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Mediocre   Listen
noun
Mediocre  n.  
1.
A mediocre person; a mediocrity. (R.)
2.
A young monk who was excused from performing a portion of a monk's duties.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Mediocre" Quotes from Famous Books



... Grunch was one of the mildest, most innocent men I ever knew. He had a wife to whom he was devoted with a dog-like devotion; he went to church; he was shy and reserved, and he held a mediocre position in a firm of envelope-makers in the City. But he had a romantic soul, and whenever the public craving for envelopes fell off—and that is seldom—he used to allay his secret passion for danger, devilry and excitement by writing sensational novels. One of these was recently published, ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, October 20, 1920 • Various

... certainly worthy of Buonarroti's powerful conception. The balustrade which crowns the facade is indeed bad and vulgar; the great pilasters are very poor in invention, and the windows of the first story are extremely mediocre in style. Nevertheless, there is a great simplicity of lines in these palaces; and the porticoes of the ground-floor might be selected for the beauty of their leading motive. The opposition of the great pilasters to the little columns ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... the land service—done at home, and not one of them presented, I think, earlier than the end of Mr. Monroe's administration (1825). The delay principally resulted from the want of good die-sinkers. There was only one of mediocre merit (and he a foreigner) found for the army. What the state of this art may now be in the United States I know not. But I beg leave again to suggest that the honour of the country requires that medals, voted by Congress, should always ...
— The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 • J. F. Loubat

... lucky as to hit upon one; always provided that he be not of those whom La Bruyere has described as being made into sages by a certain natural mediocrity of mind. Whatever else may be said of Pattison, at least he was never mediocre, never vapid, trite, or common. Nor was he one of those false pretenders to the judicial mind, who 'mistake for sober sense And wise reserve, the plea of indolence.' On the contrary, his industry and spirit of laborious acquisition were his best credentials. He was invested to our young ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 5: On Pattison's Memoirs • John Morley

... brothers! What could one do for you which would not be insufficient, unworthy, mediocre? We can at least give up everything and devote ourselves heart and soul to our ...
— The New Book Of Martyrs • Georges Duhamel

... Judge Lawton and other men say that if a man were still a clerk at thirty he was hopeless. The ruts were packed with the mediocre whose destiny was the routine work of the world, whatever might be their secret opinions of their unrecognized abilities and their resentment against a system ...
— The Sisters-In-Law • Gertrude Atherton

... when most available. When I am at work I like my tools around me; if they are not handy, my work is interrupted, and an interruption often breaks the train of thought and renders impotent or at least mediocre an endeavor which elsewise would be excellent. In their ambition to "put things in shape," and to give me an object lesson in order and method, Alice and her vandal hired girl hide my tools of trade, disposing of my books, papers, and pens, ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... during his twenty years of business life. And these sprites were as familiar to them now as those of their own childhood. They little knew that at night they met and talked with them. Daddy had put them all into the Wumble Book, achieving mediocre success with the rhymes, but amply atoning with the illustrations. The Woman of the Haystack was evidently a monster pure and simple, till Jinny announced that she merely had 'elephantitis,' and thus explained her satisfactorily. The Lamplighter, with shining feet, taking enormous ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... than it would be to judge a modern landscape painter by his portraits. But no matter how uninteresting these old landscapes are, their brown tonality insures them a certain dignity of inoffensiveness which a mediocre modern work of art never possesses, I would rather any time have a bad old picture than a bad one of the very recent schools. Modesty is not one of the chief attributes of modern art, and the silent protest of a gallery such as the one we are now in, the ...
— The Galleries of the Exposition • Eugen Neuhaus

... the return of its own candidate, and to defeat those who stand most in his way, the tendency will be general to place the more popular candidates, those whose success is most feared, at the bottom of the list, so as to give them as few marks as possible. The result would be to favour mediocre men, or even in ...
— Proportional Representation Applied To Party Government • T. R. Ashworth and H. P. C. Ashworth

... is always famed for his technical ability. Even the mediocre artists possess that. The great artists realize that the mechanical side of piano playing is but the basis, but they would no sooner think of trying to do without that basis than they would of dispensing ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... true of even mediocre poetry, for how much more are we indebted to the best! Like the fabled fountain of the Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this Art can confer on each period of life its appropriate blessing: on early years Experience, ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... discourses; nothing in him was extreme but the orator: the man was by no means so, neither was he at all cruel. Studious, but without imagination; copious, but without warmth, his intellect was mediocre, his mind honest, his will variable, his heart in the right place. His talent, which they affected to compare with Mirabeau's, was nothing more than a power of skilfully rivetting public attention. His habit of pleading ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... exemple—sank into nothingness, and Baby Blake, one of the "gushing" order of girlhood, appeared as a stick, or, rather, a too pliant sapling—her inane "yes's" and lisping "no's" having an opportunity of being "weighed in the balance," and consequently, in my opinion, "found wanting." All were mediocre beside her. Perhaps I was prejudiced; but, now, the remarks of the other girls seemed to ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... praise but full applause Of simple critics. Take my case. In me Behold the good knight Marsyas, M.A., Three times a candidate for Parliament, And twice retired; a Justice of the Peace; Master of Arts (I said), and better known In literary spheres as Master of The Mediocre-Obvious; and read By boarding-misses in their myriads. These dote upon me. Sweetly have I sung The commonplaces ...
— The Battle of the Bays • Owen Seaman

