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William Shakespeare Dictionary

ABATE 
to shorten, to cast down, to blunt 
ABATEMENT 
diminution 
ABHOR 
protest; disgust 
ABIDE 
to sojourn to expiate 
ABRIDGEMENT 
a short play 
ABROOK 
to brook, abide 
ABSEY-BOOK 
a primer 
ABSOLUTE 
positive, certain Complete 
ABUSE 
to deceive,deception 
ABY 
to expiate a fault 
ABYSM 
abyss 
ACCITE 
to cite, summon 
ACKNOWN 
'to be acknown' is to acknowledge 
ACQUITTANCE 
a receipt or discharge 
ACTURE 
action 
ADDITION 
title, attribute 
ADDRESS 
to prepare oneself 
ADDRESSED 
prepared 
ADVANCE 
to prefer, promote to honour 
ADVERTISEMENT 
admonition 
ADVERTISING 
attentive 
ADVICE 
consideration, discretion 
ADVISE 
to consider, reflect 
ADVISED 
considerate 
ADVOCATION 
pleading, advocacy 
AFEARED 
afraid 
AFFECT 
to love 
AFFY 
to affiance To trust 
AFRONT 
in front 
AGAZED 
looking in amazement 
AGLET-BABY 
the small figure engraved on a jewel 
AGNISE 
to acknowledge, confess 
A-GOOD 
a good deal, plenteously 
A-HOLD 
a sea-term 
AIERIE 
the nest of a bird of prey 
AIM 
a guess 
ALDER-LIEFEST 
most loved of all 
ALE 
alehouse 
ALLOW 
to approve 
ALLOWANCE 
approval 
AMES-ACE 
two aces, the lowest throw of the dice 
AMORT 
dead, dejected 
AN 
if 
ANCHOR 
an anchorite, hermit 
ANCIENT 
an ensign-bearer 
ANGEL 
a coin, so called because it bore the image of an angel 
ANIGHT 
by night 
ANSWER 
retaliation 
ANTHROPOPHAGINIAN 
a cannibal 
ANTICK 
the fool in the old plays 
ANTRE 
a cave 
APPARENT 
heir-apparent 
APPEAL 
accusation,to accuse
APPLE-JOHN 
a kind of apple 
APPOINTMENT 
preparation 
APPREHENSION 
opinion 
APPREHENSIVE 
apt to apprehend or understand 
APPROBATION 
probation 
APPROOF 
approbation, proof 
APPROVE 
to prove To justify, make good 
APPROVER 
one who proves or tries 
ARCH 
chief 
ARGAL 
a ridiculous word intended for the Latin ergo 
ARGENTINE 
silver 
ARGIER 
Algiers 
ARGOSY 
originally a vessel of Ragusa or Ragosa, a Ragosine; hence any ship of burden 
ARGUMENT 
subject 
ARMIGERO 
a mistake for Armiger, the Latin for Esquire 
AROINT 
found only in the imperative mood, get thee gone 
A-ROW 
in a row 
ARTICULATE 
to enter into articles of agreement to exhibit in articles 
ASPECT 
regard, looks 
ASPERSION 
sprinkling; hence blessing, because before the Reformation benediction was 
generally accompanied by the sprinkling of holy water 
ASSAY 
to attempt, test, make proof of 
ASSINEGO 
an ass 
ASSUBJUGATE 
to subjugate 
ASSURANCE 
deed of assurance 
ASSURED 
betrothed 
ATOMY 
an atom Used in contempt of a small person 
ATONE 
to put people at one, to reconcile to agree 
ATTACH 
to seize, lay hold on 
ATTASKED 
taken to task, reprehended 
ATTENT 
attentive 
ATTORNEY 
to employ as an agent To perform by an agent 
AUDACIOUS 
spirited, daring, but without any note of blame attached to it 
AUGUR 
augury 
AUTHENTIC 
clothed with authority 
AVE 
the Latin for hail; hence acclamation 
AVE-MARY 
the angelic salutation addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary 
AVERRING 
confirming 
AVOID 
get rid of 
AWFUL 
worshipful 
AWKWARD 
contrary 

Interpreting Elizabethan / Shakespearean Manuscripts and Original Documents
 

Vital, but little known, information about the Elizabethan alphabet is essential when looking at copies of original manuscripts of the period - examples of which can be found in Shakespeare's ' First Folio '. Learning the alphabet used during the Elizabethan era will no doubt clarify many questions that the differences of the Tudor / Elizabethan alphabet have raised such as "Couldn't Elizabethans spell properly?" and "Why is there so much confusion with the letters 'u' and 'v' and 'i' and 'j'?" Comprehensive information regarding the Elizabethan alphabet can be accessed via the following link and will prove a useful addition to the details provided in the Shakespearean Dictionary.


William Shakespeare Education - the Elizabethan Alphabet - Differences only 24 letters - Deciphering manuscripts of the era

William Shakespeare - Language, Vocabulary and Dictionary

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