Archaic and Outdated Words in The King James Bible (KJV)


I’ve previously discussed the difficulty in reading the KJV and the issue of outdated languages, however, I was recently having a discussion about such archaic words and I thought it would be nice to have a list of such words, where they occurred in scripture, and what they meant in modern English. I was lucky enough to find a few partial lists here and there and then I added in my own from the KJV online concordance. I hope this list will prove to be beneficial for those studying the topic.

For those who are confused about why anyone would read a Bible with such outdated language, I can only say that there are two groups of people. People who just prefer it for it’s elegance or tradition, and people who actually think updating it would be satanic. If you really want to know what the manuscripts say then I suggest learning the original languages, as no translation is ever perfect.

NOTE: Even as I am publishing this list, there are new words I am finding that need to be added. I will continue adding to this list and welcome viewer suggestions.


Adamant [Ezekiel 3:9; Zechariah 7:12] – A sharp, hard stone; hardest substance.

Adjure [Josh 6:26, 1 Sam 14:24,1 Kings 22:16, II Chronicles 18:15, Matthew 26:63, Mark 5:7, Acts 19:13] – To bind by oath.

Ague [Leviticus 26:16] – A fever.

Ambassage [Luke 14:32] – A delegation of people.

Amerce [Deuteronomy 22:19] – To punish with a fine or charge.

Anon [Mark 1:30, Matthew 13:20] – At once.

Appertain/Appertaineth [Numbers 16:30-33, Jeremiah 10:7, Nehemiah 2:8, Leviticus 6:5, 2 Chronicles 26:18] – Applying to or concerning something or someone.

Apothecary [Exodus 30:25, 35, 37:29, Ecclesiastes 10:1] – A person who prepared and sold medicines and drugs (pharmacist)

Armhole [Ezekiel 13:18, Jeremiah 38:12] – Armpit.

Assay/Assayed [Job 4:2, Deuteronomy 4:34, 1 Samuel 17:39, Acts 9:26,16:7 Hebrews 11:29] – To be tempted or tested.

Bakemeat(s) [Genesis 40:17] – Nearly any baked pie, including a meat pie but not usually.

Besom [Isaiah 14:23] – Broom.

Betimes [Genesis 26:31, II Chronicles 36:15, Proverbs 13:24, Job 8:5, 24:5] – To be early

Bewray [Matthew 26:73, Prov 27:16, Prov 29:24, Mat 26:73] – To reveal or disclose.

Bishoprick [Act 1:20] – Overseership; A diocese; the district over which the jurisdiction of bishop extends.

Bolled [Exodus 9:31] – Bloomed

Botch [Deuteronomy 28:27, 35,] – A skin boil

Bray [Job 6:5, Proverbs 27:22] – To pound or beat.

Broid [1 Timothy 2:9] – To braid (hair)

Bruit [Jeremiah 10:22, Nahum 3:19] – A report or a rumor. As a verb it means to spread a report or rumor.

Bullock [138 occurrences, Exodus 29:1, Leviticus 4:3-21, Leviticus 8:2-9:19] – A bull that’s been castrated.

Caul [Exodus 29:13, 22, Leviticus 3:4, 10, 15, 4, 7:4, 8:6, 25, 9:10, 19, Hosea 13:8] – The amniotic membrane enclosing a fetus. Idiomatic usage can refer to tight fitting clothing.

Chambering [Romans 13:13] – Lewd or filthy living, usually related to sexual deviance. Chambering is referring to things being done in the bed chamber. Similar to the modern word “necking” for making out.

Chapiter [Exodus 36:38, 38:17, 19, 28, 1 King 7:16, 17, 18, 20, 31, 2 Kings 25:17, 2 Chronicles 3:15, 4:12, 13, Jeremiah 52:22] – The uppermost part of a building column. Some English translations use the word “capital”.

Chapmen [2 Chronicles 9:14] – Merchant or trader of goods.

Charger [17 occurrences, Numbers 7:13-85, Matthew 14:8, 11, Mark 6:25, 28] – A large platter for serving.

Chode [Genesis 31:36, Numbers 20:3] – The past tense form of the verb chide which means to rebuke or scold. 

