Phrases with "uncertain"

Obviously, it is to the interest of these men to make laws which shall be uncertain and perplexing — to confuse and darken legislation as much as they can. The Land Beyond the Blow by Ambrose Bierce

Radclyffe Hall The Panhard was a high-shouldered, snub-nosed abortion with a loud, vulgar voice and an uncertain temper. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

It is true that of much of the past I am uncertain, just as I am uncertain of much of what is present if it be but dimly perceived. Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James

The sunlight streamed on her, on him, on the mute land, on the murmuring river — the gentle brilliance of a serene morning that, to her, seemed traversed by ghastly flashes of uncertain darkness. An Outcast of the Islands by Joseph Conrad [1896]

They, on their part, were silent, spellbound, uncertain whether the person to whom and of whom she spoke with so much confidence might not be present, though by them unseen. Tom Ossington’s Ghost by Richard Marsh [1898]

H. G. Wells You could only stop and jump off when the treadle was at its lowest point, and the brake was an uncertain plunger upon the front wheel. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

George Gissing The latter he felt to be unlikely; sometimes there was a pressure of her hands as their lips just touched, the indication, he believed, of feeling held in restraint for uncertain reasons. The Unclassed by George Gissing [1883]

Theodore Dreiser At the same time, she would not delay to inflict any injury, big or little, which would wound the object of her revenge and still leave him uncertain as to the source of the evil. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

There was one other Oriental Christian, a mournful, dark Indian of uncertain race, who stood humbly in the background. Burmese Days by George Orwell

H. G. Wells One very great factor in my mental and moral distress was the uncertain values of nearly every aspect of the case. The Passionate Friends by H. G. Wells [1913]

Bram Stoker Her teeth, in the dim, uncertain light, seemed longer and sharper than they had been in the morning. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

George Eliot For a week or two she went on resolutely enough, though with an occasional sinking of heart, as if she had set out toward the Promised Land alone, and found it a thirsty, trackless, uncertain journey. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot [1860]

His passion had reached a point of trembling stillness before, and had closed then, perhaps in a kiss or an uncertain caress, perhaps in a separation and a departure. Shadows of Ecstasy by Charles Williams

Robert Louis Stevenson Holding his feet, he stared out of a drowsy trance, wondering, admiring, musing, losing his way among uncertain thoughts. Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson

D. H. Lawrence He stood, uncertain in balance, gazing upon her. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

George Gissing Rhoda’s week at the seashore was spoilt by uncertain weather. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

Willa Cather He had a fresh complexion, eyes of that common uncertain shade of gray, and was closely shaven except for the incipient muttonchops on his ruddy cheeks. The Troll Garden by Willa Cather [1905]

But there’s one man I’m uncertain about. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

Edith Wharton Waiting for Lorry was always an uncertain affair, but Halo seldom had any engagements, and her unoccupied hours weighed on her less heavily away from home. The Gods Arrive by Edith Wharton [1932]

John Locke And therefore we have but very imperfect descriptions of things, and words have very uncertain significations. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke [1690]

Benjamin Disraeli News has come, and in no uncertain shape, that whatever may have been the understanding, under no circumstances will the Italian army enter the Roman state. Lothair by Benjamin Disraeli [1870]

George Gissing His affairs were in disorder; he left no will; for some time it would remain uncertain whether the relatives inherited anything but debt. Denzil Quarrier by George Gissing [1891]

The distrust which I felt for Mrs. Pollard was so great that I was still uncertain as to whether she had given me the right address. The Mill Mystery by Anna Katharine Green

Rudyard Kipling They have elected to take their chance with time to come; but the records of the Institution and the Orphan Fund will tell you that their descendants have to take certain or uncertain chances now. A Book of Words by Rudyard Kipling [1928]

The paper gave a long resume of the judge’s speech, and I rejoiced to read almost in his first words that he had come straight to the point in no uncertain way. The Shadow of Larose by Arthur Gask [1930]

The shops were like pale faces staring from darkness, and the thunder muttered like an uncertain drum. Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole [1931]

Hawthorne listened to Story, and read Mrs. Jameson, although Edward Silsbee had warned him against her as an uncertain authority; but Hawthorne depended chiefly on his own investigations. The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Frank Preston Stearns [1906]

