A Dictionary of the English Language
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Dread (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 649

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 649

Dread. adj. [dræd, Saxon.]

  1. Terrible; frightful.

                That e'er this tongue of mine,
    That laid the sentence of dread banishment
    On yond' proud man, should take it off again
    With words of sooth!
    Shakespeare's Richard II.

    It cannot be, but thou hast murther'd him:
    So should a murtherer look, so dread, so grim.

    To be expos'd against the warring winds?
    To stand against the deep dread bolted thunder.

    Be sure, and terrour, seiz'd the rebel host,
    When, coming towards them, so dread they saw
    The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd.
    Milt. P. Lost.

  2. Awful; venerable in the highest degree.

          Thou, attended gloriously from heav'n,
    Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
    The summoning archangels to proclaim
    Thy dread tribunal.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. iii. l. 323.

                    From this descent
    Celestial virtues rising, will appear
    More glorious and more dread than from no fall.

  3. This seems to be the meaning of that controverted phrase dread majesty. Some of the old acts of parliament are said in the preface to be metuendissimi regis, our dread sovereign's.

Sources: Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (28) · Milton, John (449) · Shakespeare's Richard II (40)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Dread (adjective)." 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/dread-adjective/.

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