A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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First (adverb)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 806

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 806

First. adv.

  1. Before any thing else; earliest.

    He, not unmindful of his usual art,
    First in dissembled fire attempts to part;
    Then roaring beasts and running streams he tries.

    Thy praise, and thine was then the publick voice,
    First recommended Guiscard to my choice.

    Heav'n, sure, has kept this spot of earth uncurst,
    To shew how all things were created first.

  2. Before any other consideration.

    First, metals are more durable than plants; secondly, they are more solid and hard; thirdly, they are wholly subterraneous; whereas plants are part above earth, and part under the earth. Bacon's Natural History, №. 603.

  3. It has often at before it, and means at the beginning.

    At first the silent venom slid with ease,
    And seiz'd her cooler senses by degrees.
    Dryden's Æn.

    Excepting fish and insects, there are very few or no creatures that can provide for themselves at first, without the assistance of parents. Bentley's Sermons.

  4. First or last. At one hour or another.

    But sure a general doom on man is past,
    And all are fools and lovers first or last.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Bentley, Richard (57) · Dryden, John (788) · Prior, Matthew (162)

Attributes: Adverb (147)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "First (adverb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: September 1, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/first-adverb/.

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