Choler [Daniel 8:7, 11:11] – Anger.

Churl [Isaiah 32:5, 7, 1 Samuel 25:3] – A selfish or childish person. Can be used as an adjective (churlish).

Cogitations [Daniel 7:28] – Deep thoughts or contemplation.

Collop [Job 15:27] – A flap or fold (usually of fat). Can also be a slice of meat or flesh to eat.

Concupiscence [Romans 7:8, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:5] – Sexual desire, or lust.

Contemn/Contemned/Contemneth [Psalm 10:13, 5:4, 107:11, Ezekiel 21:13, Song of Solomon 8:7, Isaiah 16:14] – To treat or regard one with contempt.

Cotes [2 Chronicles 32:28] – A pen or fenced area for livestock.

Countervail [Esther 7:4] – to offset the effect of something by countering it with equal or greater force.

Cracknels [1 King 14:3] – A light and crispy biscuit or savory cookie.

Cruse [1 Samuel 26:11, 12, 16, 1 Kings 14:3, 17:12, 14, 16, 1 Kings 19:6, 2 King 2:20] – An earthenware (usually clay) pot or jar.

Dam [Exodus 22:30, Leviticus 22:27, Deuteronomy 22:6, 7] – A female parent; a mother, especially a mother animal.

Daysman [Job 9:33] – An umpire, arbiter, someone who settles disputes.

Descry [Judges 1:23] – To look at or investigate.

Discomfited [Exodus 17:13, Numbers 14:45, Joshua 10:10, Judges 4:15, 8:12, 1 Samuel 7:10, 2 Samuel 22:15, Psalm 18:14, Isaiah 31:8] – To make one feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.

Discomfiture [1 Samuel 14:20] – An atmosphere or feeling of discomfort.

Dissembled [Joshua 7:11, Jeremiah 42:20, Galatians 2:13] – To hide one’s motives or feelings.

Draught (house) [2 Kings 10:27, Matthew 15:17, Mark 7:19, Luke 5:4, 9] – A toilet or latrine, usually public.

Durst [Esther 7:5, Job 32:6, Matthew 22:46, Mark 12:34, Luke 20:40, John 21:12, Acts 5:13, 7:32, Jude 1:9] – A dare.

Emerods [Deuteronomy 28:27, 1 Samuel 5:6, 9, 12, 6:4, 5, 11, 17] – A tumor, often referring to a hemorrhoid.

Ensample [1 Corinthians 10:11, Philippians 3:17, 1 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 3:9, 1 Peter 5:3, 2 Peter 2:6 ] – To set an example.

Ere [Numbers 11:33, 14:11, 1 Samuel 3:3, 2 Samuel 2:26, 2 Kings 6:32, Job 18:2, Jeremiah 47:6, Hosea 8:5, John 4:49] – Here.

Exactors [Isaiah 60:17] – Tax collectors.

Fairs [Ezekiel 27:12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 27] – Wares; Goods; Products sold in commerce.

Felloes [1 Kings 7:33] – The outer rim of a wheel where the spokes are attached.

Fens [Job 40:21] – A low laying marsh or bog.

Flagon [2 Samuel 6:19, 1 Chronicles 16:3, Solomon 2:5, Isaiah 22:24, Hos 3:1] – A large serving container like a pitcher. Usually with a handle.

Forswear [Matthew 5:33] – To give a false testimony, perjury, a bad oath.

Fray [Deuteronomy 28:26, Jeremiah 7:33, Zechariah 1:21] – To scare or frighten.

Furlong [Luke 24:13, John 6:19, 11:18, Revelation 14:20, 21:16] – 220 yards or 1/8th mile.

Gad/Gaddest [Jeremiah 2:36] – To hurry or run around quickly.

Gainsay [Luke 21:15] – To speak against someone or contradict someone.

Graff [Rom 11:23] – To graft (a vine).

Grisled [Genesis 31:10, 12, Zechariah 6:3, 6] – To be speckled or spotted, usually referring to one turning gray in the hair.

Hale [Luke 12:58] – To pull or drag.

Habergeon [Exodus 28:32, 39:23, Job 41:26] – A sleeveless coat of armor.

