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planets

Christopher Marlowe in the OED, from planeting to quinquangle

The works of Christopher Marlowe (the playwright, poet, and alleged spy) not only had an influence on William Shakespeare’s early historical plays, but also on the English language itself, as is evident from the number of times his works are quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). His plays and poems are currently quoted a total of 1,274 times in the OED, of which 130 quotations are the first evidence for a word, and 458 are the first evidence for a particular sense of a word. This makes him, at the time of writing, the 348th most quoted source in the OED, just above Charlotte Brontë and H.G Wells.

Here is a selection of words which currently have a first-known usage attributed to Marlowe (the below links to the OED will be available to non-subscribers for three days):

planeting, n.

The harmonious sounds supposedly produced by the motion of the planets; the music of the spheres

rouse, n.2

A large or full cup or glass of wine, beer, etc., esp. when drunk as a toast.

quinquangle, adj.

Having five angles or corners; pentagonal;

musketeer, n.

A soldier armed with a musket.

night-flying, adj.

Esp. of an animal: that flies at night.

over-daring, adj.

Too daring; unduly or imprudently bold; foolhardy.

que sera sera, int.

Expressing resignation or acceptance in response to the futility of trying to change (future) events.

remorseful, adj.

Filled with remorse; characterized or caused by remorse.

pillage, v.

To rob (a person); (now usually) to plunder, loot, or sack (a place), esp. in war.

radiance, n.

A radiant condition or quality; brightness, light, esp. brilliant or splendid light emitted by an object.

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