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Desolate   Listen
adjective
Desolate  adj.  
1.
Destitute or deprived of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited; hence, gloomy; as, a desolate isle; a desolate wilderness; a desolate house. "I will make Jerusalem... a den of dragons, and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant." "And the silvery marish flowers that throng The desolate creeks and pools among."
2.
Laid waste; in a ruinous condition; neglected; destroyed; as, desolate altars.
3.
Left alone; forsaken; lonely; comfortless. "Have mercy upon, for I am desolate." "Voice of the poor and desolate."
4.
Lost to shame; dissolute. (Obs.)
5.
Destitute of; lacking in. (Obs.) "I were right now of tales desolate."
Synonyms: Desert; uninhabited; lonely; waste.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Desolate" Quotes from Famous Books



... quite deserted as Trix approached Chorley Old Hall. The lawn was one great sheet of unbroken whiteness, flanked by frosted yew hedges, and very desolate. ...
— Antony Gray,—Gardener • Leslie Moore

... have little doubt that it was indeed the Dorothy Fox which had swept past in the fog, and that the prisoners, having won their freedom, were celebrating their delivery in true Puritan style. Whether they were driven on to the rocky coast of Labrador, or whether they found a home in some desolate land whence no kingly cruelty could harry them, is what must remain ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... establish posts at both ends of Lake Oneida, descend the Onondaga to Oswego, leave nearly half his force there under Colonel Haldimand, and proceed with the rest to attack Niagara.[733] These orders he accomplished. Haldimand remained to reoccupy the spot that Montcalm had made desolate three years before; and, while preparing to build a fort, he barricaded his camp with pork and flour barrels, lest the enemy should make a dash upon him from their station at the head of the St. Lawrence Rapids. Such an attack was probable; for if the French could seize ...
— Montcalm and Wolfe • Francis Parkman

... Islands, which is the nearest harbour to the mouth of the River Moisie. She was a large and comfortable river steamer of about eight hundred and fifty tons, and from her appearance belied the fact that she was the connecting link between civilization and the desolate and ice-clad wastes of the Far North, as in fact she was. The captain regarded Bennie with indifference, if not disrespect, grunted, and ascending to the pilot house blew the whistle. Quebec, with its teeming wharves and crowded shipping, overlooked by the cliffs ...
— The Man Who Rocked the Earth • Arthur Train

... a smile. "Some natures feel a tyrannous need to attach themselves to some one thing or being which they single out from among the beings and things around them; this need is felt most keenly by a man of quick sympathies, and all the more pressingly if his life has been made desolate. So, trust me, it is a favorable sign if a man is strongly attached to his dog or his horse! Among the suffering flock which chance has given into my care, this poor little sufferer has come to be for ...
— The Country Doctor • Honore de Balzac

... bramble grew wild in the hall, And the long grass of summer waved green on the wall: The roof-tree was fallen, the household had fled, The garden was ruined, the roses were dead, The wild bird flew scared from her desolate stone, And I breathed in the home of ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 456 - Volume 18, New Series, September 25, 1852 • Various

... famous romance the 'Exiles of Siberia,' of Madame Cottin, we have had no account of these desolate lands more attractive than the present work, from the pen of the Lady Eve Felinska, which, in its unpretending style and truthful simplicity, will win its way to the reader's heart, and compel him to sympathise with the fair sufferer. The series of hardships endured in traversing these frozen solitudes ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... house on Phinney's Hill looked desolate and mournful when the buggy containing Judge Baxter and his two companions drove into the yard. The wagon belonging to Mr. Hallett, the undertaker, was at the front door, and Hallett and his assistant were loading in the folding chairs. Mr. Hallett was whistling a popular ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... get as far as Brough under Stanemoor, and back by the great 'Nick,' and then athwart Cross Fell's desolate moor, but we had not taken the weather into our consideration, nor thought of possible sopping ...
— Border Ghost Stories • Howard Pease

... for pilgrims returning from Solovetsk to take. His lonely way lay through a land of swamp and sand, with a sparse growth of stunted pines; the midnight sun streamed across the silent stretches; the huge waves of the White Sea, lashed by a long storm, plunged foaming upon the desolate beach. Days and nights of walking brought him to Onega: there was no way of getting to sea from there, and after a short halt he resumed his journey southward along the banks of the river Onega, hardly knowing whither or wherefore he went. The hardships of his existence at midsummer were fewer ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 87, March, 1875 • Various

... trail entered a region of desolate mountains. The way became rough and rocky. Their moccasins were worn from their feet, and there was ...
— The Magic Speech Flower - or Little Luke and His Animal Friends • Melvin Hix

