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 1122

Invéntion. n.s. [invention, French; inventio, Latin.]

  1. Fiction.

    O for a muse of fire, that would ascend
    The brightest heaven of invention!
    Shakes. H. V. Prol.

    By improving what was writ before,
    Invention labours less, but judgment more.

    Invention is a kind of muse, which, being possessed of the other advantages common to her sisters, and being warmed by the fire of Apollo, is raised higher than the rest. Dryden.

    The chief excellence of Virgil is judgment, of Homer is invention. Pope.

  2. Discovery.

    Nature hath provided several glandules to separate this juice from the blood, and no less than four pair of channels to convey it into the mouth, which are of a late invention, and called ductus salivales. Ray on the Creation.

  3. Excogitation; act of producing something new.

    Mine is th' invention of the charming lyre;
    Sweet notes and heav'nly numbers I inspire.

  4. Forgery.

    We hear our bloody cousins, not confessing
    Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
    With strange invention.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

                If thou can'st accuse,
    Do it without invention suddenly.
    Shakesp. Henry VI.

  5. The thing invented.

    The garden, a place not fairer in natural ornaments than artificial inventions. Sidney.

    Th' invention all admir'd; and each how he
    To be th' inventor miss'd, so easy it seem'd
    Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought
    Milton's Paradise Lost.

Sources: Dillon, Wentworth (Roscommon) (31) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 1 (48) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Ray, John (59) · Sidney, Philip (140)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Invention." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 4, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/invention/.

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