A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 65

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 65

Absu'rd. adj. [absurdus, Lat.]

  1. Unreasonable, without judgment, as used of men.

    Seeming wise men may make shift to get opinion; but let no man choose them for employment; for certainly you had better take for business a man somewhat absurd, than over formal. Bacon's Essay, 27.

  2. Inconsistent, contrary to reason, used of sentiments or practices.

    The thing itself appeared desirable to him, and accordingly he could not but like and desire it; but then, it was after a very irrational absurd way, and contrary to all the methods and principles of a rational agent; which never wills a thing really and properly, but it applies to the means, by which it is to be acquired. South's Sermons.

    A man, who cannot write with wit on a proper subject, is dull and stupid; but one, who shews it in an improper place, is as impertinent and absurd. Addison. Spectator, № 291.

    But grant that those can conquer, those can cheat,
    'Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great:
    Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
    Is but the more a fool, the more a knave.
    Pope's Essay on Man.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Pope, Alexander (393) · South, Robert (158) · Spectator (140)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Absurd." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 30, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/absurd/.

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