A Dictionary of the English Language
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Affection

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 92, 93

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 92, 93

Affe'ction. n.s. [affection, Fr. affectio, Lat.]

  1. The state of being affected by any cause, or agent. This general sense is little in use.

    Some men there are love not a gaping pig;
    Some that are mad if they behold a cat;
    And others, when the bag-pipe sings i' th' nose,
    Cannot contain their urine, for affection.
    Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

  2. Passion of any kind.

    Then gan the Palmer thus: most wretched man,
    That to affections does the bridle lend;
    In their beginning they are weak and wan,
    But soon through sufferance grow to fearful end.
    Fairy Q.

    Impute it to my late solitary life, which is prone to affections. Sidney, b. i.

    Affections, as joy, grief, fear, and anger, with such like, being, as it were, the sundry fashions and forms of appetite, can neither rise at the conceit of a thing indifferent, nor yet choose but rise at the sight of some things. Hooker. b. i.

                        To speak truth of Cæsar,
    I have not known when his affections sway'd
    More than his reason.
    Shakesp. Julius Cæsar.

    Zeal ought to be composed of the highest degrees of pious affections; of which some are milder and gentler, some sharper and more vehement. Sprat's Sermons.

    I can present nothing beyond this to your affections, to excite your love and desire. Tillotson.

  3. Love; kindness; good-will to some person; often with to, or towards, before the person.

                    I have acquainted you
    With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page,
    Who mutually hath answer'd my affection.
    Shakesp. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    My king is tangl'd in affection to
    A creature of the queen's lady Anne Bullen.
    Sh. Henry VIII.

    What warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors? Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

    Make his interest depend upon mutual affection and good correspondence with others. Collier on General Kindness.

    Nor at first sight, like most, admires the fair;
    For you he lives, and you alone shall share
    His last affection, as his early care.
    Pope.

  4. Good-will to any object; zeal; passionate regard.

    I have reason to distrust mine own judgment, as that which may be overborn by my zeal and affection to this cause. Bacon's Holy War.

    Set your affection upon my words; desire them, and ye shall be instructed. Wisdom, vi. 11.

    His integrity to the king was without blemish, and his affection to the church so notorious, that he never deserted it. Cla.

    All the precepts of christianity command us to moderate our passions, to temper our affections towards all things below. Temple.

    Let not the mind of a student be under the influence of warm affection to things of sense, when he comes to the search of truth. Watts's Improvement of the Mind.

  5. State of the mind, in general.

                        There grows,
    In my most ill compos'd affection, such
    A stanchless avarice, that, were I king,
    I should cut off the nobles for their lands.
    Shak. Macbeth.

    The man that hath no musick in himself,
    Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
    Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
    The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
    And his affections dark as Erebus:
    Let no such man be trusted.
    Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

  6. Quality; property.

    The certainty and accurateness which is attributed to what they deliver, must be restrained to what they teach, concerning those purely mathematical disciplines, arithmetick and geometry, where the affections of quantity are abstractedly considered. Boyle.

    The mouth being necessary to conduct the voice to the shape of its cavity, necessarily gives the voice some particular affection of sound in its passage before it come to the lips. Holder's Elements of Speech.

    God may have joined immaterial souls to other kinds of bodies, and in other laws of union; and, from those different laws of union, there will arise quite different affections, and natures, and species of the compound beings. Bentley's Sermons.

  7. State of the body, as acted upon by any cause.

    It seemed to me a venereal gonorrhæa, and others thought it arose from some scorbutical affection. Wiseman's Surgery.

  8. Lively representation in painting.

    Affection is the lively representment of any passion whatsoever, as if the figures stood not upon a cloth or board, but as if they were acting upon a stage. Wotton's Architecture.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Bentley, Richard (57) · Boyle, Robert (84) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Collier, Jeremy (24) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · Holder, William (38) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (42) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Sprat, Thomas (20) · Temple, William (54) · Tillotson, John (68) · Watts, Isaac (117) · The Bible - Wisdom (12) · Wiseman, Richard (68) · Wotton, Henry (48)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Affection." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 28, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=15556.


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