A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Green (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 937

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 937

Green. adj. [grun, German; green, Dutch.]

  1. Having a colour formed commonly by compounding blue and yellow; of the colour of the leaves of trees or herbs. The green colour is said to be most favourable to the sight.

    The general colour of plants is green, which is a colour that no flower is of: there is a greenish primrose, but it is pale, and scarce a green. Bacon's Natural History.

    Groves for ever green. Pope.

  2. Pale; sickly: from whence we call the maid's disease the green sickness, or chlorosis. Like it is Sappho's χλωροτέρη πόιας.

                    Was the hope drunk
    Wherein you drest yourself? Hath it slept since?
    And wakes it now to look so green and pale
    At what it did so freely?
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    There's never any of these demure boys come to any proof: they fall into a kind of male green sickness. Shak. Henry IV.

    'Till the green sickness and love's force betray'd
    To death's remorseless arms th' unhappy maid.
    Garth.

  3. Flourishing; fresh; undecayed: from trees in Spring.

  4. New; fresh: as, a green wound.

    The door is open, sir; there lies your way:
    You may be jogging while your boots are green.
    Shakesp.

                Griefs are green;
    And all thy friends, which thou must make thy friends,
    Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out.
    Sh. H. IV.

                In a vault,
    Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
    Lies festering in his blood.
    Shakes. Romeo and Juliet.

    A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well. Bacon, Essay 4.

  5. Not dry.

    If a spark of error have thus far prevailed, falling even where the wood was green, and farthest off from any inclination unto furious attempts; must not the peril thereof be greater in men, whose minds are of themselves as dry fewel, apt beforehand unto tumults? Hooker, Dedication.

    Of fragility the cause is an impotency to be extended, and therefore stone is more fragil than metal, and so dry wood is more fragil than green. Bacon's Natural History.

    If you but consider a piece of green wood burning in a chimney, you will readily discern, in the disbanded parts of it, the four elements. Boyle.

    The green do often heat the ripe, and the ripe, so heated, give fire to the green. Mortimer's Husbandry.

  6. Not roasted; half raw.

    Under this head we may rank those words which signify different ideas, by a sort of an unaccountable far-fetched analogy, or distant resemblance, that fancy has introduced between one thing and another; as when we say the meat is green, when it is half roasted. Watts's Logick.

  7. Unripe; immature; young; because fruits are green before they are ripe.

                    My sallad days,
    When I was green in judgment, cold in blood!
    Shakesp.

    O charming youth, in the first op'ning page;
    So many graces in so green an age.
    Dryden.

                You'll find a difference
    Between the promise of his greener days,
    And these he masters now.
    Shakesp. Henry V.

    If you would fat green geese, shut them up when they are about a month old. Mortimer's Husbandry.

    Stubble geese at Michaelmas are seen
    Upon the spit, next May produces green.
    King's Cookery.

Sources: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (50) · Bacon, Francis (343) · Boyle, Robert (69) · Dryden, John (686) · Garth, Samuel (16) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (66) · Shakespeare's Henry V (61) · Hooker, Richard (150) · King, William (10) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (119) · Mortimer, John (51) · Pope, Alexander (359) · Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (41) · Sappho (1) · Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (66) · Watts, Isaac (102)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Green (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: March 8, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=9300.


  1. χλωροτέρη πόιας = pale green.

    The full bit by Sappho (last stanza of fragment 2 or 31, depending on the numbering) is as follows:

    ἀ δέ μίδρως κακχέεται, τρόμος δέ
    παῖσαν ἄγρει, χλωροτέρα δὲ ποίας
    ἔμμι, τεθνάκην δ’ ὀλίγω ‘πιδεύης
    φαίνομαι [ἄλλα].

    And cold drops fall; and tremblings frail
    Seize every limb; and grassy pale
    I grow; and then–together fall
    Both sight and sound.
    (John Herman Merivale, 1833)

  2. Brandi on March 8th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

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