Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The spring which sets in motion or regulates the whole work or machine.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • But the subtlety of self-love still eluded his enquiries, and he did not detect that pride was even at this instant of self-examination, and of critical import, the master-spring of his mind.

    The Italian

  • Thus do all the various motions of the lower wheels serve for our good, and exactly answer the impression they receive from the master-spring, the eternal purpose of

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • Can there possibly be a more captivating sight than that which the theatre presents nightly, of hundreds of beautiful children all happy and laughing, "as if a master-spring constrained them all;" and filled with delight, unalloyed and unbounded, at the performance of one man?

    A History of Pantomime

  • And let all your efforts be put forth in faith, and under a deep impression of the truth of Cecil's memorable words: "Faith is the master-spring of a Minister," as well as of every Christian.

    The Wesleyan Methodist Pulpit in Malvern Sermons Preached at the Opening Services of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, in 1866

  • He had removed the master-spring, and his revenge was complete.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 12, No. 31, October, 1873

  • Too lazy or too languid where only his own interests were at stake, touch his benevolence, and all the wheels of the clock-work felt the impetus of the master-spring.

    The Caxtons — Complete

  • Too lazy or too languid where only his own interests were at stake, touch his benevolence, and all the wheels of the clock-work felt the impetus of the master-spring.

    The Caxtons — Volume 01

  • Who is ignorant that Longinus, that subtle Greek, has been the master-spring in this great revolt? and hand and hand with him Gracchus?

    Zenobia or, the Fall of Palmyra

  • The substitution of benevolence as the master-spring and moving principle of society, instead of self-love, is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

    An Essay on the Principle of Population

  • It is not my mind to extend this to the generality of things in the world, nor to show how the creature can by no means deviate from that eternal rule of providence whereby it is guided; -- no more than an arrow can avoid the mark, after it hath received the impression of an unerring hand, -- or well-ordered wheels not turn according to the motion given them by the master-spring, -- or the wheels in Ezekiel's vision [34] move irregularly to the spirit of life that was in them.

    The Sermons of John Owen

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