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
cabilero (n.) Old form(s): Cauileroes
fine fellow, gallant see also cavaliero (adj.) Headword location(s)
cabin (n.) Old form(s): cabbins
den, hole, cave Headword location(s)
cabin (n.) Old form(s): cabben , Cabine
small room, hut, shelter Headword location(s)
cabin (v.) Old form(s): Cabind
be confined, be shut up [in a soldier's tent] Headword location(s)
cabin (v.) Old form(s): cabbin
dwell, lodge, take shelter in Headword location(s)
cabin (v.) Old form(s): cabin'd
cage, pen in, shut up in limiting bounds Headword location(s)
cabinet (n.) Old form(s): cabynet
private apartment, intimate chamber Headword location(s)
cabinet (n.)
dwelling, lodging Headword location(s)
cable (n.)
scope, reach Headword location(s)
cacodemon (n.)
evil spirit Headword location(s)
caddis (n.) Old form(s): Caddysses
tape made of worsted yarn Headword location(s)
caddis-garter (adj.) Old form(s): Caddice garter
garter made of coloured worsted yarns Headword location(s)
cade (n.)
cask, barrel [containing 500 herrings] Headword location(s)
cadent (adj.)
falling, dropping, descending Headword location(s)
Cadmus (n.)
[pron: 'kadmus] son of Agenor, King of Tyre; he set off in pursuit of his sister Europa, arrived in Greece, and founded Thebes see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
Cadmus (n.)
[pron: 'kadmus] son of Agenor, King of Tyre; he set off in pursuit of his sister Europa, arrived in Greece, and founded Thebes see also Agenor 1 Headword location(s)
Cadmus (n.)
[pron: 'kadmus] son of Agenor, King of Tyre; he set off in pursuit of his sister Europa, arrived in Greece, and founded Thebes see also Europa (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
caduceus (n.)
[pron: ka'dyoosius] heraldic wand [in the case of Mercury, entwined with two serpents] Headword location(s)
Cadwallader (n.)
[pron: kad'walader] last of the British kings, 7th-c see also Historical figures Headword location(s)
Caesar, Julius (n.)
[pron: 'seezer] Roman politician and general, 1st-c BC see also Historical figures Headword location(s)
cage (n.)
pen, lock-up, small prison compound Headword location(s)
cage (n.)
basket, frame Headword location(s)
'cagion, 'casion (n.)
dialect version of ‘occasion’ [= cause] Headword location(s)
Cain (n.)
[pron: kayn] in the Bible, son of Adam and Eve, killer of his brother Abel see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Cain (n.)
[pron: kayn] in the Bible, son of Adam and Eve, killer of his brother Abel see also Abel 1 Headword location(s)
Cain-coloured, cane-coloured (adj.) Old form(s): Caine colourd
reddish-yellow see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
caitiff (adj.) Old form(s): Caitiffe , Caytiffe
wretched, miserable, worthless Headword location(s)
caitiff (n.) Old form(s): caitiffe , Caitifs , caytiffe
[sympathetic or contemptuous] miserable wretch, wretched creature Headword location(s)
cake (n.)
compressed pack, flattened bundle Headword location(s)
caked (adj.) Old form(s): cak'd
solidified, coagulated, clotted Headword location(s)
Calaber (n.)
[pron: 'kalaber] Calabria, region of S Italy see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
calculate (v.)
perform calculations, make estimates Headword location(s)
calculate one's birth
cast a horoscope, foretell an event Headword location(s)
calendar (n.)
paradigm, yardstick, standard Headword location(s)
calendar (n.) Old form(s): Kalender
record, register, history Headword location(s)
calf (n.) Old form(s): Calfe , Calues
fool, dolt, idiot Headword location(s)
Calipolis (n.)
