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Absent-minded   Listen
adjective
Absent-minded  adj.  Absent in mind; abstracted; preoccupied.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Absent-minded" Quotes from Famous Books



... "They were what I looked forward to for lunch," exclaimed Bearwarden. They were greatly perplexed. The mushrooms were all about them when they shot the birds, which still lay where they had fallen. "We must be very absent-minded," said the doctor, "or perchance our brains are affected by the air. We must analyze it to see if it contains our own proportion of oxygen and nitrogen. There was a good deal of carbonic-acid gas on Jupiter, but that would hardly confuse our senses. The strange thing is, that we all seem to have ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds • J. J. Astor

... professor's face flushed, his eyes brightened, and for a few moments he felt as if his youthful days had come back, when he was one of the leaders in his college in athletics, and had more than once been in a town-and-gown row. All this before he had settled down into the heavy serious absent-minded student. There was now a curious tingling in his nerves, and he felt ready to agree to anything that would result in the punishment of the cowardly thieves who had left them in such a predicament; but just then his eyes fell upon Lawrence's slight delicate figure, and from that they ...
— Yussuf the Guide - The Mountain Bandits; Strange Adventure in Asia Minor • George Manville Fenn

... fishing in the Savannah River, and we traveled miles and miles to reach the fishing-ground. We found the water there alive with fish, and anchored where they were thickest; and then the person who was guiding the expedition discovered that he had left the bait on the wharf. He is the most absent-minded man south of the Ohio anyhow. In the old days before Georgia went dry he had to give up carrying a crook-handled umbrella. He would invariably leave it hanging on the rail. So I should have kept the bait in mind myself—but ...
— Cobb's Bill-of-Fare • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... severe. Entrusted to the hands of servants, under the high and mighty surveillance of his governess, Mlle. Delahaye, he received from his father, who was already an old man, nothing more than an indulgent and often absent-minded affection, while, as for his mother, she carried out with great firmness her theories regarding the relation between children and parents. She received hers each evening in her large drawing room with cold dignity. Before kissing them she recapitulated all the faults they had committed ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... of jealousy which had moved her so far as to make her look at the two souls in purgatory. Crevel, playing against Baron Hulot and Monsieur Coquet, had Marneffe for his partner. The game was even, because Crevel and the Baron were equally absent-minded, and made blunder after blunder. Thus, in one instant, the old men both confessed the passion which Valerie had persuaded them to keep secret for the past three years; but she too had failed to hide the joy in her eyes at seeing the man who ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... extrodinary teeth. His complexion is very fair, and he doesn't ware a beard. He is a very good man and a very funny one. He has got a temper, but we all of us have in this family. He is the loveliest man I ever saw or ever hope to see—and oh, so absent-minded. He does tell perfectly delightful stories. Clara and I used to sit on each arm of his chair and listen while he told us stories about the pictures ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... masses who congregate in the streets and at public meetings are not communities consisting of whole men, but assemblages in which each man takes a part and is present, indeed, with his whole body, but by no means with his whole being. The masses are absent-minded; and presence of mind only comes to them when through the lips of some true prophet the Spirit descends upon them. But when that happens, they take no decisions; they do not get beside themselves; rather, they sink into themselves. Before the distortions of a mob orator, with ...
— The New Society • Walther Rathenau

... that all his movements were leaden, when he turned at last, and went down to breakfast in the cabin below. The stress did not lighten with the little changes and chances of the voyage to the lake. He was never much given to making acquaintance with people, but now he found himself so absent-minded that he was aware of being sometimes spoken to by friendly strangers without replying until it was too late even to apologize. He was not only steeped in this gloom, but he had the constant distress of the effort he involuntarily made to trace it back to some cause ...
— The Daughter of the Storage - And Other Things in Prose and Verse • William Dean Howells

... was hurriedly examining the visitor. He was a young man, about twenty-seven, decently dressed, well made, slender and dark, with a pale, rather muddy-coloured face and black lustreless eyes. He seemed rather thoughtful and absent-minded, spoke jerkily and ungrammatically, transposing words in rather a strange way, and getting muddled if he attempted a sentence of any length. Liputin was perfectly aware of Stepan Trofimovitch's alarm, and was obviously pleased at it. ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... which Leonie I. could not look without falling into catalepsy (on account of an association of ideas with Dr. Gibert, whose portrait had been in the album). In order to accomplish an act like this Leonie II. has to wait for a moment when Leonie I. is distracted, or, as we say, absent-minded. If she can catch her in this state Leonie II. can direct Leonie I.'s walks, for instance, or start on a long railway journey without baggage, in order to get to ...
— Real Ghost Stories • William T. Stead

