A Dictionary of the English Language
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 98

Aga'inst. prep. [ænᵹon, onᵹonꝺ, Sax.]

  1. In opposition to any person.

    And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. Gen. xvi. 12.

  2. Contrary; opposite, in general.

    That authority of men should prevail with men either against or above reason, is no part of our belief. Hooker.

    He is melancholy without cause, and merry against the hair. Shakesp. Troilus and Cressida.

    We might work any effect without and against matter; and this not holpen by the co-operation of angels or spirits, but only by the unity and harmony of nature. Bacon's Natural Hist.

    The preventing goodness of God does even wrest him from himself, and save him, as it were, against his will. South.

    The god, uneasy till he slept again,
    Resolv'd, at once, to rid himself of pain;
    And, tho' against his custom, call'd aloud,
    Exciting Morpheus, from the sleepy crowd.

    Men often say a thing is against their conscience, when really it is not. Swift's Miscellanies.

  3. In contradiction to any opinion.

    After all that can be said against a thing, this will still be true, that many things possibly are, which we know not of; and that many more things may be than are: and if so, after all our arguments against a thing, it will be uncertain whether it be or not. Tillotson.

    The church-clergy have written the best collection of tracts against popery, that ever appeared in England. Swift.

  4. With contrary motion or tendency; used of material action.

                                Boils and plagues
    Plaister you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd
    Farther than seen, and one infect another
    Against the wind a mile.
    Shakesp. Coriolanus.

    The kite being a bird of prey, and therefore hot, delighteth in the fresh air; and many times flieth against the wind, as trouts and salmons swim against the stream. Bacon.

  5. Contrary to rule or law.

                    If aught against my life
    Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly,
    Against the law of nature, law of nations.
    M. Sam. Agon.

    Against the public sanctions of the peace,
    Against all omens of their ill success;
    With fates averse, the rout in arms resort,
    To force their monarch, and insult the court.
    Dryden's Æn.

  6. Opposite to, in place.

    Against the Tiber's mouth, but far away. Dryden.

  7. To the hurt of another.

    And when thou think'st of her eternity,
    Think not that death against her nature is;
    Think it a birth: and when thou go'st to die,
    Sing like a swan, as if thou went'st to bliss.
    Sir J. Davies.

  8. In provision for; in expectation of.

    This mode of speaking probably had its original from the idea of making provision against, or in opposition to a time of misfortune, but by degrees acquired a neutral sense.

    Thence she them brought into a stately hall,
    Wherein were many tables fair dispred,
    And ready dight with drapets festival,
    Against the viands should be ministred.
    Fairy Queen.

    The like charge was given them against the time they should come to settle themselves in the land promised unto their fathers. Hooker, b. v. § 11.

    Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes,
    Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
    The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
    And then they say no spirit walks abroad;
    The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
    No fairy tales, no witch hath power to charm;
    So hallowed and so gracious is the time.
    Shakesp. Hamlet.

    To that purpose, he made haste to Bristol, that all things might be ready against the prince came thither. Clarendon.

    Against the promis'd time provides with care,
    And hastens in the woof, the robes he was to wear.

    And which I grant to be reasonably and truly said, and only desire they may be remembered against another day. Stillingfl.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Davies, John (45) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Genesis (48) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Milton, John (449) · South, Robert (158) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Stillingfleet, Edward (37) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Tillotson, John (68) · Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (36)

Attributes: Preposition (8) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Against." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 21, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/against/.

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