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 :: 1842-1914, American Author, Editor, Journalist, ''The Devil's Dictionary''

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Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Ambition]

 

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An accident is an inevitable occurrence due to the actions of immutable natural laws.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Misfortunes]

 

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An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [History and Historians]

 

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An acquaintance is someone we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Acquaintance]

 

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An egotist is a person interested in himself than in me!
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Egotism]

 

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An optimist is a proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Optimism]

 

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Appeal. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Trials]

 

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Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Architecture]

 

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Backbite. To ''speak of a man as you find him'' when he can't find you.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Slander]

 

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Beauty. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Beauty]

 

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Before undergoing a surgical operation, arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Medicine]

 

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Bigot, one who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Bigotry]

 

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Bore -- a person who talks when you wish him to listen.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Bores and Boredom]

 

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Bride. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Weddings]

 

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Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Calamity]

 

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Compromise. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Compromise]

 

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Confidante. One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Gossip]

 

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Conservative. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Conservatives]

 

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Consul. In American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Diplomacy]

 

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Consult. To seek another's approval of a course already decided on.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Advice]

 

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