Bolt assured Captain Vincent that the window would not have stopped him; he would have gone on all the same, though with an uncertain mind. The Rover by Joseph Conrad [1923]

F. Scott Fitzgerald Then he wandered into the bedroom, and whistling the while a weird, uncertain melody, strolled here and there buttoning, adjusting, and enjoying the warmth of the thick carpet on his feet. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

Deeply sunken beneath these, glowed in the obscure light a pair of eyes of uncertain color, but obviously enough too small. Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce [1893]

Wilkie Collins The want takes me like a fit, at uncertain intervals — suddenly, under the most incomprehensible influences. After Dark by Wilkie Collins [1856]

Elizabeth Gaskell Mr Bradshaw could not allow her to remain till the morrow, uncertain whether he was satisfied or not. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

Elizabeth Gaskell Go away, naughty woman!” said the boy, in infantile vehemence of passion to Ruth. To the nurse’s infinite relief, Ruth turned away, humbly and meekly, with bent head, and slow, uncertain steps. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

George Gissing With an uncertain voice, she made known her business. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Ann Radcliffe The uncertain sounds that Vivaldi had fancied he heard, were now more audible, and he distinguished, with inexpressible horror, that they were uttered by persons suffering. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe [1796]

Jane Austen He was nice in his eating, uncertain in his hours; fond of his child, though affecting to slight it; and idled away the mornings at billiards, which ought to have been devoted to business. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen [1811]

Anthony Trollope There is a distressing habitual humility in many unmarried ladies of an uncertain age, which at the first blush tells the tale against them which they are so painfully anxious to leave untold. The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope

Charles Dickens The men and boys were playing at cricket on the green; and as the other folks were looking on, they wandered up and down, uncertain where to seek a humble lodging. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens [1840]

Theodore Dreiser Robert was the spirit of business energy and integrity embodied, Lester the spirit of commercial self-sufficiency, looking at life with an uncertain eye. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Guy de Maupassan They were a little, thin couple of an uncertain age, both very formal and rather embarrassed. Une Vie (A Woman’s Life) by Guy de Maupassan

E. F. Benson Lucia, not long ago had expressed the opinion that jewels were vulgar except at night, and for her part she wore none at all, preferring one Greek cameo of uncertain authenticity. Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson [1920]

Louisa May Alcott I felt I ought to do it, for life is uncertain and I don’t want any ill feeling over my tomb. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

John Locke Scarce possible that God should engrave principles in words of uncertain meaning. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke [1690]

George Meredith I have a line, and I am uncertain of the run of the line. The Egoist by George Meredith [1879]

In England, the authority of Elizabeth had established itself, and the internal organization of the Reformed Church was going on, in an uncertain and tentative way, but steadily. Spenser by R. W. Church [1879]

Theodore Dreiser Bank-deposits were in part withdrawn; feeble or uncertain securities were thrown upon the market. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

F. Scott Fitzgerald Finally he got up and informed me, in an uncertain voice, that he was going home. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

George Gissing But he in vain sought for one who wandered alone, one who, in the distance, could move him to uncertain hope. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

But stultified, with the fumes of drink seizing hold of him again, he wagged his head, watching her with an uncertain stare as she was dying. L’Assommoir by Émile Zola

For a moment I remained in the street, uncertain whether I had better go upstairs and question the lovers, who were still laughing in the sunshine. The Death of Olivier Becaille by Émile Zola

Edmund Burke Now some low, confused, uncertain sounds, leave us in the same fearful anxiety concerning their causes, that no light, or an uncertain light, does concerning the objects that surround us. On the Sublime and Beautiful by Edmund Burke [1757]

He returned that hug awkwardly, as if not in perfect control of his arms, with a fumbling and uncertain pressure. Chance by Joseph Conrad [1913]

Radclyffe Hall And her mother — a woman with snow-white hair and a face that was worn almost down to the spirit; a woman of quiet but uncertain movements, with a new trick of twisting the rings on her fingers. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

H. G. Wells It leaves us inconsistent and uncertain amidst these unavoidable problems. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

Benjamin Disraeli Now he is ever toiling, with an uncertain prospect of annual relaxation, and living hardly. Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli [1880]

