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Borrowed from Latin exeunt (“they leave”), the third-person plural present active indicative of exeō (“leave”).
exeunt (plural exeunts)
- A stage direction for more than one actor to leave the stage.
- 1909, Victor Emanuel Albright, The Shakesperian stage, page 124:
- undoubtedly the curtains closed at the exeunt of all the characters but one.
- 2002, Alan C. Dessen, Rescripting Shakespeare: the text, the director, and modern productions, page 223:
- In addition, several exits that have interpretative significance are changed by editors to exeunts and vice-versa.
- Coordinate term: (singular form) exeat
- An act of one or more actors leaving the stage.
- 1854, Anna Cora Ogden Mowatt Ritchie, Autobiography of an Actress; Or, Eight Years on the Stage, page 35:
- To supply the place of scenery, it was hung round with crimson curtains, through which we were to make our entrances and exeunts.
exeunt (third-person singular simple present exeunts, present participle exeunting, simple past and past participle exeunted)
- (archaic) They leave the stage (a stage direction to two or more actors, the plural counterpart of exit).
- c. 1591–1595 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii]:
- Get thee to bed, and rest; for thou hast need. [Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nurse.]
- 1589–1592 (date written), Ch[ristopher] Marl[owe], The Tragicall History of D. Faustus. […], London: […] V[alentine] S[immes] for Thomas Bushell, published 1604, →OCLC; republished as Hermann Breymann, editor, Doctor Faustus (Englische Sprach- und Literaturdenkmale des 16., 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts; 5; Marlowes Werke: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe […]; II), Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg: Verlag von Gebr[üder] Henninger, 1889, →OCLC:
- Enter two Devils.
Wagner. How now sir, will you serve me now?
Robin. Ay, good Wagner, take away the devils then.
Wagner. Spirits, away! [Exeunt Devils.] Now, sirrah, follow me.
- 1921, Montrose Jonas Moses, A Treasury of Plays for Children, page 504:
- Jane, Ursa, carrying Thomas, and Moss Bud start to exeunt.
- 1957, Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, page 249:
- On that dixit we exeunted.
- 1997, Richard Marcinko; John Weisman, Task Force Blue, page 311:
- That let the small problem of getting the van within proximity, running a few yards of cable, spiking the phone line, revving the engine and frying the phones, removing the cable, and exeunting, south
- 2003, Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver, page 142:
- The lasses picked up their skirts and exeunted.
The inflected forms of the verb (exeunted and exeunting) are extremely rare and often jocular. When used, the word is simply exeunt in most cases.
"they leave", usually in the context of theatre