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Possibility   /pˌɑsəbˈɪləti/   Listen
Possibility

noun
(pl. possibilities)
1.
A future prospect or potential.
2.
Capability of existing or happening or being true.  Synonym: possibleness.
3.
A tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena.  Synonyms: hypothesis, theory.  "He proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"
4.
A possible alternative.  Synonyms: opening, possible action.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Possibility" Quotes from Famous Books



... Hindustan and Indian political literature generally, shows that most of the leaders of public opinion among your people no longer attach any significance to the religious teachings that were and are professed by the peoples of India, and recognize no possibility of freeing the people from the oppression they endure except by adopting the irreligious and profoundly immoral social arrangements under which the English and other pseudo-Christian ...
— A Letter to a Hindu • Leo Tolstoy

... ask questions of the miracules or of the other doctors. The certificates of the sick were read aloud. I may observe, too, that if there was any doubt as to the certificates, if there was any question of a merely nervous malady, any conceivable possibility of a mistake, the case was dismissed abruptly. These certificates, then, given by the doctor attending the sick person, dated and signed, are of the utmost importance; for without them no cure is registered. Yet, in spite of these demands, I saw again and again sixty or seventy men, ...
— Lourdes • Robert Hugh Benson

... entrance-hall, which, in consequence of having only one small narrow window, with a clipped yew-tree before it, was extremely dark and gloomy. The walls were covered with sombre tapestry, and on entering, Mistress Nutter not only carefully closed the door, but drew the arras before it, so as to prevent the possibility of their conversation being heard outside. These precautions taken, she motioned the magistrate to a chair, and ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... with relief. In spite of her determination that this must be a letter from a priest, there had still thrust itself before her mind the possibility that it might be that other letter whose coming she had feared. She had told herself fiercely as she came downstairs just now, that it could not be. No news was come from Fotheringay all the winter; it was common knowledge that her Grace had a priest of ...
— Come Rack! Come Rope! • Robert Hugh Benson

... the only certain combination with which to secure three tricks, but these cards, again, are seldom met with in a hand, and speculation is once more the principal matter for consideration. Ace, knave, and ten of a suit is generally good for three tricks, as the only possibility against such a combination is that one of the other players holds king or queen of the same suit, with a smaller trump to throw away when the ace is led. Three tricks are, however, often called on much lower cards than ace, knave, ten, especially when the ...
— Round Games with Cards • W. H. Peel

... these last words a little gasp came in her breath, and her heart quailed in realising the possibility of which she had spoken. Her own angry words had diverted her attention from questioning the reasonableness of the new faith to the fearful contemplation of what might be ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... girls and boys that each knew; the day's happenings at factory and express office; next Wednesday night's dance up in the Chute; and always the possibility of Chuck's leaving the wagon and assuming the ...
— Half Portions • Edna Ferber

... of history. In the first, the seed was sown in a field of blood indeed, yet was it the seed of all that is vital in the present period. By Napoleon the career was really laid open to talent, and all that is really great in France now consists in the possibility that talent finds of struggling to ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... possibility of verbal exaggeration, and last night's tragedy is one of that class. General ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... sometimes by half a dozen, of their small darky followers. Shoes were taken off the first of April. For a time a pair of old woolen stockings were worn, but these soon disappeared, leaving the feet bare for the summer. One of their dreads was the possibility of sticking a rusty nail into the foot, as this was liable to cause lockjaw, a malady regarded with awe and terror. They knew what lockjaw was—Uncle John Quarles's black man, Dan, was subject to it. ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... they should go for the day, what should be eaten and drunk, any point about politics or fashion, life or literature or what not, that happened to be discussed. And he looked upon Donald's monosyllabic reply to his inquiry as a final judgment, ending all possibility of argument. Mildred held out long. Then, in spite of herself, she began to yield, ceased to dislike him, found a kind of pleasure—or, perhaps, fascinated interest—in the nervousness his silent and indifferent presence caused her. She liked to watch that immobile, ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... me an answer before you go!" he said eagerly. "Is there any possibility—in spite of my handicap?" And then he felt that his heart had, for a moment, ceased to beat. He forgot where he was. The chatter of the crowd was nothing to him; ...
— The Day of Judgment • Joseph Hocking

... spite of her better worldly condition. For Garson, who had saved her from death, she felt a strong and lasting gratitude—nothing that relieved the longing for nobler affections. There was none other with whom she had any intimacy except that, of a sort, with Aggie Lynch, and by no possibility could the adventuress serve as an object of deep regard. The girl was amusing enough, and, indeed, a most likable person at her best. But she was, after all, a shallow-pated individual, without a shred of principle of any sort whatsoever, ...
— Within the Law - From the Play of Bayard Veiller • Marvin Dana

... misery. I had hoped and expected much, for months before, but my hopes and expectations were now withered and blasted. The ever dreaded slave life in Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama—from which escape is next to impossible now, in my loneliness, stared me in the face. The possibility of ever becoming anything but an abject slave, a mere machine in the hands of an owner, had now fled, and it seemed to me it had fled forever. A life of living death, beset with the innumerable horrors of the cotton ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... light-heartedly and allowed it to swell his sail and his self-love. He did not like ill-tempered people, people who frowned or were discontented or gloomy. Having a good digestion, he could not understand the possibility of disordered stomachs. A free-liver, he could not realize that hungry people should ever think of better food. Everything was good; everything was right; everything was beautiful. Of an admirably tranquil disposition, he felt neither anger nor envy. Thinking himself superior to every one else, ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... palate should have been trained to open widely and to bear manipulation, without reflex action being excited. Professor Billroth of Vienna,[120] and Mr. Thomas Smith[121] of London, have had cases which prove the possibility of performing this operation in childhood, under chloroform, with the assistance, in the English cases, of a suitable gag, invented by Mr. Smith. The effect of the operation on the voice of the child has ...
— A Manual of the Operations of Surgery - For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners • Joseph Bell

... one doesn't like to think about." He moistened his lips, continuing with difficulty. "She may have been decoyed and robbed, or—or even something much worse. It's no good shutting one's eyes to the possibility ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... income by having Coulson and Hepburn for lodgers. No; John and Jeremiah would leave all their money to some hospital or to some charitable institution. But, of course, there was a reply to this; when are there not many sides to an argument about a possibility concerning which no facts are known? Part of the reply turned on this: the old gentlemen had, probably, some deep plan in their heads in permitting their cousin to take Coulson and Hepburn as lodgers, the one a kind of nephew, the other, though so young, the head man in the shop; if either of ...
— Sylvia's Lovers — Complete • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... is possible to compose a Latin distich of the greatest beauty without knowing either the Latin language or prosody. We must examine the possibility and the impossibility, and afterwards see who is the man who says he is the author of the distich, for there are extraordinary people in the world. My brother, in short, ought to have composed the distich, because he says ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... accustomed to bask upon a mud bank at the foot of the cotton plantation. On the day following our arrival at the Atbara, we found that our camel-drivers had absconded during the night with their camels; these were the men who had been forced to serve by the Governor of Cassala. There was no possibility of proceeding for some days, therefore I sent El Baggar across the river to endeavour to engage camels, while I devoted myself to a search for the crocodile. I shortly discovered that it was unfair in the extreme to charge ...
— The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia • Samuel W. Baker

