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).

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rabbit-sucker (n.) Old form(s): Rabbet-sucker
sucking rabbit, baby rabbit Headword location(s)
rabble (n.)
crowd, pack, mob Headword location(s)
rabble (n.)
minions, gang, rest of the mob Headword location(s)
rabblement (n.)
rabble Headword location(s)
race (n.)
[of ginger] root see also raze (n.) Headword location(s)
race (n.)
descendants, children, posterity Headword location(s)
race (n.)
origin, stock, ancestry Headword location(s)
race (n.)
family, house, dynasty Headword location(s)
race (n.)
inherited nature, natural disposition Headword location(s)
race (n.)
herd, host, company Headword location(s)
race (n.)
course, passage Headword location(s)
race out (v.) Old form(s): Raz'd , raze
raze out, erase, scrape away see also raze out (v.) Headword location(s)
rack (n.) Old form(s): Racke
clouds, cloud formations Headword location(s)
rack (n.) Old form(s): racke, wracke
machine of torture which stretches the limbs Headword location(s)
rack (n.) Old form(s): racke
shred of cloud, fragment of mist Headword location(s)
rack (n.)
[of clouds] driven accumulation, billowing movement Headword location(s)
rack (v.) Old form(s): racke, rakt
torment, torture, scourge Headword location(s)
rack (v.) Old form(s): racke
drive, move with force Headword location(s)
rack (v.) Old form(s): rackt
exhaust by imposing excessive charges, reduce to poverty Headword location(s)
rack (v.) Old form(s): rack'd, racke , rackt
stretch on the rack Headword location(s)
rack (v.) Old form(s): racke
exaggerate, inflate, increase Headword location(s)
rack (v.) Old form(s): rackt
stretch, strain, extend Headword location(s)
racker (n.)
torturer, tormentor Headword location(s)
racking (adj.)
wind-driven, passing like smoke Headword location(s)
raddock (n.)
F spelling of ruddock see also ruddock (n.) Headword location(s)
rag (n.) Old form(s): ragge
smallest bit, scrap, farthing Headword location(s)
rag (n.) Old form(s): ragge, Ragges
worthless wretch, good-for-nothing creature, beggar Headword location(s)
rage (n.)
warlike ardour, martial spirit Headword location(s)
rage (n.)
madness, insanity, derangement Headword location(s)
rage (n.)
violent outburst, furious passion Headword location(s)
rage (n.)
violence, fighting, conflict Headword location(s)
rage (n.)
folly, rashness, mad jest Headword location(s)
rage (v.)
rave, show signs of madness Headword location(s)
ragged (adj.) Old form(s): ragged'st , wragged
rough, harsh Headword location(s)
ragged (adj.)
rough-hewn, dilapidated, rugged Headword location(s)
ragged (adj.) Old form(s): rag'd
broken, jagged, fragmented Headword location(s)
ragged (adj.)
dressed in rags, unkempt, tattered Headword location(s)
ragged (adj.)
beggarly, shabby, abject Headword location(s)
raging (adj.)
roving, wanton, riotous Headword location(s)
raging (adj.)
mad, rash, crazy Headword location(s)
rah tah tah (int.)
gun drill noises see also Sounds Headword location(s)
rail (v.) Old form(s): raild , rail'd , raile , railes , rayld , rayl'd , rayle , rayl'st
rant, rave, be abusive [about] see also Frequently Encountered Words (FEW) Headword location(s)
railer (n.) Old form(s): Rayler
ranter, reviler Headword location(s)
railing (adj.) Old form(s): rayling
abusive, derisive, haranguing Headword location(s)
railing (n.) Old form(s): rayling
abuse, insulting speech, vilification Headword location(s)
raiment (n.) Old form(s): Raiment, Rayment
clothing, clothes, dress Headword location(s)
raise (v.) Old form(s): rayse
put an end to, finish Headword location(s)
raise (v.)
rouse, excite, incite Headword location(s)
raise (v.)
rouse, stir up, call to arms Headword location(s)
raise (v.) Old form(s): rais'd
elevate in rank, advance, promote Headword location(s)
raise (v.)
