Dexterity is skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands, and skill in using ranged weapons. It also means Fine motor skill by way of the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- Stay thou there in thy place. Saying these words, he leaped with great dexterity into the sea (if I may so call it) of Flatland, right in the midst of the ring of Counsellors. “I come,” said he, “to proclaim that there is a land of Three Dimensions.”
- For many parts of Nature can neither be invented with sufficient subtlety, nor demonstrated with sufficient perspicuity, nor accommodated unto use with sufficient dexterity, without the aid and intervening of the mathematics, of which sort are perspective, music, astronomy, cosmography, architecture, engineery, and divers others.
- Sir Francis Bacon, in Tom Sorell, et al., Scientia in Early Modern Philosophy: Seventeenth-Century Thinkers on Demonstrative Knowledge from First Principles, Springer, 28 October 2009, p. 4
- When the technical problems of finger dexterity have been solved, it is too late to add musicality, phrasing and musical expression. That is why I never practice mechanically. If we work mechanically, we run the risk of changing the very nature of music.
- He who asks fortune-tellers the future unwittingly forfeits an inner intimation of coming events that is a thousand times more exact than anything they may say. He is impelled by inertia, rather than curiosity, and nothing is more unlike the submissive apathy with which he hears his fate revealed than the alert dexterity with which the man of courage lays hands on the future.
- I have seen a trifle decide the most important issues in the gravest affairs. It is only by prudence, wisdom, and dexterity, that great ends are attained and obstacles overcome. Without these qualities nothing succeeds
- Napoleon Bonaparte, in Napoleon in his own words from the French of Jules Bertaut, Рипол Классик, p. 6
- Yet what makes the show what it is - a truly mesmerising theatrical event that should live forever in the memory - is the magic and the variety, speed and dexterity with which Brown performs it.
- Stonehenge, neither for disposition or ornament has anything admirable; but those huge rude masses, set on end and piled each on the other turn the mind on the immense force necessary for such a work. Nay, the rudeness of the work increases this cause of grandeur, as it excludes the idea of art and contrivance; for dexterity produces another sort of effect, which is different enough from this.
- Edmund Burke, in Liane Lefaivre, Alexander Tzoni The Emergence of Modern Architecture: A Documentary History, from 1000 to 1810, Routledge, 31-Jul-2004, p. 355
- One needs only to study a certain positioning of the hand in relation to the keys to obtain with ease the most beautiful quality of sound, to know how to play long notes and short notes and [to attain] unlimited dexterity … A well-formed technique, it seems to me, [is one] that can control and vary [bien nuancer] a beautiful sound quality.
- Frédéric Chopin, in Robin Elliott, et al., Centre and Periphery, Roots and Exile: Interpreting the Music of István Anhalt, György Kurtág, and Sándor Veress, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 15 September 2011, p. 42
- It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is not only not poorer, but even richer.
- When she goes about her kitchen duties, chopping, carving, mixing, whisking, she moves with the grace and precision of a ballet dancer, her fingers plying the food with the dexterity of a croupier.
- It's a program that uses magic as a form of therapy for people with disabilities, where magic is taught to patients in hospitals to help them regain their dexterity and their coordination by learning sleight of hand, in addition to boosting the patient's self-esteem by giving them a skill that an able-bodied person doesn't even have.
- [SAT scores for admission]...the tyranny of the big test. While conceding that the SAT measures "mental dexterity," the test does not capture qualities such as "motivation" or what the student learned in high school.
- I thank God I was not made a dexterous manipulator, for the most important of my discoveries have been suggested to me by failures.
- Sir Humphry Davy, in Sameul Smiles Self Help; With Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance, Arc Manor LLC, 2008, p. 240
G - L
- One of most attractive sports of the rancheros and the peasantry, and that which more than any other calls for the exercise of skill and dexterity, is called Correr el gallo, practiced generally on St. John's Day.
- Gregg, in William Watts Hart Davis El Gringo, or, New Mexico and her people, Harper and Brothers, 1857, p. 188
- I have no doubt that playing today's games does in fact improve your visual intelligence and your manual dexterity, but the virtues of gaming run far deeper than hand-eye coordination.
- Man comes into the world naked and unarmed, as if nature had destined him for a social creature, and ordained him to live under equitable laws and in peace; as if she had desired that he should be guided by reason rather than be driven by force; therefore did she endow him with understanding, and furnish him with hands, that he might himself contrive what was necessary to his clothing and protection. To those animals to which nature has given vast strength, she has also presented weapons in harmony with their powers; to those that are not thus vigorous, she has given ingenuity, cunning, and singular dexterity in avoiding injury.
- Among those whom I could never pursuade to rank themselves with idlers, and who speak with indignation of my morning sleeps and nocturnal rambles, one passes the day in catching spiders, that he may count their eyes with a microscope; another exhibits the dust of a marigold separated from the flower with a dexterity worthy of Leuwenhoweck himself. Some turn the wheel of electricity; some suspend rings to a lodestone, and find that what they did yesterday, they can do again to-day.—Some register the changes of the wind, and die fully convinced that the wind is changeable.—There are men yet more profound, who have heard that two colorless liquors may produce a color by union, and that two cold bodies will grow hot of they are mingled: they mingle them, and produce the effect expected, say it is strange, and mingle them again.