... denunciation upon yourself and me. Nor do I see the way through and beyond that. But there will be some way through. I grant, then, that, for yourself and me, it is wise and profitable that you leave. I must be left without the possibility of restoration, without a defender, without an organ. Nothing else will satisfy those who think they are shaded. Then, and not until then, shall I have passed through the not unreasonable punishment ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... superstition seems to denote an excess. But religion admits of no excess, since, as stated above (Q. 81, A. 5, ad 3), there is no possibility of rendering to God, by religion, the equal of what we owe Him. Therefore superstition is not a vice contrary ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... it, may also be acquired, at least to a certain extent, by almost any one who makes a consistent and intelligent attempt in this direction. It is this latter fact which may encourage those of us who are not naturally as gifted along these lines as we should like to be, and it is because of this possibility of acquiring what in conducting amounts to an indispensable qualification that an attempt is here made to analyze the thing called leadership into ...
— Essentials in Conducting • Karl Wilson Gehrkens

... not wholly a fool if I was so well satisfied with my own smartness. My success in settling Mr. Chester Downes had of course given me an inflated opinion of myself; but I knew better than to overlook the possibility of my cousin being able to do me some mean trick, especially with the help of the two fellows ...
— Swept Out to Sea - Clint Webb Among the Whalers • W. Bertram Foster

... notwithstanding its dreary, artificial style, to be highly appreciated in other countries, in South American countries especially. The secret of its appeal lies largely in this, that in Harvey Birch, a brave man who serves his country without hope or possibility of reward, Cooper has strongly portrayed a type of the highest, the most ...
— Outlines of English and American Literature • William J. Long

... seemed preposterous. Experience and intelligence combined to assure me that there could be no slightest grain of truth or possibility in your wild tale—it was ...
— Pellucidar • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... barn-yard has been filled, and to renew old intimacies by new conviviality. But in very truth he also came to have an eye upon the contents of each stack, and to obtain such information respecting the extent of the crop reaped and gathered in by each feuar, as might prevent the possibility ...
— The Monastery • Sir Walter Scott

... for taking off his head. A more prudent captain would have realized that Encisco with his trained mouth could do very much more harm to him in Spain than he could in Darien. Balboa thought to nullify that possibility, however, by sending Valdivia, with a present, to Hispaniola, and Zamudio {32} with the Bachelor to Spain to lay the state of affairs before the King. Encisco was a much better advocate than Balboa's friend Zamudio, and ...
— South American Fights and Fighters - And Other Tales of Adventure • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... hills, creep up through the scrub until they were within a short distance of the camp, and then overwhelm the marines in a sudden rush-assault. They were known to have six thousand regulars at Guantanamo city, only about fifteen miles away, and it was quite within the bounds of possibility that they might detach a large part of this force for offensive operations on the eastern side of the lower bay. To provide for this contingency, and to strengthen his defensive position, Lieutenant-Colonel ...
— Campaigning in Cuba • George Kennan

... Jonathan next produced his lantern, and, hastening towards the window, undrew a bolt by which it was fastened. A stout wooden shutter, opening inwardly, being removed, disclosed a grating of iron bars. This obstacle, which appeared to preclude the possibility of egress in that quarter, was speedily got rid of. Withdrawing another bolt, and unhooking a chain suspended from the top of the casement, Jonathan pushed the iron framework outwards. The bars dropped noiselessly and slowly down, till the chain tightened ...
— Jack Sheppard - A Romance • William Harrison Ainsworth

... to religion. We are on the eve of the greatest event of this century. When I wake in the morning, I always fancy that I have heard of it only in dreams. And many—all this room—will not believe in the possibility of its happening. They smile when the contingency is alluded to, and if I were not present they would mock. But it will happen—I am assured it will happen," exclaimed Lady St. Jerome, speaking with earnestness, though in a hushed ...
— Lothair • Benjamin Disraeli

... laws of God and man, ought to have been the third at their fireside—who had been for years a vagrant and an outcast, and was now the inmate of a murderer's cell. Innocent perhaps—and it was strange how that possibility seemed slowly but surely to grow in both their minds; shadowing over, and promising by-and-by to dim in their remembrance the hideous ...
— A Canadian Heroine, Volume 2 - A Novel • Mrs. Harry Coghill

... are unanimously of the opinion that in a republic the foundation of the state is very apt to be shaken and the policy of the government to be changed; and that consequently there is no possibility of enjoying everlasting peace and prosperity, nor any hope for the nation to become powerful. Now that the form of the state has been decided in favour of a monarchy and the person who is to sit on the Throne agreed upon, the ...
— The Fight For The Republic In China • B.L. Putnam Weale

... through his whole life to write a perfect song, and, in my opinion at least, never once succeeded; not better than Pope did in a St. Cecilian ode. I doubt whether we have not gone a long, long way beyond the possibility of writing a good song. All the words in the language have been so often employed on simple images (without which such a song cannot be good), and such reams of bad verses have been produced in that kind, that I question whether true simplicity ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... came a revulsion. Suppose he had killed her, and had to go into penal servitude for the rest of his life for it! Had such a possibility come into his life? Might it happen in the future? No! no! no! How strange that Angelika should have wounded him! How frightful her state of mind must be when she could think so odiously of absolutely innocent people; ...
— Absalom's Hair • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... also fixed. But fixed or not, these subjective states form a phenomenal condition necessarily preceding the facts; necessarily constitutive, therefore, of the truth M x which we seek. If, however, free acts be possible, a faith in their possibility, by augmenting the moral energy which gives them birth, will increase their ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... raise alarm throughout the church, promulgate their intention to change the Augsburg Confession, and act in such a manner as if their views in regard to the so-called errors of the Augsburg Confession were absolutely above all possibility of error." p. 13. This objection is probably based on a want of acquaintance with the history of our church in this country, if it is designed to refer particularly to the Definite Platform; which would be excuseable ...
— American Lutheranism Vindicated; or, Examination of the Lutheran Symbols, on Certain Disputed Topics • Samuel Simon Schmucker

... moved impatiently. It was certain he was referring to the absent wife. The idea of Louise committing such a crime, or being able to commit it, was ridiculous. The Coroner presently stated that he had only asked the question so as to remove this possibility from consideration. ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... by preference to this village of Srignan?—for he did not go thither without making some inquiries as to the possibility of obtaining shelter elsewhere, and the Carpentras cemetery had tempted him also; but what had particularly seduced and drawn him thither was the nearness of the mountain with its Mediterranean flora, so rich that ...
— Fabre, Poet of Science • Dr. G.V. (C.V.) Legros

