Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Overly subtle and particularized, such as comparisons or points in an argument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Past participle of wiredraw

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Here was no pindling fowl that had taken the veil and lived the cloistered life; here was no wiredrawn and trained-down cross-country turkey, but a lusty giant of a bird that would have been a cassowary, probably, or an emu, if he had lived, his bosom a white mountain of lusciousness, his interior a Golconda and not a Golgotha.

    Cobb's Bill-of-Fare

  • The other letter consists of the usual wiredrawn argument for fatalism.

    Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays

  • The thought is wiredrawn to inanity, but the words make it perfectly clear that the poet was the only one of the lady's lovers -- to the definite exclusion of all others -- whose name justified the quibbling pretence of identity with the 'will' which controls her being.

    A Life of William Shakespeare with portraits and facsimiles

  • One scribe will probably make something like an inverted cornucopia, or wiredrawn extinguisher; and one will cross it with a dash, and another with a loop; while another will make

    Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 460 Volume 18, New Series, October 23, 1852

  • Small substance in that Figaro: thin wiredrawn intrigues, thin wiredrawn sentiments and sarcasms; a thing lean, barren; yet which winds and whisks itself, as through a wholly mad universe, adroitly, with a high-sniffing air: wherein each, as was hinted, which is the grand secret, may see some image of himself, and of his own state and ways.

    The French Revolution

  • By which last wiredrawn similitude does Teufelsdröckh mean no more than that young men find obstacles in what we call 'getting under way'?

    Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History

  • As, I assure you, were I to fill the remainder, all I should say would be terribly wiredrawn, do excuse me: you shall hear an ample detail of the first Admiral Vernon that springs out of our

    The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 2

  • Here was no pindling fowl that had taken the veil and lived a cloistered life; here was no wiredrawn and trained-down cross-country turkey, but a lusty giant of a bird that would have been a cassowary, probably, or an emu, if he had lived, his bosom a white mountain of lusciousness, his interior a Golconda and not a Golgotha.

    The Old Foodie

  • This, I supposed, would have engaged her into a subject from which I could have wiredrawn something: — for Hickman is one of her favourites — why, I can’t divine, except for the sake of opposition of character to that of thy honest friend.

    Clarissa Harlowe

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • excessively minute or subtle
    from Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus"

    January 11, 2009