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A, is the first letter, and first vowel of the

alphabet, in all the modern, and in most of the
ancient languages.

B. Jonson observes, that all our vowels are
sounded doubtfully: in quantity (which is time),
long or short; or, in accent (which is tune), sharp
or flat. A is long in debating; short in stomach-
ing; sharp in háte; flat in hat. With us, he
adds, A is pronounced less than the French a, as
in art, act; but when it comes before 4, in the
end of a syllable, it obtaineth the French sound,
and is uttered with the mouth and throat wide
opened, the tongue bent from the teeth, as in
all, small; and in salt, malt, balm, where a con-
sonant followeth the . For this latter mode of
utterance, Wilkins adopts the Gr. a; and describes
it to be framed by an emission of the breath be-
twixt the tongue and the palate, the tongue being
put into a more concave posture, and removed
further off from the palate. The former mode of
utterance of a, as in bat, bate, he describes to be
framed by an emission of the breath betwixt the
tongue and concave of the palate; the upper
superficies of the tongue being rendered less con-
cave, and at a less distance from the palate. The
adoption of the Greek character, as a mean of
distinction, seems to be far preferable to any mark
or figure of reference, a plan generally adopted by
modern orthoepists.

A, the English article, means one; in A. S. an.
In A. S. on means in; and has been corrupted
in English to an before a vowel, and to a before a
consonant; and in writing and speaking it has
been connected with the subsequent word: hence
a numerous race of adverbs. From On dæg, On
niht, On lenge, On bræde, On bæc, On lande,
On life, On middan, On wihte, On twa, On weg;
we have Aday, Anight, Along, Abroad, Aback,
Aland, Alive, Amid, Aright, Atwo, Away.


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the prefix is dropped; c. g. in Abeodan, to bid;
Abitan, to bite; Acelan, to keel or cool.

A per se (A by itself), as denoting pre-emi-
nence, is not unusual in our old poets.
O faire Creseide, the floure and ▲ per se
Of Troye and Greece.

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To resign; to quit, to desert, to forsake; and consequently, to reject or cast away: to repel or

Chaucer. Testament of Creseide, v. 78. drive away: to banish.
Right as our first letter is now an A,

In beaute first so stode she makeles.-Id. Troilus, b. i.
A, B, C, the old English denomination of the
Gr. a, B. See ALPHABET.

Clerc he was god ynou, and gut, as me telleth me
He was more than ten ger old, ar he couthe ys Abece.
Robert of Gloucester, p. 266.
On back. Backwards. See BACK.


So that the white was aboue, as the folk y seye,
And drof the rede al abak.-R. Gloucester, p. 131.
stood with hem, and whanne he seide to hem, I am, thei
Iesus seith to hem I am, and Iudas that betraiede him
wenten abak and felden doun on the erthe.
Wicliff. Ion, c. 18.
Chaucer. Legend of Tisbe.
But both the fruit from hand, and floud from mouth
Did flie abak, and made him vainely swinke.
Spenser. Faerie Queene, b. ii. c. 7.
"Away there! lower the mizen yard on deck,"
He calls, and "brace the foremost yards aback!"
Falconer. Shipwreck.
ABA/FT. On the aft or hind part; behind.
See AFT.
And the boteswaine of the galley walked abaft the maste,
and the mate afore the maste.
Hackluyt. Voyages, vol. ii.
P. 187.
Lat. Abalienare: used in
writers on civil law, but has

And therewithall abacke she start.

given way to-

To alienate.
ABA'ND, v.


Abandonment, n. is used by Cotgrave in v. Abandon. The authorities quoted are very modern: Abandoning appears also to have been a common noun; but the old noun was Abandon: applied to the act, the thing, or the person.

He that dredeth God, spareth not to do that him ought to do; and he that loveth God, he wol do diligence to plese God by his werkes, and abandon himself with all his might wel for to do.-Chaucer. The Persones Tale.

For he that

Yaue whole his hart, in will and thought,
And to himselfe kepeth right nought
After this swift it is good reason
He yeue his good in abandon.

Id. The Rom. of the Rose, fol. 127.
Moris hir sonne was coroned,
Whiche so ferforth was abandoned
To Christes feith, that men bym calle
Moris the christnest of all.-Gower. Conf. Am. b. ii.
Further John a man of perfecte holines, perceyuing the
enuious affections of his disciples, to thintent that he might
heale their weakness, and abandone them from him and
deliver them to Jesus: he chose out of them two and sent
them to Jesus.-Udall. Erasmus' Matthew, c. 10.

those forreiners, which came from farre,
Grew great, and got large portions of land,
That in the realme ere long they stronger arre,
Then they which sought at first their helping hand,
And Vortiger enforc't the kingdome to aband.
Spenser. Faerie Queene, b. ii. c. 10.