... idea was that some absent-minded person had built a three-story house upon my unhappy body; but I was joggling and bouncing up and down, so that that hypothesis was ...
— Mr. Hawkins' Humorous Adventures • Edgar Franklin

... proportion of those who write and talk about education have not discovered they have gone by, and still think and talk of Universities as though they were the only sources and repositories of wisdom. They conjure up a vision in my mind of an absent-minded water-seller, bearing his precious jars and crying his wares knee-deep, and going deeper into a rising stream. Or if that does not seem just to the University in the past, an image of a gardener, who long ago developed a novel variety of some great flower which has ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... The Emperor was absent-minded, and often forgot where he had put the petitions which were handed to him, and thus they were sometimes left in his coats, and when I found them there I carried them to his Majesty's cabinet and handed them to M. de Meneval or M. Fain; ...
— The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Constant

... not limited to Yule, for when travelling in Russia many years ago, the present writer was introduced by an absent-minded Russian savant to his colleagues as ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... met any one quite so definite in my life as that young man," said Felicity as she ate her toast, holding the Daily Mail upside down. She and Savile were sitting rather late over a somewhat silent breakfast. He appeared rather absent-minded and replied ...
— The Twelfth Hour • Ada Leverson

... you say, a vagabond and an outcast, and all that sort of thing, but this is a conventional English home," the girl with the blue eyes declared, "and I am a perfectly well-behaved young woman with an absent-minded but strict parent. I could not think of asking any one to tea of whose very name ...
— The Double Life Of Mr. Alfred Burton • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... well was plainly imbedded in his breast, or he would simply fling the useless thing down at his feet. Conscience was not deadened in him; he was quite aware that matches should not be casually strewn upon a carpet, and in his most absent-minded moods he sent them in the direction of those approved receptacles—the window or fireplace. Let her blame others if the window was closed—the sole use of a window, as far as he could see, was to throw matches through,—or if the fireplace was ridiculously ...
— In the Mist of the Mountains • Ethel Turner

... a sort of an absent-minded man. Perhaps that was his way. Really, I don't know a thing about their business, Miss Melody." The addition was made in sudden panic because the girl had grasped both the wrinkled hands and was gazing searchingly into the old woman's ...
— In Apple-Blossom Time - A Fairy-Tale to Date • Clara Louise Burnham

... staring wide-eyed and puzzled at a floundering, hesitating, absent-minded Mrs. McChesney—a Mrs. McChesney strangely starry as to eyes, strangely dreamy as to mood, decidedly deficient as to dictation. Imagine a Hortense with pencil poised in air a full five minutes, waiting ...
— Emma McChesney & Co. • Edna Ferber

... be morose and absent-minded in a party of which Cora Grimsby and Jennie Stone were the moving spirits. It was a gay crowd that crossed the harbor in the Stazy to land at a roughly built dock under the high bluff of ...
— Ruth Fielding Down East - Or, The Hermit of Beach Plum Point • Alice B. Emerson

... only George would settle down on some suitable girl of good family! But he was so queer and restless. She was afraid for him. Ever since she had taken him away to Europe, when she was so ill, she had been afraid for him. He seemed so moody and absent-minded then and afterwards. Now this Miss Bailey was said to be as beautiful as she was good. If only George would take a notion ...
— The Girl from Montana • Grace Livingston Hill

... one from its wrapping pensively, but ate it with absent-minded eagerness. Thatcher's blue ...
— Hidden Creek • Katharine Newlin Burt

... it was curious to see. She said nothing more; she eyed Juanita as if she were searching into the depth of something; then she went on with her supper. She was thoughtful all the evening; busy with cogitations which she did not reveal; quiet and absent-minded. Juanita guessed why; and many a prayer went up from her own ...
— Melbourne House • Elizabeth Wetherell

... so chilling, so death-like. The features were more than pale. They were ghastly as sunless frost. Carringer's powers of observation had been sharpened by the absinthe, and after having detected the stranger in an absent-minded effort on several occasions to stroke a beard which had no existence, he reflected that some of the whiteness of the face might be due to the recent shaving and removal of a full beard. The eyes were black, and his lower lip was purple. The hands were fine, ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Edward J. O'Brien and John Cournos, editors

... think it's any early mornin' joke to take a wash-up in that there Chinese coffin—why, try her yourself, about midnight." Then he addressed Shoop singly. "If I was you, and you got kind of absent-minded and done likewise, and I seen you, do you think I'd go snitch to the boss? Nix, for it might set him ...
— Sundown Slim • Henry Hubert Knibbs

