ago? Why are the few lines still in your head and not on paper? Because you can't begin. However, never mind, you can't help it, it's your one great flaw, and it's fatal. Look at Jones! Younger than you by half a year, and already on the Evening Yankee taking bribes from Company Promoters! And where are ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... pieces of news to give you, Eliza. In the first place it has been discovered that there was a very serious flaw in the title to Fairclose, and that the sale to me was altogether illegal. Mr. Hartington has behaved most kindly and generously in the matter, but the result is he comes back to Fairclose and we ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... goods in addition to her dower. The case goes against her in the Court of Husting, and is heard on appeal before the king's justiciar sitting at St. Martin's-le-Grand. The verdict is not set aside, but some flaw is discovered in the mode of procedure; the explanation of the citizens is deemed insufficient, and the mayor and sheriffs are forthwith deposed, to be reinstated only on the understanding that they will ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... be a very long time before the inquest was over, and Aunt Jane had almost yielded to her niece's impatience and her own, and consented to walk down to meet the intelligence, when Fergus came tearing in, 'I've seen the rock, and there is a flaw of crystal- lisation in it! And the coroner-man called me ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... "When a flaw or puff comes," Dory continued, "it changes the course of the boat. The helm has to be shifted to meet this change. Almost always the tiller has to be carried to the weather side of the boat. Do you know which the weather side of the boat is, fellows?" ...
— All Adrift - or The Goldwing Club • Oliver Optic

... a man to accept the hazy modern notion that the soul in its highest sense can change: he seems to have held that religion can never get any better and that poetry rather tends to get worse. But he did not see the flaw in his political theory; which is that unless the soul improves with time there is no guarantee that the accumulations of experience will be adequately used. Figures do not add themselves up; birds do not label or stuff themselves; ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... The fatal flaw of magic lies not in its general assumption of a sequence of events determined by law, but in its total misconception of the nature of the particular laws which govern that sequence. If we analyse the various cases of sympathetic magic which have been passed in review in the preceding ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... talking of their former life as of something long gone by, saying to each other now and then, "Do you remember?" What is talked of in that way assumes unwonted proportions and appears to be without flaw. ...
— Lisbeth Longfrock • Hans Aanrud

... at the maestro's windows. 'Hark! it is her voice,' he said, and drew up his clenched fists with rage, as if pumping. 'Cold as ice! Not a flaw. She is a lantern with no light in it—crystal, if you like. Hark now at Irma, the stork-neck. Aie! what a long way it is from your throat to your head, Mademoiselle Irma! You were reared upon lemons. The split hair of your mural crown is not thinner than ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... hands, the fluttering at her throat. He endured it for a time, but broke out savagely at last. "You'd be perfect then—as lovely as ever any woman—why, you're perfect now! And yet without that one flaw where would you be? You'd not be married ...
— The Sagebrusher - A Story of the West • Emerson Hough

... first physicians are usually summoned to the bedside of some dying man of rank;—the doctors to take the advantage of some incalculable chance of an exertion of nature—the lawyers to avail themselves of the barely possible occurrence of some legal flaw. Edward pressed into the court, which was extremely crowded; but by his arriving from the north, and his extreme eagerness and agitation, it was supposed he was a relation of the prisoners, and people made way for him. It was the ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... that is, not by reason of any deficiency, or by what it is not, but evil by what it is in itself. Such an essential, positive evil in human nature would vengeance be, a natural thing for which there was no natural use, unless punishment may in some measure be retributive. We cannot admit such a flaw in nature. All healthy philosophy goes on the principle, that what is natural is so far forth good. Otherwise we lapse into Manicheism, pessimism, scepticism, abysses beyond the reach of argument. Vengeance ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... law which reduced the hours of daily labour from fifteen to twelve has not reduced wages, the proposition that every reduction of the hours of labour must necessarily reduce wages is a false proposition. There is evidently some flaw in that demonstration which my honourable friend thinks so complete; and what the flaw is we may perhaps discover if we look at the analogous case to which ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... elated, exalted. It would not have taken a close observer to decide that in his devotion there was no element of the spurious and in his happiness, no flaw. As for Armitage, unseeing, but sensing clearly the drift of things, his eyes were grimly fixed ahead, the muscles of his jaws bulging in knots on either side. This chauffeur business, he felt, was ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... he was unable. To return He sought, but could not find the way. Alone He was, and in perplexity, because His huntsmen he no longer could descry. Then, wandering to and fro, he found at last A pleasure garden of the days gone by, Belonging to King Lila, beautiful And without flaw. He was astonished quite When he perceived a palace. All alone He found himself, when he had entered there. He walked about, but found no living soul. Unto himself he said: "Can this domain A habitation be of demons dread And spirits? Can this be the cause of all The solitude ...
— Malayan Literature • Various Authors



Words linked to "Flaw" :   imperfectness, hamartia, failing, glitch, blister, damage, weakness, imperfection, hole, bug



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