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Silly (spelt seely in Lucr. 1812; in R2 V, 5, 25 Ff silly, Qq seely), 1) harmless, innocent, helpless: “fright the s. lamb,” Ven. 1098. it shall be raging mad and s. mild, 1151 (M. Edd. silly-mild). “surprise the s. lambs,” Lucr. 167. “do no outrages on s. women,” Gent. IV, 1, 72. “which am a s. woman,” H6C I, 1, 243. “shepherds looking on their s. sheep,” II, 5, 43.
2) plain, simple: “s. groom! God wot, it was defect of spirit,” Lucr. 1345. “it is s. sooth,” Tw. II, 4, 47. “my revenue is the s. cheat,” Wint. IV, 3, 28 (== petty thievery). “here is a s. stately style indeed,” H6A IV, 7, 72. “there was a fourth man, in a s. habit, that gave the affront with them,” Cymb. V, 3, 86.
3) poor; a) as a term of pity: “esteemed so as s. jeering idiots are with kings,” Lucr. 1812. “she, s. queen, forbade the boy he should not pass,” Pilgr. 123. “it was a spite unto the s. damsel,” Pilgr. 123 “one s. cross wrought all my loss,” Pilgr. 123 “s. beggars who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,” R2 V, 5, 25. “the s. owner of the goods weeps over them,” H6B I, 1, 225. “s. ducking observants that stretch their duties nicely,” Lr. II, 2, 109. b) as a term of contempt, == poor, petty: “a child, a s. dwarf,” H6A II, 3, 22. “a s. time to make prescription,” H6C III, 3, 93. or == simple, witless, foolish: “the s. boy claps her pale cheek,” Ven. 467. “of such a weak and s. mind,” Ven. 467 “a s. answer, and fitting well a sheep,” Gent. I, 1, 81. thy s. thought (enforces) “my spleen,” LLL III, 77. “most s. sheep with a horn,” V, 1, 53. “this is the --est stuff that ever I heard,” Mids. V, 212. “till I be brought to such a s. pass,” Shr. V, 2, 124. “thou s. gentleman,” Oth. I, 3, 308.
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