Phrases with "sheer"

Olaf Stapledon Then would come sheer barbarism, followed by the trough of almost sub-human savagery. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Roger, out of sheer interest, had given him every opportunity, and was rather disappointed that not one was taken. Shadows of Ecstasy by Charles Williams

Radclyffe Hall Stephen stood speechless from a sheer sense of joy, all her doubts swept completely away. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

Sigmund Freud I remember with what reluctance I undertook the interpretation, how long I tried to postpone it, and how I declared the dream to be sheer nonsense. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud [1911]

Rudyard Kipling I took one sheer over toward his stern — I thought I’d cut it too fine, but we missed it by inches. Debits and Credits by Rudyard Kipling [1926]

H. G. Wells And I escaped from becoming a wretched employee in an entirely uncongenial trade not by any merit of my own but by sheer luck. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

Olaf Stapledon No doubt the robin’s song begins as sheer sexiness or sheer defiance to his neighbours; but the immediate end is soon overlaid with pure artistry, and worship. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Olaf Stapledon Are there any such things? Or are they sheer figments? Let us for the present assume that there are such things as universal characters. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

F. Scott Fitzgerald He had risen and paced the floor in sheer ecstasy. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

Olaf Stapledon Personal anxiety was blotted out by wonder and admiration; for the sheer beauty of our planet surprised me. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

There’s a sheer drop of a hundred feet. Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

Thomas Hardy The vision of what ought to have been is thrown aside in sheer weariness, and browbeaten human endeavour listlessly makes the best of the fact that is. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

D. H. Lawrence It was a silence and a sheer whiteness exhilarating to madness. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Willa Cather The north end we could easily believe impassablesheer cliffs that fell from the summit to the plain, more than a thousand feet. The Professor’s House by Willa Cather [1925]

H. Rider Haggard Three fathoms under him the rock Wolf’s Fang split the waters, and thence, if he can come thither, he may leap sheer into the pool below. Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard

John Galsworthy But at this thought Soames had a moment of sheer weakness. In Chancery by John Galsworthy

E. Phillips Oppenheim Day by day the Count was growing weaker; before long he would doubtless die from sheer distaste of living as much as from any actual disease. To Win the Love He Sought by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1895]

Olaf Stapledon For a few hours the peoples of the six worlds were blinded by sheer light. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

He showed it them by sheer mechanical instinct, and slept again in that dead weight of slumber the moment he was alone. Under Two Flags by Ouida [1867]

Arthur Machen In sheer self-defence I caught at the flint weapon in my pocket, and dashed at him in blind fear of my life, and the next instant he lay dead upon the stones. The Red Hand by Arthur Machen

George Gissing Bunce had an exaggerated fear of giving trouble, and only sheer necessity had compelled him to request this small service. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

I must have run miles before the hot fit passed, and I stopped from sheer bodily weakness. Greenmantle by John Buchan

Olaf Stapledon Generally they didn’t; but when you had done a great many experiments you totted up the results and found that there had been more sixes than should have turned up by sheer chance. Collected Stories by Olaf Stapledon

H. Rider Haggard There they stood unprotected by any railing or support, and before them and on either side of them was a sheer drop of some ninety feet to the water beneath or of fifty to the rock of the platform. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Thomas Hardy Room would probably have been made for her at Talbothays, if only out of sheer compassion; but comfortable as her life had been there she could not go back. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

But Ted, who always knew what to do in an emergency, tore her back by sheer force from the refuge to which she had fled, and presently her mournful eyes opened and recognised us once more. The End of the Dream by Mary Cholmondeley [1921]

F. Scott Fitzgerald All efforts to keep down expenses died away from sheer inertia, and by March they were again using any pretext as an excuse for a “party. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

D.H. Lawrence If each man by his crying could swerve the slow, sheer universe, what a doom of guilt he might gain. The Trespasser by D.H. Lawrence

Rocks, currents, no anchorage, sheer cliff to lay to, no insurance company would take the risk, didn’t see how he could get loaded under three years. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