... that there did not live two men of such commanding ways as he had seen instanced at Roccaleone. What was his object there? Was it love of Valentina, or was it——? He paused, as in his mind he made a swift review of the politics of Babbiano. A sudden possibility occurred to him that made his eyes sparkle and his hands tremble with eagerness. Was this but a political scheme to undermine his cousin's throne, to which Gonzaga had heard it rumoured that Francesco del Falco was an aspirant? If it were so, what a vengeance would ...
— Love-at-Arms • Raphael Sabatini

... the stones at bottom, or from the hazy atmosphere. There were green shrubs down to the water's edge in one place, and nothing to give an idea of any thing blasting in the neighbourhood of the sea; the desert character of the soil extending far beyond the possibility of ...
— Palestine or the Holy Land - From the Earliest Period to the Present Time • Michael Russell

... winter edible twig and leaf, roots and nuts for the brute kind that turns the soil with the nose, such putting of all food whatsoever out of reach of mouth or hoof or snout—brings these creatures face to face with the possibility of starving: they know it and are silent with apprehension of their peril; know it perhaps by the survival of prehistoric memories reverberating as instinct still. And there is another possible prong of truth to this repression of their characteristic cries at ...
— The Reign of Law - A Tale of the Kentucky Hemp Fields • James Lane Allen

... day-light, and because they demand early rising. The nearer that other amusements approach to these, the better they are. A town-life, which many persons are compelled, by the nature of their calling, to lead, precludes the possibility of pursuing amusements of this description to any very considerable extent; and young men in towns are, generally speaking, compelled to choose between books on the one hand, or gaming and the play-house on the other. Dancing is at once rational and healthful: it gives animal spirits: ...
— Advice to Young Men • William Cobbett

... He stood at the head of the casket and once or twice nearly broke down. It was in that address, standing there in the presence of death, that he expressed some doubts as to the truth of his own teaching and intimated the possibility of some life beyond the grave. This was the only public occasion of which I have any knowledge in which Robert G. Ingersoll seemed to falter ...
— Fifty Years of Public Service • Shelby M. Cullom

... good work, is both real and romantic. It is real because he sees and feels very swiftly and keenly; it is romantic, again, because he has a sharp eye for the reality of romance, for the attraction and possibility of adventure, and because he is young. If a reader wants to see petty characters displayed in all their meannesses, if this be realism, surely certain of Mr. Kipling's painted and frisky matrons are realistic enough. The seamy side of Anglo-Indian life: the intrigues, amorous or semi-political—the ...
— Essays in Little • Andrew Lang

... the bay along the strip of Moro coast in Northern Mindanao; but the throbbing of her engines growing weaker and weaker, she would presently turn back faint-hearted, unable to make headway, at the mercy of a sudden storm, and with the possibility of being swept up on a hostile shore among bloodthirsty and unreasonable Moros. Another time, and we were caught in a typhoon off the north coast. We thought, of course, our little ship was stanch, until we asked the captain his opinion. "If the engines ...
— The Great White Tribe in Filipinia • Paul T. Gilbert

... happened, or as possible and more or less probable. The Author must be permitted, however, to say here, in his personal character, and as responsible to the students of the human mind and body, that since this story has been in progress he has received the most startling confirmation of the possibility of the existence of a character like that which he had drawn as a purely imaginary conception in ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... time after time, so through the ghost of the unquiet father the image of the unliving son looks forth. In the intense instant of imagination, when the mind, Shelley says, is a fading coal, that which I was is that which I am and that which in possibility I may come to be. So in the future, the sister of the past, I may see myself as I sit here now but by reflection from that which then ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... over us, are His ways and thoughts to us. We lie beneath the heavens like some foul bog full of black ooze, rotten earth and putrid water, where there is nothing green or fair. But the promise of the bending heavens, with their sweet influences, declares the possibility of reclaiming even that waste, and making it rejoice and blossom as the rose. Spread yourselves out, dear friends, in lowly submission and penitent acknowledgment beneath the all-vivifying mercy of that shining ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... heard, and then reference was made to the detachment of the Connaught Rangers stationed at Galway, and the possibility of their giving a dance was eagerly discussed. Mr. Ryan had a word to say anent the hunting prospect, and, when May Gould declared she was going to ride straight and not miss a meet, she completed the conquest of Mr. Scully, and encouraging glances were exchanged between them until ...
— Muslin • George Moore

... was still very faint; her lost purse did not trouble her; even Lovedy became but a distant possibility; all was rest and peace, and that dreadful day when she thought her heavenly Guide had forsaken her had vanished ...
— The Children's Pilgrimage • L. T. Meade

... went on. But our journey was to be very different now. There was no possibility of taking much baggage with us. We took a few things out of our suit-cases and disposed them about us ...
— Jacqueline of Golden River • H. M. Egbert

... be something organically wrong with him which the shock would irritate into fatal illness. But even while he thought this he sneered at himself for the weakness. A weakness self-confessed holds the possibility of strength. So in a few days he rallied and took up the burden of his life again. As before he had found relief in study, now he stilled his pains and misgivings by a strict attention to the work which ...
— The Uncalled - A Novel • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... decidedly. He was merely on the footing of friendship. I urged it was akin to love. She allowed she might marry the Duke, only she had at present not the least intention that way. Is this frank admission more favourable for the Duke than an absolute protestation against the possibility of such a marriage? I think not. It is the fashion to attend Mrs. Coutts' parties and to abuse her. I have always found her a kind, friendly woman, without either affectation or insolence in the display of her wealth, ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... Jemima's presence. She wondered in her heart if she dared to ask Miss Bradshaw to accompany them in their expedition. Eighteen months ago she would have urged it on her friend with soft, loving entreaty; now she was afraid even to propose it as a hard possibility; everything she did or said was taken so wrongly—seemed to add to the old dislike, or the later stony contempt with which Miss Bradshaw had regarded her. While they were in this way Mr Bradshaw came into the room. ...
— Ruth • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... themselves are extremely defective in many articles, which I take to be one ill effect of our best possession, liberty. Some years ago, the ambassador of a great prince was arrested,[4] and outrages committed on his person in our streets, without any possibility of redress from Westminster-Hall, or the prerogative of the sovereign; and the legislature was forced to provide a remedy against the like evils in times to come. A commissioner of the stamped paper[5] was lately ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... coaches: disobeying whom they ate and drank all kinds of things contrary to law, no one being willing to exert himself for that which seemed to be honourable, and calculating that the present abstention from pastry was not equivalent to the possibility of being bumped in the future about as much and not less than if he had smoked three pipes and a cheroot. And not only was injustice prevalent among those who were as yet in good health, but many of those in the ships, being or seeming to ...
— The Casual Ward - academic and other oddments • A. D. Godley

... relinquish; henceforward no one religious party was to be permitted to dictate to the other by means of its invariable superiority. And in truth, if the evangelical religion was really to be represented in the Diet, it was self-evident that it must not be shut out from the possibility of making use of that privilege, merely from the constitution of the Diet itself. Complaints of the judicial usurpations of the Aulic Council, and of the oppression of the Protestants, accompanied this demand, and the deputies of the Estates were instructed ...
— The History of the Thirty Years' War • Friedrich Schiller, Translated by Rev. A. J. W. Morrison, M.A.

