A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Acce'ss. n.s. [In some of its senses, it seems derived from accessus, in others, from accessio, Lat. acces, Fr.]

  1. The way by which any thing may be approached.

    There remained very advantageous access for temptations to enter and invade men, the fortifications being very slender, little knowledge of immortality, or any thing beyond this life, and no assurance that repentance would be admitted for sin. Hammond on Fundamentals.

    And here th' access a gloomy grove defends;
    And here th' unnavigable lake extends,
    O'er whose unhappy waters, void of light,
    No bird presumes to steer his airy flight.
    Dyrd. Æneid vi.

  2. The means, or liberty, of approaching either to things or men.

    When we are wrong'd, and would unfold our griefs,
    We are deny'd access unto his person,
    Ev'n by those men that most have done us wrong.
    Shakespeare's Henry IV. p. 2.

    They go commission'd to require a peace,
    And carry presents to procure access.
    Dryd. Æn. vii. l. 209.

                    He grants what they besought;
    Instructed, that to God is no access
    Without Mediator, whose high office now
    Moses in figures bears.
    Milton's Par. Lost, b. xii. l. 239.

  3. Encrease, enlargement, addition.

    The gold was accumulated, and store treasure, for the most part; but the silver is still growing. Besides, infinite is the access of territory and empire by the same enterprise. Bacon's Holy War

    Although to opinion, there be many gods, may seem an access in religion, and such as cannot at all conflict with atheism, yet doth it deductively, and upon inference, include the same; for unity is the inseparable and essential attribute of Deity. Brown's Vulgar Errours, b. i. c. 10.

                    Nor think superfluous their aid;
    I, from the influence of thy looks, receive
    Access in every virtue; in thy sight
    More wise, more watchful, stronger.
    Paradise Lost, b. ix.

                            The reputation
    Of virtuous actions past, if not kept up
    With an access, and fresh supply, of new ones,
    Is lost and soon forgotten.
    Denham's Sophy.

  4. It is sometimes used, after the French, to signify the returns of fits of a distemper; but this sense seems yet scarcely received into our language.

    For as relapses make diseases
    More desperate than their first accesses.
    Hud. p. iii. cant. ii.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Browne, Thomas (203) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · Hammond, Henry (47) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Milton, John (449)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Access." 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/access/.

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