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Desuetude   Listen
noun
Desuetude  n.  The cessation of use; disuse; discontinuance of practice, custom, or fashion. "The desuetude abrogated the law, which, before, custom had established."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Desuetude" Quotes from Famous Books



... there is a famous old saloon called the Sazeraz. For fifty-four years it stood open to the thirsty public. Then the City Council passed a Sunday-closing ordinance, and with the enforcement of this law came the discovery that through innocuous desuetude the hinges of the doors to the Sazeraz had rusted off, while the doors themselves had become so worm-eaten that they had to be replaced by new ones. The sheriff who pounced down on Billy Boyle's in his official capacity must have fancied ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... resurgence of the protectionist champions, but Disraeli was too wise to invite a renewal of that contest which the voice of the nation had settled, and the subject was left to lapse into innocuous desuetude for half a century. Representing but a minority in Parliament, the ministry could maintain itself but a few months. December, 1852, found the Whigs again in power, where they remained until 1859, Disraeli using his talents the while to build up and consolidate the Tory ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... just man would not be left destitute and that, though many troubles surrounded him, he would at last be set free from them all. I was possessed of strong and brilliant parts, and a liberal education; and, though I had somehow unaccountably suffered my theological qualifications to fall into desuetude, since my acquaintance with the ablest and most rigid of all theologians, I had nevertheless hopes that, by preaching up redemption by grace, preordination, and eternal purpose, I should yet be enabled to benefit mankind in some country, and rise to ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... Mercia, about a hundred and fifty years later, he restored Christianity, and under its protection the nunnery of St. Columba was restored and its doves flourished again. In process of time this religious house again fell into desuetude; but before it disappeared it had achieved a great name for good works, and in especial for the piety of its members. If deeds and prayers and hopes and earnest thinking leave anywhere any moral effect, Mercy Farm and all around ...
— The Lair of the White Worm • Bram Stoker

... inferiors cries to Heaven. Her heartless detention of railway porters staggering under their burdens, her browbeating of "tradespeople," cause this observer of fine susceptibilities and an acute sense of the becoming to lament the desuetude of the ducking-stool. The more general outrage, however, apparently common to the sex from Helen of Troy to Florence Nightingale, is, according to our censor, the spite of women towards each other, which mounts into an ecstasy of rudeness ...
— From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 • George William Curtis

... may cease to have a significance, and they may be modified or allowed to fall into desuetude. There is, however, much conservatism, as all who are familiar with legal usage know. And laws may fail of their purpose. They may aim to diminish crime, and their undiscriminating severity may foster crime. So ...
— A Handbook of Ethical Theory • George Stuart Fullerton

... been an instance of a burgess becoming the property of the abbey by marriage with a serf. Hence, need there is of exercising this right, that it may not be lost, effete and obsolete, and fall into desuetude, the which would occasion troubles manifold. And this is of greater advantage for the state and for the abbey than your boxes, however beautiful they may be, seeing that we have a fund which will enable ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... which might interest the student concerns the revival of lace, which transpired so early as 1905. Curiously enough, this dainty adjunct to the attire had fallen into desuetude among women. More curiously still, it remained for the sterner sex to revive it. For it was in that year that the backbone of stiff white collars and cuffs was broken. A material being sought which would weather the ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 30, June 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... me, moreover, that I should suffer all sorts of annoyances, and succeed in nothing, if I refused the first visit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs; that as for the Councillors of State, they existed only in name, the office having fallen into desuetude; and that I must pay other visits to certain officers he named (three in number), who would be justly offended and piqued if I refused them what every one who had preceded me had rendered them. He added that I ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... alteration in that hard old character; perhaps he drank a little more, though that was doubtful, because it is difficult to see where he could find niches to stick in more frequent drinks. Nor did he more frequently breathe through the pipe. He fell into desuetude, however, of his daily walk, [Endnote: 1] and sent Elsie to play by herself in the graveyard (a dreary business enough for the poor child) instead of taking her to country or seaside himself. He was more savage and blasphemous, sometimes, than he had been heretofore known to ...
— Doctor Grimshawe's Secret - A Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Protestantism resulted in such a wealth of mutually antagonistic sects that the application of the principle became impracticable, and for this, as well as for more fundamental reasons, it fell into desuetude. The condition is as difficult today for the process of denominational fission has gone steadily forward, and as this energy of the religious influence weakens the strenuosity of maintenance strengthens. With our 157 varieties of Protestantism confronting Catholicism, Hebraism, and a mass of ...
— Towards the Great Peace • Ralph Adams Cram

