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Unavailing   Listen
adjective
Unavailing  adj.  Ineffective in achieving the desired result; ineffectual; futile; of no use; useless; pointless.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Unavailing" Quotes from Famous Books



... shivered, caught her breath with a sob, and, burying her face in the pillows of a couch, gave way to her first tears in an agony of weeping. And he sat apart, not daring to touch her, nor to speak—wishing, with unavailing bitterness, that it had been he who was left lying stark ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol 6, No 5, November 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... cared only for the attendance of those who could alleviate it in a measure; and the strong firm hand and the skilled touch were more to him than the presence of one who had nothing but excited and unavailing sympathy to offer. It was rather a stern fact ...
— Richard Vandermarck • Miriam Coles Harris

... hinted that he possessed fair looks. Yet moments came in which the mere idea of him was terrifying, and this, in swiftly changing moods, changed to forms that seemed to bring her peace, a surcease of hunger and cold, of unavailing toil, of carking fear ...
— The Peace of Roaring River • George van Schaick

... that of age. The strain under which he laboured, the sustained effort of driving this furrow through earth that was like iron, his unavailing endeavours to reclaim Ruth, afflictions such as this of the past hour, the uncertainty of everything—all sapped his energy and shook his faith. Yet before him there were weeks of the same, or worse. He had put his hand to the plow; he could ...
— The Iron Furrow • George C. Shedd

... Monk, with unavailing cares Exhausted all the Church's prayers— Ever, he said, that, close and near, A lady's voice was in his ear, And that the priest he could not hear— For that she ever sung, 'In the lost battle, borne down by the flying, Where mingles ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 72, March 15, 1851 • Various

... an hour of the moment when he vowed to give his life to the duty of revenge; and the rest of the story exhibits his vain efforts to fulfil this duty, his unconscious self-excuses and unavailing self-reproaches, and the ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... long, was almost cut in two. The stem had struck him just below the gills, and, while his head protruded on the starboard side, his body had slewed in under the port bow. The sharp iron stem had cut into the creature to the depth of a foot, and all efforts to get it clear were unavailing. The captain at last ordered the vessel full speed astern, and that sent the man eater adrift. The accepted theory was that the shark had been asleep on the surface of the sea when ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls - Volume XIII, No. 51: November 12, 1892 • Various

... a flock of ducks, but a few moments afterward they were scattered in the boiling eddies, hurrying with fatal speed toward the dreadful cataract. Poor "Phrenzy!" round she spun in the giddy vortex; nearer and nearer she approached the verge—her struggles were unavailing—over she went, and was of course never heard ...
— Eight Years' Wandering in Ceylon • Samuel White Baker

... was informed of the particulars of the progress of the victorious son of the distinguished Meheromet Ali from Wady Haifa to Meroe. Before his march every thing had submitted or fallen. All attempts to arrest his progress had proved as unavailing as the obstacles opposed by the savage rocks of the Cataracts of the Nile to the powerful course of that beneficent and ...
— A Narrative of the Expedition to Dongola and Sennaar • George Bethune English

... to get information out of the prisoner, bearing on the whereabouts of the place of concealment of Mr. Baker's son, were unavailing, and at last they separated into two parties for the night, Mr. Buckley and Mr. Baker taking charge of the prisoner on board the Catwhisker and Mr. Perry and the boys distributing the sleeping quarters among ...
— The Radio Boys in the Thousand Islands • J. W. Duffield

... man and his wife at Possum Gully. The man was blear-eyed, disreputable in appearance, and failed to fulfil his duties as a father and a citizen. The woman was work-roughened and temper-soured by endless care and an unavailing struggle against poverty. Could that pair possibly be identical ...
— My Brilliant Career • Miles Franklin

... a sigh. There were times when all her attempts to reform this giddy little butterfly seemed unavailing. Nevertheless, being sound of principle and unfailingly conscientious, she made a gallant effort. "Do you think you ought to do that, dear? I always think that we ought to live more circumspectly here at Bhulwana than down at Kurrumpore. And—if I may be allowed ...
— The Lamp in the Desert • Ethel M. Dell

... so vitalizing, that we are compelled to believe it was the end sought in the catastrophe we deplore: that is, a spirit of liberty, a sense of personal independence, without which the refinements of art, even reinforced by genius, are unavailing. Such was undoubtedly the invigorating leaven brought into Gaul by the Frank, although for a time he succumbed to the enervating Gallic influence, and, while conquering and subduing, was himself conquered ...
— A Short History of France • Mary Platt Parmele

... has trampled into dust, and which no earthly beauty can again clothe, or earthly spring reanimate. They are to be pitied who have no higher solace, no better remedy for their grief, than thus to water with unavailing tears the trophies of death; or to read the harrowing record which love has traced on its slab of cold marble, telling of ...
— Memories of Bethany • John Ross Macduff

... malice, plund'rers, and all robbers, hence The torment undergo of the first round In different herds. Man can do violence To himself and his own blessings: and for this He in the second round must aye deplore With unavailing penitence his crime, Whoe'er deprives himself of life and light, In reckless lavishment his talent wastes, And sorrows there where he should dwell in joy. To God may force be offer'd, in the heart Denying and blaspheming his high power, And nature with her kindly law contemning. ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... Anthony's protests were unavailing when the ministering angel mood descended upon his mother. At such a time she was inexorable. She called upon Flora to fill the slop basin with warm water and provide scissors (always so elusive when needed) and naturally ...
— Men of Affairs • Roland Pertwee

... youth; or rather, he must have no heart at all—above all, no sweet and affecting recollections. There is something touching in the very idea of this pure and unselfish emotion, which the hardened nature of the grown-up man can never feel again. Men often dream about their childhood, and shed unavailing tears as they gaze in fancy on their own youthful faces, and with the pencil of imagination slowly trace the old ...
— The Last of the Foresters • John Esten Cooke

... my efforts to discover Lindy's whereabouts have so far proved unavailing. The advertisement that I put in for a month has run out and I have received ...
— Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks - A Picture of New England Home Life • Charles Felton Pidgin

... the mass in circulation, to the present worth of that mass, which was five millions; a sum not too great for the circulation of the States, and which, they therefore hoped, would not depreciate further, as they continued firm in their purpose of emitting no more. This effort was as unavailing as the former. Very little of the money was brought in. It continued to circulate and to depreciate, till the end of 1780, when it had fallen to seventy-five for one, and the money circulated from the French army, being, by that time, sensible in all the States north of the Potomac, ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... they seemed to have had quite as much fighting as they cared for, and therefore submitted with a tolerably good grace—or, perhaps, I ought rather to say with the apathy of hardened men fully conscious of the fact that further resistance was utterly unavailing. This task completed, and the whole of the captured pirates transferred to the hold of the big felucca—round the open hatchway of which four of her brass nine-pounders were ranged, loaded with langridge, ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... mind—not the petulant wriggling of a spoilt child, but the sober consciousness of pain in herself and in others. In vain did Jenny give little gasps of annoyance, intended by her humour to disperse the clouds. The gasps and exclamations were unavailing. She was angry, chagrined, miserable. ...At last she could bear the tension no longer, but threw down her work, rose, and walked impatiently about ...
— Nocturne • Frank Swinnerton

... Though the grief of the face of the daughter of Minos as she lies deserted by her lover on the rocky shore of Naxos be a poignant and a present woe, there is the shadow of its mate on the brow and lips of the girl who gazes at its pure and pallid and all-unavailing loveliness. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, August, 1878 • Various

... further concealment would be unavailing, I added quite openly: "Now, young woman, you see that I know your secret. I felt it in the dark of our first meeting; it has since become plainer,—too plain. You know too much—far more than is good for either Jim or me to know. You can't believe enough—all ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... to declare that they would rather lose their entire fortunes than pour forth the life which it was not theirs to give. A general feeling pervaded the whole interest, that it would be better to peril a great wrong than to suffer an unavailing remorse. One petition against the penalty of death was presented, which bore three names only; but those were an honourable proof of the prevalent feeling. The name of Nathan Meyer Rothschild was the first, "through ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... and humor of this sportful proposal appealed to them at once. It also satisfied the Dutchman, who seconded it loudly, with excited enthusiasm. The protests of the granger's defender and friend were unavailing. They pushed him back, even threatening him with their guns when he would have interfered to stay the ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... being unavailing, they tried threats. She was told that if she persisted in so obstinate a course, the king would be obliged to make known to the world the offers which he had made to her, and the ill reception which they had met with—and then he would perhaps withdraw those offers, ...
— The Reign of Henry the Eighth, Volume 1 (of 3) • James Anthony Froude

... the trading-posts or wandered to the hunting grounds of the Indians, where they lived in squalor and vice. The avarice of the traders was bearing its natural fruit, and the untiring efforts of Champlain, a devoted, zealous patriot, had been unavailing to counteract it. The colony sorely needed the self-sacrificing Jesuits, but for whom it would soon undoubtedly have been cast off by the mother country as a worthless burden. To them Canada, indeed, owed its life; for when the king grew weary of spending ...
— The Jesuit Missions: - A Chronicle of the Cross in the Wilderness • Thomas Guthrie Marquis

... conjuring her to "will" him to sleep and "to go on doin' it" after they parted in Bombay. He became rather maudlin, and she seized the opportunity of telling him that her best efforts would be wholly unavailing if he at all relaxed the temperate habits, so necessary for the cure of his gout, that he had acquired during the voyage. She was stern with Sir Langham, and her admonitions had considerable effect. He sought his cabin chastened ...
— Jan and Her Job • L. Allen Harker

... responsible. Upon England and Austria must rest all the guilt of that awful tragedy. Napoleon had done every thing he could do to stop the effusion of blood. He had sacrificed the instincts of pride, in pleading with a haughty foe for peace. His plea was unavailing. Three hundred thousand men were marching upon France to force upon her a detested King. It was not the duty of France to submit to such dictation. Drawing the sword in self-defense, Napoleon fought and ...
— Napoleon Bonaparte • John S. C. Abbott

... practical, and more frequently than we would like to think possible, resemble our own in many ways. For the possibility of this we are largely indebted originally to the scholars of the Renaissance. Without their work that of our investigators would have been quite unavailing. It is to be hoped, however, that our recovery of this period will not be followed by any further eclipse, though that seems to be almost the rule of human history, but that we shall continue to broaden our sympathetic knowledge of this wonderful medieval ...
— Old-Time Makers of Medicine • James J. Walsh

... criminality with the misery of a bloody calamity. The man is called upon, too probably, to die; but to die at the very moment when, by any momentary collapse, he is self-denounced as a murderer. He had but the twinkling of an eye for his effort, and that effort might, at the best, have been unavailing; but from this shadow of a chance, small or great, how if he has recoiled by a treasonable lachete? The effort might have been without hope; but to have risen to the level of that effort, would have rescued him, though not from dying, yet from dying as a ...
— Miscellaneous Essays • Thomas de Quincey

... John proposed "writing poetry" as a rainy-day amusement, one afternoon when we two were sent up into the garret to entertain ourselves without disturbing the family. He soon grew tired of his unavailing attempts, but I produced two stanzas, the first ...
— A New England Girlhood • Lucy Larcom

... the classical models. The more the dramatic fervour failed, the more the professed critics counselled observance of the rules. In 1702 Farquhar had pleaded for the freedom of the English stage in his Discourse upon Comedy, but his arguments were unavailing. The duller men found it easier to support the rigid doctrines, which had been fully expounded by the French critics. The seventh or supplementary volume of Rowe's edition of Shakespeare was introduced by Charles Gildon's Essay on the ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... man personates all the thoughtless and uncoverted who die in their sins, his wealth can neither bribe death nor hell; he is stricken, and descends to misery with the bitter, but unavailing regret of having neglected the great salvation. He had taken no personal, prayerful pains to search the sacred Scriptures for himself; he had disobeyed the gospel, lived in revelry, and carelessness of his soul; he had ploughed ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... of the Hudson's Bay staggered against me wounded, with both hands thrown up ready to surrender. He was pleading in broken French for mercy; but two half-breeds, one with cocked pistol, the other with knife, rushed upon him. I turned away that I might not see; but the man's unavailing entreaties yet ring in my ears. Farther on, Governor Semple lay, with lacerated arm and broken thigh. He was calling to Grant, "I'm not mortally wounded! If you could get me conveyed to the fort I think I ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... sound of a precept which, upon examination, will be found as honest and virtuous as it is discreet. I have already sketched out the great services which it is in your power to render mankind; but all your efforts will be unavailing if men did not read what you write. Your utility therefore, it is plain, depends upon your popularity; and popularity cannot be attained without humouring the ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... The valour exhibited by our ancestors on this sad occasion is no doubt well known to you, Sir Sidney, and to the other gentlemen present, and I feel sure that you will understand our grief that it was unavailing to save the Holy City and the Temple. But we treasure the memory of it as a bright example to ourselves and to all following generations, how to fight and to sacrifice our lives for the land in which we were born and which gives ...
— Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, Volume I • Sir Moses Montefiore

... violent emotions of Sorrow, the mind demands solace and can find it in employment alone; but full of its late sufferings it can endure no employment not connected with those sufferings. Forcibly to turn away our attention to other subjects is a painful and in general an unavailing effort. ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... a commission much unwise and useless expenditure of money, waste of materials, and unavailing efforts might be avoided; and it is hoped that this or some measure which the wisdom of Congress may better devise to supply the deficiency of the present system may receive your consideration and the appropriate ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... American Consuls had protested on behalf of their respective governments against the recent indiscriminate assault upon non-combatants. We were pleased to hope that the protests were not unavailing. They were in conformity with the spirit, if not with the letter, of International Law; and it was stated that the Boers desired to stand well with any and every nation that might possibly make real their Utopian dream of European intervention. ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... constantly have their oars in their hands, stretched out, so as to be ready to plunge them into the water at a moment's warning. The skill and experience of the Rhodian, however, and the extreme lightness and celerity of his vessel, rendered all these precautions unavailing; for, not content with securing his escape, he mocked the Romans, by often lying to till they came near him, and then rowing round them. The Carthaginian senate were now able to have frequent communication with the garrison by means of this Rhodian: his success, and the recompence ...
— Robert Kerr's General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 18 • William Stevenson

... the reign of Louis XV the effect of these economic doctrines began to be felt. Several efforts were made to remove the restrictions on the circulation of wheat. These efforts, however, proved unavailing until after the meeting of the States-General, and that largely because of the powerful interests that were concerned in maintaining the wheat question as it then existed. The conditions were curious and are of ...
— The French Revolution - A Short History • R. M. Johnston

... calm. It is my situation, it is confinement, the bars I see and the bolts I hear that inspire these gloomy thoughts. They are unfounded, and certainly unavailing—He may have escaped! He may at this instant be in search of me! Hurrying, enquiring, despairing, and distracted; in much deeper distress than I am: for were I but sure of his safety, I could almost defy misfortune! Let not the world lose him! ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... futile was his attempt to sunder his bonds and how unavailing to contend against the Almighty, he returned to his throne and resumed his speech, in words somewhat more calm, but twice as malignant: "Though none but the Omnipotent Thunderer could overcome my power and my guile, to Him I am unwillingly constrained ...
— The Visions of the Sleeping Bard • Ellis Wynne

... empty the lungs; and then the inflation, with the alternately compressing the chest, must be repeated again and again, until either the commencement of natural respiration is announced by a sneeze or deep sigh, or until after long-continued, steady, persevering, but unavailing, efforts to effect this object shall have removed all ground of hope for ...
— The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease. • Thomas Bull, M.D.

... thought. But she was sorry for him, and it was only a show of cruelty. It came out of her kindness, really. Dick mustn't suffer so for want of her. Bully him, abuse him, anything to anger him and keep him from sheer weak, unavailing regret. Nan had a great idea of what men should be: "tough as a knot," she thought, seasoned all through. If they ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... massy prison's mouldering courts, Fearless and free the ruddy children played, Weaving gay chaplets for their innocent brows With the green ivy and the red wall-flower, That mocks the dungeon's unavailing gloom; The ponderous chains and gratings of strong iron, There rusted amid heaps of broken stone That mingled slowly with their native earth. There the broad beam of day, which feebly once Lighted the cheek of lean ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction No. 485 - Vol. 17, No. 485, Saturday, April 16, 1831 • Various

... infant are certainly very touching. He may be the innocent creature that Mr. Chesterton takes him for, but he has said things which will exactly suit the views of libertines who read him. Such pleadings are quite unavailing to excuse any such child if he does too much innocent mischief. His puritanism and his childlikeness only make his teaching more dangerous because more piquant. It has the air of proceeding from the same source as the ten commandments, and the effect of this upon ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... thunderstruck. It was in vain that I assured Obie that there was not the slightest necessity for our detention in the town; that our countrymen would redeem us the moment they should see us, but not before; and equally unavailing were my solicitations for him to alter this arrangement and suffer us to depart; but the tears of his subjects, and the representations of the men at Brass, had made too deep an impression upon his mind to be so easily eradicated. ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... least, by virtue of an express covenant in their behalf. If there was such a covenant, it was broken. A vindictive war was waged upon them, from which the weakest fled in scattered parties, leaving the rest to make a reluctant and almost ludicrously unavailing defence, till September 17th, when one thousand six hundred twenty-five troops entered Nauvoo and drove all forth who had not retreated ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 17 • Charles Francis Horne

... go out and provide them with meat. A supply was given to him, and the men were directed to bring his father, an old and faithful hunter, to the house, that he might have the comforts of nourishment and warmth. He was brought accordingly, but these attentions were unavailing as he died a few days afterwards. Two days before his death I was surprised to observe him sitting for nearly three hours, in a piercingly sharp day, in the saw-pit, employed in gathering the dust, and throwing it by handfuls over his body, which was naked to the ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 1 • John Franklin

... yet of age, with a slender physique, a pale, handsome face, handsome in spite of his dissipations. He seemed possessed of an evil spirit, that cried incessantly, "drink, drink, drink." Every means had been tried to win him from his dissipation; tears, entreaties, threats, bribes, were alike unavailing. In spite of himself, against himself, Evan Lamotte seemed driven downward by ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... the grass, and even the nettles, which grew among the ruins of the city. A crowd of spectres, pale and emaciated, their bodies oppressed with disease, and their minds with despair, surrounded the palace of the governor, urged, with unavailing truth, that it was the duty of a master to maintain his slaves, and humbly requested that he would provide for their subsistence, to permit their flight, or command their immediate execution. Bessas replied, with unfeeling tranquillity, ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 4 • Edward Gibbon

... overweening, vainglorious; nugatory, fruitless, ineffectual, frustrate, unavailing, bootless, futile, abortive, ineffective, empty; delusive, chimerical, unsatisfying, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... Pope changed his tactics and begged that he might have the letters to print. The publication by Curll of two letters (probably another ruse of Pope's) formed an additional ground for urging his request. All his efforts were unavailing until he obtained the assistance of Lord Orrery, to whom Swift was at length induced to deliver up the letters. There was a hiatus in the correspondence and Pope took advantage of this and of a blunder made by Swift, whose memory at the time was not to be ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... them. They stated their readiness to assault the place; but in case Budrudeen insisted on leading in person, they must decline accompanying him. Budrudeen was angry, I was angry too, and the doctor most angry of all; but anger was unavailing: it was clear they did not intend to do anything in earnest; and after much discussion, in which Budrudeen insisted that if I went he should likewise go, and the Malays insisted that if he went they would not go, it was resolved we should serve the guns, while Abong Mia and the Chinese ...
— The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy • Henry Keppel

... the company of countless predecessors. But science had been at work here, as at Panama, and wire gauze and the kerosene spray had captured the first trenches of yellow fever and malaria, and against these weapons of the medico all counter-attacks have been unavailing. Some strong hand was ruling in this town, for the streets were spotless and the dogs lean. And, oh, how the nigger does hate cleanliness! Evidently this town was free in a real sense because well disciplined. We were told that all the white people lived up on the hill that backed the town ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... true that the oar was gone, and in his anxiety to regain the blade the tramp nearly lost the second oar. But his efforts were unavailing, and he started to paddle himself to the bank, meanwhile watching ...
— The Rover Boys at School • Arthur M. Winfield

... attended with the evils which arise from the ill-will excited against any persons who, in the perfectly justifiable exercise of their judgement, are disposed not to act with the majority. The combination of the masters, on the other hand, is unavailing, unless the whole body of them agree, for if any one master can procure more labour for his money than the rest, he will ...
— On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures • Charles Babbage

... work to suggest things that might be done to him. The attempts of his reason to dispose of these suggestions, though for the most part logically valid, were quite unavailing. "Why should anything be ...
— The Sleeper Awakes - A Revised Edition of When the Sleeper Wakes • H.G. Wells

... composition or extension of time to pay his debts.[1109] A State law governing fraudulent transfers was found to be compatible with the act of Congress,[1110] as was a statute which provided that a discharge in bankruptcy should be unavailing to terminate the suspension of the driver's license of a person who failed to pay a judgment rendered against him for damages resulting from his negligent operation of a motor vehicle.[1111] If a State desires to participate in the assets of a bankrupt it must ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... upon his merits, than the feeble expressions of them which I should be able to record.[12] I trust you will keep in mind that Captain Cook's generous intentions and exertions must have proved utterly unavailing for the preservation of so many lives, had they not been most nobly and unremittingly supported by those of his mate and crew, as well as of the numerous passengers on board his brig. While the former, only eight in number, were usefully and necessarily employed in working the vessel, the sturdy ...
— The Loss of the Kent, East Indiaman, in the Bay of Biscay - Narrated in a Letter to a Friend • Duncan McGregor

... swimmer must have sunk like a stone—in penance, probably, even as James of Scotland wore the iron belt. At a pause in the conversation you may hear him rattling the coppers in his pocket moodily, as the spectres in old romances rattle their chains; but his remorse is unavailing. A fair chance once lost, Whist and Erycina never forgive. The beautiful bird that might then have been limed and tamed shook her wings and flew away exultingly: far up in air the unlucky fowler may still sometimes hear her clear mocking carol, but she is too near ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... strict injunctions that none of his family should go to meet the procession; but M. Lajetchnikoff knows that all such orders are unavailing. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... vigorous and unremitting, and were directed especially against the quarter of Achradina[33] from the side of the sea; but, though he brought many powerful military engines against the walls, these were rendered wholly unavailing by the superior skill and science of Archimedes, which were employed on the side of the besieged. All the efforts of the assailants were baffled; and the Roman soldiers were inspired with so great a dread of Archimedes and his engines,[34] that Marcellus was compelled ...
— A Smaller History of Rome • William Smith and Eugene Lawrence

... by his profession to a distant kingdom, as her protector; but it gave her comfort to know, that there was, at least, one person in the world, who would sympathize in her afflictions, and whose wishes would fly eagerly to release her. Yet she determined not to give him unavailing pain by relating the reasons she had to regret the having rejected his better judgment concerning Montoni; reasons, however, which could not induce her to lament the delicacy and disinterested affection that had made her reject his proposal for a clandestine marriage. The ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... have given at that time for a cupful of cold water, but all the gold in the world could not have purchased one drop from the parched sand. Never was despair more awfully pictured on men's faces as they gazed at one another after finding that their efforts were unavailing. Their case was truly pitiable, and they turned to the guide as if they expected commiseration; but the case had become too desperate for him to think of others. In a stern, hard ...
— Digging for Gold - Adventures in California • R.M. Ballantyne

... in whose charge she had been left. Ostensibly she had been going to visit the Westerleys, that was all: Mrs. Forbes's misgivings as to a twenty-year-old girl crossing the continent alone had been unavailing against ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... the moment that Peace left Bannercross with Dyson's blood upon his hands, he was a hunted man. His capture was worth five hundred pounds; his features were familiar to a hundred hungry detectives. Had he been less than a man of genius, he might have taken an unavailing refuge in flight or concealment. But, content with no safety unattended by affluence, he devised a surer plan: he became a householder. Now, a semi-detached villa is an impregnable stronghold. Respectability oozes from the dusky mortar of its bricks, ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... legitimate son and two daughters into the hands of Cortes, as hostages, and earnestly entreated that he might not be exposed before his subjects as a prisoner. But Cortes assured him that nothing short of what had been originally proposed could satisfy us, and that all remonstrances were unavailing. At last he was obliged to consent, saying, "I trust myself with you, let us go! let us go! since the gods will have it so." Our captains gave him every assurance of their perfect esteem and respect, begging of him not to be offended at their conduct, which was indispensably ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. IV. • Robert Kerr

... around, And raise expiring sorrow from the ground:— And he who thus has borne his part assigned In the sad fellowship of human kind, Or for a moment soothed the bitter pain Of a poor brother, has not lived in vain! But 'tis not that Compassion should bestow An unavailing tear on want or woe: Lo! fairer Order rises from thy plan, Befriending virtue, and adorning man. 110 That Comfort cheers the dark abode of pain, Where wan Disease prayed for relief in vain; That Mercy soothes the hard behest of law; That ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... lie: —— lives, and, to the strictest justice true, Scorns to defraud the hangman of his due. O my poor Country!—weak, and overpower'd By thine own sons—ate to the bone—devour'd By vipers, which, in thine own entrails bred, Prey on thy life, and with thy blood are fed, With unavailing grief thy wrongs I see, And, for myself not feeling, feel for thee. 560 I grieve, but can't despair—for, lo! at hand Freedom presents a choice, but faithful band Of loyal patriots; men who greatly dare In such a noble cause; men fit to ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... going around with her hands tied behind her back as a punishment, and in the hope that without the use of her hands we may have one day of peace at least. Poor Topsy, kindness and severity alike seem unavailing. She steals and lies with the greatest readiness, and one wonders what life holds in store ...
— Le Petit Nord - or, Annals of a Labrador Harbour • Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding

... son or daughter; never felt a tugging of tiny hands at her voluminous calico skirts! Nora had burnt many candles before the statue of the blessed Virgin without remedying this deplorable condition. She had sent up unavailing prayers—she had, at times, wept hot tears of longing and loneliness. Sometimes in her sleep she dreamed that a wee form, warm and exquisitely soft, was pressed against her firm body, and that a hand ...
— The Shape of Fear • Elia W. Peattie

... with expressions of grief and consternation, the sad fate which he believed to have befallen the young stranger, and the exertions that he had made to save his life, but which had, unhappily, proved unavailing to avert the calamity. The sorrow of the Nausett Indian seemed excessive; and Tisquantum probably considered it so, for he listened with perfect calmness to his recital, and then merely replied, 'Happily, the youth is safe. ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... that you want. I will not discourse with you; but I leave with you this book, which I simply ask you to read.' I read it—and read it—again and again; and I am a Christian. As the Christian grew up within me, my pains were soothed, and days, once days of tears and unavailing complaints, are now days of calm and cheerful duty: ...
— Zenobia - or, The Fall of Palmyra • William Ware

