Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Stale   Listen
verb
Stale  v. t.  (past & past part. staled; pres. part. staling)  To make vapid or tasteless; to destroy the life, beauty, or use of; to wear out. "Age can not wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Stale" Quotes from Famous Books



... was heavy with the smells of cheap whiskey, stale cigarette smoke and human sweat. Two figures were sprawled on the bed. A hairy, bearlike man, Slater; a ...
— Take the Reason Prisoner • John Joseph McGuire

... of other people's hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say "I am misunderstood," or "I have become second-rate," because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false.... ...
— Letters of Anton Chekhov • Anton Chekhov

... spoil the fresh yeast. Yeast made in this manner will keep good a fortnight in warm weather; in cold weather longer. If your yeast appears to be a little changed, add a little saleratus to it before you mix it with your bread. If it does not foam well, when put in, it is too stale to use. Milk yeast makes sweeter bread than any other kind of yeast, but it will not keep good long. It is very nice to make biscuit of. Take half the quantity of milk you need for your biscuit—set it in a warm place, with a little flour, and a tea-spoonful of salt. When ...
— The American Housewife • Anonymous

... was called revolutionary. But the other revolutionists were abruptly startled by the presentation of quite rational and ingenious arguments on their own side. The dreary thing about most new causes is that they are praised in such very old terms. Every new religion bores us with the same stale rhetoric about closer fellowship and the higher life. No one ever approximately equalled Bernard Shaw in the power of finding really fresh and personal arguments for these recent schemes and creeds. No one ever came within ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... don't know, miss, as trouble can anyhow be called fresh—leastways to us it's stale enough; we're that sick of it! I declare to you, miss, I'm clean worn out with havin' patience! An' now there's my sister gone after her husband an' left her girl, brought up in her own way an' every other luxury, ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... little room on the right, whose walls were decorated with various sporting prints chiefly illustrative of steeple-chases, with here and there a stunted fox-brush, tossing about as a duster. The ill-ventilated room reeked with the effluvia of stale smoke, and the faded green baize of a little round table in the centre was covered with filbert-shells and empty ale-glasses. The whole furniture of the room wasn't worth ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... stale here, will be new there a twelvemonth hence; and if a man of the town by chance come amongst them, he's reverenced for ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Volume 4 (of 18) - Almanzor And Almahide, Marriage-a-la-Mode, The Assignation • John Dryden

... that point he sent it over the wire to Washington. It was successfully received at the Washington end, and never were human beings more surprised than were the train passengers on alighting at the capital city to find that they brought stale news, and that Clay's nomination was already known throughout Washington. It was the first public proof in America of the powers of the telegraph, and certainly a ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 1 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... astounding contents had been read by his Chief. He made his way thither, somewhat dubious as to the thrill of his achievement, aware of a shadow about him, the ghost of yesterday's joy, which made all success save the intimate personal one that he most craved, flat, stale, and unprofitable. In the darkness of the street he was aware, too, that he was being observed and followed, but he went boldly toward his destination, sure that as a member of the staff of the British ...
— The Secret Witness • George Gibbs

... misled, and of farther fanning passion, already kindled into flame. Doubtless, it served in its day, and, in greater or less degree, the end designed by it. Having done that, it has sunk into the general mass of stale and loathed calumnies. It is the very cast-off slough of a polluted and shameless press." And Mr Cooper observes—"Every honest man appears to admit that the press in America is fast getting to be intolerable. ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... into hiding: listens to us all the while we talk; and comes out afterwards with all its blushes stale, to be rouged up again and sent off the moment your back is turned. No, better!—to be slipped into your pocket and carried home to yourself by yourself. How, when you get to your destination and find it, you will curse yourself that you were ...
— An Englishwoman's Love-Letters • Anonymous

... the King—"My little old friend, I am not sorry to see you; though Buckingham, who I suppose is the purveyor of this jest, hath served us up but a stale one." ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... alternately side-splitting and terrifying. On occasions he would use the birch—and very thoroughly, too, as I have reason to remember —but he ruled us by fear of authority. For though he dressed like a clergyman, he always smelled strongly of stale cigar smoke, and his language at times was more forcible than is generally expected of a wearer ...
— The Confessions of Artemas Quibble • Arthur Train

... bush-ranger over yonder? He'd stale the milk out of your tea, he would, be the same token. Well, last night he got vicious and took a crack at my lines. I had rayson to suspect he'd be afther tryin' somethin' on, so I laid for him. I planted a certain mule where he could ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Nov. 14, 1917 • Various

... prevented games for three days, and the players were getting a bit "stale" with nothing to do. Then the sun came out, the grounds dried up and the series was resumed. But the ...
— Baseball Joe in the Big League - or, A Young Pitcher's Hardest Struggles • Lester Chadwick

... becomes monotonous, there is the same confession of failure as when day-by-day happenings grow stale and repellent. The difference is that when love goes, the fortress has been taken and all ...
— The Good Housekeeping Marriage Book • Various

... drive a cart round by Hard Scrabble, Moderation, 'n' Scratch Corner way. Mis' Maddox used to buy all her baked victuals of him, 'specially after she found out he was a widower beginnin' to take notice. His cart used to stand at her door so long everybody on the rout would complain o' stale bread. But bime bye Fiddy begun to set at her winder when he druv up, 'n' bime bye she pinned a blue ribbon in her collar. When she done that, Mis' Maddox alles hed to take a back seat. The boys used to call it ...
— The Village Watch-Tower • (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

... players face their task he gains a new respect for the profession. It is with a sense of shame that the wincing author hears his lines repeated night after night—lines that seem to him to have grown so stale and disreputably stupid, and which the ingenuity of the players contrives to instill with life. With a sense of shame indeed does he reflect that because one day long ago he was struck with a preposterous idea, here are honest folk depending on it to earn daily ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... dampen the zeal and eagerness of the first child. There is a hearty simple type of person who is naively eager and enthusiastic, full of desire, passion and enthusiasm, who finds joy and satisfaction in simple things, whose purposes do not grow stale or monotonous; there is a finicky type, easily displeased and dissatisfied, laying weight on trifles, easily made anhedonic, victims of any reduction in their own energy (which is on the whole low) ...
— The Foundations of Personality • Abraham Myerson

... even to the grandest music if indifferently performed; some who had "atmosphere" and "chiaro-oscuro" so fully developed that copies of even the "Madonna di San Sisto" were only daubs offensive to the eye; others who, having seen Macready in Macbeth, find the tragedy stale in others' hands. Now I don't believe this ensues where the love of the art itself is genuine; and I rejoice to say that having once listened to an oratorio at the Handel Festival with four thousand selected performers, that oratorio becomes ...
— Round the World • Andrew Carnegie

... fire,—coolie who rises out of the dim smoke like the evil genii in the Arabian tale. There is no chimney, there is no window, there is no drainage. We are in a cubic sink, where we can scarcely stand erect. From the small door pours a dense volume of smoke, some of it stale smoke, which our entry has forced out of the corners; the kitchen will only hold so much smoke, and we have made havoc among the cubic inches. Underfoot, the thin planks sag into standing pools, and there is a glimmer of poisonous blue just along the base of the blackened walls; thousands ...
— In the Footprints of the Padres • Charles Warren Stoddard

... large onion quartered, with some black pepper and milk, till the onion is quite a pap. Pour the milk on white stale-bread grated, and cover it. In an hour put it into a saucepan, with a good piece of butter mixed with a little flour: boil the whole up together, and ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... was "difficult to work," says Dickens, with obvious truth. How was he to get the quicklime into the vault, and Drood, alive, out of the vault? As to the reader, he would at first take Datchery for Drood, and then think, "No, that is impossible, and also is stale. Datchery cannot be Drood," and thus the reader would remain in a pleasant state of puzzledom, as he ...
— The Puzzle of Dickens's Last Plot • Andrew Lang

... occasion of the quarrel with the Aetolians it was reported of the Roman commander-in-chief that during battle he was solely occupied in praying and sacrificing like a priest; whereas Polybius with his somewhat stale moralizing calls the attention of his countrymen to the political usefulness of this piety, and admonishes them that a state cannot consist of wise men alone, and that such ceremonies are very convenient for the ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... however, the good-natured Dobbs had thoughtfully reserved for the delectation of Larkyns and myself a fragment of some very stale cake, which, from the important air he assumed when presenting it to our astonished gaze, he evidently considered a great treat; and, I was really sorry at Larkyns making some unkind remark or other about Noah and the Ark in connection with this venerable dainty that, I'm sure, must have hurt the ...
— Crown and Anchor - Under the Pen'ant • John Conroy Hutcheson

... most trying. Either we have never had a spiritual experience deep and thorough enough to lay bare to us the mysteries of the soul; or our experience is too old, and we have repeated it so often that it has become stale to ourselves; or we have made reading a substitute for thinking; or we have allowed the number and the pressure of the duties of our office to curtail our prayers and shut us out of our studies; or we have learned the professional tone in which things ought to be said, ...
— The Preacher and His Models - The Yale Lectures on Preaching 1891 • James Stalker

... ghostly and unkempt appearance. The atmosphere of the sitting-room was stuffy and redolent of stale tobacco smoke. Wrayson's first action was ...
— The Avenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... a wealthy brewer, and, at length, I was accepted— this was an opening! I registered malt, hops, ale, and small-beer, till I began to feel as though the world was one vast brewhouse; and calculated, added, and subtracted pounds, shillings, and pence, until all other lore appeared "stale, flat, and unprofitable." I was in this counting-house four years, and was, finally, discharged by my prudent principal as an unthrifty servant, for having, during a day of unusual business, cut up two entire quills, and overturned the inkstand on a new ledger! Again "the world was all before me ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 265, July 21, 1827 • Various

... get stale," declared the clown, with a faint smile. "Give us a hand, partner—one at a time, and we'll get my ...
— Andy the Acrobat • Peter T. Harkness