... finished, he offered quietly to accompany us to the line of demarcation. George had meanwhile disappeared, but a suspicious conversation in broken Spanish and English, in the corridor, betrayed his vicinity. When he returned again, a little absent-minded, the old man, by far the coolest and most self-possessed of the party, extinguished his black-silk cap beneath that stiff, uncomely sombrero which all native Californians affect. A serape thrown over his shoulders hinted that he was waiting. Horses are ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... victim on this occasion was a well-dressed foreign gentleman of perfect manners but fiery temper, who was compelled to suffer a series of dreadful indignities. We left him struggling silently but furiously against an adhesive lobster salad which Mr. CHAPLIN had, in an absent-minded moment, plastered ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. CL, April 26, 1916 • Various

... morning a somewhat absent-minded pupil. Caroline forgot, again and again, the explanations which were given to her. However, she still bore with unclouded mood the chidings her inattention brought upon her. Sitting in the sunshine near the window, she seemed to receive with its warmth a kind influence, which made her both happy ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... was different, more quiet, less demonstrative, sometimes plainly listless and absent-minded. Eveley ascribed the change to her newly developed interest in Lieutenant Ames, and patiently awaited the outcome of the ripening romance. For Eveley had a deep-seated sympathy with ...
— Eve to the Rescue • Ethel Hueston

... the events of the past few weeks and he could see that those occasions from which Dr. Harpe had been excluded had seemed flat, stale, footless to Augusta. She had been absent-minded, preoccupied, even openly bored. He recalled the fact now that it was only at this woman's coming that animation had returned and that she had hung absorbed, fascinated upon her words. She became alive in her presence as though she ...
— The Lady Doc • Caroline Lockhart

... clear off his pins. Honest, I don't believe he knew whether he was eatin' dinner or steerin' an airship. I caught him once tryin' to butter an olive with a bread stick, and he sopped up a pink cocktail without even lookin' at it. The same thing happened to the one Vee pushed over near his absent-minded hand. And the deeper he got into the dinner the livelier grew the twinkle in ...
— Wilt Thou Torchy • Sewell Ford

... occurred to Lily; at any rate, when, four weeks later, Jacky's father came again; she didn't welcome him in quite her old, sweet, hospitable way; but Jacky welcomed him!... Jacky knew his mother as his slave; he showed her an absent-minded affection when he wanted to get anything out of her; but he knew Mr. Curtis as "The Man"—the man who "ordered him round," to be sure, but who gave him presents and who,—Jacky boasted to some of his gutter companions,—"could spit two ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... coin repaid them. Absent-minded Ernest had entirely forgotten that his father had taken the contents to the savings bank for him the preceding month, and that he had not been able to ...
— Chicken Little Jane • Lily Munsell Ritchie

... Mr. Bradbury corroborated, with an attempt at an amused laugh. "I noticed it, too. Of course a man with all his cares and interests must git absent-minded now and then." ...
— The Conquest of Canaan • Booth Tarkington

... iridescent little ground-doves, mated for life, run fearlessly under foot or leap up into snapping flight with a flash of saffron-tinted wings. Under the mangroves the pink ajajas preen and wade; and the white ibis walks the woods like a little absent-minded ghost buried in ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... and resumed her absent-minded switching at the water. Farther out, where the shadow of the weeping willow did not reach, the sunlight shone with dazzling brightness on the water, and the hundreds of little drops that flew off the end of Arethusa's switch gleamed like tiny diamonds ...
— The Heart of Arethusa • Francis Barton Fox

... the gamut from comedy to tragedy. Some of these masks grew dusty between ships, but could quickly be made presentable. Sometimes, when large touring parties came into port, he confused his masks, being by habit rather an absent-minded man. But he possessed a great fund of humor, and these mistakes gave him laughable recollections ...
— Parrot & Co. • Harold MacGrath

... clad in mail and silken broideries, gentle maids in Quaker gray, gay princes in scarlet cloaks, coquettes with roses in their hair, monks in cowls that might have covered the tall Minster Tower, demure little girls hugging paper dolls, and rollicking school-boys with ruddy morning faces, an absent-minded professor carrying his shoes under his arms and looking wise, followed by cronies, fairies, goblins, and all the troops just loosed from Noah's storm-tossed ark. They walked, they strutted, they soared, they swam, and some came in through fire. One sprite climbed up to the moon ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... so absent-minded. He read a list of box-holders for the opera as the First Lesson the other Sunday, instead of the families and lots of the tribes of Israel that entered Canaan. Fortunately no ...
— The Unbearable Bassington • Saki

... forgot to tell him," said the absent-minded man. "Tell him to saddle her, and bring ...
— By Berwen Banks • Allen Raine

... Sanderson's attention to the fact that he had signed a letter to a firm of stockbrokers, "Your loving husband, Macnaughton, Macnaughton, Macnaughton, Macnaughton & Macnaughton." Mr. Sanderson, always a little absent-minded, corrected the error, and promised the boy his articles. Five years later John ...
— Happy Days • Alan Alexander Milne

