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William Shakespeare Dictionary

CADE 
a cask or barrel 
CAGE 
a prison 
CAIN-COLOURED 
red (applied to hair) 
CAITIFF 
a captive, a slave; hence, a witch 
CALCULATE 
prophesy 
CALIVER 
a hand-gun 
CALLET 
a trull 
CALLING 
appellation 
CALM 
qualm 
CAN 
to know, be skillful in 
CANAKIN 
a little can 
CANARY 
a wine brought from the Canary Islands 
CANDLE-WASTERS 
persons who sit up all night to drink 
CANKER 
a caterpillar
CANSTICK 
a candlestick 
CANTLE 
a slice, corner 
CANTON 
a canto 
CANVAS 
to sift: hence, metaphorically, to prove 
CAPITULATE 
make a combined force 
CAPOCCHIA 
a simpleton 
CAPRICIO 
caprice 
CAPRICIOUS 
lascivious 
CAPTIOUS 
capacious 
CARACK 
a large ship of burden 
CARBONADO 
meat scotched for broiling 
CARD 
the taper on which the points of the compass are marked under the mariner's needle 
CAREIRE 
the curvetting of a horse 
CARKANET 
a necklace 
CARL 
a churl 
CARLOT 
a churl 
CASTILIAN 
a native of Castile
CASTILIANO VULGO 
to use discreet language 
CATAIAN 
a native of Cathay
CATLING 
cat-gut 
CAUTEL 
deceit 
CAUTELOUS 
insidious 
CAVALERO 
a cavalier, gentleman 
CAVIARE 
the roe of sturgeon pickled; metaph. a delicacy not appreciated by the vulgar 
CEASE 
put off, made to cease 
CENSURE 
to judge, criticise 
CEREMONY 
a ceremonial vestment, religious rite, or anything ceremonial 
CERTES 
certainly 
CESS 
rate, reckoning 
CHACE 
a term at tennis 
CHAMBER 
a species of great gun 
CHAMBERER 
an effeminate man 
CHANSON 
a song 
CHARACT 
affected quality 
CHARACTER 
a letter, handwriting, to carve or engrave
CHARACTERY 
handwriting That which is written 
CHARE 
a turn of work 
CHARGE-HOUSE 
a free-school 
CHARLES' WAIN 
the constellation called also Ursa Major, or the Great Bear 
CHARNECO 
a species of sweet wine 
CHAUDRON 
entrails 
CHEATER 
for escheator, an officer who collected the fines to be paid into the Exchequer A 
decoy 
CHEQUE 
a technical term in falconry; when a falcon flies at a bird which is not her proper 
game she is said to cheque at it 
CHEER 
fortune
CHERRY-PIT 
a game played with cherrystones 
CHEVERIL 
kid leather 
CHEWIT 
cough 
CHILDING 
pregnant 
CH'ILL 
vulgar for 'I will.' 
CHIRURGEONLY 
in a manner becoming a surgeon 
CHOPIN 
a high shoe or clog 
CHRISTOM 
clothed with a chrisom, the white garment which used to be put on newly-baptized 
children 
CHUCK 
chicken, a term of endearment 
CHUFF 
a coarse blunt clown 
CINQUE PACE 
a kind of dance 
CIPHER 
to decipher 
CIRCUMSTANCE 
an argument 
CITAL 
recital 
CITE 
to incite 
CITTERN 
a guitar 
CLACK-DISH 
a beggar's dish 
CLAP I' THE CLOUT 
to shoot an arrow into the bull's eye of the target 
CLAW 
to flatter 
CLEPE 
to call 
CLIFF 
clef, the key in music 
CLING 
to starve 

