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Why, interj., almost an expletive, merely enlivening the speech, especially when something new is perceived or comes into the mind: Ven. 246. Ven. 246 Ven. 246 Tp. I, 2, 215. II, 1, 95. II, 1, 261. III, 2, 29. III, 2, 29 III, 2, 29 III, 2, 29 Gent. I, 1, 33. Gent. I, 1, 33 I, 3, 4. II, 1, 50. II, 3, 13. Meas. I, 2, 3 etc. etc. Why, so, an expression of content or of unwilling acquiescence: “no news of them? why, so; and I know not what's spent in the search; why, thou loss upon loss,” Merch. III, 1, 95. “it shall be what o'clock I say it is. Why so, this gallant will command the sun,” Shr. IV, 3, 198. “your son was gone before I came. He was? why, so! go all which way it will,” R2 II, 2, 87. “why, so! now have I done a good day's work,” R3 II, 1, 1. Cor. V, 1, 15. “unreal mockery, hence! why, so: being gone, I am a man again,” Mcb. III, 4, 107. cf. Gent. II, 1, 137, and why, this it is, in I, 3, 90.
Used a as call or exclamation: “why, Jessica, I say! Why, Jessica!” Merch. II, 5, 6. “why, Davy! Here, sir!” H4B V, 1, 8. “why, how now, ho, awake!” Tp. II, 1, 308. V, 285. Gent. V, 4, 86. Meas. I, 2, 128.
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