D. H. Lawrence With the fire of sheer sensuality. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Olaf Stapledon This mistake led inevitably to a muddle over morality, and in the end to sheer opportunism. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

H. G. Wells After the fourth day Solomonson was only kept in Buryhamstreet by sheer will-power, exerted with a brutality that threatened to end that friendship abruptly. Marriage by H. G. Wells [1912]

Edgar Allan Poe In a few seconds I forced him by sheer strength against the wainscoting, and thus, getting him at mercy, plunged my sword, with brute ferocity, repeatedly through and through his bosom. William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe

F. Scott Fitzgerald After a few high-balls there was magic in the tall glowing Arabian night of the Bush Terminal Building — its summit a peak of sheer grandeur, gold and dreaming against the inaccessible sky. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

John Galsworthy It brought a sudden wave of sheer sex-longing — so often and so long had he dreamed of Clare and himself in love on this winding field-scented stream. Over the River by John Galsworthy

Olaf Stapledon Good cannot be derived from sheer rationality. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

Anthony Trollope He had come there, in truth, not because he really thought he could do any good, but driven out of his home by sheer misery. The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope [1870]

George Gissing Whenever Jack came to spend an hour with Mr. and Mrs. Hewett, he was sure sooner or later to indulge the misery that preyed upon him and give way to sheer weeping. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

Jules Verne She tried to sheer off, but the supernatural animal approached with a velocity double her own. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1872]

Bram Stoker We saw it in all its grandeur, perched a thousand feet on the summit of a sheer precipice, and with seemingly a great gap between it and the steep of the adjacent mountain on any side. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

Of course, a fool, what with sheer fright and fine sentiments, is always safe. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad [1899]

Also the inquisitiveness of the Editor had irritated him and had closed his lips in sheer disgust. The Planter of Malata by Joseph Conrad [1915]

If you don’t want to work or to wait for her, then you will probably sheer off after this conversation, in which case we shall be well rid of you. Dr Nikola Returns by Guy Boothby [1896]

Arthur Conan Doyle There it was again upon our left! On that side a ridge of rocks ended in a sheer cliff which overlooked a stone-strewn slope. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

Maria Edgeworth I submit to no man’s mere will, much less to any man’s sheer obstinacy. Helen by Maria Edgeworth

Wilkie Collins They had fairly worried his native virtues of frankness and fair-dealing out of his heart; they had beaten him back, inch by inch, into the miry refuge of sheer duplicity. Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins [1854]

They may break us by sheer weight, and I fancy the first shooting will be done by us. Huntingtower by John Buchan [1922]

Leslie Stephen But though this is true, I will venture to assert that Chapman also sins, not merely by his love of quaintness, but by constantly indulging in sheer doggerel. Alexander Pope by Leslie Stephen [1880]

Wilkie Collins In sheer despair, he let his own impetuous youth drive him on; and cast himself into the lowest dissipations of a London life. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Arthur Morrison There are not so many of these among fishing vessels — brown or red is more likely, or sheer colourless dirt over paint unrecognisable. The Chronicles of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison

Rafael Sabatini He flung wide the door, and entered, whilst the men crowding after him came to a sudden halt upon the threshold in sheer amazement at what they beheld. The Plague of Ghosts by Rafael Sabatini

Anthony Trollope What, twenty pounds!” And being too weak to scold, he had turned his face to the wall in sheer vexation of spirit. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

Frances Hodgson Burnett As American wealth and sympathy poured in where need was most dire, bitterness became silent through sheer discretion’s sake, when for no more honest reason. Robin by Frances Hodgson Burnett [1922]

Zona Gale Whereat they both laughed again in sheer light-heartedness. Romance Island by Zona Gale [1906]

Charles Kingsley They have pitched their camp among the tree-ferns, above a spot where the path winds along a steep hill-side, with a sheer cliff below of many a hundred feet. Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley

George Gissing Only let it not prove sheer degradation. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

With a couple of iron forks snatched from the table, I pinned the latch down, forcing the prongs by sheer strength of hand deep into the woodwork of the door. A Night on the Borders of the Black Forest by Amelia B. Edwards

