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Passivity   Listen
noun
Passivity  n.  
1.
Passiveness; opposed to activity.
2.
(Physics) The tendency of a body to remain in a given state, either of motion or rest, till disturbed by another body; inertia.
3.
(Chem.) The quality or condition of any substance which has no inclination to chemical activity; inactivity.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Passivity" Quotes from Famous Books



... Government is morally answerable for those activities of its subjects which have international results. The American policy which permits the supply of weapons to England but allows England to prevent the export of grain to Germany, is a bad neutrality, morally untenable, a mere passivity, which lacks the will to do right. Such a standpoint might exist in a despotically governed state, but in a democratic Republic it is incomprehensible. For, from a genuinely democratic point of view, it does not signify whether the government or the citizens intervene to help ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... once the matter had presented itself to me in that light it somehow began to vex me. It got on my nerves, as though it were an affair of my own. I complimented myself upon my keen sense of justice, but in reality this was my name for my disgust with Chaikin's passivity and for the annoyance and the burning ill-will which the rapid ascent of the firm aroused in me. I begrudged them—or, rather, Jeff—the money they were ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... down the door had been a simple household duty, Brutus turned from it with quiet passivity, and adjusted the folds of the blue broadcloth with an equal thoroughness, while my father straightened the lace ...
— The Unspeakable Gentleman • John P. Marquand

... sense of spectatorship was the child's main support, the long habit, from the first, of seeing herself in discussion and finding in the fury of it—she had had a glimpse of the game of football—a sort of compensation for the doom of a peculiar passivity. It gave her often an odd air of being present at her history in as separate a manner as if she could only get at experience by flattening her nose against a pane of glass. Such she felt to be the application of her nose while she waited for the effect of Mrs. Wix's eloquence. Sir Claude, ...
— What Maisie Knew • Henry James

... exploit the situation to the mutual advantage of English and German. Alone Sir Reginald MacKenna, the chairman of the London City and Midland Bank, in a remarkable speech to the shareholders and directors indicated our astonishing passivity. The war has brought Germany low, and the lower she goes the more dangerous she is to the rest of us. But no one will face it. If we did resolve to face it we should find many Germans ready to co-operate ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... warm and rosy in a happy dream, looking very solemnly at a picture she was making in the darkness over his left shoulder. She had liked the story, although the thought of men fighting over a woman made her feel sick, as any conspicuous example of the passivity common in her sex always did. But the rest she had thought lovely. It was a beautiful idea of the Marquis's to turn the bed into an altar. Probably he had often gone into his wife's room to kiss her good-night. She saw a narrow iron bedstead such as she herself slept ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... men of Madrid were not acting with the passivity desired by their philosophizing monarch. At first they had welcomed Murat as delivering them from the detested yoke of Godoy; but the conduct of the French in their capital, and the detention of Ferdinand at Bayonne, aroused angry feelings, ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... knows that his best moments have come from the initiation of the Spirit who 'bloweth where He listeth.' How often we have been surprised by God's help; how often we have been quickened by God's inbreathed Spirit, and have been taught that the passivity of faith draws to us greater blessings than the activity of effort! 'They also serve who only stand and wait,' and they also conquer who in quietness and confidence keep themselves still and let God work for them and in them. The first great blessing of trust ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... so long in vain and now almost forgotten, is the opposite of this. It insists that man is by nature a passive, an experiencing creature, and that he can do nothing well in action unless he has first learned a right passivity. Only by that passivity can he enrich himself; and when he has enriched himself he will act rightly. Man has a will; but he must apply it at the right point, or it will seem to him merely a blind impulse. He must apply it to the manner in which he ...
— Essays on Art • A. Clutton-Brock

... is to be remembered withal, that always on the back of these compulsory adventures there followed English bishops, priests and preachers; whereby to the open-minded, conviction, to all degrees of it, was attainable, while silence and passivity became the duty or necessity of ...
— Early Kings of Norway • Thomas Carlyle

... objects are omitted, and others repeated several times under different heads. It is like a division of animals into men, quadrupeds, horses, asses, and ponies. That, for instance, could not be a very comprehensive view of the nature of Relation which could exclude action, passivity, and local situation from that category. The same observation applies to the categories Quando (or position in time), and Ubi (or position in space); while the distinction between the latter and Situs is merely verbal. The incongruity ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... rhetoric. Resignation, not fortitude, is the authors' forte and they play upon it amazingly. The sterner tones of their predecessors melt into the long drawn broken accent of pathos and woe. This delight not in action or in emotion arising from action but in passivity of suffering is only one aspect of a certain mental flaccidity in grain. Shakespeare may be free and even coarse. Beaumont and Fletcher cultivate indecency. They made their subject not their master but their plaything, or an ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... person as a passive resistance. If the individual so resisted be of a not inhumane temper, and the resisting one perfectly harmless in his passivity, then, in the better moods of the former, he will endeavor charitably to construe to his imagination what proves impossible to be solved by his judgment. Even so, for the most part, I regarded Bartleby and his ways. Poor fellow! thought I, he means no mischief; it is plain he intends ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... four o'clock was he able to seem to listen to their appeals, and this was only because Chand Singh, apparently emboldened by the passivity of his foe, deliberately advanced four guns to a spot little beyond the reach of their musketry, and began to try the range. Charteris detected at once the bait which was to draw him from his position and give the Granthis their long-sought opportunity, and set his teeth hard. The line should ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

