About The Joy of English

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English
1756 – online edition

This online version of Johnson's Dictionary (1756) was put together by whichenglish.com and the author of The Joy of English.

It was produced by combining OCR and sophisticated GREP, in addition to pure, time-consuming search-and-replace grunt for formatting and clean-up. It is by no means a clean, perfect text reproduction (yet) but it is an ongoing project. The sheer volume of code behind these pages (137,000 lines of code) means that there is only so much one man can do. The overall integrity of the contents of the dictionary is here.

A few notes about this online version of the dictionary. First, it is not perfect. Most of the 47,000 headwords will be highlighted in bold and each definition in separate p-tags. Many did not succeed during conversion and the sheer volume of entries prohibits be from doing them all manually one by one. Second, not every word came out accurately in the OCR process and so many definitions will have garbled words and entries. Again, the volume here means that the time it would take to fix manually would be enormous. At present it is not just feasible for one person (me) to clean up. Third, not ALL of the entries ARE actually garbled. This is because the spelling of the 1700s was different from what we recognize today. The most notable difference here is the letter s, printed at the time as ſ because it is a long s. So, instead of appearing as sensual. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary rendered it as ſenſual. So these are not mistakes – it just takes a little getting your head round it.

Today's letter s was at the time of printing Johnson's Dictionary typically rendered ſ. So, sounds looks on these pages as ſounds, English looks like Engliſh. This is not mistake. Equally italic long s looks like Shakʃpeare in the word Shakespeare.

English long s

As you can see from these 18th-century chiselled gravestones, the f (left) and long s (right, between i and h) are distinctly different. So, please don't be offended if you see ſuck, it is merely 18th-century suck.


Anyway, I hope you enjoy browsing. Jesse.


This page last updated: 20 October 2014


Y. At the beginning of words, is a
conſonant ; at the end, and when it
follows a conſonant, is a vowel,
and has the ſound of i. It is uſed at the
end of words, and whenever two i i's would
come together ; and in words derived from
the Greek, to expreſs the v. Y was much
uſed by the Saxons, whence y is found for
i in the old Engliſh writers.

YACHT. ʃ. A ſmall ſhip for carrying paſſengers.

YARD. ʃ. [seap'D, Saxon.]
1. Incloſed ground adjoining to an houſe. Brown, Dryden.
2. [3eJl'^, Sax.] A meaſure of threefeet. Bacon, Holder.
3. The ſupports of the fails. Dryden.

YA'RDWAND. ʃ. [yard and wand.] A
meaſure of a yard. Collier.

YARE. a. [3e3ppe, Saxon.] Ready ; dextrous
; eager. Shakʃpeare.

YA'RELY. ad. [from j'are.] Dextiouſly ;
ſkilfully. Shakʃpeare.

YARN. ʃ. [jeajin, Saxon.] Spun wool ;
woollen thread. Shakʃpeare. TempU,

To YARR. v. V, [from the found ; birrio,
Latin.] To growJ, or fnarl like a dog.

YA'RROW. ʃ. A plant which grows wild
en the dry banks, and is uſed in medicine.

YAWL. ʃ. A linle veſſel belonging to a
ſhip, for convenience of paſſing to and from

To YAWN. v. ». [jſonan, Saxon.]
1. To gape ; to ofcitats ; to have the
mouth opened involuntarily. Bacon, Dryden.
2. To open wide. Sandyt, Prior.
3. To expreſs deſire by yawning. Hooker.

YAWN. f. [from the verb.]

1. Ofcitation. Pope.
2. Gape ; hiatus. Addiſon.

YAWNING. a. [from yawn.] Sleepy ; flumbering. Shakſpeare.

YCLAD. part, for clad. Clothed. Shakſpeare.

Y'CLEPED. Called ; termed ; named. Milton.

YDREA'D. The old pret. of to dread.

YE. The nominative plural of thou. .Luke.

YEA. ad. [ca, or jea, Saxon ; ja, Dutch.]
Yes. Shakʃpeare, Matthew.

To YEAD. or YEDE. v. «. preterite ;;c^/tf.
To go ; to march. Spenſer.

To YEAN. v. n. [e?mian, Saxon.] To bring
young. uſed of ſheep. Shakʃpeare, Dryden.

YEA'NLING. ʃ. [from year.] The young
of sheep. Shakʃpeare.

YEAR. ʃ. [xeaja, Saxon.] Twelve raonthy. Shakʃpeare.t,
2. It is often uſed plurally, without a plural
termination. Shakʃpeare.
3. In the plural, old age. Bacon,Dryden.

YE'ARLING. a. [from ^wr.] Being a year
old. Pope.

YE'ARLY. a. [from yeat.] Annual ; happening
every year ; laſting a jear. Prior.

YE'ARLY. ad. Annually ; once a year. Dryden.