... frock-coat, a threadbare green garment—his Sunday coat. The firemen, whom Girbal commanded, sword in hand, stood in single file. On the other side shone the white plates of some old shakos of the time of Lafayette—five or six, no more—the National Guard having fallen into desuetude at Chavignolles. Peasants and their wives, workmen from neighbouring factories, and village brats, crowded together in the background; and Placquevent, the keeper, five feet eight inches in ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... plan was originated, that particular corner was called "the infernal box," but the name has fallen into desuetude since the dedication of the fine monument of M. Gamier. Nevertheless, as it is counted a high privilege to be numbered among these select subscribers, changes are rare among them; besides, the members are not, as a rule, men in their ...
— Zibeline, Complete • Phillipe de Massa

... do today. But could the King's Reader of Plays live on his fees from these plays alone; and if he could how long would his post survive the discredit of licensing only pornographic plays? It is clear to me that the Examiner would be starved out of existence, and the censorship perish of desuetude. Perhaps that is exactly what the Select Committee contemplated. If so, I have nothing more to say, except that I think sudden ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... in various ways, such as advanced exercises and lectures in the foreign idiom, special conversation classes, and the like—if only for the simple reason that a language that is not used soon falls into desuetude and is forgotten. But assuredly the so-called elementary, intermediate, and advanced courses in French and Spanish (as given in college) do not fall under that head. They exist in the college by tolerance rather than by sound pedagogical theory, and the effort now being ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... no word of him had come to her. Blake had heard. But no word had he said to Kathryn, because of the things that he had heard. A man of the breadth of acquaintance, of the breadth of interests, that was John Schuyler's may not fall to desuetude unwatchful. And Blake heard, at clubs, at theatres, wherever men congregate, of Schuyler, and of the life that was his. And he, as little ...
— A Fool There Was • Porter Emerson Browne

... the enforcement of labour, which is an old charge against planters, was unknown; and the payment of tribute, common under the old feudal system, and styled furmaish, had been allowed to fall into desuetude. The NATIVE Zemindars or landholders however, still jealously maintain their rights, and harsh exactions were often made by them on the cultivators on the occasions of domestic events, such as births, marriages, deaths, and such like, in the families of the ...
— Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier - Twelve Years Sporting Reminiscences of an Indigo Planter • James Inglis

... Christmas time is of obligation; and the custom obtains among the women—though less now than of old—of sending a fougasso as a Christmas gift to each of their intimates. As this custom had in it something more than a touch of vainglorious emulation, I well can understand why it has fallen into desuetude in the vicinity of Vielmur—where Mise Fougueiroun's inspired kitchening throws all other cook-work hopelessly into the shade. As I ate the "horns" (as its fragments are called) of my fougasso that morning, dipping them in my coffee according ...
— The Christmas Kalends of Provence - And Some Other Provencal Festivals • Thomas A. Janvier

... loq.—"While I was in the army, I was in Washington on 'leave' for two or three days. One night, at a party, I became utterly bewildered in an attempt to converse, after long desuetude, with a fascinating woman. I went stumbling on, amazing her more and more, until finally I covered myself with glory by the categorical statement that in my opinion General McClellan could 'never get across the Peninsula without a fattle; I beg pardon, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... since fallen into the way-station rut of desuetude—awoke with a start, bestirring themselves joyfully to meet the inspiriting conditions. At Midland City, Stephen Hawk, the new right-of-way agent, ventured to ask municipal help to construct a ten-mile branch to Lavabee: ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... unrestricted competition among various religions, the universal law of the survival of the fittest acts freely. Buddhism was the fittest and became the predominant religion. Shintoism was the weakest and sank into helpless desuetude. But with the revival of learning, as Kojiki and other ancient literature were studied with assiduity, Shintoism began to revive. Its cause found worthy defenders in Motoori and Hirata. They are among the greatest Shintoists Japan has ...
— The Constitutional Development of Japan 1863-1881 • Toyokichi Iyenaga

... means of production in the name of society—is also its last independent act as State. The interference of the State in social relations becomes superfluous in one domain after another and falls of itself into desuetude. The place of a government over persons is taken by the administration of things and the conduct of the processes of production. The State is not 'abolished,' it dies out."[1035] "The representatives of the State will have disappeared along with the State itself—ministers, parliaments, standing ...
— British Socialism - An Examination of Its Doctrines, Policy, Aims and Practical Proposals • J. Ellis Barker