'Tis better far the enemies t'aband
Quite from thy borders, to a forren soile,
Then he at home, thee and thy countrie spoile.
Mir. for Magistrates, p. 119.
What when Severus old.did vnderstand,
All pleasures quite and ioyes he had aband,
Pursuing warre,-Id. p. 172.

Beg. Madame wife, they say that I haue dream'd
And slept aboue some fifteene yeare or more.
Lady. I, and the time seemes thirty vnto me,

Fr. Abandonner; It. Aban-
donare; Sp. Abandonar. Va-
rious etymologies have been
suggested: - from the Fr.
Bandon, Liberty: from A. S.
Abannan, to denounce: from
Ban to curse: from à ban donner, to give up to a
proclamation, and others. See Menage and Wach-Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.
ter. See also BAN, BAND, and BANISH, infra.
The A. S. Bannan, or Abannan, would give the
past participle, Abanned, Aband (and so the word
is written in the Mirror for Magistrates, and
Spenser). Upon this past participle, the English
Abandon, and also Fr. It. and Sp. appear to have
been formed; and to Abandon is—

Shakespeare. Tam. of S. Act i. sc. 1.
Meanwhile reviv'd
Abandon fear: to strength and counsel join'd
Think nothing hard, much less to be despair'd.
Milton. Par. Lost, b. vl.
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffused,
With languish'd head unpropt,
As one past hope, adandon'd,

And by himself given over.-Millon. Scmson Agonistes.

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You form reasons,

Just ones, for your abandoning the storms
Which threaten your own ruin; but propose

No shelter for her honour.-Ford. Lady's Trial, Act i. sc. 1.
Emil. Oh sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen,
Abandoner of revels, mute, contemplative.

Beau. & Fletch. Two Noble Kinsmen, Act v. sc. 1. What is it that Sathan can despaire to perswade men unto, if he can draw them to an unnatural abandoning of life, and pursuit of death.-Hall. Occasionall Medit. 117.

Then thought hee it also time to send an ambassage unto Archduke Philip, into Flanders, for the abandoning and dismissing of Perkin.-Bacon. Henry VII. p 126. Ror. I see no crime in her whom I adore, Or if I do, her beauty makes it none: Look on me as a man abandon'd o'er To an eternal lethargy of love.

Dryden. Spanish Friar, Act iv. Nor let her tempt that deep, nor make the shore, Where our abandon'd youth she sees, Shipwreck'd in luxury, and lost in ease.-Prior. Ode (1692). He that abandons religion must act in such a contradiction to his own conscience and best judgment, that he abuses and spoils the faculty itself.-Watts. Sermons.

Cities then

Attract us, and neglected nature pines Abandon'd, as unworthy of our love.-Cowper. Task. b. ii. When thus the helm of justice is abandoned, an universal abandoning of all other posts will succeed.

Burke. On Reg. Peace. Let. 4.

They amount (says he) to the sacrifice of powers, that have been most nearly connected with us; the direct or indirect annexation to France of all the parts of the continent, from Dunkirk to Hamburgh; an immense accession of territory; and, in one word, the abandonment of the independence of Europe.-Id. ib. p. 81.

Fr. Abbaiser; It. Abbasare;
ABA'SING, n. Sp. Abaxar. See BASE, and

To put or bring low, to lower, to depress; to

degrade, to humble, to disgrace.

Our kynge hath do this thing amisse,

So to abesse his roialtee;

That euery man it might see,

And humbled him in such a wise

To them that were of none emprise.-Gower. Conf.Am. b.i. This example was shewed to teache vs, howe the teachers of Gods worde should not grutche to descend from their highnes or perfection, and abase themsolues euen to the lowlines of the weake, thereby to wynne very many to theyr Lorde.-Udall. Erasmus, S. Marke, c. 2.

At this tyme also, the kinges maiestie, with the aduice of his privy counsaile, did now purpose not onely the abacyng of the sayd copper moneys, but also ment wholly to reduce them to bollion, to the intent to deliuer fine and good monies for them. The peece of ix pence was abaced to sixpence.-Grafton. Chronicle. Ed. VI. an. 5.

And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
That cropt the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widdow to a wofull bed?

Shakespeare. Rich. III. Act i. so. 2.

If he that abases the prince's coin deserves to die, what is his desert, that instead of the tried silver of God's word, stamps the name and character of God upon base brazen stuff of his own?-Hales. Remains, Ser. 1.

There is an abasement because of glory, and there is that

lifteth up

his head from a low estate.-Ecclus. xx. 2.

It is a point of cunning to wait upon him with whom you speak with your eye; as the Jesuits give it in precept; for there may be many wise men that have secret hearts and transparent countenances: yet this should be done with a demure abasing of your eye.-Bacon. Essay on Cunning. Let the example of our Lord's humility bring down the haughtiness of men; and when we consider how he abased himself, let us be vile in our own eyes, and abhor ourselves in dust and ashes.-Tillotson. Works, vol. iii. 217. Ser. 135. Absorb'd in that immensity I see,

I shrink abas'd, & yet aspire to Thee.-Cowper. Retirement. Heaven was to be earned only by penance and mortification; by the austerities and abasement of a monk, not by the liberal, generous, and spirited conduct of a man.

Smith. Wealth of Nations, b. v. c. 1. ABA'SH, v. The past tense and past part. ABA'SHMENT. S of Abase was anciently written Abaisit, Abayschid; whence the word Abash appears to be formed: and is applied to

The feelings of those who are abased, depressed, disgraced, humbled.

In Wicliff it is applied to

The feelings which overpowered, subdued, the witnesses of the miraculous restoration of the damsel by Christ.

Abasshe is found in Gower, used as a substan tive. See BASH.

Now is Berwick born doun, abaist is that cuntre.
R. Brunne, p. 272.
For thi beo nat a baihsshed. tó bydde and to be neody
Sithe he that wrouhte al the worlde, was wilfulliche neody.
Piers Plouhman, p. 394.

And anoon the damysel roos and walkide: and sche was of twelve yeer, and thei weren abayschid with a great stoneying.-Wiclif. Mark, c. 5.

And as the new abashed Nightingale,
That stinteth first, whan she beginneth sing
Whan that she heareth any heerdes tale,
Or in the hedges any wight stearing,
And after siker doeth her voice out ring.

Chaucer. Troilus, b. iii. fol. 173.
Certes (quod she) that were great a maruayle and an
abashinge, without ende.-Chaucer. Boecius, b. iv. p. 1.
The kynges doughter, whiche this sigh,
For pure abasshe drew hir adrigh,
And helde her close vnder the bough,
And let hem still ride enough.-Gower. Con. A. b. iv.
The town restlesse with furie as I sought,
Th' unlucky figure of Creusaes ghost,

Of stature more than wont, stood fore mine eyen. Abashed then I waxe: therewith my heare Gan start right up: my voice stuck in my throte. Surrey. Virgile, b. ii. But the water kepte his course, and wette, at length the kynges [Canute] thyes; wherwith ye kynge abasshed, sterte backe and sayde, all erthly kynges may knowe that theyr powers be vayne, and that none is worthy to have the name of a kynge, but he that has all thynges subiecte to his hestes.-Fabyan, c. 206.

I sale to the, thou hast put me in a more greatte abasshement, than the feare of myne enemies.-Golden Boke, Let. 15. Why, then, (you princes)

Do you with cheekes abash'd behold our workes,
And thinke them shame, which are (indeed) nought else,
But the protractiue trials of great Ioue,
To finde persistiue constancie in men.

Shakespeare. Tro. & Cres. Act i. sc. 3.
Yet all that could not from affright her hold,
Ne to recomfort her at all prevail'd,

For her faint heart was with the frozen cold
Benumb'd so inly, that her wits nigh fail'd,
And all her senses with abashment quite were quail'd.
Spenser. Faerie Queene, b. iii. o. 8.

Basenesse of birth is a great disparagement to some men, especially if they be wealthy, bear office, and come to promotion in a common-wealth: then, if their birth be not auswerable to their calling, and to their fellows, they are much abashed and ashamed of themselves.

Burton. Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 310. But when he Venus view'd without disguise, Her shining neck beheld, and radiant eyes; Awed and abash'd he turn'd his head aside, Attempting with his robe his face to hide.

Congreve. Homer. Hymn to Venus.

And harsh austerity, from whose rebuke Young love and smiling wonder shrink away Abash'd and chill of heart, with sager frowns Condemns the fair enchantment. Akenside. Pleasures of Imagination, b. iii. ABA'TE, v. Fr. Abbatre; It. Abbatere; Sp. ABATE, n. Abatir; A. S. Beatan, to beat. ABATEMENT. The word exists also without the ABA TER. prefix A; though more limited by modern usage in its application. See BATE. To beat or press down; to cast down; to lower, to depress; to lessen; to diminish; to reduce. The kyng did samen his men, to abate Gryffyn's pride.

R. Brunne, p. 63.

For that abatement he chalenges thorgh right.-Id. p. 278. As God saith, the horrible divels shul gon and comen upon the hedes of dampned folk: and this is, for as moche as the higher that they were in this present lif, the more shul they be abated and defouled in helle.

Chaucer. Personnes Tales, vol. ii. p. 291.

The kynge of Scottes wyth all hys hoste and power entered Norham, and sore abated the walles.-Hall. Hen. VIII. an. 5. into England:-and planted hys siege before the castell of He [the horsse] breaketh the groude wyth the hoffes of his fete chearfully in his strength, and runneth to mete the harnest men. He layeth asyde all feare, hys stomack is not abated, neither starteth he abacke for any swerde. Bible, London, 1589. Job, c. 39.

Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is, but to my judgement, your Highnesse is not entertained with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindnesse appeares as well in the generall dependants, as in the duke himselfe also, and your daughter. Shakespeare. Lear, Act i. sc. 4. A day

Will come (hear this, and quake, ye potent great ones)
When you yourselves shall stand before a judge,
Who in a pair of scales will weigh your actions,
Without abatement of one grain.

Beaumont and Fletcher. Laws of Candy, Act. v
Impiety of times, chastity's abator,
Falsehood, wherein thyself thyself deniest;
Treason to counterfeit the seal of nature,
The stamp of heaven, impressed by the highest.

Daniel. Complaint of Rosamond.

If we could arrest time, and strike off the nimble wheels of his chariot, and like Joshua, bid the sun stand still, and make opportunity tarry as long as he had occasion for it; this were something to excuse our delay, or at least to mitigate or abate the folly and unreasonableness of it. Tillotson. Works, vol. i. Ser. 14.

The triall hereof (whether men weigh heavier dead than alive) cannot so well be made on the body of a man, nor will the difference be sensible in the abate of scruples or dracms. Brown. Vulgar Errours, b. iv. c. 7.

The greatest tyrants have been those, whose titles were the most unquestioned. Whenever the opinion of right becomes too predominant and superstitious, it is abated by breaking the custom: thus the revolution broke the custom of succession.-Paley, Moral Philosophy, b. vi. c. 2. ABA'WED, i. e. Abashed. Fr. Esbahi.

I was abawed for marueile

For euer the fairer that it was
The more I am bounden in loue's laas.
Chaucer. The Rom. of the Rose, p. 132.



Abbas was introduced (says Skinner) into Europe from Syria with the Christian religion. It is derived from the Syriac Abba, Father. The application of this name to persons in monasteries was resisted by St. Jerome, as an infringement of the command to "call no man Father, upon the earth."

An abbot; the chief or head of a religious order, house, monastery.

Doztren he adde al so, Cecyly het that on
The eldeste, that was at Carne nonne and abbesse.
R. Gloucester, p. 370.
To chyrche and to pouere men he zef vorst, as he ssolde,
To abbeyes and to prioryes largylyche of hys golde.
Ib. p. 383.
For the abbot of Englond, and the abbesse ys nece,
Shullen have a knok on here crownes, and incurable the
wonde.-Piers Plouhman, p. 84.

And in this time was geuen vnto the kyng by the consent of the great and fatte abbottes, all religious houses that were of the value of three hundred marke and vnder, in hope, that their great monasteryes should haue continued still! but euen at that tyme one sayde in the parliament house, that these were as thornes, but the great abbottes were putrifyed old okes, and they must needes folowe. Grafton. Chron. Hen. VIII. an. 26. The abbot was elected by the monks of the monastery, at least in the greater part of abbacies. Smith. Wealth of Nations, b. v. c. 1.


It. Abbreviare; Sp. Abreviar-from Lat. Brevis ; the Gr. Bpaxus; A. S. Bracan, to break. See ABRIDGE.

To break or make short, concise; to shorten, to abridge; to bring or reduce to a smaller space or compass by breaking off, or removing parts.

In all theyr wrytynge, [the Frenshe] when they come to any mater that soundyth any thynge to theyr honour, it is wrytten in the longest and mooste shewynge manoure to theyr honour and worshyp. But if it sounde any thynge to theyr dishonoure, than shall it be abreuyatyd or hyd, that the trouthe shall not be knowen.-Fabyan. Hen. III. an. 26.

The epistles do conteyne counsayles and aduertisementes in the fourme of orations, recytynge diuers places, as wel out of the olde testament, as the gospels, as it were an abbreuiate, called of the Grekes and Latines, Epitoma. Elyot. The Governor, b. iii. c. 23.

O happie Cato Censorine, who with suche as haue folowed his wales, are now sure fro the abatementes of fortune. The Golden Boke, ch. xxv. Hel. O weary night, O! long and tedious night, Of this Joseph, Trogus Pompeius, and also his abreuiator Abate thy houres, shine comforts from the East, Justine do write in this manner: Joseph was the yongest That I may backe to Athens by day-light, among the brethren, whose excellent wit they fearing, solde From these, that my poore companie detest. him vnto straynge marchauntes, by whome he was brought Shakespeare. Mid. Night's Dream, Act iii. sc. 2. into Egypt.-Grafton. Chron. The Third Age.

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