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Shakespeare

or Shakspere, Shakespear

[sheyk-speer] /ˈʃeɪk spɪər/
noun
1.
William ("the Bard"; "the Bard of Avon") 1564–1616, English poet and dramatist.
Related forms
pre-Shakespeare, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Shakespeare
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Eliza said that she had found her scissors, and very likely I should find the Shakespeare some other night.

    Eliza Barry Pain
  • I want to liberate Englishmen so far as I can from the tyranny of Shakespeare's greatness.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • There can be no question that these speeches in "Macbeth" were written by some other hand than Shakespeare's.

    The Galaxy Various
  • "Measure for Measure" is one of the best examples of Shakespeare's contempt for stagecraft.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • I think so; it seems to me that, if Falstaff had been a creation, Shakespeare must have reproduced him more effectively.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
British Dictionary definitions for Shakespeare

Shakespeare

/ˈʃeɪkspɪə/
noun
1.
William. 1564–1616, English dramatist and poet. He was born and died at Stratford-upon-Avon but spent most of his life as an actor and playwright in London. His plays with approximate dates of composition are: Henry VI, Parts I–III (1590); Richard III (1592); The Comedy of Errors (1592); Titus Andronicus (1593); The Taming of the Shrew (1593); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594); Love's Labour's Lost (1594); Romeo and Juliet (1594); Richard II (1595); A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595); King John (1596); The Merchant of Venice (1596); Henry IV, Parts I–II (1597); Much Ado about Nothing (1598); Henry V (1598); Julius Caesar (1599); As You Like It (1599); Twelfth Night (1599); Hamlet (1600); The Merry Wives of Windsor (1600); Troilus and Cressida (1601); All's Well that ends Well (1602); Measure for Measure (1604); Othello (1604); King Lear (1605); Macbeth (1605); Antony and Cleopatra (1606); Coriolanus (1607); Timon of Athens (1607); Pericles (1608); Cymbeline (1609); The Winter's Tale (1610); The Tempest (1611); and, possibly in collaboration with John Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen (1612) and Henry VIII (1612). His Sonnets, variously addressed to a fair young man and a dark lady, were published in 1609
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Shakespeare

surname recorded from 1248; it means "a spearman." This was a common type of English surname, e.g. Shakelance (1275), Shakeshaft (1332). Shake (v.) in the sense of "to brandish or flourish (a weapon)" is attested from late Old English

Heo scæken on heore honden speren swiðe stronge. [Laymon, "Brut," c. 1205]
Cf. also shake-buckler "a swaggerer, a bully;" shake-rag "ragged fellow, tatterdemalion." "Never a name in English nomenclature so simple or so certain in origin. It is exactly what it looks -- Shakespear" [Bardsley, "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," 1901]. Nevertheless, speculation flourishes. The name was variously written in contemporary records, also Shakespear, Shakespere, the last form being the one adopted by the New Shakespere Society of London and the first edition of the OED. Related: Shakespearian (1753); Shakesperean (1796); Shakesperian (1755).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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