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ground sb. (2 is freq.; many quibbles occur between literal and figurative meanings)
1. the bottom of the sea or other water 1H4 I. iii. 204 “Where fathom-line could never touch the ” ; the bottom where the water becomes too shallow for a vessel to float 2H4 IV. i. 17 “touch And dash themselves to pieces,” IV. iv. 40 “on ” (=aground).
2. basis, foundation Shr. III. i. 74 “‘Gamut’ I am, the of all accord,” Tw.N. II. iii. 166 “his of faith” ; (hence) motive, reason Wint. I. ii. 353 “my to do't Is the obedience to a master,” Rom. V. iii. 180 “the true of all these piteous woes,” Compl. 63 “the grounds and motives of her woe.”
3. in painting or decoration, main surface or first coat of colour 1H4 I. ii. 234 “like bright metal on a sullen ground,” Lucr. 1074 “My sable ground of sin I will not paint.”
4. plainsong or bass on which a descant is ‘raised’ (fig.) R3 III. vii. 48 “on that I'll make a holy descant,” Tit. II. i. 70 (with play on sense 2) “should the empress know This discord's , the music would not please.”
5. space traversed or occupied Mer.V. II. ii. 114 “till I have run some ;—get of,” get the better of 2H4 II. iii. 53, Cym. I. iv. 119; “give ,” recede, yield Tp. II. ii. 65, 3H6 II. vi. 16.
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hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (7):
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 1.4
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry IV, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry IV, 1.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 2.2
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 2.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
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