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Draw (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 646, 647, 648

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 646, 647, 648

To Draw. v.a. pret. drew; part. pass. drawn. [draʒan, Saxon.]

  1. To pull along; not to carry.

    Then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river. 2 Sa. xvii. 13.

  2. To pull forcibly; to pluck.

    He could not draw the dagger out of his belly. Judg. ii. 22.

    The arrow is now drawn to the head. Atterbury.

  3. To bring by violence; to drag.

    Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment-seats? Ja. ii. 6.

  4. To raise out of a deep place.

    They drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon. Jer. xxxviii. 13.

    Draw the water for the siege. Nath. iii. 14.

  5. To suck.

    He hath drawn thee dry. Ecclus. xiii. 7.

    There was no war, no dearth, no stop of trade or commerce; it was only the crown which had sucked too hard, and now being full, upon the head of a young king, was like to draw less. Bacon's Henry VII.

    Sucking and drawing the breast dischargeth the milk as fast as it can be generated. Wiseman on Tumours.

  6. To attract; to call towards itself.

    We see that salt, laid to a cut finger, healeth it; so as it seemeth salt draweth blood, as well as blood draweth salt. Bacon.

    Majesty in an eclipse, like the sun, draws eyes, that would not have looked towards it, if it had shined out. Suckling.

    He affected a habit different from that of the times, such as men had only beheld in pictures, which drew the eyes of most, and the reverence of many towards him. Clarendon.

    All eyes you draw, and with the eyes the heart;
    Of your own pomp yourself the greatest part.
    Dryden.

  7. To inhale.

    Thus I call'd, and stray'd I know not whither,
    From where I first drew air, and first beheld
    This happy light.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. viii. l. 284.

    While near the Lucrine lake, consum'd to death,
    I draw the sultry air, and gasp for breath,
    You taste the cooling breeze.
    Addison's Remarks on Italy.

    Why drew Marseille's good bishop purer breath,
    When nature sicken'd, and each gale was death?
    Pope.

  8. To take from any thing containing.

    They drew out the staves of the ark. 2 Chron. v. 2.

  9. To take from a cask.

    The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
    Are left this vault to brag of.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

  10. To pull a sword from the sheath.

    We will our youth lead on to higher fields,
    And draw no swords, but what are sanctify'd.
    Shakesp. H. IV.

    I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them. Ex. xv.

    He proceeded so far in his insolence as to draw out his sword, with an intent to kill him. Dryden's Conq. of Grenada.

    In all your wars good fortune blew before you,
    'Till in my fatal cause your sword was drawn;
    The weight of my misfortunes dragg'd you down.
    Dryden.

  11. To let out any liquid.

    Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
    Of my more fierce endeavour.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

    I opened the tumour by the point of a lancet, without drawing one drop of blood. Wiseman's Surgery.

  12. To take bread out of the oven.

    The joyner puts boards into ovens after the batch is drawn. Mortimer's Husbandry.

  13. To unclose or slide back curtains.

    Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover
    The sev'ral caskets to this noble prince.
    Shak. Merch. of Ven.

    Alarm'd, and with presaging heart he came,
    And drew the curtains, and expos'd the dame
    To lothsome light.
    Dryden's Sigism. and Guiscar.

    Shouts, cries, and groans first pierce my ears, and then
    A flash of lightning draws the guilty scene,
    And shows new arms, and wounds, and dying men.
    Dryden.

  14. To close or spread curtains.

    Philoclea earnestly again intreated Pamela to open her grief, who, drawing the curtain, that the candle might not complain of her blushing, was ready to speak. Sidney, b. ii.

  15. To extract.

    Spirits, by distillations, may be drawn out of vegetable juices, which shall flame and fume of themselves. Cheyne.

  16. To procure as an agent cause.

    When he finds the hardship of slavery outweigh the value of life, 'tis in his power, by resisting his master, to draw on himself death. Locke.

  17. To produce or bring as an efficient cause.

    Have they invented tones to win
    The women, and make them draw in
    The men, as Indians with a female
    Tame elephant inveigle the male?
    Hudibras, p. i. cant. 2.

    Religion will requite all the honour we can do it, by the blessings it will draw down upon us. Tillotson.

    Our voluntary actions are the precedent causes of good and evil, which they draw after them, and bring upon us. Locke.

    What would a man value acres of excellent land, ready cultivated, and well stocked too with cattle, where he had no hopes of commerce with other parts of the world to draw money to him, by the sale of the product of the island. Locke.

    Those elucidations have given rise or increase to his doubts, and drawn obscurity upon places of scripture. Locke.

    His sword ne'er fell but on the guilty head;
    Oppression, tyranny, and pow'r usurp'd,
    Draw all the vengeance of his arm upon 'em.
    Addis. Cato.

