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

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 86, 87

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 86, 87

Adva'ntage. n.s. [avantage, Fr.]

  1. Superiority; often with of or over before a person.

    In the practical prudence of managing such gifts, the laity may have some advantage over the clergy; whose experience is, and ought to be, less of this world than the others. Sprat.

    All other sorts and sects of men would evidently have the advantage of us, and a much surer title to happiness than we. Atterbury's Preface to his Sermons.

  2. Superiority gained by stratagem, or unlawful means.

    The common law hath left them this benefit, whereof they make advantage, and wrest it to their bad purposes. Spenser's State of Ireland.

    But specially he took advantage of the night for such privy attempts, insomuch that the bruit of his manliness was spread every-where. 2 Macc. viii. 7.

    It is a noble and sure defiance of a great malice, backed with a great interest; which yet can have no advantage of a man, but from his own expectations of something, that is without him. South's Sermons.

    As soon as he was got to Sicily, they sent for him back; designing to take advantage, and prosecute him in the absence of his friends. Swift on the Dissent. in Athens and Rome.

  3. Opportunity; convenience.

                          I beseech you,
    If you think fit, or that it may be done,
    Give me advantage of some brief discourse
    With Desdemona alone.
    Shakespeare's Othello.

  4. Favourable circumstances.

    Like jewels to advantage set,
    Her beauty by the shade does get.
    Waller.

    A face, which is over-flushed, appears to advantage in the deepest scarlet, and the darkest complexion is not a little alleviated by a black hood. Addison's Spectator, № 165.

    True wit is nature to advantage dress'd,
    What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd.
    Pope's Essay on Criticism.

  5. Gain; profit.

    For thou saidst, what advantage will it be unto thee, and what profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin? Job, xxxv. 3.

    Certain it is, that advantage now sits in the room of conscience, and steers all. South's Sermons.

  6. Overplus; something more than the mere lawful gain.

                    O my gentle Hubert,
    We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh
    There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
    And with advantage means to pay thy love.
    Shakespeare's King John.

    You said, you neither lend nor borrow
    Upon advantage.
    Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

  7. Preponderation on one side of the comparison.

    Much more should the consideration of this pattern arm us with patience against ordinary calamities; especially if we consider his example with this advantage, that though his sufferings were wholly undeserved, and not for himself but for us, yet he bore them patiently. Tillotson.

Sources: The Bible - 2. Maccabees (14) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · The Bible - Job (27) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Pope, Alexander (393) · South, Robert (158) · Spectator (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Sprat, Thomas (20) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Tillotson, John (68) · Waller, Edmund (63)

Attributes: French (385) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Advantage (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 21, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=14375.


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