[pron: ka'lipolis] mother of Muly Mahamet, character in a contemporary play by George Peele, The Battle of Alcazar see also Contemporary figures, factual and fictitious Headword location(s)
caliver (n.) Old form(s): Caliuer, Calyuer
type of lightweight musket see also Weapons Headword location(s)
calkin (n.)
raised edge of a horse-shoe [which prevents the horse slipping] Headword location(s)
call (n.)
decoy, lure, enticement Headword location(s)
call (v.) Old form(s): call'd
reckon, say to be Headword location(s)
call (v.)
speak out, give voice Headword location(s)
call on / upon (v.) Old form(s): vpon
make a call on, claim repayment of Headword location(s)
call on / upon (v.)
call to account, challenge, requite Headword location(s)
call to (v.)
call on, make a visit Headword location(s)
call up (v.) Old form(s): call'd vp
arouse, prompt, bring to mind Headword location(s)
callet, callat (n.)
scold, nag Headword location(s)
callet, callot (n.)
slut, drab, harlot Headword location(s)
Callice (n.)
common spelling of Calais, port in NW France see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
calling (n.)
name, designation Headword location(s)
calling (n.)
vocation, profession, high station in life Headword location(s)
calm (n.) Old form(s): Calme
calm sea Headword location(s)
calm (n.) Old form(s): Calme
malapropism for ‘qualm’ [feeling of nausea] Headword location(s)
calm (v.) Old form(s): calm'd, calme
becalm, come to a halt, delay Headword location(s)
calumniate (v.)
deal with slanders, handle defamation Headword location(s)
calumniating (adj.)
slandering, defaming, reviling Headword location(s)
calumnious (adj.)
slanderous, defamatory, disparaging Headword location(s)
calve (v.) Old form(s): calued
[of humans compared to animals] bring forth Headword location(s)
calves'-guts (n.) Old form(s): Calues-guts
violin strings Headword location(s)
Calydon (n.)
region of ancient Aetolia, Greece, where the hunt for the Calydonian boar took place see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
Calydon (n.)
region of ancient Aetolia, Greece, where the hunt for the Calydonian boar took place see also Meleager (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
Cambria (n.)
medieval name for Wales see also Britain [outside London] Headword location(s)
cambric (n.) Old form(s): Cambrick , Cambricke , Cambrickes
fine linen from Cambray, Flanders Headword location(s)
Cambyses (n.)
[pron: kam'biyseez] 6th-c BC king of the Medes and Persians, as represented in a 16th-c play by Thomas Preston, Cambyses see also Contemporary figures, factual and fictitious Headword location(s)
Camelot (n.)
capital of King Arthur’s legendary kingdom see also Britain [outside London] Headword location(s)
camlet, chamblet (n.)
garment made of fine cloth Headword location(s)
camp (v.) Old form(s): Campe
accommodate, lodge, put up Headword location(s)
camping (adj.)
living in an army camp, tent-dwelling Headword location(s)
can (v.)
short form of 'began' see also 'gan (v.) Headword location(s)
can (v.)
be skilled [in], have ability [in] Headword location(s)
canakin, cannakin (n.)
little can, small drinking vessel Headword location(s)
canary (v.) Old form(s): canarie
dance in the style of the canary see also canary (n.) 2 Headword location(s)
canary, canaries (n.)
malapropism, probably for 'quandary' Headword location(s)
canary, canaries (n.) Old form(s): Canarie
variety of sweet wine from the Canary Islands Headword location(s)
canary, canaries (n.) Old form(s): Canari
lively Spanish dance Headword location(s)
cancel (v.) Old form(s): cancell
end, terminate Headword location(s)
cancel of (v.)
[unclear word-class] put an end to, wipe out Headword location(s)
cancelled (adj.) Old form(s): canceld
made null and void, invalidated Headword location(s)
Cancer (n.)
fourth sign of the zodiac, associated with heat see also Cosmos Headword location(s)
candidatus (n.)
candidate for political office, dressed in a white toga see also Roman history Headword location(s)
candied (adj.)
sugared, honeyed, flattering Headword location(s)
candied (adj.)
made of ice, crystallized, glistening Headword location(s)
candle-case (n.)
container for candles Headword location(s)
candle-mine (n.) Old form(s): Candle-myne
mine of candle-fat Headword location(s)
candle-waster (n.)
burner of midnight oil, someone who wastes candles by reading late at night Headword location(s)
candy (adj.) Old form(s): caudie
sugary, syrupy, honeyed Headword location(s)
Candy (n.)