... of Greece who make so eminent a figure in the records of Science, as well as in the History of the progression of Empire, were originally a savage and lawless people, who lived in a state of war with one another, and possessed a desolate country, from which they expected to be driven by the invasion of a foreign enemy[14]. Even after they had begun to emerge from this state of absolute barbarity, and had built a kind of cities to restrain the encroachments of the neighbouring nations, the inland country continued to be laid ...
— An Essay on the Lyric Poetry of the Ancients • John Ogilvie

... results equal to our expectations. When I was practising in my profession, I little expected that I should be summoned to take possession of Wexton Hall; when once in possession, as little did I expect that I should be obliged to quit it, and to come to these desolate wilds. We are in the hands of God, who does with us as He thinks fit. I have been reading this morning, and I made the observation not only how often individuals, but even nations, are out in their ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... all are doomed to lie sleepless, Many a desolate night, And dream of approaching conquests And of ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... of successful industry, accumulating wealth in many centuries, than the colonies of yesterday; than a set of miserable outcasts, a few years ago, not so much sent as thrown out, on the bleak and barren shore of a desolate wilderness, three thousand miles ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... course of many generations, been found unable to propagate its doctrines, and barely able to maintain its ground, a Church so odious, that fraud and violence, when used against its clear rights of property, were generally regarded as fair play, a Church, whose ministers were preaching to desolate walls, and with difficulty obtaining their lawful subsistence by the help of bayonets, such a Church, on our principles, could not, we must own, be defended. We should say that the State which allied itself with such a Church postponed the primary end ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... where the path dipped steeply, a bright square disengaged itself from the mist as I passed, and, around it, the looming outline of a cottage, between the footpath and the sea. A habitation more desolate than this odd angle of the coast could hardly have been chosen; on the other hand, the glow of firelight within the kitchen window was almost an invitation. It seemed worth my while to ask for a drink of milk there, and find out what manner ...
— Noughts and Crosses • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... reported my empty net to Mrs. Mussel on returning, she emitted a little desolate cluck. She foresees her Christian room rent overdue, poor thing. The kind little S.F. dropped in and bade me be of good cheer. She's a brick, and I feel so guiltily ...
— Jane Journeys On • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... we need not name to the reader, now stood in the centre of his "desolate hearth," and it was indeed a fearful thing to contemplate the change which the last few minutes had produced on his appearance. His countenance ceased to manifest any expression of either grief or sorrow; his brows became knit, and fell with savage and determined gloom, not ...
— The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... nothing. There was nothing to say. Then she said, in a no less desolate tone, "Korvan said I was foolish ...
— This World Is Taboo • Murray Leinster

... that day. I did not suspect it at the time, but I know now that it was to keep me out of harm's way. And so I was left quite alone in the world, and I thought the place where I had had a friend was more desolate than strange places with which I had no such tender associations would be; and so I wandered away, and wandered about until I was found by my next friend on the barge, and the new life began ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... observe, that wherever natural scenery is alluded to by the ancients, it is either agriculturally, with the kind of feeling that a good Scotch farmer has; sensually, in the enjoyment of sun or shade, cool winds or sweet scents; fearfully, in a mere vulgar dread of rocks and desolate places, as compared with the comfort of cities; or, finally, superstitiously, in the personification or deification of natural powers, generally with much degradation of their impressiveness, as ...
— Lectures on Architecture and Painting - Delivered at Edinburgh in November 1853 • John Ruskin

... special calling of vaqueano, or guide. Ghastly and pallid, with his arm supported in a sling, he is on the way back to Halberger's estancia, to complete the ruffian's task assigned to him by the Dictator of Paraguay, and make more desolate the home he had already enough ruined. But for his mischance in the biscachera, the rescuers would have found it empty on their return, and instead of a lost daughter, it would have been ...
— Gaspar the Gaucho - A Story of the Gran Chaco • Mayne Reid

... is described as having a commanding presence, with piercing eyes, fluent in speech, and with pleasing ways. Eventually he came into close contact with the hanifs. He followed the custom of retiring for meditation and prayer to the lonely and desolate Mount Hira. A vivid sense of the being of one Almighty God and of his own responsibility to God, entered into his soul. A tendency to hysteria in the East a disease of men as well as of women—and to epilepsy helps to account for extraordinary ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... aversion to taking away life in any form, permit the increase of these desolate creatures till in the hot season they become so numerous as to be a nuisance; and the only expedient hitherto devised by the civil government to reduce their numbers, is once in each year to offer a reward for their destruction, when the Tamils and Malays pursue them in the streets with clubs ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... a poor ancient woman sat at the deanery steps a considerable time, during which the dean saw her through a window, and, no doubt, commiserated her desolate condition. His footman happened to go to the door, and the poor creature besought him to give a paper to his reverence. The servant read it, and told her his master had something else to do than to mind her petition. ...
— Irish Wit and Humor - Anecdote Biography of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell • Anonymous