... Brunswick, and a descendant of William. Frederick William I married his first cousin, Dorothea, granddaughter of Sophia, and also a descendant of William the Silent. Unfortunately the Hohenzollern line was continued by a mediocre brother of Frederick II, but through his sister, Queen Ulrica, the line of genius lasted still another generation to Gustavus III ...
— Consanguineous Marriages in the American Population • George B. Louis Arner

... is the possession of plenty of pluck and self-confidence. One need not be an expert swimmer to be a good diver. In fact, some persons can dive very well and at the same time are mediocre swimmers. As in other ...
— Swimming Scientifically Taught - A Practical Manual for Young and Old • Frank Eugen Dalton and Louis C. Dalton

... portfolios of drawings in public and private libraries, we are struck with the accumulated mass of mediocre talent. Many of them are often well composed, and even well drawn, but they are completely destitute of what constitutes true merit—they possess no distinguishing mark whereby we can discern one master from another; they are struck off with wonderful ...
— Rembrandt and His Works • John Burnet

... Switzerland, a poet not merely of manly but of martial utterance. The Burial in England is perhaps too much of an ad hoc call to be great poetry. But it has many noble and beautiful lines and is certainly of a different world from his mediocre version of God ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... not aware," Chia Cheng added with a smiling countenance, "that I've been, even in my young days, very mediocre in the composition of stanzas on flowers, birds, rockeries and streams; and that now that I'm well up in years and have moreover the fatigue and trouble of my official duties, I've become in literary compositions like these, which require a light heart and gladsome ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... contradiction to the old grammatical rule that abstract nouns had no plural. Now all this development in the field of religion throws light upon the character of the Roman mind and its instinctive methods of thought, and we see why it is that the Romans were very great lawyers and very mediocre philosophers. Both law and philosophy require the ability for abstract thought; in both cases the essential qualities of a thing must be separated from the thing itself. But in the case of philosophic ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... awakened once. He sent her to do her work, put fresh tapers in the place of those that had burnt out, and then he looked at his mother, revolving in his brain those apparently profound thoughts, those religious and philosophical commonplaces which trouble people of mediocre intelligence in ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... mistrust of masculine idealism, ever prevents them from speaking in its entirety. And their tact is unerring. We could not stand women speaking the truth. We could not bear it. It would cause infinite misery and bring about most awful disturbances in this rather mediocre, but still idealistic fool's paradise in which each of us lives his own little life—the unit in the great sum of existence. And they know it. They are merciful. This generalisation does not apply exactly to Mrs Fyne's outburst ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... and found a mediocre sunset on an easel. Brian went in for sunsets. He said so himself with an inexplicable air of weariness and disgust. He knew ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... greatly appreciates a joke. Most of the puns were too involved for me to follow, but there was always a certain amount of slap-stick comedy that could be readily understood. Then there was dancing—as a whole monotonous and mediocre; but there was one old man who was a remarkable performer, and would have been appreciated on any stage in the world. The topical songs invariably amused me—they were so universal in spirit. The chorus of one which was a great hit ran: "Haido, haido, rahweni passak!" "I say, ...
— War in the Garden of Eden • Kermit Roosevelt

... of aristocratic conditions and traditions, has produced? it will be asked. Has pure individualism in a virgin field wrought of its opportunity only this mediocre, all-round, good-natured, profane, rough, energetic, ingenious efficiency? Is this colorless, insipid "social consistency" the best wine that the valley can offer of its ...
— The French in the Heart of America • John Finley

... Falstaff in love, and that Shakespeare, in obedience to this command, wrote the play within a fortnight. Unless this tradition be true, it is difficult to explain why Shakespeare should have written a comedy which is, in comparison with his other work of this period, at once conventional and mediocre. The subject—the intrigues of Falstaff with two married women, and the wooing of a commonplace girl by two foolish suitors and another as commonplace as herself—gave Shakespeare little opportunity for poetry and none for the portrayal of the types of character ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... the legends of wandering spirits, of fairies, of gnomes, of ghosts, I might even say the conception of God, for our ideas of the Workman-Creator, from whatever religion they may have come down to us, are certainly the most mediocre, the stupidest, and the most unacceptable inventions that ever sprang from the frightened brain of any human creature. Nothing is truer than what Voltaire says: 'If God made man in His own image, man has certainly ...
— Selected Writings of Guy de Maupassant • Guy de Maupassant

... prejudice, hatred, and contempt continually follow and oppress them, and either stint their development, or force them to an ethnical mimicry which necessarily makes of them, instead of original types with a right to existence, mediocre or bad copies of foreign models. They therefore work methodically with a view to rendering the Jewish people once more a normal one, which lives on its own soil, and accomplishes all economical, intellectual, moral, and political ...
— Zionism and Anti-Semitism - Zionism by Nordau; and Anti-Semitism by Gottheil • Max Simon Nordau