George Meredith No more at midway heaven, but liker midway to the pit: Not singing the spirally upward of rapture, the downward of pain Rather, the drop sheer downward from pressure of merciless weight. Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History by George Meredith [1898]

Leslie Stephen A more objectionable trick was his habit not only of asking preposterous or indiscreet questions, but of setting people by the ears out of sheer curiosity. Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen [1878]

Arthur Morrison A crool — a crool thing was such robbery — sheer robbery, said Mother Gapp. Josh Perrott got a bad sprain in the cellar and had to be helped home. A Child of the Jago by Arthur Morrison

Olaf Stapledon Its motive was sheer pride of workmanship and enlightened patriotism. Darkness and the Light by Olaf Stapledon

Ford Madox Ford It was jumped out of her by sheer nerves. A Man Could Stand Up by Ford Madox Ford [1926]

G. K. Chesterton By sheer force he tore the lamp out of his own ceiling, shattering the painted panels, and bringing down two blue vases with his violence. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

Rudyard Kipling It’s sheer calculated insolence. Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling [1899]

Then one day he pulls the signal off in sheer bravado—and hastily puts it at danger again. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah [1914]

Julian Hawthorne The narrow winding valley lay sheer beneath us on the right, with the white road and the dark stream lying side by side at the bottom of it. Mrs. Gainsborough’s Diamonds by Julian Hawthorne

E. Phillips Oppenheim She felt suddenly helpless, as though she must pass out of life through sheer inertness, sheer inability to breathe an atmosphere containing new and poisonous qualities. The Passionate Quest by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1924]

D. H. Lawrence What then, what next? Was it sheer blind force of passion that would satisfy her now? Not this, but the subtle thrills of extreme sensation in reduction. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Olaf Stapledon This is sheer prejudice, derived from man's desire to preserve his aristocratic privileges to himself alone. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

F. Scott Fitzgerald ROSALIND: (Sighs) Yes, I suppose some day I’ll marry a ton of it — out of sheer boredom. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

From sheer necessity he had slept a couple of hours, flinging himself fully dressed on a cushioned transom in the saloon cabin. Claimed! by Francis Stevens

E. F. Benson And then curiosity, sheer stark curiosity, to know what was happening on the other side of the curtain of my eyelids prevailed, and I sat and looked. The China Bowl by E. F. Benson

D. H. Lawrence The one held life to be a storing-up of produce and a conservation of energy: the other held life to be a sheer spending of energy and a storing-up of nothing but experience. Aaron’s Rod by D. H. Lawrence

The gorge was about seven yards wide, too far to risk a jump, and the cliff fell sheer and smooth to the imprisoned waters two hundred feet below. Prester John by John Buchan

Who is your tailleuse?” “Tittle-tattle: how prettily it begins! My tailleuse! — a fiddlestick! Come, sheer off, Ginevra. I really don’t want your company. Villette by Charlotte Brontë [1853]

Edith Wharton Again she was silent, not through the wish to avoid speaking, but from sheer inability to find anything more to say. The Mother’s Recompense by Edith Wharton [1925]

Arthur Morrison But he scarcely makes three letters before tailing off into sheer scribble. The Chronicles of Martin Hewitt by Arthur Morrison

Elaine began to wonder what was the earliest moment at which she could drag Madame Kelnicort away from the revel without being guilty of sheer cruelty. The Unbearable Bassington by Saki

He took one of these documents up in sheer absence of mind, and opened it. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Anthony Trollope From sheer necessity some of the old hands are kept on when these changes are made. North America by Anthony Trollope

John Galsworthy It was as if he must die from the sheer effort of it. Swan Song by John Galsworthy

I even got up once from the couch on which I had been writhing like a worm and walked towards it as if to touch it, but refrained, not from sudden shame but from sheer despair. The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad [1919]

Jules Verne He wound more and more quickly, with strange contortions, until he fell from sheer weariness. Master Zacharius by Jules Verne [1874]

Guy de Maupassant I was so pleased with my work that I danced from sheer delight as I carried it back to the inn. Miss Harriet by Guy de Maupassant [1883]

