Dictionary of Love
WELCOME



Read or Search the Dictionary

DICTIONARY: TEXT
DICTIONARY: SEARCH



Read about the Dictionary:

PUBLICATION HISTORY
JOHN CLELAND
RALPH GRIFFITHS
J. F. DU RADIER



Select Dictionary Entries by
Random Phrases:

ILLUSTRATIONS

Part of Speech:

VERB
NOUN
ADJECTIVE

Courtship Stage:

STARTING
NEGOTIATING
OUTCOME
ANY

Implied Readers:

WOMEN
MEN
BOTH



Read about the Project:

PROJECT HISTORY
EDITING IN XML
LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS
LITERARY EXAMPLES
BIBLIOGRAPHY



Dictionary of Love: Selections
The Dictionary of Love
Select POS: adjective

Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Agreeable

A term often used for a modest cover of one's real sentiments, to a very ordinary woman, with too much sense not to suspect the sincerity of one, who should pretend to assure her seriously that he thought her handsome. Thus the saying, “Madam, I see no-body so agreeable as you,” means, “Since I have gone so far as to tell you that I loved you, I must look out for some reason to assign for it: Now, the quality of agreeable being one of those ideas of caprice purely arbitrary, a je-ne-sçai-quoi, that admits of no dangerous definition, it may serve till I have gathered impudence enough, or you are grown silly enough, for me to tell you you are handsome.”


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Amiable, Lovely

Formerly denoted a person, whose beauty and merit captivated all hearts. It is now in very common use, and applied, indifferently, to all whom we take for the objects of our fancy, vanity, or fulsome, maukish flattery.


Omitted text:
…to all whom we take for the objects of our fancy, vanity, or fulsome, maukish flattery.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Amorous

A term which means one constitutionally inclined to gallantry; a character that used formerly to be expressed by a much coarser word, which is now entirely exploded; whilst the character itself subsists in its full force.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Barbarous

A Word of a great sound, and little meaning; used to express the discontent of a lover. How barbarous you are! signifies, “You surprize me; I did not expect such a long resistance: my pride begins to murmur at it.”


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

To Brisk an Attack

There are occasions in which this method succeeds, when fear and awe are ridiculous; as every thing is that is mis-timed or mis-placed.

Machiavel, the prince of politicians, gives the lover a cue in his lesson to them. “It is better, says he, to sin through too much vivacity, than too much timidity: Fortune is a woman, and requires a brisk attack. She grants victory oftener to rash, impetuous characters, than to the cold and circumspect. Hence it is, that this goddess, like women, (N.B. His whole comparison turns upon this principle) is more favourable to the young, because they have more fire, and daring, than those of a more advanced age.”

It is also generally kindly taken by the women, that a man should afford them the excuse of saying, “I could not help it. I was surprized.” Thus, a well-timed agreeable violence may save at once their honour and their delicacy.

The Fair will forgive the detail of these maxims, for the sake of the instruction they convey of their danger, that they may avoid the application.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Brown

A brown, or olive beauty. A Brunette. See Fair

Though the author of the TREATISE on the Passions, says, that they dispute about the pre-eminence of the brown and fair was first broached by voluptuaries; and that it is not precisely black, or blue eyes, that form the favourable distinction: yet the connoisseurs in general decide for the Cleopatra-stile of beauty, the brown, as the most poignant in love; preferring the mildened luster of a fine evening to the glare of the meridian sun.


Omitted text:
A brunette. See Fair
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Variant spelling:
preeminence | preheminence A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Calm

The state of an heart without a passion. Whatever praises women may give to this tranquility, it is a thousand times more insupportable to them, than all the anxieties of love. Whenever, then, they talk in this manner, I admire the calm of a disengaged heart, this means, “Custom has absolutely forbid our sex to complain of having no lovers: it is confessing too many disagreeable things, and almost equal to owning that one has no merit. What is to be done then? dissemble.”

After having once loved, a calm is yet more odious; and indifference, at best, an isipid, uncomfortable state. To get out of it, there is nothing like spreading one's sails to a fresh breeze, though it should blow from another quarter.


Omitted text:
After having once loved, a calm is yet more odious; and indifference, at best, an isipid, uncomfortable state. To get out of it, there is nothing like spreading one's sails to a fresh breeze, though it should blow from another quarter.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Cruel

See Barbarous

Some of these cruel women resemble the nymphs in Ausonius, who set out with threatening Cupid to put him to death with the severest tortures, and soften their cruelty so far as only to whip him with roses.


Omitted text:
See Barbarous
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Discreet

To be discreet, reserved in one's actions and words, is a virtue now rarely practiced. The lovers of former times, used to complain loudly of the rigours of their mistresses, and kept a religious silence as to their favours. That system is now reversed: Vanity makes them very sure to keep the secret of their refusal, and to publish with pleasure all the favours they receive. Sooner than burst with a retention of them, they would have recourse to the invention of Midas's barber. But lovers, who know full well that a character of indiscretion is a great obstacle to their successes with the Fair, take special care to quiet any scruple upon that head

I am discreet. The true meaning of this phrase is: “It is not my game that you should have any doubts of my discretion; this is then to remove that obstruction, as far as words may do it; reserving, however, to myself the relief of giving broad hints of the favours you shall have granted me; and I will recommend such particular secrecy to some of my friends, over a bottle, that you will not have much to fear upon that head.”


Omitted text:
I am discreet. The true meaning of this phrase is: “It is not my game that you should have any doubts of my discretion; this is then to remove that obstruction, as far as words may do it; reserving, however, to myself the relief of giving broad hints of the favours you shall have granted me; and I will recommend such particular secrecy to some of my friends, over a bottle, that you will not have much to fear upon that head.”
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Disdainful

A disdainful air may be supportable, and even become a beauty, on proper occasions for it: but it is terribly ridiculous when there is no call for it, or when employed as a grimace, by a woman who does not deserve the honour of a provocation to it.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Eternal

There is no eternity in any sublunary thing, and least of all in love.

I will love you eternally: My flame will be eternal. Ridiculous phrases! which signify, “My passion will last as long as it will last.”

Note, that in the Love-kalendar, as moments are sometimes years, and years ages, it happens too, that ages become years, and years moments: thus, It is an eternity since I saw you, sometimes means, “I have not seen you these two days:” and “My love will be eternal,” often signifies, “It will last two days.”

Hyperboles are the familiar language of lovers, who are always in extremes; and too often “in extremes by change more fierce.”


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Fair

A fair beauty is rarely so lasting as a brown one. They are less lively, less animated; but generally they are more dazzling, more tender, more affecting, and pass for more susceptible of a constant passion. 'Tis a great question, yet undecided, in gallantry, which is the most amiable: but in this the taste is arbitrary; some love the fair, others the brown; and some both.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Faithful

A faithful lover is a character greatly out of date, and rarely now used but to adorn some romantic novel, or for a flourish on the stage. He passes now for a man of little merit, or one who knows nothing of the world.

By faithfulness, then, is to be understood a firm resolution of reducing an obstinate fair-one: and by a faithful lover, one who has not yet gained his point. The last favours are the extreme unction to love, which rarely or never survives their administration.


Added text:
A faithful lover, we are sorry to say, is a character greatly out of date…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Omitted text:
…and by a faithful lover, one who has not yet gained his point The last favours are the extreme unction to love, which rarely or never survives their administration.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

General

A general lover is one who makes a profession of a passion he does not feel. He is a great dealer in those fulsome protestations, to which women must be fools indeed to give any credit, as there are none of them who have a tolerable face, or personal charms, that can escape them from him. They talk of love as indifferently as of the weather, and possess all the cant of it; but are the less dangerous, as they want that unction which the passion, when real, never fails to bestow. A woman of sense may feel, that what they say does not come from the heart: it has none of its warmth, and ought to have as little of its persuasion.


Omitted text:
He is a great dealer in those fulsome protestations, to which women must be fools indeed to give any credit, as there are none of them who have a tolerable face, or personal charms, that can escape them from him.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)

Modified text:
They talk of love as indifferently as of the weather…
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Giddy

He is a giddy young fellow, is not always said in a bad sense. It means sometimes, that such an one is capable of those happy airs of forgetting himself, and that respect, which is better lost than preserved on some occasions.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Gratis

A word long exploded, out of the dictionary of love. Nothing for nothing is now the grand maxim in love as well as in politics.

To love gratis, is to love without return, which need happen to none but those unfortunate, who have not at command the eloquence of a rich Jew, or stock-jobber.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Happy

Term employed in different senses, and may be figuratively understood. Why will you not make me happy? This phrase, justly construed, not seldom signifies, “Why are you prudent enough not to make yourself unhappy, by believing me?”

How happy am I, now you tell me you love me? means,“You rid me of a great deal of plague I have had to bring you to my point: I have no further occasion for all the drudgery of courtship; you have happily relieved me: and I am henceforward to be on the free and easy footing with you.”


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Indifferent

How indifferent you are? That is as much as to say, “I wonder you can have so little attention to my merit.”

A state of indifference is either an insipid or a foolish one. There are no pleasures for the indifferent, which is no balance for there being no pains for them. Love can less bear indifference than hatred.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Lovely

See Amiable


Omitted text:
Entry omitted. A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Mad

Are you mad? is a term often used, with no very forbidding term, to an enterprizing lover, who has never more his senses about him, than when he seems to be so much out of them, as not to know what he is about. The truth is, that he only knows too well what he is about.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Plaintive

The style of lovers is ever a plaintive one. A lover is naturally a querulous animal. Complaints of one sort or other fill up the letters and conversations of lovers: and he has not always the most reason to complain, who complains the most.

What do you complain of? in the mouth of the Fair, signifies, “I have granted you all that decency would allow me to grant you: it is your business to take the rest.”


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Sick, Sickness

I am sick with Love. Sure you cannot refuse to cure the pains you cause. — All this pretended sickness, and pain, never intrench [sic] an instant on the lover's pleasure. They never confine him to his room. He can, for all them, go to the plays, gardens, masquerades, and even to a bagnio. They are so little troublesome, that a lover would be sorry to be cured of this imaginary disorder, that amuses him so agreeably, and flatters so much the vanity of the women. In short, lover-sick and sham-sick are synonymous terms.

It were to be wished, that in the states of love there was no more real illness than of this sort; our youth would be less liable to disorders, that send them very seriously to consult the sons of Esculapius.


Modified text:
In short, love-sick and sham-sick are the same thing
A Dictionary of Love (1777)

Omitted text:
…are synonymous terms. It were to be wished, that in the states of love there was no more real illness than of this sort; our youth would be less liable to disorders, that send them very seriously to consult the sons of Esculapius.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Submissive

A submissive lover is a designing one: he plays the slave in order to become the master. All his submission and obedience only prove that he omits nothing that may pave him the way to absolute power in his turn. This is the old stale game, and not a jot the less successful for the being so.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Troublesome

A troublesome lover is one of those antiquated lovers who exact delicacy, constancy, and attachment from their mistresses. He is almost as unreasonable as a fond husband, and as much out of the fashion. The present system of toleration on both sides, seems too commodious not to grow into an established one.


Omitted text:
He is almost as unreasonable as a fond husband, and as much out of the fashion. The present system of toleration on both sides, seems too commodious not to grow into an established one.
A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Ugly

How ugly you are! only signifies, that in spite of myself I love you, and your person is out of the question, so I can by make a conquest of your heart!


Added text:
New word. A Dictionary of Love (1777)
A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Unaccountable

It is the je ne sçai quoi of the French, and a term often used like fate, stars, destiny, &c The true sense of which is, when a woman will do what she will do; and instead of owning the ridiculousness of her passion for a worthless object, she pleads an unaccountable liking or impulse; and prefers renouncing her reason, and building a system on no foundation, to the painful task of controlling her inclination, and subordinating her heart to her duty.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Unconstant

You are an unconstant. This reproach, well weighed, signifies, “My self-love is more flattered by imputing to you a fault, of which I am myself the cause, than if I was to tell myself that I have not charms enough to fix you.”

The truth is, that unconstancy is oftener a misfortune than a crime. A lover cannot always help it. He is innocent, because he is passive in it. Not to deserve inconstant, if not a cure, is at least a consolation.


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Unfaithful

See Unconstant


Omitted text:
Entry omitted. A Dictionary of Love (1795)


Agreeable  Amiable  Amorous  Barbarous  Brisk  Brown  Calm  Cruel  Discreet  Disdainful  Eternal  Fair  Faithful  General  Giddy  Gratis  Happy  Indifferent  Lovely  Mad  Plaintive  Sick  Submisssive  Troublesome  Ugly  Unaccountable  Unconstant  Unfaithful  Winning  TOP

Winning

How winning you are! The English of this I, How weak am I!