... army, an English officer in its service, Lieutenant W.V. Herbert, states that the artillery was very good, despite the poor supply of horses; that the infantry was very good; the regular cavalry mediocre, the irregular cavalry useless. He estimates the total forces in Europe and Asia at 700,000; but, as he admits that the battalions of 800 men rarely averaged more than 600, that total is clearly fallacious. An American authority ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... myth, this does not usually involve some mysterious leap of hackerly brilliance, but rather persistence and the dogged repetition of a handful of fairly well-known tricks that exploit common weaknesses in the security of target systems. Accordingly, most crackers are only mediocre hackers. ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... The downward side of middle age finds him afflicted with various physical ailments, entirely dependent upon a precarious position at a moderate salary, without influential friends, completely disillusioned, with a mediocre mind now much fagged, devoid of high ambition, and with a most unstimulating prospect before him. His attitude toward the business of book reviewing is that he wishes he had gone into the tailor business or that his father had left ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... rich, he had told her so himself; his life would be that of a beast of burden, and that too, before he had learned to bear the yoke. If he had to work, to feed so many people, he might strain himself to the uttermost, he would still remain mediocre. They would both suffer under this, be disappointed and discontented. He must not pay so heavy a price for an indiscretion for which she was ten times more to blame than he. What did she imagine people would say? He who was so popular, so sought after. They would ...
— Absalom's Hair • Bjornstjerne Bjornson

... cousin on account of his superior erudition and more practised delivery; but now his voluble gift of words deserted him. "He was much obliged to them," he said; "though perhaps, on the whole, it was better that men who placed themselves in a mediocre condition should be left to their mediocrity. He had no doubt himself of the justness of the lists. It would be useless for him to say that he had not aspired; all the world"—it was all the world to him—"knew too well that he had aspired. But he had received a lesson ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... the stories were true. Mr. Toscanini, as all the world knows by now, is the world's No. 1 musical purist. Nothing but perfection satisfies him. He hates compromise, loathes the half-baked and mediocre, refuses to put up with "something ...
— The World's Great Men of Music - Story-Lives of Master Musicians • Harriette Brower

... to produce something to last, relatively a long time, several generations—what we call 'permanent.' The intermediate position is necessarily insecure. It is not really wanted. What is lost by society when one of these mediocre masterpieces is overlooked? A sensation, a single ray in a sunset, missed by a small literary coterie! The circle is perhaps eclectic. It may seem hard that good work is overwhelmed in the cataract of production, while relatively bad, garish work is rewarded. ...
— The House of Cobwebs and Other Stories • George Gissing

... of the psalm in another respect, as insisting on the importance, not of the well endowed, but of the slenderly furnished, who are immensely in the majority. This text is a message to ordinary, mediocre people, without much ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... life of a saint, but his most careful student, Viscount Spelboerch de Lovenjoul—whose name is veritably Balzac-ian—tells us some different stories; even Gustave Flaubert, the ascetic giant of Rouen, had a romance with Madame Louise Colet, a mediocre writer and imitator of Sand,—as was Countess d'Agoult, the Frankfort Jewess better known as "Daniel Stern,"—that lasted from 1846 to 1854, according to Emile Faguet. Here then was a medium which was the other side of good and evil, a new transvaluation ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... imagination was endowed with but mediocre power of creation, began to find himself in a quandary as to a means of ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... Sir Francis Bacon wrote in classical Latin, and in abbreviated form the proverb became a familiar in households and universities alike. But knowledge of what? There is no power in knowledge of mediocre verse. ...
— Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest • J. Frank Dobie

... critics ask not for the quality inherent in creative art, but will it meet with a good sale, will it suit the palate of the people? Alas, this palate is like a dumping ground; it relishes anything that needs no mental mastication. As a result, the mediocre, the ordinary, the commonplace ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... esteeming merit in others instead of being jealous of it, and skillful in making this merit conduce to his own glory, will always be a good general, and may even pass for a great man. Unfortunately, the disposition to do justice to merit in others is not the most common quality: mediocre minds are always jealous, and inclined to surround themselves with persons of little ability, fearing the reputation of being led, and not realizing that the nominal commander of an army always receives almost all the glory of its ...
— The Art of War • Baron Henri de Jomini

