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

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 53

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 53

A, in composition, seems to have sometimes the power of the French a in these phrases, a droit, a gauche, &c. and sometimes to be contracted from at; as, aside, aslope, afoot, asleep, athirst, aware.

If this, which he avouches, does appear,
There is no flying hence, nor tarrying here.
I gin to be a weary of the fun;
And with the state of the world were now undone.
Shakespeare's Macbeth.

And now a breeze from shore began to blow,
The sailors ship their oars, and cease to row;
Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their fails
Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales.
Dryden's Ceyx and Alcyone.

A is sometimes redundant; as, arise, arouse, awake; the same with rise, rouse, wake.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136)

Attributes: Composition (3)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "A (composition)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: September 4, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=33.


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