A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Thrift. n.s. [from thrive.]

  1. Profit; gain; riches gotten; state of prospering.

    He came out with all his clowns, horst upon such cart jades, and so furnished, as I thought with myself if that were thrift, I wisht none of my friends or subjects ever to thrive. Sidney, b. ii.

                    You some permit
    To second ills with ills, each worse than other,
    And make them dreaded to the doer's thrift.

                    Had I but the means
    To hold a rival place with one of them,
    I have a mind presages me such thrift,
    That I should be fortunate.
    Shakesp. Merchant of Venice.

                Should the poor be flatter'd?
    No; let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
    And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
    Where thrift may follow fawning.
    Shakesp. Hamlet.

  2. Parsimony; frugality; good husbandry.

    The rest unable to serve any longer, or willing to fall to thrift, prove very good husbands. Spenser on Ireland.

    Out of the present sparing and untimely thrift, there grow many future inconveniences and continual charge in repairing and re-edifying such imperfect slight-built vessels. Raleigh.

    Thus heaven, though all-sufficient, shows a thrift
    In his œconomy, and bounds his gift.

  3. A plant.

    The thrift is a plant with a flower gathered into an almost spherical head, furnished with a common scaly empalement: this head is composed of several clove-gilliflower flowers, consisting of several leaves in a proper empalement, shaped like a funnel; in like manner the pointal rises out of the same empalement, and afterwards turns to an oblong seed, wrapt up in the empalement, as in an husk. Miller.

Sources: Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Miller, Philip (58) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Thrift." 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/thrift/.

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