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

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1053

Imp. n.s. [imp, Welsh, a shoot, a sprout, a sprig.]

  1. A son; the offspring; progeny.

    That noble imp your son. Lord Cromwel to King Henry.

    And thou, most dreaded imp of highest Jove,
    Fair Venus' son.
    Fairy Queen, b. i.

    The tender imp was weaned from the teat. Fairfax.

    A lad of life, an imp of fame. Shakesp. Henry V.

  2. A subaltern devil, a puny devil. In this sense 'tis still retained.

    Such we deny not to be the imps and limbs of Satan. Hook.

            Him after long debate, irresolute
    Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose,
    Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
    To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
    From sharpest sight.
    Milt. Paradise Lost, b. ix.

    As soon as you can hear his knell,
    This god on earth turns d——l in hell;
    And, lo! his ministers of state
    Transform'd to imps, his levee wait.
    Swift.

Sources: Cromwell, Thomas (1) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Milton, John (449) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

Attributes: Welsh (Welch) (27)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Imp (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 18, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=18868.


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