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 188

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 188

A'wful. adj. [from awe and full.]

  1. That which strikes with awe, or fills with reverence.

    So awful, that with honour thou may'st love
    Thy mate; who sees, when thou art seen least wise.
    Milt. Par. Lost, b. viii. l. 577.

                    I approach thee thus, and gaze
    Insatiate; I thus single; nor have fear'd,
    Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'd,
    Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair!
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ix.

  2. Worshipful: in authority; invested with dignity. This sense is obsolete.

    Know then, that some of us are gentlemen,
    Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth
    Thrust from the company of awful men.
    Shakesp. Two Gentlemen of Verona.

  3. Struck with awe; timorous; scrupulous. This sense occurs but rarely.

    It is not nature and strict reason, but a weak and awful reverence for antiquity, and the vogue of fallible men. Watts's Improvement of the Mind.

Sources: Milton, John (449) · Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (41) · Watts, Isaac (116)

Attributes: Adjective (426)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Awful." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 20, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/awful/.

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