... He had better keep her till he had made sure that the lamb could not hold any more. The lamb grew visibly in gumption; and finally, after another swig at the bar of life, he was a made lamb. He actually started to walk. His steps, to be sure, were rather theoretical and absent-minded, and as he had not yet discovered just where earth begins and air leaves off, he seemed to be putting his feet into places that were not there; but considering the dizzy height of his legs, and the unevenness of this wabbly ...
— The Wrong Woman • Charles D. Stewart

... happened, and ever and again broke out into rejoicing over their reunion. Who would have thought, to see them there, that any thing could be wanting to the perfect happiness of these four people? But Rico knew another tale. In the midst of all the merriment, he became absent-minded, and fell into one of his old dreamy moods. It did not last as long as formerly, however. He must have reached a satisfactory conclusion pretty soon; for suddenly his reverie was over, and he said these words, with ...
— Rico And Wiseli - Rico And Stineli, And How Wiseli Was Provided For • Johanna Spyri

... through his tasks rather languidly, greatly preferring work to play. All diversions such as marching and circle games struck him as pleasant enough, but childish, and if participated in at all, to be gone through with in an absent-minded and supercillious manner. There were moments when his exotic little personality, standing out from all the rest like an infant Artful Dodger or a caricature of Beau Brummel, seemed to make him wholly alien to the ...
— The Girl and the Kingdom - Learning to Teach • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... heard these little noises in the park. They sounded like small working sounds, blending in eerily mysterious fashion with a chorus of small voices. I thought at first it might be children at play, but then at the time I was a bit absent-minded. I tiptoed to the edge of the trees, not wanting to deprive any small scalawags of their pleasure, and peered out between the branches. And what do you suppose I saw? Not children, but a group of little people, ...
— Houlihan's Equation • Walt Sheldon

... O'Brien was absent-minded, and Mucluc Charley nudged him in the ribs. Marcus O'Brien cleared his throat ...
— Lost Face • Jack London

... absent-minded when the old lady's retinue set their meal before them; so none broke their reserve, for it is not lucky to ...
— Kim • Rudyard Kipling

... nerves for inhaling and appreciating flavors. These excite in them but an obtuse sentiment; such persons are, with regard to objects of taste, what the blind are with regard to light. The second class are the absent-minded, chatterboxes, persons engrossed in business or ambition, and others who seek to occupy themselves with two things at once, and eat only to be filled. Such, for example, was Napoleon; he was irregular in his meals, and ate fast and badly. ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... too long. But in what mood should you enter? Certainly not in accordance with the rules of the previous Meditation. In a rage then? Still less should you do that. You should come in with good-natured carelessness, like an absent-minded man who has forgotten his purse, the statement which he has drawn up for the minister, ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... was the somewhat absent-minded reply, for Mrs. Royal's attention was upon Rodney, who was creeping gaily about the floor, examining every nook, and making himself ...
— Rod of the Lone Patrol • H. A. Cody

... persistency, unless it was that an uneasy conscience had driven him from the field. It did not occur to her that the man had under strong provocation merely yielded to the prompting of a somewhat hasty temper. In the meanwhile he crossed the room in an absent-minded manner and presently found himself near Jessy, who made room ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... Mrs. Salsify, in her blandest tone; "here are the keys. I lock the pantry because Mr. Mumbles is so absent-minded he often leaves the door open, and the cat gets in and devours the victuals. Get just what you want for Charlie and a lunch for yourself and ...
— Eventide - A Series of Tales and Poems • Effie Afton

... yourself, if you'd seen the lordly way he dismissed the poor people who had come running out of their houses to help him, and his stateliness in rewarding that little cooper, and his heroic parting from his cherished overcoat,—which of course he can't replace in Quebec,—and his absent-minded politeness in taking my hand under his arm, and marching off with me so magnificently. But the worst thing, Fanny,"—and she bowed herself under a tempest of long-pent mirth,—"the worst thing was, that the iron, you know, was the cooper's branding-iron, and ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... absent-minded, sir, I put my clothes to bed And hang myself upon a chair; Is not that odd?' ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.) • Various

... blow delivered. It was an aloof, unstudied, almost absent-minded affair. I had thought the cook was rehearsing the proper method of turning ...
— Waifs and Strays - Part 1 • O. Henry