rouse, wake up Headword location(s)
raise up (v.) Old form(s): vp
stimulate, stir up, excite Headword location(s)
raising (n.)
rumour-raising, stirring-up, incitement Headword location(s)
raisins of the sun Old form(s): Reysons
sun-dried grapes Headword location(s)
rake up (v.) Old form(s): vp
bury, cover up Headword location(s)
ram (n.)
battering-ram Headword location(s)
ramp (n.) Old form(s): Rampes
whore, brazen woman Headword location(s)
rampallian (n.)
ruffian, villain, scoundrel Headword location(s)
ramping (adj.)
rampant, rearing up Headword location(s)
rampired (adj.) Old form(s): rampyr'd
fortified by ramps of earth, strengthened against attack Headword location(s)
rancour (n.)
bitterness, hatred, malice Headword location(s)
random, at Old form(s): randone
untended, neglected, uncared for Headword location(s)
range (n.)
battle line, fighting position Headword location(s)
range (v.) Old form(s): rainge , rang'd
wander freely, roam, rove Headword location(s)
range (v.) Old form(s): raunges
arrange, lay out, array [in order] Headword location(s)
range (v.)
occupy, take up, be placed Headword location(s)
ranged (adj.) Old form(s): raing'd
arranged, ordered; or: spacious, extensive Headword location(s)
ranger (n.)
gamekeeper, forester Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): rancke , ranke
growing in abundance, excessively luxuriant [often unattractively] see also over-rank (adj.) Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): ranck, ranke
gross, outlandish, coarse Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): rancke , ranke
foul-smelling, stinking Headword location(s)
rank (adj.)
high, good, great Headword location(s)
rank (adj.)
strong, stout, firm Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): ranke
numerous, frequent, abundant Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): rancke, ranke
lascivious, lustful, lewd Headword location(s)
rank (adj.)
large, serious, grievous Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): ranke
bloated, swollen, puffed-up Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): rancke , ranke
foul, festering, diseased Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): ranke
violent, heated, intemperate Headword location(s)
rank (adj.) Old form(s): ranke
full to overflowing, brimful Headword location(s)
rank (adv.) Old form(s): ranke
densely, thickly, completely Headword location(s)
rank (n.) Old form(s): rancke , ranke
row, line, series Headword location(s)
rank (n.) Old form(s): ranke
way of moving, progress Headword location(s)
rank (n.) Old form(s): rankes
(plural) troops, forces, army Headword location(s)
rank (n.) Old form(s): Ranke
position, place Headword location(s)
rank (v.) Old form(s): ranke
place, class, put down Headword location(s)
rank (v.) Old form(s): rankt
find, accompany [by] Headword location(s)
rank (v.) Old form(s): rank'd
arrange in ranks, order in rows Headword location(s)
ranked (adj.) Old form(s): rank'd
drawn up in battle order Headword location(s)
rankle (v.) Old form(s): ranckle
cause a festering wound Headword location(s)
rankly (adv.)
grossly, very much, completely Headword location(s)
rankness (n.) Old form(s): ranckenesse, ranknesse
excessive growth, rebelliousness Headword location(s)
rankness (n.) Old form(s): ranknesse
excess, abundance, profusion Headword location(s)
rank-scented (adj.) Old form(s): ranke-sented
foul-smelling, stinking Headword location(s)
ransack-constraining (adj.) Old form(s): ransackt constraining
that makes plundering unavoidable Headword location(s)
ransacked (adj.) Old form(s): ransack'd , ransackt
violated, ravished, plundered Headword location(s)
ransom (n.) Old form(s): ransome
money owing, amount to be paid Headword location(s)
ranting (adj.)
boisterous, jovial, noisily convivial Headword location(s)
rap (v.)
transport, move with rapture Headword location(s)
rape (n.)
abduction, violent seizure Headword location(s)
rapier (n.)
light sharp-pointed sword used for thrusting see also Weapons Headword location(s)
rapine (n.)
rape Headword location(s)
rapt (adj.)
enraptured, entranced, thrilled Headword location(s)
rapt (adj.)
