Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Motionless, still.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Without stirring; very quiet; motionless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Still; motionless; inactive; very quiet.

Etymologies

From stir +‎ -less. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “Monsieur,” at last said my quiet companion, as stirless in her happiness as a mouse in its terror.

    The Professor, by Charlotte Bronte

  • Voiceless and viewless, stirless and wordless, he kept his station behind the pile of flowers.

    Villette

  • M. Emanuel might have passed within reach of my arm: had he passed silent and unnoticing, silent and stirless should I have suffered him to go by.

    Villette

  • A figure which had lost its energy — a face stamped with the lines and pallor of a dejection almost guilty — with something of the fallen grace and beauty of poor Margaret, as we see her with her forehead leaning on her slender hand, by the stirless spinning-wheel — the image of a strange and ineffaceable sorrow, sat Rachel Lake.

    Wylder's Hand

  • When the sturdiest characters gave way, when the finest geniuses passed one after another under the yoke of slavery, Garrison stood firm to his convictions, like a rock that stands stirless amid the conflicting agitation of the waves.

    Three Years in Europe Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met

  • I hoped that something would occur to melt the corporal's heart during the evening, and had prepared a little vial in my pocket, which, at least, would have given him a stirless nap of twenty-four hours.

    Captain Canot or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver

  • It was in the heat of sultry afternoon, the air stirless, the water in the channel warm and rank-smelling.

    Sea-Dogs All! A Tale of Forest and Sea

  • Like a statue, she lay there, motionless, stirless; lifeless, one would have thought, save for the faint regular breath that stole forth from the parted lips.

    The Mystery of a Turkish Bath

  • Once an enquiring sheep approached the slim young body lying there, stirless and inert, and sniffed at it, then moved away again and lay down to chew the cud.

    The Moon out of Reach

  • A thin spiral of smoke rose like a gray wisp above the zapote trees and a low-crooned, rhythmic chant was borne to her on the stirless air.

    The Fifth Ace

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Comments

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  • I basically agree, sionnach, about Nabokov's translation. Of course, Nabokov was probably, given his astonishing command of both Russian and English and his intense love and appreciation of all things Pushkinian, the one person of his generation best able to produce the definitive English translation of E.O. And he didn't. He refused to do this. That he refused to do this (and not that he was incapable of doing this) is clear from the tantalizing places in his Commentary to E.O. where he gives the reader a sample of what the verse would sound like if he tried to render Pushkin's music. As gorgeous and brilliant as we would expect from Vladimir Vladimirovich. One theory I read, which seemed to make some sense, was that Nabokov viewed the Russian language, and Pushkin especially, as his personal secret country -- the place he was really exiled from -- and was loath to cast its pearls before swine who couldn't be bothered to learn the language and read the original.

    December 5, 2007

  • Ah yes, the infamous "translation" where he apparently doesn't find it important that Pushkin took a certain amount of time and effort to implement a rather nifty (some might say sublime) rhyme scheme.

    What a lazy sod (Nabokov, not Pushkin). I mean, why bother, if you can't be bothered?

    That goes for you too, Robert Pinsky and all you other Dante desecrators who take refuge behind the "English is a rhyme-poor language" excuse.

    And Vlad: "God wot"! Really?

    End of completely random rant.

    December 5, 2007

  • I first came across this word in Nabokov's translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, in the stanza describing Lensky's death (Chapter 6, Stanza xxxii), and have loved it ever since:

    Stirless he lay, and strange
    was his brow's languid peace.
    Under the breast he had been shot clean through;
    steaming, the blood flowed from the wound.
    One moment earlier
    in _this_ heart had throbbed inspiration,
    enmity, hope, and love,
    life effervesced, blood boiled;
    now as in a deserted house,
    all in it is both still and dark,
    it has become forever silent.
    The window boards are shut. The panes with chalk
    are whitened over. The chatelaine is gone.
    But where, God wot. All trace is lost.

    December 5, 2007