CLINQUANT 
glittering 
CLIP 
to embrace, enclose 
CLOUT 
the mark in the middle of a target 
COAST 
to advance 
COBLOAF 
a big loaf 
COCK 
a cockboat 
COCK-AND-PIE 
an oath 
COCKNEY 
a cook 
COCK-SHUT-TIME 
the twilight, when cocks and hens go to roost 
COG 
to cheat, dissemble 
COGNIZANCE 
badge, token 
COIGN 
projecting corner stone 
COIL 
tumult, turmoil 
COLLECTION 
drawing a conclusion 
COLLIED 
blackened. Othello; 
COLOUR 
pretence 
COLOURABLE 
specious 
COLT 
to defraud, befool 
CO-MART 
a joint bargain 
COMBINATE 
betrothed 
COMBINE 
to bind 
COMMODITY 
interest, profit 
COMMONTY 
used ludicrously for comedy 
COMPACT 
compacted, composed 
COMPARATIVE 
drawing comparisons 
COMPETITOR 
one who seeks the same thing, an associate in any object 
COMPLEMENT 
accomplishment 
COMPLEXION 
passion 
COMPOSE 
to agree 
COMPTIBLE 
tractable 
CON 
to learn by heart, to deceive
CONCEIT 
conception, opinion, fancy 
CONCUPY 
concubine 
CONDITION 
temper, quality 
CONDOLEMENT 
grief 
CONDUCT 
escort 
CONFECT 
to make up into sweetmeats 
CONFOUND 
to consume, destroy Coriolanus; 
CONSIGN 
to sign a common bond
CONSORT 
to accompany 
CONSTANCY 
consistency 
CONSTANT 
settled, determined 
CONSTER 
to construe 
CONTINUATE 
uninterrupted 
CONTRACTION 
the marriage contract 
CONTRARY 
to oppose 
CONTRIVE 
to conspire to wear away 
CONVENT 
to convene
CONVERT 
to change 
CONVERTITE 
a convert 
CONVEY 
to manage
CONVEYANCE 
theft, fraud 
CONVINCE 
to conquer, subdue 
CONVIVE 
to feast together 
CONVOY 
escort 
CONY-CATCH 
to cheat 
CONY-CATCHING 
poaching, pilfering 
COOLING CARD 
used metaphorically for an insurmountable obstacle 
COPATAIN HAT 
a high-crowned hat 
COPE 
to reward, to give in return 
COPY 
theme 
CORAGIO 
courage 
CORANTO 
lively dance 
CORINTH 
a brothel 
CORINTHIAN 
a wencher 
CORKY 
dry like cork 
CORNUTO 
a cuckold 
COROLLARY 
a surplus 
OF THE FIELD 
an aide-de-camp 
CORRIVAL 
rival 
COSTARD 
the head 
COSTER-MONGER 
peddling, mercenary 
COTE 
a cottage or to quote or to overtake
COT-QUEAN 
an effeminate man, molly-coddle 
COUNT CONFECT 
a nobleman composed of affectation 
COUNTERFEIT 
portrait A piece of base coin 
COUNTERPOINT 
a counterpane 
COUNTERVAIL 
to counterpoise, outweigh 
COUPLEMENT 
union 
COURT HOLY-WATER 
flattery 
COVENT 
a convent 
COVER 
to lay the table for dinner 
COWISH 
cowardly 
COWL-STAFF 
the staff on which a vessel is supported between two men 
COX MY PASSION 
an oath, a euphemism for 'God's Passion.' 
COY 
to stroke, fondle to condescend with difficulty 
COYSTRIL 
a kestrel, a hawk 
COZEN 
to cheat 
COZENAGE 
cheating 
COZENER 
a cheater 
COZIER 
a tailor 
CRACK 
to boast or a loud noise
CRACKER 
boaster 
CRACK-HEMP 
a gallows-bird 
CRANK 
a winding passage 
CRANKING 
winding 
CRANTS 
garlands. A doubtful word 
CRARE 
a ship of burden 
CRAVEN 
a dunghill cock 
CREATE 
formed, compounded 
CREDENT 
creditable
CREDIT 
report 
CRESCIVE 
increasing 
CRESTLESS 
not entitled to bear arms, lowborn 
CRISP 
curled, winding 
CROSS 
a piece of money, so called because the coin was formerly stamped with a cross 
CROW-KEEPER 
one who scares crows 
CROWNER 
a coroner 
CROWNET 
a coronet 
CRY 
the yelping of hounds A pack of hounds
CRY AIM 
to encourage 
CUE 
the last words of an actor's speech, which is the signal for the next actor to 
begin 
CUISSES 
pieces of armour to cover the thighs 
CULLION 
a base fellow 
CUNNING 
skill 
CUNNING 
skilful 
CURB 
to bend, truckle 
CURRENTS 
occurrences 
CURSTNESS 
shrewishness 
CURTAL 
a docked horse 
CURTAL-AXE 
a cutlass 
CUSTALORUM 
a ludicrous mistake for Custos Rotulorum 
CUSTARD-COFFIN 
the crust of a custard-pudding 
CUSTOMER 
a common woman 
CUT 
a cheat 'To draw cuts' is to draw lots 

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' ?Shakespeare translations and understanding the real meanings behind some of the Shakespeare language in the great plays and sonnets can be difficult. And this is hardly surprising when the expressions and their meanings have been obsolete since the Elizabethan era!
 


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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