A Dictionary of the English Language
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Habit (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 954

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 954

Hábit. n.s. [habitus, Latin.]

  1. State of anything: as, habit of body.

  2. Dress; accoutrement.

                                          I shifted
    Into a madman's rags, t' assume a semblance
    The very dogs disdain'd; and in this habit
    Met I my father.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

    If you have any justice, any pity;
    If ye be any thing, but churchmen's habits.
    Shakespeare.

    Both the poets being dressed in the same English habit, story compared with story, judgment may be made betwixt them. Dryden's Fables, Preface.

    The scenes are old, the habits are the same
    We wore last year.
    Dryden's Indian Emperor.

    There are among the statues several of Venus, in different habits. Addison on Italy.

    The clergy are the only set of men who wear a distinct habit from others. Swift.

  3. Habit is a power or ability in man of doing any thing, when it has been acquired by frequent doing the same thing. Locke.

    He hath a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine. Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

  4. Custom; inveterate use.

    This is the last fatal step but one, which is, by frequent repetition of the sinful act, to continue and persist in it, 'till at length it settles into a fixed confirmed habit of sin; which being properly that which the apostle calls the finishing of sin, ends certainly in death; death not only as to merit, but also as to actual infliction. South's Sermons.

    No civil broils have since his death arose,
    But faction now by habit does obey;
    And wars have that respect for his repose,
    As winds for halcyons when they breed at sea.
    Dryden.

    The force of education is so great, that we may mould the minds and manners of the young into what shape we please, and give the impressions of such habits as shall ever afterwards remain. Atterbury's Sermons.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · South, Robert (158) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Habit (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 22, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=4032.


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