The Merchant of Venice Act I

Argosies”There, where your argosies, with portly sail,-like signiors and rich burghers on the flood, or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,- do overpeer the petty traffickers, that curt’sy to them, do them reverence, as they fly by them with their woven wings.” (1.1.9-14) Definition: a large merchant ship, especially one with a rich cargoSentence: The foreign merchant sailed ashore on his heavily filled argosies.
Enrobe”…Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks, and, in a word, but even now worth this, and now worth nothing?” (1.1.35-37) Definition: to dress; attireSentence: Enrobed with an exquisite dress, she was finally ready for the gala.
Signiors”Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when?” (1.1.68-69) Definition: an Italian courtesy titleSentence: Excuse me, signior, can I have directions to the Vatican?
Mirth”With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;” (1.1.84) Definition: an expressed laughterSentence: I have provided much mirth, and your uncontrollable laughter proves me right.
Grandsire”Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?”(1.1.88) Definition: a grandfather or aged manSentence: The pictures of her grandsire portrayed him as a feared man.
Alabaster”Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?”(1.1.88) Definition: a finely granular variety of gypsum, often white and translucent, used for ornamental objects or work, such as lamp bases, figurines, etc.Sentence: He had a collection of alabaster coins, tools and lamps.
Exhortation”I’ll end my exhortation after dinner.” (1.1.108) Definition: to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgentlySentence: I gave a close exhortation to the society, which seemed to sink into every heart.
Vendible”In a neat’s tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.” (1.1.116) Definition: capable of being soldSentence: During a hot day, ice cold water would be the most vendible.
Abridged”Nor do I now make moan to be abridg’d from such a noble rate; but my chief care is to come fairly off from the great debts wherein my time, something too prodigal, hath left me gag’d.” (1.1.130-135) Definition: to shorten by omissions while retaining the basic contentsSentence: The teacher abridged the homework; she only included the necessities needed for the test.
Prodigal”Nor do I now make moan to be abridg’d from such a noble rate; but my chief care is to come fairly off from the great debts wherein my time, something too prodigal, hath left me gag’d.” (1.1.130-135) Definition: wastefully or recklessly extravagantSentence: Many thought her wedding was prodigal since it was way over the top and cost over a hundred thousand dollars.
Herein”You know me well, and herein spend but time, to wind about my love with circumstance;” (1.1.158-159) Definition: in or into this placeSentence: Sign at the foot of this contract to confirm that you agree with the terms herein.
Surfeit”You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were for aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they starve with nothing.” (1.2.3-6) Definition: an excessive amountSentence: He had a surfeit supply of food that would last him through the month.
Superfluity”Superfluity comes sooner by white hair, but competency lives longer.” Definition: a superabundant or excessive amount.Sentence: He could do without such superfluities as a second car.
Imputation”Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?” (1.3.13) Definition: an attribution, as of fault or crime; accusationSentence: He made a serious imputation by saying that John had committed the crime.
Congregate”Even there where merchants most do congregate, on me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, which he calls interest.” (1.3.44-46) Definition: gather into a crowd or massSentence: Congregate on the streets to excitedly discuss the victory.
Pied”That all the eanlings which were streak’d and pied should fall, as Jacob’s hire; the ewes, being rank…” (1.3.77-78) Definition: patchy in colorSentence: The shirt in the thrift store was pied; it looked like it had be ripped and sewn many times.
Borne”Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, for sufferance is the badge of all our tribe…” (1.3.8-9) Definition: past tense of bearSentence: The weight was more than could be borne by a lone man.
Ducats”A cur can lend three thousand ducats? or shall I bend low, and in a bondman’s key with ‘bated breath, and whispering humbleness..” (1.3.121-123) Definition: a gold coin formerly current in most European countriesSentence: By now her armies in the field were costing 13 million ducats a year.
Forfeiture”By the exaction of the forfeiture?”(1.3.165) Definition: something that is lost or surrendered as a penaltySentence: Forfeiture by re-entry is to issue proceedings at court seeking possession on the ground that the tenant is in arrears.
Usance”He lends out money gratis and brings down the rate of usance here with us in Venice.” (1.3.39-40) Definition: interestSentence: You can tell he had an usance with her by the way he looked at her.