A Dictionary of the English Language
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Peculiar (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1471

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1471

Pecúliar. adj. [peculiaris, from peculium, Lat. pecule, Fr.]

  1. Appropriate; belonging to any one with exclusion of others.

    I agree with Sir William Temple, that the word humour is peculiar to our English tongue; but not that the thing itself is peculiar to the English, because the contrary may be found in many Spanish, Italian and French productions. Swift.

  2. Not common to other things.

    The only sacred hymns they are that christianity hath peculiar unto itself, the other being songs too of praise and of thanksgiving, but songs wherewith as we serve God, so the Jews likewise. Hooker, b. v. s. 39.

    Space and duration being ideas that have something very abtruse and peculiar in their nature, the comparing them one with another may be of use for their illustration. Locke.

  3. Particular; single. To join most with peculiar, though found in Dryden, is improper.

    One peculiar nation to select
    From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd.
    Milton.

    I neither fear, nor will provoke the war;
    My fate is Juno's most peculiar care.
    Dryden.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Locke, John (269) · Milton, John (449) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Peculiar (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 11, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2049.


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