... you very heartily and sincerely for this favour, I shall just say a word or two in answer to yours. And so you really think you have some morality on hand, a little stale or so but still sound, which you can bestow with advantage upon me? You imagine you can tell me something I never heard before? Now have you sincerely so much vanity, Louisa? Be frank. You acknowledged I have ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... dear sir, in a certain kingdom, in a certain empire, there lived a man and his wife, and they were very poor. They were so unfortunate that they had nothing to eat. They would go around begging, somebody would give them a crust of stale bread and that would keep them for awhile. And it came to pass that the wife begot a child—a child was born—it was necessary to christen it, but, being poor, they could not entertain the godparents and the guests, so nobody came to christen the child. They tried this and they ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... unscrewed and jerked out of him by very anguish. It happened then, and lastly, that Mr Pecksniff found himself immediately collared by something which smelt like several damp umbrellas, a barrel of beer, a cask of warm brandy-and-water, and a small parlour-full of stale tobacco smoke, mixed; and was straightway led downstairs into the bar from which he had lately come, where he found himself standing opposite to, and in the grasp of, a perfectly strange gentleman of still stranger appearance who, with his disengaged hand, rubbed ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... satchels and remnants of dinner. Those that came from a distance always brought their dinner with them, generally a good hunk of bread and a piece of chocolate, the poorer ones bread alone, very often only a stale hard crust that couldn't have been very nourishing. They were a very poor lot at our little village, St. Quentin, and we did all we could in the way of warm stockings and garments; but the pale, pinched faces ...
— Chateau and Country Life in France • Mary King Waddington

... ineffective fussiness, that she clapt him down to sit on a clutch of stone eggs for the rest of his life. How often have I thought how deplorable it was to see a man issuing a series of books, every one of which is feebler than its predecessor, dishing up the old characters, the stale ideas, the used-up backgrounds. I have always hoped that some one would be kind and brave enough to tell me when I did that. But now that the end seems to have come to me naturally and spontaneously, I cannot accept my defeat. I am like the monkey of whom Frank Buckland ...
— The Altar Fire • Arthur Christopher Benson

... somewhat unusual with Trollope, is the depiction of the public-house, 'The Pig and Whistle', in Norfolk Street, the landlady, Mrs. Davis, and the barmaid, Norah Geraghty. We can almost smell the gin, the effluvia of stale beer, the bad tobacco, hear the simpers and see the sidlings of Norah, feel sick with and at Charley:—he 'got up and took her hand; and as he did so, he saw that her nails were dirty. He put his arms round her waist ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... nearly an hour. An opera is far more real than real life to me. It seems as if stage illusion, and particularly this hardest to swallow and most conventional illusion of them all—an opera—would never stale upon me. I wish that life was an opera. I should like to live in one; but I don't know in what quarter of the globe I shall find a society so constituted. Besides, it would soon pall: imagine asking for three-kreuzer ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... safe for any person to communicate his thoughts to the Public.—And you, Messieurs Printers, whatever the tyrants of the earth may say of your Paper, have done important service to your country, by your readiness and freedom in publishing the speculations of the curious. The stale, impudent insinuations of slander and sedition, with which the gormandizers of power have endeavoured to discredit your Paper, are so much the more to your honour; for the jaws of power are always opened to devour, ...
— A Collection of State-Papers, Relative to the First Acknowledgment of the Sovereignty of the United States of America • John Adams

... little cheese and some bread and some very indifferent wine, which, however, in my then condition, seemed to me to be nectar. I helped myself to a bowl, I remember, and poured about a pint of wine into it, so as to soak my bread, which was stale and hard. Toasting my feet at the fire whilst I regaled myself with that improvised soupe-au-vin, I soon felt warm and inspirited once more. Hardship sits on one but lightly when one is only seventeen years of age and stirred by early ambition. All the world then lay before me, like ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... within a few hours of the moment wherein he made his unceremonious exit from Mr. Halfpenny's office. Even Markledew was not so keen about the Herapath affair as he had been. His policy was—a new day, a new affair. The Herapath mystery was becoming a little stale—it would get staler unless a fresh and startling development took place. As it was, nothing was likely to arise which would titillate the public until Barthorpe Herapath, now safely lodged in the remand prison, was brought to trial, or unless Burchill was arrested. Consequently, ...
— The Herapath Property • J. S. Fletcher

... mastery, he was a true wolf, of the savage and gigantic breed of the Northwestern timber. To the spectators this was aggressively obvious; and therefore the marvel of seeing this sinister gray beast, with the murderous fangs, so submissive to Toomey's gentlest bidding, never grew stale. In every audience there were always some spectators hopefully pessimistic, who vowed that the great wolf would some day turn upon his master and tear his throat. To be sure, Lone Wolf was not by any means the only beast whom the backwoodsman had ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... himself—loved as she had never loved before, made for the moment all other thought impossible to him: he started from his chair, and paced the room with rapid disordered strides. What was all the world to the ecstasy of such a love? All—all that he had hitherto lived for, was it not flat, stale, poor, puerile, in comparison to it? Why not leave all, and seize a happiness so infinitely greater than any he had ever known or imagined? Why not marry her, and be hers for ever, as she was anxious to be his? Nobles of higher rank than his had done ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... above the spring and was also silent. I was disposed to put off the lighting of our fire upon the roof as long as it appeared safe to do so, in order to husband our fuel. The animals, disappointed of the forage usually furnished them at this hour, stamped impatiently and nosed disdainfully the stale straw and pine plumes which we had emptied from the bunks and which were now scattered over ...
— Captured by the Navajos • Charles A. Curtis

