Definitions

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Etymologies

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Examples

  • He commanded a tenth-rate army of 20,000, stole artifacts from the days of the Manchus, and had an opium factory on the grounds of his palace.

    The Last Empress

  • “He called you ‘a fatuous fool,’ Mr. Wilde, ‘a tenth-rate cad,’ ‘an unclean beast.’”

    Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile

  • “Mr. Henry James may consider me to be an unclean beast and a tenth-rate cad, but I see myself as a happily married family man.”

    Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile

  • These are merciless dilemmas, and Obama with his tenth-rate inspirational rhetoric will be stuff of brutal jokes before long if he wins.

    Smoking Guns and the Morality of Parliamentary Privilege

  • James reported to the Adamses that Wilde was a “fatuous fool” and a “tenth-rate cad,” judgments Clover repeated with glee.

    The Five of Hearts

  • And on the eve of the award ceremony in Stockholm, Arthur Mizener, again in the Times, questioned why the Nobel committee would reward a writer whose "limited talent is, in his best books, watered down by tenth-rate philosophizing."

    The Rescue of John Steinbeck

  • Hotel Terminus, a tenth-rate hotel near the station; the proprietor called on him two or three days afterwards and informed him he must leave the hotel, as his room had been let.

    Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions

  • Just as it does little good to the understanding to spend much time over tenth-rate literature, so it is little edifying to the character to rake among the private obscurities of even first-rate men, and it is surely a good rule to keep ourselves as much as we can in contact with what is great.

    Voltaire

  • If there was a saying that said 'the devil has all the tunes that sound like a tenth-rate Justin Timberlake B-side, and he performs them in the style of a marionette puppet being operated by a heroin addict' then there might be a case.

    Britney Spears MTV VMA Excuses: Hair Edition

  • One can start by prising the dead hand of the state off our schools and colleges; one can introduce a voucher system; one can concentrate on first-class training instead of tenth-rate so-called academic education; one can scrap legislation that prevents schools from introducing even the modicum of discipline - you know, the kind that teaches children to dress appropriately and turn up on time or, indeed, at all.

    The other side of the story

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