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Words at Play

Seen & Heard: Good Quotes From Great Books

Favorite "Seen & Heard" Comments from Readers


All the definitions on Merriam-Webster.com include "Seen & Heard," a place to comment on why you looked up the word. Here are some of our favorite comments involving books.

Definition:

: characterized by a harsh snoring or gasping sound

Seen & Heard:

"In Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler: 'The bouncer breathed stertorously and his hand was limp.'" - Linda Dahlstrom

Homepage Photo: Effervescing Elephant / flickr

Definition:

: something that eases (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease

Seen & Heard:

"In Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: 'I see nothing for the treatment of my misery but the melancholy and very local palliative of articulate art.'" - Johnny Bliss

Definition:

: having a mealy texture or surface

Seen & Heard:

"In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: 'Mr. Pumblechook's premises in the High-street of the market town, were of a peppercorny and farinaceous character, as the premises of a corn-chandler and seedsman should be.'" - Rose Huskey

Definition:

: plumpness of person : stoutness

Seen & Heard:

"In Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie: '[Tinkerball] was slightly inclined to embonpoint.' Apparently Tink was a bit chubby, but Disney interpreted that as curvy. :)" - Sarah Ratliff

Definition:

: a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection, or assemblage

Seen & Heard:

"In Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer: 'My grandmother and I used to scream words off her back porch a night, when I would stay over. That's something I remember. We screamed the longest words we could think of. 'Phantasmagoria!' I screamed.'" - Hannah Ruth Brothers

Definition:

: bony

Seen & Heard:

"In Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace: 'The last of the sun's snout was setting just over the tip of the U.S.S. Millicent's hair, which was almost osseously hard-looking, composed of dense woven nests of reticulate fibers like a dry loofa sponge, which she said over the summer a home-perm had misfired and left her hair a system of reticulate nests, and was only now loosening up enough even to attach a bow to.'" - Steven Vanderlinden

Definition:

: being beneath one's dignity

Seen & Heard:

"In Uncle Fred In The Springtime by P.G.Wodehouse: 'There's nothing infra dig about snitching [i.e. stealing] pigs. If I were differently situated, I'd do it like a shot.'" - Anthony Brown

Definition:

: lacking legal or moral restraints; especially : disregarding sexual restraints

Seen & Heard:

"In The Republic by Plato: '... in a city of the blessed, licentiousness is an unholy thing which the rulers will forbid.'" - Cassandra Schreibe

Definition:

: marked by shyness and lack of social graces

Seen & Heard:

"In The Plumed Serpent by DH Lawrence: 'His manner was superficially assured, underneath perhaps half-savage, shy and farouche, and deprecating.'" - Kendra Broom

Buckram
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Definition:

: a stiff fabric used in garments, hats, and bookbindings

Seen & Heard:

"In Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, in a passage about pigs: 'One of the libraries served, for a time, as a wallow, the floor dropped three feet and replaced with mud up to the thresholds for giant Gloucestershire Old Spots to frolic, oink, and cool their summers in, to stare at the shelves of buckram books and wonder if they'd be good eating.' - Gv Knapp




Seen and Heard