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 292

Broad. adj. [bꞃaꝺ, Saxon.]

  1. Wide; extended in breadth; distinguished from length.

    The weeds that his broad spreading leaves did shelter,
    Are pull'd up root and all by Bolingbroke.
    Shakesp. R. II.

    The top may be justly said to grow broader, as the bottom narrower. Temple.

    Of all your knowledge this vain fruit you have,
    To walk with eyes broad open to your grave.

    So lofty was the pile, a Parthian bow,
    With vigour drawn, must send the shaft below,
    The bottom was full twenty fathom broad.
    Dryden's Fables.

    He launch'd the firy bolt from pole to pole,
    Broad burst the lightnings, deep the thunders roll.

              As cloath'd in cloudy storm,
    Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky.

  2. Large.

    To keep him at a distance from falsehood and cunning, which has always a broad mixture of falsehood; this is the fittest preparation of a child for wisdom. Locke.

  3. Clear; open.

    In mean time he, with cunning to conceal
    All thought of this from others, himself bore
    In broad house, with the wooers us before.
    Chapman's Odyss.

    It no longer seeks the shelter of night and darkness, but appears, in the broadest light. Decay of Piety.

    If children were left alone in the dark, they would be no more afraid than in broad sunshine. Locke.

  4. Gross; coarse.

    The reeve and the miller are distinguished from each other, as much as the lady prioress and the broad speaking gap-toothed wife of Bath. Dryden's Fables, Pref.

    Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound;
    By love, his want of words and wit he found.

    If open vice be what you drive at,
    A name so broad will ne'er connive at.
    Dryden's Albion.

    The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears,
    Less pleasing far than virtue's very tears.

    Room for my lord! three jockeys in his train;
    Six huntsmen with a shout precede his chair;
    He grins, and looks broad nonsense with a stare.

  5. Obscene; fulsome; tending to obscenity.

    As chaste and modest as he is esteemed, it cannot be denied, but in some places he is broad and fulsome. Dryden's. Juv. Ded.

    Though, now arraign'd, he read with some delight;
    Because he seems to chew the cud again,
    When his broad comment makes the text too plain.

  6. Bold; not delicate; not reserved.

    Who can speak broader than he that has no house to put his head in? Such may rail against great buildings. Shakesp.

          From broad words, and 'cause he fail'd
    His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear,
    Macduff lives in disgrace.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

Sources: Allestree, Richard (89) · Chapman, George (6) · Dryden, John (788) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Richard II (40) · Temple, William (54) · Thomson, James (73) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Broad." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 15, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/broad/.

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