... elevation to the woolsack was celebrated by a revel in the Inner Temple Hall, the dulness and disorder of the celebration convinced the lawyers that they had not acted wisely in attempting to revive usages that had fallen into desuetude because they were inconvenient to new arrangements or repugnant to modern taste. No attempt was made to prolong the festivity over a succession of days. It was a revel of one day; and no one wished to add another to the period of riot. At ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... among the Beni Amer on the shores of the Red Sea and in the Barka valley, which is the more remarkable as mother-descent has fallen into desuetude under the influence of Islamism. (Hartland, Vol. I. p. 274, quoting ...
— The Truth About Woman • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... intrigued, by the statement." This use of intrigue in the sense of "perplex, puzzle, trick, or deceive" dates from 1600. Then it fell into a state of somnolence, and after an existence of innocuous desuetude lasting till 1794 it was revived, only to hibernate again until 1894. It owes its new lease of life to a writer on The Westminster Gazette, a London journal famous for its competitions in aid of the restoring of the dead meanings ...
— Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases • Grenville Kleiser

... obedient to Hepsey's demands, but the vestry blustered and scolded, because they had not been consulted in the matter, until Hepsey said she would be glad to receive any contribution they might choose to offer; then they relapsed into innocuous desuetude and ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... which, also, sees it capable of navigating under water at a speed of from seven to nine knots, with torpedoes ready for use in the tubes and guns of effective caliber mounted on deck. It has, indeed, been asserted that the airplane and the submarine have relegated the battleship to the limbo of desuetude: but as to that the continued control of the seas by Great Britain with her immense battle-fleet, supplemented by our tremendous engines of war, certainly argues for no such theory. What the future may bring forth ...
— Our Navy in the War • Lawrence Perry

... commonly regarded as necessities. It boasted, for instance, no garage; no refrigerating system maddened those dependent upon it; a dissipated electric lighting system never went out of nights, because it had never been installed; no brass-bound hall-boy lounged in desuetude upon the stoop and took too intimate and personal an interest in the tenants' correspondence. The inhabitants, in brief, were free to come and go according to the dictates of their consciences, unsupervised by neighborly women-folk, unhindered ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... the usual lawn tennis, and croquet, which is rather falling into desuetude, but still affords unequalled opportunities for flirtation. There is boating, and the river looks quite gay with boats with striped and colored awnings to protect the fair ones from the sun. Grandon and Latimer are famous oarsmen, and often gather an admiring audience which gets ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... a curious fact that the custom which now created such violent excitement gradually passed into desuetude. At present there are few places [629:1] where the eating of the Paschal lamb is continued. But otherwise the practice for which Victor contended eventually prevailed, as the Roman mode of celebration was established ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... do not represent a clique. Several of them are personally unknown to the others, but they are united by certain common principles, arrived at independently. These principles are not new; they have fallen into desuetude. They are the essentials of all great poetry, indeed of all great literature, and ...
— Some Imagist Poets - An Anthology • Richard Aldington

... name to all diseases from which men have imagined that they suffered, and to invent new ones for those who are tired of vulgar maladies. But all their learning is forgotten, their cares and controversies are laid aside, in "innocuous desuetude." The Summer School of Sociology is assembled. The Medical Congress is ...
— Fisherman's Luck • Henry van Dyke

... impudent thing; but England had to put up with it. Now, in the case of Madagascar, the formalities had originally been observed, but by neglect they had fallen into desuetude ages ago. England should have snatched Madagascar from the French clothes-line. Without an effort she could have saved those harmless natives from the calamity of French civilization, and she did not do it. Now ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... parliament, during which the king had attempted to rule without one, and had resorted to all the expedients that the ingenuity of the crown lawyers could suggest, in order to extort money. Imposts fallen into desuetude, monopolies abandoned by Elizabeth, royal forests extended beyond the limits they had in feudal times, fines past all endurance, confiscations without end, imprisonments, tortures, and executions,—all marked these eleven years. The sum for fines alone, ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... than usual—only twelve of them. Of these, eight had only impracticable schemes to propose. In fact, one of them wanted to revive painting, an art fallen into desuetude owing to the progress made in color-photography. Another, a physician, boasted that he had discovered a cure for nasal catarrh! These impracticables were dismissed in short order. Of the four projects favorably received, the first was that ...
— In the Year 2889 • Jules Verne and Michel Verne

