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Water (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2247, 2248

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2247, 2248

Wa'ter. n.s. [waeter, Dutch; ƿœꞇꞃ, Saxon.]

  1. Sir Isaac Newton defines water, when pure, to be a very fluid salt, volatile, and void of all savour or taste; and it seems to consist of small, smooth, hard, porous, spherical particles, of equal diameters, and of equal specifick gravities, as Dr. Cheyne observes; and also that there are between them spaces so large, and ranged in such a manner, as to be pervious on all sides. Their smoothness accounts for their sliding easily over one another's surfaces: their sphericity keeps them also from touching one another in more points than one; and by both these their frictions in sliding over one another, is rendered the least possible. Their hardness accounts for the incompressibility of water, when it is free from the intermixture of air. The porosity of water is so very great, that there is at least forty times as much space as matter in it; for water is nineteen times specifically lighter than gold, and consequently rarer in the same proportion. Quincy.

    My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs,
    My mercy dry'd their water-flowing tears.
    Shak. H. VI.

    Your water is a sore decayer of your whorson dead body. Shakespeare's Hamlet.

            The sweet manner of it forc'd
    Those waters from me, which I would have stopp'd,
    But I had not so much of man in me;
    But all my mother came into mine eyes,
    And gave me up to tears.
    Shakes. Henry V.

    Men's evil manners live in brass, their virtues
    We write in water.
    Shakesp. Henry VIII.

    Those healths will make thee and thy state look ill, Timon: here's that which is too weak to be a sinner, honest water, which ne'er left man i' th' mire. Shakespeare's Timon.

    Water is the chief ingredient in all the animal fluids and solids; for a dry bone, distilled, affords a great quantity of insipid water: therefore water seems to be proper drink for every animal. Arbuthnot on Aliments.

  2. The sea.

    Travel by land or by water. Common Prayer.

    By water they found the sea, westward from Peru, always very calm. Abbot's Description of the World.

  3. Urine.

            If thou could'st, doctor, cast
    The water of my land, find her disease,
    And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
    I would applaud thee.
    Shak. Macbeth.

    Go to bed, after you have made water. Swift.

  4. To hold Water. To be sound; to be tight. From a vessel that will not leak.

    A good Christian and an honest man must be all of a piece, and inequalities of proceeding will never hold water. L'Estr.

  5. It is used for the lustre of a diamond.

                'Tis a good form,
    And rich: here is a water, look ye.
    Shakesp. Timon.

  6. Water is much used in composition for things made with water, being in water, or growing in water.

    She might see the same water-spaniel, which before had hunted, come and fetch away one of Philoclea's gloves, whose fine proportion shewed well what a dainty guest was wont there to be lodged. Sidney.

    Oh that I were a mockery king of snow,
    Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
    And melt myself away in water-drops.

    Poor Tom eats the wall-newt, and the water-newt. Shakes.

            Touch me with noble anger!
    O let not women's weapons, water-drops,
    Stain my man's cheeks.
    Shak. King Lear.

    Let not the water-flood overflow me. Ps. lxix. 15.

    They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses. Is. xliv. 4.

    As the hart panteth after the water-brook, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. Psalms.

    Deep calleth unto deep, at the noise of thy water-spouts. Ps. xlii. 7.

    He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the water-springs into dry ground. Ps. cvii. 33.

    There were set six water-pots of stone. Jo. ii. 6.

    Hercules's page, Hylas, went with a water-pot to fill it at a pleasant fountain that was near. Bacon's Natural History.

    As the carp is accounted the water-fox for his cunning, so the roach is accounted the water-sheep. Walton's Angler.

    Sea-calves unwonted to fresh rivers fly;
    The water-snakes with scales upstanding die.
    May's Virgil.

    By making the water-wheels larger, the motion will be so slow, that the screw will not be able to supply the outward streams. Wilkins's Dædulus.

    Rain carried away apples, together with a dunghill that lay in the water-course. L'Estrange.

            Oh help, in this extremest need,
    If water-gods are deities indeed.

    The water-snake, whom fish and paddocks fed,
    With staring scales lies poison'd in his bed.
    Dryd. Virgil.

    Because the outermost coat of the eye might be pricked, and this humour let out, therefore nature hath made provision to repair it by the help of certain water-pipes, or lymphæducts, inserted into the bulb of the eye, proceeding from glandules that separate this water from the blood. Ray on Creation.

    The lacerta aquatica, or water-newt, when young, hath four neat ramified fins, two on one side, growing out a little above its forelegs, to poise and keep its body upright, which fall off when the legs are grown. Denham's Physico-Theology.

    Other mortar used in making water-courses, cisterns, and fishponds, is very hard and durable. Moxon.

    The most brittle water-carriage was used among the Egyptians, who, as Strabo saith, would sail sometimes in boats made of earthen ware. Arbuthnot.

    A gentleman watered St. foln in dry weather at new sowing, and, when it came up, with a water-cart, carrying his water in a cask, to which there was a tap at the end, which lets the water run into a long trough full of small holes. Mort.

    In Hampshire they fell water-trefoil as dear as hops. Mort.

Sources: Abbot, George (11) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Common Prayer (8) · Derham, William (22) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Shakespeare's Henry V (66) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3 (39) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · The Bible - Isaiah (16) · The Bible - John (15) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · May, Thomas (5) · Mortimer, John (62) · Moxon, Joseph (21) · The Bible - Psalms (29) · Quincy, John (60) · Ray, John (59) · Shakespeare's Richard II (40) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32) · Walton, Izaak (10) · Wilkins, John (32)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Water (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 23, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/water-noun/.

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