... to lose, and presently, all his money being gone, he began to feel in his pockets in an absent-minded way for more, but the hand came forth empty from each pocket. ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... Karl von Rosen should have reflected that the Zenith Club was one of the institutions of Fairbridge, and met upon a Friday, and that Mrs. George B. Slade's house was an exceedingly likely rendezvous, but he was singularly absent-minded as to what was near, and very present minded as to what was afar. That which should have been near was generally far to his mind, which was perpetually gathering the wool of rainbow sheep ...
— The Butterfly House • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... though he wandered about for a while, was attracted again by the music to the ballroom, and did find there a dinner acquaintance with whom he took a turn. The lady must have thought him a very uninteresting or a very absent-minded companion. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... presides over the lost articles has had long experience as an alienist. He is skeptical as to the reality of what is called mind. So far as his clients are concerned, it is notable for its absence. To be confronted day after day by the absent-minded, and to listen to their monotonous tale of woe, is disenchanting. It is difficult to observe all the amenities of life when one is dealing with ...
— By the Christmas Fire • Samuel McChord Crothers

... his lessons he gave the verses their full harmony and rhythm, which made us laugh very much. During recreation he willingly joined our games, and he was not awkward, but he played with such feverish enthusiasm, and yet he was so absent-minded, that some of us felt an ...
— Balthasar - And Other Works - 1909 • Anatole France

... as if absent-minded, "yes, the proud empress-dowager hates me, and hastened to marry her daughter to a petty German prince rather than let her become the consort of the Emperor of the French.[44] Well, no matter! other princes have daughters, too, and one of them ...
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia • L. Muhlbach

... autobiographical chapter published in The North American Review he tells of the move to Hannibal and relates that he himself was left behind by his absentminded family. The incident of his own abandonment did not happen then, but later, and somewhat differently. It would indeed be an absent-minded family if the parents, and the sister and brothers ranging up to fourteen years of age, should drive off leaving Little Sam, age four, behind. —[As mentioned in the Prefatory Note, Mark Twain's memory played ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... half an hour later, and I was back at my own desk doping out a schedule I'd promised to fix up for Mr. Robert, when I glances up to find Old Hickory wanderin' around the room absent-minded. He's starin' hard at a letter he holds in one paw. All of a sudden he discovers me at the roll-top. For a second he scowls at me from under the bushy eyebrows, and ...
— Torchy, Private Sec. • Sewell Ford

... his friend out of the clutches of the "Come-Outers" as quickly as possible, and piloted him down the road toward his home. John Baxter was silent and absent-minded, and most of the Captain's cheerful remarks concerning Orham affairs in general went unanswered. As they turned in at the gate ...
— Cap'n Eri • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... they shortly Into love-songs might be growing, Just as caterpillars later Into butterflies develop. Homeward now he would be turning; But the wood-sprite Meysenhartus Hid with dust the right path from him, And young Werner, absent-minded, 'Stead of river-ward went inland. Now again the wood-sprite grinning Clambered to the fir-tree's summit, Rocking gaily in the branches. "He is caught!" so said he, mocking. Werner paying no attention, ...
— The Trumpeter of Saekkingen - A Song from the Upper Rhine. • Joseph Victor von Scheffel

... just then remarkably absent-minded. They went through the entrance hall, and at the exit they stopped for ...
— Bertha Garlan • Arthur Schnitzler

... it is possible to imagine. To recur to the phrase which I employed earlier, this is tantamount to saying that everything is important with the exception of everything. Religion is exactly the thing which cannot be left out—because it includes everything. The most absent-minded person cannot well pack his Gladstone-bag and leave out the bag. We have a general view of existence, whether we like it or not; it alters or, to speak more accurately, it creates and involves everything we say or do, whether we like it or not. If we regard the Cosmos as a dream, ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... pretty steadily until the dawn began to steal over the chimney-pots of the houses at the back. It wasn't a pretty sky that the light revealed, dull and streaky looking, with a suggestion of coming rain. I stood looking at it in an absent-minded, miserable sort of stupor; then I ...
— The Gates of Chance • Van Tassel Sutphen

... did not display a trace of irritation. From his appearance one might have judged that the niggers had returned to their work, and that everything was going well. At times he appeared absent-minded, and at times he wore a gloomy but triumphant look, as though some business which had unpleasant memories attached to it had at last been ...
— The Pools of Silence • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... blow-off cocks of the boilers in steam, as there is usually a pipe into which the steam and water is carried off running parallel with the cocks, and take charge of the spanner used in opening them, in case an absent-minded stoker might attempt to blow some of the muddy water out of his boiler when the men were in the empty one, and scald them to death, the steam rushing up through the blow-off. I then fill the boiler ...
— The Stoker's Catechism • W. J. Connor

... their meal, they began to talk to the old gentleman who was so kindly entertaining them. They were greatly pleased with his courtesy and with the hearty hospitality which he had pressed upon them. They noticed, however, that he was very absent-minded, and looked as if some unpleasant thought lay heavy ...
— Chinese Folk-Lore Tales • J. Macgowan

