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Fractious   /frˈækʃəs/   Listen
Fractious

adjective
1.
Stubbornly resistant to authority or control.  Synonyms: recalcitrant, refractory.  "A refractory child"
2.
Easily irritated or annoyed.  Synonyms: cranky, irritable, nettlesome, peckish, peevish, pettish, petulant, scratchy, techy, testy, tetchy.  "Not the least nettlesome of his countrymen"
3.
Unpredictably difficult in operation; likely to be troublesome.  "Fractious components of a communication system"



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"Fractious" Quotes from Famous Books



... enough time they had, though, for the cattle were new to each other and to the country, and they were hard to manage. It was generally conceded that Waite had a genius for herding, and he could take the "mad" out of a fractious animal in a way that the others looked on as little less than superhuman. Thus it was that one day, when the clay had been well turned, and the seeds arranged on the kitchen table, and all things prepared for an afternoon of busy planting, that Waite and Henderson, who ...
— A Mountain Woman and Others • (AKA Elia Wilkinson) Elia W. Peattie

... with their manes entwined with roses, and necks enchained with garlands, fractious at the shouts that ran along the line, increasing from the clapping of children clothed in white, standing on the steps of the Capitol, to the tumultuous vociferation of hundreds of thousands of enraptured multitudes, crying "Huzza! Huzza!" Gleaming muskets, thundering parks of artillery, rumbling ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... come to Nashville, Tennessee and got her. He bought her. He was a young man and a saloon-keeper at Augusta, Arkansas. He put her out on the farm at his father's. She was a field hand. She was part African and a whole lot Indian. She was fractious and high tempered. The old man McAlway and the overseers would drop her clothes down in the field before all the hands and whoop her. Gabe never even slapped her. His aunt Mrs. Jones didn't want them to put her in the field. She wanted to keep her but couldn't she was so fractious, ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Arkansas Narratives Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... full of water, and the officer (spurs, boots, and all) was sitting in it with his legs out of one end and his head groaning and bellowing from the other. This was his specific for sea-sickness, and for three days he behaved about as well as a fractious child who sadly wants a good whipping. It is no discredit to a man to be sea-sick. Nelson, we are told, was so far human. But it is somewhat unmanly for an officer to whine and blubber like a baby, ...
— The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy" • John MacGregor

... on her shoulder and shook her gently. Then he kissed her. "Thee is fractious this morning, Ruth. Friend Randolph had a son, thee dost mind, whom Robert Hawthorne took to live at Hollywood. It is he whom the good Lord has sent to us to care for, Ruth. ...
— A Beautiful Possibility • Edith Ferguson Black

... so. You will perhaps let your boat. We will talk to my mother," Robert answered, as one soothes a fractious child. Then, before I had breath to answer, he swept us away from the beach, and drew up before an aggressively comfortable villa on a terrace opening ...
— The Chauffeur and the Chaperon • C. N. Williamson

... has my endorsement," said the Seigneur, "and, as the justice most concerned, I shall give proper information to the gentleman under suspicion." He waved a hand at the Abbe, as at a fractious child, and turned ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... only two ways of learning to ride a fractious horse: one is to get on him and learn by actual practice how each motion and trick may be best met; the other is to sit on a fence and watch the beast awhile, and then retire to the house and at leisure figure out the best way of overcoming his jumps and ...
— A History of Aeronautics • E. Charles Vivian

... been a long piece of work. The weather has been fractious—and a master's eye is needed. Besides," said he, as if he had found the reason for which he sought to account for his absence, "I have heard of her from Rowland Jones. I was at the surgery for some horse-medicine—he ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851 • Various

... I have grown so fractious and contrary lately that maybe my sister winna care to have me. And ...
— Janet's Love and Service • Margaret M Robertson

... green Jeddak were formally presented to each other. Then Thuvia was lifted to the least fractious thoat, Xodar and Carthoris mounted two others, and we set out at a rapid pace toward the east. At the far extremity of the city we circled toward the north, and under the glorious rays of the two moons we sped noiselessly ...
— The Gods of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... their tardiness, so perfectly satisfied am I with the prospect before me." Some time later he notes: "We have been three weeks effecting what might be accomplished in two days. This extraordinary delay makes me more fractious than can be imagined, and I begin to lose the character for patience which I had given myself, by so tiresome a situation." It was still the season of westerly winds, and the voyage from Alexandria to Gibraltar occupied ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... hot and red, and thoroughly exasperated. His brown eyes were disproportionately angry, considering the slight importance of his enterprise. He was evidently a man of keen, quick temper, easily aroused and nervous. His handsome, well-groomed horse was fractious, and difficult for so impatient a rider to control. His equestrian outfit once more attracted the covert glance of Con Hite, whose experience and observation could duplicate no such attire. He was tall, somewhat heavily built, and altogether a sufficiently ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... baby! There goes the great Mr. Toad! And that's the gallant Water Rat, a terrible fighter, walking along o' him! And yonder comes the famous Mr. Mole, of whom you so often have heard your father tell!" But when their infants were fractious and quite beyond control, they would quiet them by telling how, if they didn't hush them and not fret them, the terrible grey Badger would up and get them. This was a base libel on Badger, who, though he cared little about Society, was ...
— The Wind in the Willows • Kenneth Grahame

... machinery and taking on new men he had had scant leisure for affairs of the heart. He was young and inexperienced and the dealers took advantage of it to foist off old stock and odd parts, and then his engineers became fractious and disgruntled because he expected quick results. It was all very different from what he had expected when he had taken over the Paymaster lease, and yet it had to be endured and muddled through somehow until the mine was safely his own. Then out ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... with a woman's? And what rights has he as against hers? No: between man and man all that can be needed is plain speech and manly frankness—aided by a little diplomacy. I'll break you to pieces, James H., if you are fractious; and I've got the weapons to do it with. It is all for your good, and you'll bless me the rest of your life. One thing must be understood: I can't have you coming to my place and practising your wild backwoods manners on my family, and then sneaking off in the night and ...
— A Pessimist - In Theory and Practice • Robert Timsol