My letter is sheer bluff to extort from you five thousand pounds. The Green Mummy by Fergus Hume

H. G. Wells He blunders at times from sheer watchfulness. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

George Meredith But a crazy cab it is, and fit to do mischief in narrow Drury. Except that it’s sheer riff-raff here to knock over. One of our Conquerors by George Meredith [1891]

Wherever the hills do not descend sheer into Como, a pretty town nestles on the brink, or, if not a town, then a villa, or else a cottage, if there is room for nothing more. Italian Journeys by William Dean Howells [1867]

Arnold Bennett At supper, with her red, downcast eyes, she had returned to sheer girlishness again, overawed by her mother. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

Edgar Allan Poe I felt that my powers of body and mind were fast leaving me — in a word, that I was perishing, and perishing of sheer fright. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe

Let him have the toy,” said Bruno, following, to the astonished Tonino, who had stretched out a hand by sheer instinct to seize the boy, making sure that he had stolen something. Signa by Ouida

Olaf Stapledon But his dominant attitude toward his fellows is that of concentrated self-regard, and even his love-sentiments are apt to have a strong aspect of sheer self-regarding possessiveness. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

Henry Kingsley From sheer unadulterated ignorance, I cannot follow him during the first week or so of his career. Ravenshoe by Henry Kingsley [1861]

Jack London It was wonder, sheer wonder, she was so strangely beautiful. Lost Face by Jack London

The place so satisfied the eye that for the sheer wonder of its perfection we stopped and stared in silence for many minutes. The Grove of Ashtaroth by John Buchan [1910]

Jack London I had neither the strength nor bulk to steal more than a little, and the little I stole I swear I managed by sheer expansion at the joints of the bones of my frame. The Star Rover by Jack London [1915]

E. F. Benson And at that moment sheer unreasoning terror again possessed me. The Room in the Tower by E. F. Benson

Zona Gale And do you realize that it’s sheer madness for the five of us to land on that island together?” “What do you mean?” asked St. George. The little man shook his grey curls. Romance Island by Zona Gale [1906]

H. Rider Haggard Behind him stood the four priests or executioners in a solemn, silent line, their eyes fixed upon the grey mist, while above them, around them, and beneath them was nothing but sheer and giddy space. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

D.H. Lawrence She was busy, very busy, out of sheer happiness. The Trespasser by D.H. Lawrence

John Galsworthy He’d like to break Labour and make it work like a nigger from sheer necessity. The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy

Olaf Stapledon One psychological influence that may have this effect is sheer haste. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

Olaf Stapledon Others are badly warped by sheer class-hatred (I don’t blame them), and they simply want to have material for proving the capitalists wicked and the workers saints. A Man Divided by Olaf Stapledon

Abraham Merri At our right, a score of paces away, soared the sheer wall of the cliff which, continuing over the boiling torrent, formed this nearer bastion. Dwellers in the Mirage by Abraham Merri

Wilkie Collins I groaned in sheer wretchedness over the destruction of all my dearest plans and hopes. A Rogue’s Life by Wilkie Collins [1879]

George Meredith She is a young person who will not feel astray in society of his rank; she possesses the natural grace we do not expect to see out of our country—from sheer ignorance of what is beyond it. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

Radclyffe Hall She had gulped it all down in sheer desperation — the result had not been Dutch courage but hiccups. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

And then in sheer disgust I rose and splashed my face with cold water. The Watcher by the Threshold by John Buchan [1900]

Arthur Machen By sheer accident I was in a measure successful in my quest. The Red Hand by Arthur Machen

A narrow gilt moulding defined her elegant sheer as she sat on the water, eclipsing easily the professional good looks of any pleasure yacht that ever came to the East in those days. Freya of the Seven Isles by Joseph Conrad [1911]

It was not the fallen-on-evil-times look of the housealthough that was evident; it was the sheer ugliness of it. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

D. H. Lawrence They leaned upon the wall where the cliff runs sheer down to the Park. Below them, in their holes in the sandstone, pigeons preened themselves and cooed softly. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