... she had loved and lost, she burst into loud sobs and fled back to the prophetess. But she received little consolation, for the woman who was expecting to greet her own husband as a conqueror and see the rescued friend of her childhood, was absent-minded and troubled, as if some heavy ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... absent-minded young drug-clerk who, when a stranger entered and inquired for the proprietor, answered, "He's out just at present, but we have something that is ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... seemed real and vital to her. But when Jan tried to interest her in plans for the future, the voyage home, the children, the baby that was due so soon, Fay looked at her with tired, lack-lustre eyes and seemed at once to become absent-minded and irrelevant. ...
— Jan and Her Job • L. Allen Harker

... followed, the Lords Proprietors of Carolina ceased to be Lords Proprietors. Their government had been, save at exceptional moments, confused, oppressive, now absent-minded, and now mistaken and arbitrary. They had meant very well, but their knowledge was not exact, and now virtual revolution in South Carolina assisted their demise. After lengthy negotiations, at last, in 1729, all ...
— Pioneers of the Old South - A Chronicle of English Colonial Beginnings, Volume 5 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Mary Johnston

... twenty feet high, and the drumsticks are of proportionate length. As Dr. Blamphin, the eminent aurist, remarks, "The merit of the notes of this momentous instrument is their profound sincerity. They cannot be disregarded even by the most absent-minded auditor." ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, February 23, 1916 • Various

... with absent-minded slowness, and all the time that he was removing the dust and the stains of travel, he kept narrowing the eye of his mind to visualise more clearly that cumbersome chain which lay on the floor of the adjoining ...
— The Night Horseman • Max Brand

... through it all, with his face washed and his hair carefully brushed and parted, looking modest and more than a little absent-minded, and wearing a pair of black dress trousers belonging to the manager of the Temperance Hotel,—a larger man than ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... at the end of a Schumann song and just after Ware had departed, Graham found Paula still seated at the piano, an expression of rapt dreaming on her face. She regarded him almost unrecognizingly, gathered herself mechanically together, uttered an absent-minded commonplace or so, and left the room. Despite his vexation and hurt, Graham tried to think it mere artist-dreaming on her part, a listening to the echo of the just-played music in her soul. But women were ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... established a regular series of exercises, which had all to be gone through before she would suffer herself to be captured; as, first, she would station herself plump in the middle of a marsh, which lay at the lower part of the lot, and look very innocent and absent-minded, as if reflecting on some sentimental subject. "Suke! Suke! Suke!" I ejaculate, cautiously tottering along the edge of the marsh, and holding out an ear of corn. The lady looks gracious, and comes forward, almost within reach of my hand. I make a plunge to throw the rope over her horns, and ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... unless one gives, isn't it so? I want to be able to give—!" she declared vaguely. Yet whenever Imogen strove to pay her tithes and plunged bravely into her plans for study next winter, Flavia grew absent-minded and interrupted her by amazing generalizations or by such embarrassing questions as, "And these grim studies really have charm for you; you are quite buried in them; they make other ...
— The Troll Garden and Selected Stories • Willa Cather

... stream, their fur bristled and they crouched flat, glancing angrily this way and that. Then they stole forward, and once more explored the whole place minutely. At last, finding nothing to alarm them, in an absent-minded way one of the two went down the slide, splash into the cool brown water. The other followed at once. The temptation was simply not to be resisted, you know. And in a minute more they were both hard at it, having the time ...
— Children of the Wild • Charles G. D. Roberts

... Never upon the face of a living being had he seen a pallor so death-like and chilling. The face was more than pale; it was white. Kimberlin's observing faculty had been sharpened by the absinthe, and, after having detected the stranger in an absent-minded effort two or three times to stroke a beard which had no existence, he reflected that some of the whiteness of the face might be due to the recent removal of a full beard. Besides the pallor, there were deep ...
— The Ape, the Idiot & Other People • W. C. Morrow

... Catherine had told him about her in Surrey, looked at her with some interest, and talked to her a little in his most light-hearted way. She replied briefly and without much apparent animation, seeming indeed rather absent-minded and distraite. Presently Mr. ...
— Tongues of Conscience • Robert Smythe Hichens

... sibilation of his 'Yes,' in the way of absent-minded men. He liked little Bobby, but had to class the boy second for ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... said absently. "Always doing that. Confusing them...." He dropped the tray where it belonged, shoved his hands into the chef's cleaning recess and waved them around, then came back, still looking absent-minded, and stopped before Trigger's chair. He studied ...
— Legacy • James H Schmitz

... from here of your own free will, that it may not be said that Monsieur Desroches has dismissed you. You have been careless or absent-minded, and neither of those defects can pass here. The master shall know nothing about the matter; that is all that I can do for ...
— A Start in Life • Honore de Balzac