... this plan and have formed another. If this affair was hurried, it was because that is the way in which Napoleon acts, and it seemed to me best to seize the favorable moment. I have the most profound conviction of having been of service to my sovereign on this occasion; and if by any possibility I have had the misfortune to displease him by the course that I took in perfect sincerity, His Majesty can disavow it, but in that case I ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... a horse, and such like; instead of that beautiful interest in wild tales which made the child a man, while all the time he suspected himself to be no bigger than a child. Science has succeeded to poetry no less in the little walks of children than with men. Is there no possibility of averting this sore evil? Think what you would have been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives' fables in childhood, you had been crammed with ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... enchanter upon the Valley of the Mississippi, and conjures it up to the understanding and the feeling of the reader, with far more certain and more concentrated and striking effect than if it were painted on canvas, or modeled in wax, these pigeons form a feature in it which no one who knows can by possibility forget. It is probable that the multitudes may not be more numerous than those of the petrels in Bass's Strait, of which Captain Flinders—who also was a kind of Wilson in his way—gives a graphic description. But vast as the multitude of these was, it was only as a passing cloud to the captain; ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... men called alchemists, whom other men have mocked because they sought to transmute baser metals into gold. Do you think they sought what was impossible? Nothing is impossible! They dimly discerned the possibility. And it may be that their ears had caught the legend of what has been known ...
— Caves of Terror • Talbot Mundy

... Chinese prince, or a prime minister, will extort the property of the subject, and apply it to his private use, whenever he thinks he can do it with impunity. The only check upon the rapacity of men in power is the influence of fear, arising from the possibility of detection: the love of honour, the dread of shame, and a sense of justice, seem to be equally unfelt by the majority of men ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... McDougall, which came a few weeks after the preacher's return from Saint Louis. McDougall he knew well by reputation, having heard about him from every Cummings man who unpacked samples in Delafield. And to be invited to Saint Louis by the great man, with the possibility of "an opening, ultimately, in our sales force," was a surprise as interesting as it was unexpected. Naturally, J.W. could not know how much careful investigation had preceded the writing of that letter. The Cummings Corporation did not act on impulse. But he would have accepted the invitation ...
— John Wesley, Jr. - The Story of an Experiment • Dan B. Brummitt

... next forty-eight hours this awful possibility darkened her delight. For it was a possibility. Grown people did such monstrous unaccountable things, there was no saying what they might not be up to next. And here, for once, was an ordeal Clem could not share with her. He was blind. Alone, if it ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... surprised that all, whose means permitted it, possessed themselves of his statues, and that they were to be seen for years afterwards among the household gods of heathen families, who felt themselves more hopeful and more happy from the glorious sense of possibility which was inspired by the memory of one who, in the midst of difficulties, and breathing an atmosphere heavy with corruption, yet showed himself so wise, so great, ...
— Seekers after God • Frederic William Farrar

... blank verse, which he regards as the best compromise between 'the inevitable redundancy of rhyme and the stricter accuracy of prose.' This choice is, on the whole, a sensible one. Blank verse undoubtedly gives the possibility of a clear and simple rendering of the original. Upon the other hand, though we may get Homer's meaning, we often miss his music. The ten-syllabled line brings but a faint echo of the long roll of the Homeric hexameter, its rapid movement ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... treatment that can be of any use whatever. Could we be sure of our diagnosis it would be better to destroy the animal at once. Since, however, there is always the possibility of a mistake in diagnosis, we may give powdered opium in 1-dram doses every two or three hours, with the object of keeping the stomach as quiet ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... Pope had wished Napoleon to receive the holy communion in public on the day of the coronation, and Napoleon had given the matter thought. The Grand Master of Ceremonies, M. de Sgur, brought up against the proposition the necessity of a preliminary confession and the possibility that absolution might be denied him. "That's not the difficulty," said the Emperor, "the Holy Father knows how to distinguish between the sins of Caesar and those of the man," Then he added: "I know that I ought to give an example of respect for religion and its ministers; so you see ...
— The Court of the Empress Josephine • Imbert de Saint-Amand

... whereupon a ship and supplies are sent him with orders to return to Manila. Hernando de los Rios Coronel, sent to Canton by Luis Perez to negotiate with the Chinese, writes from that city to Dr. Morga concerning China and the possibility, desirability, and advantages of the Chinese trade in China instead of Manila, and the opposition of the Portuguese. China he describes as a country "full of rivers and towns, and without a palmo of ground left lying idle." Meanwhile the third vessel of Luis Perez's ...
— History of the Philippine Islands Vols 1 and 2 • Antonio de Morga

... credit may not be injuriously affected by a system of measures like this. With our debt and the vast private interests which are complicated with it, we can not be too cautious of a policy which might by possibility impair the confidence of the world in our Government. That confidence can only be retained by carefully inculcating the principles of justice and honor on the popular mind and by the most scrupulous fidelity to all our engagements of every sort. Any ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... necessities with the utmost zeal and fidelity, even at the hazard of their own destruction. In the course of these peregrinations, he was more than once hemmed in by his pursuers in such a manner as seemed to preclude all possibility of escaping; yet he was never abandoned by his hope and recollection; he still found some expedient that saved him from captivity and death; and through the whole course of his distresses maintained the most amazing equanimity ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... we know now will prevent war. It can be prevented only by a definite concord of the nations brought finally to realise the futility of war. To deny the possibility of a World League and a World Court is to deny the ability of men to govern themselves. The history of the American Republic in its demonstration of the power and the genius of federation should disprove the truth of this. Here we have a nation composed ...
— The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit • Ralph Waldo Trine

... nor any other seaman of his times was bold enough to undertake so hazardous an enterprise. Columbus was, no doubt, the first practical believer in the theory of circumnavigation, and although he never sailed around the world himself, he demonstrated the possibility of ...
— Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia • Various

... country, leaving the Afghan sirdars to govern it according to their own customs, and with a king of their own choosing. In communicating this letter to General Elphinstone, Sir William asked for the latter's opinion on the military possibility, or the reverse, of the retention of the British position in Afghanistan. Elphinstone, in reply, enumerated sundry reasons which led him to the conclusion which he stated, that 'it is not feasible any longer ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... suffer constant offense from her peculiarities. He had not forgotten the squalor of the peculiarities, but they did not strike him daily in the face, so hate was not made poignant by disgust. But neither was it lessened by the possibility of ...
— The Iron Woman • Margaret Deland

... Mrs. Morrell bore Keith. Morrell's knowledge of this hate was accurate, though his analysis of its cause was faulty. He thought his wife to be Keith's discarded mistress, and did not greatly care. Nor did he mention the possibility which, however, Mrs. Morrell ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... stood there, speculating on the possibility of the owner of the trinket returning to the room to search for it, he was interrupted by a low tap at the door. He walked across and opened it. Tufnell stood outside, ...
— The Hand in the Dark • Arthur J. Rees