absorbed, engrossed, preoccupied Headword location(s)
rapt (adj.)
carried away with emotion, lost for words Headword location(s)
rapture (n.)
fit, seizure, convulsion Headword location(s)
rapture (n.) Old form(s): rupture
seizure, plundering, carrying away Headword location(s)
rare (adj.) Old form(s): rar'st
unusual, striking, exceptional Headword location(s)
rare (adj.)
marvellous, splendid, excellent Headword location(s)
rare (adj.)
profound, special, exquisite Headword location(s)
rare (adj.)
infrequent, uncommon, few in number Headword location(s)
rarely (adv.)
splendidly, beautifully, excellently Headword location(s)
rarely (adv.)
exceptionally, outstandingly, unbelievably Headword location(s)
rareness (n.)
exceptional character, rarity Headword location(s)
rariety (n.)
rarity, exceptional quality Headword location(s)
rarity (n.) Old form(s): rariety , raritie
exceptional nature, striking quality Headword location(s)
rascal (adj.) Old form(s): Rascall
worthless, good-for-nothing Headword location(s)
rascal (n.) Old form(s): Rascall
young or inferior deer in a herd; one of the common herd Headword location(s)
rascal (n.) Old form(s): Rascall
worthless wretch, good-for-nothing Headword location(s)
rased down Old form(s): downe rased
obliterated, torn down Headword location(s)
rased, razed (adj.) Old form(s): raz'd
obliterating, erasing Headword location(s)
rash (adj.)
quickly lit, briefly flaming Headword location(s)
rash (adj.)
sudden, quickly acting, operating immediately Headword location(s)
rash (adj.)
hasty, impetuous, impulsive see also heady-rash (adj.) Headword location(s)
rash (adv.)
hastily, impetuously, impulsively Headword location(s)
rash (v.)
force, drive; or: slash with Headword location(s)
rash-levied (adj.) Old form(s): rash leuied
hastily raised Headword location(s)
rate (n.)
quantity, amount, instance Headword location(s)
rate (n.)
opinion, estimation, view Headword location(s)
rate (n.)
cost, expense Headword location(s)
rate (n.)
price, fee Headword location(s)
rate (n.)
mode of life, style of living Headword location(s)
rate (n.)
worth, value, merit Headword location(s)
rate (v.)
reckon, estimate, appraise Headword location(s)
rate (v.)
berate, reproach, rebuke, scold Headword location(s)
rate (v.)
allot, apportion, assign Headword location(s)
rate (v.)
be worth, count as much as Headword location(s)
rate at (v.)
berate, reproach, rebuke, scold Headword location(s)
rated (adj.)
valued, prized, to be reckoned with Headword location(s)
rated (adj.)
assessed, exposed, evaluated Headword location(s)
ratify (v.)
make metrically correct, bring into proportion Headword location(s)
rational (adj.) Old form(s): rationall
endowed with reason Headword location(s)
Ratolorum (n.)
malapropism for 'rotulorum' [= of the rolls]; 'custalorum' is a shortened form of 'custos rotulorum [=keeper of the rolls] Headword location(s)
ratsbane (n.) Old form(s): Rats-bane
rat poison Headword location(s)
raught (v.)
past form of 'reach' see also reach (v.) Headword location(s)
ravel (v.) Old form(s): rauell
become entangled, get confused Headword location(s)
ravel out (v.) Old form(s): rauell
unravel, disentangle, make clear Headword location(s)
ravelled (adj.) Old form(s): rauel'd
tangled, confused, jumbled up Headword location(s)
raven (v.) Old form(s): Rauening
feed ravenously on, devour voraciously Headword location(s)
raven up (v.) Old form(s): rauen vp
feed ravenously on, devour voraciously Headword location(s)
ravenous (adj.)