George Gissing He drew back and, uncertain whether she had lost consciousness, called to her to speak. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

Wilkie Collins Idlers, who had come out after dinner, were lighting cigars at corners of streets, and looking about them, uncertain which way they should turn their steps next. The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins [1857]

Henry James His popularity, indeed, struck Hyacinth as rather an uncertain quantity, and the only mistake he had seen a symptom of on his friend’s part was a tendency to overestimate it. The Princess Casamassima by Henry James [1886]

I watched him narrowly: the future must have appeared horribly uncertain to him; but he did not falter, as though indeed there had been nothing wrong with his heart. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

H. G. Wells This suggests pretty clearly a delayed and uncertain medical attendance and rough conditions, and it points us to still better possibilities. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

The child was gone — happy being! She thought she could never be sufficiently thankful that it was released from the uncertain future — therefore she had not his support to think of. East Lynne by Ellen Wood [1861]

Daniel Defoe Here his trumpet yielded an uncertain sound for some ages, and like what he was, and according to what he practised from the beginning, he delivered out falsehood and delusion by retail. The History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe

Andrew Lang Poor Francesco, of the order of preachers, disguised in this strange work his passion for a lady of uncertain name. The Library by Andrew Lang

He saw the figure of a woman moving a way from the pavement before the hotel very slowly, with a languid, uncertain step. Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1868]

Charles Dickens It was still dark when we left the Peacock. For a little while, pale, uncertain ghosts of houses and trees appeared and vanished, and then it was hard, black, frozen day. The Holly-Tree by Charles Dickens [1855]

It was too much like the Chinaman’s device of burning down his house to obtain a poor dish of roast pig — uncertain whether in the end he might not find a mere mass of cinders. Science and Education by Thomas Henry Huxley

Edith Wharton His eyes continued to travel about the room in the same uncertain searching way. Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton [1927]

H. G. Wells And what was worse, between himself and the bridge were two gullies and chimneys of uncertain depth. Men Like Gods by H. G. Wells [1923]

D. H. Lawrence He took the uncertain steps of a blind man, because his mind was blind with weeping. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

H. Rider Haggard Coiling the hide ripe about his middle, which was sadly cut by its chafing, he started with an uncertain gait, for he was still very weak. The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Ravelston waited on the corner by the Regent Palace, uncertain what to do. Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell

Her nose certainly went blue with the cold (although to-morrow was the first of May it was damned cold) and her taste in Chinese art was uncertain . Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole [1930]

Amid the strings his fingers stray’d, And an uncertain warbling made, And oft he shook his hoary head. Sir Walter Scott by Richard H. Hutton [1878]

D. H. Lawrence I wondered that he found such satisfaction in his image, seeing that there was a gap in his chin, and an uncertain moth-eaten appearance in one cheek. The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence

This dismal news, not from uncertain fame, But sad spectators, to the hero came: His friends upon the brink of ruin stand, Unless reliev’d by his victorious hand. The Aeneid by translated by John Dryden

D. H. Lawrence Several other people were before them — mere day tourists — and all uncertain about venturing any farther. The Captain’s Doll by D. H. Lawrence

Henry James This morning Mr. Sloane is better; feeble and uncertain in mind, but unmistakably on the rise. A Light Man by Henry James [1869]

H. G. Wells It used to appear at uncertain intervals. Star-Begotten by H. G. Wells [1937]

They then partook together of a frugal meal, such as the poverty of the times would allow, and scanty in proportion to the contingent wants of an uncertain future, and their own slender appetite. I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni

Willa Cather When Everett alighted from the train he walked down the platform and stopped at the track crossing, uncertain as to what direction he should take to reach a hotel. The Troll Garden by Willa Cather [1905]

I could not but remember how he had led me into my first felony, by means of a trick, while yet uncertain whether he could trust me or not. The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung [1899]

Edith Wharton He walked slowly back to his rooming house, uncertain what to do next, but feeling that at least the darkness was not total. Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton [1929]

Elizabeth Gaskell While he still kept silence, uncertain what to say best fitted to induce her to listen to him, she said softly: “Are you better, sir? — are you very much hurt?” “Not very much; I am better. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

Sir Walter Scott A large and massive Keep, which formed the citadel of the Castle, was of uncertain though great antiquity. Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott [1821]