... prove the rule of unanimity, beings with souls so dead that never to themselves had said, "This is my own, my native land," and who yet looked upon the Boer as an object of commiseration. But these were, first, men linked either by birth or family ties with the Afrikander cause; second, fractious Irishmen and political obstructionists who posed for notoriety at any price; and, third, eccentrics and originals, whose sense of opposition forbade them from floating at any time with the tide of public opinion. Every one else cried aloud for a chance to uphold Great Britain's prestige, and ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 (of 6) - From the Commencement of the War to the Battle of Colenso, - 15th Dec. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... at her. "I shall live in a blouse and sleep in my old attic with Adolph. That's the only thing I could possibly want to do. But I won't be fractious, Mary. If it will please you to have me take dress clothes I'll do it—only you must ...
— The Nest Builder • Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale

... Wressley of the Foreign Office. There might be other good men, but the known, honored and trusted man among men was Wressley of the Foreign Office. We had a Viceroy in those days who knew exactly when to "gentle" a fractious big man, and to hearten-up a collar-galled little one, and so keep all his team level. He conveyed to Wressley the impression which I have just set down; and even tough men are apt to be disorganized by a Viceroy's praise. There was a case ...
— Indian Tales • Rudyard Kipling

... the rear was well started, patrolled the length of the drive in his light buckboard. He had a first-class team of young horses—high-spirited, somewhat fractious, but capable on a pinch of their hundred miles in a day. He handled them well over the rough corduroys and swamp roads. From jam to rear and back again he travelled, pausing on the river banks to converse earnestly with one of the foremen, surveying the situation ...
— The Riverman • Stewart Edward White

... and rose to meet the doctor with an alacrity that made Edmonson bite his under lip hard. She thought that dressing the wound took a long time that evening, that the physician had never been so slow before, nor the patient so fractious. But to Edmonson it seemed as if she vanished ...
— The New England Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, January 1886 - Bay State Monthly, Volume 4, No. 1, January, 1886 • Various

... noisily, and then settled over the crowd. Gofredo went on talking to them: "Take it easy, now; easy." He might have been speaking to a frightened dog or a fractious horse. "Nobody's going to hurt you. This is nothing but the great ...
— Naudsonce • H. Beam Piper

... aimlessly about, outside. Without, of course, being able to analyze it, he felt as if some rare source of entertainment had been withdrawn from him, leaving life flat and tasteless. He felt like being, what his mother called, "fractious," but—he remembered, as in a flash, "you never catch a thorerbred whinin'," and he snapped his jaws ...
— Martha By-the-Day • Julie M. Lippmann

... permitted himself to be put to bed. But, therein, he proved fractious. He was anxious about his linen. Mr. Sachs telephoned from the bedside, and a laundry-maid came. He was anxious about his best lounge-suit. Mr. Sachs telephoned, and a valet came. Then he wanted a siphon of ...
— The Regent • E. Arnold Bennett

... one of the Hampshire Coopers, and the first earl. He was a sort of English Voltaire: small and thin, nervous and fractious, with a great cold brain, no affections and no illusions; he had faith in organizations, but none in man; was destitute of compunctions, careless of conventions and appearances, cynical, penetrating, and frivolous. He was a skeptic ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... of their comrades righted them; and others, after getting over safely, would slip back from the sandy bank, and take an involuntary immersion. Some clung to the rear of the wagons, but in the middle of the stream the mules would become fractious, or the wagon would get jammed against a stone, and the unfortunate passengers were compelled to drop off and wade ashore, greeted by roars of derisive laughter. On such occasions soldiers give full play to their humor. They accept the hardships with good nature, and ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... compulsory. A large number of special and technical schools were founded, as well as two universities, one at Jassy (1860) and one at Bucarest (1864). After the coup d'etat of 1864 universal suffrage was introduced, largely as an attempt to 'swamp' the fractious political parties with the peasant vote; while at the same time a 'senate' was created as a 'moderating assembly' which, composed as it was of members by right and members nominated by the prince, by its very nature ...
— The Balkans - A History Of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey • Nevill Forbes, Arnold J. Toynbee, D. Mitrany, D.G. Hogarth

... act. They were disposed to believe his flattering tale. There is no credulity so eager and blind as the credulity of covetousness, which, in its universal extent, measures the moral misery and the intellectual destitution of mankind. Ah! he had confessed everything, this fractious Jew, this bribon. Good! Then he was no longer wanted. A sudden dense guffaw was heard from the senior captain—a big-headed man, with little round eyes and monstrously fat cheeks which never moved. The old major, tall and fantastically ragged like a scarecrow, walked round the body of the ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... I only want to say this, we must take our punishment like men, and not whine like fractious children who want the moon—the moon is no nearer for all that." He sighed a little bitterly, for he was tired and depressed; and after that Cedric was more reasonable, and Malcolm regained some of ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... fifth time in the course of one forenoon, "I'se jus' erbout wo'ed out! I done been knowin' Mawstuh Caspah ebber sence I was Ol' Mistis's tiah-'ooman—dat's what she call me in de plantashum days—an' I ain't nev' seen him so fractious ez he been sence dat letter come tellin' him come get dat po' li'l gal-child o' Mawstuh Louis's. Seems lak he jus' gwine r'ar round twel ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... at one corner of the ring, and I saw a small, bullet-headed man, with a voice like a fractious child, striving frantically to force his way through. "Don't let 'em fight!" he screamed: "it's robbery, I tell you. There's hundreds of pounds on him for Thursday next, I'm his trainer; and I daren't show him ...
— Guy Livingstone; - or, 'Thorough' • George A. Lawrence