... younger squire in other aspects about his lane, occurring prominently in its night scenery, as a dark figure, or one of two, against the moonlight. He saw also the working of city commerce, from endless warehouse, towering over Thames, to the back shop in the lane, with its stale herrings—highly interesting these last; one of his father's best friends, whom he often afterwards visited affectionately at Bristol, being a fishmonger and glue-boiler; which gives us a friendly turn of mind towards herring-fishing, ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... after they are made up the heat does not rise above 75 deg. or 80 deg.. In such a case if the manure is otherwise in good condition and fresh, it is well enough and a good crop may be expected. But if the manure, to begin with, had been a little stale, rotten and inert, I certainly would not hesitate to at once break up the bed, add some fresh horse droppings to it, mix thoroughly, then make it up again. Or a fair heat may be started in such a stale bed by sprinkling it over rather freely with urine from ...
— Mushrooms: how to grow them - a practical treatise on mushroom culture for profit and pleasure • William Falconer

... The stale bread and hard Dutch cheese rapidly disappeared, the boy looking very stolid during the process of deglutition. Then his face lit up, and for a space he went through his pantomime again, seeing patients, pocketing ...
— The Bag of Diamonds • George Manville Fenn

... the world. The lady hastened to the porch of the Gasthof to seek shelter, and the driver of the coach led his tired horses under cover of a shed in the courtyard. The chief room of the inn was a cheerless apartment, long and dark, with narrow, rough wooden tables fitted round the walls. A strong, stale smell greeted the nose disagreeably. One or two peasants sat at the far end of one of the tables; they stared rudely as the lady entered, and whispered remarks about her, grinning broadly the while. She glanced haughtily at them and called to the innkeeper, who had followed her from the courtyard, ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... of wine mingled with rain, a few minutes to choke over a mouthful of stale bread, and we were off again, longing for the next halt, for a dry shelter, for an hour ...
— The New Book Of Martyrs • Georges Duhamel

... the theory of motion, the problem of light. But lose Nature, forget or dismiss her, make companions, by hundreds, of men who ignore her, and I will not say with the poet, 'This is solitude.' But in the commune, what stale monotony, what ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... bread crumbs, rub stale bread through a wire sieve. For this the hands should be ...
— New Vegetarian Dishes • Mrs. Bowdich

... training needs less food than is customary for men in training to take. If the foot ball teams would eat somewhat less than they do and a smaller proportion of meat, they would be much less likely to "train stale." ...
— The Biology, Physiology and Sociology of Reproduction - Also Sexual Hygiene with Special Reference to the Male • Winfield S. Hall

... though he had not seen it. Along the endless flat potato-fields, broken by pine-groves under whose sultry shadow negro cabins sweltered, the heat clung persistently. The show-tent was always filled with a stale scent ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... Take the case of a great teacher, like Arnold or Jowett; Arnold lit in his pupils' minds a kind of fire, which was moral rather than intellectual; Jowett had a power of putting a suggestive brilliancy into dull words and stale phrases, showing that they were but the crystallised formulas of ideas, which men had found wonderful or beautiful. The secret of such teaching is quite incommunicable, but it is a very high sort of art. There are many men who feel the ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... "One chunk of stale bread, one half mile of antique bologna contributed for dog feed; the remains of cake, salad and preserves in an otherwise empty lunch box. One ham sandwich yesterday. I think it's lovely you have the box. Who ate ...
— A Girl Of The Limberlost • Gene Stratton Porter

... inadequately furnished with tables, cane-bottomed chairs and a few prints on the walls. There was a lavish display, however, of bottles and glasses, and several shelves were littered with newspapers in different languages. Acetylene lamps hung from the flat ceiling. An odour of stale tobacco and alcohol pervaded the premises. Flies were ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... beautiful, how eloquent of peace and benediction, the scene that met him as he crossed the threshold of the great quadrangle! Some thousands of times his eyes had rested on it, yet how could it ever stale? ...
— Brother Copas • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... of them all; but his versions are not to be compared with Mr. Young's for adherence either to the bard's own meaning or music. In pouring out the Frenchman's champagne, the latter somehow suffers the sparkle and bead to escape, while the former cheats us by making his stale liquor foam with London soda. We shall be impatient for Mr. Young's book, which will be published by Putnam, in a style of ...
— International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 5, July 29, 1850 • Various

... "he's got to a sticking-point with his work! It's all very well," I thought, "for you to sniff at my miniatures, my friend, but we all get stale on our work sometimes, and the fresh eye, even of ...
— Widdershins • Oliver Onions

... of which I say no more. I am pining for Broadstairs, where the children are at present. I lurk from the sun, during the best part of the day, in a villainous compound of darkness, canvas, sawdust, general dust, stale gas (involving a vague smell of pepper), and disenchanted properties. But I hope to get down on ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... point in choosing fish is their freshness, and this is determined as follows: if the gills are red, the eyes prominent and full, and the whole fish stiff, they are good; but if the eyes are sunken, the gills pale, and the fish flabby, they are stale and unwholesome, and, though often eaten in this condition, lack all the fine flavor of a ...
— The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking - Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes • Helen Campbell

