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).

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
's (det.)
contracted form of ‘his’ Headword location(s)
's (det.)
contracted form of ‘this’ Headword location(s)
's (pron.)
contracted form of ‘us’ Headword location(s)
's (pron.)
contracted form of ‘shall’ Headword location(s)
sa (int.)
[repeated] hunting cry see also Sounds Headword location(s)
sa' (v.)
Irish pronunciation of 'save' see also Irish Headword location(s)
Saba (n.)
[pron: 'sahba] in the Bible, Sheba, proverbial for wealth see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
sable (adj.)
black Headword location(s)
sable (n.)
black Headword location(s)
sable (n.)
rich fur [from the animal, sable], expensive garment Headword location(s)
sack (n.) Old form(s): Sacke
[type of] white wine Headword location(s)
sack (v.) Old form(s): sacke
plunder, pillage, despoil Headword location(s)
sackbut (n.) Old form(s): Sack-buts
type of bass trumpet, with a trombone-like slide Headword location(s)
Sackerson (n.)
famous bear from the bear-baiting ring at Paris Garden, London see also Contemporary figures, factual and fictitious Headword location(s)
sacred (adj.)
consecrated, hallowed, sanctified Headword location(s)
sacred (adj.)
accursed, blasphemous Headword location(s)
sacred (adj.)
revered, respected [as if a holy thing] Headword location(s)
sacrificing (adj.) Old form(s): sacrifising
sacrificial Headword location(s)
sacring (adj.)
[in the Mass] rung at the moment of consecration Headword location(s)
sad (adj.)
dismal, morose, sullen Headword location(s)
sad (adj.) Old form(s): sadde
serious, grave, solemn see also Frequently Encountered Words (FEW) Headword location(s)
sad (adj.) Old form(s): sadde
downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy Headword location(s)
sad (adj.)
dark-coloured, sober-hued Headword location(s)
sad (adj.)
heavily, with a great burden Headword location(s)
sad-eyed, sad-faced (adj.) Old form(s): sad fac'd , sad-ey'd
grave-looking Headword location(s)
sadly (adv.)
seriously, gravely, solemnly Headword location(s)
sadness (n.) Old form(s): sadnesse
seriousness, gravity Headword location(s)
sadness, in / in good Old form(s): sadnesse
in earnest, seriously Headword location(s)
safe (adj.)
harmless, not dangerous Headword location(s)
safe (adj.)
sound, sensible, level-headed Headword location(s)
safe (adj.)
sure, certain, assured Headword location(s)
safe (adj.)
sane, sound, mentally balanced Headword location(s)
safe (adj.)
safely out of the way Headword location(s)
safe (adv.)
trustworthily, in an assured way Headword location(s)
safe (v.)
remove danger from, make one feel secure about Headword location(s)
safe (v.) Old form(s): saf't
conduct safely, give safe-conduct to Headword location(s)
safeguard (n.) Old form(s): safegard , safe-guard
safeguarding, defence, protection Headword location(s)
safeguard, on Old form(s): safegard
under safe-conduct, with guarantee of safe passage Headword location(s)
safety (n.)
concern for safety, need for protection Headword location(s)
safety (n.) Old form(s): safetie
prudent course of action, best safeguard Headword location(s)
safety (n.)
safe keeping, custody Headword location(s)
saffron (adj.)
orange-red in colour Headword location(s)
saffron (n.)
orange-red dye [for colouring some types of food or drink] Headword location(s)
saffron (n.)
saffron-coloured clothing Headword location(s)
sage (adj.)
solemn, grave, dignified Headword location(s)
Sagittary (n.)
[pron: 'sajitari] centaur-like being that fought in the Trojan army against the Greeks see also Classical mythology Headword location(s)
said, I / you have Old form(s): haue
finished speaking, had one's say see also Discourse markers Headword location(s)
said, well Old form(s): sed, Wel
well done Headword location(s)
sail (n.) Old form(s): saile
voyage, passage, sailing Headword location(s)
sail (n.) Old form(s): saile
fleet, squadron, flotilla Headword location(s)
sail (n.) Old form(s): sayle
surging power, full swell Headword location(s)
sail (n.) Old form(s): Saile, sailes
ship, vessel Headword location(s)
sain (v.)
[archaism] said see also Archaisms Headword location(s)
saint (v.)
be saintly, play the saint Headword location(s)
Saint Colm's Inch
Inchcolm; small island in the Firth of Forth, E Scotland; site of an abbey see also Britain [outside London] Headword location(s)
Saint Edmundsbury
Bury St Edmunds, market town in Suffolk; site of the shrine of St Edmund and a place of pilgrimage see also Britain [outside London] Headword location(s)
Saint George's Field
area of Southwark, London, well known for its brothels see also London Headword location(s)
Saint Martin's summer Old form(s): Martins
Indian summer [feast of St Martin on 11 November] Headword location(s)
sainted (adj.)
saintly, angelic, of holy character Headword location(s)
sainted (adj.)
made a saint, from heaven Headword location(s)
sake, for the Lord's
[cry of a prisoner calling for alms through a cell window] in jail Headword location(s)
sake, for your
on your account, because of you Headword location(s)
salary (n.) Old form(s): Sallery
reward, fee, payment Headword location(s)
sale-work (n.) Old form(s): sale-worke
ready-made goods Headword location(s)
Salic, Salique (adj.) Old form(s): Salike
name of a law stating that the French crown could be passed on only by males Headword location(s)
sall (v.)