... at rest underneath my vest Gets up and begins to paw, And my hot tongue strains at its bridle-reins, Then I tackle the real outlaw; When I get plumb riled and my sense goes wild, And my temper has fractious growed, If he'll hump his neck just a triflin' speck, Then it's dollars to dimes ...
— Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp • Various

... actions of the other. To wounded and embittered France, the perfectly honest British explanations of the reasons for delay in evacuating Egypt seemed only so many evidences of hypocrisy masking greed. To Britain the French attitude seemed fractious and unreasonable, and she suspected in every French forward movement in other fields—notably in the Eastern Soudan and the upper valley of the Nile—an attempt to attack or undermine her. Thus Egypt, like Tunis, illustrated the influence of European politics in the extra-European field. ...
— The Expansion of Europe - The Culmination of Modern History • Ramsay Muir

... he thought fractions of it to be needed. Grant wanted to move on Mobile from Lake Pontchartrain, but was not permitted to do it. Having gone to New Orleans in obedience to a necessity of conference with General Banks, he suffered a severe injury by the fall of a fractious horse, as he was returning from a review of Banks's army. For a long time he was unconscious. As soon as he could be moved he was taken on a bed to a steamer. For several days after reaching Vicksburg he was unable to leave his bed. Meantime he was repeatedly ...
— Ulysses S. Grant • Walter Allen

... the Arpan sub-base like a fractious child. Kincaide and I endeavored to cheer him up, and Hendricks, the Ertak's young third officer, tried in vain to induce Correy to take in ...
— The Terror from the Depths • Sewell Peaslee Wright

... the ruins of Henry House, they saw from the height of the pass. One foaming stream they forded eight times in three hours, driven from side to side by precipice and windfall; and in places they could advance only by ascending the stream bed. This was risky work on a fractious pony, and some of the riders preferred wading to riding. At noon on the 22nd of August the riders crossed a small stream and set up their tents on the border of a sedgy lake. Then {70} somebody noticed that the lake emptied ...
— The Cariboo Trail - A Chronicle of the Gold-fields of British Columbia • Agnes C. Laut

... to work. I do not care how much or how well he works, this fellow is an evil feature in other people's lives. They would be happier if he were dead. They could easier do without his services in the Circumlocution Office, than they can tolerate his fractious spirits. He poisons life at the well-head. It is better to be beggared out of hand by a scapegrace nephew, than daily hag-ridden by ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... whilst milkin' or no," she observed, half to herself, half to Emory, who, chewing a straw, somewhat surlily had followed her out for a word apart. "The dusk 'pears slow ter-night, but Spot's mighty late comin' home, an' old Sue air fractious an' contrairy-minded, and feels mighty anxious an' oneasy 'boutn her calf, that's ez tall ez she is nowadays, an' don't keer no mo' 'bout her mammy 'n a half-grown human does. I tell her she oughtn't ter be mad with me, but with the way she brung ...
— The Phantoms Of The Foot-Bridge - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... confessed that Albinia was very much the creature of health. Never having been ill before, the depression had been so new that it broke her completely down; convalescence made her fractious. ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... cheers our life, Would lay on you, so full of light, joy, grace, The darker, sadder duties of the wife,— Doubts, fears, and frequent toil, and constant care For this poor frame, by sickness sore bested; The daily tendance on the fractious chair, The nightly vigil by ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... little do men dream of the things that are transpiring about them! In Luther's days, how little they knew the magnitude of the results pending that controversy of fractious monk and haughty pope! How little did the frivolous courtier know the vastness of that struggle in which Hampden, Milton and Cromwell acted! We are in just such another era. Dates will begin from the period ...
— Conflict of Northern and Southern Theories of Man and Society - Great Speech, Delivered in New York City • Henry Ward Beecher

... he lightened their hands by giving occupation to the boys. Then came out the result of training at the Refuge. Those who had been some time there showed themselves amenable to discipline; but the late arrivals were more fractious, and difficult to manage. These were the lads "upon whom," as Miss Macpherson says, "the street life had left sore marks." Even when only nearing the American coast, this indomitable lady's spirit is planning a second expedition. "As far as I dare make plans, I should ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... house. And really the child had done her best. But how could any one expect her to manage her father and the house, especially on the scraps of time left her by her V.A.D. work? The Squire had been like a fractious child over the compulsory rations. Nobody was less of a glutton—he pecked like a bird; but the proper food to peck at must be always there, or his temper was unbearable. Pamela made various blunders; the household knew hunger for the ...
— Elizabeth's Campaign • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... was obliged to resign himself; and so exceedingly fractious was he, that Clara had been feeling quite dispirited, when her brother called her to tell her joyously that Lord Ormersfield and Louis were coming home, and would call in on their way the next evening. Those wretched children must not ...
— Dynevor Terrace (Vol. II) • Charlotte M. Yonge

... fractious patient than Du Meresq as he lay listlessly on the sofa, while the bone reunited. He had speculated on many a stolen walk with Bluebell in that unfrequented wood, where they would be far less liable to interruption than at "The Maples." He thought of his cavalier parting with her,—a ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... some of them and go off on her good time. It wouldn't be housekeeping and spinning and looking after fractious children. But those evenings out on the stoop, and the timid invitations to take a walk, the pressure of the hand, the smile ...
— A Little Girl in Old Boston • Amanda Millie Douglas