To YEARN. v. n. [eajinan, Saxon.] To
feel great internal uneaſineſs. Spenſer, Geneſif.

To YEARN. v. a. To grieve ; to vex. Shakſp.eare ;

YEST. ʃ. [3T«j Saxon.]
1. The foam, ſpume, or flower of beer ia
fermentation ; barm. Hudibras, Gay.
2. The ſpume on a troubled ſca. Shakſp.


YE'STY. a. [from ^e/?.] Frothy ; ſpumy.Shakʃpeare.

YELK. ʃ. [from jealepe, y^Z/ow, Saxon.]
The yellow part of the egg. It is commonly
pronounced, and often written >'c//i. Brown, Dryden.

To YELL. v. », To cry out with horrour
and agony. 'Spenſer. Drayton, Milton.

YELL. ʃ. [from the verb.] A cry f horrour. Shakʃpeare, Dryden.

YE LLOW. a. [yealepe, Saxon ;
Dutch.] Being of a bright glaring c^l ur,
as gold. Milton, Newton.

YE'LLOW'Y ʃ. A gold coin. Arbuth.


YELLOWISH. a. [from jf/W.] Approaching
to yellow. Woodward.

YE'LLOWISHNESS. ʃ. [from yellowiſh.]
The quality of approaching to yellow. Boyle.

YE'LLOWNESS. ʃ. [from yellow.]
1. The quality of being yellow. Bacon. .Arbuthtiot,
2. It is uſed in Shakʃpeare. for jealouſy.

YE'LLOWS. ʃ. A difeaſe in horſes. It
owes Its original to obſtructions in the gallpipe,
which are cauſed by ſlimy or gritty
matter ; or to the ſtoppage of the roots of
thoſe little duds opening into that pipe, by
the like matter.

To YEP. v. n. [jealpan, Saxon.] To bark
as a beagle hound after his prey. Shakſpeare

YE'OMAN. ʃ. [The true etymology ſeems
to be Ivxjm geman, Fiiſick, a villager.]
1. A man of a ſmall eſtate in land ; a
farmer ; a gentleman farmer. Locke, Addiſon.
2. It ſeems to have been anciently a kind
of cereſtionious title given to ſoldiers
: whence we have iWW yeomen of the guard. Bacon, Swift.
3. It was probably a freeholder not advanced
to the rank of a gentleman.Shakʃpeare.

YE'OMANRY. ʃ. [from yeoman. 1 The collet
-ive body of yeomen. Bacon.

To YERK. v. a. To throw out or move
with a ſpring. A leaping horſe is ſaid to
yerky or ſtrike out his hind legs, when he
flings and kicks with his whole hind quarters.
Farrier'' s Diff.

YERK. ʃ. [from the verb.] A quick motion.

To YERN. v. a. See Yearn. Shakſp.

YES. ad. [sir^, Saxon.] Atterm of affirmation
; the affirmative particle oppoſed to
no. Bacon, Pope. .

YE'STER. ^?. f^/jiy?er, Dutch.] Being next
before the preſent day. Dryden.

YE'STERDAY. ʃ. [sTt^rb^Z;. Saxon.]
The day Uft paſt ; the next day before to-
4ay, Shakʃpeare, Prior.

Johnson's Dictionary 1756 @ whichenglish.com


YE'STERDAY. ad. On the day laſt pal^. Bacon.

YE'STERNIGHT. ʃ. The night before
this night.

YE'STERNIGHT. ad. On the night laſt
paft. ^ Shakſpeare.

YET. csnjunff. [jyt, jet, S^ta, Saxon.]
Nevertheleſs ; notwithſtanding ; however. Daniel, South. billot/en,

YET. ad.
1. Beſide ; over and above. Atterbury.
2. Still ; the ſtate ſtill remaining the ſame. Addiʃon.
3. Once again. Pope. .
4. At this time ; ſo ſoon ; hitherto : with
a negative before it. Bacon.
5. At leaſt. Baker.
6. It notes increaſe or extenſion of the
ſenſe of the words to which it is joined. Dryden.
7. Still ; in a new degree. L'Eſtrange.
8. Even ; after all. Whitgifte. Bacon.
9. Hitherto. Hooker.

YE'VEN. for^J-Offl. Spenſer.

YEW. ʃ. [ip, Saxon.] A tree of tough
wood. Fairfax, Prior.

YE'WEN. a. [from yeiu.^ M-de of the
wood of yew,

YFE'RE. ad. [ypcjre, Saxon ] Together. Spenſer.

To YIELD. v. a. [jeluan, Saxon. to pay.]
1. To produce
; to give in return for cultivation
or labour. Arbuthnot.
2. To produce in general. Shakʃpeare, Arbuthnot.
3. To afford ; to exhibit, Sidney, Locke.
4. To give as claimed of right. Milton.
5. To allow; to permit. Milton.
6. To emit; to expire. Geneſif.
7. To refgn ; to give up. Watts.
8. To ſurrender, Knolles.

To YIELD. v. «.
1. To give up the conqueſt ; to ſubmit. Daniel, Walton.
2. To comply with any perſon. Prior.
3. To comply with things. Bacon, Milton.
4. To concede ; to admit ; to allow ; not
to deny. Hakewell,
5. To give place as inferiour in excellence
or any other quality. Dryden.

YIE'LDER. ʃ. [from y^W.] One who yields,Shakʃpeare.

YOKE. f. [j-roc, Saxon ; y^f., Dutch.]
1. The bandage placed on the neck of
draught oxen. Nurr.hen,Pope. .
2. A markof ſervitude ; ſlavery, Dryden.
3. A chain; a link ; a bond. Dryden.
4. A couple ; two ; a pair. Shakʃpeare, Dryden. Broomt,

To YOKE. v. a. [from the noun.]
1. To bind by a yoke or carriage. L'Eſtrange, Dryden.
2. To join or couple with another. Dyd.
3. To ad. At a diſtancee within
view, Milton, Arbuth.
'f, To enſlave; to ſubdue, Shakʃpeare.
4. To reſt rain ; to confine^ Bacon.

YOKE-ELM. ʃ. A rree. Ainſworth.

YO'KEFELLOW. ʃ/. [yck.- ind/dlow, or

YOKEMATE. ʃ. m>ic]
1. Companion in labour. Shakʃpeare.
2. Mite ; fellow. Hudibras. Sif>nry,

YOLD. for yielded. Obfolce. S/> nſer.

YOLK. ʃ. [See Yslk.] The yellow part
of an egg. Ray.

YOM. 1 a, [xeon'D, Saxon.] B^ ng

YOND. > at a diſtancee within view.

YO'NDER. ) Shakſ, Ben. Johnſon, Pope.



YOND. a. Mad ; furious: perhaps tranſported
with rage ; under alienation of mind. Spenſer.

YORE. or / Tore. ad. [jeojipa, Saxon.]
1. Long. Spenſer.
2. Of old time; long ago. Pope. .
you. proſt. [eop, luh, Saxon]
1. The oblique caſe of _yf. Epb.
2. It is uſed in the nDminacive.Shakʃpeare.
3. It is the ceremonial word for the ſecond
perſon ſingular, and is always uſed,
except in ſolemn language. Pope.

YOUNG. 0. [long, yconj, Saxon.]
jorg. Dutch.]
1. Being in the firſt part of life ; not old. Shakʃpeare.'^ſp, Chapman, Cowley.
2. Ignorant ; weak. Shakʃpeare.
3. It is ſometimes applied to vegetable life. Bacon.

YOUNG. ʃ. The offspring of animals collectively. Milton, More.

YOUNGISH. a. [from young.] Somewhat
young. Tatler.

Johnson's Dictionary 1756 @ whichenglish.com


YOU'NGLING. ʃ. [from >o««^; ro^%hnz.
Saxon.] Any creature in the lirſt part of

YOU'NGLY. ad. [from yourg.]
1. Eaſly inlife. Shakʃpeare.t,
2. Innurantly ; weakly.

YOU NGSTER. ʃ. [from ^c««^.] A

YOU'NGER. ʃ. young perſon. Shakʃpeare. Cr'eech. Prior.

YOUNGTH. ʃ. [from young.] Young. Spenſer.

YOUR. pronoun, [eopefi, Saxon.]
1. Belonging to you. Shakʃpeare.
2. Yours is uſed when the ſubſtantive
goes before or is underſtood ; as f.his X'^your
bonk, this book is j»oarj. Shakſp, Pope. .

YOURSE'LF. ʃ. [your and felf.] You, even
you ; ye, not others. Shakʃpeare.

YOUTH. ʃ. [7.^031 «, Saxon.]
1. The part of life ſucceeding to childhood
and adoleſcence. Shakſp, Milton, Arbuth.
1. A young man. Shakʃpeare, Milton, Dryden.
3. Young men. Ben. Johnſon.

YOU'THFUL. a. [youth and full.]
1. Young. Dryden,
2. Suitable to the firſt part of life. Milton, Dryden, Pope.
3. Vigorous as in youth. Berkley.

YOUTHFULLY. ad. [from youthful.] iti
a youthful manner.

YOU'THLY. a. [from youth.] Young; early in life. Spenſer.

YOU'THY. e. [from youth.] Young ; youthful. Spectiater,

YIGHT. part, ly 2ind pigbt, [torn pileb.]
Fixed. Spenſer.

YUCK. ʃ. [jockr-n, Dutch.] Itch.

YULE. ʃ. [jeo!, y«ol, ychul, Saxon.] The
time of Chnftmas.

YUX. ʃ. [ycox, Saxon.] The hiccough.