... day when the streets of the towns and villages of Europe are filled with flowers and leaves; bells are ringing, and the air is filled with rich perfumes. But here, in this desolate country, what sadness and silence! The wind was keen and bitter; not a leaf of foliage was to be seen! But still, this Sunday was a day of rejoicing for our travellers, for at last they were about to find supplies which would save them from certain death. They hastened their steps; ...
— The Voyages and Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... hands, nor mayest thou follow him to the grave. For I will show thee the Source of Life and thou shalt drink of it to make thyself more fair even than thou art and thus outpace thy rival, and when thy lover is dead, in a desolate place thou shalt wait in grief and solitude till he is born ...
— She and Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... Youth, sunk in profligate waste, Lest no Comforts Life's evening to cheer; He must only it's bitterness taste, No Friend, no kind relative near. His Children by want forc'd to roam, Are aliens wherever they are: They have long left his desolate home; Have left him ...
— An Essay on War, in Blank Verse; Honington Green, a Ballad; The - Culprit, an Elegy; and Other Poems, on Various Subjects • Nathaniel Bloomfield

... their dreams of the sunset, Frail as a flower's white ghost, Lonely and lost she wandered Down to the darkening coast; Lost in the drifting midnight, Weeping, desolate, blind. Many went out to seek her: Never ...
— Collected Poems - Volume Two (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... to denote some recent and yet existent struggle, revealed by the heart only to the genius. In these partial and imperfect self-communings and confessions, there was the evidence of the pining affections, the wasted life, the desolate hearth of the lonely man. Yet so calm was Maltravers himself, even to his early friend, that Cleveland knew not what to think of the reality of the feelings painted. Had that fervid and romantic spirit been again awakened by a living object? If so, where was the object found? The dates affixed ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book IV • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... gives rise to many evils, would seem to be a capital vice. Now such is discord, because Jerome in commenting on Matt. 12:25, "Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate," says: "Just as concord makes small things thrive, so discord brings the greatest things to ruin." Therefore discord should itself be reckoned a capital vice, rather ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... in trying to imagine a Georgian Weybridge. Fanny Kemble describes the village as she saw it as a girl, before the railway came. Then, in the twenties, it was "a rural, rather deserted-looking, and most picturesque village, with the desolate domain of Portmore Park, its mansion falling to ruin, on one side of it, and on the other the empty house and fine park of Oatlands, the former residence of the Duke of York." Eighty years have gone, and the deserted-looking village has spread into a town and suburbs covering ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... mere mountain-path striking obliquely through the hills to the highway: darkening hills and sky and valleys strangely sinking into that desolate homesick mood of winter twilight. The sun was gone; one or two sad red shadows lay across the gray. Night would soon be here, and he lay stiff-cold beneath the snow. Not dead: her heart told her ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 60, October 1862 • Various

... to endure. Are not the ambition, negligence, vices, and oppressions of kings and nobles, generally the causes of scarcity, beggary, wars, pestilences, corrupt morals, and all the multiplied scourges which desolate the earth? ...
— Good Sense - 1772 • Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach

... of Nature supreme. Her hold is only upon superb youth, which must find outlet for its abounding life. She has no power beyond. The ripening purpose of the Great Creator thrusts her back upon herself, beaten, desolate. ...
— The Triumph of John Kars - A Story of the Yukon • Ridgwell Cullum

... but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence. The history of man is simply the history of slavery, of injustice and brutality, together with the means by which he has, through the dead and desolate years, slowly and painfully advanced. He has been the sport and prey of priest and king, the food of superstition and cruel might. Crowned force has governed ignorance through fear. Hypocrisy and tyranny—two vultures—have fed upon the liberties ...
— The Ghosts - And Other Lectures • Robert G. Ingersoll

... portion of Antwerp appeared to be a desolate ruin. Whole streets were ablaze, and flames were rising in the air to the height of twenty and thirty feet. In another direction I could just discern through my glasses dimly in the distance the instruments of culture of the attacking German forces, ruthlessly ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol 1, Issue 4, January 23, 1915 • Various

... chambers of England, took on a more humane but less romantic guise. On 8th October 1672, the Council for the Plantations dispatched to Governor Lynch their approval of his connivance at the business, but they urged him to observe every care and prudence, to countenance the cutting only in desolate and uninhabited places, and to use every endeavour to prevent any just complaints by the Spaniards ...
— The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century • Clarence Henry Haring

... was but a repetition of that first day's staging—the sage-brush was scarcer, the mountains seemed as far off as ever, and the outlook was, if possible, more desolate. The entry in Miss Carmichael's diary, inscribed in malformed characters as the stage jolted over ruts and gullies, reads: "I do not mind telling you, in strictest confidence, 'Dere Diary'—as the ...
— Judith Of The Plains • Marie Manning

