A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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Delaying; delaying action. From 16th into the 19th century. Robert Herrick, in HESPERIDES (1648), cried: Break off delay, since we but read of one That ever prosper'd by cunctation. The "one" is Fabius Cunctator, the Roman Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, surnamed Cunctator, Delayer; in the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.) the Fabian tactics of harassing the enemy while avoiding direct combat broke Carthaginian Hannibal's military strength. Hence the Fabian Society in England (founded 1884) which believed in the advance of Socialism by gradual degrees, of which the best known member was Bernard Shaw. Hence also the adjective forms cunctatious, cunctative, cunctatory, prone to delay.


Like nectar; fragrant. In TO HIS MISTRESSES (HESPERiDES, 1648) Robert Herrick says: For your breaths too, let them smell Ambrosia-like, or nectarel. Also nectareous, nectarious, nectarous, full of or like nectar; nectarean, nectarian, as Gay in his verses on WINE (1708) : Choicest nectarian juice crown'd largest bowles.


A little zone, a zonelet; especially, a girdle or belt (for a maiden's waist). Robert Herrick says in HESPERIDES (1648), of his JULIA'S RIBAND: 'Tis that zonulet of love Wherein all pleasures of the world are wove.
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