A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Fo'ulness.. n.s. [from foul.]

  1. The quality of being foul; filthiness; nastiness.

    The ancients were wont to make garments that were not destroyed but purified by fire; and whereas the spots or foulness of other cloaths are washed out, in these they were usually burnt away. Wilkins's Math. Magic.

  2. Pollution; impurity.

    It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
    No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
    That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour.

    There is not so chaste a nation as this, nor so free from all pollution or foulness: it is the virgin of the world. Bacon.

  3. Hatefulness; atrociousness.

    He by an affection sprung up from excessive beauty, should not delight in horrible foulness. Sidney.

                    Consul, you are too mild:
    The foulness of some facts takes thence all mercy:
    Report it to the senate.
    Ben. Johnson's Catiline.

    It is the wickedness of a whole life, discharging all its filth and foulness into this one quality, as into a great sink or common shore. South's Sermons.

  4. Ugliness; deformity.

    He's fallen in love with your foulness, and she'll fall in love with my anger. Shakespeare's As you like it.

                    The fury laid aside
    Her looks and limbs, and with new methods tried
    The foulness of th' infernal form to hide.
    Dryden's Æn.

  5. Dishonesty; want of candour.

    Piety is opposed to hypocrisy and insincerity, and all falseness or foulness of intentions; especially to that personated devotion, under which any kind of impiety is wont to be disguised. Hammond's Fundamentals.

Sources: Shakespeare's As You Like It (40) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Dryden, John (788) · Hammond, Henry (47) · Jonson, Ben (70) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Sidney, Philip (140) · South, Robert (158) · Wilkins, John (32)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Foulness." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 18, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/foulness/.

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