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 758, 758

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 758, 758

Fa'cile. adj. [facile, French; facilis, Latin.]

  1. Easy; not difficult; performable or attainable with little labour.

    Then also those poets, which are now counted most hard, will be both facile and pleasant. Milton on Education.

    To confine the imagination is as facile a performance as the Goteham's design of hedging in the cuckoo. Glanv. Sceps.

    By dividing it into parts so distinct, the order in which they shall find each disposed, will render the work facile and delightful. Evelyn's Kalendar.

    This may at first seem perplexed with many difficulties, yet many things may be suggested to make it more facile and commodious. Wilkin's Math. Magic.

  2. Easily surmountable; easily conquerable.

    The facile gates of hell too slightly barr'd. Milt. P. Lost.

  3. Easy of access or converse; not haughty; not supercilious; not austere.

    I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,
    Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride;
    I meant each softest virtue there should meet,
    Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
    Ben. Johnson's Epigrams.

    Raphael now, to Adam's doubt propos'd,
    Benevolent and facile, thus reply'd.
    Milton's Paradise Lost.

  4. Pliant; flexible; easily persuaded to good or bad; ductile to a fault.

    Too facile then, thou did'st not much gainsay;
    Nay did'st permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
    Milt. P. Lost.

    Since Adam and his facile consort Eve
    Lost Paradise, deceiv'd by me.
    Milton's Paradise Regain'd.

    Some men are of that facile temper, that they are wrought upon by every object they converse with, whom any affectionate discourse, or serious sermon, or any notable accident, shall put into a fit of religion, which yet usually lasts no longer than till somewhat else comes in their way. Calamy.

Sources: Calamy, Benjamin (8) · Evelyn, John (10) · Glanvill, Joseph (53) · Jonson, Ben (70) · Milton, John (449) · Wilkins, John (32)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · French (385) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Facile." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 26, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/facile/.

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