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 2234

To Wade. v.n. [from vadum, Lat. pronounced wadum.]

  1. To walk through the waters; to pass water without swimming.

    We'll wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood. Sha.

    She waded through the dirt to pluck him off. Shakespeare.

                    I am in blood
    Stept in so far, that, should I wade no more,
    Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

    He staid seven days at the Crassus, until a bridge was made for the transporting of his army, for that the river was not to be waded over. Knolles's Hist. of the Turks.

            Then since fortune's favours fade;
    You that in her arms do sleep,
    Learn to swim, and not to wade,
    For the hearts of kings are deep.
    Wotton's Poems.

    With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way,
    And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.

    It is hard to wade deep in baths where springs arise. Brown.

    Fowls that frequent waters, and only wade, have as well long legs as long necks; and those that are made for swimming have feet like oars. More's Divine Dialogues.

    Those birds only wade in the water, and do not swim. More.

    As when a dabchick waddles through the copse
    On feet and wings, he flies, and wades, and hops.

  2. To pass difficultly and laboriously.

    They were not permitted to enter unto war, nor conclude any league of peace, nor to wade through any act of moment between them and foreign states, unless the oracle of God, or his prophets, were first consulted with. Hooker, b. iii.

    I have waded through the whole cause, searching the truth by the causes of truth. Hooker.

    The substance of those controversies whereunto we have begun to wade, be rather of outward things appertaining to the church, than of any thing wherein the being of the church consisteth. Hooker, b. iii.

    Virtue gives herself light, through darkness for to wade. Fairy Queen, b. i.

    I should chuse rather with spitting and scorn to be tumbled into the dust in blood, bearing witness to any known truth of our Lord; than, by a denial of those truths, through blood and perjury wade to a sceptre, and lord it in a throne. South.

    'Tis not to my purpose to wade into those bottomless controversies, which, like a gulph, have swallowed up so much time of learned men. Decay of Piety.

                  The dame
    Now try'd the stairs, and wading through the night,
    Search'd all the deep recess, and issu'd into light.

    The wrathful God then plunges from above,
    And where in thickest waves the sparkles drove,
    There lights, and wades through fumes, and gropes his way,
    Half-sing'd, half-stifl'd.

    Simonides, the more he contemplated the nature of the Diety, found that he waded but the more out of his depth, and that he lost himself in the thought. Addison.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Allestree, Richard (89) · Dryden, John (788) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · Knolles, Richard (44) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · More, Henry (28) · Pope, Alexander (393) · South, Robert (158) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (71) · Wotton, Henry (48)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Wade." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 10, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/wade/.

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