Words that Shakespeare Coined

Dauntless. To understand the evolution of this word, we actually have to begin with daunt. This verb dates to the 14th century, taken from French (which is taken from Latin), meaning “to subdue or tame.” It was a word generally used for breaking or domesticating animals. An undaunted horse would be a wild, unbroken horse. In the 16th century, the word began to take on a metaphorical sense, and undaunted was applied to people who were “courageously resolute, undiscouraged.” Shakespeare was the first to add the -less suffix instead of the un- prefix. Dauntless appears for the first time in print in Henry VI, Part 3.

Do you know anyone who proves themselves dauntless?

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