Haft [Judges 3:22] – The handle of a knife, axe, or spear.

Harrow [Job 39:10, 2 Samuel 12:31, 1 Chronicles 20:3] – To ploy or breakup soil.

Hart [Deuteronomy 12:15, 22, 14:5, 15:22, Psalm 42:1, Song of Solomon 2:9, 17, 8:14, 1 Kings 4:23, Lamentations 1:6, Isaiah 35:6] – A buck or a stag.

Hoar [Exodus 16:14, 1 Kings 2:6, 9, Isaiah 46:4] – Grayish white; gray or gray-haired with age.

Hosen [Dan 3:21] – Stockings or tights.

Husbandman [Genesis 9:20, Jeremiah 51:23, Amos 5:16, Zechariah 13:5, John 15:1, 2 Timothy 2:6, James 5:7] – A farmer.

Hough [Joshua 11:6] – The joint in the hind leg of a horse, cow, etc.

Implead [Act 19:38] – To indict, accuse, sue in a court of law.

Importunity [Luke 11:8] – Persistence, especially to the point of annoyance.

Inditing [Psalm 45:1] – To write or compose.

Kine [Genesis 32:15, 41:2-27, Deuteronomy 7:13, 28:4, 18, 51, 1 Samuel 6:7-14, 2 Samuel 17:29, Amos 4:1] – A collection of cows.

Knop [Exodus 25:31-36, 37:17-22, 1 Kings 6:18, 7:24] – An ornamental loop or tuft in yarn, or more ancient forms made from a branch or shoot.

Lade/Laded/Laden/Ladeth [Genesis 42:26, 44:13, 45:17, 23, 1 Samuel 16:20, 1 Kings 12:11, Isaiah 1:4, Nehemiah 4:17, Habakkuk 2:6, Matthew 11:28, Luke 11:46, Acts 28:10, 2 Timothy 3:6] – Roughly the same usage as “laid” but spelled in an older format.

Lees [Isaiah 25:6, Jeremiah 48:11, Zephaniah 1:12] – The lowest part of something, often referring to drags or sediment in a wine bottle.

Ligure [Exodus 28:19, 39:12] – A type of precious stone similar to Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli.

Listeth [John 3:8, James 3:4] – To choose, want, or will something.

Lucre [1 Samuel 8:3, 1 Timothy 3:3, 8, Titus 1:7, 1 Peter 5:2] – Dishonest money.

Lusty [Judges 3:29] – Healthy and strong; full of vigor.

Mammon [Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:9, 11, 13] – Wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion.

Marishes [Ezekiel 47:11] – A marsh, bog, or pond.

Matrix [Exodus 13:12, 15, 34:19, Numbers 3:12, 18:15] – A breeding woman, a mother, and sometimes a womb.

Maw [Deuteronomy 18:3] – The stomach or gut.

Meteyard [Leviticus 19:35] – A measuring rod.

Meet [Genesis 2:18, 20, Exodus 8:26, Deuteronomy 3:18, Judges 5:30, Esther 2:9, Job 34:31, Proverbs 11:24, Jeremiah 26:14, 27:5, Ezek 15:4, 5, Matthew 3:8, 15:26, Mark 7:27, Luke 15:32, Acts 26:20, Romans 1:27, 1 Corinthians 15:9, 16:4, Philippians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:21, Hebrews 6:7, 2 Peter 1:13] – Appropriate, suitable, fitting, not to be confused with the modern verb “to meet”.  

Mote [Matthew 7:3, 4, 5, Luke 6:41, 42] – A very small particle; A speck or tiny fragment.

Murrain [Exodus 9:3] – A plague or disease.

Neesings [Job 41:18] – Sneezes.

Nitre [Proverbs 25:20, Jeremiah 2:22] – A sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate compound, refers to lye soap usually.

Noisome [Psalm 91:3, Ezekiel 14:15, 21, Revelation 16:2] – Deadly, Noxious; Harmful; Highly Obnoxious; Offensive to the senses.

