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art (4 short for ‘art magic’, Latin ‘ars magica’)
1. skill (esp. opposed to ‘nature’); skill in a particular science MND. I. i. 192, Rom. II. iv. 97 “by art as well as by nature,” Mac. IV. i. 101 “if your art Can tell so much” (cf. sense 4), Ven. 291.
2. learning, science Wiv. III. i. 109, LLL. IV. ii. 115 “all those pleasures . . . that art would comprehend” ; pl. with allusion to the ‘liberal arts’ studied in the middle ages LLL. II. i. 45, Shr. I. i. 2, Per. II. iii. 82 “My education been in arts and arms,” Sonn. Music 13 [Pilgr. 223].
3. practical application of a science H5 I. i. 51 “the art and practic part of life” ; fig. experience Lr. IV. vi. 227; Cæs. IV. iii. 193-4 (‘his art had not become a second nature’).
4. magic Tp. I. ii. 1, &c., 1H4 III. i. 48, 1H6 II. i. 15 “Contriv'd by art and baleful sorcery.”
5. artifice Compl. 295 “his passion, but an of craft.”
6. cunning Sonn. cxxxix. 4 “slay me not by art.”
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