Word families

Shakespeare often refers to the heart. But he also uses this word to help create other words, such as unheart, heart-sore, and heartless. How many such derived words are there, and how are they used? Type HEART into the search-box and you will see.

We use the term word-family to identify the set of words that contain the same basic element. They will be part of a compound word (as in heart-sore), accompanied by a prefix (as in unheart) or a suffix (as in heartless), or used in different ways (e.g. as a noun and a verb). In this section we list all the words in the canon (in the modern English version) that have family resemblances so you can see which words Shakespeare exploited in this way, and which he did not. Words that are not included (such as the and Horatio) are described on the further information page here.

When there are several family members, we group them into themes, showing the directions in which Shakespeare used a word. Where these occur, they are listed under the main heading. The names of the themes, taken along with their family members, we hope are self-explanatory, but more illustration can be found on the further information page here.
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VACANCY
VADED
VAGABOND
VAGARY
VAGRAM
VAIL
STATE
VAIN
STATE
VAINGLORY
VALANCE
VALE
VALIANT
ACTION
AGE
CLOTHING
INTENSITY
STATE
VALIDITY
VALLEY
PLACE
VALOUR
VALUE
INTENSITY
NOT
VANE
VANISH
TIME
VANITY
VANQUISH
PEOPLE
NOT
VANT
VANTAGE
EQUIPMENT
INTENSITY
NOT
VANTBRACE
VAPOUR
SPEECH
VARIETY
VARLET
VARNISH
NOT
VASSAL
VAST
VASTIDITY
VAULT
VAUNT
ACTION
SPEECH
VAWARD
VEAL
VEGETIVES
VEHEMENCE
VEIL
STATE
NOT
VEIN
COLOUR
VELURE
VELVET
PEOPLE
VENDIBLE
VENERABLE
NOT
VENEREAL
VENEYS
VENGE
VENGEANCE
REVENGE
PEOPLE
NOT
VENIAL
VENISON
VENOM
ACTION
INTENSITY
PART OF BODY
STATE
VENT
VENTER
VENTRICLE
VENTURE
ADVENTURE
PEOPLE
LIKELYHOOD
NOT
VENUE
VERB
VERBATIM
VERBOSITY
VERDICT
TYPE
VERDURE
VERGE
PEOPLE
VERIFY
VERMILION
VERMIN
VERSAL
VERSE
VERY
VESPER
VESSEL
VESTAL
VESTMENT
VEX
STATE
NOT
VIAL
VIAND
VICAR
VICE
INTENSITY
VICEGERENT
VICEREGENT
VICEROY
VICIOUS
VICTORY
PEOPLE
INTENSITY
VICTUAL
PEOPLE
VIE
VIEW
EVENT
EXTRA
NOT
VIGIL
VIGOUR
VILD
VILE
STATE
VILLAGE
PEOPLE
VILLAIN
INTENSITY
PEOPLE
VINDICATIVE
VINE
PEOPLE
PLACE
VINEGAR
VINEYARD
VINTNER
VIOL
TYPE
VIOLATE
VIOLENCE
VIOLATE
PEOPLE
NOT
VIOLET
VIPER
VIRGIN
PEOPLE
STATE
VIRTUE
NOT
VISAGE
APPEARANCE
VISCOUNT
VISIBLE
NOT
VISIT
EXTRA
PEOPLE
NOT
VISOR
VITAL
VIXEN
VIZAMENT
VIZARD
VLOUTING-STOCK
VOCATION
VOCATIVE
VOICE
INTENSITY
TYPE
VOID(ING)
VOLLEY
VOLUBLE
VOLUME
VOLUNTARY
VOLUPTUOUS
VOMIT
VOTARY
VOUCH
TIME
NOT
VOW
PEOPLE
TYPE
VOWEL
VOX
VOYAGE
VUGAR
VULNERABLE
NOT
VULTURE
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SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL