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 531

Da'lliance. n.s. [from dally.]

  1. Interchange of caresses; acts of fondness.

    Look thou be true: do not give dalliance
    Too much the rein: the strongest oaths are straw
    To th' fire i' th' blood.
    Shakespeare's Tempest.

    Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
    Wanted; nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
    Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,
    Alone as they.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. iv. l. 332.

                    I'll head my people;
    Then think of dalliance when the danger's o'er:
    My warlike spirits work now another way,
    And my soul's tun'd to trumpets.
    Dryden's Don Sebastian.

  2. Conjugal conversation.

    The giant, self-dismayed with the sound,
    Where he with his Duessa dalliance found,
    In haste came rushing forth from inner bow'r.
    Fairy Queen.

    That, not mystick, where the sapient king
    Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
    Milt. Par. Lost.

            Since thou claim'st me for thy sire,
    And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledge
    Of dalliance had with thee in heav'n, and joys
    Then sweet, now sad to mention.
    Milton's Paradise Lost.

  3. Delay; procrastination.

    Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain;
    Both wind and tide stay for this gentleman;
    And I, to blame, have held him here too long. —
    — Good lord, you use this dalliance to excuse
    Your breach of promise.
    Shakesp. Comedy of Errours.

Sources: Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors (24) · Dryden, John (788) · Milton, John (449) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Shakespeare's Tempest (50)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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

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