... holiday they had planned. But somehow, as he stepped carelessly along, a dashing manliness in every motion, a breath of the great plains coming with his sunburnt face and belted waist, he and his self-conceit jarred to her against this sordid court and these children's desolate lives. How dared he talk as he did about only wanting what was fair, she thought! How had he the heart to care only for himself and his mates while in these city slums such misery brooded! And then it shot through her that he did ...
— The Workingman's Paradise - An Australian Labour Novel • John Miller

... the verdure, fertile and sunny the valleys we now leave behind—arid and desolate beyond the power of words to express ...
— The Roof of France • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... on without. The saint who had been buried for centuries was comfortably housed and guarded by the monarch, while dogs were gnawing the carcases of the freshly-slain men of Saint Quentin, and troopers were driving into perpetual exile its desolate and ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... besought the monk to take him into his convent, volunteering to fulfill the most degrading services, in the hope of procuring a little learning, and escaping from 'those filthy hogs.' How incredulously would the friar have listened to anyone who could have suggested that this desolate, tattered, dirty boy, might and would fill a greater than an imperial throne! Yet, eventually that swine-herd was clothed in purple and fine linen, and, under the title of Pope Sixtus V., became one of those mighty magicians who are ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... had been directed; and receiving as many contradictory and unsatisfactory replies in return; the young man at length arrived before the house which had been pointed out to him as the object of his destination. It was a small low building, one story above the ground, with even a more desolate and unpromising exterior than any he had yet passed. An old yellow curtain was closely drawn across the window up-stairs, and the parlour shutters were closed, but not fastened. The house was detached from any other, ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... neither anger nor resentment; and so I was forced to think of a gentle-faced, little old mother whose heart is daily one long ache, whose eyes are dim with tears, and a proud, broken old man who spends his time trying to comfort her, when his life is as desolate as hers." ...
— The Harvester • Gene Stratton Porter

... presence-chambers and lent its carbon to help kindle sharp brains in anxious councils of state; no one knew what it had been or done or been fashioned for; but it was a right royal thing. Yet perhaps it had never been more useful than it was now in this poor desolate room, sending down heat and comfort into the troop of children tumbled together on a wolfskin at its feet, who received frozen August among them with loud shouts ...
— Famous Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... kind advance, the desert blossoms as the rose, the waste place becomes a fruitful field, and the millennium seems just at hand; and then the spiritual tide recedes, the forces of evil are emboldened, they mass themselves and again sweep over the heritage of the Lord, leaving it waste and desolate, and the battle ...
— When the Holy Ghost is Come • Col. S. L. Brengle

... one of misfortune, of humiliation, and even of personal danger. The reckless monks whom he tried to rule rose fiercely against him. His life was threatened. He betook himself to a desolate and lonely place, where he built for himself a hut of reeds and rushes, hoping to spend his final years in meditation. But there were many who had not forgotten his ability as a teacher. These flocked by hundreds to ...
— Famous Affinities of History, Vol 1-4, Complete - The Romance of Devotion • Lyndon Orr

... turn'd at length to his Profit as well as to his Amusement: His Mountains were in a few Years shaded with young Trees, that gradually shot up into Groves, Woods, and Forests, intermixed with Walks, and Launs, and Gardens; insomuch that the whole Region, from a naked and desolate Prospect, began now to look like a second Paradise. The Pleasantness of the Place, and the agreeable Disposition of Shalum, who was reckoned one of the mildest and wisest of all who lived before the Flood, drew into it Multitudes of People, who ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... nothing but traversing on a slippery pavement atmospheric circles of black brown and brown red, and sometimes a larger circle of pale yellow; the colours of old bruised fruits, medlars, melons, and the smell of them; nothing is more desolate. Neither of us knew where we were, nor where we were going. We struggled through an interminable succession of squalid streets, from the one lamp visible to its neighbour in the darkness: you might have fancied yourself peering at the head of an old saint ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... having called Arbor Day into being. Touched by his magic wand, millions of trees now beautify and adorn this magnificent State. It is no mere figure of speech to say that the wilderness—by transition almost miraculous—has become a garden, the desolate places been made to blossom as the rose. 'Tree-planting day' is now one of the sacred days of this commonwealth. Henceforth, upon its annual recurrence, ordinary avocations are to be suspended, and this day wholly ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... not hear the footsteps of the men upon the soft prairie, and they did not at once reveal themselves, but stood a little way back listening to her. She had ceased her song, and was gazing beyond intently. On the naked limb of a desolate, thunder-riven tree that stood apart from its lush, green-boughed neighbours, sat a lonely thrush in seeming melancholy. Every few seconds he would utter a note of song. Sometimes it was low and sorrowful, then it was louder, with the same sad quality ...
— The Story of Louis Riel: The Rebel Chief • Joseph Edmund Collins

