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 713

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 713

Épithet. n.s. [ἐπίθετον.]

  1. An adjective denoting any quality good or bad: as, the verdant grove, the craggy mountain's lofty head.

    I affirm with phlegm, leaving the epithets of false, scandalous and villainous to the author. Swift.

  2. It is used by some writers improperly for title, name.

    The epithet of shades belonged more properly to the darkness than the refreshment. Decay of Piety.

  3. It is used improperly for phrase, expression.

    For which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
    — Suffer love! a good epithet: I do suffer love indeed; for I love thee against my will.

Sources: Allestree, Richard (89) · Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (23) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Epithet." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 16, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/epithet/.

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