... bachelor (bas-chevalier seu miles-bachillarus); whilst the silver Collar of SS. belongs to every head of a family of ancient esquirage quality, bearing arms. It is true, the fashion of wearing the collar, whether gold or silver, may be said to have been in desuetude for centuries. But rights of blood never prescribe; and there are strong grounds to believe that there will again be a general revival of the use of ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 43, Saturday, August 24, 1850 • Various

... in the vicissitudes of the city. After the fall of the Western Empire, about the beginning of the sixth century, when it was finally repaired by Theodoric, it fell into desuetude. The people, owing to the unsettled state of the country, were afraid to move from home. A grievous apathy took possession of all classes; agriculture was neglected, and the drains being stopped up, the line of route was inundated, and the road, especially ...
— Roman Mosaics - Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood • Hugh Macmillan

... custom of human sacrifice among ancient races at the foundation of buildings, we shall be led to the conclusion that the ceremony described by the Greek historian was a survival of a very ancient usage, which had not yet fallen entirely into desuetude at the ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 9 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... cannot deal playfully with truths that are a matter of bitter concern to him in his life. And hence, in the progressive centralisation of modern thought, we should expect the old form of fable to fall gradually into desuetude, and be gradually succeeded by another, which is a fable in all points except that it is not altogether fabulous. And this new form, such as we should expect, and such as we do indeed find, still presents the essential character of brevity; ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... football, and even that will soon be stripped of its vigor on the plea that it is barbarous. When our fathers quarreled they took a pot-shot at each other at ten paces; now disagreements involving even family honor are carried into the courts—the bloody Code Duello has been relegated to "innocuous desuetude." Texas is supposed by our Northern neighbors to be the "wurst ever," the most bloodthirsty place this side the Ottoman Empire; yet the Houston Post, leading paper of Harris county, is crying its poor self sick because some peripatetic Ananias intimated to ...
— Volume 10 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... it may be, since the axiom that noblesse oblige has fallen into desuetude, and the word of a gentleman is no more to swear by than a huckster's. Tom and Jerry's wives go to court, and the arbitrary edict of fashion constitutes the latest barbaric importation bon ton for a season. I have been ...
— The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax • Harriet Parr

... 614. Desuetude — N. desuetude, disusage^; obsolescence, disuse &c 678; want of habit, want of practice; inusitation^; newness to; new brooms. infraction of usage &c (unconformity) 83; nonprevalence^; a custom more honored in the breach than the observance [Hamlet]. V. be unaccustomed &c adj.; leave ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... time than now seems possible, another topic will supersede you. Then, as one of our Presidents has aptly said, you will sink into 'innocuous desuetude.'" ...
— The Bacillus of Beauty - A Romance of To-day • Harriet Stark

... that, without irreverence for law, they have not allowed it to stand in the way of their natural development: they have not, as a rule, driven rough-shod over law, but have quietly allowed undesirable laws to fall into innocuous desuetude. ...
— Stephen A. Douglas - A Study in American Politics • Allen Johnson

... undermining all sense of their dignity and natural liberty. They made the whole district combine in a sort of secession from the law, and they so frightened the functionaries appointed to enforce respect for it, that after a few years it fell into a veritable desuetude. Thus it happened that, while France at a short distance from this region was advancing with rapid strides towards the enfranchisement of the poorer classes, Varenne was executing a retrograde march and returning at full speed to the ancient tyranny of the country squires. ...
— Mauprat • George Sand

... to use in the new life which had begun for them. The tomb was then filled in with sand, with which care was taken to mix plenty of red ochre. It is difficult not to conclude that this was a relic of a rite fallen into desuetude. ...
— Manners and Monuments of Prehistoric Peoples • The Marquis de Nadaillac