Scottish and Welsh pronunciation of 'shall' see also Scottish Headword location(s)
sall (v.)
Scottish and Welsh pronunciation of 'shall' see also Welsh Headword location(s)
sallet (n.)
[= salad] tasty bit Headword location(s)
sallet (n.)
light round helmet see also Body-armour Headword location(s)
sallet (n.)
salad Headword location(s)
sally (n.) Old form(s): sallie
sudden attack against an enemy, sortie Headword location(s)
sally (v.) Old form(s): sallie
burst out, make a sudden attack Headword location(s)
salt (adj.)
lascivious, lustful, lecherous Headword location(s)
salt (adj.)
[of a cold] bitter, intense, heavy Headword location(s)
salt (adj.)
salted, preserved, dried Headword location(s)
salt (adj.)
stinging, bitter, biting Headword location(s)
salt (adj.)
salt-water, sea Headword location(s)
salt (n.)
vigour, liveliness, spirit Headword location(s)
salt (n.)
salt tears Headword location(s)
salt-butter (adj.)
cheap-living, mean, avaricious Headword location(s)
saltier (n.)
malapropism for ‘satyr’ Headword location(s)
saltness (n.) Old form(s): saltnesse
[unclear meaning] maturing power; piquancy; vigour Headword location(s)
saltpetre (n.) Old form(s): Salt-peter
substance used for making gunpowder [potassium nitrate] Headword location(s)
salt-wayed (adj.)
with salt-filled courses Headword location(s)
salute (v.)
greet, welcome, address Headword location(s)
salute (v.)
pay respects to, make a formal visit to Headword location(s)
salute (v.)
affect, act upon, excite Headword location(s)
salute (v.)
approach, greet, make contact with Headword location(s)
salvage (n.) Old form(s): Saluages
variant form of ‘savage’ Headword location(s)
salve (n.) Old form(s): salue
healing ointment Headword location(s)
salve (v.) Old form(s): salue, saluing
heal, remedy, make good Headword location(s)
salve (v.) Old form(s): salu'd
make more acceptable, soften down, account for Headword location(s)
samingo (int.)
[unclear meaning] type of drinking refrain [Latin ‘mingo’ = urinate] Headword location(s)
sampire, samphire (n.)
aromatic marine plant, used in pickles see also Plants Headword location(s)
sample (n.)
example, exemplar, model Headword location(s)
sampler (n.)
piece of embroidery Headword location(s)
Samson (n.)
in the Bible, a judge, possessor of legendary strength see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
sancta...
sacred majesty see also Latin Headword location(s)
sanctified (adj.)
consecrated, holy Headword location(s)
sanctified (adj.)
sanctimonious, hypocritical, deceiving Headword location(s)
sanctimonious (adj.)
holy, sacred, consecrated Headword location(s)
sanctimony (n.) Old form(s): sanctimonie
sanctity, holiness, religious fervour Headword location(s)
sanctimony (n.) Old form(s): Sanctimonie
sacred bond, religious commitment Headword location(s)
sanctity (n.) Old form(s): sanctitie
true devotion, sacred intensity Headword location(s)
sanctity (n.)
holiness, saintliness; or: sainthood, saints Headword location(s)
sanctuarize (v.) Old form(s): Sancturize
give sanctuary to, shelter Headword location(s)
sanctuary (n.) Old form(s): Sanctuarie
holy place, church, religious place of safety Headword location(s)
sand (n.)
grain of sand Headword location(s)
sand-blind (adj.) Old form(s): sand blinde, sand-blinde
half-blind, dim-sighted Headword location(s)
sanded (adj.)
sandy-coloured Headword location(s)
sanguine (adj.)
blood-red, deep red Headword location(s)
sanguine (adj.)
red-faced, ruddy-hued Headword location(s)
sans (prep.)
without Headword location(s)
sap (n.) Old form(s): sappe
vital fluid, life-blood Headword location(s)
sapego (n.)
F spelling of 'serpigo' see also serpigo (n.) Headword location(s)
sapient (adj.)
wise, learned, erudite Headword location(s)
sapless (adj.) Old form(s): saplesse
feeble, sluggish, lacking vigour Headword location(s)
Sarah (n.)
in the Bible, Abraham’s wife, seen as a model of submission to a husband see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
Sarah (n.)
in the Bible, Abraham’s wife, seen as a model of submission to a husband see also Abraham (n.) 1 Headword location(s)
sarcenet, sarsanet (adj.)
of thin silk, light, flimsy Headword location(s)
Sardis (n.)