... might say, the symphonic composition of the play, which allots the parts as arbitrarily as in the Midsummer Night's Dream does Peter Quince, who says to highly respectable people: "You play the Lion, and you play the Ass," necessitates making a victim of a man who was a mediocre diplomat, but for a time, at least, a fairly good soldier. The author feels no compunction on this score. Stupidity, as Comus artlessly thinks, is not wickedness; the Lion or the Ass—each is necessary to different moments ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... the great flood of mediocre writing that has been pouring over the United States in the last decade or two, and speaks of it thus in a letter written to Mr. Scribner from her quiet ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... of many, the greatest literary critic of the world, was born at Boulogne-sur-Mer, December 23, 1804. He studied medicine, but soon abandoned it for literature; and before he gave himself up to criticism he made some mediocre attempts in poetry and fiction. He became professor at the College de France and the Ecole Normale and was appointed Senator in 1865. A course of lectures given at Lausanne in 1837 resulted in his great "Histoire de Port-Royal" and another given at Liege in his ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... should persist in misunderstanding and misrepresenting him. Those who were good to him he exalted and lauded to the skies, no matter how they conducted themselves toward the rest of humanity. Some of the most mediocre princes, who had paid him compliments, he embalmed in prose and verse. Frederick VII. of Denmark, whose immorality was notorious, was, according to Andersen, "a good, amiable king," "sent by God to Danish land and folk," than whom "no truer ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... playbills: Baptiste, aine, Baptiste pere, Baptiste cadet, Madame Baptiste mere, Madame Baptiste bru. This resulted in the pun of calling a play in which they all appeared une piece de baptistes. Nicolas soon obtained the public favour, specially in La Martelliere's mediocre Robert, chef de [v.03 p.0370] brigands, and as Count Almaviva, in Beaumarchais' La Mere coupable. His success in this was so great that the directors of the Theatre de la Republique—who had already secured Talma, Dugazon and ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... daughters of Khuniatonu playing undressed at their mother's side, are examples of a reserved and delicate grace. But these models, when once composed and finished even to the smallest details, were entrusted for execution to workmen of mediocre powers, who were recruited not only from Thebes, but from the neighbouring cities of Hermopolis and Siut. These estimable people, with a praiseworthy patience, traced bit by bit the cartoons confided ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... some day," Lousteau answered coolly. "In short, my dear fellow, in literature you will not make money by hard work, that is not the secret of success; the point is to exploit the work of somebody else. A newspaper proprietor is a contractor, we are the bricklayers. The more mediocre the man, the better his chance of getting on among mediocrities; he can play the toad-eater, put up with any treatment, and flatter all the little base passions of the sultans of literature. There is Hector Merlin, who came from Limoges a short time ago; he is ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... trapped the Russians in a narrow defile when, caught between two fires, they would have been forced to surrender, and thus brought the war to an end. One regretted the departure of King Jrme, whom Junot had replaced, for although a mediocre general, he would probably have gone to help Ney. We expected to see Junot severely punished, but he was one of Napoleon's earliest adherents and had supported him in all his campaigns, from the siege of Toulon in '93 to the present. The Emperor was fond of him ...
— The Memoirs of General the Baron de Marbot, Translated by - Oliver C. Colt • Baron de Marbot

... a very kind man and never mistreated his slaves. He was a man of mediocre means, and instead of having a large plantation as was usual in those days, he ran a boarding house, the revenue therefrom furnishing him substance for a livelihood. He had a small farm from which fresh produce was obtained to supply the needs of his lodgers. Mary's family were his only slaves. ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - Florida Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... fool, in spite of his follies. He had talents of a mediocre kind, if he had chosen to make a better use of them. Yet the general opinion was not in favour of his wisdom. He quite deserved Sheridan's cool satire for his affectation, if not for his want ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... In those busy years she had not only earned the living for herself and her boy; she had trained that boy into manhood and placed his foot on the first rung of business success. She had transformed the T. A. Buck Featherloom Petticoat Company from a placidly mediocre concern to a thriving, flourishing, nationally known institution. All this might have turned another woman's head. It only served to set Emma McChesney's more splendidly on her shoulders. Not too splendidly, ...
— Emma McChesney & Co. • Edna Ferber

... should," responded Valdor promptly; "Only it happens that they are not! They treat me merely as a laquais de place,—just as they would treat Zouche, had he accepted his Sovereign's offer. But this I will admit,—that mediocre musicians always get on very well with Royal persons! I have heard a very great Majesty indeed praise a common little American woman's abominable singing, as though she were a prima-donna, and saw him ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... can picture his bewilderment amidst those four women, terrible women ever busy with finery, receiving and paying visits, and running after marriageable men who flee away. It's ill-luck with a vengeance, the daily defeat of a poor devil of mediocre attainments, who imagined that his position as a deputy would facilitate money-making, and who is drowning himself in it all. And so how can Chaigneux have done otherwise than take money, he who is always hard up for a five-hundred-franc ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... voices up, and out of their legitimate tessitura, has become a very grave evil, the consequences of which, in many instances, have been most disastrous. Tolerable baritones have been transformed into very mediocre tenors, capable mezzo-soprani into very indifferent dramatic soprani, and so on. That this process may have answered in a few isolated cases, where the vocal organs were of such exceptional strength ...
— Style in Singing • W. E. Haslam

... a heavy tyre; but Pocket Upton did not think it was that. He caught his father's arm, and whispered in his father's ear, and they plunged together into a side street broader than the asphalt thoroughfare, but with scarcely a break in either phalanx of drab mediocre dwellings, and not a creature stirring except themselves and a few who followed. The hog's back of a still more deserted bridge arched itself at the foot of the street, its suspension cables showing against the sky in foreshortened curves. As they ran a peculiarly shrill whistle cut ...
— The Camera Fiend • E.W. Hornung

... The cacique reminded them, however, that Guarionex was a hero, and had rendered him services when he fled to him for protection, for he had brought him royal presents. Moreover, he had taught both the cacique himself and his wife to sing and dance, a thing not to be held in mediocre consideration. Maiobanexius was determined never to surrender the prince who had appealed to his protection, and whom he had promised to defend. He was prepared to risk the gravest perils with him rather than to merit the reproach of having betrayed ...
— De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) - The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera • Trans. by Francis Augustus MacNutt

