Glossary
If you are looking for a word and it doesn't appear in the Glossary, this will be because it has the same sense in Modern English, and can be found in any general dictionary. We only include words that no longer exist in Modern English, have changed their meaning since Shakespeare's day, or have an encyclopedic or specialized sense that would make them unfamiliar to many modern readers. Under this last heading, we include all the proper names (such as figures in classical mythology and local place-names) listed in our Themes and Topics (see Starting Points above).

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
a (int.)
variant form of ‘ah’ see also Exclamations Headword location(s)
a (part.)
particle used in front of a proper name, as a supportive war-cry Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'on' see also afoot (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'on' see also afire (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'on' see also a-height (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'on' see also a-life (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'on' see also a-high (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'of' Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'in' see also a-row (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'in' see also abed (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'in' see also afield (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'in' see also a-tilt (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'at' see also a-night (adv.) Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'by' Headword location(s)
a (prep.)
variant form of 'to' Headword location(s)
'a (pron.)
contracted form of ‘he’ see also Elision Headword location(s)
-a (suffix)
syllable often used to make up the rhythm in a song see also Singing Headword location(s)
'a (v.)
contracted form of ‘have’ see also Verb forms Headword location(s)
abandon (v.) Old form(s): abandon'd
banish, exile, keep away Headword location(s)
abase (v.)
lower, cast down Headword location(s)
abate (v.)
deprive, strip, dispossess Headword location(s)
abate (v.)
lessen, lower, diminish see also bate (v.) 1 Headword location(s)
abate (v.)
shorten, lessen, reduce Headword location(s)
abate (v.)
blunt, put an end to Headword location(s)
abate (v.)
set aside, except, bar Headword location(s)
abated (adj.)
humbled, abject, subdued Headword location(s)
abatement (n.)
lessening, decrease, diminution Headword location(s)
abatement (n.)
means remaining, reduced amount [of money] Headword location(s)
abed / to bed, brought
delivered of a child Headword location(s)
abed, a-bed (adv.) Old form(s): a bed
in bed see also slug-abed (n.) Headword location(s)
abed, a-bed (adv.) Old form(s): a bed
in bed see also a (prep.) 3 Headword location(s)
Abel (n.)
[pron: 'aybl] in the Bible, the son of Adam and Eve, killed by his brother Cain see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
abhominable (adj.)
abominable [from the mistaken etymology ‘ab homine’] see also abominable (adj.) Headword location(s)
abhomination (n.)
variant spelling of ‘abomination’ see also abomination (n.) Headword location(s)
abhor (v.) Old form(s): abhorr'd, abhorrd'st , abhorre, abhorres
loathe, abominate, regard with disgust Headword location(s)
abhor (v.) Old form(s): abhorre
disgust, horrify, revolt Headword location(s)
abhor (v.) Old form(s): abhorre
reject, protest against, refuse Headword location(s)
abhorred (adj.) Old form(s): abhord , abhorr'd
horrifying, disgusting, abominable Headword location(s)
abhorring (n.)
object of disgust, something to be loathed Headword location(s)
abhorring (n.)
abhorrence, disgust, loathing Headword location(s)
abide (v.)
endure, undergo, face Headword location(s)
abide (v.)
stay, remain, stop [in a position] Headword location(s)
abide (v.)
wait for, await, look out for Headword location(s)
abide (v.)
stay a short while, pause before moving on Headword location(s)
abide (v.)
pay the penalty for, suffer for, take the consequences of see also aby (v.) Headword location(s)
abide (v.)
live, dwell, reside Headword location(s)
abiliment (n.)
(usually plural) clothes, dress, attire, outfit see also habiliment (n.) Headword location(s)
ability (n.)
action one is capable of Headword location(s)
ability (n.) Old form(s): abilitie
strength, bodily power Headword location(s)
ability (n.)
means, resources, funds Headword location(s)
abject (adj.) Old form(s): abiect
mean-spirited, despicable, contemptible Headword location(s)
abject (n.) Old form(s): abiects
servile subject, low-placed reject Headword location(s)
abjectly (adv.) Old form(s): abiectly
contemptibly, in a degrading way, with a low opinion Headword location(s)
abjure (v.) Old form(s): abiur'd , abiure
swear to abandon, solemnly reject Headword location(s)
able (adj.)