... the result of his own achievement, and he received them as quietly as his customary income. Their presence was like his excellent health, to which he scarcely gave a thought, but their withdrawal would have affected him keenly, although he had never considered the possibility of such a thing. ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... will go on peopling the world"—one knows not to what extent—"with your amiable race. Would have written sooner; but I am just returning from the depths of the barbarous Countries; and having been charged with innumerable commissions which I did not understand too well, had no good possibility to think or ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... quality of astonishment that my participation in these amazing adventures of Mr. Cavor was, after all, the outcome of the purest accident. It might have been any one. I fell into these things at a time when I thought myself removed from the slightest possibility of disturbing experiences. I had gone to Lympne because I had imagined it the most uneventful place in the world. "Here, at any rate," said I, "I shall find peace and a chance ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... carriage, and shouted to their friend (who was making off as quick as he could) that he had forgotten some money; but Beethoven did not stand still till he was at a safe distance, when he waved his hat, rejoicing with the glee of a child at the success of his trick. There was no possibility of refusing his naif generosity, and they had sufficient delicacy of feeling not to poison his enjoyment by any ...
— Beethoven's Letters 1790-1826 Vol. 2 • Lady Wallace

... persuaded the Puritan to suspend his onslaught, and, undisturbed by sight or sound, we began a slow advance, clambering across the bowlders strewing the narrow way, discovering as we moved forward that those towering cliffs on either side were becoming lower, although no possibility of scaling them became apparent. We travelled thus upwards of a quarter of a mile, our progress being necessarily slow, when a dull roar stole gradually upon our hearing. A moment later, rounding a sharp edge of projecting rock, and picking our way cautiously along ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... once an instrument for ensuring that truth should not be suppressed; it is now an excuse for refusing to bother. There is, in fact, a growing disrespect for truth. A great many men went to the stake years ago rather than admit the possibility that they were wrong; they protested, so far as human endurance allowed them to protest, that they were orthodox and that their persecutors, and not they, were the heretics. To-day a bunch of Cambridge men calls itself "The Heretics" and imagines it has ...
— G. K. Chesterton, A Critical Study • Julius West

... (1370), in order to prevent the scandal of the Dean being excluded when the Chapter were discussing business, attached a prebendal stall to the Deanery, and thereby enabled him to preside, without possibility of cavil, at ...
— Old St. Paul's Cathedral • William Benham

... Possibility, when Archimedes finds a fulcrum, Cassandra has a following and seven cities compete for the honor of ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... except by international concert of action, but "the step is one which no European nation... will consent to take while the direct or indirect substitution of European silver for United States gold seems a possibility." While strong as to what not to do, his reply, like most of the state papers of this period, was weak as to what to do and how to do it. The outlook of the Secretary of the Treasury was so narrow that he was led to remark that ...
— The Cleveland Era - A Chronicle of the New Order in Politics, Volume 44 in The - Chronicles of America Series • Henry Jones Ford

... degrade her. By the time they did threaten so, she would have gained some experience of her own, circumstances would have arisen which she could turn to her use. Of actual destitution, never having felt it, she could not conceive; and therefore she did not take account of its possibility in her case. ...
— Philip Winwood • Robert Neilson Stephens

... his desire to jump up and catch. Such a prize it would be! But he recollected his aunt's advice, on the good manners of sitting still, especially in Mrs. Stanhope's presence. Oscar was overjoyed at the prospect of a voyage, and he bethought himself immediately of the possibility of meeting with persons much more desirable for his ...
— Gritli's Children • Johanna Spyri

... weeks had been the extreme possibility of their stay, Patty whimsically kept calling it six weeks or eight weeks, because, as she said, that made ...
— Patty's Suitors • Carolyn Wells

... party, having depended entirely upon puddles of rain water for subsistence; but it now became imperative on me to turn my attention exclusively to this subject, not only to enable me to bring up my men, but to secure the possibility of my own return, as every day that passed dried up more and more the small puddles I had ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... Christ flowed in upon my mind; and once I awoke with these words in my thoughts—'And there shall be no night there.' Now I know that I am to die, I feel less nervous. I have a calm, unruffled feeling." She expressed some natural apprehensions, only, about the possibility of dissolution not having occurred when we should suppose that she was no more. I told her how kindly God had ordered it that we do not all die together, but one by one, the survivors doing all that the departed would desire—which ...
— Catharine • Nehemiah Adams

... east on the Guadalcanar coast. And from the bush they had sent word that they were coming back to wipe out the three white men in charge, while two of the three white men, in turn, were hunting them through the bush. There was a strong possibility, Young volunteered, that if they were not caught they might circle around and tap the coast at Berande in order to steal or ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... As for her letters being shown about, I am not sorry that my indiscretion has relieved A—— from a restraint which, if it had only been disagreeable to her, would not have mattered so much, but which is calculated to destroy all possibility of free and natural correspondence, and inevitably renders letters mere compositions and their young authors vain and pretentious. I have always thought the system a bad one, for under it, if a girl's ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... been seeking annexation to the United States. Many causes prevented it; but during the war with Spain the possibility of our holding the Philippines gave importance to the Hawaiian Islands, and in July, 1898, they were annexed. In 1900 they were formed into the territory of Hawaii. About the same time several other small Pacific islands were ...
— A Brief History of the United States • John Bach McMaster

... with brutal ingratitude—like a charity patient in the hospital, or a bad boy at Sunday School; so he ought to yearn to come back—if she will kindly allow—and give her a chance to go on reforming him or not, just as she pleases. I admitted the purely speculative possibility that it might be otherwise—of a more personal and commonplace description—just to encourage him a little; but as he had said at the start that this chance was practically nonexistent, I let him think so and dwelt on the other view, which was new to him, and impressive. O, I preserved her dignity; ...
— A Pessimist - In Theory and Practice • Robert Timsol

... possibility of Joyselle's loving her only added to her misery, for most women in like cases would have clutched at the bare chance of such a contingency in rapturous disregard ...
— The Halo • Bettina von Hutten

... if most men work long hours at monotonous or painful tasks, leaving little leisure for a civilized existence or rational enjoyment. I do not believe that either of these obstacles to optimism will survive a close scrutiny. The possibility of technical improvement in the methods of production is, I believe, so great that, at any rate for centuries to come, there will be no inevitable barrier to progress in the general well-being by the simultaneous increase of commodities ...
— Proposed Roads To Freedom • Bertrand Russell

... does he publish? If he were strictly logical, surely he would do as the artist in Browning's Pictor Ignotus, who so shrank from having his pictures come into contact with fools, that he painted upon hidden, moldering walls, thus renouncing all possibility of fame. But one doubts whether such renunciation has been made often, especially in the field of poetry. Rossetti buried his poems, of course, but their resurrection was not postponed till the Last Judgment. Other ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... from more western localities in Arizona) and S. n. pinetis from the White Mountains to the northward. As noted above, S. f. holzneri has a deep notch and S. n. pinetis has none. This intermediacy of the holotype supports the possibility, mentioned by Nelson (op. cit.:200), that intergradation occurs between S. f. holzneri and S. n. pinetis. Additional evidence, however, is against this possibility; the notch in the supraoccipital is deeper in specimens ...
— Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of Some North American Rabbits • E. Raymond Hall