... certainly. But facts are facts, Watson, and, after all, you are only a general practitioner with very limited experience and mediocre qualifications. It is painful to have to say these things, but you leave me ...
— The Adventure of the Dying Detective • Arthur Conan Doyle

... himself. Had all else that he wrote been merely mediocre, this one short poem would have given him a claim on the grateful memory of posterity. The note it strikes is one that has never been heard before in Latin poetry and is never heard again. We have wavered before as to Statius' title to the name of true poet; this should turn ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... press have combined to make these volumes, what American books are too apt not to be—a thing of permanent beauty. The publishers intend to bring out the edition quite rapidly. Five volumes are ready, and the others will follow at the rate of one each month. The present is the great era of mediocre men. A horde of novel writers gain their living successfully enough, and we take them up and talk about what they are doing, and how their works compare with each other, as if their doings had real importance. But what ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... came to join her there; Jenny Fagette, slender and fragile, the incarnation of Alfred de Musset's Muse, who at night wore out her eyes of periwinkle-blue by scribbling society notes and fashion articles. A mediocre actress, but a clever and wonderfully energetic woman, she was Nanteuil's most intimate friend. They recognized in each other remarkable qualities, qualities which differed from those which each discovered in herself, and they acted in concert as the two great Powers of the Odeon. Nevertheless, ...
— A Mummer's Tale • Anatole France

... without convictions, although discredited in the country and harassed in his attempts to save his party from Protection, remains in ability, Parliamentary knowledge, experience and skill, head and shoulders above his very mediocre band of colleagues in the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... their indifferent dress, their vernacular and free manners of the mountains and ranges brushed elbows with the more modern folk of the poor and the middle class of the Middle West. They were uninteresting and mediocre, these newcomers, yet the sort who thrive astonishingly upon new soil, who become prosperous and self-important in an atmosphere of equality. There were, too, educated failures from the East and—people who had blundered. But all alike to-night, irrespective of pasts or presents or futures, ...
— The Lady Doc • Caroline Lockhart

... faun took one day a livelier and more assured turn, the joyousness became more real, and the worst of the vicissitudes seemed suddenly over. A musical friend, gifted with mediocre but marketable abilities, supplied Tony with a song, for which he obtained a trial performance at an East End hall. Dressed as a jockey, for no particular reason except that the costume suited him, he sang, "They quaff the gay bubbly in ...
— When William Came • Saki

... assumed the reins of government, nominally at least, for the regent had taken care to give him Dubois for prime minister. Both these illustrious personages, however, died in the course of the year, and were succeeded by the Duc de Bourbon, "ugly and one-eyed, low, mediocre, hypocritical, a man of little led by a woman of nothing, Madame de Prie," and who renewed the persecution of the Protestants and the Jansenists. The young king contented himself with "showing at the council table his handsome and impassible countenance, which nothing ever animated. When not ...
— Paris from the Earliest Period to the Present Day; Volume 1 • William Walton

... villain who planned this thing," I said, "has overstepped himself, as you say, Gatton. If the murder was planned artistically, in his attempt to throw the onus of the crime upon innocent shoulders he has been guilty of a piece of very mediocre work. It would ...
— The Green Eyes of Bast • Sax Rohmer

... individual and of the landscape, or their achievements will be neglected in favor of the fac-similes obtainable through sunshine and chemistry. The best photographs of architecture, statuary, ruins, and, in some cases, of celebrated pictures, are satisfactory to a degree which has banished mediocre sketches, and even minutely finished but literal pictures. Specimens of what is called "Nature-printing," which gives an impression directly from the veined stone, the branching fern, or the sea-moss, are so true to the details as to answer a scientific ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... (with accompanying lecture) a marvellous bivouac-tin containing a compound called beef a la mode, which came provided with its own spirits of wine and wick, both of which proved ineffectual to raise the temperature of the beef above a mediocre tepidity. Parker, having heard that the remains of this toothsome dish were intended for his breakfast, wisely hid it with such care that the dog stole it and consumed it, with results which cannot be ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... incessantly leads to the ultra-experiential; that out of experience there always grows something finer than mere experience, and that in their different powers of ideal extension consists, for the most part, the difference between the great and the mediocre investigator. The kingdom of science, then, cometh not by observation and experiment alone, but is completed by fixing the roots of observation and experiment in a region inaccessible to both, and in dealing with which we are forced to fall back upon the picturing power ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... restaurants of every kind are lighted up, and quickly filled. Debauchery runs riot, and yet, strange to say, there is very little crime. The respectable classes are less well provided for as regards amusement. I went to the opera, and heard William Tell. The performance was mediocre, though far superior to anything that could be done upon the English operatic stage. But I was chiefly amused in watching the habits of the gentlemen ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 1867 • Various

... in 1865—Boker's thoughts were concerned with poetry. His official laureate consciousness did not serve to improve the verse. His "Our Heroic Themes"—written for the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa—was mediocre in everything but intent, recalling what Taylor wrote to him: "My Harvard poem, [he had read it in 1850 before the same fraternity] poor as it is, was received with great applause; but, alas! I published it, ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Francesca da Rimini • George Henry Boker