[pron: 'sahrdis] capital of Lydia, Asia Minor; once the political centre see also World [outside Britain], places and peoples Headword location(s)
Sarum (n.)
[pron: 'sairuhm'] old name for Salisbury, Wiltshire; Salisbury Plain is a possible site for Camelot see also Britain [outside London] Headword location(s)
Satan (n.)
in Christian tradition, the Devil see also Religious personalities and beings Headword location(s)
sate (v.)
satiate, glut, satisfy Headword location(s)
satiate (adj.)
satiated, glutted, gorged Headword location(s)
satiety (n.)
wearisome gratification, tedious satisfaction Headword location(s)
satiety (n.) Old form(s): sacietie, saciety
excess, over-abundance Headword location(s)
satire (n.)
satirist, derider Headword location(s)
satirical (adj.) Old form(s): satiricall, satyrical
ironic, ridiculous, incongruous Headword location(s)
satis...
that is enough which suffices see also Latin Headword location(s)
satisfaction (n.)
recompense, compensation, atonement Headword location(s)
satisfaction (n.)
payment [of a debt] Headword location(s)
satisfaction (n.)
removal of doubt, resolved state of mind Headword location(s)
satisfy (v.) Old form(s): satisfie
atone, do penance, make amends Headword location(s)
satisfy (v.) Old form(s): satisfie
provide with information, reassure, convince Headword location(s)
satisfy (v.) Old form(s): satisfi'd
appease, content, comfort Headword location(s)
Saturn (n.)
Roman god of seed time and harvest see also Gods and goddesses Headword location(s)
Saturn (n.)
planet particularly associated with melancholic, morose, or vengeful temperaments see also Cosmos Headword location(s)
sauce (v.)
rebuke, berate, sting Headword location(s)
sauce (v.) Old form(s): sawce , sawc'st
spice, season, flavour Headword location(s)
sauce (v.) Old form(s): sawce
make things hot for, charge extortionately Headword location(s)
saucily (adv.) Old form(s): sawcily
presumptuously, cheekily, impudently Headword location(s)
sauciness (n.) Old form(s): Saucinesse, sawcines , sawcinesse
insolence, rudeness, impertinence Headword location(s)
saucy (adj.) Old form(s): saucie , sausie , Sawcie , sawcy , sawsie
insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant Headword location(s)
saucy (adj.) Old form(s): sawcie
lecherous, lascivious, lustful Headword location(s)
savage (adj.) Old form(s): sauage
fierce, ferocious, wild Headword location(s)
savage (adj.) Old form(s): sauage
uncultivated, wild, rough Headword location(s)
savage (adj.) Old form(s): sauage
uncivilized, wild, ungoverned Headword location(s)
savage (adj.) Old form(s): sauage
boorish, uncivil, unsociable Headword location(s)
savagery (n.) Old form(s): Sauagery
wilderness, wildness of growth Headword location(s)
save (prep.) Old form(s): saue
except Headword location(s)
save (v.) Old form(s): saue
protect, make safe see also Farewells Headword location(s)
save (v.) Old form(s): saue
protect, make safe see also Greetings Headword location(s)
save (v.) Old form(s): saue
protect, make safe see also Swearing Headword location(s)
save (v.) Old form(s): sau'd, saue
prevent, avoid, avert Headword location(s)
save (v.) Old form(s): saues
keep, preserve, maintain see also Politeness Headword location(s)
save (v.) Old form(s): saues , sauing
spare, allow to live Headword location(s)
save (v.)
preserve from damnation, bring salvation to [in emphatic expressions] see also Swearing Headword location(s)
save that (conj.) Old form(s): Saue
except (that), were it not that Headword location(s)
saving (prep.) Old form(s): Sauing
with all respect to, without offence to Headword location(s)
saving (prep.) Old form(s): Sauing
with respect to Headword location(s)
saving (prep.) Old form(s): Sauing
except Headword location(s)
saving reverence Old form(s): sauing reuerence
begging pardon for, with apologies for see also Politeness Headword location(s)
saving reverence Old form(s): sauing reuerence
begging pardon for, with apologies for see also sir-reverence (n.) Headword location(s)
savour (n.) Old form(s): sauour
flavour, nature, character Headword location(s)
savour (n.) Old form(s): sauour, sauours
smell, stench, stink Headword location(s)
savour (n.) Old form(s): sauour , sauours
scent, fragrance, smell Headword location(s)
savour (v.) Old form(s): sauor
relish, enjoy, delight [in] Headword location(s)
savour (v.) Old form(s): sauor
smell, reek, stink Headword location(s)
saw (n.) Old form(s): Sawes