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
jack (n.) Old form(s): Iacks
jacket, tunic, coat [usually of quilted leather] see also Clothing Headword location(s)
Jack (n.) Old form(s): Iack , Iacke , Iackes, Iacks
Jack-in-office, ill-mannered fellow, lout, knave see also minute-jack (n.) Headword location(s)
jack (n.) Old form(s): iacke
figure of a man who strikes a bell on the outside of a clock see also minute-jack (n.) Headword location(s)
Jack (n.) Old form(s): Iacke
Jack o'lantern, trickster, practical joker Headword location(s)
Jack (n.) Old form(s): Iackes
serving-man Headword location(s)
jack (n.) Old form(s): Iackes
key [in a harpsichord, virginal, etc; strictly, part of the key mechanism] Headword location(s)
Jack-a-Lent (n.) Old form(s): Iack-a-lent, Iacke-a-Lent
[jocular; male figure used as an Aunt Sally during Lent] puppet, poppet, doll Headword location(s)
jackanapes, jackanape, jack'nape (n.) Old form(s): Iack an Apes, Iack-an-Ape , Iacke-an-Apes , Iack'Nape
upstart, buffoon, monkey Headword location(s)
jack-dog (n./adj.) Old form(s): Iack dog, Iack-dog
mongrel, currish, mutt-like Headword location(s)
Jack-sauce (n.) Old form(s): Iacke sawce
saucy knave, impudent fellow Headword location(s)
Jack-slave (n.) Old form(s): Iacke-Slaue
knavish slave, villainous fellow Headword location(s)
Jacob (n.)
in the Bible, a Hebrew patriarch, the younger son of Isaac see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Jacob, Saint
in Christian tradition, an alternative name for St James see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Jacob, Saint
in Christian tradition, an alternative name for St James see also Philip and Jacob 1 Headword location(s)
jade (n.) Old form(s): Iade , iades
worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag Headword location(s)
jade (n.) Old form(s): Iade , Iades
[contemptuous] wretch, worthless individual Headword location(s)
jade (v.) Old form(s): iaded
drive like worn-out hacks Headword location(s)
jade (v.) Old form(s): iade , Iaded
deceive, dupe, make a fool of Headword location(s)
jaded (adj.) Old form(s): iaded
low-bred, ignoble, contemptible Headword location(s)
jadery (n.) Old form(s): Iadrie
behaviour typical of an ill-tempered hack see also jade (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
jady (adj.)
Q alternative to 'jaded' see also jaded (adj.) Headword location(s)
jakes (n.) Old form(s): Iakes
lavatory, privy, latrine Headword location(s)
jangle (v.) Old form(s): iangling
wrangle, squabble, argue Headword location(s)
Janus (n.)
[pron: 'jaynus] Roman god who guards gates and doors; shown with two faces, one at the back of his head see also Gods and goddesses Headword location(s)
Janus (n.)
[pron: 'jaynus] Roman god who guards gates and doors; shown with two faces, one at the back of his head see also Swearing Headword location(s)
Japhet (n.)
in the Bible, Noah’s third son, the ancestor of Europeans see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Jaques, Saint
in Christian tradition, Saint James; a pilgrim centre in Compostella, N Spain see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
jar (n.) Old form(s): iarre, iarres
discord, disharmony, disagreement Headword location(s)
jar (n.) Old form(s): iarre, Iarres
conflict, quarrel, dissension Headword location(s)
jar (n.) Old form(s): Iarre
tick Headword location(s)
jar (v.) Old form(s): iar, iarre
quarrel, wrangle, disagree [over] Headword location(s)
jar (v.) Old form(s): iarre
[unclear meaning] make tick; strike; make discordant Headword location(s)
jar (v.) Old form(s): iarre, iars
grate, sound discordantly Headword location(s)
jar / jars, at Old form(s): iarre, iarres
in / into conflict, in / into a state of dissension Headword location(s)
Jason (n.)
son of Aeson, King of Iolcos; sent with the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece, which he obtained with Medea's assistance see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
Jason (n.)
son of Aeson, King of Iolcos; sent with the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece, which he obtained with Medea's assistance see also Medea (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
jaunce (n.) Old form(s): iaunt
jaunt, fatiguing journey Headword location(s)
jaunce (v.) Old form(s): iaunting
jaunt, trudge about, run around Headword location(s)
jauncing (adj.) Old form(s): iauncing
prancing, romping, gambolling Headword location(s)
jaundice (n.) Old form(s): Iaundies
sallowness, yellowness [as a sign of envy or jealousy] Headword location(s)
jaunt (n.)