... is continually blazing; it is very deep, without any known bottom, and the walls are so high, that there is neither hope nor possibility ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... down the hall on each side were covered with rich damask; triumphal arches and every ingenious device that could by possibility bear upon the pageant, were lavishly placed upon the tables, splendidly ornamented with artificial flowers, rivalling the goddess Flora herself. The entrance to the hall was a grand Gothic archway; but one of the most ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... rolled on, and the Church obtained very little increase in those mountains, for the three above-mentioned reasons. The order could not conquer the two first, and there was less possibility for the third. For however much the order desired to apply on its part the only means whereby the desired fruit could be obtained, namely, the assignment of a religious to reside in the said places, who should look after the reduction of the Tagabaloyes, without attending to any ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700 • Various

... mischief in the bill; so much he felt sure of. Alcatrante's reputation was that of a fox, and as for Poritol, he was, to say the least, a person of uncertain qualities. Orme could not but admire the subtle manner in which Alcatrante sought delicately to limit his doubts to the mere possibility that Poritol was trying to pass spurious money. He decided not to settle the question at ...
— The Girl and The Bill - An American Story of Mystery, Romance and Adventure • Bannister Merwin

... accept the explanation. She felt really hurt that Beric should view even the possibility of her going away with equanimity, and she very shortly went off to her own apartment; while a few minutes later, Beric, after bidding goodbye to Caius, started to rejoin Boduoc, whom he found waiting at the ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... mechanical, can make use of the sub-conscious mind in precisely the same way. Let him sum up the whole problem, arrange all his facts and available information, and pass them all to his sub-conscious mind, when, if a successful result is within the range of possibility, an answer or idea will be forthcoming. All this being done, mark you, ...
— Within You is the Power • Henry Thomas Hamblin

... longer than ours they draw them to the head. I regarded myself as a good bowman till I met the Egyptians, and now I feel as a child might do when watching a man performing feats of strength of which he had not even imagined a possibility." ...
— The Cat of Bubastes - A Tale of Ancient Egypt • G. A. Henty

... attorney. The resolutions, however, tended to conciliate the anti-slavery element of the State and in many towns and in some of the counties the Democrats and Free-soilers coalesced and elected a formidable minority of the Legislature. The result of the coalition demonstrated the possibility of a combination which could control the State. The Convention gave me the nomination, and without any serious opposition. Stephen C. Phillips of Salem, was the candidate of the Free-soil Party. Together we had a majority of the popular vote, ...
— Reminiscences of Sixty Years in Public Affairs, Vol. 1 • George Boutwell

... canyon, near the mouth of De Chelly, is shown in plan in figure 8. There were two kivas, one of which was benched. The number of rooms connected with them is remarkably small—there could not have been more than six, if there were that many—and the character of the site is such as to preclude the possibility of other rooms in the immediate vicinity. Some of the walls are still standing, and exhibit a fair degree of ...
— The Cliff Ruins of Canyon de Chelly, Arizona • Cosmos Mindeleff

... almost impossible to get any accurate statistics of sterility from genealogies, for when no children are given in the record, there is always a strong possibility that there were children of whom the genealogist has no record. However, of 16 first-cousin marriages of which the record expressly stated "no issue," or where it was practically certain that no issue was possible, the average age of the brides was 34.3 years and that of the grooms was 39 years, ...
— Consanguineous Marriages in the American Population • George B. Louis Arner

... represent to himself that the man whom he regards as beneath him, may nevertheless be immeasurably above him—and that after no arbitrary judgment, but according to the absolute facts of creation, the scale of the kingdom of God, in which being is rank; if he could persuade himself of the possibility that he may yet have to worship before the feet of those on whom he looks down as on the creatures of another and meaner order of creation, would it not sting him to rise, and, lest this should be one of such, make ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... respecting the justice of Heaven and the abode of the blessed, solved by Beatrice.—Question of Dante as to the possibility of reparation ...
— The Divine Comedy, Volume 3, Paradise [Paradiso] • Dante Alighieri

... Lord de Winter took to shut the door, close a shutter, and draw a chair near to his sister-in-law's fauteuil, Milady, anxiously thoughtful, plunged her glance into the depths of possibility, and discovered all the plan, of which she could not even obtain a glance as long as she was ignorant into whose hands she had fallen. She knew her brother-in-law to be a worthy gentleman, a bold hunter, an intrepid player, enterprising with women, but by no means remarkable for his ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... "was a new era in the history of that Government which was established at the Revolution. Under William and Anne the Stuart family can scarcely be considered as absolutely excluded from the throne; for all parties, except the extreme Whigs, looked forward to the possibility of the Stuarts returning to the throne. But, in fact, the Revolution was not completed till the actual establishment of the Brunswick line, which cut off all hopes of a return without ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I. • Mrs. Thomson

... party a brief conference was held, at which they decided to proceed and make the "Slide" if possible before dark. There was no possibility of getting beyond that, but on the following day it would be necessary to make all haste, for the provisions would not hold out for more than another day, and even then they would have to go on short rations for the last two meals. It was a used-up party that started for the ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls in the Hills - The Missing Pilot of the White Mountains • Janet Aldridge

... larger houses. It is an art peculiar to the Chinese, and the gardener's skill consists in knowing how to produce it. Independently of the satisfaction of triumphing over a difficulty, he has the advantage of introducing into rooms plants whose natural size would have precluded such a possibility. ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part 2. The Great Navigators of the Eighteenth Century • Jules Verne

... thing over, therefore, with the cozening rogue in front of us drawing our attention to the buttered side as often as it appeared, we could hardly avoid the conclusion that there was a possibility of his being right. We might be required to remain in Atlanta barely long enough to don a suit of prison clothing and to have our bertillons made, and forthwith make a triumphal return home, with our scarlet ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... house in the middle of the night. It struck me at the time it was clumsy, because the burglar made a tremendous amount of noise and disappeared soon after he began his attempt, doing no more damage than to break a window in my dining-room. Naturally my mind went to the possibility of a further attempt of this kind, as my house stood on the outskirts of the village, and it was only natural that I should take the pistol from one of my boxes and put it somewhere handy. To make doubly sure, Kara came down ...
— The Clue of the Twisted Candle • Edgar Wallace

... atmosphere portended? A war with England seemed inevitable, and that at no distant period. It might be better to retire on a limited certainty; but then there was also the manful struggle for a splendid possibility. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 65, March, 1863 • Various

... four departments of poetry, prose fiction, history and biography, and miscellaneous literature is sufficient to fill an ordinary literary life. Indeed the quantity of his acknowledged work in other departments was held to be the strongest argument against the possibility of his being the author of the novels. The achievement of such a result demanded a power of steady, methodical, and rapid work almost unparalleled in the history of literature. When we turn to its quality we are struck by the range of subject ...
— A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature • John W. Cousin

... and a few wealthy persons who dread the possibility, that, under a change of government, their privileges might be destroyed, and the taxes on property increased, all classes are of one mind in desiring a new order of things, and all alike long ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... Conde de Caspe, to use a noble title for an ignoble man, considered safely hidden. As with Weyler's contidential letter to the friar landlords, these discoveries convict their writers of bad faith, with no possibility of mistake. ...
— Lineage, Life, and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot • Austin Craig

