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metal, mettle (differentiated spellings of the same word, used without distinction in the old edd., but in mod. edd. “mettle” is usu. restricted to 4, 5, and 6)
1. material of which arms are made, hence=sword John V. ii. 16 “That I must draw this from my side” ; cf. All'sW. II. i. 42.
2. precious metal, gold (S.) Err. IV. i. 83, Mer.V. I. iii. 135, R3 IV. iv. 383 “The imperial , circling now thy head” ; fig. Tw.N. II. v. 17 “my of India” (Ff2 3 4 “Nettle”).
3. fig. ‘stuff’, substance, material AYL. II. vii. 82 “the of my speech,” All'sW. I. i. 143, H5 III. i. 27 “The of your pasture” ; with ref. to a person's ‘make-up’ or character Meas. I. i. 48, R3 IV. iv. 303 “of your , of your very blood,” H8 III. ii. 240, Lr. I. i. 71 “I am made of that self as my sister.”
4. disposition, temperament Tp. II. i. 189 [182] “of brave ,” Tw.N. III. iv. 303 “I care not who knows so much of my ,” V. i. 334 “the of your sex,” John II. i. 401 “the of a king,” Cæs. I. ii. 301 “He was quick mettle” (conj. “mettl'd”†).
5. (of a horse) natural vigour and ardour, spirit 1H4 IV. iii. 22 “Your uncle Worcester's horse . . . their pride and mettle is asleep,” Compl. 107.
6. ardent temperament, spirit, courage Ado V. i. 136, 1H4 II. iv. 13 “a lad of ,” Cæs. II. i. 134 “th' insuppressive of our spirits,” Oth. IV. ii. 207 “there's mettle in thee.”
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hide References (12 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (12):
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 5.2
    • William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.7
    • William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, 4.1
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry IV, 2.4
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry IV, 4.3
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 1.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 2.5
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 5.1
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