A Dictionary of the English Language
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King (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1151

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1151

King. n.s. [A contraction of the Teutonick word cuning, or cyning, the name of sovereign dignity. In the primitive tongue it signifies stout or valiant, the kings of most nations being, in the beginning, chosen by the people on account of their valour and strength. Verstegan.]

  1. Monarch; supreme governour.

    The great king of kings,
    Hath in the table of his law commanded,
    That thou shalt do no murder.
    Shakes. R. III.

    A substitute shines brightly as a king,
    Until a king be by; and then his state
    Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
    Into the main of waters.
    Shak. Merch. of Venice.

    True hope is swift, and flies with swallows wings;
    Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
    Shakesp.

    The king becoming graces,
    As justice, verity, temp'rance, stableness,
    Bounty, persev'rance, mercy, lowliness,
    Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
    I have no relish of them.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    Thus states were form'd; the name of king unknown,
    'Till common int'rest plac'd the sway in one;
    'Twas virtue only, or in arts or arms,
    Diffusing blessings, or averting harms,
    The same which in a sire the sons obey'd,
    A prince the father of a people made.
    Pope.

  2. It is taken by Bacon in the feminine: as prince also is.

    Ferdinand and Isabella, kings of Spain, recovered the great and rich kingdom of Granada from the Moors. Bacon.

  3. A card with the picture of a king.

            The king unseen
    Lurk'd in her hand, and mourn'd his captive queen.
    Pope.

  4. King at Arms, or of heralds, a principal officer at arms, that has the pre-eminence of the society; of whom there are three in number, viz. Garter, Norroy, and Clarencieux. Phillips.

    A letter under his own hand was lately shewed me by sir William Dugdale, king at arms. Walton.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Phillips, Edward (1) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Richard III (63) · Rowlands, Richard (Verstegen) (1) · Walton, Izaak (10)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269) · Teutonic (5)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "King (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 22, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=8771.


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