Obeisance [Genesis 37:7, 9, 43:28, Exodus 18:7, 2 Samuel 1:2, 14:4, 2 Samuel 15:5, 1 Kings 1:16, 2 Chronicles 24:17] – To show respect, honor, or worship through bodily posture, usually by bowing or prostrating.

Offscouring [Lamentations 3:45, 1 Corinthians 4:13] – Filth; Refuse; By extension, a social outcast.

Ouches [Exodus 28:11, 13, 14, 25, 39:6, 13, 16, 18] – A gem or stone setting.

Outgoings [Joshua 17:9, 18,18:19, 19:14, 22, 29, 33, Psalm 65:8] – Farthest borders or limits of a thing or space.

Outwent [Mark 6:33] – Going and/or arriving early or before someone else.

Paps [Ezekiel 23:21, Luke 11:27, 23:29, Revelation 1:13] – A chest or breasts.

Paramours [Ezekiel 23:20] – Lovers, often particularly illicit or adulterous lovers.

Pate [Psalm 7:16] – The skull, top of the head, or crown.

Penury [Proverbs 14:23, Luke 21:4] – Poverty or a state of destitution.

Peradventure [Genesis 18:24-32, 24:5, 39, 27:12, 31:31, 32:20, 38:11, 42:4, 43:12, 44:34, 50:15, Exodus 13:17, 32:30, Numbers 22:6, 11, 23:3, 27, Joshua 9:7, 1 Samuel 6:5, 9:6, 1 Kings 18:5, 27, 20:31, 2 Kings 2:16, Jeremiah 20:10, Romans 5:7, 2 Timothy 2:25] – By chance.

Pilled [Genesis 30:37, 38] – Peeled, stripped, made smooth or bald.

Plaiting [1 Peter 3:3] – Braiding or another elaborate hair style.

Polled [2 Samuel 14:26] – Being cut (referring to hair usually).

Prating [Proverbs 10:8, 10, 3 John 1:10] – Slander, gossip, or excessive talking.

Publicans [Matthew 5:46, 47, 9:10, 11, 10:3, 18:17, 11:19, 21:31, 32, Mark 2:15, 16, Luke 3:12, 5:27, 29, 30, 7:29, 34, 15:1, 18:10, 11, 13, 19:2] – A tax collector or similar city official.

Purloining [Titus 2:10] – Stealing, pilfering, or taking dishonestly.

Purtenance [Exodus 12:9] – Entrails; Innards; Internal organs, especially the liver, heart, and lungs.

Quaternions [Acts 12:4] – A group of four people or things; a squad.

Quicken/Quickened/Quickeneth [32 occurrences, 1 Corinthians 15:36, John 5:21, 1 Corinthians 15:45, Ephesians 2:5] – To bring to life. To animate. 

Rampart [Lamentation 2:8, Nahum 3:8] – A defensive wall or fortification.

Ravin [Genesis 49:27, Nahum 2:12] – Violent seizure of prey or property; plunder.

Redound [2 Corinthians 4:15] – A cause, or a product of something; A result. Can be translated “because of” at times.

Rereward [Numbers 10:25, Josh 6:9, 13, 1 Samuel 29:2, Isaiah 52:12, 58:8] – Positioned in the back or rear.

Ringstraked [Gen 30:35, 39, 40, 31:8, 10, 12] – Streaked, striped, or speckled.

Sackbut [Dan 3:5, 7, 10, 15] – A Trigon, harp, or lyre.

Scall [Leviticus 13:30-37, 14:54] – A scaly skin disease, often with flaked skin. Can be a type of leprosy. Often on the skull.

Servitor [2 Kings 4:43] – A servant or attendant.

Shambles [1 Corinthians 10:25] – A butcher’s shop, slaughterhouse, or place for buying meat.

Shew/Shewed [349 occurrences, Genesis 12:1, Exodus 10:1, Numbers 16:5, Deuteronomy 7:2, Joshua 2:12, Judges 1:24, 1 Samuel 3:15] – To show, present, demonstrate.

Sith [Ezekiel 35:6] – Since.

Sleight [Ephesians 4:14] – Skill or deceit.

Sodden [Ex 12:9, Leviticus 6:28, Numbers 6:19, 1 Samuel 2:15, Lamentations 4:10] – Cook by boiling.