... very adept in the management of mules. Frequently a block would occur while the mule train occupied a sap; the mules at times became fractious and manipulated their hind legs with the most marvellous precision—certainly they placed a good deal of weight in their arguments. But in the midst of it all, when one could see nothing but mules' heels, straps and ammunition boxes, the Indian drivers would talk to their charges ...
— Five Months at Anzac • Joseph Lievesley Beeston

... was also good. On Wednesdays and Friday nights he would make the slaves come up to the Big House and he would read the Bible to them and he would pray. He was a doctor and very fractious and exact. He didn't allow the slaves to claim they forgot to do thus and so nor did he allow them to make the expression, "I thought so and so." He would say to them if they did: "Who told you, ...
— Slave Narratives, Oklahoma - A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From - Interviews with Former Slaves • Various

... melancholia there is probably no psychosis in which the patients exhibit such infantile reactions as in stupor. Except for the stature and obvious age of these patients, one could easily imagine that he was dealing with a spoiled and fractious infant. One thinks at once of the negativism which is so like that of a perverse child and of the unconventional, personal habits to which these patients cling so stubbornly. Masturbation, for instance, is quite frequent, while willful wetting and soiling ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... thing that Mrs. Brandeis took to most ungracefully. After the holiday rush and strain she invariably had a severe cold, the protest of the body she had over-driven and under-nourished for two or three weeks. As a patient she was as trying and fractious as a man, tossing about, threatening to get up, demanding hot-water bags, cold compresses, alcohol rubs. She fretted about the business, and imagined that things were at a stand-still ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... home, the servants were dismissed, for the sake of economy, and all the housework and the nursing fell on my grandmother and my sister. Fetchke, as a result, was overworked, and fell ill of a fever. The baby, suffering from unavoidable neglect, developed the fractious temper of semi-illness. And by way of a climax, the old cow took it into her head to kick my grandmother, who was laid up for a week with a ...
— The Promised Land • Mary Antin

... leave me enough for a week's ill luck at the hazard-table? In a word, I joined my gallant friends, and entrusted myself to their guidance. Since then, we have cruised around the country, regaled ourselves cheerily, frightened the timid, silenced the fractious, and by the help of your fate, or my devil, have found ourselves by accident, brought to exhibit our valour in this very district, honoured by the dwelling-place of my learned ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... fractious disposition kept us upon half breath; there wasn't time to yawn. I meant to have eased my breast by laughing afterwards, ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... as possible. In one of his comprehensive, quietly delivered and powerful speeches EDWARD GREY showed that situation is not so easily managed as amateur diplomatists below the Gangway believe, or as fractious newspapers, bent on damaging the Government even if the Empire falls, assert. Explained in detail steps taken by Foreign Office to deal with it. House listened critically but approvingly. Took note of fact that FIRST LORD OF ADMIRALTY emphatically cheered denial of one of the malicious ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 150, February 2, 1916 • Various

... suitable alliance had she been asked; but then she hadn't been asked, and Peter was such a sweet-natured, loving, lovable dear that he would get on with anyone, and Rhoda, though sometimes a silly and sometimes fractious, was a dear little girl too. The two facts that would have occurred to some sisters-in-law, that they had extremely few pennies between them, and that Rhoda wasn't precisely of Peter's gentle extraction, ...
— The Lee Shore • Rose Macaulay

... eldest of five children, who, by the death of both parents, had been thrown penniless upon the world, and found a temporary asylum in the county poor-house. Her mother she remembered merely as a feeble, fractious invalid; and her father, who had long been employed as superintendent of large mills belonging to Miss Jane Grey, had, after years of reckless intemperance, ended his wretched career in a fit of mania a potu. His death occurred at a ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... especially European children, seldom go to sleep without being subjected to some such influence, either by the ayahs or the attendant bearers; and our military friend says, that he has himself repeatedly, in a few seconds, been the means of tranquillising a fractious, teething child, and throwing it into a profound sleep by the mere exercise of the will, quite ignorant that he was thus using, though in one of its simplest forms, a power at which he laughed heartily when displayed around him in some of its more hidden ramifications. ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 457 - Volume 18, New Series, October 2, 1852 • Various

... got to do? What do you say? My time must indeed be fully occupied? Ah, that's just where it is! When you have lost half an hour in the morning, and can't pick it up again—to say nothing of having the store-room on your mind, and the children's dinner late, and the baby fractious—one slips on a petticoat and a shawl, and gives it up in despair. What can I have done with my handkerchief? Would you mind looking among those bottles behind you? Oh, here it is, under the baby. Might I trouble you to hold my book for one moment? I think ...
— Poor Miss Finch • Wilkie Collins

... Burnville, or Viewforth, might do, that were strangers in the country; but Ellangowan! that had been a name amang them since the mirk Monanday, and lang before—him to be grinding the puir at that rate!—They ca'd his grandfather the Wicked Laird; but, though he was whiles fractious aneuch, when he got into roving company" and had ta'en the drap drink, he would have scorned to gang on at this gate. Na, na, the muckle chumlay in the Auld Place reeked like a killogie [*Lime-kiln] in his time, and ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... all these gowns into that trunk passes my comprehension. There's a tray for each, of course; but a ball dress is such a fractious thing. I could shake that Antoinette Roche for disappointing you at the last minute; and what you are to do for a maid, I don't know. You'll have so much dressing to do you will be quite worn out; and I want you ...
— Moods • Louisa May Alcott

... all expect to deal with life on this high-handed scale. The question is what most of us, who feel ourselves sadly limited, incomplete, fractious, discontented, fitful, unequal to the claims upon us, should do. If we have no sense of eager adventure, but are afraid of life, overshadowed by doubts and anxieties, with no great spring of pleasure, ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... you—he will be your slave if you only take the right way to win him. Surely, you will forgive him for the deception which his great affection led him to practice upon you," she concluded, with a coaxing smile, such as she would have assumed in dealing with a fractious child. ...
— The Masked Bridal • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... "There, my fractious young lady," she said, "you can feed, and as you feed, I hope you will consider the error of your ways, and give up any more attempts to buck me off. You ought to know ...
— Tom Gerrard - 1904 • Louis Becke

