Hamlet: Act 1 Vocabulary

Usurp (verb)Usurper (noun) To seize and hold by force or without authority/legal right; power, authority, position, nothing physicalEx. Centuries ago, rebels tried to usurp the English thrown from the cruel and selfish king.
Moiety (noun) A portionEx. When the clothing went on sale, it was a moiety of the original price.
Portentous (adjective)Portent (noun): the sign of evil Ominously momentous; giving a sign or warning that something bad is about to happenEx. The portentous clouds sent Sam running inside.
Harbinger (noun): a sign; not a person unless it is used in the context of something hundreds of years oldHarbinger (verb): to herald the coming of something Something that foreshadows a future eventEx. Flower buds are the harbinger of Spring.
Partisan (noun)Partisan (adjective) A person who supports a particular group; in Shakespeare’s time, it was a swordEx. The partisans refused to stop the protest.Ex. Obama is partisan to the Democratic Party.
Hallowed (adjective)To hallow (verb): to make sacredHallower (noun) Regarded as holy or sacred; not necesarily religiousEx. To some people, Shakespeare’s work is hallowed. Ex. The Bible is a hallowed text.
Auspicous (adjective)Inasuspicious (adjective): unfavorable Promissing successEx. The blizzard was auspicious for a snow day.Ex. After a good practice, the team was looking forward to an auspicious win.
Filial (adjective) Of a relationship of a parent to a child; the responsibility, respect, and obligation of a son or daughterEx. It is my filial obligation to make sure that my elderly parents are okay.
Obsequious (adjective)Obsequiousness (noun) Ass-kissing; servile and grovelingEx. The teacher was annoyed by the obsequious student because he knew that her actions were only done to get a good grade.
Retrograde (adjective): used with sciencesDon’t use as a verb, use as an adjective Having a backwards motion or directionEx. The Jim Crow laws were retrograde to the improving race conditions in the South.
Jocund (adjective) Happy and joyfulEx. Santa Clause is known for being a very jocund man.
Discourse (noun)Discourse (verb) ConversationEx. The two men had a discourse about the score of the football game.
Countenance (noun) Expression on the faceEx. The man’s countenance was sad when he heard the news.
Tenable (adjective)Tenability (noun) Capable of being held against attackEx. The fort was made tenable; no one could get through the thick, cement walls.
Besmirch (verb)Besmircher (noun) To soil or tarnishEx. The man besmirched the other’s reputation by speaking poorly of him to his colleagues.
Prodigal (adjective)Prodigal (noun) Wastefully extravagantEx. The house was filled from top to bottom with prodigal decorations that had no practical purpose other than to look nice.
Libertine (noun)Libertine (adjective) Someone who acts without moral or sexual restraintEx. The drunk man’s actions were libertine; thus, leading to his arrest.
Unfledged (adjective) ImmatureEx. Because the boy made faces behind his teacher’s back, his classmates considered him unfledged.
Censure (noun)Censure (verb): to criticize Strong expression of disapproval Ex. The parents censured the actions of their child.Ex. The parents showed censure at the actions of their child.
Husbandry (noun) The science of raising crops or livestockEx. The farmer was an expert in husbandry.
Parley (noun)Parley (verb): to hold an informal conference with an enemy under a truceParleyed (noun) A discussion or conversation between enemiesEx. During the ceasefire, the two sides held a parley to discuss the terms of the truce.
Beguile (verb)Beguilement (noun) To be taken away by cheating or deceptionEx. The illness beguiled the man of his strength.
Traduce (verb)Traducement (noun) To speak maliciously; to slanderEx. Upset over an argument, Tom traduced Jim to his coworkers.
Canonize (verb)Canonization (noun)Canonizer (noun) To glorifyEx. Earlier this year, Mother Teresa was canonized as a saint.
Sovereignty (noun) Having supreme power or authorityEx. Queen Elizabeth is the figurehead of sovereignty in England.
Adulterate (verb): used with objectAdulterator (noun)Adulterate (adjective): impure To cheapen by making something with inferior metalsEx. The food was made adulterate because it was not made with the highest quality ingredients.
Enmity (noun) A felling of hatredEx. The man felt enmity towards the robber.
Pernicious (adjective) DeadlyEx. The car crash was pernicious; there were no survivors.
Antic (noun)Antic (adjective) A playful trickEx. The teacher as not impressed by the antics of her students.

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