Sottish [Jeremiah 4:22] – Poor judgement.

Stanched [Luke 8:44] – To stop, cease, or dry up. Often refers to blood or water.

Stomacher [Isaiah 3:24] – A fine or ornate garment to cover the front of the body.

Strowed [2 Chronicles 34:4] – Scattered or strewn.

Sufferest/Suffereth/suffer [150 occurrences, Leviticus 2:13, Psalm 66:9, Matthew 11:12, Acts 28:4, 1 Corinthians 13:4, Joshua 10:19, Esther 3:8] – To allow or permit something. Also used for physical suffering.

Surfeiting [Luke 21:34] – The act or desire to consume in excess or an overabundance.

Taches [Exodus 26:6, 11, 33, 35:11, 13, 18, 39:33] – Buckles or clasps.

Thitherward [Judges 18:15, Jeremiah 50:5, Romans 15:24] – There or to that place.

Trode [Judges 9:27, 20:43, 2 Kings 7:17, 20, 9:33, 14:9, 2 Chronicles 25:18, Luke 12:1] – Past tense of tread. To be trampled or stepped on.

Trow [Luke 17:9] – To think or perceive something to be true.

Twain [1 Samuel 18:21, 2 Kings 4:33, Isaiah 6:2, Jeremiah 34:18, Ezekiel 21:19, Matthew 5:41, 19:5, 6, 21:31, 27:21, 51, Mark 10:8, 15:38, Ephesians 2:15] – Two (the number).

Unction [1 John 2:20] – An anointing.

Usury [Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:36, 37, Deuteronomy 23:19, 20, Nehemiah 5:7, 10, Psalms 15:5, Proverbs 28:8, Isaiah 24:2, Jeremiah 15:10, Ezekiel 18:8, 13, 17, 22:12, Matthew 25:27, Luke 19:23] – Interest charged on a loan.

Verity [Psalm 111:7, 1 Timothy 2:7] – True or accurate.

Victuals [Genesis 14:11, Leviticus 25:37, Deuteronomy 23:19, Joshua 1:11, 9:11, 14, Judges 7:8, 17:10, 1 Samuel 22:10, 1 Kings 4:7, 11:18, Nehemiah 10:31, 13:15, Jeremiah 40:5, 44:17, Matthew 14:15, Luke 9:12] – Food, provisions, or supplies.

Visage [Isaiah 52:14, Lamentations 4:8, Daniel 3:19] – Appearance.

Wen [Leviticus 22:22] – Various aliments, often a wart, tumor, cyst, or even an itchy patch.

Wimples [Isaiah 3:22] – A cloak or outer garment.

Winefat [Isaiah 63:2, Mark 12:1] – A wine-press or container for stepping on grapes.

Wist [Exodus 16:15, 34:29, Leviticus 5:17, 5:18, Joshua 2:4, 8:14, Judges 16:20, Mark 9:6, 14:40, Luke 2:49, John 5:13, Act 12:9, 23:5] – Past tense of wit, to know or be aware of.

Withs [Judges 16:7, 8, 9] – A cord or string made of fibers.

Wont [Exodus 21:29, Numbers 22:30, 1 Samuel 30:31, 2 Samuel 20:18, Daniel 3:19, Matthew 27:15, Mark 10:1, Luke 22:39, Act 16:13] – Accustomed; In the pattern of; Used to.

Wot [Genesis 21:26, 44:15, Exodus 32:1, 32:23, Numbers 22:6, Joshua 2:5, Acts 3:17, 7:40, Romans 11:2, Philippians 1:22] – To know

 


Sources

http://thekingsbible.com/Concordance/

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/1977/04/a-short-glossary-of-obsolete-words-in-the-king-james-new-testament?lang=eng

https://carm.org/KJVO/kjv-list-of-archaic-words-and-modern-equivalents

https://truediscipleship.com/obsolete-words-in-the-kjv-part-1/

https://truediscipleship.com/obsolete-words-in-the-kjv-part-2/

https://www.preservedwords.com/wordlist.html

https://christiananswers.net/dictionary/kjvwords.html

http://www.kingjamesbibledictionary.com


 

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