\ ə-ˈrȯint How to pronounce aroint (audio) \

Definition of aroint

archaic
: begone aroint thee, witch— William Shakespeare

First Known Use of aroint

1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aroint

of uncertain origin

Note: The word aroint is used by Shakespeare twice, in King Lear III.4 ("and aroynt thee Witch, aroynt thee" in the 1623 first folio; spelled arynt in the 1608 quarto) and Macbeth I.3 ("Aroynt thee, Witch, the rumpe-fed Ronyon cryes"). All subsequent occurrences in English are based on these passages. It is conventionally taken to be an imperative verb with the sense "be off, begone," though given the lack of any other record, this interpretation is conjectural. A comprehensive survey of etymologies for aroint stretching back to the 18th century is given by Anatoly Liberman in "Shakespeare's aroint thee witch for the Last Time?", Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, vol. 115, no. 1 (2014), pp. 55-62. Liberman's preferred hypothesis, that aroynt thee is a reduction of a rowan tree as a sort of apotropaic formula directed to a witch, is not entirely convincing.

Learn More About aroint

Dictionary Entries Near aroint

aroid

aroint

arolium

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for aroint

Cite this Entry

“Aroint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aroint. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!