Devil's Dictionary – A (page 2)  Subscribe E-mail  Words Bookshop  Link to this Site  Take Our Survey  Add to Favorites

BORED? Play our free word gamesINTERACTIVE HANGMAN

Devil's Dictionary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

<< Previous Page Index Page Next Page >>

ACCORD, n. Harmony.

ACCORDION, n. An instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.

ACCOUNTABILITY, n. The mother of caution.

"My accountability, bear in mind,"
Said the Grand Vizier: "Yes, yes,"
Said the Shah: "I do – 'tis the only kind
Of ability you possess."

Joram Tate

ACCUSE, v. t. To affirm another's guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for having wronged him.

ACEPHALOUS, adj. In the surprising condition of the Crusader who absently pulled at his forelock some hours after a Saracen scimitar had, unconsciously to him, passed through his neck, as related by de Joinville.

ACHIEVEMENT, n. The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.

ACKNOWLEDGE, v. t. To confess. Acknowledgement of one another's faults is the highest duty imposed by our love of truth.

ACQUAINTANCE, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

ACTUALLY, adv. Perhaps; possibly.

ADAGE, n. Boned wisdom for weak teeth.

ADAMANT, n. A mineral frequently found beneath a corset. Soluble in solicitate of gold.

ADDER, n. A species of snake. So called from its habit of adding funeral outlays to the other expenses of living.

ADHERENT, n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.

ADMINISTRATION, n. An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.

ADMIRAL, n. That part of a war-ship which does the talking while the figure-head does the thinking.

ADMIRATION, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.

ADMONITION, n. Gentle reproof, as with a meat-axe. Friendly warning.

Consigned by way of admonition,
His soul forever to perdition.

Judibras

ADORE, v. t. To venerate expectantly.

ADVICE, n. The smallest current coin.

"The man was in such deep distress,"
Said Tom, "that I could do no less
Than give him good advice." Said Jim:
"If less could have been done for him
I know you well enough, my son,
To know that's what you would have done."

Jebel Jocordy

AFFIANCED, pp. Fitted with an ankle-ring for the ball-and-chain.

AFFLICTION, n. An acclimatizing process preparing the soul for another and bitter world.

AFRICAN, n. A nigger that votes our way.

AGE, n. That period of life in which we compound for the vices that we still cherish by reviling those that we have no longer the enterprise to commit.

AGITATOR, n. A statesman who shakes the fruit trees of his neighbors – to dislodge the worms.

AIM, n. The task we set our wishes to.

"Cheer up! Have you no aim in life?"
She tenderly inquired.
"An aim? Well, no, I haven't, wife;
The fact is – I have fired."

G. J.

AIR, n. A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for the fattening of the poor.

ALDERMAN, n. An ingenious criminal who covers his secret thieving with a pretence of open marauding.

ALIEN, n. An American sovereign in his probationary state.

ALLAH, n. The Mahometan Supreme Being, as distinguished from the Christian, Jewish, and so forth.

Allah's good laws I faithfully have kept,
And ever for the sins of man have wept;
And sometimes kneeling in the temple I
Have reverently crossed my hands and slept.

Junker Barlow

ALLEGIANCE, n.

This thing Allegiance, as I suppose,
Is a ring fitted in the subject's nose,
Whereby that organ is kept rightly pointed
To smell the sweetness of the Lord's anointed.

G. J.

ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.

ALLIGATOR, n. The crocodile of America, superior in every detail to the crocodile of the effete monarchies of the Old World. Herodotus says the Indus is, with one exception, the only river that produces crocodiles, but they appear to have gone West and grown up with the other rivers. From the notches on his back the alligator is called a sawrian.

ALONE, adj. In bad company.

In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By spark and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.

Booley Fito

ALTAR, n. The place whereupon the priest formerly raveled out the small intestine of the sacrificial victim for purposes of divination and cooked its flesh for the gods. The word is now seldom used, except with reference to the sacrifice of their liberty and peace by a male and a female tool.

They stood before the altar and supplied
The fire themselves in which their fat was fried.
In vain the sacrifice! – no god will claim
An offering burnt with an unholy flame.

M. P. Nopput

AMBIDEXTROUS, adj. Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.

AMBITION, n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

AMNESTY, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

ANOINT, v. t. To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.

As sovereigns are anointed by the priesthood,
So pigs to lead the populace are greased good.

Judibras

ANTIPATHY, n. The sentiment inspired by one's friend's friend.

APHORISM, n. Predigested wisdom.

The flabby wine-skin of his brain
Yields to some pathologic strain,
And voids from its unstored abysm
The driblet of an aphorism.

"The Mad Philosopher," 1697


<< Previous Page Index Page Next Page >>

The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, online at Fun-With-Words.com.

How to Order a Copy of this Book

There are two versions of this book available. First, there is The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, as originally published in 1911. This is identical to the online version on the Fun-With-Words.com website, with almost 1,000 entries.

The second, which we recommend highly, is The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, which has about 1,600 citations.

The Devil's Dictionary The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary
Same as 1911 edition
Approx. 1,000 Citations
Extra material: 1,600 Citations
With additional annotation
Buy from Amazon US Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK Buy from Amazon UK

Do you know anyone else who would enjoy this? Email this page to a friend.
Also: Sign up for our free web site updates here.

[Top of Page] [Home Page] ©1999-2014 Fun-with-words.com
Recommended Book:
The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary ...
Buy this book at Amazon
View all in this category:
General Wordplay Books
Hundreds more books at:
Wordplay Book Store




 
achluophobia
is the fear of darkness
Click for more phobia words