Masterly inactivity

Definitions

  • Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Masterly inactivity the position or part of a neutral or a Fabian combatant, carried out with diplomatic skill, so as to preserve a predominant influence without risking anything
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. maistre (Fr. maître)—L. magister, from root of magnus, great.

Usage

In literature:

Masterly inactivity must give way to the exigencies of the case.
"Gala-days" by Gail Hamilton
Its policy was, to adopt a familiar phrase, one of masterly inactivity.
"Abraham Lincoln and the Union" by Nathaniel W. Stephenson
They had been in a state of masterly inactivity so long in this one camp that they were anxious to leave it now forever.
"Death Valley in '49" by William Lewis Manly
Such, then, was the policy of "masterly inactivity" in 1863-68, cheap for India, but excessively costly for Afghanistan.
"The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.)" by John Holland Rose
But Wallace soon mastered his emotion; he was not one to remain long inactive when there was anything to be done.
"His Heart's Queen" by Mrs. Georgie Sheldon
Theirs was a "masterly inaction" caused by something which they do not attempt themselves to define.
"Current History, A Monthly Magazine" by New York Times
Meanwhile, the Crusader adopted the plan of masterly inactivity, by simply holding on tight and doing nothing.
"Personal Reminiscences in Book Making" by R.M. Ballantyne
It seemed to be the policy of the principal to maintain a "masterly inactivity" in regard to them.
"In School and Out" by Oliver Optic
Just then it seemed wise to pursue a policy of masterly inactivity.
"Desert Conquest" by A. M. Chisholm
The inaction of the other Sioux, as has been intimated, was due to their belief that Starcus was master of the situation.
"The Young Ranchers" by Edward S. Ellis
***

In news:

That stiffly protective attitude toward the institution helps to explain some of the Pope's past conduct—such as the masterly inactivity with which he greeted pleas from the Oakland Diocese to defrock a priest who.
***