A Dictionary of the English Language
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View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2274, 2273

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2274, 2273

Who. pronoun. [hwa, Saxon; wie, Dutch.]

  1. A pronoun relative, applied to persons.

    We have no perfect description of it, nor any knowledge how, or by whom it is inhabited. Abbot.

    Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,
    Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and bloodless,
    Being all descended to the lab'ring heart,
    Who, in the conflict that it hold with death,
    Attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy.

    Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present,
    Whom I may rather challenge for unkindness,
    Than pity for mischance.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

                The son of Duncan,
    From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
    Lives in the English court.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

    A man can never be obliged to submit to any power, unless he can be satisfied, who is the person who has a right to exercise it. Locke.

    Tell who loves who; what favours some partake,
    And who is jilted.

    We are still as much at a loss, who civil power belongs to. Locke.

  2. As who should say, elliptically for as one who should say.

    Hope throws a generous contempt upon ill usage, and looks like a handsome defiance of a misfortune: a who should say, you are somewhat troublesome now, but I shall conquer you. Collier against Despair.

  3. Whose is the genitive of which, as well as of who, and is applied to things.

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John xx. 23.

    The question whose solution I require,
    Is what the sex of women most desire.

    Is there any other doctrine, whose followers are punished? Add.

  4. It has sometimes a disjunctive sense.

    There thou tell'st of kings, and who aspire;
    Who fall, who rise, who triumphs, who do moan.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Collier, Jeremy (24) · Daniel, Samuel (28) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2 (49) · The Bible - John (15) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Who." 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/who/.

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