... blame him. I think he did a smart thing. He might have said you were my grandmother, if it would have served you, for that low fellow is as fractious as the devil, and dead sure ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... German Emperor, who aims to lead the dance, Has a very trying vis-a-vis, that fractious dame, La France, To keep step with that lady, without treading on her train, Would tax Terpsichore herself; he finds the effort vain; Does this fine young ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100. March 14, 1891. • Various

... something up more than you think, sir; there is indeed. He was that fractious that he wouldn't hold the hosses for me, not for a minute, till I could go in and ...
— John Caldigate • Anthony Trollope

... make way for the redoubtable Hercules. Hercules was evidently not in a good humour. His ears were laid back, and the rolling white eye showed mischief. Sponge saw all this, and turned to see whether Thornton's clumsy, wash-ball seat, would be able to control the fractious ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... Pennie, that'll do. Leave the child alone now, you'll make her quite fractious," said Nurse, rescuing Cicely from a too-energetic embrace. Pennie looked round for something fresh to caress, and her eye fell on the Lady Dulcibella sitting in her arm-chair by the dolls' house. There was a satisfied simper on her pink face, as though she ...
— The Hawthorns - A Story about Children • Amy Walton

... Indian who was our driver signified to his team by the usual horse-language that we should be glad to go. The horse did not even agitate his left ear—a phenomenon which I associate with a horse in that moment when he is quietly making up his mind to be fractious. "Go, my brother," said the driver in a mellifluous and really fraternal tone of voice. The horse disdained to acknowledge the tie: he ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... strange as it may seem to those of my readers who may have admired the general good qualities of this singularly faithful animal, so disturbed old Battle's equanimity that he made several attempts to bring his master to the ground: indeed he became so fractious that the general again found it necessary to resign the honor of fighting this great battle to Don Perez Goneti, since the management of his horse was quite enough for the head of any one general. The reserve ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... back to Pheasantina, who, I am told, was a delicate and somewhat fractious infant, giving to both father and mother considerable cause for anxiety. Her first attempts at rising in the world were attended with disaster, for as she was lying in a cradle, with carved iron canopy, and was for a moment left by her nurse ...
— Autobiographical Sketches • Annie Besant

... not pass without an outbreak of this sort. It occurred about tea-time. Perhaps the infants were fractious because there was no tea. Esther had to economize her resources and a repast at seven would serve for both tea and supper. Among the poor, combination meals are as common as combination beds and chests. Esther had quieted Sarah by slapping Isaac, but ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... at me, and then smiled in a tolerant manner. He was short and dark, and wore glasses. His manner was pleasant enough, but he had the air of endeavoring to soothe a fractious child—which annoyed me. ...
— The Great Secret • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... to climb a bank like that," was Davies' comment. "What it did do was to go down the bank—take a scout after it, Charley, while Wemple and I get Mrs. Morgan off her fractious mount. No machine ever built could travel ...
— Dutch Courage and Other Stories • Jack London

... should prefer not to take the responsibility of advising you," nor "Pray do as you think best"; she simply said, in a tone she might have used to a fractious boy: ...
— Mother Carey's Chickens • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... the physical feeling of the north—even in his sleep. This strange bereavement drew him and Leah even more closely together, if that were possible; and she was well content to reign alone in the heart of her fractious, unreasonable but most affectionate, humorous, and irresistible great man. Although her rival had been but a name and an idea, a mere abstraction in which she had never really believed, she did not find it altogether displeasing to herself that ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... term was over I had tried to climb two trees at once and been carried home on a stretcher; been pulled out of the river with my lungs full of water, and artificial respiration resorted to; been jerked around over the north half of the county by a fractious horse whose halter I had tied to my leg, and which leg is now three inches longer than the other; together with various other little early eccentricities which I cannot at this moment call to mind. ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... depression, and more than once while I was talking to her, I saw the tears well up to her eyes. I, at first, thought that her mother had been bothering her, for that Venus was in one of her most exacting and fractious moods, but I soon came to the conclusion that that was not the root of the trouble. Fortunately, Marcia and I were alone for a short time before I left and I endeavored to find out what was weighing on her mind. Not from curiosity, ...
— The Silver Butterfly • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... been sold, and Faye has bought another, a sorrel, that seems to be a very satisfactory animal. He is not as handsome as Ben, nor as fractious, either. Bettie is behaving very well, but is still nervous, and keeps her forefeet down just long enough to get herself over the ground. She is beautiful, and Kelly simply adores her and keeps her bright-red coat ...
— Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 • Frances M.A. Roe

... is late, it is very impolite to appear impatient. If any plan falls to the ground, no comments or disapproval must be indulged in, and no disappointment betrayed. If the children of the house are fractious, or noisy, or ill-bred, a visitor must never find fault ...
— Frost's Laws and By-Laws of American Society • Sarah Annie Frost

... Caleb, "ye must consider there has been a change of hands, and the auld lord might expect twa turns frae them, when the new-comer canna get ane. A dour and fractious set they were, thae tenants of Ravenswood, and ill to live wi' when they dinna ken their master; and if your master put them mad ance, the whole country will not put ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... seated on the floor, his back against a stanchion, his hands lashed behind him by bonds which confined him to the upright support. But the most uncomfortable feature of his predicament was a marlinespike which was stuck into his mouth like a bit provided for a fractious horse, and was secured by lashings behind his head. He was effectually gagged. Furthermore, the back of his head ached in most acute fashion. He rolled his eyes about and discovered that he had a companion in misery. A very pretty young woman ...
— Blow The Man Down - A Romance Of The Coast - 1916 • Holman Day