... into cafi, "to speak." Cr is by itself an interjection of abhorrence or disgust; in composition it indicates detestation or destruction: thus, craky signifies "hatred;" cravi, "the destruction of life" or "to kill." L for the most part indicates passivity, but with different effect according to its place in the word. Thus mepi signifies "to rule;" mepil, "to be ruled;" melpi, "to control one's self;" lempi, "to obey." The signification of roots themselves is modified by a modification ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... blacks will have his fishing-line, for sometimes the turtle do not rise according to expectations. At high tide these feed among the rocks close to the shore, at low water out among the coral on the reef, and the hunters wait and watch and fish silently and with all passivity. Then, when maybe they have caught schnapper, red bream and parrot-fish, they drift among the turtle, and ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... greyhound. It was more as if they had lived a long time with people who never spoke to them or looked at them: as though the silence of the place had gradually benumbed their busy inquisitive natures. And this strange passivity, this almost human lassitude, seemed to me sadder than the misery of starved and beaten animals. I should have liked to rouse them for a minute, to coax them into a game or a scamper; but the longer ...
— Kerfol - 1916 • Edith Wharton

... and in the rear seat of the observation car a young man sat greatly at his ease, not in the least discomfited by the fierce sunlight which beat in upon his brown face and neck and strong back. There was a look of relaxation and of great passivity about his broad shoulders, which seemed almost too heavy until he stood up and squared them. He wore a pale flannel shirt and a blue silk necktie with loose ends. His trousers were wide and belted at the waist, and his short sack-coat hung open. His heavy ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... in History we seem to see that in old times people took life much more leisurely than they do now. The elder generations gave more scope in their customs and their religions for contentment and peace of mind. We associate a certain quietism and passivity with the thought of the Eastern peoples. But as civilization traveled Westward external activity and the pace of life increased—less and less time was left for meditation and repose—till with the rise of Western Europe ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... of man is not of such. He is capable not of being influenced merely, but of influencing—and first of all of influencing himself; of taking a share in his own making; of determining actively, not by mere passivity, what he shall be and become; for he never ceases to pay at least a little heed, however poor and intermittent, to the voice of his conscience, and to-day he pays more heed ...
— A Dish Of Orts • George MacDonald

... one sort or another, from love of a voluntary submission, or from a fear of their own ignorance, if they are younger and more inexperienced than their lieges. Neither the one passion nor the other seems to reduce them to a like passivity as regards their husbands. They must apparently have a fetish of their own sex. Colville could see that Imogene obeyed Mrs. Bowen not only as a protegee but as ...
— Indian Summer • William D. Howells

... state of passivity, Soames submitted to the operation. His hair was vigorously toweled, then fanned in the most approved fashion; but this was no more than the beginning of the operation. As he leaned back ...
— The Yellow Claw • Sax Rohmer

... have accomplished the first tentative steps toward the creation of a real civilization, the task of freeing the spirit of mankind from the bondage of ignorance, prejudice and mental passivity which is more fettering now than ever in the history of humanity, will be facilitated a thousand-fold. The great central problem, and one which must be taken first is the abolition of the shame and fear of sex. We must teach men the overwhelming power of this radiant force. We must ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... the masterful old hand, but she would not. A sad passivity became her best unless she relinquished every possible result of the last ten minutes. And it must have had some result. Jeff had, at least, been partly won. Surely there was an implied intimacy in his quick undertone when he had bade her run along. So Madame Beattie ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... long years, always with a disposition to lay the blame on the wife rather than on the husband, and to reproach Mrs. Raynor for encouraging her daughter's faults by a too exclusive sympathy. But old Mrs. Dempster had that rare gift of silence and passivity which often supplies the absence of mental strength; and, whatever were her thoughts, she said no word to aggravate the domestic discord. Patient and mute she sat at her knitting through many a scene of quarrel and anguish; resolutely she appeared ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... meanwhile alleging her neutrality as an excuse for doing nothing.[13] Thus, the resolve of Catharine to give nothing but fair words being already surmised, the emigres found to their annoyance that Pitt's passivity clogged their efforts—the chief reason why they shrilly upbraided him for his insular egotism. Certainly his attitude was far from romantic; but surely, after the sharp lesson which he had received from the House of Commons in the spring ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose



Words linked to "Passivity" :   passive, passiveness, inertia, apathy, inactivity, torpidity, torpor, submissiveness, inactive



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