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 66

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 66

Abu'sive. adj. [from abuse.]

  1. Practising abuse.

    The tongue mov'd gently first, and speech was low,
    Till wrangling science taught it noise and show,
    And wicked wit arose, thy most abusive foe.
    Pope's Miscell.

    Dame Nature, as the learned show,
    Provides each animal its foe;
    Hounds hunt the hare, the wily fox
    Devours your geese, the wolf your flocks.
    Thus envy pleads a natural claim,
    To persecute the muse's fame,
    On poets in all times abusive,
    From Homer down to Pope inclusive.
    Swift's Miscellanies.

  2. Containing abuse; as, an abusive lampoon.

    Next, Comedy appear'd with great applause,
    Till her licentious and abusive tongue
    Waken'd the magistrates coercive pow'r.

  3. Deceitful; a sense little used, yet not improper.

    It is verified by a number of examples, that whatsoever is gained by an abusive treaty, ought to be restored in integrum. Bacon's Considerations on War with Spain.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Dillon, Wentworth (Roscommon) (31) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

Attributes: Adjective (426)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Abusive." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 31, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/abusive/.

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