In sheer desperation I dismounted and picked up a small wooden utensil from one of the wurleys, thinking if I could only get a drink I should summon up pluck for the last desperate plunge. Australia Twice Traversed by Ernest Giles

G. K. Chesterton The only difference was that in Sussex the road would have been broken and angular like a little brook, but here the white French road fell sheer in front of them like a waterfall. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

Olaf Stapledon These believers in money propose to create, by sheer free commerce, prosperity for all men, and for themselves dominance and vast riches; forgetting the harsh lesson of the planless past. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

At last, withdrawing from one another, they began to laugh in sheer joy of seeing each other again. Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole [1930]

Robert Louis Stevenson It seemed a swindle to have made so sheer a climb and still find yourself at the bottom of a well. Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson

No one could get behind him there, he knew, for the rock was at the edge of the cliff, and on the far side there was a sheer drop of a hundred feet and more to the sea below. The Lonely House by Arthur Gask [1929]

George Gissing He never sank to sheer ruffiandom; never got beyond the point of nagging at his wife; often Mary would rather he had beaten her. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

H. G. Wells The Silent Man seemed even more clumsy than usual, and drank champagne with regularity and determination out of sheer nervousness. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells [1896]

Anthony Trollope It’s sheer spite, because he wouldn’t vote for their man last ‘lection. John Caldigate by Anthony Trollope

Theodore Dreiser His first wife had been pale and rather anemic, while Aileen was fairly bursting with sheer physical vitality. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

Henry Handel Richardson It would be sheer madness; after having paid out hundreds and hundreds of pounds. Ultima Thule by Henry Handel Richardson

F. Scott Fitzgerald This here’s a sheer fall to the street of fifty feet. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

The child he had taken in out of sheer pity, Bruno turning against his duty to it. Signa by Ouida

Rudyard Kipling The return of this wealth, doubled, sets the loser beating his forehead against the table from sheer gratitude. City of Dreadful Night by Rudyard Kipling [1891]

Abraham Merri Miles away, gigantic luminous cliffs sprang sheer from the limits of a lake whose waters were of milky opalescence. The Moon Pool by Abraham Merri

He swam to the farther edge; and then Francis was seized with an agonising terror lest he should not be able to climb, out of the mere, up the icy sides of the cliff that ran sheer into the water. Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole [1930]

T. E. Lawrence The front bracket of the near back spring had crystallized through by the chassis, in a sheer break which nothing but a workshop could mend. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Algernon Blackwood Presently he stopped from sheer exhaustion. The Man Who Found Out by Algernon Blackwood

William Makepeace Thackeray On the platforms, too, our work was not quite so difficult as might be imaginedkilling these fellows was sheer butchery. The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan by William Makepeace Thackeray [1838]

Bram Stoker Then he rubbed his eyes in sheer amazement. The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker [1911]

Lindo got up on a chair and looked solemnly out too, rolling the whites of his eyes occasionally at his master from under his bushy brows, and yawning long tongue-curling yawns of sheer ennui. Diana Tempest by Mary Cholmondeley [1893]

Jack London It was by sheer blundering that he chanced upon the shrewdly hidden ptarmigan nest. White Fang by Jack London [1906]

For sheer misery I give the night when the children were missing the top place in my experience. The Island of Sheep by John Buchan [1936]

Wilkie Collins In sheer despair, Crayford took Frank’s arm and led him aside a few steps. The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins [1874]

Robert Louis Stevenson The sea and the flagship lying on the jaws of the bay vanished in sheer rain. Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson

This service was done from sheer delight. The Nibelungenlied by translated by Daniel B. Shumway

Anthony Trollope Believe me, it is sheer Quixotism.’ The warden walked away to the window, and then back to his chair; and then, irresolute what to say, took another turn to the window. The Warden by Anthony Trollope

Wilkie Collins Who are the people who lose shillings and sixpences by sheer thoughtlessness? Servants and small clerks, to whom shillings and sixpences are of consequence. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

