The Rivals

The Rivals Glossary

reprobate (noun)

A person of low principles and morals.

diabolical (adjective)

Possessing qualities ranging from wickedness to malevolence to outright evil.

simpleton (noun)

a foolish or gullible person.

Pilgrim’s Progress (proper noun)

a moral lesson, one of the regular features of the sentimental play.

Jupiter (proper noun)

Roman God, well known for assuming disguises on his frequent love adventures.

paduasoy (noun)

a heavy, rich corded or embossed silk fabric, popular in the 18th century.

malapropism (noun)

The humorous substitution of a similar-sounding word that is completely inappropriate in meaning.


"Don't take anything for granite."

"If it's not one thing, it's a mother."

This word derives from the character of Mrs. Malaprop in this play.

supercilious (adjective)

A trait characterized by demonstrations of superiority and a condesending attitude when offering to help.

odious (adjective)

Extraordinarily unpleasant and offensive; remarkably foul.

levity (noun)

Lighthearted and festive with a sense of joy found in fun.

recant (verb)

retract a former statement of opinion or belief.

disconsolate (adjective)

Melancholy and with a pervasive sense of gloomy hopelessness.

munificence (noun)

A bountiful generosity and charitable benevolence.

phlegmatic (adjective)

Possessed of a demeanor capable of remaining calm and in control of emotions at all times.

chide (verb)

To gently scold or express disapproval.

felicity (noun)

A cheerfulness based on an exuberant embrace of joy and contentment with life.

virago (noun)

An aggressively unhappy woman.

incorrigible (adjective)

Irredeemable and hopelessly incurable of specific character traits.

jackanapes (noun)

an impertinent person.

coxcomb (noun)

a vain and conceited man; a dandy.