He looked at it stupidly for a moment, and then with an uncertain glance at me, folded it with what seemed to me exaggerated care and placed it in his bosom. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

In a general and uncertain way this holds true, but the test is not so readily applied nor so conclusive as might be wished. The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen

The struggle did not last long; and the unfortunate chief, uncertain on whom he could rely, surrendered with all his force, — those only excepted who had already deserted to the enemy. The History of the Conquest of Peru by William Hickling Presco

Andrew Lang At the bottom the king found a narrow grassy ledge by the brink of the stream, across which the light from a rude lantern in the mount of a cave shed a broad beam of uncertain light. The Brown Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

He has an uncertain temper, and is not favourably disposed towards his rider. Among the Tibetans by Isabella L. Bird [1894]

Wilkie Collins An uncertain marriage-law is a national calamity. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

He took a drink under Peyrol's fixed gaze and with uncertain movements put down the mug. The Rover by Joseph Conrad [1923]

There were some who were uncertain — rabbit-eyed these, not less quaking than the others, biting at their knuckles as they peeped upwards. Demi-Gods by James Stephens

The more I looked, the more uncertain I became. The Story of Salome by Amelia B. Edwards

Those first attempts are not faltering or uncertain in expression. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

E. Phillips Oppenheim You will understand, though—you will be able to decipher this faint, uncertain handwriting, and you will forgive me if it tires you. To Win the Love He Sought by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1895]

George Gissing He hadn’t any special reason for going to town, and was uncertain whether to do so or not, so I thought I might as well have him here. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Walter Scott He went with fear and reluctance, uncertain how he might be received. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

Henry James He had been uncertain before; here, at least, was the comfort of certainty! It must be confessed, however, that the certainty in question did little to enliven the gloom of that formidable evening. Roderick Hudson by Henry James [1875]

William Shakespeare My love is as a fever longing still, For that which longer nurseth the disease; Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, The uncertain sickly appetite to please. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Arthur Conan Doyle The carriage drew up at the end of the lane, and the driver seemed to be uncertain how to proceed. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

Sir Walter Scott As he approached with timid and uncertain steps, the chant, after one or two wild and prolonged cadences, died away into profound silence. The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott [1816]

Your officers were talking yonder of a delicate business; they were uncertain who best to employ. Under Two Flags by Ouida [1867]

F. Scott Fitzgerald The beast walked with a peculiar gait which varied between an uncertain lockstep and a stampede — but can best be described by the word “halting. Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ford Madox Ford Why had the Vatican not protested with no uncertain voice about the abominations practised on the Belgian Catholics? . No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford [1925]

Augustine Birrell Up to the last Monk seems to have remained uncertain what to do. Andrew Marvell by Augustine Birrell [1905]

The Squire and his friend Jacobson were like two demented wild Indians, uncertain what was best to be done to entrap the villains. Caramel Cottage by Ellen Wood [1885]

D.H. Lawrence There was something blowsy and uncertain and hesitating about the women in particular, which made one at once notice them. Twilight in Italy by D.H. Lawrence [1916]

Willa Cather But I remember them all as flooded by the rich indolence of a full moon, or a half-moon set in uncertain blue. Obscure Destinies by Willa Cather [1932]

The light in the street was poor, and he seemed to be looking for something and to be uncertain if he had found it. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

Sir Walter Scott They were on the open ground before Cuddie’s cottage, at the bottom of the descent from the house, and showed caution in approaching it, as if uncertain of the strength within. Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scott [1816]

Sir Walter Scott Dalgetty continued his way out of the town, uncertain whether he should try to seize or hire a boat and cross the lake, or plunge into the woods, and there conceal himself from pursuit. A Legend of Montrose by Sir Walter Scott [1819]

The car pulled up sharply at the end of the Tower Road, for my pursuers were uncertain then which direction I had taken. The Secret of the Garden by Arthur Gask [1924]

George Gissing Ultimately a gloomy street was entered, and after slow, uncertain advancing, they stopped. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

Elizabeth Gaskell She was languid and weary from her journey; she was uncertain what help she might offer to give in the household duties, and what she might not. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