  18. To convey secretly.

    The liers in wait draw themselves along. Judg. xx. 37.

    In process of time, and as their people increased, they drew themselves more westerly towards the Red sea. Raleigh's History of the World.

  19. To protract; to lengthen.

                      Do you note
    How much her grace is alter'd on the sudden?
    How long her face is drawn? how pale she looks,
    And of an earthly cold? Observe her eyes!
    Shak. H. VIII.

    If we shall meet again with more delight,
    Then draw my life in length; let me sustain,
    In hopes of his embrace, the worst of pain.
    Dryden's Æn.

    In some similes men draw their comparisons into minute particulars of no importance. Felton on the Classicks.

  20. To utter lingeringly.

    The brand amid' the flaming fuel thrown,
    Or drew, or seem'd to draw, a dying groan.
    Dryd. Fables.

  21. To represent by picture; or in fancy.

                                    I do arm myself
    To welcome the condition of the time;
    Which cannot look more hideously on me,
    Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.
    Shakesp. Henry IV.

    With his other hand, thus o'er his brow,
    He falls to such perusal of my face,
    As he would draw it.
    Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    Draw the whole world expecting who should reign,
    After this combat, o'er the conquer'd main.
    Waller.

                From the soft assaults of love
    Poets and painters never are secure:
    Can I, untouch'd, the fair one's passions move,
    Or thou draw beauty, and not feel its pow'r?
    Prior.

  22. To form a representation.

    The emperor one day took up a pencil which fell from the hand of Titian, who was then drawing his picture; and upon the compliment which Titian made him on that occasion, he said, Titian deserves to be served by Cæsar. Dryden's Dufres.

  23. To derive; to have from some original cause or donor.

    Shall freeborn men, in humble awe,
    Submit to servile shame;
    Who from consent and custom draw
    The same right to be rul'd by law,
    Which kings pretend to reign?
    Dryden.

    Several wits entered into commerce with the Egyptians, and from them drew the rudiments of sciences. Temple.

  24. To deduce as from postulates.

    From the events and revolutions of these governments are drawn the usual instruction of princes and statesmen. Temple.

  25. To imply; to produce as a consequential inference.

    What shews the force of the inference but a view of all the intermediate ideas that draw in the conclusion, or proposition inferred. Locke.

  26. To allure; to entice.

              I'll raise such artificial sprights,
    As, by the strength of their illusion,
    Shall draw him on to his confusion.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    We have drawn them from the city. Jos. viii. 6.

    Draw me not away from the wicked. Ps. xxviii. 3.

    Having the art, by empty promises and threats, to draw others to his purpose. Hayward.

    The Spaniards, that were in the town, had so good memories of their losses in their former sallies, as the confidence of an army, which came for their deliverance, could not draw them forth again. Bacon's War with Spain.

  27. To lead as a motive.

                Your way is shorter;
    My purposes do draw me much about.
    Sh. Ant. and Cleop.

    Æneas wond'ring stood, then ask'd the cause
    Which to the stream the crowding people draws.
    Dryden.

  28. To persuade to follow.

                          The poet
    Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
    Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
    But musick, for the time, doth change his nature.
    Shakesp.

  29. To induce; to persuade.

    The English lords, to strengthen their parties, did ally themselves with the Irish, and drew them in to dwell among them, and gave their children to be fostered by them. Davies.

    Their beauty or unbecomingness are of more force to draw or deter their imitation than discourses. Locke.

  30. To win; to gain: a metaphor from cards.

    This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
    That which my father loses.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

  31. To receive; to take up.

    For thy three thousand ducats here is fix.
    — If every ducat in six thousand ducats
    Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
    I would not draw them, I would have my bond.
    Shakesp.

  32. To extort; to force.

    So sad an object, and so well express'd,
    Drew sighs and groans from the griev'd hero's breast.
    Dryd.

                    Can you e'er forget
    The fond embraces, and repeated blessings,
    Which you drew from him in your last farewel?
    Add. Cato.

  33. To wrest; to distort.

    I wish that both you and others would cease from drawing the Scriptures to your fantasies and affections. Whitgift.

  34. To compose; to form in writing.

    In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. Shakesp. Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Clerk, draw a deed of gift. Shakes. Merch. of Venice.

    The report is not unartfully drawn, in the spirit of a pleader, who can find the most plausible topicks. Swift.

    Shall Ward draw contracts with a statesman's skill? Pope.

  35. To withdraw from judicial notice.

    Go, wash thy face, and draw thy action; come, thou must not be in this humour with me. Shakespeare.

  36. To eviscerate; to embowel.

    In private draw your poultry, clean your tripe,
    And from your eels their slimy substance wipe.
    King's Cook.