powerful enough, sufficient, capable of dealing [with] Headword location(s)
able (adj.)
strong, vigorous, powerful Headword location(s)
able (v.)
strengthen, fortify, give power to Headword location(s)
aboard (adv.)
see also clap her aboard Headword location(s)
aboard (adv.)
see also lay aboard Headword location(s)
aboard (adv.)
see also lay knife aboard Headword location(s)
abode (n.)
staying, remaining, lingering Headword location(s)
abode (n.) Old form(s): aboad, aboade
dwelling-place, lodging, residence Headword location(s)
abode (n.)
delay, procrastination Headword location(s)
abode (v.) Old form(s): aboaded
predict, forebode, portend Headword location(s)
abodement (n.) Old form(s): aboadments
foreboding, omen, premonition Headword location(s)
abominable, abhominable (adj.)
inhuman, unnatural, loathsome Headword location(s)
abomination (n.) Old form(s): abhominations
disgusting vice, shameful act Headword location(s)
abomination (n.) Old form(s): abhomination
hatefulness, repugnance, disgusting state Headword location(s)
abortive (adj.) Old form(s): abortiue
monstrously ill-timed, abhorrent and untimely Headword location(s)
abortive (adj.) Old form(s): Abortiue
monstrous, defective, unnatural Headword location(s)
abortive (n.) Old form(s): Abbortiues
abortion of nature, abnormality Headword location(s)
abound (v.)
be wealthy, prosper, thrive Headword location(s)
about (adv.)
in the process of planning, up to Headword location(s)
about (adv.)
about your business, into action Headword location(s)
about (adv.)
round, in circumference Headword location(s)
about (adv.)
indirectly, irregularly Headword location(s)
about (prep.)
concerned with Headword location(s)
about (prep.)
in the company of Headword location(s)
above (adv.) Old form(s): aboue
in addition, as well Headword location(s)
above (adv.) Old form(s): aboue
upstairs; [in stage directions] in the gallery or upper stage Headword location(s)
above (prep.) Old form(s): aboue
beyond Headword location(s)
Abraham (n.)
in the Bible, a Hebrew patriarch, whose name is changed by God from Abram to Abraham see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
abram (adj.)
dark brown, golden brown [from ‘auburn’] Headword location(s)
Abram (n.)
in the BIble, an earlier name of Abraham see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Abram (n.)
in the BIble, an earlier name of Abraham see also Abraham 1 Headword location(s)
abridge (v.) Old form(s): abridg'd
shorten, cut short Headword location(s)
abridge (v.) Old form(s): abridg'd
deprive, debar, dispossess Headword location(s)
abridgement (n.)
pastime, short entertainment, means of shortening the time Headword location(s)
abridgement (n.)
curtailment, cutting off, shortening Headword location(s)
abridgement (n.) Old form(s): abridgment
summary, outline, synopsis Headword location(s)
abroach (adv.)
afoot, astir, in motion Headword location(s)
abroad (adv.) Old form(s): abroade
in the outside world, freely at large, elsewhere, everywhere Headword location(s)
abroad (adv.)
away from home, out of the house Headword location(s)
abroad (adv.)
around, about, on the move Headword location(s)
abroad (adv.)
wide apart Headword location(s)
abroad (adv.)
widely scattered, all over the place Headword location(s)
abrogate (v.)
do away with, put an end to, abstain from Headword location(s)
abrook (v.) Old form(s): abrooke
brook, endure, bear Headword location(s)
abruption (n.)
breaking-off, interruption, hesitation Headword location(s)
absent (adj.)
of absence Headword location(s)
Absey book (n.) Old form(s): booke
[pron: aybee'see] ABC, child's primer Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
precise, literal, particular Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
perfect, complete, incomparable Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
inflexible, uncompromising, intransigent Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
unrestricted, unconditional, without restraint Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
certain, definite, positive Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
curt, peremptory, blunt Headword location(s)
absolute (adj.)
resolved, positive, settled in mind Headword location(s)
abstenious (adj.)
abstemious Headword location(s)
abstract (n.)
[unclear meaning] something removed, withdrawal; abridgement see also obstruct (n.) Headword location(s)
abstract (n.)
summary, digest Headword location(s)
abstract (n.)
list, register, inventory Headword location(s)
abstract (n.)
epitome, embodiment, personification Headword location(s)
absurd (adj.)
tasteless, insipid, incongruous Headword location(s)
Absyrtus (n.)
