Word families

Shakespeare often refers to the heart. But he also uses this word to help create other words, such as unheart, heart-sore, and heartless. How many such derived words are there, and how are they used? Type HEART into the search-box and you will see.

We use the term word-family to identify the set of words that contain the same basic element. They will be part of a compound word (as in heart-sore), accompanied by a prefix (as in unheart) or a suffix (as in heartless), or used in different ways (e.g. as a noun and a verb). In this section we list all the words in the canon (in the modern English version) that have family resemblances so you can see which words Shakespeare exploited in this way, and which he did not. Words that are not included (such as the and Horatio) are described on the further information page here.

When there are several family members, we group them into themes, showing the directions in which Shakespeare used a word. Where these occur, they are listed under the main heading. The names of the themes, taken along with their family members, we hope are self-explanatory, but more illustration can be found on the further information page here.
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MACE
MACHINE
MACKEREL
MACULATE
MAD
ACTION
MIND
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
STATE
MADAM
MADONNA
MADRIGAL
MAGGOT
BIRD
MAGIC
PEOPLE
MAGISTRATE
MAGNANIMITY
MAGNIFICENCE
MAGNIFICO
MAID
AGE
PART OF BODY
SERVICE
STATE
WATER
MAIL
MAIM
MAIN
EVENT
SHIP
MAINSAIL
MAINTAIN
MAJESTY
MAJOR
MAKE
ACTION
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
MALADY
MALAPERT
MALCONTENT
MALE
MALEDICTION
MALEFACTION
PEOPLE
MALEVOLENCE
MALICE
MALIGN
MALKIN
MALLARD
MALLEABLE
MALLECHO
MALLET
MALLOW
MALMSEY
CONTAINER
PART OF BODY
MALT
ANIMAL
PEOPLE
MAMMER
MAMMET
MAMMOCK
MAN
ACTION
AGE
CHARACTER
DEATH
GAME
JOB
MUSIC
PLANT
RANK
REGION
RELATIONSHIP
SHP
NOT
MANACLE
MANAGE
PEOPLE
MANDATE
MANDRAGORA
MANDRAKE
MANE
MANGLE
MANGY
MANIFEST
MANIFOLD
MANIKIN
MANNA
MANNER
STATE
NOT
MANOR
MANSION
MANTLE
NOT
MANUAL
MANURE
MANY
COLOUR
PART OF BODY
MAP
MAR
STATE
MARBLE
PART OF BODY
STATE
MARCH [month]
MARCH [move]
MARCHIONESS
MARCHPANE
MARE
MARGENT
SEA
MARIGOLD
MARINER
MARITIME
MARJORAM
MARK [attend]
MARK [money]
MARK [sight]
APPEARANCE
OBJECT
PEOPLE
STATE
MARKET
MONEY
PEOPLE
PLACE
MARL
MARMOSET
MARQUESS
MARRIAGE
EVENT
OBJECT
SPEECH
TIME
NOT
MARROW
DISEASE
NOT
MARSH
MARSHAL
MART
MARTIAL
MARTLET
MARTYR
MARVEL
MARY-BUD
MASCULINE
MASH
MASK
ACTION
PEOPLE
NOT
MASON
MASQUE
PEOPLE
MASS [service]
MASS [size]
MASSACRE
MAST
MASTER
GODS
INTENSITY
PART OF BODY
PEOPLE
STATE
NOT
MASTIC
MASTIFF
MATCH
INTENSITY
NOT
MATE
OBJECT
PEOPLE
MATERIAL
NOT
MATHEMATICS
MATIN
MATRON
MATTER
MATTOCK
MATTRESS
MATURE
MAUL
MAUND
MAW
MAXIM
MAY
FESTIVAL
TIME
MAY0R
MAZE
MAZED
MAZZARD
MEACOCK
MEADOW
BEINGS
MEAGRE
MEAL
ACTION
MEAN [poor]
RANK
CLOTHING
MEAN [sense]
TYPE
STATE
MEANDER
MEANS
MEANTIME
MEANWHILE
MEASLE
MEASURE
DANCE
NOT
MEAT
TYPE
MECHANIC
PEOPLE
MEDAL
MEDDLE
PEOPLE
STATE
MEDIATION
PEOPLE
MEDICINE
MEDITATION
