A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Fast (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 776

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 776

Fast. n.s. [from the verb.]

  1. Abstinence from food.

    A thousand men have broke their fasts today,
    That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown.

    Where will this end? Four times ten days I've pass'd,
    Wand'ring this woody maze, and human food
    Nor tasted, nor had appetite; that fast
    To virtue I impute not, or count part
    Of what I suffer here.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ii.

    Happy and innocent were the ages of our fore-fathers, who broke their fasts with herbs and roots; and when they were permitted flesh, eat it only dressed with hunger and fire. Taylor.

    She's gone unkindly, and refus'd to cast
    One glance to feed me for so long a fast.
    Dryd. Tyran. Love.

  2. Religious mortification by abstinence; religious humiliation.

    We humble ourselves before God this day, not merely by the outward solemnities of a fast, but with afflicting our souls as well as bodies for our sins. Atterbury's Sermons.

    Nor pray'rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain;
    Nor tears, for ages, taught to flow in vain.

Sources: Atterbury, Francis (75) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3 (39) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Taylor, Jeremy (57)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Fast (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 25, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/fast-noun/.

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