[pron: ab'sertus] younger brother of Medea, killed by her to aid Jason's escape with the Golden Fleece see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
Absyrtus (n.)
[pron: ab'sertus] younger brother of Medea, killed by her to aid Jason's escape with the Golden Fleece see also Medea (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
Absyrtus (n.)
[pron: ab'sertus] younger brother of Medea, killed by her to aid Jason's escape with the Golden Fleece see also Jason (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
abuse (n.)
deception, hoax, fraud see also self-abuse (n.) Headword location(s)
abuse (n.)
offence, wrong, insult, transgression Headword location(s)
abuse (n.)
flouting, violation, improper use Headword location(s)
abuse (n.)
corrupt practice, wicked way Headword location(s)
abuse (v.) Old form(s): abus'd , abusde
deceive, mislead, fool, cheat see also abused (adj.) 1 Headword location(s)
abuse (v.)
demean, do wrong to, dishonour Headword location(s)
abuse (v.) Old form(s): abusd, abus'd
misuse, maltreat, treat badly, wrong see also abused (adj.) 2 Headword location(s)
abuse (v.)
malign, revile, scorn Headword location(s)
abuse (v.) Old form(s): abus'd
misapply, employ badly Headword location(s)
abused (adj.)
deceived, misled, fooled, cheated see also abuse (v.) 1 Headword location(s)
abused (adj.)
maltreated, wronged, violated see also abuse (v.) 2 Headword location(s)
abuser (n.)
betrayer, deceiver, corrupter Headword location(s)
abusing (adj.)
harmful, damaging, injurious Headword location(s)
aby (v.)
suffer for, pay for, atone for Headword location(s)
abysm (n.) Old form(s): Abisme
abyss, chasm, gulf Headword location(s)
academe (n.) Old form(s): Achademe, Achademes, Achadems
academy, place of learning Headword location(s)
accent (n.)
language, tongue Headword location(s)
accent (n.)
talk, speech, utterance, words Headword location(s)
accent (n.)
sound, voice quality, way of talking Headword location(s)
accent (n.)
attempt at speaking, inarticulate sound Headword location(s)
accent, second
echo, reverberation Headword location(s)
accept (adj.)
decisive, approved, agreed Headword location(s)
acceptable (adj.)
welcome, pleasing, gratifying Headword location(s)
accepted (adj.)
acceptable Headword location(s)
accessory, accessary (adj.) Old form(s): accessarie
as an accessory, offering support Headword location(s)
accessory, accessary (n.)
assistant, helper, collaborator Headword location(s)
accidence (n.)
inflections of Latin grammar Headword location(s)
accident (n.) Old form(s): accedents
occurrence, event, happening Headword location(s)
accident (n.)
chance, fortune, fate Headword location(s)
accidental (adj.) Old form(s): accidentall
happening by chance, fortuitous Headword location(s)
accite (v.)
arouse, induce, excite Headword location(s)
accite (v.)
cite, summon, call Headword location(s)
accommodate (v.)
furnish, equip Headword location(s)
accommodate (v.) Old form(s): Accomodated
aid, help, give an advantage Headword location(s)
accommodation (n.)
amenity, convenience, comfort Headword location(s)
accomplement (n.)
equipment, military trappings Headword location(s)
accomplice (n.)
associate, partner, aide Headword location(s)
accomplish (v.)
get possession of, gain, obtain Headword location(s)
accomplish (v.) Old form(s): Accomplish'd
equip, provide, furnish Headword location(s)
accomplish (v.)
perform, do, carry out Headword location(s)
accomplishment (n.)
fulfilment, consummation Headword location(s)
accompt (n.)
old form of account see also account, accompt (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
accompt (v.)
old form of account see also account, accompt (v.) 1 Headword location(s)
accord (n.)
harmony, agreement Headword location(s)
accord (n.)
agreement, assent, consent Headword location(s)
accord (v.)
agree, assent, consent Headword location(s)
accordant (adj.)
sympathetic, ready to agree, responsive Headword location(s)
according (adj.)
agreeing, assenting Headword location(s)
according (adv.)
accordingly Headword location(s)
according as (prep.)
according to Headword location(s)
accordingly (adv.) Old form(s): accordinglie
correspondingly, suitably, properly Headword location(s)
accost (v.)
approach, make up to, pay court to Headword location(s)
accosting (n.)