... been eager to be off in the yellow coach, but they had not long started before she began to suffer. The moving panorama of desolate landscape, rocky coast, rough sea, moor and mountain, with the motion of the coach, and the smell of stale tobacco and beer in inn-parlours where they waited to change horses, nauseated her to faintness. Her sensitive nervous system received too many vivid impressions at once; the intense melancholy of the scenes ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... now tramping home to a dinner which will probably not be ready, because, as yesterday, it has been cooked in the open air under weeping skies. While waiting for it, we shall clean the same old rifle. When night falls, we shall sleep uneasily upon a comfortless floor, in an atmosphere of stale food and damp humanity. In the morning we shall rise up reluctantly, and go forth, probably in heavy rain, to our labour until the evening—the same labour and the same evening. We admit that it can't be helped: the ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... aboard this great raft and tracked across it, with as much awe and enthusiasm as ever Kane had felt in his arctic explorations. In all, we became intimate friends with the lake idea, new to us then, but never to grow stale; and our good fortune favored us during after-life with many lovely lakes and ponds, including such gems as ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... suddenly silent, and Cherry was pale and fighting tears, as they crossed the porch, and fitted the key in the door. Inside the house the air was close and stale, odorous of dry pine walls and of unaired rooms. Peter flung up a window, the girls walked aimlessly about, through the familiar yet shockingly strange chairs and table that were all coated thickly with dust. Somehow this dust gave Cherry a desolate sensation, it covered everything alike: the spectacle ...
— Sisters • Kathleen Norris

... their waves at this point, for portions of gray uniform were mingled with the "garments rolled in blood" torn from our own dead and wounded soldiers. I picked up a Rebel canteen, and one of our own,—but there was something repulsive about the trodden and stained relics of the stale battle-field. It was like the table of some hideous orgy left uncleared, and one turned away disgusted from its broken fragments and muddy heeltaps. A bullet or two, a button, a brass plate from a soldier's belt, served well enough for mementos of my visit, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... cultured ears and to men of the highest eloquence my speech will appear to have little marrow in its views, and its poverty of words will seem jejune. For idle is it, and utterly superfluous, to offer that which is arid to the eloquent, and that which is stale to men of knowledge and wisdom. Whence our Moral Seneca, and, quoting from ...
— Readings in the History of Education - Mediaeval Universities • Arthur O. Norton

... soldiers were eating hunches of stale bread and knocking the necks from wine bottles with their bayonets. One lumpish fellow came to the door and offered me part of a sausage which he was devouring, a kindly act that touched me, and I wondered whether the other prisoners might find ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... when a child, as playful children use, Has burnt to tinder a stale last year's news, The flame extinct, he views the roving fire,— There goes my lady, and there goes the squire; There goes the parson, O illustrious spark! And there, scarce less ...
— Old New England Traits • Anonymous

... production. The locations around the big cities in this section are excellent for poultry farming, as they are so far removed from the great farm region that their bulk of imported eggs are of necessity somewhat stale. California is good chicken country. The Puget Sound country is rather too damp. In the interior western regions the chicken business has not done well, chiefly because the atmosphere is too dry for the ...
— The Dollar Hen • Milo M. Hastings

... into graver habits, with Foster—home again, and a link once more in the circle of his intimates—at its head. The negro airs were still the favorites; but the collection, from frequent repetition, at length began to grow stale. One night, as a revival measure for the club, and as an opportunity for himself, Foster hinted that, with their permission, he would offer for trial an effort of his own. Accordingly he set to work; and at their next meeting laid before them a song entitled "Louisiana Belle." ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... partially purge these villages of the rank odours which cling to them at the end of the fishing season; and when all has been done, the saltness of the sea air, the brackish water of the wells, and the faint stale smells emitted by the nets and fishing tackle still tell unmistakable tales of the one trade in which every member of these communities ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... has he been of that amphibious fry, Bold to prescribe, and busy to apply; His shop the gazing vulgar's eyes employs, With foreign trinkets and domestic toys. Here mummies lay, most reverently stale, And there the tortoise hung her coat of mail; Not far from some huge shark's devouring head The flying-fish their finny pinions spread. Aloft in rows large poppy-heads were strung, And near, a scaly alligator hung. In this place drugs in musty heaps decay'd, In that ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... reason for giving up the writing of tales in verse was that Byron beat him. But there must have been something besides this: it is plain that the pattern of rhyming romance was growing stale. The Lay needs no apology; Marmion includes the great tragedy of Scotland in the ...
— Sir Walter Scott - A Lecture at the Sorbonne • William Paton Ker

... That's all. You new recruits 'a' been told how great ye be. I'm a-goin' fer to tell ye the truth. I don't like the way ye look at this job. It ain't no job o' workin' out. We're all workin' fer ourselves. It's my fight an' it's yer fight. I won't let no king put a halter on my head an', with the stale in one hand an' a whip in t' other, lead me up to the tax collector to pay fer his fun. I'd ruther fight him. Some o' you has fam'lies. Don't worry 'bout 'em. They'll be took care of. I got some confidence ...
— In the Days of Poor Richard • Irving Bacheller