... children I speak; it is to prevent their ever knowing practically what we do know theoretically—that the world is a hard world; hard and unfeeling to those who need its aid. It is to prevent the possibility of their ...
— Turns of Fortune - And Other Tales • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... early, "not feeling quite the thing," and at eleven our host says he thinks he'll turn in. We bid him good-night, hope he'll be better, and then sit down and discuss news. Odd that people and children should be taken ill, but no one will for a moment admit the possibility of Influenza touching us. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, January 25th, 1890 • Various

... abuse; starvation, neglect, and disease had all but done for him. After listening to his ravings, O'Reilly began to fear that the poor fellow's mind was permanently affected. It was an appalling possibility, one to which he could not reconcile himself. To think that somewhere in that fevered brain was perhaps locked the truth about Rosa's fate, if not the secret of her whereabouts, and yet to be unable to wring an intelligent answer to a single question, was ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... themselves, as well as to hazard the resentment of their General, how could they undertake that all their comrades who remained at the sepulchre would do the same? and to what purpose could the Jewish council bribe some, without a possibility of some one knowing how the rest of the corps would act? And even supposing all these difficulties surmounted, and that the whole guard had agreed, and persisted in saying, "his disciples stole him ...
— The Grounds of Christianity Examined by Comparing The New Testament with the Old • George Bethune English

... No two are alike, even to the most inattentive observer; and, notwithstanding they are ever tossing out their immense arms in what might seem most extravagant gestures, there is a majesty and repose about them that precludes all possibility of the grotesque, or even picturesque, in their general expression. They are the priests of pines, and seem ever to be addressing the surrounding forest. The Yellow Pine is found growing with them on warm hillsides, and the White Silver Fir on cool northern ...
— The Mountains of California • John Muir

... extended at length to the whole field of theology, and are due principally, as he himself has owned, to the spectacle of the interminable controversies which (turn where he would) occupied the mind of Germany. Even when he returned home he does not appear to have finally abandoned the notion of the possibility of constructing some religious system in the place of Christianity;— this, as he affirms, is a later conviction formed upon him by examining the systems of such men as have attempted the solution of the problem. He declares the result wholly unsatisfactory; ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... ladyship anything from Ireland. Vexed by the questions that were asked her about HER COUNTRY, Lady Clonbrony, as usual, denied it to be her country, and went on to depreciate and abuse everything Irish; to declare that there was no possibility of living in Ireland; and that, for her own part, she was resolved never to return thither. Lady St. James, preserving perfect silence, let her go on. Lady Clonbrony, imagining that this silence arose from coincidence of opinion, proceeded with all the eloquence she possessed, which was very ...
— The Absentee • Maria Edgeworth

... never associated with a smile. She smiled with compressed mouth. It was indeed difficult to conceive of those two birds coming from the same nest. And yet . . . Contrary to what generally happens, it was when one saw those two women together that one lost all belief in the possibility of their relationship near or far. It extended even to their common humanity. One, as it were, doubted it. If one of the two was representative, then the other was either something more or less than human. One wondered whether these two women belonged to the same scheme of creation. One ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... more than usually affectionate toward her father, and would go round the table and place her hand on his shoulder and talk to him. Perhaps these things were but delusions begotten of his own imaginings, but the possibility of their being real agitated him not a little, and he scarcely dared to think what ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25. • Various

... twenty years. Though not living any more than the wheat, they also retain the potentiality of manifestation of life; and for each alike, in order that this potentiality may pass into actuality, the first requisition is water with which to restore them to that possibility of molecular rearrangement under the influence of incident forces, of which the absence of water had deprived them, and without which, life in ...
— Was Man Created? • Henry A. Mott

... to him directly to do so now. There is a conservative strain in all of us. But gradually, as it was borne in upon him that it was the only course possible, unless he applied to his stepfather—a task for which his courage was not sufficient—he found himself contemplating the possibility of having to secure the money by unlawful means. By lunch time, on the morning of the day fixed for the theatricals, he had decided definitely to do so. By dinner time he had fixed upon the object of ...
— The Gem Collector • P. G. Wodehouse

... young man besought him to state his case. The innocent Twemlow, expecting Fledgeby to be astounded by what he should unfold, and not for an instant conceiving the possibility of its happening every day, but treating of it as a terrible phenomenon occurring in the course of ages, related how that he had had a deceased friend, a married civil officer with a family, who had wanted money for change of place on change of post, and how he, Twemlow, had 'given him his name,' ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... Soul to become so? And if all this (universe) be indeed, that Soul, in consequence of the latter pervading and entering into everything, then divested of desire as the Supreme Soul is, where is the possibility of its action (action or work being the direct consequence of desire)? If it is answered that the universe is the Deity's lila (mere sport, as some schools of philosophy assert), then, as every sport is ascribable to some motive of happiness, what can be the happiness of the Deity, who, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... drove briskly towards St. Petersburg. I do not exactly recollect whether it was in Eastland or Jugemanland, but I remember that in the midst of a dreary forest I spied a terrible wolf making after me, with all the speed of ravenous winter hunger. He soon overtook me. There was no possibility of escape. Mechanically I laid myself down flat in the sledge, and let my horse run for our safety. What I wished, but hardly hoped or expected, happened immediately after. The wolf did not mind me in the least, but took a leap over me, and falling furiously on the horse, began instantly ...
— The Children's Hour, v 5. Stories From Seven Old Favorites • Eva March Tappan

... perfectly well what you threaten to do unless I immediately consider the possibility of ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... direction, and exclaimed: 'I cannot see; I am quite blind!' Although we had not expected snow in the plains of Sahara, the general had anticipated the effects of the reflection of light from the sand, and the possibility of small particles of it getting into the eyes; and with this view each man had been provided with a green gauze veil. But the soldier dislikes anything out of his regular routine as much as the most ignorant peasant; so when the order was ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 452 - Volume 18, New Series, August 28, 1852 • Various

... cannot be supposed that omnipotence has need of miracles to govern the universe, nor to convince his creatures, whose minds and hearts must be in his own hands. The last refuge of the theologian, when driven off all other ground, is the possibility of every thing he asserts, couched in the dogma, "that nothing is impossible to the Divinity." He makes this asseveration with a degree of self-complacency, with an air of triumph, that would almost ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 2 • Baron D'Holbach

... the loop should be as small as possible within reason. By that I mean it should not be so small as to create the possibility ...
— The Aeroplane Speaks - Fifth Edition • H. Barber

... Doctor." Better than any abstract discussion of human endurance is this vibrant narrative of that little woman, "not very strong, slightly built, with some serious constitutional weakness," who lived through hardships and accomplished feats of daring which would have been considered beyond the range of possibility—before the war. ...
— Outwitting Our Nerves - A Primer of Psychotherapy • Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