rapacious, predatory, insatiable Headword location(s)
ravin (adj.) Old form(s): rauine
ravenous, starving, devouring Headword location(s)
ravin down (v.) Old form(s): rauyn downe
gobble ravenously, devour voraciously Headword location(s)
ravined, ravened (adj.) Old form(s): rauin'd
stuffed with prey, glutted Headword location(s)
ravish (v.) Old form(s): Bravishd , rauish
snatch from, tear from Headword location(s)
ravish (v.) Old form(s): Iranyshed , rauish , rauisht
entrance, enrapture, carry away with joy see also Archaisms Headword location(s)
ravish (v.) Old form(s): rauish
seize, despoil, corrupt Headword location(s)
ravished (adj.) Old form(s): rauish'd
abducted, carried off by force Headword location(s)
raw (adj.) Old form(s): rawe
unrefined, unskilled, unpolished Headword location(s)
rawly (adv.)
immaturely, so young Headword location(s)
rawness (n.) Old form(s): rawnesse
unprotected state, vulnerable situation Headword location(s)
ray (v.) Old form(s): raied
disfigure, stain, blemish Headword location(s)
ray (v.) Old form(s): raide
dirty, soil, make filthy Headword location(s)
raze (n.)
[of ginger] root see also race (n.) Headword location(s)
raze (v.) Old form(s): raiz'd
alter, take away, get rid of Headword location(s)
raze forth (v.) Old form(s): rased
erase, delete, remove Headword location(s)
raze, raze off (v.) Old form(s): rased
take off, pluck off Headword location(s)
raze, raze out Old form(s): rac'd , race , Racing , racte, raz'd
erase, obliterate, wipe out see also race out (v.) Headword location(s)
razed (adj.) Old form(s): rac'd
cut, slashed, slit Headword location(s)
razed (adj.)
obliterating, erasing see also rased (adj.) Headword location(s)
razorable (adj.) Old form(s): Razor-able
ready for shaving Headword location(s)
razure (n.)
erasure, effacement, obliteration Headword location(s)
reach (n.)
capacity, capability, power of attainment Headword location(s)
reach (n.)
capacity of mind, penetration Headword location(s)
reach (v.), past form raught
equal, match, attain to Headword location(s)
reach (v.), past form raught
give, hold out Headword location(s)
reach (v.), past form raught
carry off, snatch away, take hold of Headword location(s)
reach at (v.)
reach out for, strive to attain Headword location(s)
reaching (adj.)
far-reaching Headword location(s)
read (v.) Old form(s): reade
interpret, discern, make something of Headword location(s)
read (v.) Old form(s): reade
reckon, consider, take into account Headword location(s)
read to (v.)
lecture, tutor, coach Headword location(s)
Readins (n.)
['redinz] Reading; former county town of Berkshire see also Britain [outside London] Headword location(s)
ready (adj.)
dressed, clothed Headword location(s)
ready (adj.) Old form(s): readie
alert, vigilant, attentive Headword location(s)
ready (adj.)
easy, quick, convenient Headword location(s)
ready (adj.)
eager, willing, ready to act Headword location(s)
ready (adv.)
readily, quickly, speedily Headword location(s)
reaped (adj.) Old form(s): reapt
barbered, clipped, trimmed Headword location(s)
rear (v.) Old form(s): reare
raise, lift up, boost Headword location(s)
rear (v.) Old form(s): reare
raise, incite, rouse up Headword location(s)
rear (v.) Old form(s): rear'd , reare , Rere
raise, lift up Headword location(s)
rearward (n.) Old form(s): rereward
rear, behind the main body of troops Headword location(s)
rearward (n.) Old form(s): rere-ward
rearguard action Headword location(s)
rearward of, in the (prep.) Old form(s): rere-ward
in the rear of, following on behind Headword location(s)
rearward of, on the (prep.)
following, immediately after Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
power of reason, judgement, common sense [often opposed to ‘passion’] Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
account, version, explanation Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
reasonable view, sensible judgement, right opinion Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
alternative, choice, possibility Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
observation, remark, point Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
reasonable treatment, justified course of action Headword location(s)
reason (n.)
reasoning, argument Headword location(s)
reason (v.)
argue rationally [about], debate the pros and cons [of] Headword location(s)
reason (v.) Old form(s): reason'd
talk, speak, converse Headword location(s)
reason (v.)
argue for, plead for, support Headword location(s)
reason (v.)
raise, bring up, discuss Headword location(s)
reasonable (adj.)
