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The Merchant of Venice

Extra Credit Words with Sample Sentences from the Book

instructions
abject
1 use
You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
abject = the worst (extremely bad)
DefinitionGenerally abject means:
extreme (in a negative sense such as misery, hopelessness, submissiveness, cruelty, or cowardice)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
attribute
2 uses
1  —2 uses as in:
It is an attribute of...
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
attribute = characteristic

(editor's note:  This is part of Portia's famous monologue that begins, "The quality of mercy is not strained." Here Portia is explaining that a king's sceptre (stick decorated with precious metal and gems) represents his earthly power of which others are in awe. Portia goes on in the monologue to say that mercy is even greater than such kingly power because it is like Godly power. He finished by telling Shylock that people with early power can exhibit Godly power by mixing mercy with justice.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of attribute means:
a characteristic (of something or someone)
Word Statistics
Book2 uses
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
bound   (2 meanings)
2 meanings, 2 uses
1  —1 use as in:
bound together
This is the man, this is Antonio,
To whom I am so infinitely bound.†
bound = connected or tied
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
held together (connected or united) or wrapped
The exact meaning of this sense of bound is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The pages of the book are bound with glue." — held together physically
  • "The book is bound in leather." — wrapped or covered
  • "The United States and England are bound together by a common language." — connected or united (tied together metaphorically)
  • "She cleaned the wound and bound it with fresh bandages." — wrapped
  • "She is wheelchair-bound." — connected (moves with a wheelchair because she is unable to walk)
  • "The jacket has bound buttonholes." — edges wrapped by fabric or trim rather than stitches
  • "She's the one in the bound-edge hat." — where the edge of the hat is wrapped in a decorative material.
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library16 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
2  —1 use as in:
I can't/must. I'm bound by...
I am not bound to please thee with my answer.†
bound = required
DefinitionGenerally this sense of bound means:
to be constrained in some way — such as tied up, prevented, required, or obligated
The exact meaning of this sense of bound is subject to its context. For example:
  • "Her wrists were bound." — tied up
  • "I am bound by my word." — required or obligated (in this case to keep a promise)
  • "It is a binding contract." — must be obeyed (The people who signed the contract are legally required to do what it says or suffer legal penalties.)
  • "He is muscle bound." — prevented from moving easily (due to having such large, tight muscles)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library12 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
eloquent
1 use
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence
eloquence = elegant and powerful use of language
DefinitionGenerally eloquent means:
powerful use of language
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 3.2
Web Links
exeunt
26 uses
[Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO.]
exeunt = stage direction:  characters exit from stage
Word Statistics
Book26 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
fawn
1 use
[Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks!
fawning = showing excessive flattery or affection
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
guile
1 use
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest.
guiled = treacherous or deceiving
DefinitionGenerally guile means:
cunning (shrewdness and cleverness) and deceitful
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.2
Web Links
heresy
1 use
The ancient saying is no heresy:
heresy = opinions or actions most people consider immoral
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.9
Web Links
impute
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
imputed the outburst to stress
Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?
imputation = attribution or belief

(editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of impute means:
attribute (to say one thing is the cause of another—often to blame and often wrongly)
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.3
Web Links
knell
1 use
Let us all ring fancy's knell:
knell = death bell
DefinitionGenerally knell means:
the sound of a bell rung slowly — especially to announce death or a funeral

or:

announcing the demise or end of something
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.2
Web Links
mitigate
1 use
I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
mitigate = make less harmful
DefinitionGenerally mitigate means:
make less harmful or unpleasant
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 1000
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
prodigal
5 uses
a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto;
prodigal = someone who is recklessly wasteful
DefinitionGenerally prodigal means:
recklessly wasteful

or more rarely:

abundant (extravagant in amount)

or more rarely still:

long absent (someone who has been away a long time)
Word Statistics
Book5 uses
Library0 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 1.1
Web Links
prosper
1 use
  My lord and lady, it is now our time,
  That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper,
  To cry, good joy.
prosper = do well
DefinitionGenerally prosper means:
to do well or to grow stronger
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library3 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.2
Web Links
ratify
1 use
Like one of two contending in a prize,
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes,
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So, thrice-fair lady, stand I, even so,
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.
ratified = approved
DefinitionGenerally ratify means:
to approve — typically the formal approval of an agreement by an organization
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 3.2
Web Links
repentance
4 uses
Then I'll repent, and wish for all that, that I had not kill'd them.
repent = feel regret for having done something wrong
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
Word Statistics
Book4 uses
Library5 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
rigorous
1 use
1  —1 use as in:
a rigorous math class
His rigorous course
rigorous = difficult and demanding
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
SAT®*top 2000
1st useScene 4.1
Web Links
slander
1 use
In such a night
Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
slander = tell lies that damaged
DefinitionGenerally slander means:
lie to damage the reputation of another; or the lies told
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library2 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
tedious
3 uses
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
tediousness = dullness (boredom)

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
DefinitionGenerally tedious means:
boring — especially because something goes on too long or without variation
Word Statistics
Book3 uses
Library6 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 2.3
Web Links
zeal
1 use
If you had pleas'd to have defended it with any terms of zeal...
zeal = active interest and enthusiasm
Word Statistics
Book1 use
Library4 uses in 10 avg bks
1st useScene 5.1
Web Links
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Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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