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

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 57

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 57

A'bject. adj. [abjectus, Lat. thrown away as of no value.]

  1. Mean, or worthless, spoken of persons.

              That rebellion
    Came like itself in base and abject routs,
    Led on by bloody youth goaded with rage,
    And countenanc'd by boys and beggary.
    Shakesp. Hen. IV

    Honeset men, who tell their sovereigns what they expect from them, and what obedience they shall be always ready to pay them, are not upon an equal foot with such base and abject flatterers; and are therefore always in danger of being the last in the royal favour. Addison's Whig Examiner.

  2. Contemptible, or of no value; used of things.

    I was at first, as other beasts that graze
    The troden herb, of abject thoughts and low.
    Milt. Paradise Lost, b. ix. l. 571.

  3. Without hope or regard; used of condition.

    The rarer thy example stands,
    By how much from the top of wond'rous glory,
    Strongest of mortal men,
    To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall'n.
    Milton's Samson Agonistes.

    We see man and woman in the highest innocence and perfection, and in the most abject state of guilt and infirmity. Addison. Spectator, № 273.

  4. Destitute, mean and despicable; used of actions.

    To what base ends, and by what abject ways,
    Are mortals urg'd thro' sacred lust of praise?
    Pope's Essay on Criticism

    The rapine is so abject and profane,
    They not from trifles, nor from gods refrain.
    Dryden's Juvenal, Sat. 8.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Spectator (140)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Abject (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 12, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=403.


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