The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original. Below is a list of a few of the words Shakespeare coined, hyperlinked to the play and scene from which it comes. When the word appears in multiple plays, the link will take you to the play in which it first appears.
For more words that Shakespeare coined please see the Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language by Dr. Ernest Klein (1966) or Shakespeare-lexicon: A Complete Dictionary of All the English Words, Phrases and Constructions in the Works of the Poet by Alexander Schmidt (1902).
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Words Shakespeare InventedShakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html >.