[unclear meaning] making of advances, coming on see also coasting (adj.) Headword location(s)
account (v.)
take account of, esteem, appreciate Headword location(s)
account / accompt, cast Old form(s): accompt
make calculations, do arithmetic Headword location(s)
account, accompt (n.) Old form(s): Accompt, accompts
reckoning, debt, sum owing Headword location(s)
account, accompt (n.) Old form(s): accompt
reckoning, judgement [especially by God] see also count (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
account, accompt (n.)
expectation, precedent, normal explanation Headword location(s)
account, accompt (n.)
reckoning, count, estimate Headword location(s)
account, accompt (n.)
number, collection, assortment Headword location(s)
account, accompt (v.)
reckon, judge, consider Headword location(s)
accountant (adj.) Old form(s): accomptant
accountable, responsible, answerable Headword location(s)
accouter, accoutre (v.)
attire, equip, array Headword location(s)
accoutrement (n.) Old form(s): accustrement
formal embellishment, special trappings Headword location(s)
accoutrements, accoustrements (n.)
clothes, outfit, attire Headword location(s)
accuse (n.)
accusation, charge Headword location(s)
accuse (v.)
object to, find fault with, impugn Headword location(s)
accustom (n.)
custom, habit, routine Headword location(s)
ace (n.)
one [lowest score on a dice] see also ames-ace (n.) Headword location(s)
acerb, acerbe (adj.)
bitter, sour, tart Headword location(s)
Acheron (n.)
[pron: 'akeron] Underworld abyss and river, which souls of the dead must cross see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
Acheron (n.)
[pron: 'akeron] Underworld abyss and river, which souls of the dead must cross see also Charon 1 Headword location(s)
achieve (v.) Old form(s): atcheeue , atcheeues , atcheev'd, atchieu'd , atchieue , atchieued, atchiue
gain, obtain, procure Headword location(s)
achieve (v.) Old form(s): atcheeue
accomplish an intention, perform successfully Headword location(s)
achieve (v.) Old form(s): atchieue
finish off, bring to an end, kill Headword location(s)
achievement (n.) Old form(s): Atchieuement
feat, accomplishment, successful action Headword location(s)
Achilles (n.)
[pron: a'kileez] son of Peleus and Thetis; only his spear could heal the wounds it made see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
Achilles (n.)
[pron: a'kileez] son of Peleus and Thetis; only his spear could heal the wounds it made see also Thetis (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
Achitophel (n.)
[pron: a'kitofel] in the Bible, adviser to King David, who sided with Absalom in the conspiracy against David see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
acknow on (v.) Old form(s): acknowne
admit to, confess, acknowledge Headword location(s)
aconitum (n.)
variety of highly poisonous plant, aconite see also Plants Headword location(s)
acquaintance (n.)
friends, companions, associates Headword location(s)
acquit (adj.)
rid, free, relieved see also quit (adj.) 2 Headword location(s)
acquit (v.)
release, free, discharge Headword location(s)
acquit (v.)
atone for, pay for, do penance for Headword location(s)
acquit (v.)
pay back, requite, settle the score with Headword location(s)
acquit (v.)
play one's part, discharge one's responsibility Headword location(s)
acquittance (n.)
acquittal, exoneration, excusing Headword location(s)
acquittance (n.)
satisfaction, settlement, discharge Headword location(s)
acquittance (n.)
written discharge, final receipt Headword location(s)
acquittance (v.)
acquit, discharge, exonerate Headword location(s)
across (adv.) Old form(s): acrosse, a-crosse
folded, crossed Headword location(s)
across (adv.) Old form(s): a-crosse
[of a lance] not straight, obliquely; awry, amiss Headword location(s)
across (adv.) Old form(s): a-crosse
from side to side, all the way across Headword location(s)
act (n.) Old form(s): acte
action (upon a person), effect Headword location(s)
act (n.)
performance, staging, production Headword location(s)
act (n.)
progress, operation, action Headword location(s)
act (n.)
activity, action, performance Headword location(s)
act (n.)
event, deed, happening Headword location(s)
act (n.)
play interval, interlude Headword location(s)
act (v.)
