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See also: Durst






  1. (archaic, literary) simple past tense of dare
    • Traditional rhyme
      Four and twenty tailors went to kill a snail; the best man among them durst not touch her tail.
    • 1595, William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 2, Scene 2, lines 82-83
      Pretty soul! She durst not lie / Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
    • 1634, John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, The Two Noble Kinsmen Act 3, Scene 2
      That thou durst, Arcite!
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost Book I, line 49
      Who durst defy th' omnipotent to arms.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. 6, Monk Samson
      Coming home, therefore, I sat me down secretly under the Shrine of St. Edmund, fearing lest our Lord Abbot should seize and imprison me, though I had done no mischief; nor was there a monk who durst speak to me, nor a laic who durst bring me food except by stealth.
    • 1883: Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
      Captain Smollett, the squire, and Dr. Livesey were talking together on the quarter-deck, and, anxious as I was to tell them my story, I durst not interrupt them openly.
    • 1896, A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, XXX, lines 1-2:
      Others, I am not the first,
      Have willed more mischief than they durst

Usage notesEdit

  • The second-person singular (thou being the subject) no longer adds -est (as it did in Early Modern English).

Derived termsEdit