... oak spinning-wheel, more than centenarian in age, fallen into hopeless desuetude, but gay with the strings of scarlet pepper pods hung up to dry, and twined among its silent spokes. On a trivet provided with lizard feet that threatened to crawl away, rested a copper kettle bereft of its top, ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... borrowed, factory-made products of the present time." The same words might be applied to Sousa's marches with equal justice. They have served also for dance music, and the two-step, borne into vogue by Sousa's music, has driven the waltz almost into desuetude. ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... their day's work, fills us with amazement. We wonder that any human beings could have been so callous. The result of this historic alteration is that even in the Mother Church herself, where ascetic discipline has such a fixed traditional prestige as a factor of merit, it has largely come into desuetude, if not discredit. A believer who flagellates or "macerates" himself today arouses more wonder and fear than emulation. Many Catholic writers who admit that the times have changed in this respect do so resignedly; and even add that perhaps it is as well not to waste feelings in regretting the ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... hath two birth-days: two days, at least, in every year, which set him upon revolving the lapse of time, as it affects his mortal duration. The one is that which in an especial manner he termeth his. In the gradual desuetude of old observances, this custom of solemnizing our proper birth-day hath nearly passed away, or is left to children, who reflect nothing at all about the matter, nor understand any thing in it beyond cake and orange. But ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... pleasures elsewhere than in the barren satisfaction of worldly wealth. Even when she had to make some one a present of the kind called 'useful,' when she had to give an armchair or some table-silver or a walking-stick, she would choose 'antiques,' as though their long desuetude had effaced from them any semblance of utility and fitted them rather to instruct us in the lives of the men of other days than to serve the common requirements of our own. She would have liked me to have in my room photographs of ancient buildings ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... sympathetic, moral, and religious relations and obligations, would have to be summarily set aside for future revision, if not for sweeping rejection. All our ideas of life, materiality, spirituality, animality, vegetability, sensibility, etc., would have to fall into greater or less desuetude, the language disappearing with the ideas. All the words expressing our ideas of a superhuman agency, of God, angels, heaven, revelation, religious doctrines, sentiments, acts of worship, piety, human accountability to divine institutions, rites, ceremonies, etc.,—to say nothing ...
— Life: Its True Genesis • R. W. Wright

... Potestas—over free persons whose services have been made away to another by their own ancestor, it is mancipium—over a wife, it is still manus. The old word, it will be perceived, has not altogether fallen into desuetude, but is confined to one very special exercise of the authority it had formerly denoted. This example will enable us to comprehend the nature of the historical alliance between Contracts and Conveyances. There seems to have been one solemn ...
— Ancient Law - Its Connection to the History of Early Society • Sir Henry James Sumner Maine

... dam' good man,' says Van Zyl. 'He's a friend of mine. He sent in a fine doctor when I was wounded and our Hollander doc. wanted to cut my leg off. Ya, I'll guess we'll stay with him.' Up to date, me and my Zigler had lived in innocuous desuetude owing to little odds and ends riding out of gear. How in thunder was I to know there wasn't the ghost of any road in the country? But raw hide's cheap and lastin'. I guess I'll make my next gun a thousand ...
— Traffics and Discoveries • Rudyard Kipling

... Neild very clean and orderly through the exertions of Mrs. Widdows, the keeper. Mrs. Widdow's salary was 63 pounds per annum. She had resolutely put down the cuckstool, and the whipping-post was becoming in a complete state of desuetude. A pump in the men's yard was used as a place of occasional punishment for the stubborn and refractory. The prisoners were without any instruction, secular or religious. No chaplain attended. The allowance ...
— Recollections of Old Liverpool • A Nonagenarian

... had ceased by long disuse. If any one will run over the pages of Comyn's Digest or any other such book, title "Prerogative," he will find the Queen has a hundred such powers which waver between reality and desuetude, and which would cause a protracted and very interesting legal argument if she tried to exercise them. Some good lawyer ought to write a careful book to say which of these powers are really usable, and which are obsolete. There ...
— The English Constitution • Walter Bagehot

... women would indulge in the same vanity of secret orders. The trouble is that they are so situated in life that they cannot hold together, unless they are in a shirtwaist factory and join a labour union. The great majority are confined, one in a house, or in the innocuous desuetude of society, where there is no bond of common interest, but violent feminine competition. They have no issue which unites them; they do not hold together. They do well to hold the men. This keeps them anxious, tearful, deceitful, and busy, besides being ...
— The Co-Citizens • Corra Harris

... ladies and gentlemen. The daughter of the happy household was playing and singing Verdi's "Ah! I have sighed to rest me;" the fond mother was turning the pages; the fond father was sighing and resting up stairs, in a state of innocuous desuetude, produced by the "music" of old Kentucky Bourbon; but he could not withstand the power of the melody below. Quickly he donned his clothing; he put his vest on over his coat; put his collar on hind side foremost; buttoned the lower ...
— Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales • Robert L. Taylor



Words linked to "Desuetude" :   inactivity



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