act out, perform, enact Headword location(s)
act (v.) Old form(s): acte
commit adultery, be promiscuous Headword location(s)
act (v.) Old form(s): acte
enact, enforce, bring about Headword location(s)
Actaeon (n.) Old form(s): Acteon
[pron: ak'tayon] cuckold; hunter who saw Artemis (goddess of chastity) bathing naked; she changed him into a stag, who was killed by his own hounds see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
action (n.)
performance, exercises, acts Headword location(s)
action (n.)
movement, demeanour, gesture Headword location(s)
action (n.)
engagement, combat, fighting Headword location(s)
action (n.)
campaign, military action, strategy Headword location(s)
action (n.)
encounter, engagement, exploit Headword location(s)
action (n.)
law-suit, legal proceeding, litigation Headword location(s)
action (n.)
course of action, enterprise; or: trial, legal process Headword location(s)
action (n.)
performance, acting, theatre presentation Headword location(s)
action-taking (adj.)
taking legal action, litigious Headword location(s)
actor (n.)
doer, performer Headword location(s)
actual (adj.) Old form(s): actuall
active, involving specific activity Headword location(s)
acture (n.)
action, performance, process of acting Headword location(s)
ad Apollinem Old form(s): Appollonem
to Apollo see also Latin Headword location(s)
ad Jovem Old form(s): Iouem
to Jove see also Latin Headword location(s)
ad manes... Old form(s): manus
to the shades of brothers see also Latin Headword location(s)
ad Martem
to Mars see also Latin Headword location(s)
adage (n.) Old form(s): Addage
proverb, saying, maxim Headword location(s)
Adam (n.)
in the Bible, the first human being, in the Garden of Eden, who disobeyed God see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Adam Bell
famous 16th-c archer see also Contemporary figures, factual and fictitious Headword location(s)
adamant (n.)
legendary substance of great hardness and magnetism Headword location(s)
addiction (n.)
inclination, leaning, bent Headword location(s)
addition (n.)
polite form of address, style of address Headword location(s)
addition (n.)
exaggeration, overstatement Headword location(s)
addition (n.)
external honour, distinctive style Headword location(s)
addition (n.)
attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat--of-arms] Headword location(s)
addition (n.)
advantage, credit, plus Headword location(s)
addition (n.)
title, name see also sur-addition (n.) Headword location(s)
addle (adj.)
addled, rotten, putrid Headword location(s)
address (v.) Old form(s): addresse , addrest
prepare, make ready, poise to act Headword location(s)
address (v.) Old form(s): addresse , addrest
direct, apply, turn Headword location(s)
address (v.) Old form(s): addrest
dress, array, attire Headword location(s)
address (v.) Old form(s): addresse
make a formal address Headword location(s)
adhere (v.)
agree, suit, fit the circumstances Headword location(s)
adhere (v.)
belong, be relevant, relate Headword location(s)
adieu (int.)
goodbye, farewell see also Farewells Headword location(s)
adjourn (v.) Old form(s): adiourn'd
postpone, defer, put off Headword location(s)
adjudge (v.) Old form(s): adiudg'd , adiudged
sentence, condemn Headword location(s)
adjudge (v.) Old form(s): adiudg'd
award, grant, bestow Headword location(s)
adjunct (adj.) Old form(s): adiunct
connected, associated, annexed Headword location(s)
adjunct (adj.) Old form(s): adiuct, adiunct
attendant [upon], inevitable result [of] Headword location(s)
adjunct (n.) Old form(s): adiunct
annex, addendum, extra function Headword location(s)
adjunct (n.) Old form(s): adiunckt
aid, aide-memoire, assistant Headword location(s)
admirable (adj.)
wondrous, marvellous, extraordinary Headword location(s)
admirable (adv.)
wonderfully Headword location(s)
admiral (n.) Old form(s): Admirall
admiral's ship, flagship Headword location(s)
admiration (n.)
amazement, astonishment, wonder Headword location(s)
admiration (n.)
object of wonder, marvel, phenomenon Headword location(s)
admire (v.) Old form(s): admir'd
marvel, wonder, be astonished [at] Headword location(s)
admire (v.)
revere, marvel at, respect Headword location(s)
admired (adj.) Old form(s): admir'd
wonderful, amazing, remarkable Headword location(s)
admired (adj.) Old form(s): admir'd
regarded with admiration, wondered at Headword location(s)
admiring (adj.)
marvelling, filled with wonder Headword location(s)