A Dictionary of the English Language
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Brain (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 278

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 278

Brain. n.s. [bꞃæᵹn, Sax. breyne, Dutch.]

  1. That collection of vessels and organs in the head, from which sense and motion arise.

    The brain is divided into cerebrum and cerebellum. Cerebrum is that part of the brain, which possesses all the upper and forepart of the cranium, being separated from the cerebellum by the second process of the dura mater, under which the cerebellum is situated. The substance of the brain is distinguished into outer and inner; the former is called corticalis, cinerea, or glandulosa; the latter, medullaris, alba, or nervea. Cheselden.

    If I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. Shakesp. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    That man proportionably hath the largest brain, I did, I confess, somewhat doubt, and conceived it might have failed in birds, especially such as having little bodies, have yet large cranies, and seem to contain much brain, as snipes and woodcocks; but, upon trial, I find it very true. Brown's Vulgar Errours.

  2. That part in which the understanding is placed; therefore taken for the understanding.

    The force they are under is a real force, and that of their fate but an imaginary conceived one; the one but in their brains, the other on their shoulders. Hammond's Fundamentals.

    A man is first a geometrician in his brain, before he be such in his hand. Hale's Origin of Mankind.

  3. Sometimes the affections.

    My son Edgar! had he a hand to write this, a heart and brain to breed it in? Shakesp. King Lear.

Sources: Browne, Thomas (204) · Cheselden, William (1) · Hale, Matthew (49) · Hammond, Henry (47) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Brain (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 15, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2576.


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