Candia (modern Heraklion), port in Crete see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
cane-coloured (adj.)
reddish-yellow see also Cain-coloured (adj.) Headword location(s)
cangenet (n.)
poem, short song see also canzonet (n.) Headword location(s)
canker (n./adj.)
grub that destroys plant buds and leaves, cankerworm, parasite Headword location(s)
canker (n./adj.)
cancer, ulcer, blight, corruption Headword location(s)
canker (n./adj.)
wild-rose, dog-rose [that grows wildly] Headword location(s)
canker (v.)
decay, become corrupt, grow malignant Headword location(s)
canker-bit (adj.)
worm-eaten, eaten away by canker grubs Headword location(s)
canker-bloom (n.) Old form(s): Canker bloomes
blossom of the wild rose Headword location(s)
canker-blossom (n.) Old form(s): canker blossome
grub that destroys the blossom [of love] Headword location(s)
cankered (adj.) Old form(s): Cankred
malignant, malicious, bad-tempered Headword location(s)
cankered (adj.) Old form(s): Cankred
corrupted, rotten to the core Headword location(s)
cankered (adj.) Old form(s): canker'd , Cankred
rusted, corroded, tarnished Headword location(s)
cankering (adj.) Old form(s): cankring
decaying, corrupting, destroying Headword location(s)
canker-sorrow (n.)
gnawing grief, all-consuming sorrow Headword location(s)
cannibally (adv.)
in the manner of a cannibal Headword location(s)
cannoneer (n.)
gunner, artilleryman Headword location(s)
canon (n.) Old form(s): Cannon
law, decree, rule Headword location(s)
canon (n.) Old form(s): Cannon
scriptural canon, Bible Headword location(s)
canon, from the Old form(s): Cannon
out of order, improper, inappropriate Headword location(s)
canonize (v.)
glorify, immortalize, exalt Headword location(s)
canonized (v.) Old form(s): Canoniz'd
buried with the Church's rites, consecrated by Christian burial Headword location(s)
canopy (n.)
sky, firmament Headword location(s)
canopy (n.)
covering above a bed Headword location(s)
canopy (v.) Old form(s): canopie , canopy'd
curtain, veil, cover [as if by a canopy] Headword location(s)
canstick (n.) Old form(s): Candlestick
candlestick Headword location(s)
cantherizing (n.)
cauterizing, burning with a hot iron Headword location(s)
cantle (n.)
segment, corner, slice Headword location(s)
canton (n.)
song, ballad, verse Headword location(s)
canvas-climber (n.) Old form(s): canuas clymer
mariner climbing to trim the sails, sailor Headword location(s)
canvass (v.) Old form(s): canuas
toss about [as if in a canvas sheet], beat, thrash Headword location(s)
canzonet (n.) Old form(s): cangenet
poem, short song Headword location(s)
cap (n.) Old form(s): cappes
removal of a cap, respectful salutation Headword location(s)
cap (n.)
[raising of a cap] salute, respect, approval Headword location(s)
cap (n.)
chief, supremo, doyen Headword location(s)
cap (n.)
[men] soft brimless head-dress; [women] loose-fitting decorative head-dress see also Clothing Headword location(s)
cap and knee (n.)
cap in hand and bended knee [in order to be deferential] Headword location(s)
capable (adj.) Old form(s): capeable
sensitive, receptive, responsive Headword location(s)
capable (adj.)
able to inherit, entitled to possess property Headword location(s)
capable (adj.) Old form(s): capeable
comprehensive, exhaustive, capacious Headword location(s)
capable of Old form(s): capeable
appreciative of, able to take in Headword location(s)
capable of Old form(s): capeable
open to, subject to, susceptible to Headword location(s)
capacity (n.) Old form(s): capacitie
intelligence, understanding, capability Headword location(s)
cap-and-knee (adj.)
sycophantic, flattering, obsequious Headword location(s)
Capaneus (n.)
[kapa'nayus] one of seven champions – the 'Seven against Thebes' – who attacked Thebes to deprive Eteocles of his kingship see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
cap-a-pe, cap-a-pie (adv.) Old form(s): Cap a Pe
[pron: kapa'pay] from head to foot, from top to toe Headword location(s)
caparison (n.)
trappings, adornments, trimmings Headword location(s)
caparison (n.)
dress, outfit, clothing Headword location(s)
caparison (v.)
put the trappings on, equip, harness Headword location(s)
caparisoned (adj.) Old form(s): Caparison'd
dressed, decked out, arrayed Headword location(s)
caper (v.)
be lively, show high spirits Headword location(s)
caper (v.) Old form(s): caper'd , Capring
dance with joy, leap with delight Headword location(s)
caper (v.)
engage in a dancing contest Headword location(s)
caper, cut a
perform a leap in which the feet are kicked together in the air Headword location(s)
capering (adj.) Old form(s): capring
prancing, cavorting, frolicsome Headword location(s)
capital (adj.) Old form(s): capitall
worthy of the death penalty, punishable by death Headword location(s)
capital (adj.) Old form(s): Capitall
mortal, deadly, fatal Headword location(s)
capital (adj.) Old form(s): Capitall
main, chief, principal Headword location(s)
Capitol (n.)
geographical and ceremonial centre of ancient Rome, the seat of government see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
capitulate (v.)
bargain, parley, treat Headword location(s)
capitulate (v.)
sign articles of agreement Headword location(s)
capocchia (n.) Old form(s): Chipochia
simpleton, dolt, fool Headword location(s)
capon (n.)
chicken, castrated cockerel [bred for eating] Headword location(s)
capon (n.)
castrated cockerel; so: fool, dolt [as term of abuse] Headword location(s)
capriccio (n.) Old form(s): Caprichio
[Italian] caprice, whim, fancy Headword location(s)
capricious (adj.)
fanciful, witty, ingenious Headword location(s)
captain (adj.) Old form(s): captaine
principal, pre-eminent, chief Headword location(s)
captain (n.) Old form(s): Captaine , Captaines
commander, chief, leader see also Address forms Headword location(s)
captain-general (n.) Old form(s): Captaine, Generall
commander-in-chief Headword location(s)
captainship (n.)
leadership, command Headword location(s)
capten (n.)
Scottish pronunciation of 'captain' see also Scottish Headword location(s)
captious (adj.)
capacious, spacious, roomy Headword location(s)
captivate (v.) Old form(s): captiuate, captiuated, captiuates
make captive, capture, imprison Headword location(s)
captive (adj.) Old form(s): captiue
imprisoning, confining, incarcerating Headword location(s)
captive (v.) Old form(s): captiu'd
capture, take captive Headword location(s)
captivity (n.) Old form(s): Captiuitie
those made captive, prisoners Headword location(s)
car (n.) Old form(s): carre
carriage, cart, chariot [often of the sun god] Headword location(s)
carack (n.)
large merchant ship, also fitted out for war see also carrack (n.) Headword location(s)
caract (n.)
insignia, badge, distinctive emblem see also charact (n.) Headword location(s)
carat (n.) Old form(s): Charract
worth, value, quality Headword location(s)
caraway (n.)
carraway seeds, or a delicacy containing carraway seeds Headword location(s)
carbonado (v.)
slash, cut [as if preparing meat for grilling] Headword location(s)
carbonado, carbinado (n.)
grilled piece of meat Headword location(s)
carbonadoed (adj.) Old form(s): carbonado'd
scored across for grilling, made ready for broiling Headword location(s)
carbonadoed (adj.) Old form(s): carbinado'd
cut, slashed, hacked about Headword location(s)
carbuncle (n.)
fiery red precious stone Headword location(s)
carbuncle (n.)
tumour, growth, lump Headword location(s)
carbuncled (adj.) Old form(s): Carbunkled
set with precious stones Headword location(s)
carcanet (n.) Old form(s): carconet, Carkanet
jewelled necklace Headword location(s)
card (n.)