George Gissing I wrote occasionally to my mother, but did not expect to hear in return, so uncertain were my movements. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Thomas Carlyle He couldn’t follow Oliver Cromwell in the Puritan path heavenward, so steep was it, and beset with thorns, — and becoming uncertain withal. Latter-Day Pamphlets by Thomas Carlyle

Anna Katherine Green I cannot face an uncertain separation. The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow by Anna Katherine Green

Walter Scott But all knowledge to be got from her is so uncertain and indirect, that I could not collect any farther circumstances. The Heart of Mid-Lothian by Walter Scott [1818]

George Gissing About her company she said nothing, and Piers went, uncertain whether it was a dinner tete-a-tete or with other guests. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Theodore Dreiser Capital, frightened by uncertain trade and money conditions, everywhere, retired to its hiding-places in banks, vaults, tea-kettles, and stockings. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

George Gissing Hubert with difficulty sat through the meal, and as soon as it was over took his departure, leaving it uncertain whether he would return that evening. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Wilkie Collins It opened, and a man appeared on the threshold, standing still there for a moment in the dim, uncertain light. After Dark by Wilkie Collins [1856]

Her husband was a man of small stature and, like herself, of uncertain age. The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic [1896]

Wilkie Collins An uncertain reader, who wants to be told whether he had better declare his feelings frankly and honourably at once. My Miscellanies by Wilkie Collins [1863]

They didn’t understand raw men, ill-trained men, uncertain minds, and intelligent women; and these are the things that matter in England. . The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

John Hammond gazed upon the sleeper in an agony of apprehension, uncertain what to do. Phantom Fortune by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Virginia Woolf As the congregation entered they were met by mild sweet chords issuing from a harmonium, where Miss Willett, concealed from view by a baize curtain, struck emphatic chords with uncertain fingers. The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf [1915]

She was looking up toward the Montmartre height, hesitant, uncertain whether to continue, when a gust of wind blew down a mass of sooty smoke that covered the entire street. L’Assommoir by Émile Zola

Arthur Machen He lay still, half-stunned, for a moment, and then rising unsteadily, he looked desperately into the darkness before him, uncertain and bewildered. The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen [1907]

But my plan was unsettled, and I wandered many hours round the confines of the town, uncertain what path I should pursue. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley [1831]

Edith Wharton After a while the track they were following forked, and he pulled up the horse, as if uncertain of the way. Summer by Edith Wharton [1917]

Algernon Blackwood He apparently was looking across in our direction, but the distance was too great and the light too uncertain for us to make out very plainly what he was about. The Willows by Algernon Blackwood [1907]

Anthony Trollope It was now dusk, and the uncertain light favoured his intention. La Vendée by Anthony Trollope

George Gissing Mr. Keene proved to be a man of uncertain age—he might be eight-and-twenty, but was more probably ten years older. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

Ann Radcliffe Shadowy countenances and uncertain forms seemed to flit through the dusk, and many instruments, the application of which he did not comprehend, struck him with horrible suspicions. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe [1796]

Sir Walter Scott It was now very cloudy, although the stars from time to time shed a twinkling and uncertain light. Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott [1815]

H. Rider Haggard To each it comes in uncertain shape. Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard

It seemed likely, though, that the flight must already have exhausted a good deal of the gasoline; though that again depended on uncertain factors. Lost Horizon by James Hilton

Arthur Conan Doyle For a moment Alleyne stood in the window, still staring down at the silent forest, uncertain as to what he should think of these midnight walkers. The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle [1891]

John Galsworthy He left his hansom on the Embankment, and walked up to the Old Church, uncertain of the block of flats where he knew she lived. In Chancery by John Galsworthy

D. H. Lawrence She sat on the edge in an uncertain fashion. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

Was she wearing school clothes on her holiday?” For the first time Mrs. Wynn looked doubtfully at him; uncertain of his motive in asking. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

Anthony Trollope It is uncertain even yet whether he will not be tried before a jury. Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by Anthony Trollope [1871]

He wrote as often, indeed, as he could, and always with an amused, uncertain expectancy of what the consciously directed little square envelopes which brought back the reply would contain. A Daughter of To-Day by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1894]

Henry Handel Richardson But not only silence failed him; equally essential was a quiet mind; and as long as his affairs remained in their present uncertain state, that, too, was beyond his reach. Ultima Thule by Henry Handel Richardson