jaunt see also jaunce (n.) Headword location(s)
jaunt (n.)
jaunt see also jaunce (v.) Headword location(s)
jaw (v.)
bite, eat, devour Headword location(s)
jay (n.) Old form(s): Iay , Iayes
[bird of bright plumage] showy woman, whore Headword location(s)
jealous (adj.) Old form(s): Ielous
vigilant, zealous, solicitous Headword location(s)
jealous (adj.) Old form(s): iealous
suspicious, mistrustful, wary, watchful Headword location(s)
jealous (adj.) Old form(s): iealious
anxious, uneasy, worried [about] Headword location(s)
jealous (adj.) Old form(s): iealous
doubtful, uncertain, apprehensive Headword location(s)
jealous-hood (n.) Old form(s): iealous hood
[unclear meaning] state of being jealous see also hood (n.) Headword location(s)
jealousy (n.) Old form(s): iealousie, Iealousies, Ielousies
suspicion, mistrust, apprehension Headword location(s)
jealousy (n.) Old form(s): iealousie
suspicious nature, apprehensive state of mind Headword location(s)
jealousy (n.) Old form(s): iealousie
concern, anxiety, solicitude Headword location(s)
jean (n.) Old form(s): jave
type of twilled cotton cloth [= unsophisticated, unrefined] Headword location(s)
jennet, gennet (n.) Old form(s): iennet
small Spanish horse Headword location(s)
Jephthah (n.)
Bible (Judges 11): judge in Israel who promised God to sacrifice the first he met if he returned home victorious; this proved to be his daughter see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
jerk (n.) Old form(s): ierkes
stroke, thrust, sally Headword location(s)
jerkin (n.) Old form(s): Ierkin
male upper garment, close-fitting jacket [often made of leather] see also Clothing Headword location(s)
jerkin (n.) Old form(s): Ierkin
male upper garment, close-fitting jacket [often made of leather] see also buff jerkin Headword location(s)
jerkin (n.) Old form(s): Ierkin
male upper garment, close-fitting jacket [often made of leather] see also leathern-jerkin (adj.) Headword location(s)
Jeronimy, Saint
[in TS Induction.i.7] a variant of Jerome, confused with Hieronimo from Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Jeshu (n.)
Welsh pronunciation of 'Jesu' see also Welsh Headword location(s)
jess (n.) Old form(s): Iesses
[falconry] short strap fastened to a hawk's legs [to which the leash is attached] Headword location(s)
jest (v.) Old form(s): iest
make believe, act, play parts Headword location(s)
jest (v.) Old form(s): iest
amuse oneself, go to an entertainment Headword location(s)
jest upon (v.) Old form(s): iest vpon
mock, scoff at, trifle with Headword location(s)
jest, break a Old form(s): breake, Iest
play a practical joke Headword location(s)
jet (n.) Old form(s): Iet
type of black coal Headword location(s)
jet (v.) Old form(s): iet , iets
strut, swagger, parade Headword location(s)
jet upon (v.) Old form(s): vpon
encroach on, usurp, trespass upon see also jut (v.) Headword location(s)
jew (n.) Old form(s): Iew
[unclear meaning] jewel; juvenal; Jew Headword location(s)
jewel (n.) Old form(s): Iewell , Iewels
fine ornament, costly adornment Headword location(s)
jewel (n.) Old form(s): Iewell
miniature in a jewelled setting Headword location(s)
Jezebel (n.)
in the Bible, the infamous wife of King Ahab see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
jig (n.) Old form(s): ijgge, Iygge
lively song; frivolous dance Headword location(s)
jig (v.) Old form(s): gidge
move jerkily [as in a jig] Headword location(s)
jig off (v.) Old form(s): Iigge
sing in the style of a jig Headword location(s)
jigging (adj.) Old form(s): Iigging
moving in the manner of a jig Headword location(s)
jig-maker (n.) Old form(s): Iigge-maker
comic performer, jester Headword location(s)
Jill (n.) Old form(s): Gils
serving-maid Headword location(s)
Job (n.)
[pron: johb] in the Bible, a patriarch, seen as a symbol of destitution and patience see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Jockey (n.)
[pet name] little Jack, Jacky Headword location(s)
jocund (adj.) Old form(s): iocond, iocund
merry, joyful, cheerful Headword location(s)
jog (v.) Old form(s): iogging
move on, go off, be away Headword location(s)
John (n.)
