A Midsummer Night's Dream By William Shakespeare Study Help Full Glossary

abridgement (39) pastime.

aby (335) to pay the penalty for.

Acheron (357) a river in Hades: often identified as the river across which Charon ferries the dead.

adamant (195) lodestone, a hard stone or substance that was supposedly unbreakable.

Aegles (79) the woman for whom Theseus abandoned Ariadne.

Antiopa (80) Queen of the Amazons, often identified with Hippolyta, but here they are viewed as separate women.

Antipodes (55) the opposite side of the earth.

Apollo (231) the god of music, poetry, prophecy, and medicine, represented as exemplifying manly youth and beauty.

Ariadne (80) King Minos' daughter, who gives Theseus the thread by which he finds his way out of the labyrinth after killing the Minotaur.

Aurora's harbinger (380) the morning star, precursor of the dawn.

Bacchanals (48) worshippers of Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry.

barm (38) the yeast foam that appears on the surface of malt liquors as they ferment.

Bergomask dance (332) a rustic dance, named for Bergamo (a province ridiculed for its rusticity).

beshrew (60) to curse, usually mildly.

Beteem (131) grant.

bootless (37) in vain.

bottle of hay (28) bundle of hay.

brow of Egypt (11) face of a gypsy.

buskin'd (71) wearing boots reaching to the calf or knee.

Byrlakin (11) by your ladykin (i.e., the Virgin Mary).

Cadmus (107) a Phoenician prince and founder of Thebes: he killed a dragon and sowed its teeth, from which many armed men rose, fighting each other, until only five were left to help him build the city.

cankerblossom (282) a worm that destroys the flower bud.

Carthage queen (173) Dido; founder and queen of Carthage: in the Aeneid she falls in love with Aeneas and kills herself when he leaves her.

childing (112) pregnant.

coil (339) commotion; turmoil.

collied (145) blackened, as with coal dust.

conn'd (80) to peruse carefully; to study; fix in the memory.

Corin, Phillida (66, 68) conventional names of pastoral lovers.

coy (2) caress.

Daphne (231) a nymph who is changed into a laurel tree to escape Apollo's unwanted advances.

dewlap (50) a loose fold of skin hanging from the throat of cattle and certain other animals, or a similar loose fold under the chin of a person.

Diana's altar (89) the altar belonging to the virgin goddess of the moon and of hunting: identified with the Greek Artemis.

disfigure (47) Quince's blunder for "figure."

dowager (5) an elderly woman of wealth and dignity.

eglantine (252) European rose with hooked spines, sweet-scented leaves, and usually pink flowers.

enforced (171) violated by force.

Ercles (22) Hercules.

Ethiope (257) a black person; a reference to Hermia's relatively dark hair and complexion.

exposition of (33) Bottom's malapropism for "disposition to."

eyne (242) eye.

faining voice (31) desirous voice.

false Trojan (174) Aeneas, son of Anchises and Venus, and hero of Virgil's Aeneid: escaping from ruined Troy, Aeneas wanders for years before coming to Latium: he is considered the forefather of the Romans.

fancy-sick (96) lovesick.

filch'd (36) to steal, pilfer.

Furies (266) the three terrible female spirits with snaky hair (Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera) who punish the doers of unavenged crimes.

gambol (139) frolic.

gauds (33) cheap, showy trinkets, playthings.

gleek (121) jest.

hight (138) named; called.

hind (232) the female of the red deer.

hounds of Sparta (109) dogs famous for their hunting skill.

humours (21) inclinations.

idle gaud (162) useless trinket.

imbrue (324) stain.

Limander, Helen (190, 191) blunders for the lovers Hero and Leander; Leander swims the Hellespont from Abydos every night to be with her; when he drowns in a storm, Hero throws herself into the sea.

lob (16) a big, slow, clumsy person.

lode-stars (183) stars by which one directs one's course.

love-in-idleness (116) pansy, heartsease.

Marry (9) [Archaic] interjection used to express surprise, anger, etc., or, sometimes, merely to provide emphasis; here, a mild oath, referring to the Virgin Mary.

mazed (113) bewildered.

mew'd (71) to confine in or as in a cage; shut up or conceal.

mimic (19) burlesque actor.

minimus (329) petite person.

misgraffed (137) ill-matched.

mispris'd (74) mistaken.

the Morning's love (389) Cephalus, a beautiful boy loved by Aurora.

Mote (135) a speck of dust.

mote (299) a speck of dust or other tiny particle.

muskroses (252) Mediterranean roses with fragrant, usually white, flowers.

neaf (16) fist.

neeze (56) sneeze.

nine-men's morris (98) pattern cut in the turf when this game was played outside with nine pebbles.

Ninny/Ninus (80) mythical founder of Ninevah.

noll (17) head.

old Hiems (109) the winter god.

ounce (36) snow leopard.

ouzel cock (102) male blackbird.

oxlips (250) a perennial plant of the primrose family.

Pard (37) leopard, or panther.

patched (202) wearing motley (many-colored garments).

patches (9) clowns.

Peascod (160) the pod of the pea plant.

peck of provender (27) one-quarter bushel of grain.

Perigouna (78) one of Theseus' lovers.

Phibbus' car (27) the chariot of Phoebus (Apollo as god of the sun).

Philomel (13) the nightingale (Philomela was a princess of Athens raped by Tereseus; the gods change her into a nightingale).

Phoebe (209) Artemis as goddess of the moon: identified with the Roman Diana.

preferred (28) presented for acceptance.

quern (36) a primitive hand mill, especially for grinding grain.

quill (105) the bird's piping song.

recreant (409) cowardly, craven.

reremice (4) bats.

roundel (1) round dance.

russet-pated choughs (21) reddish brown-headed crows.

scrip (3) script.

Shafalus and Procrus (192) blunders for "Cephalus" and "Procris," famous lovers.

Sisters Three (316) the Fates, the three goddesses who control human destiny and life.

spotted (110) morally stained.

St. Valentine (134) birds were supposed to choose mates on St. Valentine's Day.

stand upon points (118) pay attention to details.

stepdame (5) stepmother.

strings to your beards (26) the actors used strings to tie their false beards on.

Taurus (141) mountain range along the S coast of Asia Minor, Turkey.

That's all one (39) It makes no difference.

Thessalian (117) inhabitant of Thessaly, a region of E Greece, between the Pindus Mountains and the Aegean Sea.

Thracian (49) belonging to an ancient region in the E Balkan Peninsula.

thread and thrum (268) everything, both good and bad.

throstle (104) a songbird.

'tide (197) betide; happen.

tiring-house (4) attiring house.

tong & bones (25) instruments for rustic music.

translated (191) transformed.

transported (2) carried off by the fairies, or transformed.

triple Hecate's team (360) Hecate, a goddess of the moon (Luna), earth (Diana), and underground realm of the dead (Hecate), later regarded as the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft.

troth (48) faithfulness; loyalty.

vaward (100) vanguard.

videlicet (303) that is, namely.

waggish (240) playful.

wasted brands (351) burned-out logs.

welkin (356) the vault of heaven, the sky, or the upper air.

wonted liveries (113) accustomed attire.

wood (192) insane.

woodbine (251) a European climbing honeysuckle with fragrant, yellowish-white flowers.

wot (422) to know.

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