... corridor outside. The sudden glare of two or three lamps placed about the room caused her momentarily to close her eyes that were aching with many shed and unshed tears. The air was rank and heavy with the fumes of tobacco, of wine and stale food. A large barred window gave on the corridor immediately ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... plain need at all envy, and that instead of the perennial smell of the grass and woods and shores, their typical redolence is of soaps and essences, very rare may be, but suggesting the barber shop—something that turns stale and musty in ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... a trifle stale. It seems that with the pressure of the morning's ceremonies, they forgot to bring a ration, and when at last his gaoler did remember him, it was rather late, seeing that by then Phorenice had tied herself publicly to a husband, and poor Nais had doubtless eaten ...
— The Lost Continent • C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne

... again for prayer, when I found that 10s. 6d. more had come in since the morning. With this 1l. 10s. 6d. we were able to buy, even this Saturday evening, the usual quantity of bread, (as it might be difficult to get stale bread on Monday morning,) and have some money left. God be praised, who gave us grace to come to the decision not to take any bread today, as usual, nor to buy any thing for which we cannot pay at ...
— A Narrative of some of the Lord's Dealings with George Mueller - Written by Himself. Second Part • George Mueller

... eligible for promotion to a lieutenancy. Unless an officer had family interest he often stuck there, and as often had to serve under one more favoured, who was not born when he himself was getting stale. ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... and his thin hands shook as he held them out over the stove, and nodded at Roscoe. The bearded man had opened his can, and approached the stove with a pan of water, coming in beside Roscoe without noticing him. He brought with him a foul odour of stale tobacco smoke and whisky. After he had put his water over the fire he turned to one of the bunks and with half a dozen coarse epithets roused Thompson, who sat up stupidly, still half drunk. Henry had gone to a small table, and Scotty followed ...
— The Grizzly King • James Oliver Curwood

... pessimistic. Why, for example, did it enter his brain to warn me that the Finnish women of the neighboring villages,—all the country round about is the old Finnish Ingermannland,—in company with the women of his own village, were in the habit of buying stale eggs at the Tzarskoe Selo shops to mix with their fresh eggs, which they sold in the market, the same with intent to deceive? A stale egg explains itself as promptly and as thoroughly as anything I am acquainted with, not excepting ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... the cold, wet wind which blew in through the many shattered windows. We woke to the rumbling of distant cannon, which might more correctly be called a trembling of the air rather than a true sound. Still hoarding our provisions, we ate a frugal breakfast of stale bread and of tea made from the dried leaves of linden trees. We started off at half-past seven, receiving a very friendly God-speed from our ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... had [Page 369] not the same swing as his own team, so he changed Lashly for P.O. Evans, and then they seemed to get on better. At lunch-time they discussed the difficulties that the second party was having, and several reasons for them were put forward. One was that the team was stale, another that all the trouble was due to bad stepping and want of swing, and yet another was that the first's party's sledge pulled much more easily than ...
— The Voyages of Captain Scott - Retold from 'The Voyage of the "Discovery"' and 'Scott's - Last Expedition' • Charles Turley

... months at a stretch, his system will not stand the strain of too much training. Working solely on bone and muscle day after day, his nervous system will give way. He will grow weak, or as it is technically known, "go stale." This over-training is a mistake oftenest made by the young and highly ambitious player, though doubtless many of the instances of "loss of speed" by pitchers and "off streaks" by older players are ...
— Base-Ball - How to Become a Player • John M. Ward

... for New Zealand we were all a bit stale, which was not altogether surprising, and a run ashore was to do us a world of good after five months of solid grind, crowded up in a ship which thought nothing of rolling 50 deg. each way. Also, though everything ...
— The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2 - Antarctic 1910-1913 • Apsley Cherry-Garrard

... all that pride that makes thee swell As big as thou dost blown-up veal; Nor all thy tricks and sleights to cheat, And sell thy carrion for good meat; Not all thy magic to repair 750 Decay'd old age in tough lean ware; Make nat'ral appear thy work, And stop the gangrene in stale pork; Not all that force that makes thee proud, Because by bullock ne'er withstood; 755 Though arm'd with all thy cleavers, knives, And axes made to hew down lives, Shall save or help thee to evade The hand of Justice, or this blade, Which I, her sword-bearer, ...
— Hudibras • Samuel Butler

... lived had, to attest itself, almost no margin left. Since it was in Time that he was to have met his fate, so it was in Time that his fate was to have acted; and as he waked up to the sense of no longer being young, which was exactly the sense of being stale, just as that, in turn, was the sense of being weak, he waked up to another matter beside. It all hung together; they were subject, he and the great vagueness, to an equal and indivisible law. When the possibilities themselves had accordingly ...
— The Beast in the Jungle • Henry James

