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

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1959, 1960

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 1959, 1960

String. n.s. [strinʒ, Saxon; streng, German and Danish; stringhe Dutch; stringo, Latin.]

  1. A slender rope; a small cord; any slender and flexible band; a riband; any thing tied.

    Any lower bullet hanging upon the other above it, must be conceived, as if the weight of it were in that point where its string touches the upper. Wilkin's Dedalus.

    Round Ormond's knee thou ty'st the mystick string,
    That makes the knight companion to the king.
    Prior.

  2. A thread on which any things are filed.

    Their priests pray by their beads, having a string with a hundred of nutshels upon it; and the repeating of certain words with them they account meritorious. Stilingfleet.

  3. Any set of things filed on a line.

    I have caught two of these dark undermining vermin, and intend to make a string of them, in order to hang them up in one of my papers. Addison's Spectator.

  4. The chord of a musical instrument.

                                The string that jars
    When rudely touch'd, ungrateful to the sense,
    With pleasure feels the master's flying fingers,
    Swells into harmony, and charms the hearers.
    Rowe.

    By the appearance they make in marble, there is not one string-instrument that seems comparable to our violins. Addis.

  5. A small fibre.

    Duckweed putteth forth a little string into the water, from the bottom. Bacon.

    In pulling broom up, the least strings left behind will grow. Mortimer's Husbandry.

  6. A nerve; a tendon.

    The most piteous tale which in recounting,
    His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
    Began to crack.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

    The string of his tongue loosed. Mark xxvii. 35.

  7. The nerve of the bow.

    The wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrows upon the string. Psalm xi. 2.

  8. Any concatenation or series, as a string of propositions.

  9. To have two Strings to the bow. To have two views or two expedients; to have double advantage, or double security.

    No lover has that pow'r
    T' enforce a desperate amour,
    As he that has two strings to's bow,
    And burns for love and money too.
    Hudibras.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · The Bible - Mark (11) · Mortimer, John (62) · Prior, Matthew (162) · The Bible - Psalms (29) · Rowe, Nicholas (21) · Spectator (140) · Stillingfleet, Edward (38) · Wilkins, John (32)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "String (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 16, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=4248.


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