- Samuel Johnson, et al., in The Rambler: A Periodical Paper, Published in 1750, 1751, 1752, Jones, 1825, p. 18
- He has blinding hand speed and great dexterity. He can punch going forwards and backwards which is the mark of a true Champion. There's no one like him in the world today.
- Writing stories was not easy. When they were turned into words, projects withered on the paper and ideas and images failed. How to reanimate them? Fortunately, the masters were there, teachers to learn from and examples to follow. Flaubert taught me that talent is unyielding discipline and long patience. Faulkner, that form – writing and structure – elevates or impoverishes subjects. Martorell, Cervantes, Dickens, Balzac, Tolstoy, Conrad, Thomas Mann, that scope and ambition are as important in a novel as stylistic dexterity and narrative strategy.
M - R
- If you take something like Cthulhu in Lovecraft, for example, it is completely incomprehensible and beyond all human categorization. But in the game Call of Cthulhu, you see Cthulhu's “strength,” “dexterity,” and so on, carefully expressed numerically.
- China Miéville, in Joan Gordon Reveling in Genre: An Interview with China Miéville, Science Fiction Studies, #91 = Volume 30, Part 3 = November 2003
- And in no victory do they glory so much as in that which is gained by dexterity and good conduct without bloodshed. In such cases they appoint public triumphs, and erect trophies to the honour of those who have succeeded.
- I'm a leader in an industry that misdirected your attention with the dexterity of Harry Houdini while sending hundreds of thousands of our bravest young men and women off to war without due diligence.
- The Newsroom (U.S. TV series)]], in Donna Anderson Why Every American Should Watch “The Newsroom, HBO Watch, 12 July 2013
- I think the balance is right - we've got decent size, decent speed and decent dexterity with the ball.
- Have you ever noticed how few sitting places you find in private gardens How seldom the versatility and importance of benches is considered True gardeners, with their peerless taste, dexterity and inspired planting, never stop … To sit is almost an offence, a sign of depravity and an outrage towards every felicitous refinement that has gone into making a garden.
- Mirabel Osler, in Bonnie Helander Southern Living Idea Home Offers Garden Inspiration, 17 June 2012
- Far from blushing at conduct so contrary to equity, to right, and to national honesty, they boast of their dexterity, and pretend that they deserve the name of great negotiators.
- Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, in John Henry Barrow The Mirror of Parliament for the … Session of the … Parliament ..., Volume 4, Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1832, p. 3211
- You owe the Wigs great gratitude, my Lord, and therefore I think you will betray them. your lordship is like a favourite footman on easy terms with his mistress. Your dexterity seems a happy compound of the smartness of an attorney's clerk and the intrigue of a Greek of the lower empire.
- Robots don't perform the surgeries, but they are tools that give the surgeon more dexterity. They let you get into confined spaces. You can eliminate hand tremor, and you can be very precise and delicate. It's as if the tips of the instruments become your fingertips.
- Slowly, but very deliberately, the brooding edifice of seduction, creaking and incongruous, came into being, a vast Heath Robinson mechanism, dually controlled by them and lumbering gloomily down vistas of triteness. With a sort of heavy-fisted dexterity the mutually adapted emotions of each of them became synchronized, until the unavoidable anti-climax was at hand.
- Anthony Powell, in Lisa Colletta Dark Humor and Social Satire in the Modern British Novel, Palgrave Macmillan, 1 October 2003, p. 121
- ...if you take up video-gaming, even casually, you can expect the following benefits: decreased overall reaction times, increased eye-hand coordination, and enhanced manual dexterity. You'll improve your spatial visualization skills and your ability to mentally work in three dimensions.
- Richard Restak, in Donald B. Egolf, Human Communication and the Brain: Building the Foundation for the Field of Neurocommunication, Lexington Books, 5 April 2012, p. 11
- Some of my Arcanum bunkmates taught me a card game called dogs-breath. I returned the favor by giving an impromptu lesson in psychology, probability, and manual dexterity. I won almost two whole talents before they stopped inviting me back to their games.
- Look at that hand of mine Many and many a job that hand has done, with a neatness and dexterity never known afore. When I look at that hand, said Mr. Dennis, shaking it in the air.
- Barnaby Rudge, in Museum of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Volume 43, E. Littell, 1841, p. 134
S - Z
- I hate to paint portraits I hope never to paint another portrait in my life. Portraiture may be all right for a man in his youth, but after forty I believe that manual dexterity deserts one, and, besides, the color-sense is less acute. Youth can better stand the exactions of a personal kind that are inseparable from portraiture. I have had enough of it.
- The greatest improvement in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is any where directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.
- Adam Smith, William Playfair, in An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Volume 1, O. D. Cooke, 1811, p. 4
- ...with address enough to refuse, without offending, or, by your manner of granting, to double the obligation; dexterity enough to conceal a truth without telling a lie: sagacity enough to read other people's countenances; and serenity enough not to discover anything by yours; a seaming frankness with a real reserve.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, in Letters Written by the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, J.B. Lippincott & Company, 1876, p. 140
- Art if it is successful in the task of questioning reality, if it is good painting and not merely a performance of dexterity, will be an affirmation of God.
- With his almost acid sharpness of insight, with his almost animal dexterity in act, there went none of that large, unconscious geniality of the world’s heroes.
- I have serviced no kings, yet I wager that I can shave a cheek with ten times more dexterity than any street mountebank!