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Devil's Dictionary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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VALOR, n. A soldierly compound of vanity, duty and the gambler's hope.

"Why have you halted?" roared the commander of a division and Chickamauga, who had ordered a charge; "move forward, sir, at once."

"General," said the commander of the delinquent brigade, "I am persuaded that any further display of valor by my troops will bring them into collision with the enemy."

VANITY, n. The tribute of a fool to the worth of the nearest ass.

They say that hens do cackle loudest when
There's nothing vital in the eggs they've laid;
And there are hens, professing to have made
A study of mankind, who say that men
Whose business 'tis to drive the tongue or pen
Make the most clamorous fanfaronade
O'er their most worthless work; and I'm afraid
They're not entirely different from the hen.
Lo! the drum-major in his coat of gold,
His blazing breeches and high-towering cap –
Imperiously pompous, grandly bold,
Grim, resolute, an awe-inspiring chap!
Who'd think this gorgeous creature's only virtue
Is that in battle he will never hurt you?

Hannibal Hunsiker

VIRTUES, n. pl. Certain abstentions.

VITUPERATION, n. Satire, as understood by dunces and all such as suffer from an impediment in their wit.

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.


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The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, online at Fun-With-Words.com.

How to Order a Copy of this Book

There are two versions of this book available. First, there is The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, as originally published in 1911. This is identical to the online version on the Fun-With-Words.com website, with almost 1,000 entries.

The second, which we recommend highly, is The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, which has about 1,600 citations.

The Devil's Dictionary The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary
Same as 1911 edition
Approx. 1,000 Citations
Extra material: 1,600 Citations
With additional annotation
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