... and fled. He stayed, not stirring in the dark. Braun returned. They sat down to dinner. Christophe was incapable of thought. Anna seemed absent-minded: she was looking "elsewhere." Shortly after dinner she went to her room. Christophe found it impossible to stay alone with Braun, and went ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... Prove to this fine sore creature that our manners may have all the grace without wanting to make such selfish terms for it. She avoids society and lives quite alone, seeing no one but a horrible French sister-in-law. Do let me hear that you've made her patience a little less absent-minded. Make her WANT to forget; ...
— Madame de Mauves • Henry James

... have," exclaimed the absent-minded old man. "However that can wait. A Viking flea would ...
— The Boy Aviators' Polar Dash - Or - Facing Death in the Antarctic • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... a lump came into his throat. He stood and stared, and then turned in an absent-minded way and bent his head over the great ledger, though he seemed not to care which page opened. Jane to marry Dan! Was that what he had meant? Had it come to that? Once Job had not cared, but now the thought made him wild. Could it be true? Jane to marry Dan Dean! Better she ...
— The Transformation of Job - A Tale of the High Sierras • Frederick Vining Fisher

... she must control herself because the dinner-bell would ring and she must go. To stay and send the conventional excuse of a headache would bring her husband up to her, and although he was so full of his own affairs that the questions that he would ask her would be perfunctory and absent-minded, she felt that she could not endure, just now, to ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... well used to it by this," replied Miss De Courcy, with the same joyless little laugh, giving the lace skirt an absent-minded kick with her red morocco toe. "I lived in the country ...
— A Village Ophelia and Other Stories • Anne Reeve Aldrich

... began to play a game with a string. My God! what were my transports when, for not paying attention, I got a sharp and vigorous slap on my fingers from her, and how I tried afterwards to pretend that I was absent-minded, and she teased me, and would not touch the hands I held out to her! What didn't we do that evening! We played the piano, and sang and danced and acted a gypsy encampment. Nirmatsky was dressed up as a bear, and made to drink salt water. Count Malevsky ...
— The Torrents of Spring • Ivan Turgenev

... lines of praise from Pierre Loti, the touching appreciations of prison life by Penitence Murray, and the voluble intellectuality of Thapoulos, Jennings and Smith the sculptor, Miss Van Tuyn began to feel absent-minded. Her power of attraction was quite evidently being seriously challenged. She was now certain—how could she not be—that Craven had not merely gone to Number 18A, but ...
— December Love • Robert Hichens

... wretched entanglement all day, and was so distrait and absent-minded that her aunt remarked it, naming it malaria and prescribing quinine. Whereat Charlotte dissembled and put on a mask of cheerfulness, keeping it on until after the evening meal and her aunt's early retiring. But when she was ...
— The Price • Francis Lynde

... said, but it had no meaning to him; and I left him to his Rose, almost wishing that something would happen to him soon to shake him up, even if, shaking him up, it shook off a few of the purple blossoms that he thought so necessary to the tree of life. Thinking of him I almost talk like him in his absent-minded moments. ...
— Sonnie-Boy's People • James B. Connolly

... days after this that a letter arrived for Mr. Gascoyne which almost turned the little Parsonage upside down. Gwen could tell from Father's manner that something had happened, he seemed so unusually agitated, so perplexed, and sometimes so absent-minded that he forgot all that was going on around him. Something was wrong, argued Gwen, and as she did not like to question Father himself, she plucked up her courage ...
— The Youngest Girl in the Fifth - A School Story • Angela Brazil

... thought I took it off out here. Could have sworn I did. Guess likely I didn't, though. Must be gettin' absent-minded." ...
— The Woman-Haters • Joseph C. Lincoln

... rather absent-minded, and had a dreamy way of looking far ahead even when he was most roused, scarcely noticed Hilda's tears. He talked on in a monotonous ...
— A Young Mutineer • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... mebbe she'd 'a' been better comp'ny on the whole," chuckled Uncle Bart. "Companion was allers kind o' dreamy an' absent-minded from a boy. I remember askin' him what his wife's Christian name was (she bein' a stranger to Riverboro) an' he said he didn't know! Said he called her Mis' Bixby afore he married her ...
— The Story Of Waitstill Baxter • By Kate Douglas Wiggin

... in the things he used to. He goes about as if he had something on his mind; kind of absent-minded, you know; and forgets to-morrow what he says to-day. He always puts on a good face, though, when Miss ...
— The Man on the Box • Harold MacGrath

... related of a certain minister who was officiating at a funeral that, while standing by the coffin offering the final prayer, he noticed one of the mourners kneeling upon the loose earth recently thrown from the grave. This man was a prospector, like all the rest, and in an absent-minded way he had tearfully been sifting the soil through his fingers. Suddenly he arose and began to stake out a claim adjoining the grave. This was, of course, observed by the clergyman, who hastened the ceremonials to a conclusion, and ...
— Over the Rocky Mountains to Alaska • Charles Warren Stoddard