moderate, not excessive, fair-minded Headword location(s)
reasonable (adj.)
endowed with reason, rational Headword location(s)
reave (v.), past form reft Old form(s): reaue , reaues
rob, deprive Headword location(s)
rebate (v.)
check, stop, suppress Headword location(s)
rebate (v.)
subdue, moderate, make dull Headword location(s)
rebato (n.)
stiff ornamental collar, ruff see also Clothing Headword location(s)
rebel (adj.) Old form(s): Rebell
rebellious, uncontrollable, recalcitrant Headword location(s)
rebellion (n.)
revolt of the flesh, lust Headword location(s)
rebellious (adj.)
not obeying, disobedient, mutinous Headword location(s)
rebound (n.)
reflection, return, echo Headword location(s)
rebuke (n.)
severe blow, violent check Headword location(s)
rebuke (n.)
insult, shame, reproach Headword location(s)
rebuke (v.) Old form(s): rebuk'd
repress, put down, check Headword location(s)
rebuse (v.) Old form(s): rebus'd
malapropism for ‘abuse’ Headword location(s)
recall (v.) Old form(s): recal'd
revoke, annul, nullify Headword location(s)
recanter (n.) Old form(s): re-canter
one who retracts, party of withdrawal Headword location(s)
recanting (adj.)
causing an action to be retracted, resulting in withdrawal Headword location(s)
receipt (n.) Old form(s): receite
what is received, acquisition, gain Headword location(s)
receipt (n.)
sum received, amount obtained Headword location(s)
receipt (n.) Old form(s): receit , receits
recipe, formula, prescription Headword location(s)
receipt (n.)
reception, receiving venue Headword location(s)
receive (v.) Old form(s): receiu'd, receiue
consider, believe, regard Headword location(s)
receive (v.) Old form(s): receiue
take in, admit, recruit Headword location(s)
receive (v.) Old form(s): receiued
understand, take in, comprehend Headword location(s)
received (adj.) Old form(s): receiu'd
definite, absolute, positive Headword location(s)
received (adj.) Old form(s): receiu'd
fashionable, accepted as a norm, generally adopted Headword location(s)
receiving (n.) Old form(s): receiuing
perception, awareness, discernment Headword location(s)
receptacle (n.)
repository, storehouse, receiving chamber Headword location(s)
recheat (n.) Old form(s): rechate
horn call for bringing hounds together Headword location(s)
reck (v.) Old form(s): reake, reaks , wreake , wreakes
regard, heed, care [for] Headword location(s)
reckless (adj.) Old form(s): wreaklesse
negligent, thoughtless, careless Headword location(s)
reckon (v.) Old form(s): reckon'd
quantify, calculate, measure Headword location(s)
reckon (v.)
add up, keep count of Headword location(s)
reckon up (v.) Old form(s): reckon'd vp
list, enumerate Headword location(s)
reckon with (v.)
make a reckoning of, take full account of what is owed to Headword location(s)
reckoning (n.)
[of personal qualities] rendering of account, settlement of debts Headword location(s)
reckoning (n.) Old form(s): reckning, reck'ning , Recknings
bill [at an inn], settling of account Headword location(s)
reckoning (n.) Old form(s): reckning
counting up, enumeration, calculation Headword location(s)
reckoning (n.)
esteem, estimation, distinction Headword location(s)
reckoning (n.) Old form(s): reck'ning
assessment of debts, settlement of accounts Headword location(s)
reclaim (v.) Old form(s): reclaym'd
win back, bring back Headword location(s)
reclaim (v.) Old form(s): reclaim'd, reclaimes
subdue, tame, make obedient Headword location(s)
reclusive (adj.) Old form(s): reclusiue
secluded, cloistered, withdrawn from society Headword location(s)
recognizance (n.)
bond recognizing a debt Headword location(s)
recognizance (n.)
token, sign, symbol Headword location(s)
recoil (v.) Old form(s): Recoyle
fall away, degenerate, give way Headword location(s)
recoil (v.) Old form(s): requoyle
go back in time, return in memory Headword location(s)
recoil (v.) Old form(s): recoyling
yield, defer, give in to Headword location(s)
recollect (v.)