Little John, companion of Robin Hood see also Non-classical legend, romance, and folklore Headword location(s)
John-a-dreams (n.) Old form(s): Iohn a-dreames
dreamer, idle muser Headword location(s)
join (v.) Old form(s): ioyne
ally, unite, associate Headword location(s)
join (v.) Old form(s): ioyn'd, ioyne
encounter, come together, meet in conflict Headword location(s)
join (v.) Old form(s): ioyne
link up, unite, combine Headword location(s)
joinder (n.) Old form(s): ioynder
joining, union, uniting Headword location(s)
join-stool, joined-stool (n.)
well-made stool see also joint-stool (n.) Headword location(s)
joint (n.) Old form(s): ioynt , ioynts
limb, body part Headword location(s)
joint (v.) Old form(s): ioynted , ioynting
unite, combine, join together Headword location(s)
joint ring (n.) Old form(s): ioynt
finger-ring made in two separable parts Headword location(s)
joint, out of Old form(s): ioynt
disordered, disorganized, out of order Headword location(s)
jointress (n.) Old form(s): Ioyntresse
woman holding a property right from her deceased husband, dowager Headword location(s)
joint-stool, join-stool, joined-stool (n.) Old form(s): ioyn'd stoole, Ioyn'd-stooles, Ioynstooles
well-made stool [by a joiner] [also used in phrases of ridicule] Headword location(s)
jointure (n.) Old form(s): ioyncture , ioynter, ioynture
marriage settlement, part of a husband's estate due to his widow Headword location(s)
jollity (n.) Old form(s): iollitie
sexual pleasure, carnal enjoyment Headword location(s)
jolly (adj.) Old form(s): iolly
amorous, lustful, licentious Headword location(s)
jolly (adj.) Old form(s): iolly
[intensifier] very, extremely; or: arrogant, overbearing Headword location(s)
jolthead, jolt-head (n.) Old form(s): Iolt-head, iolt-heads
blockhead, dolt, numskull Headword location(s)
jordan (n.) Old form(s): Iordan, Iourden
chamber-pot Headword location(s)
Joshua (n.)
in the Bible, an Israelite leader see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Joshua (n.)
in the Bible, an Israelite leader see also Nine Worthies 1 Headword location(s)
journal (adj.) Old form(s): Iournall
daily, diurnal, routine Headword location(s)
journey-bated (adj.) Old form(s): iourney bated
weakened by travel, tired-out Headword location(s)
journeyman (n.) Old form(s): Iouerney-men
common workman, hireling Headword location(s)
journeyman (n.)
employed craftsman, contracted artisan Headword location(s)
Jove (n.)
[pron: johv] alternative name for Jupiter, the Roman supreme god see also Gods and goddesses Headword location(s)
Jove (n.)
[pron: johv] alternative name for Jupiter, the Roman supreme god see also Swearing Headword location(s)
jovial (adj.) Old form(s): Iouiall
majestic, like Jove [Jupiter] Headword location(s)
jowl (v.) Old form(s): ioule , iowles
dash, knock, thrust Headword location(s)
joy (n.)
[unclear meaning] delight, bliss [for Mary, as the mother of Jesus]; or: darling, pet Headword location(s)
joy (v.) Old form(s): ioy , ioy'd , ioyes
add joy to, enjoy, gladden, brighten Headword location(s)
joy (v.) Old form(s): ioy , Ioy'd
feel joy, be happy, rejoice Headword location(s)
joy (v.) Old form(s): ioy
derive enjoyment from, delight in Headword location(s)
joyed (adj.) Old form(s): Ioy'd
overjoyed, delighted, full of rejoicing Headword location(s)
Judas (n.)
in the Bible, Judas Iscariot, betrayer of Christ see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Judas Maccabaeus
[maka'bayus] in the Bible, leader of a Jewish revolt, 2nd-c BC see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Judas Maccabaeus
[maka'bayus] in the Bible, leader of a Jewish revolt, 2nd-c BC see also Nine Worthies 1 Headword location(s)
judge (v.) Old form(s): iudg'd
establish, determine, decide upon Headword location(s)
judge (v.) Old form(s): iudg'd , iudge
suppose, consider, think Headword location(s)
judgement (n.) Old form(s): Iudgement
reason, discernment, good sense Headword location(s)
judgement (n.) Old form(s): iudgement
expert, critic, judge Headword location(s)
judgement (n.)
