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 page 956

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 956

Hair. n.s. [hær, Saxon.]

  1. One of the common teguments of the body. It is to be found upon all the parts of the body, except the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. When we examine the hairs with a microscope, we find that they have each a round, bulbous root, which lies pretty deep in the skin, and which draws their nourishment from the surrounding humours: that each hair consists of five or six others, wrapt up in a common tegument or tube. They grow as the nails do, each part near the root thrusting forward that which is immediately above it, and not by any liquor running along the hair in tubes, as plants grow. Quincy.
  2. A single hair.

    My fleece of woolly hair uncurls. Shakesp. Tit. Andr.

    Shall the difference of hair only, on the skin, be a mark of a different internal constitution between a changeling and a drill? Locke.

                    Naughty lady,
    These hairs which thou do'st ravish from my chin,
    Will quicken and accuse thee.
    Shakesp. King Lear.

                Much is breeding;
    Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
    And not a serpent's poison.
    Shakesp. Ant. and Cleopatra.

  3. Any thing proverbially small.

                If thou tak'st more
    Or less than just a pound; if the scale turn
    But in the estimation of a hair,
    Thou diest.
    Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

    He judges to a hair of little indecencies, and knows better than any man what is not to be written. Dryden.

  4. Course; order; grain; the hair falling in a certain direction.

    Mr. doctor, he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies: if you should fight, you go against the hair of your profession. Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.

Sources: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Quincy, John (60) · Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (16)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Hair." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: October 2, 2011. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/hair/.

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