gather up, collect, amass Headword location(s)
recollected (adj.)
studied, artificial, refined Headword location(s)
recomforture (n.)
consolation, comfort, solace Headword location(s)
recommend (v.)
commit, commend, consign Headword location(s)
recommend (v.)
inform, notify, communicate to Headword location(s)
recompense (n.) Old form(s): recompence
repayment, return, compensation Headword location(s)
recompense (n.) Old form(s): recompence
payment for services, reward Headword location(s)
recompense (v.) Old form(s): recompenc't
compensate, redress, make restitution Headword location(s)
recompt (v.) Old form(s): tecompt
recount, narrate, report Headword location(s)
reconciled (adj.)
absolved, confessed, penitent Headword location(s)
reconcilement (n.)
reconciliation, appeasement, peace Headword location(s)
record (n.) Old form(s): recorde
witness, confirmation Headword location(s)
record (n.)
recorder Headword location(s)
record (n.)
recorded history, public remembrance Headword location(s)
record (n.)
recollection, memory Headword location(s)
record (v.)
sing, warble, chant Headword location(s)
recordation (n.)
remembrance, recollection, commemoration Headword location(s)
recordation (n.)
committing to memory, solemn recording Headword location(s)
recountment (n.)
account, narrative, relating [of what has happened] Headword location(s)
recourse (n.)
opportunity of going, means of access Headword location(s)
recourse (n.)
repeated flowing, recurrence Headword location(s)
recover (v.) Old form(s): recouer, recouer'd, recouered
revive, restore to health Headword location(s)
recover (v.) Old form(s): recouer
recall, recollect, bring to mind Headword location(s)
recover (v.)
get back; also: cover again Headword location(s)
recover (v.) Old form(s): recouer
reach, get to, make Headword location(s)
recover (v.) Old form(s): recouer
get hold of, obtain, get Headword location(s)
recovery (n.) Old form(s): recouer , Recoueries, recouery
[legal] procedure for transferring property into full ownership Headword location(s)
recovery (n.) Old form(s): recouery
attainment, gain, restoration Headword location(s)
recreant (adj.)
cowardly, faint-hearted, craven Headword location(s)
recreant (n.)
coward, faint-hearted individual Headword location(s)
recreant (n.)
deserter, renegade, villain Headword location(s)
recreant (n.)
heretic, unbeliever, apostate see also miscreant (n.) 2 Headword location(s)
recreate (v.)
refresh, restore, enjoy Headword location(s)
recreation (n.)
amusement, entertainment, fun Headword location(s)
recreation (n.)
refreshment, pastime, diversion Headword location(s)
recreation (n.)
source of amusement, figure of fun Headword location(s)
rectifier (n.)
one who puts things right, director Headword location(s)
rector (n.)
ruler, governor; or: parish priest Headword location(s)
rectorship (n.)
rule, government, dominion Headword location(s)
recure (v.)
heal, make whole, restore to health Headword location(s)
rede (n.) Old form(s): reade
advice, counsel, guidance Headword location(s)
redeem (v.) Old form(s): redeeme
[of time lost] get back, buy back, make amends for Headword location(s)
redeem (v.) Old form(s): redeeme
free, liberate, extricate Headword location(s)
redeem (v.) Old form(s): redeem'd , redeeme
ransom Headword location(s)
redeliver (v.) Old form(s): redeliuer
repeat, relate, report Headword location(s)
redemption (n.)
rescue, recovery Headword location(s)
redemption (n.)
ransom, means of release [from debt] Headword location(s)
redime...
free yourself from captivity at the lowest ransom see also Latin Headword location(s)
red-lattice (adj.)
[sign of a] tavern, ale-house Headword location(s)
redoubted (adj.)
feared, dreaded, revered Headword location(s)
redound (v.)
fall out, contribute, turn out Headword location(s)
redress (n.) Old form(s): redresse
relief, assistance, help, comfort Headword location(s)
redress (n.) Old form(s): redresse
remedy, amendment, improvement Headword location(s)