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Shakespeare Glossary: A

ABANDONED: banished, kept away from.

ABATE:  to lessen, shorten; to blunt; to bar.

ABATEMENT:  reduction, diminution.

ABHOR:  to horrify, disgust; to protest.

ABIDE:  remain, make only a brief stay (Winter’s Tale. 4.2); to face or encounter.

ABILITY: wealth, means.

ABJECT: adj. an object of contempt.

ABJECTLY: basely, horribly.

ABODE:  to bode; i.e., an evil omen. (3KH6, 5.6)

ABORTIVE: born prematurely; unnatural.

ABRIDGEMENT: a short play.

ABROAD: apart from one’s own body; away from one’s home.

ABROOK: abide, bear.

ABSEY-BOOK:  an ABC book.

ABSOLUTE:  positive, certain.

ABUSE:  to deceive.

ABUSE:  deception.

ABY:  to atone for.

ABYSM:  abyss.

ACCITED:  summoned. (Titus Andronicus, 1.1)

ACCUSE:  accusation.

ACHIEVE:  to obtain.

ACKNOWN:  acknowledge.

ACQUITTANCE (1):  a receipt or discharge.

ACQUITTANCE (2):  to acquit, clear.

ACTION-TAKING:  wanting satisfaction through the law.

ACTURE:  action, performance.

ADDITION: title, attribute.

ADDRESS: to prepare oneself.

ADDRESSED:  prepared.

ADVANCE:  to prefer, promote to honour.

ADVERTISEMENT:  admonition.

ADVERTISING: attentive.

ADVICE:  consideration, discretion.

ADVISE: sometimes neuter, sometimes reflective, to.

ADVISED:  considerate.

ADVOCATION:  pleading, advocacy.

AFEARED:  afraid.

AFFECT:  to love.

AFFRAY:  frighten.

AFFY:  to affiance.

AFRONT:  in front.

AGAZED:  looking in amazement.

AGLET-BABY:  the small figure engraved on a jewel.

AGNIZE: to acknowledge, confess. (Othello, 1.3)

A-GOOD: a good deal, plenteously.

A-HOLD: a sea-term.

AIERIE: the nest of a bird of prey.

AIM: a guess.

ALDERLIEFEST: dearest of all.

ALE: alehouse.

ALLAYMENT: abatement; antidote (Cym. 1.5.22).

ALL HID: the game of hide and seek.

ALLIGANT: a corruption of either ‘elegant’ or ‘eloquent’, used in Wiv. 2.2.69.

ALLICHOLLY: a corruption of melancholy.

ALLOW: to approve.

ALLOWANCE: approval.

ALMAIN:  a German.

ALMS-BASKET:  public charity (to live on public charity – LLL 5.1.42).

ALMS-DEED:  act of charity.

ALMS-DRINK:  remains of drink set aside for the poor.

ALMS-MAN:  a person supported by charity.

ALOES: a bitter drug.

ALONE: unique.

ALTER: to exchange.

AMAIN: with force.

AMAZE: to bewilder, confound.

AMBLE: to move around with ease; to move affectedly.

AMBUSCADO:  ambush.

AMES-ACE: two aces, the lowest throw of the dice.

AMERCE:  punish by fining.

AMISS:  misfortune; disaster.

AMORT: dejected; dispirited.

AN: if.

ANCHOR: an anchorite, hermit.

ANCIENT: an ensign-bearer.

ANGEL: a coin, so called because it bore the image of.

ANIGHT: by night.

ANSWER: retaliation.


ANTICK: the fool in the old plays.

ANTRE: a cave.

APPARENT: heir-apparent.

APPEAL: accusation.

APPEAL: to accuse.

APPEARED: made apparent.

APPLE-JOHN: a kind of apple.

APPOINTMENT: preparation.

APPREHENSION: sharp wit.

APPREHENSIVE: quick to understand.

APPROBATION: probation.

APPROPRIATION:  special attribute or excellence.

APPROOF:  trial, proof; approbation..

APPROVE:  to prove, demonstrate to be true, confirm; to convict; to put to the test; to commend.

APPROVER:  one who orders a trial.

AQUA-VITAE:  ardent spirits.

AQUILON:  the north wind.

ARABIAN BIRD:  phoenix.

ARABIAN TREE:  the tree of the phoenix.

ARCH:  chief, prime, principal.

ARGAL:  a corruption of Ergo.

ARGENTINE: silver.

ARGIER: Algiers.

ARGOSY:  a vessel of Ragusa in Sicily: hence a ship of large size (Merchant of Venice, 1.1).

ARGUMENT:  proof, evidence; subject of debate; subject matter of discourse.

ARMIGERO: a mistake for Armiger, the Latin for Esquire.

AROINT:  get thee out of the way.

A-ROW:  one after another.

ARRAS:  hanging screen of tapestry.

ARREST:  to seize; an order or decree.

ARTICULATE: to enter into articles of agreement; to set forth in articles.

ASKANCE:  to turn aside.

ASPECT:  look, glance.

ASPEN:  of the asp tree.

ASPERSION:  sprinkling (of dew).

ASPIC:  an asp.

ASPIRE:  to be ambitious; to rise; to mount up to (obs).

ASSAIL:  to address with offers of love.

ASSAY:  attempt; to learn by experience; to accost (with words of love); to challenge to a trial of skill.

ASSAY: to attempt, test, make proof of.

ASSINEGO: an ass.

ASSUBJUGATE: to subjugate.

ASSURANCE: deed of assurance.

ASSURED: betrothed.

ASTRAE:  goddess of justice.

ATOMY: an atom; tiny being (insect).

ATONE:  to reconcile, unite.

ATTACH: to seize, lay hold on.

ATTASKED: taken to task, reprehended.

ATTEND: to listen to.

ATTENT: attentive.

ATTORNEY: an agent.

ATTORNEY:  agent, deputy; advocate or pleader.

AUDACIOUS:  spirited, daring.

AUGUR (1):  carpenter’s tool for creating holes in wood.

AUGUR (2):  a prophet; to prophesy (vb).

AUGURE:  augury.

AUGURER:  religious official among the Romans.

AUNT:  old woman; a gossip.

AURICULAR:  perceived by the ear.

AUTHENTIC:  of authority.

AUSPICIOUS:  favourable; spreading happiness.

AVAUNT:  order to be gone.

AVE:  shout of welcome (Latin for hail).

AVE-MARY:  recited in saying the Rosary.

AVERRING: confirming.

AVOID: get rid of.

AVOUCH: guarantee; an assurance.

AWELESS: fearless; that inspires no awe.

AWFUL:  respectful; law-abiding.

AWKWARD:  adverse (invented by Shk.), unfavourable; uncouth.

AY:  yes.

AYE:  ever.