... of intention, she busied herself among some books. Yes, she was now quite disillusioned; that latest blow, on her recent tenth birthday, had confirmed finally her long-growing suspicion—prayer to the saints was unavailing. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, January 3, 1917 • Various

... grace, the laws of nature were suspended, the sun rose in the west and set in the east. To the sinners God gave the dainties that await man in the future world, for the purpose of showing them what they were forfeiting.[19] But all this proved unavailing, and, Methuselah and the other pious men of the generation having departed this life, God brought ...
— The Legends of the Jews Volume 1 • Louis Ginzberg

... her. She seemed to have made a determination to do all that Lucy or herself had ever done, and more too, and listened to no entreaties to spare herself. Commands were met with sullen resignation, entreaties were unavailing, and both in the sickroom and the parish, she insisted on working beyond her powers. It was a nightly battle to send her to bed, and Albinia suspected that she did not sleep. Meantime Lucy had sailed, and was presently heard of in a whirl of excitement that shortened her ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... After unavailing attempts to reach an understanding through a Joint High Commission, followed by prolonged negotiations, conducted in an amicable spirit, a convention between the United States and Great Britain was ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... refuge proved unavailing, for he was delivered over to the enemy, with a "Be gentle with him, John," which struck the culprit with dismay, for when Mamma deserted him, then the judgment day was at hand. Bereft of his cake, defrauded of his frolic, and borne away by a strong hand to that detested ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... than the caprices of three inconstant paramours." "His spirit is eminently religious, though it bids him fold his hands in resignation rather than open them in hope. He alone of all the great poets of his day remained undazzled by the glitter of the Caesarian usurpation, and pined away in unavailing despondency, in beholding the subjugation ...
— The Old Roman World • John Lord

... resemble Fearing, are greatly retarded in their progress by discouraging apprehensions; they are apt to spend too much time in unavailing complaints; yet they cannot think of giving up their feeble hopes, or of returning to their forsaken worldly pursuits and pleasures. They are indeed helped forward, through the mercy of God, in a very extraordinary manner; yet they still remain exposed to alarms and discouragements, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... their heads, and the heat now approaching the quick and the roots of their horns, drove on the oxen as if goaded by madness. By which dispersion, on a sudden all the surrounding shrubs were in a blaze, as if the mountains and woods had been on fire; and the unavailing tossing of their heads quickening the flame, exhibited an appearance as of men running to and fro on every side. Those who had been placed to guard the passage of the wood, when they saw fires on the tops of the mountains, and some over their own heads, ...
— The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six • Titus Livius

... those about us, when every death carries to some small circle of survivors, thoughts of so much omitted, and so little done—of so many things forgotten, and so many more which might have been repaired! There is no remorse so deep as that which is unavailing; if we would be spared its tortures, let ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... no one dared to check them—no one ventured to repine. They had the name of law to justify their proceedings, and all its authority to uphold them. Compromises were attempted in some instances, but they were found unavailing. Easily evaded by persons who never intended to be bound by them, they only added keenness to the original provocation, without offering a remedy for it. The two bloodsuckers, it was clear, would ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 1 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... especially since she knew her own truth to be such, that no man should have cause to weep for her. Then rising, she entered the prison, and its gloomy doors were locked and bolted on her. Shocked and dismayed, but still resisting the weakness of unavailing lamentation, she called for her book, and devoutly prayed that she might build her house upon ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... unavailing, for after the three first posts I had to wait two hours, whilst the people at the post-house went, fair and softly, to the farm, to bid them bring up the horses which were carrying in the first-fruits of the harvest. I discovered ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... Jeremiah, in order that she might gratify her resentment by sending the news of the same to Mister Elder." This she did with a peremptory request for the return of her album without the leaves on which he had written. What was her chagrin and unavailing remorse on receiving the album to find that every leaf was cut out but one, a mute witness to her "infidelity to her early lover." Small wonder that "her tenderness revived," and "she cursed the hour in which she had formed the precipitate engagement with Jeremiah, and oftentimes she shed ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... succession of glorious victories won by the English yeomanry over the French army at Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt; the ranks of the English army being so far superior, individually, to the ranks of the French, that superiority in the numbers of the French was unavailing. ...
— A Comparative Study of the Negro Problem - The American Negro Academy. Occasional Papers No. 4 • Charles C. Cook

