previous next

PASSIVE, formation of

Verbs Passive (formation of). Hence arose a curious use of passive verbs, mostly found in the participle. Thus "famous'd for fights" (Sonn. 25) means "made famous;" but in

“Who, young and simple, would not be so lover'd?

lover'd means "gifted with a lover." And this is the general rule. A participle formed from an adjective means "made (the adjective)," and derived from a noun means "endowed with (the noun)." On the other hand, stranger'd below means, not "gifted with a stranger," but "made a stranger." This use will be best illustrated by the following examples:--

Childed (provided with children).--

“He childed as I father'd.

Faith'd (believed).-- “Make thy words faith'd.” Ib. ii. 1. 72.

Father'd (provided with a father). See above, Lear, iii. 6. 117.

Feebled (enfeebled).--K. J. v. 2. 146.

Fielded (encamped in the field).--

“Our fielded friends.

Grav'd (entomb'd).--

“Grav'd in the hollow ground.

Guiled (deceitful).--

“A guiled shore.


Beguiled (i.e. made plausible)
With outward honesty, but yet defiled
With inward vice.

Inhabited (made to inhabit).--

“O, knowledge ill-inhabited, worse
than Jove in a thatch'd house.

King'd (ruled).--

King'd of our fears, until our fears, resolv'd,
Be by some certain king purged and deposed.

i.e. "ruled by our fears."

Look'd (looking).--

“Lean-look'd prophets.

Lorded (made a lord).--

“He being thus lorded.

Contrast this with "king'd" above, which means not "made a king," but "ruled as by a king."


“When half to half the world opposed,
He being the meered question.

The word "meered" is marked as corrupt by the Globe: but perhaps it is the verb from the adj. "meere" or "mere," which in Elizabethan English means "entire." Hence, "he being the entire question," i.e. "Antony, being the sole cause of the battle, ought not to have fled."


“The million'd accidents of time.

Mouthed.-- “Mouthed graves.” Ib. 77.


“I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
Necessited to help, that by this token
I would relieve her.

i.e. "made necessitous."

Nighted (benighted).--

“His nighted life.


“Thy nighted colour.

: i.e. "thy night-like colour."


“Paled cheeks.

Pensived.--Ib. 31.

Pined.-- “His pined cheek.” Ib. 5.

Practised (plotted against).--

“The death-practised duke.

Servanted (made subservient).--Coriol. v. 2. 89.

Slow'd (retarded).--

“I would I knew not why it should be slow'd.

Stranger'd (made a stranger).--

“Dower'd with our curse, and
stranger'd with our oath.

Toil'd.-- “I have been so toil'd.” B. J. E. out &c. iii. 1.


“Traded pilots.

Unlook'd (unlooked for).--Rich. III. i. 3. 214: compare look (seek). Hen. V. iv. 7. 76.

Unsured (unassured).--

“Thy now unsured assurance to the crown.

Vouchsafed (?).--

“To your most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.

i.e. capable of conceiving and graciously bestowed.

Window'd (placed in a window).

“Wouldest thou be window'd in great Rome.

Woman'd (accompanied by a woman).

“To have him see me woman'd.

Year'd.-- “Year'd but to thirty.” B. J. Sejan. i. 1.

In many cases a participle seems preferred where an adjective would be admissible, as "million'd." So in Tempest, v. 1. 43, "the azured vault."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: