A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Dally (verb neuter)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 531, 532

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 531, 532

To Da'lly. v.n. [dollen, Dutch, to trifle.]

  1. To trifle; to play the fool; to amuse one's self with idle play; to lose time in trifles.

                    Take up thy master:
    If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
    With thine, and all that offer to defend him,
    Stand in assured loss.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

    He left his cur, and laying hold
    Upon his arms, with courage bold
    Cried out, 'tis now no time to dally,
    The enemy begin to rally.
    Hudibras, p. i. cant. 3.

    We have trifled too long already: it is madness to dally any longer, when our souls are at stake. Calamy's Sermons.

    One hundred thousand pounds must be raised; for there is no dallying with hunger. Swift.

  2. To exchange caresses; to play the wanton; to fondle.

    He is not lolling on a lewd love bed,
    But on his knees at meditation;
    Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
    But meditating with two deep divines.
    Shakesp. Rich. III.

  3. To sport; to play; to frolick.

    She her airie buildeth in the cedar's top,
    And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun.
    Shak. R. III.

  4. To delay.

    They that would not be reformed by that correction, wherein he dallied with them, shall feel a judgment worthy of God. Wisd. xii. 26.

Sources: Butler, Samuel (98) · Calamy, Benjamin (8) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Shakespeare's Richard III (63) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · The Bible - Wisdom (12)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Verb Neuter (131)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Dally (verb neuter)." 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/dally-verb-neuter/.

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