TIME
NOT
MEDLAR
MEED
MEEK
MEET [come]
PLACE
TIME
MEET [suit]
NOT
meiny n
MELANCHOLY
MELLIFLUOUS
MELLOW
NOT
MELODY
MELT
STATE
MEMBER [limb]
MEMBER [partaker]
NOT
MEMORY
MENACE
MEND
PEOPLE
MENTAL
MENTION
MERCENARY
MERCER
MERCHANT
ACTION
OBJECT
MERCURY
PEOPLE
MERCY
EXCLAMATION
NOT
MERE
MERIDIAN
MERIT
NOT
MERMAID
MERRY
INTENSITY
PART OF BODY
MERVEILOUS
MESH
ACTION
MESS
MESSAGE
PEOPLE
METAL
METAMORPHOSE
METAPHOR
METAPHYSICS
METE
ACTION
OBJECT
METEOR
METHEGLIN
METHINKS
METHOD
METRE
METROPOLIS
METTLE
ANIMAL
STATE
MEW [cat]
MEW [shut]
MEWL
MICHAELMAS
MICHER
MICHING
MICKLE
MICROCOSM
MID
PART OF BODY
PLACE
TIME
MIGHT
GOD
INTENSITY
MILCH
MILD
STATE
MILDEW
MILE
MILITARY
MILK
ANIMAL
COLOUR
PEOPLE
PART OF BODY
TIME
MILL
BUILDING
MONEY
OBJECT
PEOPLE
MILLINER
MILLION
MIMIC
MINCE
MIND
BAD
GOOD
NOT
MINE
ACTION
OBJECT
PEOPLE
MINERAL
MINGLE
NOT
MINIKIN
MINIM
MINIMUS
MINION
MINISTER
PEOPLE
MINNOW
MINORITY
MINOTAUR
MINSTREL
MINT [forge]
MINT [plant]
MINUTE
PEOPLE
MINX
MIRABLE
MIRACLE
MIRE
STATE
MIRROR
MIRTH
STATE
MISADVENTURE
MISANTHROPOS
MISAPPLY
MISBECOME
MISBEGOTTEN
MISBELIEVER
MISCALL
MISCARRY
MISCHANCE
MISCHIEF
MISCONCEIVE
MISCONSTER
MISCONSTRUE
MISCREANT
MISCREATE
MISDEED
MISDEMEANOUR
MISDO
MISDOUBT
MISDREAD
MISERY
MISFORTUNE
MISGIVE
MISGOVERNMENT
MISGRAFFED
MISGUIDE
MISHAP
MISHAVED
MISHEAR
MISINTERPRET
MISLEAD
MISLIKE
MISORDER
MISPLACE
MISPRISION
MISPROUD
MISQUOTE
MISREPORT
MISS
MIS-SHAPEN
MIS-SHEATHE
MISSION
TIME
MISSIVE
MIS-SPEAK
MIST
MISTAKE
MISTEMPERED
MISTERMED
MISTHINK
MISTLETOE
MISTREADING
MISTRESS
RELATIONSHIP
MISTRUST
MISUSE
MITE
MITIGATE
NOT
MIX
NOT
MOAN
TIME
NOT
MOAT
MOBLED
MOCK
BIRD
INTENSITY
PEOPLE
MODEL
MODERATE
NOT
MODERN
MODEST
STATE
NOT
MODICUM
MODULE
MOE
MOIETY
MOIST
MOLE [animal]
PLACE
MOLE [skin]
MOLEST
MOLLIFICATION
MOME
MOMENT
STATE
NOT
MONARCH
MONASTERY
MONDAY
MONGER
APPEARANCE
EMOTION
FOOD
OBJECT
SEX
SPEECH
MONGREL
MONK
BAD
MONKEY
MONOPOLY
MONSTER
ACTION
TYPE
MONTH
MONUMENT
MOOD
STATE
MOON
AMOUNT
ANIMAL
LIGHT
MOOR [countryside]
MOOR [person]
MOP
MOPE
MORAL
PEOPLE
MORE
AMOUNT
EXTRA
MORISCO
MORNING
APPEARANCE
TIME
MORRIS
MORROW
GREETING
TIME
MORSEL
MORTAL
STATE
NOT
MORTAR
MORTGAGE
MORTIFY
MORTISE
MOSE
MOSS
APPEARANCE
MOST
DIRECTION
INTENSITY
MOTE
MOTH
MOTHER
MIND
RELATIVES
MOTION
ACTION
NOT
MOTIVE
MOTLEY
MIND
MOTTO
MOULD [rot]
MOULD [shape]
RESEMBLANCE
MOULT
MOUNT
INTENSITY
NOT
MOUNTAIN
ANIMAL
INTENSITY
PEOPLE
PLACE
MOUNTEBANK
MOURN
PEOPLE
MOUSE
ACTION
OBJECT
STATE
TYPE
MOUTH
AMOUNT
APPEARANCE
BAD
GOOD
NOISE
MOVE
PEOPLE
REMOVING
STATE
NOT
MOW [face]
MOW [reduce]
PEOPLE
MUCH
INTENSITY
MUCK
MUD
MIND
MUFFLE
CLOTHING
NOT
MULBERRY
MULE
PEOPLE
MULLED
MULTIPLY
MULTIPOTENT
MULTITUDE
MUM [quiet]
MUMBLE
PEOPLE
MUMMER
MUMMY
MUNCH
MUNDANE
MUNIMENT
MURAL
MURDER
OBJECT
PEOPLE
MURE
MURK
MURMUR
PEOPLE
MURRAIN
MURTHER
MUSE
MUSET
MUSHRUMP
MUSIC
PEOPLE
NOT
MUSIT
MUSK
ANIMAL
PLANT
MUSKET [gun]
MUSKET [hawk]
MUSS
MUSSEL
MUSTACHIO
MUSTARD
MUSTER
PEOPLE
MUSTY
MUTATION
STATE
MUTE
MUTINY
PEOPLE
MUTTER
MUTTON
MUTUAL
STATE
MUZZLE
NOT
MYRTLE
MYSTERY
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