[compass-card, on which the 32 points of the compass are marked] model, accurate guide Headword location(s)
card (v.)
mix, mingle, adulterate Headword location(s)
card, by the (n.) Old form(s): Carde
[of a compass-card] with minute precision Headword location(s)
cardecue (n.) Old form(s): Cardceue
[French: quart d'ecu] quarter of a crown see also Money Headword location(s)
carder (n.)
one who combs out impurities in wool Headword location(s)
cardinally (adv.)
malapropism for ‘carnally’ Headword location(s)
cardmaker (n.)
instrument for combing wool Headword location(s)
carduus benedictus
[Latin] blessed thistle, a medicinal herb see also Plants Headword location(s)
care (n.)
attentiveness, heedfulness, diligence Headword location(s)
care (n.)
sorrowing, grieving, lamentation Headword location(s)
care (n.)
anxiety, worry, solicitude [about] Headword location(s)
care (n.)
responsibility, duty, matter of concern Headword location(s)
care (n.)
sorrow, grief, trouble Headword location(s)
care (n.)
desire, inclination, concern Headword location(s)
care (n.)
remedy, healing, restoration Headword location(s)
care (v.)
feel concern, be anxious, trouble oneself Headword location(s)
care for (v.)
want, like, wish Headword location(s)
care, take you/thou no
don't worry Headword location(s)
career (n.) Old form(s): careere, carreere , Carriere
[of a horse in a combat] charge, gallop, course Headword location(s)
career (n.) Old form(s): Car-eires
racecourse, horse-racing track Headword location(s)
career (n.) Old form(s): carreeres
gambol, capering, nimble movement Headword location(s)
career (n.) Old form(s): careere , Cariere
rapid course, height, full swing Headword location(s)
careful (adj.) Old form(s): carefull
anxious, concerned, worried Headword location(s)
careful (adj.) Old form(s): carefull
protecting; watchful, acting as a safeguard Headword location(s)
careful (adj.) Old form(s): carefull
painstaking, serious-minded, attentive Headword location(s)
careful (adj.) Old form(s): carefull
provident, caring, solicitous Headword location(s)
carefully (adv.)
considerately, attentively Headword location(s)
careless (adj.) Old form(s): carelesse
carefree, unconcerned, untroubled Headword location(s)
careless (adj.) Old form(s): careles , carelesse
inattentive, preoccupied, distracted Headword location(s)
careless (adj.) Old form(s): careles, carelesse
casual, informal, free and easy Headword location(s)
careless (adj.) Old form(s): carelesse
negligent, improvident, neglectful Headword location(s)
careless (adj.) Old form(s): carelesse
reckless, thoughtless, heedless Headword location(s)
careless (adj.) Old form(s): carelesse
uncared-for, untended Headword location(s)
carelessly (adv.) Old form(s): carelesly , carelessely
in a carefree way, without concern Headword location(s)
carelessly (adv.) Old form(s): carelessely
in a negligent manner, without taking proper military precautions Headword location(s)
carelessly (adv.) Old form(s): carelesly
in little esteem, in low regard Headword location(s)
carelessness (n.) Old form(s): carelesnesse
indifference, inattention, unconcern [about public opinion] Headword location(s)
Carentan
[pron: 'karontan] Carentine, Normandy, N France see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
care-tuned (adj.) Old form(s): care-tun'd
adjusted to sorrow, grief-attuned Headword location(s)
carl, carle (n.)
[disparaging] churl, peasant, low fellow Headword location(s)
carlot (n.)
peasant, rustic, churl Headword location(s)
carman (n.)
carter, carrier, wagoner Headword location(s)
carnal (adj.) Old form(s): carnall
bloody, murderous Headword location(s)
carnation (adj.)
flesh-coloured, pink [as of carnations] see also Plants