... relict of John Merrick's only brother, was endowed with a mediocre mind and a towering ambition. When left a widow with an only daughter she had schemed and contrived in endless ways to maintain an appearance of competency on a meager income. Finally she divided her capital, derived from her husband's ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... little thrilled that she, representing to him an average and mediocre public, should ...
— Between Friends • Robert W. Chambers

... impossible to deny the inconceivable influence which military glory exercises upon the spirit of a nation. General Jackson, whom the Americans have twice elected to be the head of their government, is a man of violent temper and mediocre talents; no one circumstance in the whole course of his career ever proved that he is qualified to govern a free people; and indeed the majority of the enlightened classes of the Union has always been ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... them; for all these works appeared indeed at a happy and favorable time. They were all written in the spirit which we have developed above. Frequently the fortunate poet undertook the artistic task of giving a high value to very mediocre materials by revising them; and though it cannot be denied that he sometimes permits reason to triumph over the higher powers, and at other times allows sensuality to prevail over the moral qualities, yet we must also grant that, in its ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... that they drop matters for the night. After a few fruitless parleys his father and Steger finally said good night, leaving him to his own private reflections. He was tired, however, and throwing off his clothes, tucked himself in his mediocre bed, and ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... fantastic and voluptuous bigot. However, they would never have gained more than an antechamber or alcove influence, they would never have risen to political influence, had they not known how to pervert the noblest inclinations of the King, whilst flattering the lowest. Mediocre and secondary as was his place in the line of the Hohenzollerns, Frederick William was not devoid of all royal qualities. He was brave, he was kind-hearted, or rather he was a man of "sensibility"; he ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... intermediate school, it was necessary for him to take a conscientious valuation of his mental capacity; and he arrived at the conclusion that it would be better to become a first-rate factory-overseer than a mediocre teacher or official. And he could carry out this—perhaps too severe—resolve without socially degrading himself, for in Freeland manual labour does not degrade as it does in Europe and America, where the assertion that it does not ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... and signallers. The handy are absorbed into the transport, or become machine-gunners. The sedentary take post as cooks, or tailors, or officers' servants. The waster hews wood and draws water and empties swill-tubs. The great, mediocre, undistinguished majority merely go to stiffen the rank and file, and right nobly they do it. Each ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... with the officers of the army. They have no confidence either in his character or in his ability; not that they think his character bad or deny his ability, but only that they regard him as a shallow, vacillating, and mediocre person who made himself valuable to the Republican politicians by going into alliances with them to which other officers of strong character and high ability would not stoop. As for the quarrel between Boulanger and these politicians, it is a beggars' quarrel, to be made up over the pot of broth. ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... that he is conceited. He is merely conscious of the fact that intellectually he is somewhat superior to his colleagues, most of whom, strangely enough, quite agree with him. They consult him and accept his counsel with almost childlike faith. To the mediocre politicians and provincial lawyers who constitute the bulk of the Senate and House of Representatives, he is a figure apart, who looks upon their antics with a kindly, ...
— The Mirrors of Washington • Anonymous

... envy struck me sharply—horribly. Without waiting to listen to the comment of her companion I hurried out of the building into the cold, white sunlight that threw into bold relief the mediocre houses of the street. Here was everyday life, but the portrait had suggested that which might have been—might be yet. What did I mean by this? I didn't know, I didn't care to define it,—a renewal of her friendship, of our intimacy. My being ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... thing, but utterly mediocre and uninteresting, was clinging to the officer's arm, a second lieutenant in the ...
— Mufti • H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile

... development. We may thus in some cases correct defects and develop abilities which we might otherwise neglect." (b) "Many opinions have been given on the value of life. Some call it good, others call it bad. It would be nearer correct to say that it is mediocre; for on the one hand, our happiness is never as great as we should like, and on the other hand, our misfortunes are never as great as our enemies would wish for us. It is this mediocrity of life which prevents it from ...
— The Measurement of Intelligence • Lewis Madison Terman

... presence an instant without feeling it. A power that enwrapped you; made you feel like a child. Helpless. Anxious to placate a possible wrath that would be devastating; anxious—absurdly—for a smile. It was a radiation of genius, humbling every mediocre mortal it touched. ...
— Tarrano the Conqueror • Raymond King Cummings

