Ado'. n.s. [from the verb to do, with a before it, as the French affaire, from à and faire.]
- Trouble, difficulty.
He took Clitophon prisoner, whom, with much ado, he keepeth alive; the Helots being villainously cruel. Sidney, b. i.
They moved, and in the end persuaded, with much ado, the people to bind themselves by solemn oath. Hooker, Pref.
He kept the borders and marches of the pale with much ado; he held many parliaments, wherein sundry laws were made. Sir John Davies on Ireland.
With much ado, he partly kept awake;
Not suff'ring all his eyes repose to take:
And ask'd the stranger, who did reeds invent,
And whence began so rare an instrument. Dryden.
- Bustle; tumult; business; sometimes with the particle about.
Let's follow, to see the end of this ado. Shakesp. Taming of the Shrew.
All this ado about Adam's fatherhood, and the greatness of its power, helps nothing to establish the power of those that govern. Locke.
- It has a light and ludicrous sense, implying more tumult and shew of business, than the affair is worth; in this sense it is generally used.
I made no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus. Shakesp. Henry IV.
We'll keep no great ado — a friend or two —
For, hark, Tybalt being slain so late,
It may be thought we held him carelessly,
Being our kinsman, if we revel much. Shakesp. Rom. and Jul.
Come, come, says Puss, without any more ado, 'tis time for me to go to breakfast; cats don't live upon dialogues. L'Estrange, Fab ii.