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Common Middle English surname meaning "spearman", corresponding to shake (brandish a weapon) + spear.


Proper nounEdit

Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. A surname​.
  2. William Shakespeare, an English playwright and poet of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries
  3. His works or media adaptations of his works.

Usage notesEdit

  • (William Shakespeare): Note that Shakespeare's manuscripts use a great many different spellings of his surname, way too many to list here. (At the time, some name spellings were much more variable than today, see Spelling of Shakespeare's name for a list.)

Derived termsEdit



Shakespeare (countable and uncountable, plural Shakespeares)

  1. (uncountable) Eloquent language, especially English; poetry.
    • 1979 October 10, Russell Maker, “Highbrows Ruin Baseball's Language”, in Toledo Blade:
      This may not be poetry, but in competition with "Ryan has good velocity and excellent location" it is pure Shakespeare.
  2. (countable) A playwright of the standing of William Shakespeare
    • 1997 Vivien Allen, "Hall Caine: portrait of a Victorian romancer‎"
      Caine, he said, might be a budding Shakespeare but in Shakespeare's time all it took to put on a play was a barn, a crude stage, ...

See alsoEdit


Proper nounEdit

Shakespeare m

  1. Shakespeare (William Shakespeare, English playwright)