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 1381

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1381

O Has in English a long sound; as, drone, groan, stone, alone, cloke, broke, coal, droll; or short, got, knot, shot, prong, long. It is usually denoted long by a servile a subjoined; as, moan, or by e at the end of the syllable; as, bone: when these vowels are not appended, it is generally short, except before ll; as, droll, scroll, and even then sometimes short; as, loll.

  1. O is used as an interjection of wishing or exclamation.

    O that we, who have resisted all the designs of his love,
    would now try to defeat that of his anger!
    Decay of Piety.

    O! were he present, that his eyes and hands
    Might see, and urge, the death which he commands.

  2. O is used with no great elegance by Shakespeare for a circle or oval.

                Can this cockpit hold
    The vasty field of France? or may we cram
    Within this wooden O, the very casks
    That did affright the air at Agincourt?

Sources: Allestree, Richard (89) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "O." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 25, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/o/.

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