from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Congreve, William 1670-1729. English playwright known for his comedies, including Love for Love (1695) and The Way of the World (1700).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Short for cogreve rocket, a powerful form of rocket formerly used in war, either in the field or for bombardment. In the former case it was armed with shell, shrapnel, or other missiles; in the latter, with an inextinguishable explosive material, inclosed in a metallic case. It was guided by a long wooden stick.
  • n. Short for Congreve match, an early friction match, containing sulphur, potassium chlorate, and antimony sulphide.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of lucifer match. See lucifer, 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. English playwright remembered for his comedies (1670-1729)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In another work on the theatre (translated as _An historical and critical account of the theatre in Europe_, London, 1744, p. 175) Riccoboni makes this comment on Congreve: “Amongst the Crowd of _English_ Poets, Mr. _Congreve_ is most esteemed for Comedy.

    The Library of William Congreve

  • The Congreve was a gigantic sky-rocket, consisting of an iron cylinder four inches in diameter and over a yard long, packed with powder and attached to a fifteen-foot stick.

    The Sky Writer

  • "I suspect Mr. Baker, alias Congreve, has disposed of his bonds," he thought to himself.

    The Tin Box and What it Contained

  • Indeed I doubt if even the liberal upholder of Paul de Kock would call Congreve a moral writer; but I confess I am not a competent judge, for _risum teneatis_, my critics, I have not read his works since I was a boy, and what is more, I have no intention of reading them.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society Volume 1

  • Chemin du Monde_, as a Frenchman entitled Congreve's comedy {1} -- but I assure you these seven young women live here as they might do in the temple of Vesta.

    Gryll Grange

  • When the modern match was first introduced as the "Congreve" the cost was 2s.

    Fragments of Two Centuries Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King

  • To take only a few striking examples: at the beginning of the century matches were not yet invented, and only in 1827 were the 'Congreve' sulphur matches put on the market; they were sold at the rate of one shilling

    Queen Victoria

  • 'Congreve's conversation must surely have been at least equally pleasing with his writings.

    Life Of Johnson

  • The patron, therefore, was disappearing; though one or two authors, such as Congreve and Gay, might be still petted by the nobility; and Young somehow got a pension out of Walpole, probably through Bubb Dodington, the very questionable parson who still wished to be a Mæcenas.

    English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century

  • A stately common-place, such as Congreve's description of a ruin in The Mourning Bride, would have answered Johnson's purpose just as well, or better than the first; and an indiscriminate profusion of scents and hues would have interfered less with the ordinary routine of his imagination than Perdita's lines, which seem enamoured of their own sweetness --

    Characters of Shakespeare's Plays


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