George Gissing Then she opened the door, and with uncertain step went out into the passage. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

At last poignantly uncertain as to what would happen if he opened his lips, he muttered: “But if my love is strong enough. Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad [1898]

H.P. Lovecraft He was, West nervously said, a congenial stranger whom we had met at some downtown bar of uncertain location. Herbert West — Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft [1922]

A naked man standing in a freezing blast and trying not to shiver could not have spoken with a more harshly uncertain intonation. Freya of the Seven Isles by Joseph Conrad [1911]

As they came deeper under the hills the path was so rough and uncertain that David let him pick his own way. Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole [1930]

But it is easier to make such a threat than to enforce it; and it is not everybody who can extract twelve hundred pounds at will from uncertain coffers. Caromel’s Farm by Ellen Wood [1878]

George Gissing He knew that Chilvers prided himself on ‘breadth’, but as yet he had enjoyed no intercourse with the broadest school of Anglicans, and was uncertain as to the limits of modern latitudinarianism. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Edith Wharton You call it, I believe, a picture of the same period?” “I’m uncertain of the period. Crucial Instances by Edith Wharton [1901]

He hesitated a moment, as if uncertain in which direction to go, and then turned and went cautiously round the house, in the opposite way to that leading to the garage. The Lonely House by Arthur Gask [1929]

John Locke Till a man doth this in the primary and original notions of things, he builds upon floating and uncertain principles, and will often find himself at a loss. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke [1690]

William Hope Hodgson And presently, in a great while, the roaring was sunk to a far and monstrous piping; but in the end to no more than a far and uncertain whistling, that yet did catch strange echoes in the night. The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

Theodore Dreiser And was their financial state, then, as uncertain as her mother indicated? In this crisis some of her previous social experiences became significant. The Titan by Theodore Dreiser

Victor Hugo Layers of mist sank down upon the now uncertain light. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo [1869]

Walter Scott They seemed to whisper together, as if uncertain what to do next. Quentin Durward by Walter Scott [1823]

D. H. Lawrence The garden and fields beyond the brook were closed in uncertain darkness. The Odour of Chrysanthemums by D. H. Lawrence

Guy de Maupassan But suddenly, tall Fanny saw a human form standing on the pavement at the next crossing, and whoever it was, seemed to be hesitating and uncertain which way to go. The Debt (Fanny) by Guy de Maupassan

Isabella Bird The buffalo, though usually mild enough to be driven by small children, has an uncertain temper, and can be roused to frightful ferocity. Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan by Isabella Bird [1891]

If my Polly ever came to know by experience the uncertain nature of this world’s goods, I should like her to act as Lucy acts: to work for herself, that she might burden neither kith nor kin. Villette by Charlotte Brontë [1853]

This guide I found in the most fickle and uncertain of the elements. Eothen by Alexander William Kinglake [1844]

She started slightly, looked at it, and then at me, as if uncertain of her surroundings, and the shrewd, sardonic look came back to her face. The Lowest Rung by Mary Cholmondeley [1908]

Wilkie Collins The sisters looked at Turlington, uncertain what to say or do next. Miss or Mrs? by Wilkie Collins [1871]

Arthur Conan Doyle James Windibank wished Miss Sutherland to be so bound to Hosmer Angel, and so uncertain as to his fate, that for ten years to come, at any rate, she would not listen to another man. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle [1892]

George Gissing I don’t say that I desire it,” Isabel added with an uncertain voice. Isabel Clarendon by George Gissing [1886]

Charles Dudley Warner The tenure of a literary reputation is the most uncertain and fluctuating of all. Washington Irving by Charles Dudley Warner

Walter Scott The stranger paused, as if uncertain whether he should demand or assay entrance. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

He stood still for a few seconds till he was breathing more normally and had become more conscious of his surroundings; then, feeling slightly uncertain of his balance, he sat down again. Many Dimensions by Charles Williams [1931]

Edith Wharton In the street, the Professor stood staring about him, uncertain and a little dazed. The Descent of Man and other stories by Edith Wharton [1903]

Then their brilliancy faded; she bit her lip and stole an uncertain glance at her husband. The Slayer of Souls by Robert W. Chambers [1920]