... Miss Nelson," said Marjorie, in a cheerful voice. "Nurse says Bob is sure to have another teething fit, so of course he'll be fractious, and she'll want me to pick up shells ...
— The Children of Wilton Chase • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... the manner of a man placing at my disposal plenty of rope with which I might entangle myself. He appeared to think me excitable, and used soothing expressions as if I were a fractious child to be calmed, rather than a sane equal to be reasoned with. On many occasions I had the facts at my finger ends, while he remained in a state of most complacent ignorance, and though this attitude of lowering himself to deal gently with one whom he evidently ...
— The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont • Robert Barr

... lady turned away her head from the rice pudding in a kind of gesture of repulsion. She was in the fractious period of influenza, and Maggie had had a ...
— The Necromancers • Robert Hugh Benson

... brother had reached an age when it was convenient, if possible, to throw the blame of all nursery differences on Polly. In families where domestic discipline is rather fractious than firm, there comes a stage when the girls almost invariably go to the wall, because they will stand snubbing, and the boys will not. Domestic authority, like some other powers, is apt to be magnified ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... burro follow after Noddy, but he was fractious and would not go near the cliff. He made a detour, however, about a small group of trees and just as he came opposite them, something upon the snow-drift at the base of the largest tree, caused him to ...
— Polly of Pebbly Pit • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... upon the point of trying conclusions with her mount. Whether dissatisfaction with the latter or some fear of her own had caused her to cry out might have been less certain, had it not been sure that her eye was at the moment fastened, not upon the fractious steed, but upon the cause ...
— The Magnificent Adventure - Being the Story of the World's Greatest Exploration and - the Romance of a Very Gallant Gentleman • Emerson Hough

... you felt moved to come over here this morning. I'm—I'm rather fractious to-day, I think. Do you suppose Lady Gertrude will ask you to ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... was as glad as anybody when the sun disappeared. It had been a hard day. Her step-mother had spent it in making soap. Soap-making is ill-smelling, uncomfortable work at all times, and especially in August. Mrs. Davis had been cross and fractious, had scolded a great deal, and found many little jobs for Mell to do in addition to her usual tasks of dish-washing, table-setting, and looking after the children. Mell was tired of the heat; tired of the ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... don't know but the wiry ones are the best after all. Well, if I take you you'll have to be a good girl, you know—good and smart and respectful. I'll expect you to earn your keep, and no mistake about that. Yes, I suppose I might as well take her off your hands, Miss Cuthbert. The baby's awful fractious, and I'm clean worn out attending to him. If you like I can take her right ...
— Anne Of Green Gables • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... go, because it is made for me, but I can come away early and make up lost sleep. I do hate to be so fractious," and Rose rubbed the forehead that ached with too ...
— Rose in Bloom - A Sequel to "Eight Cousins" • Louisa May Alcott

... tyrant, but no one would tyrannize over you, for you are any man's equal, and he never would forget it. I could not love a fool. I want a mate. And I should love you so much that I never should cease atoning for my fractious and ...
— Senator North • Gertrude Atherton

... Nations." Mr. Adams suggested sending a pointed reply, agreeing to meet the British Commissioners "at any place other than their own lodgings;" but Mr. Gallatin, whose valuable function was destined to be the keeping of the peace among his fractious colleagues, as well as (p. 078) betwixt them and the Englishmen, substituted the milder phrase, "at any place which may be mutually agreed upon." The first meeting accordingly took place at the Hotel des Pays Bas, where it was arranged that ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... place, let us remark that on our supposition—the eventual victory of the Allies—one of the great disturbing elements will have been put out of the field. Europe has hitherto been lulled into an uneasy and fractious sleep by the balance of two great organisations. Under the happiest hypothesis the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente will have disappeared into the deep backward and abysm of time. For all practical purposes there will be no Triple Alliance, and therefore no Triple ...
— Armageddon—And After • W. L. Courtney

... inadequate that a special one had to be made for me. Nor would the biggest coat fasten across my chest. A broad expanse of waistcoat yawned between the button and the button-hole. Fancying that my complaint was merely fractious, the Deputy-Governor—a tall, powerful man—tried to pull them together, and miserably failed. "Well," he said, "it's the largest in stock, and we can't give you what we haven't got." "Yes," I exclaimed, "that's all very well; but if I go about with an open throat like this I shall ...
— Prisoner for Blasphemy • G. W. [George William] Foote

... against them, of which themselves must be judges, and so withdraw from the church, pretending either heresy or disorder; and so condemn the church, to prevent the disgrace of being condemned by the church. How needful then is it, that men of peaceable dispositions, and not of froward and fractious and dividing spirits, be chosen to rule the church of God, for fear lest the whole church be leavened and ...
— An Exhortation to Peace and Unity • Attributed (incorrectly) to John Bunyan

... Squeak" seemed appropriate enough just then, to judge by the many fractious objections immediately voiced by those two small mutineers. They were loth to part with their latest acquaintance and weren't above advertising that fact with unnecessary vehemence. Even the puppy raised a ...
— The Luck of the Mounted - A Tale of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • Ralph S. Kendall

