A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Breast (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 285, 284

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 285, 284

Breast. n.s. [bꞃoꞅꞇ, Saxon.]

  1. The middle part of the human body, between the neck and the belly.
  2. The dugs or teats of women which contain the milk.

    The substance of the breasts is composed of a great number of glands, of an oval figure, which lie in a great quantity of fat. Their excretory ducts, as they approach the nipples, join and unite together, till at last they form seven, eight, or more, small pipes, called tubuli lactiferi, which have several cross canals, by which they communicate with one another, that if any of them be stopped, the milk, which was brought to it, might not stagnate, but pass through by the other pipes, which all terminate in the extremity of the nipple. They have arteries and veins from the subclavian and intercostal. They have nerves from the vertebral pairs, and from the sixth pair of the brain. Their use is to separate the milk for the nourishment of the fœtus. The tubes, which compose the glands of the breast in maids, like a sphincter muscle, contract so closely, that no part of the blood can enter them; but when the womb grows big with a fœtus, and compresses the descending trunk of the great artery, the blood flows in a greater quantity, and with a greater force, through the arteries of the breasts, and forces a passage into their glands, which, being at first narrow, admits only a thin water; but growing wider by degrees, as the womb grows bigger, the glands receive a thick serum, and, after birth, they run with a thick milk; because that blood, which before did flow to the fœtus, and, for three or four days afterwards, by the uterus, beginning then to stop, does more dilate the mamillary glands. Quincy.

    They pluck the fatherless from the breast. Job, xxiv. 9.

  3. The part of a beast that is under the neck, between the fore-legs.

  4. The heart; the conscience; the disposition of the mind.

    Needless was written law, where none opprest;
    The law of man was written in his breast.
    Dryden's Ovid.

  5. The passions; the regard.

                Margarita first possess'd,
    If I remember well, my breast.
    Cowley.

Sources: Cowley, Abraham (19) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Job (27) · Quincy, John (60)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Breast (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 15, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=1010.


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