D. H. Lawrence It is sheer hypocrisy and farce to say they can rule themselves. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Ford Madox Ford And he was beginning to perceive dimly that, whereas his own traditions were entirely collective, his wife was a sheer individualist. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

H. G. Wells We were like children who had hurt each other horribly in sheer stupidity, who didn’t know now how to remedy it. Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells [1909]

Edith Wharton I was so struck by the absence of rancour in her tone that finally, out of sheer curiosity, I made an allusion to the horror of having the enemy under one’s roof. Coming Home by Edith Wharton [1916]

Anthony Trollope You are willing, I believe, to stick to your old master,—from sheer good heart. The Landleaguers by Anthony Trollope [1883]

Olaf Stapledon And all of them together (how well he knew it) formed a vast whirl of sparks, each solitary as a prisoner, gaoled by sheer distance from its neighbours. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

Charlotte Perkins Gilman At first there was a period of sheer despair. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1915]

E. F. Benson Two minutes later he was undressed and asleep, having plunged into bed with a smile that had broadened into the sheer laughter of joy. The House of Defence by E. F. Benson [1906]

Charles Dickens For Captain Jorgan to sit anywhere in his long-skirted blue coat and blue trousers, without holding converse with everybody within speaking distance, was a sheer impossibility. A Message from the Sea by Charles Dickens [1860]

Anthony Trollope From the first she made up her mind to oppose her stepmother’s cruelty by sheer obstinacy. The American Senator by Anthony Trollope

Oscar Wilde The basis of optimism is sheer terror. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde [1891]

H. G. Wells This was particularly the case with the social psychology department of the faculty of science, which annexed the whole faculty of training and advertisement by a sheer community of subject. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

D. H. Lawrence But then, to have no claim upon her, he must stand by himself, in sheer nothingness. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

F. Scott Fitzgerald Half a dozen times he had taken steps to leave the Moonlight Quill and soar upward, but through sheer faintheartedness he had stayed on. Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

H.P. Lovecraft Below the waist, though, it was the worst; for here all human resemblance left off and sheer phantasy began. The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft [1928]

It was a dip in the cliffs like a hollowed palm, and just there the cliff jutted out a good bit, with a sheer fall on to the rocks below. A Stable for Nightmares by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

George Gissing The difference is, that we wish to use our power for the common good, whilst Nietzsche’s teaching results in a return to sheer barbarism, the weak trampled because of their weakness. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

Suddenly he began writing in sheer panic, only imperfectly aware of what he was setting down. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

John Galsworthy Poor Ferse! Talk about trouble, Dinny — illness, poverty, vice, crime — none of them can touch mental derangement for sheer tragedy to all concerned. Maid in Waiting by John Galsworthy

E. Phillips Oppenheim About twenty yards ahead a plantation of pine trees ran down sheer to the water’s edge. The Amazing Judgment by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1897]

D. H. Lawrence I always expect her to sheer off to Damascus or San Francisco; she’s a bird of paradise. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence He looked in sheer horrified wonder at the little white-haired woman standing below. The Blue Moccasins by D. H. Lawrence [1928]

Wilkie Collins They ha ve got Frank by the scruff of the neck — he can’t wriggle himself free — and he makes a merit of yielding to sheer necessity. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

H. G. Wells Your own annuities used to be a very safe investment, but now you are sheer gambling, of course. When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells [1899]

He stopped, uttered a few curses at the door, and seemed calmer from sheer exhaustion. The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad [1919]

Wilkie Collins He roused me at last into speaking to him, by sheer dint of irritating my nerves until I could endure him no longer. Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins [1872]

George Gissing He would have sold his handful of books, sold them in sheer bitterness of mind, but this his mother interfered to prevent. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

H.P. Lovecraft I was held to him by sheer force of fear, and witnessed sights that no human tongue could repeat. Herbert West — Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft [1922]

I am convinced that Heine is right; I quite understand how sometimes one may, out of sheer vanity, attribute regular crimes to oneself, and indeed I can very well conceive that kind of vanity. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Arthur Conan Doyle A sheer wall of rock had appeared before us, with no chink through which a mouse could have slipped. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle [1912]

