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Shakespeare

[sheyk-speer] /ˈʃeɪk spɪər/
noun
1.
William ("the Bard"; "the Bard of Avon") 1564–1616, English poet and dramatist.
Also, Shakspere, Shakespear.
Related forms
pre-Shakespeare, adjective

bard1

[bahrd] /bɑrd/
noun
1.
(formerly) a person who composed and recited epic or heroic poems, often while playing the harp, lyre, or the like.
2.
one of an ancient Celtic order of composers and reciters of poetry.
3.
any poet.
4.
the bard, William Shakespeare.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Celtic; compare Irish, Scots Gaelic bard, Welsh bardd, Breton barz < Indo-European *gwrs-do-s singer, akin to Albanian grisha (I) invited (to a wedding)
Related forms
bardic, adjective
bardish, bardlike, adjective
bardship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for the bard

bard1

/bɑːd/
noun
1.
  1. (formerly) one of an ancient Celtic order of poets who recited verses about the exploits, often legendary, of their tribes
  2. (in modern times) a poet who wins a verse competition at a Welsh eisteddfod
2.
(archaic or literary) any poet, esp one who writes lyric or heroic verse or is of national importance
Derived Forms
bardic, adjective
bardism, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Scottish Gaelic; related to Welsh bardd

bard2

/bɑːd/
noun
1.
a piece of larding bacon or pork fat placed on game or lean meat during roasting to prevent drying out
2.
an ornamental caparison for a horse
verb (transitive)
3.
to place a bard on
Word Origin
C15: from Old French barde, from Old Italian barda, from Arabic barda`ah packsaddle

Bard

/bɑːd/
noun
1.
the Bard, an epithet of William 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 the bard

bard

n.

mid-15c., from Scottish, from Old Celtic bardos "poet, singer," from PIE root *gwer- "to lift up the voice, praise." In historical times, a term of contempt among the Scots (who considered them itinerant troublemakers), but one of great respect among the Welsh.

All vagabundis, fulis, bardis, scudlaris, and siclike idill pepill, sall be brint on the cheek. [local Scottish ordinance, c.1500]
Subsequently idealized by Scott in the more ancient sense of "lyric poet, singer." Poetic use of the word in English is from Greek bardos, Latin bardus, both from Gaulish.

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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