... woods that lined the trail gave a desolate air to the bleak, white prospect. The whole of that northern world offered little promise to the traveler, little inducement to leave the warmth of house ...
— The Watchers of the Plains - A Tale of the Western Prairies • Ridgewell Cullum

... charged all this. Confidence took the place of apprehension, the fear of punishment was removed, those who conscious of guilt had been dreading expatriation were bidden by the supreme authority of the Nation to stay in their own homes, and to assist in building up the waste and desolate places. ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... Lysevitch for instance, and tell him what was passing in her heart. She wanted to talk without ceasing, to laugh, to play the fool, but the dark corner was sullenly silent, and all round in all the rooms of the upper story it was still and desolate. ...
— The Party and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... the middle of the pool. We took samples of the water and passed on to Wieltze, intending to walk into the salient to see what "No man's Land" was like. Men had told us that, unlike the rest of the front near the trenches, there were no growing crops, and no birds sang in that desolate, dreary, shell-shattered area, and we wanted to see ...
— On the Fringe of the Great Fight • George G. Nasmith

... not say I thought these two people's happiness should be sacrificed, or the poor old woman left desolate. Albinia has spirits and energy for a worse infliction, and Edmund Kendal himself is the better for every shock to his secluded habits. If it is a step I would never dare advise, still less would I ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... wishes to spend a night, they will make him as comfortable as they can. One English gentleman came, and liked the place so well, that he stayed for months, and wrote a book, I have been told. But it is desolate. Perhaps Monsieur would think it too triste even for a night. At St. Pierre there is at least a little life. And the hotel 'Au Dejeuner de Napoleon,' I think it ...
— The Princess Passes • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... drip of the half drained water-clock impels the autumn rains. A lull for few nights reigned, but the wind has again risen in strength. By the lantern I weep, as if I sat with some one who must go. The small courtyard, full of bleak mist, is now become quite desolate. With quick drip drops the rain on the distant bamboos and vacant sills. What time, I wonder, will the wind and rain their howl and patter cease? The tears already I have shed have soakd through ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... faith in the strike. When Daylight, with his heavy outfit of flour, arrived at the mouth of the Klondike, he found the big flat as desolate and tenantless as ever. Down close by the river, Chief Isaac and his Indians were camped beside the frames on which they were drying salmon. Several old-timers were also in camp there. Having finished ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... but once a year—and the cynic cries, "Thank God!" And so, perhaps, do the very lonely. But then Christmas is not a festival for either the cynic or the desolate. The cynic is as welcome at the annual feast of turkey and plum pudding as Mr. "Pussyfoot" would be at a "beano"; while the lonely—well, one likes to imagine that there are no lonely ones at Christmas-time; or, if there are—that somebody has asked them out, or they have toothache ...
— Over the Fireside with Silent Friends • Richard King

... show of resistance, for I admitted everything that could possibly be said, and lost all my spirit of independence in view of the impressive event that was coming. So I meekly took to the attic, and put up with the most forlorn and desolate quarters. One or two mornings after, I was aroused at an inhuman hour, and ordered in the most imperative tones to call in Dr. Lyman as quickly as possible, and haste after Mrs. Sweet. I hurried into my clothes in the utmost agitation, raced down the street in a manner that led a watchful ...
— That Mother-in-Law of Mine • Anonymous

... intimacy she still kept up with the marquise, in whose salon, which was one of the first in Paris, she might eventually be able to choose among many heiresses for Georges' wife. The princess saw five years between the present moment and her son's marriage,—five solitary and desolate years; for, in order to obtain such a marriage for her son, she knew that her own conduct must be marked in the ...
— The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan • Honore de Balzac

... the invading of the bleakest terror she had ever known. That such things could be real and happen found her helpless utterly. Terror invaded the quietest corners of her heart, that had never yet known quailing. She could not—for moments at any rate—reach either her Bible or her God. Desolate in an empty world of fear she sat with eyes too dry and hot for tears, yet with a coldness as of ice upon her very flesh. She stared, unseeing, about her. That horror which stalks in the stillness of the noonday, when the glare ...
— The Man Whom the Trees Loved • Algernon Blackwood

... the sage plain and barren, for even the greyhound knew thirst and fatigue,—knew how to stretch at full length and luxury in the shade, whereas 'Tonio, by day at least, stood or squatted. Never in all their long prowlings, by day or night, among the arid deserts or desolate ranges along the border, had Harris known his chief trailer and scout to hint at such a thing as weariness. Yet, within the week gone by, thrice had he declared himself unable to go farther. Did it mean that at last 'Tonio would purposely fail him, now that ...
— Tonio, Son of the Sierras - A Story of the Apache War • Charles King

... Gobi Desert is a part of Mongolia, but only in its western half is it a desolate waste; in the eastern section it gradually changes into a rolling plain covered with "Gobi sage brush" and short bunch grass. When one looks closely one sees that the underlying soil is very ...
— Across Mongolian Plains - A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' • Roy Chapman Andrews

... no tears, but she could not help softly moaning to herself now and then. A woman, who for some distance had kept pace with her, thought she must be suffering some severe bodily pain, and when the girl passed her, she looked after her with sincere compassion, the wailing of the desolate young creature ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... boy. More of the world pressed into the small bedroom of the humpback than the entire day had contained. Kuno Kohn had lost the body that was supposed to lie in the bed: only fright and helplessness and longing were left. The worst was when the desolate indistinctness took on the shape of visions or touches. The Kohn boy then cried out despairingly. Either the cry was not heard by anyone or it carried no clear meaning. In prisons there are always yells in the night from ...
— The Prose of Alfred Lichtenstein • Alfred Lichtenstein

... destructive violence. To say what during these centuries Egypt had to endure in the way of upsetting of her past is impossible. The only fact which can be stated as certain is, that not a single monument of this desolate epoch has come down to our days to show us what became of the ancient splendour of Egypt under the Hyksos. We witness under the fifteenth and sixteenth dynasties a fresh shipwreck of Egyptian civilization. Vigorous as it had been, the impulse given to it by the Usurtasens suddenly ...
— Ancient Egypt • George Rawlinson

... most strikingly evident the poetic cadences of his prose: its rhythmic, monotonous flow is the flow of the gray water that laps at the sides of the boat, that rises and recedes in cruel waves, "like little pointed rocks." It is a desolate picture, and the tale is one of our greatest short stories. In the other tales that go to make up the volume are wild, exotic glimpses of Latin-America. I doubt whether the color and spirit of that region have been better ...
— Men, Women, and Boats • Stephen Crane

... over to the window and sat down there staring at the black bare branches and the clear sky. It seemed to him unspeakably desolate and even, in its indifference to his own mood, cruel. So was Amelia, he thought. In spite of her platitudes about enjoying a great deal, she had him dead and buried. He became absurdly conscious that he was afraid, but of one thing only: to hear her voice again. Upon that, ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... his eyes riveted on the ship which bore Blue Beard away. He followed it with yearning and desolate eyes until the brigantine had entirely disappeared in space. Then two great tears rolled down the cheeks ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... imperial frown—which was the same thing. Some smaller islands off the Italian coast, Procida, Ischia, &c., served the same purpose. Relegatio ad insulam was the legal phrase for this punishment. Augustus banished his grandson Agrippa to the desolate island of Planosa, the Pianosa mentioned just before in connection with Elba. There he was strangled ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... had I in the perfect university and its inability to exist? My whole being was desolate over the non-existence of another ideal. "Professor," I said tensely, "may I use that—that thing of yours again? I ...
— The Ideal • Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

... fifteen years the old man had read no others. Helpless tears of joy, of gratitude, of wonder ran down the furrows of his cheeks into his white beard. And how could I at whom he so gazed help being moved: on that desolate, unknown mountain-side, far from the world, the name which I had inherited was loved and honored! One does not get one's privileges for nothing. My father gave me power to make my way, and cast sunshine on the path; but he made the ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... needed. She was deft and clever, and could be insinuating when it served her purpose. But the friendship of the Island women she had never desired, and when her husband was drowned there was not a fisher-wife to go and sit with her in the desolate house. As the years went by her good looks went with them. She yellowed, and her malevolent eyes took on red rims round their greenness; while her dry lips, parted over her snarling teeth, were more ill than they had been when they ...
— An Isle in the Water • Katharine Tynan

... that swelled into her eyes. In the meantime, Arthur led Alice along the edge of the rock to a little, natural bower beyond, which Alice called her bower, and where she and Helen had made a bed of moss, and adorned it with shells. Helen stood a moment alone on the rock, feeling as desolate as if she were the inhabitant of a desert island. She thought Arthur unkind, and the beautiful, embowering trees, gurgling waters, and sweet, singing birds, lost their charms to her. Slowly turning her steps ...
— Helen and Arthur - or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel • Caroline Lee Hentz