... accompaniment. Webb and Leonard, at work in a field not far away, often paused to listen, the former never failing to catch Amy's clear notes as she sat on a rock, the gentle power behind the throne, that had maintained peace and good-will among all the little fractious subjects. ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... ice. I had closed the drawing-room door behind me, as I entered. I was about to open it for them when I was restrained by what I saw working in the old woman's face. She had set her will on escaping from my loathed presence without a "scene;" but her rage at having been outgeneraled was too fractious ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... men, started that morning for Sleepy Cat with a bunch of cattle. He rode a fractious horse, as he always did, and this time the horse, infuriated as his horses frequently were by his brutal treatment, bolted in a moment unguarded by his master, and flung Duke on his back in a strip ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... strikes—three; and I am here, not with you—and my 'fractious' headache at the very worst got suddenly better just now, and is leaving me every minute—as if to make me aware, with an undivided attention, that at this present you are waiting for me, and soon will be wondering—and it would be so easy now to dress myself and walk or run or ride—do anything ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... Do you mean that you forget how fractious and nasty and abominable I was, and how many headaches I ...
— The Long Vacation • Charlotte M. Yonge

... a fractious tone, as if he combated an unseen tyrant. Amelia dared not speak. At a word, she felt, he might say too much. Now Jared was looking at her in a bright appeal, as if, sure as he was of her sympathy, he ...
— Country Neighbors • Alice Brown

... our imprudent countrymen, I insert the following anecdote. The Bellecean, (or Bellauxcean) prison ship, lay next to us. She was filled with Norwegians, and were detained in England, while Norway adhered to a king of their own choice. The commander of her was a nettlesome, fractious, foolish old fellow, who was continually overlooking us, and hailing our commander, to inform him if any one smuggled a bottle of rum from the market boats. His Norwegians gave him no trouble; they were a peaceable, subservient people, with no fun ...
— A Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, 2nd ed. • Benjamin Waterhouse

... are not formed exclusively of diamond sparks. Flint and granite mingle in the contents of the hour-glass; and Sir Henry often found himself required to listen to fractious complaints of old Roddington's innovations, of Lawford's negligence—of roses that would not blow at the gardener's bidding,—of London booksellers, who would not send down the new novels in proper time,—of old women who refused to be cured of their ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19. Issue 548 - 26 May 1832 • Various

... Bella was unusually fractious with some slight childish indisposition, and Sylvia was obliged to have recourse to a never-failing piece of amusement; namely, to take the child into the shop, when the number of new, bright-coloured articles was sure to beguile the little girl out of her fretfulness. ...
— Sylvia's Lovers, Vol. III • Elizabeth Gaskell

... dear old fellow, if you must turn on someone, then turn on me. I understand how it is. Vespasian doesn't. That's not fair. It's the way of a fractious invalid, not of a sane man. ...
— Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker • Marguerite Bryant

... buck-board which sagged in the middle until all the girls began to grow apprehensive. They started away along a country road a gay party, indeed, but Harriet noted that horse and driver were not well matched. The horse she could plainly see was young and fractious, and she wondered what the old man would do should the animal prove unmanageable. Their driver, however, appeared to have perfect control over the animal, so Harriet dismissed the disturbing thought from her mind and prepared ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls Under Canvas • Janet Aldridge

... situation with every Canadian more or less of a king that day. When he tried to start his men into a revolt his hosts acted promptly, with the result that the uprising was nipped in the bud and the baron was shot through the leg, leaving him still "fractious and patronizing." Then the little colonel of the French-Canadians said, "I think I might as well shoot you in a more vital part and have done with it!" or something equally to the point and suddenly the baron ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... colt the next morning, that fractious animal could not resist having another set-to, just to convince himself that his master was really on his back. Hil was quite agreeable and having satisfied the creature on that point, she and May started at a brisk canter along the road, following the wheel-tracks, ...
— Australia Revenged • Boomerang

... to London. Lensky, the little, thin man, had got all his life locked into a resistance and could not relax again. He lived in a sort of insane irritability, touchy, haughty to the last degree, fractious, so that as assistant doctor in one of the hospitals he soon became impossible. They were almost beggars. But he kept still his great ideas of himself, he seemed to live in a complete hallucination, where he himself figured vivid and lordly. He guarded ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... paint in Evadne's room because they could not go out. She found pictures, and got everything ready for them good-naturedly, and then they sat themselves down at a little table opposite each other; but the weather affected their spirits, and made them both fractious. They wanted the same picture to begin with, and only settled the question by demolishing it in their attempts to snatch it from each other. Then there was only one left between them, but happily they remembered that artists sometimes work at the same ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... selecting a row of "knife-rests" which struck him as being badly in need of repair, had well and truly reinforced the same with many strands of the most barbarous brand of barbed wire. This, despite more than usually fractious behaviour upon the ...
— All In It K(1) Carries On - A Continuation of the First Hundred Thousand • John Hay Beith (AKA: Ian Hay)

... the veteran Waters this morning; and Waters was himself fractious, and inclined to resent sarcasm. He had just heard from Buckinghamshire that his substitute had, for some reason or other, intrusted the keys of the wine-cellar to one of the house-maids; and that that industrious person had seized the opportunity to tilt up all the port-wine ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... work at hand I had full confidence in my mount. Whenever Custer was not looking I slyly spurred the mule ahead, and when he would start forward I would rein him in and pat him by way of restraint, bidding him not to be too fractious, as we hadn't yet reached the sandhills. In this way I set a good lively pace—something like nine miles an ...
— An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) • Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)

... Iowa as one of speed and pedigree, yet displaying at times a most malevolent temper, accompanied by Will, who, though only seven years of age, yet sat his pony with the ease and grace that distinguished the veteran rider of the future. Presently Betsy Baker became fractious, and sought to throw her rider. In vain did she rear and plunge; he kept his saddle. Then, seemingly, she gave up the fight, and Samuel ...
— Last of the Great Scouts - The Life Story of William F. Cody ["Buffalo Bill"] • Helen Cody Wetmore

... You will find her very poorly and fractious this afternoon. Will you tell her that you are coming to live ...
— Frances Kane's Fortune • L. T. Meade