... in her hands while wave after wave of desolation broke over the lonely soul. "A beautiful possibility" her knight of the gate had said. Could life ...
— A Beautiful Possibility • Edith Ferguson Black

... possibility that I received my innate distrust of things by inheritance from my maternal grandmother, whose holy horror at the profanity they once provoked from a bosom-friend in her childhood was still ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... the entrance of a strong place which belonged to the Count. There the Count was stopped, with no one near to lend him aid; and without any excessive parley my lord Yvain received his surrender. For as soon as he held him in his hands, and they were left just man to man, there was no further possibility of escape, or of yielding, or of self-defence; so the Count pledged his word to go to surrender to the lady of Noroison as her prisoner, and to make such peace as she might dictate. And when he had accepted ...
— Four Arthurian Romances - "Erec et Enide", "Cliges", "Yvain", and "Lancelot" • Chretien de Troyes

... Kinsale, in perpetual fear of being fetched back again; but, by little and little, I thank God, we got safe to the garrison, where I found your father the most disconsolate man in the world, for fear of his family, which he had no possibility to assist; but his joys exceeded to see me and his darling daughter, and to hear the wonderful escape we, through the assistance of God, ...
— Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe • Lady Fanshawe

... been an accidental name, the similarity between it and Anaitis might have had something in it; but it turns out to be a mere physiological name.' Macleod said, Mr M'Queen's knowledge of etymology had destroyed his conjecture. JOHNSON. 'You have one possibility for you, and all possibilities against you. It is possible it may be the temple of Anaitis. But it is also possible that it may be a fortification; or it may be a place of Christian worship, as the first Christians often chose remote and wild places, to make an impression on the mind; or, if it ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... went over what I had before written, each link in its chain of reasoning seemed so serried, that to alter one were to derange all; and the whole reasoning was so opposed to the possibility of the wonders I myself had experienced, so hostile to the subtle hypotheses of a Faber, or the childlike belief of an Amy, that I must have destroyed the entire work if I had admitted ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... concluded Lord Castleton, lowering his voice, "that your uncle, amongst all his other causes of sorrow, may think at least that his name is spared in his son's. And the young man himself may find reform easier when freed from that despair of the possibility of redemption which Mrs. Grundy inflicts upon those who—Courage, then; life ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... first, Cornelia," said Mrs. Rayner, who hated the baptismal name as much as did her sister, and used it only when she desired to be especially and desperately impressive: "I found it by accident. I never dreamed of such a possibility as this. I never, even after what I have seen and heard, could have believed you guilty of this; but, now that I have found it, I have the right to ...
— The Deserter • Charles King

... other; and to assist him in this he is trained to carry his consciousness without break from the physical plane to the astral or devachanic and back again, for until that can be done there is always a possibility that his recollections may be partially lost or distorted during the blank interval which separates his periods of consciousness on the various planes. When the power of bringing over the consciousness is perfectly acquired the pupil will have the ...
— The Astral Plane - Its Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena • C. W. Leadbeater

... various adventures that were natural to a sea-voyage, there was the contingency of a sea-fight, and the possibility of being taken to Pondicherry or Batavia as a prisoner of war instead of being landed at Madras as a paid employee of the ...
— The Story of Madras • Glyn Barlow

... when they quitted the apartment after administering a febrifuge, Susan felt a pang of wonder, whether they were about to communicate their discovery to their mistress. For the next quarter of an hour, the patient needed all her attention, and there was no possibility of obeying the summons of a great clanging bell which announced dinner. When, however, Cis had fallen asleep it became possible to think over the situation. She foresaw an inquiry, and would have given much for a few words with ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... get out to that fleet. Tell Admiral Tregaskis that the Ambassador at New Austin feels in need of protection; possibility of z'Srauff invasion. I'll give you written orders. I want the Fleet within radio call. How far out would that be, ...
— Lone Star Planet • Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire

... knew she hated religion, its ministers, its sanctuary, and every object which, by possibility, could remind her that there was a coming future, I yet felt it my duty to make another and a third attempt at an interview. She received me ungraciously enough, but not insolently. Her fair, soft, feminine features betrayed evident annoyance at my visit, but still there was an absence ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... midst of the din and confusion that this encounter produced, steps that could never by any possibility be mistaken for those of a schoolboy ...
— Five Little Peppers at School • Margaret Sidney

... isles, of which the nearest and largest was a quarter of a mile distant, as Middle Island was on the other side. The master was immediately sent to examine the passage through to the eastward, that we might know whether there were a possibility of escape in case the anchor should not hold; for the wind blew fresh at west-south-west, and threw some swell into the bay; he found 3 fathoms in the shallow part ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis • Matthew Flinders

... after a pause, "and therefore propose to take one of the few alleviations allowed to advancing years and an increasing avoirdupois. I am going to give you some advice. There is only one thing worth having in this life, and that is happiness. Even the possibility of it is worth all other possibilities put together. If a man have a chance of grasping happiness—I mean a home and the wife he wants.... and all that—he is wise to throw all other chances to the wind. Such, for instance, as the chance of greatness, of fame ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... else's cat," he urged, "he wouldn't mind so much," but he had a touch of softness towards his own. It was plain that in reality he was a man of tender feelings, yet it was no less plain that he was unwilling to be thought too tender. The curious thing was that neither of us considered for a moment the possibility of any reluctance staying the hand of the older neighbour. Him we both knew fairly well as a man of that earlier period with which I am concerned just now. At that period the village in general had a lofty contempt for the "meek-hearted" man capable of flinching. An employer might ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... of the Grail surely the mystery lies here, in the possibility of identifying two objects which, apparently, lie at the very opposite poles of intellectual conception. What brought them together? Where shall we seek a connecting link? By what road did the romancers reach so strangely ...
— From Ritual to Romance • Jessie L. Weston

... with fire was probably through lightning; he discovered, probably by chance, the possibility of making fire by rubbing together two pieces of wood and by striking together two pieces of stone; he established one of the first facts in technology; he felt the warm effect of fire and also the good effect of broiling his food by finding some roasted animals in a fire. Thus nature revealed ...
— Manhood of Humanity. • Alfred Korzybski

... by the relation of my own understanding to the light of reason, and (the most important of all the truths that have been vouchsafed to me!) to the will which is the reason,—will in the form of reason—I can form a sufficient gleam of the possibility of the subsistence of the human soul in Jesus to the Eternal Word, and how it might perfect itself so as to merit glorification and abiding union with the Divinity; and how this gave a humanity to our Lord's ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... word, though Malcolm put it in no such definite shape: Why should a fisher lad find himself in danger of falling in love with the daughter of a marquis? Why should such a thing, seeing the very constitution of things rendered it an absurdity, be yet a possibility? ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald



Words linked to "Possibility" :   prospect, potential, expectation, potency, supposition, being, construct, possible, outlook, conjecture, framework, speculation, beingness, attainableness, opportunity, conceivability, conceivableness, potentiality, theory, impossible, existence, opening, assumption, concept, conception, theoretical account, impossibility, possibleness, choice, achievability, supposal, gemmule, model, chance, attainability, option, hypothetical, alternative, hypothesis, historicism



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