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element (1 this sense colours the whole word)
1. general name for earth, water, air, and fire, which were held in ancient and mediaeval philosophy to be the simple substances of which all material bodies are compounded; hence, a constituent part of a whole, material or immaterial; pl. materials Tp. III. iii. 61 “the e-s Of whom your swords are temper'd,” Ado II. i. 359 “There's little of the melancholy in her,” Tw.N. I. v. 296, II. iii. 10 “Does not our life consist of the four e-s?,” R2 III. iii. 55, H5 III. vii. 23, H8 I. i. 48* “no ” (=no component part), Troil. I. iii. 41 “the two moist e-s,” Cæs. V. v. 73 “the e-s So mix'd in him,” Ham. IV. vii. 181, Oth. II. iii. 60, Ant. II. vii. 51 “the e-s once out of it” (=at its dissolution), V. ii. 291, Sonn. xlv. 5.
2. the air, atmosphere, or sky Tw.N. I. i. 26, 2H4 IV. iii. 58 “the cinders of the ,” H5 IV. i. 108, Cæs. I. iii. 128 “the complexion of the ,” Lr. III. i. 4.
3. pl. atmospheric agencies or powers, sometimes= heavens Tp. I. i. 25 “command these e-s to silence,” V. i. 317, Cor. I. x. 10 “By the e-s,” Lr. III. ii. 16, Oth. II. i. 45, Ant. III. ii. 40; (?) the celestial spheres of ancient astronomy Oth. III. iii. 465 “Your e-s that clip us round about.”
4. that one of the ‘four elements’ which is the natural abode of a being, (hence) appropriate or natural surroundings or sphere Wiv. IV. ii. 190 “beyond our ,” Tw.N. III. i. 66, III. iv. 139 “not of your ,” Lr. II. iv. 58, Ant. V. ii. 90 “above The they liv'd in.”
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hide References (19 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (19):
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 2.7
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 1.10
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 2.4
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 4.7
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 3.7
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, Richard II, 3.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 3.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 1.5
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, Sonnets, xlv
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