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It has appeared to the writer of the following pages that occasion has long existed for a new book on the Synonyms of the English Language, which should be written in some respects from fresh points of view, and should be of a fuller character than commonly belongs to works on this subject.

The present edition has been revised, and considerably enlarged.

The Author feels bound specially to acknowledge material aid in his labours derived from the latest edition of M. Guizot's “ Dictionnaire Universel des Synonymes de la langue Française," from which, bearing in mind the differences between the genius of the French and the English, he has extracted much valuable matter. He has also analyzed and assimilated the observations of previous writers on English Synonymy-a branch of literature which has hitherto borne very scanty fruit in our own country. Such writers are Crabbe, Taylor, Graham, and the late Archbishop Whately.

While he has exercised his own independent judgment and original thought, he has not scrupled to incorporate views of other writers where he believed that he might do so with advantage. His object has been neither a display of originality on the one hand, nor a servile compilation on the other, but such a combination of his own ideas with those of valued authorities as might tend to produce a useful work on the subject in hand. It would be needless to say to how great an extent any writer on English Synonyms must at present be thrown on his own resources.

He must acknowledge also invaluable help, in the quotations from Dr. Richardson's “English Dictionary," which, from the comprehensive range of authors quoted, will in many cases be found to furnish, as it were, a literary biography of the words in question. The arrangement of their meanings in Webster has also been occasionally of good service.

The list of words noticed has been purposely made as ample as possible; for observation has taught him that our acquaintance

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with the distinctive force even of familiar words is often less accurate than we are apt to imagine; besides which, the requirements of foreign students of our language seemed in a peculiar way to claim his sympathy and consideration.

He has been careful to give the derivations of the words analyzed, so far as this was necessary for a fundamental conception of the nature of the words themselves; and in this departinent he has sought the guidance and corroboration only of advanced and scientific etymologists. On the other hand he has striven to avoid the temptation of undue amplification on these points, feeling himself bound to keep steadily in view the distinction between a Philological Treatise and a Dictionary of Synonyms.

In regard to the quotations, he has endeavoured to make them as illustrative as possible of the observations which have gone before, by selecting passages in which they are employed with characteristic force by leading writers of the language. It would have swollen the book to unwieldy dimensions, and have been altogether alien to its character and object, had he given quotations of the words under every sense in which they might have been employed, or treated them in all cases as Words and not as Synonyms.

An Index has been added to the present edition. This will serve not only as a guide to the Synonyms as arranged, but also will enable the reader to institute independent comparisons of the words, if he should desire to do so.

The Author, at the time of his death, had already put together a large amount of material for a new edition, for which he had also written the above Preface. My own work has been simply such revision as was necessary while the Dictionary was passing through

the press.

H. P. S.




opinions, hopes, expectations, offices, RELINQUISH.

possessions, good or evil habits, as the The etymological force of ABANDON

case may be. But that which is (Fr. abandonner, à bandon, at liberty; abandoned is always a thing of confeudal Lat. bandum, an order, decree ; sideration, not a thing of little value see BRACHET) has well-nigh disap- or a matter of petty detail. We may peared from this word. To embandon abandon wealth, but not a purse. or abandon was, primarily, to bring Where loss or injury is entailed on under the power of another; and as the person abandoned, or the abandonthis would imply the surrender of all ment is a dereliction of duty, this control on the part of the original pos- moral colouring belongs not to the sessor, it is easy to see how the con- force of the term, which is essentially sequential idea has in modern English no more than that of final leaving or become the primary, and then the ex- surrender, but to the circumstances of clusive, meaning. To abandon is now, the case. It is only when all efforts in the most comprehensive sense, to to save his ship are hopeless that the give up finally and absolutely, whether captain abandons her to the rocks and with or without transference of the waves. In times of early Christianity thing abandoned to some person or men were called upon to abandon power external to ourselves. A trace houses, lands, and relatives in such of the old meaning, that of placing a way as would be now not only unbeyond jurisdiction and so disclaiming called for, but an unjustifiable deserpossession, appears in Shakespeare: tion of them. We may observe that a “Madam wife, they say that I have twofold idea seems inherent in aban

donment. We may abandon directly And slept alone some fifteen years or more. or indirectly, either by actively transLady. Aye, and the time seems thirty

ferring, or by avoiding and taking unto me, Being all this time abandoned from your

ourselves off. The former force was bed."

the predominant in the old English, Spenser used the form aband.

the latter in the new. No praise or blame is absolutely ex- " See how he lies at random carelessly difpressed by the term abandon, which

fused is one of the widest in the language,

As one past hope abandoned,

And by himself given o'er.” MILTON. though it has a tendency to imply

. blame when used of persons without FORSAKE is the A. S. for-sacan, qualification. So to abandon friends meaning orig. to oppose, object (Bossounds blameworthy, because under WORTH). In usage it implies some this simple expression the mind con- degree of antecedent habituation or templates nothing but a deserted association which is given up. We friendship. Yet it is right to abandon forsake relatives to whom we were friends, if they betake themselves to naturally bound, friends with whom what is dishonest or disgraceful. we once associated, habits which we We may abandon persons or things; had contracted, opinions which we in particular, places, positions, ideas, had entertained, places which we used



or renounce.

to frequent. The cause of forsaking “ No more excuses or delays. I stand is altered taste or babit, variation of Ia arms, prepared to combat hand to aand,

The base deserter of his native land." custom, alienated, or abated attach

DRYDEN. ment. So, rhetorically, “the blood forsook his cheek,” that is, left its

Like forsake, desert implies some dewonted place. The term does not go

gree of previous habituation and beyond this breaking off of previous

association, but the bond broken in habit or association, the making that

forsaking is that of attachment, in a matter of neglect or avoidance which

deserting duty; hence we are not

said to desert what there was no moral before was matter of inclination and seeking; and, like abandon, implies

obligation to adhere to, as, e.g., a in itself neither praise nor blame,

statement, an expression, or a mere which depend on the circumstances of

opinion; but principles' which we the forsaking. Inasmuch as there is

were bound to support as being implied in forsake a former personal

pledged to maintain them. Desertion connexion with ourselves, we are not

involves the withdrawal of active cosaid to forsake abstract forms of good.

operation, forsaking of sympathetic

association. Desert is more purely We forsake houses, lands, friends, possessions, not wealth, station, or

voluntary than forsake. We may forrank. These we are said to abandon

sake under a feeling of imperative Persons on being for

duty, our inclinations giving way to

motives which our reason dares not saken by those who once loved them have sometimes abandoned themselves

discard; but we desert when we disto despair.

like our duty, or are prevailed upon by “ For wele or wo she nill him not forsake."

some external preference or allureCHAUCER.

ment to escape from it. To Desert (Lat. desérère ; to for

To RELINQUISH (Lat. rélinquère) is sake or abandon ; de and serere, to join

to give up under some influence, or bind together, as opposed to asserere,

power, or physical compulsion. We to fasten-fasten hand to hand and so

relinquish as an act of prudence, judgassert a claim) is applicable to per

ment, or necessity that which, bad we

been left to ourselves, we should have sons, places, causes, principles, or un

continued to hold. The act of relindertakings in conjunction with others. We abandon but do not desert efforts

quishment may of course prove subor undertakings which are purely our

sequently to have been necessary or own, and in which we owe no obliga

unnecessary, wise or unwise. A

wounded hand may be compelled to tion or allegiance to others. The term desert always implies blame

relinquish its grasp. In matters moral except when used of localities. To

I relinquish my scheme on finding it desert a person, a principle, or a cause,

impracticable, or my opinion on finde.g., is by the force of the term blame

ing it untenable, or my hope on findworthy; for it insolves the abandon

ing it vain. Some degree of previous ment of sympathy, help, countenance,

struggle with

ourselves is gone protection, effort, where these were

through before we fiually resolve to our bounden duty, and where the

relinquish, or some external influence contrary involves a breach of trust,

is brought to bear upon us which in

duces us to do so. fidelity, honor, or natural obligation. Not so to desert a locality, which may

** The Disdaine met him, and brought be indifferent, justifiable, or

to him from her Majesty letters of revoca

tion with commandment to relinquish for pulsory. It was from overlooking his own part the intended attempt." the fact that places might be deserted HAKLUYT. that some have laid it down that all It may be observed that abandon and desertion is disgraceful. “A deserted desert express more positive acts of fortress," “ deserted village.”. On

the mind than forsake and relinquish. the other hand it is opprobrious in the He who abandons has finally resolved, following, where the word land means he who forsakes has undergone change more than locality :

of mind, he who deserts has sacrificed


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