... that's a different thing. 'Influence' makes me think of canting clergymen, and stout pompous women, who don't know what they're talking about, and can't argue—who think they've settled everything by a stale quotation—or an appeal to 'your better self'—or St. Paul. If Mr. Winnington tries it on ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... A dull, "burnt" smell, some pungent, "scorched" odour, which he recognised as the stale stench of exploded cordite. He went into the tiny dining-room; everything was ...
— The Daffodil Mystery • Edgar Wallace

... of "cold meat." The celebrated Dr. Kitchener, the sympathetic author of the Cook's Oracle, writing in 1825, says: "Your luncheon may consist of a bit of roasted poultry, a basin of beef tea, or eggs poached, or boiled in the shell; fish plainly dressed, or a sandwich; stale bread; and half a pint of good homebrewed beer, or toast-and-water, with about one-fourth or one-third part of its measure of wine." And this prescription would no doubt have worn an aspect of liberal concession to the demands of the ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... me that it is getting stale and unprofitable," Jack admitted. "Suppose we get up power and drift up closer to the Shark. Then we can at ...
— Boy Scouts in a Submarine • G. Harvey Ralphson

... lines, nor the mere colours of her face, which made it so remarkable, but rather the mental character. The beautiful poise of a spirit at rest within itself; the simplicity of unconsciousness; the freshness of a mind to which nothing has grown stale or old, and which sees nothing in its conventional shell; along with the sweetness that comes of habitual dwelling in sweetness. Both her companions occasionally looked at her; Lois did not know it; she did not think herself of sufficient ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... when the sun of high heaven has crowned our structure with the flower of brain, like him to scatter mists, and penetrate darkness, and shoot from end to end of earth; and must we still be grinning subserviently to ancient usages and stale forms, because of a baggage that it is, woe to us! too true, we cannot cut ourselves loose from? Lydiard might say we are compelling the priests to fight, and that they are compact foemen, not always passive. Battle, then!—The cry was valiant. Nevertheless, Jenny would certainly ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... all his veins. He looked at the dusky gray shadows in the corners of the room and at a raw place on a large leather chair in the corner where it had long been in use. He saw clothes, dishevelled, rumpled clothes on the floor and he smelt stale cigarette smoke and stale liquor. The windows were tight shut. Outside the bright sunlight had thrown a dust-filled beam across the sill—a beam broken by the head of the wide wooden bed in which he had slept. He lay very quiet—comatose, ...
— Tales of the Jazz Age • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... of The Crags, the light of dawn stole in through the windows and turned the brilliant light of the lamps into a pale glow. The odor of stale flowers was all about. Mrs. Wellington, with a headache, stood in the doorway. Her husband sat in an armchair with legs outstretched, smoking about his fortieth cigar. Sara Van Valkenberg stood in the middle of the floor. She had been speaking at great length ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... great room contained not more than half a dozen people. Confetti littered the floor. Here and there a napkin, crushed and bedraggled into an unrecognizable ball, lay under a table. From an overturned bottle the dregs were dripping drearily. The air was stale, stifling, poisonous. ...
— Buttered Side Down • Edna Ferber

... and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shriveled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, ...
— A Budget of Christmas Tales by Charles Dickens and Others • Various

... saying a great deal, he reflected, one seldom enough, in our staid, our stale society, meets a person of whom one can say so ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... stood trembling before him, the priest seemed to ponder the request. Then suddenly he sprang to his feet, crying: "Come with me!" and, seizing Iskender's arm, dragged the terrified youth into the church, of which the door stood open. In there the sudden gloom, combined with a stale smell of incense, overpowered ...
— The Valley of the Kings • Marmaduke Pickthall

... scenes in which you'd be quite natural." And indeed I could see the slipshod re-arrangements of stale properties—the stories I tried to produce pictures for without the exasperation of reading them—whose sandy tracts the good lady might help to people. But I had to return to the fact that—for this sort of work—the ...
— Some Short Stories • Henry James

... work into the hands of the cook in the kitchen. The faults of tea, as too commonly found at our hotels and boarding-houses, are, that it is made in every way the reverse of what it should be. The water is hot, perhaps, but not boiling; the tea has a general flat, stale, smoky taste, devoid of life or spirit; and it is served usually with thin milk, instead of cream. Cream is an essential to the richness of tea as of coffee. Lacking cream, boiled ...
— The American Woman's Home • Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe

... soiled collar; breakfast in dress clothes; a wet house-dog, over-affectionate; the other fellow's tooth-brush; an echo of "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay"; the damp, musty smell of an empty house; stale beer; a mangy fur coat; Katzenjammer; false teeth; the criticism of Hamilton Wright Mabie; boiled cabbage; a cocktail after dinner; an old cigar butt; ... the kiss of Evelyn after the ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... later, when they halted for their rest and refreshment, it was stale cake, hard biltong, ...
— A Dash from Diamond City • George Manville Fenn

