A Dictionary of the English Language
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Laugh (verb neuter)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1174

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1174

To Laugh. v.n. [hlahan, Saxon; lachen, German and Dutch; lach, Scottish.]

  1. To make that noise which sudden merriment excites.

    You saw my master wink and laugh on you. Shakesp.

    There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried, Murther!
    They waked each other.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

                At this fusty stuff
    The large Achilles, on his prest-bed lolling,
    From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause.
    Shakesp.

    Laughing causeth a continued expulsion of the breath with the loud noise, which maketh the interjection of laughing, shaking of the breast and sides, running of the eyes with water, if it be violent. Bacon's Natural History.

  2. [In poetry] To appear gay, favourable, pleasant, or fertile.

    Entreat her not the worse, in that I pray
    You use her well; the world may laugh again,
    And I may live to do you kindness, if
    You do it her.
    Shakespear's Henry VI. p i.

    Then laughs the childish year with flowrets crown'd. Dry.

    The plenteous board, high-heap'd with cates divine,
    And o'er the foaming bowl the laughing wine.
    Pope.

  3. To Laugh at. To treat with conempt; to ridicule.

                    Presently prepare thy grave;
    Lie where the light foam of the sea may beat
    Thy grave-stone daily; make thine epitaph,
    That death in me at others may laugh.
    Shakesp.

    'Twere better for you, if 'twere not known in council; you'll be laugh'd at. Shakesp. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    The dissolute and abandoned, before they are aware of it, are often betrayed to laugh at themselves, and upon reflection find, that they are merry at their own expence. Addison's Freeholder, №. 45.

    No wit to flatter left of all his store;
    No fool to laugh at, which he valued more.
    Pope.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 1 (48) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (71) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32) · Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (36)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · German (30) · Saxon (215) · Scottish (7) · Verb Neuter (131)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Laugh (verb neuter)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: March 15, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=18901.


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