A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:

Imp (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1053

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1053

Imp. n.s. [imp, Welsh, a shoot, a sprout, a sprig.]

  1. A son; the offspring; progeny.

    That noble imp your son. Lord Cromwel to King Henry.

    And thou, most dreaded imp of highest Jove,
    Fair Venus' son.
    Fairy Queen, b. i.

    The tender imp was weaned from the teat. Fairfax.

    A lad of life, an imp of fame. Shakesp. Henry V.

  2. A subaltern devil, a puny devil. In this sense 'tis still retained.

    Such we deny not to be the imps and limbs of Satan. Hook.

            Him after long debate, irresolute
    Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose,
    Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
    To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
    From sharpest sight.
    Milt. Paradise Lost, b. ix.

    As soon as you can hear his knell,
    This god on earth turns d——l in hell;
    And, lo! his ministers of state
    Transform'd to imps, his levee wait.

Sources: Cromwell, Thomas (1) · Fairfax, Edward (30) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Milton, John (449) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

Attributes: Welsh (Welch) (27)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Imp (noun)." 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/imp-noun/.

johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.