... the Disputatio contra Saracenos, composed in Arabic before the year 1130; but the honest Gagnier (ad Abulfed. p. 53) has shown that they were deceived by the word Al Nagjar, which signifies, in this place, not an obscure trade, but a noble tribe of Arabs. The desolate state of the ground is described by Abulfeda; and his worthy interpreter has proved, from Al Bochari, the offer of a price; from Al Jannabi, the fair purchase; and from Ahmeq Ben Joseph, the payment of the money by the generous Abubeker ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... my arm. I could not resist him, only I walked the more swiftly. He tried to check me, but I shook my head. "I am cold and tired," I told him. "This desolate walk frightened me, and even with you I think I am a little nervous. Let us hurry. Hark! ...
— A Monk of Cruta • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... acknowledge it, receive it, as a disinherited sister; for poverty is not solitude, nor exile, nor imprisonment. Is it likely I shall ever be poor, with such friends as Pellisson, as La Fontaine, as Moliere; with such a mistress as—Oh! if you knew how utterly lonely and desolate I feel at this moment, and how you, who separate me from all I love, seem to resemble the image of solitude, of annihilation, and ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... I know no better illustration of ice action than is to be seen on the road leading down from Glen Quoich to Loch Hourn, one of the most striking examples of desolate and savage scenery in Scotland. Its name in Celtic is said to mean the Lake of Hell. All along the roadside are smoothed and polished hummocks of rock, most of them deeply furrowed with approximately ...
— The Beauties of Nature - and the Wonders of the World We Live In • Sir John Lubbock

... would ask if this your palace were Unroofed and desolate, how many flatterers Would lick the dust in which the ...
— The Works of Lord Byron - Poetry, Volume V. • Lord Byron

... criticism we may add here that Tragedy is never greater than when her handmaid is ready to do her modest service. Sophocles puts into the mouth of Oedipus, at the moment of his departure into blind and desolate exile, tender injunctions regarding the care ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... taken fifteen or seventeen of our men who were gathering blueberries at Sabbath Day Point. Whereupon Colonel Gansevoort immediately marched for Canajoharie with his regiment, which had but just arrived; and in consequence Betty Bleecker and Angelina are desolate. ...
— The Hidden Children • Robert W. Chambers

... mistress's soul sickened remorsefully within her when she saw suddenly appear upon the speaking countenance of the young lady before her a wan desolate look of agony. ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... they pointed across the island. After walking and climbing some way over the uneven ground, we came in sight of a hut built of driftwood and pieces of wreck, almost hid from view in the sheltered nook of the rock. No one was moving about it. Its appearance was very sad and desolate. ...
— Captain Mugford - Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors • W.H.G. Kingston

... old homestead she found it desolate. The light snow which had fallen overnight lay everywhere undisturbed. No paths had been cleared nor entrances swept. The windows were closed and shuttered as Amy never had seen them. Even the stables were shut up ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... and she smiled. Then Mary again took the centre of the stage—Mary's interpretations, all coloured with the mystery of her desolate childhood; her old superstitions and power to control by the magic of her imagination. There were certain tales, it seemed, that were held as bribes. Nancy would always succumb to the lures; Joan, ...
— The Shield of Silence • Harriet T. Comstock

... latter cause the city to be the resort of invalids from far and near. No diseases are here called incurable. At Mingan harbour, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, are situated the great works where all the rocket-cars for the Dominion are built. The site was chosen on account of the large tract of desolate country to the north of it. The cars as soon as built are tested, first at short flights, then at longer ones, and conductors are trained to manage them. There are no regular lines of cars through or ...
— The Dominion in 1983 • Ralph Centennius

... this slowly moving sheet of ice, which with more or less difficulty kept itself conformable with the face of the land over which it was riding, the sharper outstanding points were cut away and the deeper river canons filled in. Desolate and rugged rocky wastes were thrown down and spread over with ...
— Agriculture for Beginners - Revised Edition • Charles William Burkett

... upraise his spirit, in order to taste consolations denied him, will, in my opinion, lose both the one and the other. [3] These consolations being supernatural, and the understanding inactive, the soul is then left desolate and in great aridity. As the foundation of the whole building is humility, the nearer we draw unto God the more this virtue should grow; if it does not, everything is lost. It seems to be a kind of pride when we seek to ascend higher, seeing that God descends so low, when He allows ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... under the tropical sky, rivals the verdure of an English April. The rice-fields yield an increase such as is elsewhere unknown. Spices, sugar, vegetable oils, are produced with marvellous exuberance. The rivers afford an inexhaustible supply of fish. The desolate islands along the sea-coast, overgrown by noxious vegetation, and swarming with deer and tigers, supply the cultivated districts with abundance of salt. The great stream which fertilises the soil is, at the same ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... first opened to this state of affairs one day when he had wandered on to the stage and stood surveying the desolate emptiness of the house, in the vague spaces of which cleaners flitted about or busied themselves amid the dim tiers of swathed seats. Orchestra practice was proceeding in the band room, and Morgan stayed to listen for awhile. A sudden high-pitched brutal comment ...
— Cleo The Magnificent - The Muse of the Real • Louis Zangwill

... hills, over salt-encrusted plains and upon the rocks, were the skeletons and shells of departed life. Fossils of the animal and the vegetable kingdoms greeted one on every hand. Great fronds of palms of the deep, draped with weird remains of marine life long extinct, stood gaunt and desolate and rust-covered in the hollows and on the hills. Long tresses of sea weed and moss, now crisp and dead as desert sands, still clung in wreaths and festoons to rock and tree and plant just as they had done ...
— Omega, the Man • Lowell Howard Morrow