... ministers forced upon the king by this triumph of the liberal party were men of moderate principles; and they were only tolerated by the king as a necessary evil At the head of them was M. Roy, who possessed a considerable knowledge of finance; but the rest were of very mediocre talent. At this time the priests and Jesuits were striving in France for the absolute control of public education, as the most effectual means of recovering their domination. This attempt was resisted by the people, who ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... heat it, throw in a grain or two of some mysterious powder, pronounce a few equally mysterious phrases to impress his audience, and, behold, a lump of precious metal would be found in the bottom of his pot. This was the favorite method of mediocre performers, but was, of course, ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... province of Murcia, together with seven cities which he was to hold under the kalif, on condition of a yearly tribute. Such was the defence of Orihuela, and while it involved no strenuous fighting, it was at the same time no mediocre test of womanly daring. After the first few trying hours of the masquerade had been passed, however, and it was evident that the ruse had been successful, it may well be imagined that these feminine warriors were ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... uneducated any more than a string of pearls about the neck of a monkey"; "The inner power of great men becomes more evident in their misfortune than in their fortune; the fine perfume of aloes wood is strongest when it falls into the fire"; "The anger of the best man lasts an instant, of the mediocre man six hours, of the common man a day and a night, and the rascal will never get rid of it"; "The scholar laughs with his eyes, mediocre people show their teeth when they laugh, common people roar, and true men of wisdom ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... lent a charm to the most unattractive candidate for a commission. Any Governor felt a certain relief in intrusting a regiment to any man who had ever eaten clandestine oysters at Benny Haven's, or had once heard the whiz of an Indian arrow on the frontier, however mediocre might have been all his other claims to confidence. If he failed, the regular army might bear the shame; if he succeeded, to ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... corridor in the Law Courts, like the other main corridors, is a place of strange meetings and interviews. A man may receive there a bit of news that will change the whole of the rest of his life, or he may receive only an invitation to a mediocre lunch in the restaurant underneath; he never knows beforehand. Priam assuredly did not receive an invitation to lunch. He was traversing the crowded thoroughfares—for with the exception of match and toothpick sellers the corridor has the characteristics of a Strand ...
— Buried Alive: A Tale of These Days • Arnold Bennett

... possibilities of a lifetime in his own little land, with its rocks and lakes and heathery hills. This was because he really had the poet's eye and heart. Such do not need to traverse the whole wide world to find enough of beauty; it is only the mediocre and the commonplace who care to gaze superficially at the landscapes of two continents. But Wilson knew his land not only with the eye of a poet, but also with that of a naturalist. His favorite pastime was ornithology, and he made fine ...
— Home Life of Great Authors • Hattie Tyng Griswold

... done much good work before, but nothing remarkable; he had taken his years of labour with patient courage, insisting that they were but preparation. He had half starved in the beginning—had gradually made his way to what every one believed was a mediocre standstill; but he kept his faith and his cheerful outlook, and then—he quietly presented the remarkable figure that demanded ...
— The Man Thou Gavest • Harriet T. Comstock

... heavy expenses are already met, and the state, the manager-general of the service, furnishes simply a very small quota; and this quota, mediocre as a rule, is found almost null in fact, for its main largess consists in 6,400 scholarships which it establishes and engages to support; but it confers only about 3,000 of them, and it distributes nearly ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... popular belief in the supernatural, the legends of wandering spirits, of fairies, of gnomes, ghosts, I might even say the legend of God, for our conceptions of the workman-creator, from whatever religion they may have come down to us, are certainly the most mediocre, the stupidest and the most unacceptable inventions that ever sprang from the frightened brain of any human creatures. Nothing is truer than what Voltaire says: 'God made man in His own image, but man has certainly paid Him ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... of the worst and most hopelessly stupid boys in the whole school—I've caned him frequently this term, and that keeps a boy green in one's memory; but Blenkinsopp minor, Cyril Anastasius Guy Thingumbob Whatyoumaycallit,—I don't remember HIM a bit. I suppose he's one of those inoffensive, mildly mediocre sort of boys who fail to impress their individuality upon one in any way. My experience is that you can always bear in mind the three cleverest boys at the top of each form, and the three stupidest or most mischievous boys at the bottom; but the nine or a dozen meritorious ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... waltzes.' In this invariably sarcastic turn of the phrase, this absoluteness of contempt, this insistence on the disagreeable, we find the note of Huysmans, particularly at this point in his career, when, like Flaubert, he forced himself to contemplate and to analyse the more mediocre manifestations ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... the tradition of her early experience, it was a life of energy and excitement, of splendour and power, with a total absence of petty vexations and miseries, affording neither time nor cause for the wearing chagrin of a monotonous and mediocre existence. But the crowning joy of her emancipation was the prospect it offered of frequent enjoyment of the society ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... the melancholy story of poor old Pons. There were a "Chevalier de Malte en Priere," by Sebastian del Piombo; a "Holy Family," by Fra Bartolommeo; a "Landscape," by Hobbema; and a "Portrait of a Woman," by Albert Durer. Apparently they were in reality mediocre as works of art, but they were a source of the utmost pride and delight to their owner, who said enthusiastically of one of them—the Sebastian del Piombo—that "human art can go no further." When we know that in the novel Balzac is speaking of his own ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... that he too was owned by Joseph Griffiss. Peter is, he thinks, thirty-nine years of age,—tall, of a dark chestnut color, and in intellect mediocre. He left his wife and five children behind. He could not bring them with him, therefore he did not tell them that he was about to leave. He was much dissatisfied with Slavery and felt that he had been badly dealt with, and that he could do ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... male friends—in order to preserve peace in the family. A wife may be fiercely jealous of her husband's success and reputation, and cases are not unknown where the wife put every possible obstacle in her husband's way, in order to make him fail in his work, to make him turn out mediocre work, all from fear that his success would gain him admirers, which might perhaps take him away from her. Wives have been known to do everything in their power to exhaust and weaken their husbands, ...
— Woman - Her Sex and Love Life • William J. Robinson

