Lexicons of Early Modern English

Edited by Ian Lancashire


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Lexicons of Early Modern English now includes over 1,140,808 word-entries!

Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME 2.0, released October 2018) database now includes 1,140,808 word-entries from 282 texts, and the LEME encoded corpus 88 texts. The database is published online at leme.library.utoronto.ca and the corpus is becoming available through leme.utoronto.ca at tspace.library.utoronto.ca.

Updates on the database are available from the What’s New page at leme.library.utoronto.ca, and on the corpus from the Chronology Index at leme.utoronto.ca

Lexicons of Early Modern English is an ever-expanding historical database and corpus offering scholars access to early books and manuscripts documenting the growth and development of the English language. LEME provides researchers with word-entries from monolingual, bilingual, and polyglot dictionaries, lexical encyclopedias, hard-word glossaries, spelling lists, and lexically-valuable treatises surviving in print or manuscript from 1475 to 1755.

LEME offers exciting opportunities for research for historians of the English language. Word-entries devised by contemporary speakers of early modern English describe their understanding of the etymological meaning of words, and of their equivalents in languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other tongues encountered then in Europe, America, and Asia.

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  • Editorial board

    Ian Lancashire

    Library liaison
    Sian Meikle

    Database programmer
    Monica Ung

    Graphic Design
    Gordon Belray

    Grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and from McMaster University's TAPoR Project (Text Analysis Portal for Research) have generously supported the development of LEME. TAPoR (Toronto) is funded by a research infrastructure grant of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT). TAPoR (Toronto) partners include IBM Canada Inc. and Isagn Inc.

    LEME Advisory Board
    Anne Curzan
    Chad Gaffield
    Peter Gilliver
    Antonette diPaolo Healey
    Anne McDermott
    Terttu Nevalainen
    Noel E. Osselton
    Carol Percy
    Paul Schaffner
    Gabriele Stein (Right Honourable Lady Quirk)
    David E. Vancil
    Paul Werstine

  • Acknowledgements

  • Permission information

    Copyright Statement

    Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME) is co-published by the University of Toronto Press and the University of Toronto Library. It is copyright © 2020 by University of Toronto Press.

    The following materials in LEME are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

    • The web database software employed by LEME 
    • The plain, unencoded text in LEME's printed lexical works 
    • The XML-encoded texts of those lexical works

    You are free to do as follows to these uncopyrighted materials as long as LEME and the editor is properly attributed. You may

    • share and adapt them;
    • copy and redistribute them in any medium or format; and 
    • remix, transform, and build upon them for any purpose, even commercially. 

    Lexicons of Early Modern English would be pleased to learn about how its users are benefiting from these materials.

    Limited Warranty

    LEME is an ongoing research publication, and content, materials and features may be added, changed, or removed without notice.

    The University of Toronto Press, the University of Toronto Library, and Ian Lancashire warrant that they are entitled to grant the licences outlined in this agreement but make no other warranties or representations of any kind, expressed or implied, including but not limited to warranties or fitness for a particular purpose.

    The University of Toronto Press, the University of Toronto Library, and Ian Lancashire will not be liable for any delay, downtime, or other failure of performance but will use reasonable efforts to correct any performance issues brought to its attention. Problems may be reported to the Editor.

    The University of Toronto Press, the University of Toronto Library, and Ian Lancashire will not be responsible for any damages arising out of or in connection with the service of materials provided hereunder.

    LEME is provided on an “as-is” basis. Use of LEME is at the user's sole risk, and the University of Toronto Press, the University of Toronto Library, and Ian Lancashire will have no liability to any person for any loss or damage arising out of use of, or inability to use, LEME.


    This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the user and the University of Toronto Press, the University of Toronto Library, and Ian Lancashire and supersedes any prior communication between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario. Both parties agree that any action or proceeding relating to this agreement will be brought to a court of competent jurisdiction in the Province of Ontario, Canada.