The bold project, so boldly avowed, seemed to him a sheer absurdity. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Anthony Trollope She had never called him Harry before, though her husband did so always, and now she used the name in sheer tenderness. The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope [1870]

Rafael Sabatini Biskaine chuckled under the awning, Asad looked on approvingly, Rosamund drew back, shuddering, choking, and near to fainting from sheer horror. The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini

Charlotte Perkins Gilman But the guide would not hear of going up, even if there had been any possible method of scaling that sheer cliff, and we had to get back to our party before night. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [1915]

Theodore Dreiser Jennie, in sheer panic, ran to her mistress’s room and locked the door behind her. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Jack London He took the precaution to sheer off from the two watching gods, and walked carefully to the corner of the cabin. White Fang by Jack London [1906]

Olaf Stapledon There, a microcosm of sheer desolation. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

The observer, more or less alert, whom each of us carries in his own consciousness, failed me altogether, had turned away his face in sheer horror, or else had fainted from the strain. The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad [1919]

I was ready to faint from sheer terror. The White Cat of Drumgunniol by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Anthony Trollope The reader’s hair stands almost on end in horror at the wickedness of the two wretches — at her desire for money, sheer money; and his for wickedness, sheer wickedness. Thackeray by Anthony Trollope [1879]

Rudyard Kipling On one side piled rock and shale, that enjoined silence for fear of a general slide-down; on the other a sheer drop, and a fool of a noisy river below. From Sea to Sea by Rudyard Kipling [1899]

I could have wept with sheer rage, and it took all my fortitude to keep my mouth shut. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

Abraham Merri From neck to knees a smock covered her, sheer and silken and delicate as though spun of cobwebs; through it her body gleamed as though fire of the young Spring moon ran in her veins. The Woman of the Wood by Abraham Merri

Arnold Bennett In sheer nervousness, Hilda also dropped to her knees on the hearthrug, and began to worry the fire with the poker. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

Olaf Stapledon The pattern of ethereal undulations issuing from the party imposed itself by sheer force on all recalcitrants. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

H. G. Wells He fired through sheer lack of nervous and muscular co-ordination. The Dream by H. G. Wells [1924]

Anthony Trollope He was prepared to prove that it would be sheer waste of time and money not to do so. Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope [1871]

Thomas Hardy But by sheer self-coercion he refrained. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Henry Kingsley It’s a sheer waste of material. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley [1859]

D. H. Lawrence And thence, for a long time, they stayed in the mud and dark and dampness of the valley, often with sheer rock above them; the water brawling on one hand, the steep rock or dark trees on the other. The Virgin and the Gypsy by D. H. Lawrence

How could it be otherwise? Judged by this standard, the tales which were told were nonsense, sheer and absolute. A Second Coming by Richard Marsh [1900]

No, Argus,” as the big paw tugged her arm pleadingly, “no; now really this is sheer greediness. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

The Peasants, which the author never entirely got through, was taken up repeatedly, and as often put aside from sheer inability to proceed. Balzac by Frederick Lawton

H.P. Lovecraft As at all crises of his strange life, sheer cosmic curiosity triumphed over everything else. Through the Gates of the Silver Key by H.P. Lovecraft [1934]

If he go wrong it must be by sheer perversity, an arrogant insistence upon being governed by his own ignorant inclinations. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Olaf Stapledon The humbler kinds might become crudely obsessed by sheer mastery or sheer travel, with its scope for courage and discipline. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

E. F. Benson Her first and main interest in him was sheer Guruism, for she was one of those intensely happy people who pass through life in ecstatic pursuit of some idea which those who do not share it call a fad. Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson [1920]

H.P. Lovecraft Later I told Harris only through sheer necessity, and because he had heard odd tales from old people which disposed him ever so little toward belief. The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft [1924]

Leon Trotsky All this is sheer drivel from beginning to end. My Life by Leon Trotsky

George Meredith She tried to resist the weight of it, and her sheer inability precipitated her into a sense of pitiful dependence. The Egoist by George Meredith [1879]