30 Archaic Adjectives and Adverbs
The words below are either obsolete, archaic, or old-fashioned, and though those in the latter category can still be found in modern writing, use all with caution. Sparing use keeps these words alive and adds a whimsical or quaint note, but too frequent recourse to such antiquities will have you sounding like a Renaissance Faire refugee. (Most are adjectives or adverbs or both; some can function as other parts of speech as well, as indicated.)
1. Anon (adv.): soon, or later (“They will arrive anon”; “I will reveal more anon”)
2. Aright (adv.): correctly (“Did I hear aright?”)
3. Athwart (adj., prep.): across (“The locked chest lay athwart the planks”)
4. Belike (adv.): probably (“Belike we are more similar than you think”)
5. Enow (adj., adv.): enough (“If I had loved enow, I would be a happier man”)
6. Fain (adj., adv.): willing, compelled, inclined, pleased (“Fain am I to hear you sing”)
7. Forsooth (adv.): indeed (“Forsooth, I do believe you envy him”)
8. Forthwith (adv.): immediately (“Carry this message forthwith”)
9. Froward (adj.): contrary, adverse (“His horse was froward, and threw him when he set his spurs”)
10. Heretofore (adv.): up to this time (“Heretofore, I had not believed it possible”)
11. Hither (adj., adv.): to this place (“Come hither when you are able”)
12. Hitherto: see heretofore
13. Lief (adj., adv.): beloved (“You are my lief friend”); willing (“I would as lief be beside you now”)
14. Mayhap (adv.): perhaps (“Mayhap we shall see them tomorrow”)
15. Meet (adv.): appropriate (“It is meet that you do so”)
16. Nary (adj.): not any or not one (“Nary a sign have I seen of him”)
17. Natheless (adv.): nevertheless (“Though it is dangerous, natheless will I go)
18. Needs (adv.): necessarily (“I must needs be heard so that all shall know”)
19. Nigh (adj., adv.; prep.): near, nearly, direct (“Those who pursue are nigh upon us”)
20. Peradventure (adj., adv., prep.): see mayhap (also n.: a doubt or chance)
21. Posthaste (adj., adv., n.): immediate (“Your posthaste reply is appreciated”); as quickly as possible (“We will arrive posthaste”)
22. Puissant (adj.): powerful (“She is a puissant adversary”)
23. Sith (adv.): since (“Sith that time, I have wept often over the memory”)
24. Strait (adj., adv.): narrow, or strict or rigorous (“I would have you be strait in your habits”)
25. Thither (adj., adv.): there, on the other or farther side (“Our host took us thither”; “What you seek is in the thither valley”)
26. Verily (adv.): certainly, truly, with confidence (“Verily, I did see it with my own eyes”)
27. Whereof (adv., conj.): of what (“Whereof have you seen in the world?”)
28. Withal (adv., prep.): besides, nevertheless (“Though you may be right, I withal must see for myself”)
29. Yare (adj.): agile, handy, ready (“She’s a yare vessel, all right”)
30. Yon (adj., adv., pron.): over there (“I ride to yon village”; “What do you see yon?”)
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