A Dictionary of the English Language
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Mother (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1327

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1327

Móther. n.s. [moðor, Saxon; moder, Danish; moeder, Dutch.]

  1. A woman that has born a child; correlative to son or daughter.

    Let thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear
    Thy dangerous stoutness.
    Shakespeare's Coriolanus.

    Come sit down every mother's son,
    And rehearse your parts.
    Shakespeare.

    I had not so much of man in me,
    But all my mother came into mine eyes,
    And gave me up to tears.
    Shakesp. Henry V.

  2. That which has produced any thing.

            Alas, poor country! It cannot
    Be call'd our mother, but our grave.
    Shakespeare.

    The resemblance of the constitution and diet of the inhabitants to those of their mother country, occasion a great affinity in the popular diseases. Arbuthnot on Air.

    The strongest branch leave for a standard, cutting off the rest close to the body of the mother plant. Mortimer's Husb.

  3. That which has preceded in time: as, a mother church to chapels.

  4. That which requires reverence and obedience.

    The good of mother church, as well as that of civil society, renders a judicial practice necessary. Ayliffe's Parergon.

  5. Hysterical passion; so called, as being imagined peculiar to women.

    This stopping of the stomach might be the mother; forasmuch as many were troubled with mother fits, although few returned to have died of them. Graunt's Bills.

  6. A familiar term of address to an old woman; or to a woman dedicated to religious austerities.

  7. Mother in law. A husband's or wife's mother. Ains.

    I am come to set at variance the daughter in law against the mother in law. Matth. x. 35.

  8. [Moeder, Dutch, from modder, mud.] A thick substance concentrating in liquors; the lees or scum concreted.

    If the body be liquid, and not apt to putrefy totally, it will cast up a mother, as the mothers of distilled waters. Bacon.

    Potted fowl, and fish come in so fast,
    That ere the first is out the second stinks,
    And mouldy mother gathers on the brinks.
    Dryden.

  9. [More properly modder; modde, Dutch.] A young girl. Now totally obsolete.

    A sling for a mother, a bow for a boy,
    A whip for a carter.
    Tusser's Husbandry.

Sources: Ainsworth, Robert (56) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Ayliffe, John (43) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Dryden, John (788) · Graunt, John (10) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · The Bible - Matthew (21) · Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (28) · Mortimer, John (62) · Tusser, Thomas (25)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Mother (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 9, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=6416.


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