... and two glad lips of song have lifted many a mediocre soul up the slopes of happiness to ...
— Oklahoma Sunshine • Freeman E. (Freeman Edwin) Miller

... admitted that the artistes were no good but the committee, he said, had decided to let the first three concerts go as they pleased and reserve all the talent for Saturday night. Mrs. Kearney said nothing, but, as the mediocre items followed one another on the platform and the few people in the hall grew fewer and fewer, she began to regret that she had put herself to any expense for such a concert. There was something she didn't ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... series of Preces dia, with miniatures, were first sold off at mediocre prices. Needless to say, the illuminations of these books were in ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... should have succeeded in this form. The two men wrote very few sonnets—Browning fewer than Tennyson—and neither ever wrote a great one. Longfellow, so inferior in most respects to his two great English contemporaries, was an incomparably superior sonnetteer. Tennyson's sonnets are all mediocre: Browning did not publish a single sonnet in the final complete edition of his works. He did however print a very few on special occasions, and when he was twenty-two years old, between the composition of Pauline ...
— Robert Browning: How To Know Him • William Lyon Phelps

... exchange of ideas and talents, and all the wealth of civilization it has to offer, is based on a division of labor. Every member must have something to contribute, some special talent. For Earthmen, the talent was obvious very early. Our technology was primitive, our manufacturing skills mediocre, our transport and communications systems impossible. But in our understanding of the life sciences, we have far outstripped any other race in the galaxy. We had already solved the major problems of disease and longevity among our own people, while some of the ...
— Star Surgeon • Alan Nourse

... endurance and to daring. They lived habitually in an atmosphere of peril which taxed all their energies. Their activity was extreme, and their passions corresponded to their vehement vitality. About such men there could be nothing on a small or mediocre scale. When a weakling was born in a despotic family, his brothers murdered him, or he was deposed by a watchful rival. Thus only gladiators of tried capacity and iron nerve, superior to religious and ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... hands met his, her soul gave a little half-humorous "Oh!" of surprise; for photography, which seems to have been invented to flatter the mediocre and belittle the exceptional, had indeed given Londonderry an "interesting face," as we have heard, but missed all the rest—"all the rest" of a large, mobile, talking face, not exactly handsome perhaps, but decidedly good-looking and full of various ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... seven hundred feet in length, three stories high, with the central portion surmounted by a dome, its chief facade looking towards a park. The whole, of course—for Baedeker is talking—forms an "imposing pile," with "mediocre sculptures, but the effect of the weathered sandstone figures against the red brick is very pleasing." Here the Emperor's father, Frederick III, was born, lived as Crown Prince, reigned for ninety-nine days, and died. Here, too, are more "apartments of Frederick the Great," with ...
— William of Germany • Stanley Shaw

... wash his hands of the entire business, and the sly swindlers must look elsewhere, in order to unload their property. The extravagant claims they had made for its richness could not be justified, because it was after all a very mediocre discovery, which would never pay for the working, so ...
— Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay - The Disappearing Fleet • G. Harvey Ralphson

... insensibility, that he was not touched by the accident which happened to the man he seemed to love most. Too happy if one had only said that of him! He was supposed to be jealous of the merit of Schwerin and of Keith, and delighted to have got them killed. It is thus that mediocre people seek to lower great men, to diminish the immense space that ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... extreme northern end of the gallery, beyond the foreign sections, is a tier of four rooms, 117-120, ranging from the mediocre to the admirable. In No. 117 are seven interesting canvases by Frieseke, the grand-prize winner, already mentioned. These pictures show the artist's scope. No. 1816 and others are strikingly like Plinio Nomellini's No. 86 in the Italian ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... culture or complete development of personality, the outcome is identical with the true meaning of social efficiency whenever attention is given to what is unique in an individual—and he would not be an individual if there were not something incommensurable about him. Its opposite is the mediocre, the average. Whenever distinctive quality is developed, distinction of personality results, and with it greater promise for a social service which goes beyond the supply in quantity of material commodities. For how can there ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... general assessment: the domestic system is mediocre, but improving; service is adequate for government and business use, in part because major businesses have established their own private systems; since 1988, the government has promoted investment ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... Telephone system: general assessment: mediocre service; local and long distance service provided throughout all regions of the country, with services primarily concentrated in the urban areas; major objective is to continue to expand and modernize long-distance network in order to keep pace with ...
— The 2001 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... ideal. "A prize-fighter will follow the danseuse. And I shall gloat in Gautier-like cadence—if I can catch it—over each superb muscle and each splendid development. But my best article will be on Kitty Carew. Since Laura Bell and Mabel Grey our courtesans have been but a mediocre lot." ...
— Mike Fletcher - A Novel • George (George Augustus) Moore

... university circles; and in America the explorers Dorantes and Henson; Banneker, the almanac maker; Wood, the telephone improver; McCoy, inventor of modern lubrication; Matseliger, who revolutionized shoemaking. Here are names representing all degrees of genius and talent from the mediocre to the highest, but they are strong human testimony to ...
— The Negro • W.E.B. Du Bois



Words linked to "Mediocre" :   average, inferior, mediocrity, middling, second-rate, fair, bad, ordinary



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