... whole-hearted in his devotion to science. He spends his days flitting through the woods with his shot-gun and his butterfly-net, and his evenings in mounting the many specimens he has acquired. Among his minor peculiarities are that he is careless as to his attire, unclean in his person, exceedingly absent-minded in his habits, and addicted to smoking a short briar pipe, which is seldom out of his mouth. He has been upon several scientific expeditions in his youth (he was with Robertson in Papua), and the life of the camp and the canoe is nothing fresh ...
— The Lost World • Arthur Conan Doyle

... her sister, the latter put an arm about her tenderly and drew her close. A change had recently come over the younger girl—a change that Dallas had not failed to see, yet had utterly failed to understand. Marylyn still performed her few tasks about the house, but with absent-minded carelessness. Her work done, she took up the long-neglected vigil at the windows, spending many quiet, and seemingly purposeless, hours there—all unmindful that the beaded belt lay dusty and unfinished on a shelf. Only by fits and starts was the shack enlivened by her happy ...
— The Plow-Woman • Eleanor Gates

... absent-minded smile, nodded approvingly at the finished slippers standing on the table, and then went on with her problems. Lloyd opened her bureau-drawer to search for the ribbon which she had bought for the bows. As she rummaged ...
— The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation • Annie Fellows Johnston

... beyond the plain lineaments and habiliments of the man to the ideal figure of the statesman and president, struggling for the freedom of his country and the unity of his race, whom we all saw in the "Railsplitter" from Illinois; and he seemed, in his absent-minded way, to be looking beyond those present to the infinite realm of responsibility and care ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... recorded their choice for Trulease, Watling and Prosperity: and working-men followed suit. Victory was in the air. Even the policemen wore happy smiles, and in some instances the election officers themselves in absent-minded exuberance thrust bunches of ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... bad as that," with a feeble attempt at a pun. He paused to light a cigar, and absent-minded ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... fun and merriment that was taking place in the room, Dexie's abstracted and absent-minded manner was not noticed, except by one pair of eyes—and very little that concerned Dexie Sherwood escaped the notice ...
— Miss Dexie - A Romance of the Provinces • Stanford Eveleth

... flood of rain into the cabin through the open door, and water twinkled in puddles here and there on the floor's puncheons. They sat down side by side, Father Beret fingering the letter in an absent-minded way. ...
— Alice of Old Vincennes • Maurice Thompson

... everything that had been running in his head, and thought only of playing with his brothers, and of pretending to drive the horses and oxen like a man. Germain plunged into his work, and tried to forget, too; but he became so absent-minded and so sad that everybody noticed it. He never spoke to little Marie, he never even looked at her, and yet had anybody asked him in what meadow she was, or by what road she had passed, there was not a moment in the day when he could not have answered if he would. He dared not ask his family ...
— The Devil's Pool • George Sand

... spent it, having probably just discovered that it was a fallacy. It was in the days of the younger Pitt, however, that it came out in full bloom. After it had been for several years in operation, a retired and absent-minded mathematical student, Robert Hamilton, shewed its falsity in a book printed in 1813. The exposure was conclusive, and no one since that time has ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, No. 421, New Series, Jan. 24, 1852 • Various

... feel that I was not doing my full share as an entertainer for the masses. He also had the unusual habit of speaking his thoughts aloud, whether complimentary or otherwise, in frank soliloquy, like that absent-minded Lord Dudley whom Sydney Smith alludes to, as meeting and greeting him with effusive cordiality, and then saying, sotto voce, "I suppose I shall have to ask ...
— A Truthful Woman in Southern California • Kate Sanborn

... shrewd Mrs. Munn had noticed that lately the doctor seemed to be absent-minded. Indeed, he was very much worried over a problem of his own that had nothing to do with his patients. The question was, what had he done to offend Miss Cameron? Why she should have suddenly changed from warm friendship to cold avoidance of ...
— Treasure Valley • Marian Keith

... about it and the men would lapse into rather boisterous spells of conversation during which time the cards would lie on the table forgotten, and Mrs. Thompson would gaze at her husband with deep absorption and occasionally at Claybrook and sometimes at Mary Louise in a far-off, absent-minded way. And then they would ask each other whose deal it was and "How were the honours?" and then they would be at it again. Claybrook laughed at the slightest provocation, and seemed to pay a little too obsequious ...
— Stubble • George Looms

... here?" he began in a fascinatingly absent-minded style, as if he had known me all my life, and with an inimitable nasal drawl. "This is a rotten job, my dear sir. Rotten! I cannot recommend it. Not your style at all, I ...
— Alone • Norman Douglas



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