Definition of Jacobean in English:



  • 1Relating to the reign of James I of England.

    ‘a Jacobean mansion’
    • ‘Britain's leading composer during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, Byrd's large, varied output included English anthems and consort songs, Latin motets and masses, and keyboard and instrumental consort music.’
    • ‘Antony Sher is performing in two of the five plays in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Jacobean season: Philip Massinger's The Roman Actor and John Marston's The Malcontent at the Swan Theatre, Stratford upon-Avon.’
    • ‘The weather must assuredly have been kinder in Elizabethan and Jacobean times; one of Shakespeare's sonnets puts May in summer, but a May evening at the great Sam Wanamaker's reconstructed Globe is nowadays a wintry affair.’
    • ‘Shakespeare studies call for a thorough knowledge of a wide spectrum of pre-Shakespearean, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, the Elizabethan stage and dramaturgy.’
    • ‘There is a distinct similarity between Jacobean motifs and the illuminated work produced during the same era, with its funky strange animals, flowers, bugs, bees, gargoyles, etc.’
    • ‘Another grand house for sale in East Lothian is Bowerhouse near Spott, a two-storey Grade A listed Jacobean mansion, built by David Bryce, one of Scotland's finest architects around 1835.’
    • ‘We have no Scottish Jacobean tragedies, no Scottish Restoration comedies.’
    • ‘Elevated Jacobean English By and large, biblical English is elevated Jacobean English, comparable to the style of Shakespeare and Thomas Browne.’
    • ‘Originally a carnivalesque folk celebration with the traditional themes of inversion and transgression, the courtly form became highly formalized in the Jacobean collaborations of Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson.’
    • ‘William Byrd was a Catholic, but he lived at the height of the Elizabethan and Jacobean persecutions.’
    • ‘London's economic expansion and the aggregation of so many and varied social elements stimulated the cultural development expressed in Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre.’
    • ‘Another interesting thing about the Jacobean stage is that, very often, there were musicians playing right the way through productions.’
    • ‘Machiavelli himself, author of groundbreaking comedies such as the Mandragola, became a proverbial figure of evil on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage.’
    • ‘The book combines historical analysis of documents with literary reading of censored texts and exposes the kinds of tensions that really mattered in Jacobean culture.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly, even though Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy showed the world as an awful chaos to contemporary playgoers, the building which sheltered actors and audience contained this chaos in a monumental architecture.’
    • ‘The first collect for this service, couched in rich Jacobean language, makes interesting reading.’
    • ‘Tis Pity She's A Whore is a play of forbidden love deemed provocative in Jacobean times and remains vividly so today.’
    • ‘Cultural life at the Jacobean court was dominated by James's queen Anne of Denmark, and by his elder son Henry, Prince of Wales.’
    • ‘Yet as far as I am aware, my interpretation of Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, completed last year, marks the first instance of a Jacobean tragedy being made into a feature film.’
    • ‘It is a critical commonplace to note sharp cultural differences between Elizabethan and Jacobean England.’
    1. 1.1(of furniture) in the style prevalent during the reign of James I, especially being the color of dark oak.
      • ‘Other Cottier furniture in the Jacobean or northern Renaissance style is made of ebonized or painted mahogany.’
      • ‘A large, open-arm, upholstered armchair is in the corner, and a wooden armchair with a pierced back splat in the Jacobean / colonial revival mode is in front of the chimney-piece.’
      • ‘Church dates from 1436 and contains attractive Jacobean pews and pulpit.’


  • A person who lived during the Jacobean period.

    • ‘He compares the preoccupation with the extremes of the Jacobeans to the extremes of recent playwrights.’
    • ‘For Dryden, the contrast between the First and Second Temples is symbolic of the relationship between contemporary Caroline poetry and that of the great Jacobeans.’
    • ‘The approach of Elizabethans and Jacobeans to non-Europeans was normally commercial and pragmatic.’
    • ‘Cooley argues that Herbert was a Jacobean to the core when it came to his vision of the church, but conscious of the reality that in the Caroline world this could be an obstacle to advancement.’


Mid 19th century (in use earlier with reference to St. James): from modern Latin Jacobaeus (from ecclesiastical Latin Jacobus James from Greek Iakōbos Jacob) + -an.