A Midsummer Night’s Dream Vocabulary, Act 1

linger Definitiontake one’s time; proceed slowlyExample SentenceO, methinks, how slowThis old moon wanes! she lingers my desires
mirth Definitiongreat merrimentExample Sentence Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
melancholy Definition a humor that was once believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen and to cause sadness and melancholyExample Sentence Turn melancholy forth to funerals;The pale companion is not for our pomp.
cunning crafty artfulness (especially in deception)EXAMPLE SENTENCE:Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men.
entreat ask for or request earnestly EXAMPLE SENTENCE: I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
abjure formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure EXAMPLE SENTENCE: Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men.
forswear formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressureEXAMPLE SENTENCE:New Year’s is a popular time to forswear anything from sweets to bad relationships.
transpose change the order or arrangement ofEXAMPLE SENTENCE:You could transpose the phrases in that first sentence by writing, “You change the order if you transpose something.”
tawny of a light brown to brownish orange color; the color of tanned leatherEXAMPLE SENTENCE:I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow.
device something in an artistic work designed to achieve a particular effectEXAMPLE SENTENCE:But, masters, here are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request you and desire you, to con them by tomorrow night; and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with company, and our devices known.
interlude a brief show (music or dance etc) inserted between the sections of a longer performanceEXAMPLE SENTENCE:Here is the scroll of every man’s name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his wedding-day at night.
lamentable bad; unfortunateEXAMPLE SENTENCE:Marry, our play is, the most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
austerity the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)EXAMPLE SENTENCE:Upon that day either prepare to die For disobedience to your father’s will, Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would; Or on Diana’s altar to protest For aye austerity and single life.
relent give in, as to influence or pressureEXAMPLE SENTENCE:Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield Thy crazed title to my certain right.
pomp ceremonial elegance and splendorEXAMPLE SENTENCE:Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with my sword,And won thy love, doing thee injuries;But I will wed thee in another key,With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.
vexation anger produced by some annoying irritationEXAMPLE SENTENCE:Full of vexation come I, with complaintAgainst my child, my daughter Hermia.
feign make believe with the intent to deceiveEXAMPLE SENTENCE:Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,With feigning voice verses of feigning love
extenuate lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent ofEXAMPLE SENTENCE:For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourselfTo fit your fancies to your father’s will;Or else the law of Athens yields you up–Which by no means we may extenuate–To death, or to a vow of single life.
edict a formal or authoritative proclamationEXAMPLE SENTENCE:If then true lovers have been ever cross’d,It stands as an edict in destiny:Then let us teach our trial patience,Because it is a customary cross
prosper make steady progress; be at the high point in one’s career or reach a high point in historical significance or importanceEXAMPLE SENTENCE:I swear to thee, by Cupid’s strongest bow,By his best arrow with the golden head,By the simplicity of Venus’ doves,By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves
wont an established customEXAMPLE SENTENCE:And in the wood, where often you and IUpon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
gallant having or displaying great dignity or nobilityEXAMPLE SENTENCE:A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.
condone express one’s sympathetic grief, on the occasion of someone’s deathEXAMPLE SENTENCE:That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure.
extempore with little or no preparation or forethoughtEXAMPLE SENTENCE:You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
discretion freedom to act or judge on one’s ownEXAMPLE SENTENCE:I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you as ’twere any nightingale.