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Work (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2296, 2297

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2296, 2297

To Work. v.a.

  1. To make by degrees.

    Sidelong he works his way. Milton.

    Through winds, and waves, and storms he works his way,
    Impatient for the battle: one day more
    Will set the victor thundering at our gates.
    Addison.

  2. To labour; to manufacture.

    He could have told them of two or three gold mines, and a silver mine, and given the reason why they forbare to work them at that time, and when they left off from working them. Raleigh's Apology.

    The chaos, by the Divine Power, was wrought from one form into another, 'till it settled into an habitable earth. Burn.

    This mint is to work off part of the metals found in the neighbouring mountains. Addison.

    The young men acknowledged in love-letters, sealed with a particular wax, with certain enchanting words wrought upon the seals, that they died for her. Tatler.

    They now begin to work the wond'rous frame,
    To shape the parts, and raise the vital flame.
    Blackmore.

    The industry of the people works up all their native commodities to the last degree of manufacture. Swift.

  3. To bring by action into any state.

    So the pure limpid stream, when foul with stains
    Of rushing torrents and descending rains,
    Works itself clear, and, as it runs, refines,
    'Till by degrees the floating mirrour shines.
    Addison's Cato.

  4. To influence by successive impulses.

    If you would work any man, know his nature and fashions, and so lead him. Bacon.

    To hasten his destruction, come yourself,
    And work your royal father to his ruin.
    A. Philips.

  5. To produce; to effect.

            Fly the dreadful war,
    That in thyself thy lesser parts do move,
    Outrageous anger, and woe-working jar.
    Fairy Queen.

    Love worketh no ill to his neighbour. Rom. xiii. 10.

    Our light affliction for a moment worketh for us a far more eternal weight of glory. 2 Cor. iv. 18.

    We might work any effect, not holpen by the co-operation of spirits, but only by the unity of nature. Bacon.

    Moisture, although it doth not pass through bodies without communication of some substance, as heat and cold do, yet it worketh effects by qualifying of the heat and cold. Bacon.

    Such power, being above all that the understanding of man can conceive, may well work such wonders. Drummond.

    God, only wise, to punish pride of wit,
    Among mens wits hath this confusion wrought;
    As the proud tow'r, whose points the clouds did hit,
    By tongues confusion was to ruin brought.
    Davies.

            Of the tree,
    Which, tasted, works knowledge of good and evil,
    Thou may'st not: in the day thou eat'st, thou dy'st.
    Milton.

  6. To manage.

    Mere personal valour could not supply want of knowledge in building and working ships. Arbuthnot.

  7. To put to labour; to exert.

    Now, Marcus, thy virtue's on the proof;
    Put forth thy utmost strengh, work every nerve,
    And call up all thy father in thy soul.
    Addison's Cato.

  8. To embroider with a needle.

  9. To Work out. To effect by toil.

    Not only every society, but every single person has enough to do to work out his own salvation. Decay of Piety.

    The mind takes the hint from the poet, and works out the rest by the strength of her own faculties. Addison.

  10. To Work out. To eraze; to efface.

    Tears of joy for your returning spilt,
    Work out and expiate our former guilt.
    Dryden.

  11. To Work up. To raise.

    That which is wanting to work up the pity to a greater height, was not afforded me by the story. Dryden.

    This lake resembles a sea, when worked up by storms. Addis.

    The sun, that rolls his chariot o'er their heads,
    Works up more fire and colour in their cheeks.
    Addis. Cato.

    We should inure ourselves to such thoughts, 'till they have worked up our souls into filial awe and love of him. Atterbury.

Sources: The Bible - 2. Corinthians (10) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Allestree, Richard (89) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Blackmore, Richard (24) · Burnet, Thomas (45) · Davies, John (45) · Drummond, William (2) · Dryden, John (788) · Milton, John (449) · Philips, Ambrose (8) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · The Bible - Romans (11) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Tatler (23)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Work (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 27, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=5707.


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