... were cut up in the Champion—is it not so? this day so am I—even to shocking the editor. The critic writes well; and as, at present, poesy is not my passion predominant, and my snake of Aaron has swallowed up all the other serpents, I don't feel fractious. I send you the paper, which I mean to take in for the future. We go to M.'s together. Perhaps I shall see you before, but don't let me ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. III - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... tooth more difficult. This, however, is untrue, for the scar will give way much more easily than the uncut gum. If the tooth does not come through after two or three days, the lancing may be repeated; and this is more especially needed if the child be very fractious, and seems in much pain. Lancing the gums is further advantageous, because it empties the inflamed part of its blood, and so relieves the pain and inflammation. The relief children experience in the course of two or three hours from the operation is often ...
— Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889 • Barkham Burroughs

... was on exhibition in New York a young horse which can do most marvelous things; and yet his trainer says that only five years ago he had a very bad disposition. He was fractious, and would kick and bite, but now instead of displaying his former viciousness, he is obedient, tractable, and affectionate. He can readily count and reckon up figures, can spell many words, ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... replied Wesley graphically. "But if she wants to leave the raising of her girl to the neighbours, she needn't get fractious if they take some pride in doing a good job. From now on I calculate Elnora shall go to school; and she shall have all the clothes and books she needs, if I go around on the back of Kate Comstock's land and cut a tree, or drive off a calf to pay for them. ...
— A Girl Of The Limberlost • Gene Stratton Porter

... Suddenly a fractious horse jerked away from the man who had been standing at its head holding it, and whirling short about, half-overturned the wagon to which it was hitched and raced wildly down the street. People scattered in every direction, several being knocked ...
— Frank Merriwell's Reward • Burt L. Standish

... a little fractious," replies Bobby, leniently—"a little disposed to quarrel with our bread-and-butter; but, as you may remember, my dear, from your experience of our humble roof, Christmas never was ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... speeding home to Russia, falling from a fractious horse. Left a sweetheart, too, they tell me. ...
— Complete Poetical Works of Bret Harte • Bret Harte

... how 'twas with Mars Sam, on' how contrary an' fractious an' wicked dat young white man was, I wants to tell you 'bout de time dat Aunt Hannah's little boy Mose died. Mose, he sick 'bout er week. Aunt Hannah, she try to doctor on him an' git him well an' she tell old mis' dat she think Mose ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves, Arkansas Narratives, Part 4 • Works Projects Administration

... during the autumn, had either the measles, or some eruption that looked very much like it, but was hardly sick a day. Poor Clover has been a good deal troubled with her second teeth, which have made her meagre in aspect and rather fractious in temper; nor, even when she smiles, is the matter much mended, since it discloses a gap just within her lips, almost as wide as the barn door. But all this will pass over, and it is predicted that she will turn out ...
— Tanglewood Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... pleasant, though I do not know that it will be so for you; for I own the majority of us are rather sour-tempered, at present. Though we may be glad enough to go, one does not care to be sent off at a moment's notice, just as fractious children are turned out of a room, when their elders want a private chat. However, for myself, I am not inclined to grumble. I want to go, and therefore I do not stand ...
— With Kitchener in the Soudan - A Story of Atbara and Omdurman • G. A. Henty

... blood or to prick them to death with sharp instruments. Often they inflict such injuries that a child remains for ever a cripple or an invalid. The Nereids of the fountains and springs are also on the watch "to exchange one of their own fractious offspring for a mortal babe." Constant watchfulness, and baptism as soon as the Church permits it, are therefore necessary. In England it seems to have been held in former days that witches stole children from their cradles before ...
— The Science of Fairy Tales - An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology • Edwin Sidney Hartland

... with me, Prince," she cried. "For weeks I have been fancying myself the proud possessor of the hunt cup. Now that horrid man, Captain Chalmers, has thrown me over at the last moment. He refuses to ride my mare because she was a little fractious yesterday." ...
— The Illustrious Prince • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... unmindful of him. Safely stowed away in his carpet bag were several costly books, which he had purchased as a present for Richard. He had also hoped that as Julia's husband he would have a good influence over her, and improve her fractious disposition; and many were the plans which he had formed as to what he would do when Richard was really his son. But now he was gone forever. The blow was so sudden, so unexpected, that for several minutes he was stunned by its force ...
— Tempest and Sunshine • Mary J. Holmes

... the door with it when you come home late from a social meeting, and rouse your wife and family, and save up your knocker for the postman; and here's half-a-dozen dinner plates that you may play the cymbals with to charm baby when it's fractious. Stop! I'll throw in another article, and I'll give you that, and it's a rolling-pin; and if the baby can only get it well into its mouth when its teeth is coming and rub the gums once with it, they'll come through double, in a fit of laughter ...
— Doctor Marigold • Charles Dickens

... o' course I shall leave it the least bit o' time possible afore you; but allow me to express a hope as you won't reduce me to extremities; in saying wich, I merely quote wot the nobleman said to the fractious pennywinkle, ven he vouldn't come out of his shell by means of a pin, and he conseqvently began to be afeered that he should be obliged to crack him in the parlour door.' At the end of this address, which was unusually lengthy for him, Mr. Weller ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... the cows, to drive the plow, to ride the most fractious horses, and to break the fiery young colts; he knew precisely how to look after the horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, fowls, and everything at night ...
— Brave Tom - The Battle That Won • Edward S. Ellis

... morass, the dune, the blear Sandweed, and tepid pool, and putrid smell, Emaciate purpose to a fractious fear, Beckon the body to its last low cell— A chink ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy



Words linked to "Fractious" :   difficult, disobedient, tetchy, ill-natured, hard



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