A Dictionary of the English Language
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Fellow (noun)

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Féllow. n.s. [quasi, to follow, Minshew; from fe, faith, and laʒg, bound, Saxon, Junius; fallow, Scottish.]

  1. A companion; one with whom we consort.

    In youth I had twelve fellows like unto myself, but not one of them came to a good end. Ascham's Schoolmaster.

                    To be your fellow,
    You may deny me; but I'll be your servant,
    Whether you will or no.
    Shakespeare's Tempest.

    Have we not plighted each our holy oath,
    That one should be the common good of both;
    One soul should both inspire, and neither prove
    His fellow's hindrance in pursuit of love?

  2. An associate; one united in the same affair.

    Each on his fellow for assistance calls;
    At length the fatal fabrick mounts the walls.
    Dryden's Virg.

  3. One of the same kind.

    Let partial spirits still aloud complain,
    Think themselves injur'd that they cannot reign;
    And own no liberty, but where they may
    Without controul upon their fellows prey.

    A shepherd had one favourite dog: he fed him with his own hand, and took more care of him than of any of his fellows. L'Estrange's Fables.

  4. Equal; peer.

                    Chieftain of the rest
    I chose him here: the earth shall him allow;
    His fellows late, shall be his subjects now.
    Fairfax, b. i.

    So you are to be hereafter fellows, and no longer servants. Sidney.

  5. One thing suited to another; one of a pair.

    When virtue is lodged in a body, that seems to have been prepared for the reception of vice: the soul and the body do not seem to be fellows. Addison's Spectator, № 86.

  6. One like another: as, this knave hath not his fellow.

  7. A familiar appellation used sometimes with fondness; sometimes with esteem; but generally with some degree of contempt.

    This is Othello's ancient, as I take it.
    — The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.
    Shakes. Othello.

    An officer was in danger to have lost his place, but his wife made his peace; whereupon a pleasant fellow said, that he had been crushed, but that he saved himself upon his horns. Bacon, Apophthegm 4.

    Full fifteen thousand lusty fellows
    With fire and sword the fort maintain;
    Each was a Hercules, you tell us,
    Yet out they march'd like common men.

  8. A word of contempt: the foolish mortal; the mean wretch; the sorry rascal.

    Those great fellows scornfully receiving them, as foolish birds fallen into their net, it pleased the eternal justice to make them suffer death by their hands. Sidney, b. ii.

    Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
    By Rodorigo, and fellows that are 'scap'd:
    He's almost slain, and Rodorigo dead.
    Shakesp. Othello.

    I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks he hath no drowning mark about him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Shakespeare's Tempest.

    Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
    Had still kept loyal to possession;
    And left me in reputeless banishment,
    A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
    Shakesp. Henry IV.

    How oft the sight of means, to do ill deeds,
    Makes deeds ill done? for had'st not thou been by,
    A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
    Quoted, and sign'd to do a deed of shame,
    This murder had not come into my mind.
    Shakes. K. John.

    The Moor's abus'd by some most villainous knave,
    Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
    Shak. Othell.

    The fellow had taken more fish than he could spend while they were sweet. L'Estrange.

    As next of kin, Achilles' arms I claim;
    This fellow would ingraft a foreign name
    Upon our stock, and the Sisyphian seed
    By fraud and theft asserts his father's breed.

    You will wonder how such an ordinary fellow, as this Mr. Wood, could have got his majesty's broad seal. Swift.

    You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
    Or, cobler like, the parson will be drunk,
    Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
    The rest is all but leather and prunella.
    Pope's Ess. on Man.

  9. Sometimes it implies a mixture of pity with contempt.

    The provost commanded his men to hang him up on the nearest tree: then the fellow cried out that he was not the miller, but the miller's man. Hayward.

  10. A member of a college that shares its revenues.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Ascham, Roger (10) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Dryden, John (788) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Hayward, John (42) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 (46) · Junius, Francis (23) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Minsheu, John (8) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spectator (140) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Tempest (50) · Waller, Edmund (63)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Fellow (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 5, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/fellow-noun/.

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