A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Syllable (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2008

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2008

Sýllable. n.s. [συλλαβὴ; syllabe, French.]

  1. As much of a word as is uttered by the help of one vowel, or one articulation.

              I heard
    Each syllable that breath made up between them.

    There is that property in all letters of aptness to be conjoined in syllables and words, through the voluble motions of the organs from one stop or figure to another, that they modify and discriminate the voice without appearing to discontinue it. Holder's Elements of Speech.

  2. Any thing proverbially concise.

    Abraham, Job, and the rest that lived before any syllable of the law of God was written, did they not sin as much as we do in every action not commanded? Hooker.

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death.
    Shakes. Macbeth.

    He hath told so many melancholy stories, without one syllable of truth, that he hath blunted the edge of my fears. Swift.

Sources: Holder, William (38) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Syllable (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/syllable-noun/.

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