A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:

Affront (verb)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 95

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 95

To Affro'nt. v.a. [affronter, Fr. that is, ad frontem stare; ad frontem & contumeliam allidere, to insult a man to his face.]

  1. To meet face to face; to encounter. This seems the genuine and original sense of the word, which was formerly indifferent to good or ill.

                We have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
    That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
    Affront Ophelia.
    Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    The seditious, the next day, affronted the king's forces at the entrance of a highway; whom when they found both ready and resolute to fight, they desired enterparlance, and in the meantime they began to fortify. Sir John Hayward.

  2. To meet, in a hostile manner, front to front.

    His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
    And with their darkness durst affront his light.
    Parad. Lost.

  3. To offer an open insult; to offend avowedly. With respect to this sense, it is observed by Cervantes, that, if a man strikes another on the back, and then runs away, the person so struck is injured, but not affronted; an affront always implying a justification of the act.

    But harm precedes not sin only our foe,
    Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
    Of our integrity.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ix.

            I would learn the cause, why Torrismond,
    Within my palace walls, within my hearing,
    Almost within my sight, affronts a prince,
    Who shortly shall command him.
    Dryden's Spanish Friar.

    This brings to mind Faustina's fondness for the gladiator, and is interpreted as satire. But how can one imagine, that the Fathers would have dared to affront the wife of Aurelius. Addison.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Cervantes, Miguel de (1) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Hayward, John (42) · Milton, John (449)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Verb Active (289)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Affront (verb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: July 10, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/affront-verb/.

johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.