She went like one bound on no uncertain errand. Hand and Ring by Anna Katharine Green

He finished, flung the bundle on the table, and looked at David with a troubled and uncertain eye. Witch Wood by John Buchan [1927]

A sweet but solitary beam, An emanation from above, Glimmers o’er life’s uncertain dream. Ralph Rashleigh by James Tucker

Theodore Dreiser He was not at all sure, however, that Stener would return in time and was greatly nonplussed and uncertain for the moment as to what his next step would be. The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

Viewed from a distance and by so uncertain a light, it looked exactly like a volcanic cone of perhaps a couple of hundred feet in height. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

Sinclair Lewis If we were really engaged, if I could only be sure that I had you to do things for, then maybe I wouldn’t be so uncertain and so jealous. Cass Timberlane by Sinclair Lewis

Arthur Conan Doyle The Arabs had halted for an instant, as if uncertain whether they should delay their journey to pursue them or not. The Tragedy of the Korosko by Arthur Conan Doyle [1898]

His father, a maker of musical instruments, was poor; his mother died early; his home-life was overshadowed by his own ill-health and the uncertain moods of other members of the family. Victorian Worthies by George Henry Blore

George Gissing He wanted a cheap house not far from London, where his wife’s uncertain health might receive benefit, and where the simplicity of the surroundings would offer no temptations to casual expense. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Austria, traditionally unaggressive whenever her hand is not forced, ruled by a dynasty of uncertain future, weakened by her duality, can only speak to her in an uncertain, bilingual phrase. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

Ralph Waldo Emerson Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions, the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind. Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1850]

The bloodless alternative was to be borne in mind, yet in his heart he well knew that the bullet was his one chance with Stingaree. And even with the bullet he was horribly uncertain and afraid. Stingaree by E. W. Hornung [1905]

Charles Dickens A wicket gate was close at hand, but there was more than one path across the churchyard to which it led, and, uncertain which to take, they came to a stand again. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens [1840]

I cannot afford to do that, Colonel.” “Nobody would dare to say anything of the kind,” began the colonel very fiercely, but ended the phrase on an uncertain note. A Set of Six by Joseph Conrad [1908]

Gustave Flauber One can come back from England and Brittany; but America, the colonies, the islands, were all lost in an uncertain region at the very end of the world. A Simple Soul by Gustave Flauber

He wore spectacles, and had an uncertain manner. Marvels and Mysteries by Richard Marsh

Sir Thomas Browne As she was uncertain which was the right one, she caused them to be applied to the body of a dead man, and the one that restored him to life was determined to be the true cross. Religio Medici by Sir Thomas Browne [1643]

Virginia Woolf It was an uncertain day, with passing shadows and darting rays of bright sunshine. The Years by Virginia Woolf [1937]

Theodore Dreiser Now Letty did depend upon Lester. It was something, in so shifty and uncertain a world, to be near so fixed and determined a quantity as this bear-man. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

George Gissing It was impossible for him to rest whilst he was yet uncertain about Carrie’s movements. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

F. Scott Fitzgerald The train came to an uncertain stop, and the sun and the poles and the trees faded, and his universe rocked itself slowly back to its old usualness, with Anthony Patch in the centre. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

Their name, which signifies “the shapeless,” or “those who go in the water “—it is uncertain which. The Book of Were-Wolves by S. Baring-Gould [1865]

Catherine Helen Spence Another point that makes such youthful unions easy and desirable is that there is no uncertain quantity in the way of family to be provided for. A Week in the Future by Catherine Helen Spence

Maria Edgeworth Alas! how different! Why had not I such a friend, such a mother as yours, early to direct my uncertain steps, and to educate me to happiness? I might have been ——. Leonora by Maria Edgeworth [1806]

E. F. Benson Irene, soothed by the prospect of her cocktail, pursued the dangerous topic no further, but sat down at Miss Mapp’s piano and picked out God Save the King, with one uncertain finger. Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson [1931]

Anna Katherine Green It was before we became definitely engaged, and he seemed to feel very dispirited and uncertain of the future. Dark Hollow by Anna Katherine Green

George Gissing But no sooner had he departed, after luncheon, than she went to her dressing-room, and began to make slow, uncertain preparations for leaving home herself. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]