A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Engine

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 701

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 701

E'ngine. n.s. [engin, French; ingegne, Italian.]

  1. Any mechanical complication, in which various movements and parts concur to one effect.

  2. A military machine.

    This is our engine, towers that overthrows;
    Our spear that hurts, our sword that wounds our foes.
    Fairf.

  3. Any instrument.

    The sword, the arrow, the gun, with many terrible engines of death, will be employed. Raleigh's Essays.

    He takes the scissars, and extends
    The little engine on his fingers ends.
    Pope's Rape of the Lock.

  4. Any instrument to throw water upon burning houses.

    Some cut the pipes, and some the engines play;
    And some more bold, mount ladders to the fire.
    Dryden.

  5. Any means used to bring to pass, or to effect. Usually in an ill sense.

    Prayer must be divine and heavenly, which the devil with all his engines so violently opposeth. Duppa's Rules for Devotion.

  6. An agent for another. In contempt.

    They had th' especial engines been, to rear
    His fortunes up into the state they were.

Sources: Daniel, Samuel (28) · Dryden, John (788) · Duppa, Brian (6) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Raleigh, Walter (68)

Attributes: French (385) · Italian (29) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Engine." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 1, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=20668.


  1. The quote under definition 6, unlabeled in Johnson, is from Daniel’s poem The History of the Civil War.

  2. Brandi on May 1st, 2014 at 10:14 am

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