... upward climb of trying to realize a mother's ambitions for one's self, when one is only a girl—the only girl, on whom the family experiments are all to be wreaked. Elsie suffered in silence many a pang that her mother never dreamed of—pangs of effort unavailing and unappreciated. She wished to conform to her mother's exigent standard, but she could not, all at once, and be a girl too—a girl of sixteen, a little off the key physically, not having come to a woman's repose of movement; a little stridulous ...
— A Touch Of Sun And Other Stories • Mary Hallock Foote

... oaths. I expected every moment that the next stroke would be on my own head, and sat in readiness to seize the weapon, and, if possible, debilitated as I was, to wrench it from his hands. My efforts to calm and pacify him were unavailing. I pointed to the side of the bell, and, in broken accents, for I could yet scarcely speak, told him to ring again; but he did not seem to understand; giving me wild looks, showering broken oaths upon me, and holding up the mattock in a threatening attitude, ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume III • Various

... sometimes. The two women sat down to dinner alone, at last. The baby woke up afterward, an unusual thing, and wailed, and would not stop. Lois, divested of her rich apparel and once more swathed in a loose, shabby gown, rocked and soothed the infant interminably, while Dosia, her efforts to help unavailing, crouched over a book down-stairs, trying to read. After an interval of quiet she went up-stairs, to find Lois ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... reforms which the State then required, there were two of paramount importance, two which would alone have remedied almost every gross abuse, and without which all other remedies would have been unavailing, the publicity of parliamentary proceedings, and the abolition of the rotten boroughs. Neither of these was thought of. It seems us clear that, if these were not adopted, all other measures would have been illusory. Some of the patriots suggested changes ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... overwhelming still. This evidence proceeds on different lines from that adduced by Mr. Spencer, but it points to the same conclusion, namely, that though luck will avail much if backed by cunning and experience, it is unavailing for any permanent result without them. There is an irony which seems almost always to attend on those who maintain that protoplasm is the only living substance which ere long points their conclusions the opposite way to that which they desire—in the very last direction, indeed, in which they ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... pursued by his enemies, as a contemporary writer tells the incident, he took refuge in some old ruins, where left to his solitary musings, he espied an ant tugging and striving to carry a single grain of corn. His unavailing efforts were repeated sixty-nine times, and at each brave attempt, as soon as he reached a certain point of projection, he fell back with his burden, unable to surmount it; but the seventieth time he bore away his spoil in triumph, and left the wondering ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... their behavior is on the whole so outrageous, that I appeal to my patient of yesterday evening, in whose bosom I fancy I may perchance have kindled a spark of gratitude; but the old reprobate no longer has the stomach-ache, and he regards my unavailing efforts to break away from my hoi-denish tormentors with supreme indifference, as though there were nothing extraordinary in their conduct. The demeanor of these wild- eyed Koordish females on this occasion fully convinces me that the stories concerning their barbarous conduct toward travellers ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... ascertain whether Washington could not be induced to be a candidate again, but the idea had hardly developed before all hopes in that quarter were abruptly dashed by his death on December 14, 1799, from a badly treated attack of quinsy. Efforts to substitute some other candidate for Adams proved unavailing, as New England still clung to him on sectional grounds. News of these efforts of course reached Adams and increased his bitterness against Hamilton, whom he regarded as chiefly responsible for them. Adams had a deep ...
— Washington and His Colleagues • Henry Jones Ford

... came in, I knew from your countenance that you had heard something which you desired to prepare me for,—which you intended to break gently to me. But your kindness is unavailing. The truth crashed in on my heart without premonition; and I saw, and understood, and accepted the inevitable; and since then,—ah, my ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... are no coward, who fear not to face willingly in combat anything natural, would, in certain circumstances, trust to swift flight for your protection. Very well, my Lord, you are now confronted with something against which your stout arm is as unavailing as it would be if an apparition stood in your path. There is before you the spectre of subtlety. Use arm instead of brain, and you are ...
— The Strong Arm • Robert Barr

... escaped with his life, and Pompey himself was threatened. "If you will be another Romulus, like Romulus you shall die" (one form of the legend of Rome's first king represented him as having been torn to pieces by the senators.) But all resistance was unavailing. The new command was created, and of course bestowed upon Pompey. The price of corn, which had risen to a famine height in Rome, fell immediately the appointment was made. The result, indeed, amply justified the choice. The new ...
— Roman life in the days of Cicero • Alfred J[ohn] Church



Words linked to "Unavailing" :   ineffectual, otiose, useless



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