A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Will (verb)

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To Will. v.a. [wilgan, Gothick; willan, Saxon; willen, Dutch.]

  1. To desire that any thing should be, or be done.

    To will, is to bend our souls to the having or doing of that which they see to be good. Hooker.

    Let Richard be restored to his blood,
    As will the rest; so willeth Winchester.

    I speak not of God's determining his own will, but his predetermining the acts of our will. There is as great difference betwixt these two, as betwixt my willing a lawful thing myself, and my inducing another man to do that which is unlawful. Hammond on Fundamentals.

    Whosoever wills the doing of a thing, if the doing of it be in his power, he will certainly do it; and whosoever does not do that thing, which he has in his power to do, does not properly will it. South.

    A man that sits still, is said to be at liberty, because he can walk if he wills it. Locke.

  2. To be inclined or resolved to have.

                She's too rough for me;
    There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?

  3. To command; to direct.

    St. Paul did will them of Corinth, every man to lay up somewhat on the Sunday, and to reserve it in store for the church of Jerusalem, for the relief of the poor there. Hooker.

    How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
    When man was willed to love his enemies.

    Our battle is more full of names than yours,
    Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
    Our armours all as strong, our cause the best;
    Then reason wills our hearts should be as good.

    He willed him to be of good comfort, promising to bestow upon him whatsoever he should win. Knolles.

    If they had any business, his Majesty willed that they should attend. Clarendon.

                'Tis your's, O queen! to will
    The work, which duty binds me to fulfil.

  4. It has a loose and slight signification.

    Let the circumstances of life be what, or where they will, a man should never neglect improvement. Watts.

  5. It is one of the signs of the future tense; of which it is difficult to show or limit the signification.

    I will come. I am determined to come; importing choice.

    Thou wilt come. It must be so that thou must come; importing necessity.

    Wilt thou come? Hast thou determined to come? importing choice.

    He will come. He is resolved to come; or it must be that he must come, importing either choice or necessity.

    It will come. It must so be that it must come; importing necessity.

    The plural follows the analogy of the singular.

Sources: Clarendon, Edward (73) · Dryden, John (788) · Hammond, Henry (47) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 1 (48) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Knolles, Richard (44) · Locke, John (269) · South, Robert (158) · Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (71) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32) · Watts, Isaac (117)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Will (verb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 29, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/will-verb/.

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