  37. To Draw in. To apply to any purpose by distortion or violence.

    A dispute, where every little straw is laid hold on, and every thing that can but be drawn in any way, to give colour to the argument, is advanced with ostentation. Locke.

  38. To Draw in. To contract; to pull back.

    Now, sporting muse, draw in the flowing reins;
    Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains.
    Gay.

  39. To Draw in. To inveigle; to intice.

    It was the prostitute faith of faithless miscreants that drew them in, and deceived them. South's Sermons.

  40. To Draw off. To extract by distillation.

    Authors, who have thus drawn off the spirits of their thoughts, should lie still for some time, 'till their minds have gathered fresh strength, and by reading, reflection, and conversation, laid in a new stock of elegancies, sentiments, and images of nature. Addison's Freeholder, № 40.

  41. To drain out by a vent.

    Stop your vessel, and have a little vent-hole stopped with a spill, which never allow to be pulled out 'till you draw off a great quantity. Mortimer's Husbandry.

  42. To Draw off. To withdraw; to abstract.

    It draws mens minds off from the bitterness of party. Add.

  43. To Draw on. To occasion; to invite.

    Under colour of war, which either his negligence draws on, or his practices procured, he levied a subsidy. Hayward.

  44. To Draw on. To cause; to bring by degrees.

    The examination of the subtile matter would draw on the consideration of the nice controversies that perplex philosophers. Boyle on Fluids.

  45. To Draw over. To raise in a still.

    I took rectified oil of vitriol, and by degrees mixed with it essential oil of wormwood, drawn over with water in a limbeck. Boyle on Colours.

  46. To Draw over. To persuade to revolt; to induce to change a party.

    Some might be brought into his interests by money, others drawn over by fear. Addison on the State of the War.

    One of the differing sentiments would have drawn Luther over to his party. Atterbury.

  47. To Draw out. To protract; to lengthen.

              He must not only die the death,
    But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
    To ling'ring sufferance.
    Shakesp. Measure for Measure.

    Virgil has drawn out the rules of tillage and planting into two books, which Hesiod has dispatched in half a one. Addis.

  48. To Draw out. To extract; to pump out by insinuation.

    Philoclea found her, and, to draw out more, said she, I have often wondered how such excellencies could be. Sidney.

  49. To Draw out. To call to action; to detach for service; to range.

          Draw out a file, pick man by man,
    Such who dare die, and dear will fell their death.
    Dryden.

                        Th' Arcadian king
    And Trojan youth the same oblations bring;
    Next of his men, and ships, he makes review,
    Draws out the best and ablest of the crew.
    Dryden's Æn.

  50. To range in battle.

    Let him desire his superior officer, that the next time he is drawn out the challenger may be posted near him. Collier.

  51. To Draw up. To form in order of battle.

    The lord Bernard, with the king's troops, seeing there was no enemy left on that side, drew up in a large field opposite to the bridge. Clarendon, b. viii.

                So Muley-Zeydan found us
    Drawn up in battle to receive the charge.
    Dryd. Don Sebast.

  52. To Draw up. To form in writing; to contrive.

    To make a sketch, or a more perfect model of a picture, is, in the language of poets, to draw up the scenary of a play. Dry.

    A paper might be drawn up, and signed by two or three hundred principal gentlemen. Swift.

Sources: The Bible - 2. Chronicles (5) · The Bible - 2. Samuel (10) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Boyle, Robert (84) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Cheyne, George (26) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Collier, Jeremy (24) · Davies, John (45) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ecclesiasticus (27) · The Bible - Exodus (25) · Felton, Henry (14) · Gay, John (51) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Hayward, John (42) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · The Bible - James (3) · The Bible - Jeremiah (13) · The Bible - Joshua (4) · The Bible - Judges (13) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · King, William (13) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (39) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (28) · Milton, John (449) · Mortimer, John (62) · The Bible - Nahum (3) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · The Bible - Psalms (29) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · Sidney, Philip (140) · South, Robert (158) · Suckling, John (16) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Temple, William (54) · Tillotson, John (68) · Waller, Edmund (63) · Whitgift, John (6) · Wiseman, Richard (68)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Draw (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 1, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2744.


  1. “He could not draw the dagger out of his belly” comes from Judges iii. 22..

  2. Brandi on May 1st, 2013 at 5:18 pm
  3. “Draw the water for the siege” comes from Nah. iii. 14. (short for “Nahum” – there is no “Nath”).

  4. Brandi on May 1st, 2013 at 5:23 pm
  5. “They drew out the staves of the ark” comes from 2 Chron. v. 9. The verse number is difficult to read in my copies of the dictionary, but it appears to be erroneously a 2.

  6. Brandi on May 1st, 2013 at 5:33 pm

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