... place was cool and damp, and heavy with the flat, sweet scent of stale incense smoke. It was of a vault-like stillness, and the closing of the door behind Vanamee reechoed from corner to corner with ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... Life was so horribly stale in London without Barty that I became a quite exemplary young man when I woke up from that long nap on the floor of my laboratory in Barge Yard, Bucklersbury; a reformed character: from ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... blue letters. That blue tint was the first indication I received of Mademoiselle Prefere's character, which I was able to see more of later on. A scared-looking servant took my card, and abandoned me without one word of hope at the door of a chilly parlour full of that stale odour peculiar to the dining- rooms of educational establishments. The floor of this parlour had been waxed with such pitiless energy, that I remained for awhile in distress upon the threshold. But happily observing that little strips of woollen carpet had been scattered over the ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... ten or eleven years. From their dress and appearance I took them to be the children of a respectable artisan or small tradesman; but what chiefly attracted my attention was the very great pleasure the elder girl appeared to take in the birds. She had come well provided with stale bread to feed them, and after giving moderately of her store to the wood-pigeons and sparrows, she went on to the others, native and exotic, that were disporting themselves in the water, or sunning themselves on the green bank. She did not cast her bread ...
— Birds in Town and Village • W. H. Hudson

... (snatching the distaff from BIARTEY) Out and be gone, be gone. Lie with the mountains, Smother among the thunder; stale dew mould you. Outstrip the hound, or ...
— The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays • Various

... tales. I have quitted the stage, and the Clive[1] is preparing to leave it. We shall neither of us ever be grave: dowagers roost all around us, and you could never want cards or mirth. Will you end like a fat farmer, repeating annually the price of oats, and discussing stale newspapers? There have you got, I hear, into an old gallery, that has not been glazed since Queen Elizabeth, and under the nose of an infant Duke and Duchess, that will understand you no more than if you wore ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole

... out of the way of casual passers. This done, he walked round the mill in a more regardful attitude, and surveyed its familiar features one by one—the panes of the grinding-room, now as heretofore clouded with flour as with stale hoar- frost; the meal lodged in the corners of the window-sills, forming a soil in which lichens grew without ever getting any bigger, as they had done since his smallest infancy; the mosses on the plinth ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... drops his pretty head And seems to be dispirited, And then his little mistress says: "Poor Dickie misses his chickweed, Or else I've fed him musty seed As stale as last year's oranges!" But all the time I wonder If we half comprehend In sweet song-words The thought of birds, Or why so oft their raptures ...
— Poems - Vol. IV • Hattie Howard

... door, on which the word "Bar" was set forth in gold letters, with a printed legend underneath announcing that Diana McNally was licensed to sell wines and spirits to be consumed on the premises. Here Bridget and Mary Nolan held sway. They were "stale girls" in the opinion of the neighbours, and therefore, as their aunt felt, the most suited for this post. Maggie, their youngest sister, migrated between shop and bar, and spent much of her time in rolling up "ha'porths o' twist" in scraps ...
— North, South and Over the Sea • M.E. Francis (Mrs. Francis Blundell)

... relaxed his lips. Then he drew out the duplicate key he always carried, and, inserting it quietly, opened the door. A close, unpleasant smell greeted him as he entered the small passage that divided the bed and sitting rooms—a smell of whiskey mingling with the odor of stale smoke. With a quick gesture he pushed open the bedroom door; then on the threshold he paused, a look of contempt and repulsion passing over ...
— The Masquerader • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... so much of it flies here and there, if a mon lets all of it roost, 'twill stale his pace of mind like the thaving crows ...
— That Old-Time Child, Roberta • Sophie Fox Sea

... hats and caps and cloaks. They were even piled on the table beneath the hatrack. Under the table was a heap of rubbers and overshoes. While the doctor hung up his coat and hat, Peter Kronborg opened the door into the living-room. A glare of light greeted them, and a rush of hot, stale ...
— Song of the Lark • Willa Cather

... heard that his physician and friend was imprisoned by the Inquisition, under the stale pretext of Judaism, addressed a letter to one of them to request his freedom, assuring the inquisitor that his friend was as orthodox a Christian as himself. The physician, notwithstanding this high recommendation, was put to the torture; and, as was usually ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... George declined to drink himself drunk or refused to help his former companions fleece a stranger. Nell Gwynn told him that even his language had grown too polite for polite society, and, lacking emphasis, was flat as stale wine. In truth, it may well be said that George had set out to mend his ways under adverse conditions. But he had set out to do it, and that in itself was a great deal, for there is a likable sort of virtue in every good intent. He had reached the first of the three great R's in the act of repentance, ...
— The Touchstone of Fortune • Charles Major

... lose their interest. The mere words, "There was once a battle fought here" make the traveller stop and think, even if he does not know by what men of what race it was fought. But the parliamentary struggles of one generation seem passing stale and unprofitable to the next. Yet the history of nations depends as much on their civil as on their warlike contests. In Piedmont the strife always turned on the same point: whether the State or the Church should predominate. Free institutions do not settle ...
— Cavour • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... before I go. Come; don't move till I have done." And as he spoke to her he went on tugging at the bone, and swallowing the lumps of stale bread. He had already finished the bowl of milk. "And, now," said he, ...
— Aaron Trow • Anthony Trollope



Words linked to "Stale" :   old, relieve oneself, make, flyblown, mouldy, urinate, make water, dusty, pass water, corrupt, maggoty, piss, wee, rotten, spend a penny, rancid, moldy, addled, limp, spoilt, bad



Copyright © 2018 Dictonary.net