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 pages 393, 394

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 393, 394

Cloth. n.s. plural cloths or clothes. [clað, Saxon.]

  1. Any thing woven for dress or covering, whether of animal or vegetable substance.

    The Spaniards buy their linen cloths in that kingdom. Swift.

  2. The piece of linen spread upon a table.

    Nor let, like Nævius, every error pass,
    The musty wine, foul cloth; or greasy glass.
    Pope's Hor. Imit.

  3. The canvas on which pictures are delineated.

    I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions. Shakesp. As you like it.

    Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,
    Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe.
    Shak. Tarq. and Luc.

    This idea, which we may call the goddess of painting and of sculpture, descends upon the marble and the cloth, and becomes the original of these arts. Dryden's Pref. to Dufresnoy.

  4. In the plural. Dress; habit; garment; vesture; vestments. Including whatever covering is worn on the body. In this sense always clothes. Pronounced clo's.

    He with him brought Pryene, rich array'd
    In Claribellae's clothes.
    Spenser, b. ii. cant. 4. stanz. 28.

    Take up these clothes here, quickly: carry them to the laundress in Datchet-mead. Shakes. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Strength grows more from the warmth of exercises than of cloaths. Temple.

  5. The covering of a bed.

    Gazing on her midnight foes,
    She turn'd each way her frighted head,
    Then sunk it deep beneath the clothes.

Sources: Shakespeare's As You Like It (40) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece (2) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Temple, William (54)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Cloth." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 5, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/cloth/.

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