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

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2290

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2290

Wíness. n.s. [witnesse, Saxon.]

  1. Testimony; attestation.

    The devil can cite scripture for his purpose;
    An evil soul producing holy witness,
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek;
    A goodly apple rotten at its heart.
    Shakespeare.

    May we, with the warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him any further revenge? Shak.

    If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. John.

    The spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Rom. viii. 16.

    Many bare false witness, but their witness agreed not. Mar.

    Nor was long his witness unconfirmed. Milton.

    Ye moon and stars bear witness to the truth!
    His only crime, if friendship can offend,
    Is too much love to his unhappy friend.
    Dryden's Æneid.

    Our senses bear witness to the truth of each others report, concerning the existence of sensible things. Locke.

  2. One who gives testimony.

                The king's attorney
    Urg'd on examinations, proofs, confessions
    Of divers witnesses.
    Shakespeare's Henry VIII.

    God is witness betwixt me and thee. Gen. xxxi. 50.

                  Thy trial choose
    With me, best witness of thy virtue try'd.
    Milton.

    A fat benefice became a crime, and witness too against its incumbent. Decay of Piety.

    Nor need I speak my deeds, for these you see;
    The sun and day are witness for me.
    Dryden.

  3. With a Witness. Effectually; to a great degree, so as to leave some lasting mark or testimony behind. A low phrase.

    Here was a blessing handed out with the first pairs of animals at their creation; and it had effect with a witness. Wood.

    Now gall is bitter with a witness;
    And love is all delight and sweetness.
    Prior.

Sources: Allestree, Richard (89) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Genesis (48) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · The Bible - John (15) · Locke, John (269) · The Bible - Mark (11) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Milton, John (449) · Prior, Matthew (162) · The Bible - Romans (11) · Woodward, John (78)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Witness (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 4, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2671.


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