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

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1013

Hook. n.s. [hoce, Saxon; hoeck, Dutch.]

  1. Any thing bent so as to catch hold: as, a shepherd's hook and pot hooks.

    This falling not, for that they had not far enough undermined it, they assayed with great hooks and strong ropes to have pulled it down. Knolles.

  2. The curvated wire on which the bait is hung for fishes, and with which the fish is pierced.

              Like unto golden hooks,
    That from the foolish fish their baits do hide.
    Spenser.

        My bended hook shall pierce
    Their slimy jaws.
    Shakes. Ant. and Cleopatra.

    Though divine Plato thus of pleasures thought,
    They us with hooks and baits, like fishes, caught.
    Denham.

  3. A snare; a trap.

        A shop of all the qualities that man
    Loves women for, besides that hook of wiving,
    Fairness, which strikes the eye.
    Shakesp. Cymbeline.

  4. A sickle to reap corn.

    Pease are commonly reaped with a hook at the end of a long stick. Mortimer's Husbandry.

  5. An iron to seize the meat in the caldron.

    About the caldron many cooks accoil'd,
    With hooks and ladles, as need did require;
    The while the viands in the vessel boil'd.
    Fairy Queen, b. ii.

  6. Any instrument to cut or lop with.

    Not that I'd lop the beauties from his book,
    Like slashing Bentley with his desperate hook.
    Pope.

  7. The part of the hinge fixed to the post: whence the proverb, off the hooks, for in disorder.

                  My doublet looks,
    Like him that wears it, quite off o' the hooks.
    Cleaveland.

    She was horribly bold, meddling and expensive, easily put off the hooks, and monstrous hard to be pleased again. L'Estr.

    While Sheridan is off the hooks,
    And friend Delany at his books.
    Swift.

  8. Hook. [In husbandry.] A field sown two years running. Ains.

  9. Hook or Crook. One way or other; by any expedient; by any means direct or oblique.

    Which he by hook or crook had gather'd,
    And for his own inventions father'd.
    Hudibras, p. iii.

    He would bring him by hook or crook into his quarrel. Dryd.

Sources: Ainsworth, Robert (56) · Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Cleveland, John (10) · Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · Knolles, Richard (44) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Mortimer, John (62) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Hook (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 5, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2963.


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