discretion, good sense, tact Headword location(s)
judgement (n.) Old form(s): iudgement
guide, leader, director Headword location(s)
judgement (n.) Old form(s): iudgement
judgement day Headword location(s)
judgement (n.) Old form(s): iudgement
knowledge, understanding, wisdom Headword location(s)
judgement (n.) Old form(s): iudgement, iudgements
opinion, estimation, assessment Headword location(s)
judicious (adj.) Old form(s): Iudicious
judicial, according to the law Headword location(s)
judicious (adj.) Old form(s): Iudicious
appropriate, fitting, proper Headword location(s)
Judith (n.)
in the Bible, heroine who kills Assyrian general Holofernes with a sword see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Jug (n.) Old form(s): Iugge
pet-name for Joan; sweetheart, mistress Headword location(s)
juggle (v.)
deceive, cheat, trick Headword location(s)
juggle (v.) Old form(s): iugling
play conjuring tricks; have sex Headword location(s)
juggle with (v.) Old form(s): Iuggel'd
deceive, cheat, trick Headword location(s)
juggler (n.) Old form(s): Iugler
sorcerer, conjuror, magician Headword location(s)
juggler (n.) Old form(s): iugler
trickster, deceiver, fraud Headword location(s)
juggling (adj.) Old form(s): iugling
deceiving, cheating, full of trickery Headword location(s)
juggling (n.) Old form(s): iugling
deceiving, cheating, trickery Headword location(s)
Julius Caesar
[pron: 'seezer] Roman politician and general, 1st-c BC see also Historical figures Headword location(s)
Julius Caesar
[pron: 'seezer] Roman politician and general, 1st-c BC see also Nine Worthies 1 Headword location(s)
jump (adv.) Old form(s): iumpe
exactly, precisely Headword location(s)
jump (n.) Old form(s): iumpe
venture, risk, hazard Headword location(s)
jump (v.) Old form(s): iump , iumpe
risk, hazard, imperil Headword location(s)
jump (v.) Old form(s): iumpe , iumpes , iumpeth
agree, coincide, tally Headword location(s)
junket (n.) Old form(s): iunkets
delicacy, sweetmeat, confection Headword location(s)
Juno (n.)
Roman supreme goddess, wife of Jupiter, associated with the Moon, childbirth, marriage, and female identity see also Gods and goddesses Headword location(s)
Juno (n.)
Roman supreme goddess, wife of Jupiter, associated with the Moon, childbirth, marriage, and female identity see also Swearing Headword location(s)
Jupiter, Jove (n.)
Roman supreme god; associated with the heavens and the weather, especially thunder and lightning; husband of Juno see also Gods and goddesses Headword location(s)
Jupiter, Jove (n.)
Roman supreme god; associated with the heavens and the weather, especially thunder and lightning; husband of Juno see also Swearing Headword location(s)
jure (v.) Old form(s): iure
make a juror of Headword location(s)
just (adj.) Old form(s): iust
honourable, loyal, faithful Headword location(s)
just (adj.) Old form(s): iust
justifiable, legitimate Headword location(s)
just (adj.) Old form(s): iust
accurate, exact, precise Headword location(s)
just (adj.) Old form(s): iust
proper, true Headword location(s)
just (adj.) Old form(s): iust
truthful, honest Headword location(s)
just (adj.) Old form(s): iust
equal, even Headword location(s)
just (adv.) Old form(s): iust
quite so, correct Headword location(s)
just (adv.) Old form(s): Iust
exactly, precisely Headword location(s)
just (n.) Old form(s): Iusts
joust, tournament Headword location(s)
just-dooming (adj.) Old form(s): Iust dooming
rightly-judging, justly-ordaining Headword location(s)
justice (n.) Old form(s): Iustices
judge, magistrate Headword location(s)
justicer (n.) Old form(s): Iusticer
judge Headword location(s)
justify (v.) Old form(s): iustifie , iustified, justifie
prove, confirm, demonstrate Headword location(s)
justify (v.) Old form(s): iustifie , iustified, iustify
affirm, acknowledge, corroborate Headword location(s)
justify (v.) Old form(s): iustifie , iustified
excuse, exonerate, clear Headword location(s)
justle (v.) Old form(s): iustle , iustled
jostle, hustle, elbow Headword location(s)
justling (adj.) Old form(s): iustling
jostling, clashing, chaotic Headword location(s)
justly (adv.) Old form(s): iustly
exactly, precisely, closely Headword location(s)
jut (v.) Old form(s): Iutt
push, shove, knock; or: strut, swagger, parade see also jet upon (v.) Headword location(s)
jutty (n.) Old form(s): Iutty
projection, protrusion [of a building] Headword location(s)
jutty (v.) Old form(s): iutty
jut out over, project over Headword location(s)
juvenal (n.) Old form(s): Iuuenall
youth, young man Headword location(s)
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL