A Dictionary of the English Language
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Weigh (verb active)

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To Weigh. v.a. [wœʒan, Saxon; weyhen, Dutch.]

  1. To examine by the balance.

    Earth taken from land adjoining to the Nile, and preserved, so as not to be wet nor wasted, and weighed daily, will not alter weight until the seventeenth of June, when the river beginneth to rise; and then it will grow more and more ponderous, 'till the river cometh to its height. Bacon's Natural History.

    Th' Eternal hung forth his golden scales,
    Wherein all things created first he weigh'd.

  2. To be equivalent to in weight.

    By the exsuction of the air out of a glass-vessel, it made that vessel take up, or suck up, to speak in the common language, a body weighing divers ounces. Boyle.

  3. To pay, allot, or take by weight.

    They that must weigh out my afflictions,
    They that my trust must grow to, live not here;
    They are, as all my comforts are, far hence.

    They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. Zech. xi.

  4. To raise; to take up the anchor.

    Barbarossa, using this exceeding cheerfulness of his soldiers, weighed up the fourteen gallies he had sunk. Knolles.

        Here he left me, ling'ring here delay'd
    His parting kiss, and there his anchor weigh'd.

  5. To examine; to balance in the mind.

    Regard not who it is which speaketh, but weigh only what is spoken. Hooker.

    I have in equal balance justly weigh'd
    What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
    And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
    Shak. H. IV.

    The ripeness or unripeness of the occasion must ever be well weighed. Bacon.

    His majesty's speedy march left that design to be better weighed and digested. Clarendon.

    You chose a retreat, and not 'till you had maturely weighed the advantages of rising higher, with the hazards of the fall. Dryden.

    All grant him prudent; prudence interest weighs,
    And interest bids him seek your love and praise.

    The mind, having the power to suspend the satisfaction of any of its desires, is at liberty to examine them on all sides, and weigh them with others. Locke.

    He is the only proper judge of our perfections, who weighs the goodness of our actions by the sincerity of our intentions. Addison's Spectator.

  6. To Weigh down. To overballance.

    Fear weighs down faith with shame. Daniel's Civ. War.

  7. To Weigh down. To overburden; to oppress with weight; to depress.

    The Indian fig boweth so low, as it taketh root again; the plenty of the sap, and the softness of the stalk, making the bough, being overloaden, weigh down. Bacon.

            In thy blood will reign
    A melancholy damp of cold and dry,
    To weigh thy spirits down.

                Her father's crimes
    Sit heavy on her, and weigh down her prayers;
    A crown usurp'd, a lawful king depos'd,
    His children murder'd.
    Dryden's Spanish Fryar.

    My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks
    The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep.
    Addison's Cato.

    Excellent persons, weighed down by this habitual sorrow of heart, rather deserve our compassion than reproach. Addison.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Boyle, Robert (84) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Daniel, Samuel (28) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Shakespeare's Henry VIII (62) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Knolles, Richard (44) · Locke, John (269) · Milton, John (449) · Spectator (140) · The Bible - Zechariah (2)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Weigh (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 27, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/weigh-verb-active/.

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