... now cut deep into the plain, the banks being from thirty to forty feet in height, and the current very swift. The plain had once been sparsely, wooded but was burned over and very desolate looking now. Huckleberries, cranberries, and Labrador tea grew in profusion, and were in blossom, while patches of reindeer moss were seen struggling into life where we ...
— A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador • Mina Benson Hubbard (Mrs. Leonidas Hubbard, Junior)

... broad clearing. They were in an African village. But no voice was heard and no step broke the horrible silence. It was a village of death. The sun blazed on the charred heaps which now marked the sites of happy African homes; the gardens were desolate and utterly destroyed. The village was wiped out. Those who had submitted were far away, trudging through the forest, under the lash of the slaver; those who had been too old to walk or too brave to be ...
— The Book of Missionary Heroes • Basil Mathews

... inquired what it meant, and were told that a road up the Rigi was to be made. The Vitznauers were delighted, for they had no roads, and there was not a wheeled vehicle in the town, nor a highway by which it could be brought thither. The idea of a railroad in their desolate mountain region, and, above all, a railroad up the Rigi, never entered their heads, and a report which some time after obtained currency in the town, that the laborers were beginning the construction of a railroad, was greeted with a shout ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 821, Sep. 26, 1891 • Various

... mist was creeping slowly up over the river and the sloping meadow; the distant woods looked desolate, and almost awesome. Kitty could nut picture them now peopled as they had been in the morning, and her efforts to do so were soon interrupted by a little ...
— Kitty Trenire • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... that distressing interview has never transpired; but later events prove that Hardshaw had found means to subdue her will to his own. She left the prison, a broken-hearted woman, refusing to answer a single question, and returning to her desolate home renewed, in a half-hearted way, her inquiries for her missing husband. A week later she was herself missing: she had "gone back to the States"—nobody knew any more ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... from his own country, he referred to that of Little Peter. He described Little Peter as a desperate character with a black heart and with no skill at all in the capture of wild things. As to Little Peter's country, it was absurd to talk about it! It was a desolate waste of rocks and shrub, whereon even the little snowbirds could not live, and where the few bad Indians who found a home there subsisted upon roots alone. ...
— The Wolf's Long Howl • Stanley Waterloo

... night and day, for months at a stretch, giving no trouble to anybody, growing into condition ready for "finishing" on richer pasture, and giving life and beauty to a scene which would, without them, be but grandly desolate. The little Kerries are greatly prized as "milkers," and they yield good beef, but very little of it—not more than four hundredweight per beast. By the side of the superb shorthorns of the Ardfert herd ...
— Disturbed Ireland - Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81. • Bernard H. Becker

... she care for the elegance which had so often excited the envy of her neighbors? That little coffin, which had cost so many dollars and caused so much remark, contained what to her was far dearer than all. And yet she was not one half so desolate as was the orphan Mary, who in Mrs. Bender's kitchen sat weeping over her sister Alice, and striving to form words of prayer which should reach the God ...
— The English Orphans • Mary Jane Holmes

... mere pecuniary compensation. Only on condition of the grant of perfect social equality would she consent to stay, and Mrs. Gradinger, though she held advanced opinions, was hardly advanced far enough to accept this suggestion. Last of all, Mr. Sebastian van der Roet was desolate to announce that his cook, a Japanese, whose dishes were, in his employer's estimation, absolute inspirations, had decamped and taken with him everything of value he could lay hold of; and more than desolate, that he was forced to postpone the pleasure of welcoming the Marchesa di Sant' ...
— The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste: - Containing Over Two Hundred Recipes For Italian Dishes • Mrs. W. G. Waters

... to Matt. 12:25: "Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate": a saying which was verified in the Jewish people, whose destruction was brought about by the division of the kingdom. But the Law should aim chiefly at things pertaining to the general well-being of the people. Therefore it should have forbidden the kingdom to be divided under two kings: ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I-II (Pars Prima Secundae) - From the Complete American Edition • Saint Thomas Aquinas

... him as though from weird night gulfs of the upper air, and charged with an overmastering pathos as of the lamentations of angels. In the dimness and silence, in the aroused and exalted condition of his being, the strains seemed unearthly in their immense and desolate grandeur of sorrow, and their mournful and dark significance was now for him. Working within him the impression of vast, innumerable, fleeing shadows, thick-crowding memories of all the ways and deeds of an existence fallen from its early dreams and aims, poured across ...
— The Ghost • William. D. O'Connor



Words linked to "Desolate" :   ditch, maroon, devastate, stark, barren, inconsolable, ravage, scourge, bleak, shrink, waste, disconsolate, walk out, unconsolable, abandon, inhospitable, depopulate, leave, ruin, destroy, expose, desert, lay waste to



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