Middle English Dictionary Entry

dai n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

A period of 24 hours, a natural day; ~ natural; a daies space, a whole day; daies bred, daily bread; prime of the ~; etc.
(a) The light part of a natural day, daytime; ~ artificial; al ~ (long), the whole day, all day (long); bi ~, on ~, in daytime; (b) daies, in daytime; fer daies, late in the day.
(a) Daylight; daies light, light of ~; dauen (to) ~, to become light; (b) daybreak, dawn; spring of ~; at ~, bi ~; befor ~, er ~, or ~; fro ~; oð ~, forto ~, til ~; (c) fig. uses.
A period of time; a term, season, or age: (a) a period; for a dai, for a short time; in short ~, in a short time, shortly; given ~, to grant time; monthes ~, a month's time; in ten yer ~, within ten years; the halwende daies, the days of salvation; (b) an age or epoch; werldes dai, the age or duration of this world; bi (in, on) olde (are, forme) dawen (dawes, daies), in ancient times, in olden days, long ago; on hethene dawen, in pagan times; bi elderne dawes, in the days of our forefathers.
(a) The period or span of (someone's) life, career, or reign; lifetime, term of office, reign; lives dai, daies of lif [cp. lif-dai], lifetime; min olde daies, my old age; on (in, bi) his dai (daies, dawe(n, dawes), during his lifetime or reign; etc.; (b) don, bringen of dawe(n, to deprive (sb.) of life, put to death; -- frequ. in rime; (c) ben of dawe, to be dead.
Eccl. (a) An anniversary day commemorating a sacred event, a saint, etc.; ferial ~, festeful ~, holi dai, hali ~ [cp. hali-dai]; principal ~, an important festival day; holden ~, to observe a (holy) day; (b) al-halwen ~, All Saints' Day [see al-halwen]; ascensioun ~, q.v.; candel-masse ~, q.v.; childer-masse ~, q.v.; corpus cristi ~, q.v.; criste-masse ~, q.v.; estern ~, q.v.; (our) ladi ~, q.v.; lam-masse ~, q.v.; lordes ~, Sunday; neue-yeres ~, q.v.; (holi) rodes ~, ~ of the crois, the festival of the Exaltation of the Cross (Sept. 14); rogacioun ~, q.v.; twelfte ~, Epiphany; seint Marie ~, seint Nicolas ~, etc.
Theol. The last day (or days) of the world, judgment day; ~ of dome [see domes dai]; ~ of the lord; ~ of wreth; ~ of ayen-yiving, day of retribution; the last (latemest) ~.
A (certain) calendar day; a (certain) day (of a month).
(a) A time, day, or hour appointed or agreed upon (as for a meeting, appearance in court, a battle, or a payment); certain ~, a definite date or time; setten ~, to set a date or time; nimen ~, choose a date; holden ~, kepen ~, keep an appointment or the terms of an agreement; breken ~, failen of ~, fail to keep an appointment or to make a payment on time; taken daies, set a time or terms for payment; delay (payment); haven daies, have a delay in meeting an obligation; have a day in court; graunten daies, grant a delay; withouten ~, without a day in court, without recourse; (b) a meeting or session (as of a court, the officers of a town, or the members of a guild) held at a fixed time or upon call; general ~, gret ~, smal ~; haven dai of toun, to have the opportunity to appear at such a session, have a day in court; mannes ~, a human court.
Some special uses [largely contextual]: (a) a day spent in working, traveling, fighting, or amusement; driven the ~ awei, to spend the day; (b) a day or time of peculiar importance: a day of success or fulfillment; a day of misfortune; dying day; (c) abiden, sen the dai, to live to see the day; (d) (have) god dai!, good luck!, good-bye!; bidden god ~, say good-bye; (e) a calendar day regarded as inopportune or unlucky; ivel daies, dismal ~, males ~, perilous ~, Egipcianes ~ [q.v.]; caniculares ~, dog days; (f) an unlucky day foretold in a dream.
A perpendicular section of a mullioned window.
Phrases: (a) dai and night, day and night, all the time, constantly; -- orig. acc.; (b) daies and nightes, day and night, all the time; -- orig. gen. sg., later taken as pl.; (c) daies and yeres, many years; (d) yer and dai, a full year (esp. of tenure); (e) dai withouten ende, ever; with neg.: never.
Phrases: (a) al dai, all the time, at any time, constantly; (b) al the (a) dai, the (a) whole day, all day long; al the longe ~; (c) ech dai, every day; ech daies goune, everyday dress; ech daies wenche, a common girl; -- used disparagingly; (d) everi dai, every or any day; everi daies experience, an everyday experience; never a dai, not at any time, never; (e) mani (a) dai, many a day, for many days, for a long time; (f) ōn dai, a(n ~, sǒm ~, on an unspecified day, one day; on of these daies, one of these days; (g) this dai, today; that ~, thilke ~, on that day; this ich ~, this very day; thes other daies, that (this) other ~, the next day; the other day, recently; ?one day; this ender ~, see ender; (h) this dai, these daies, the present, these days; into (unto) this ~, to this day, till now; tofore this ~, before now; in our daies, in our times, nowadays; (i) this dai fifti wikes, fifty weeks (a year) from now; this dai seve-night, a week ago.
Prep. phrases: (a) at al dai, at all hours; at al dawes, all the time, always; at on dai, on one day; (b) bi dai and (bi) night, in daytime and at night; day and night, all the time; (c) (bi) dai ne niht, neither in daytime nor at night; not at any time, never; (d) bi (on, a) þan (þo) daȝen (dawen, daies), in (on) þilke daies, in those (bygone) days, at that time; bi daies, once upon a time; (e) dai bi dai, day after day, every day, steadily; (f) for alle daies, for all times, forever; for mani dai er, long before; (g) from dai to dai, dai fro dai, from one day to another; day after day, continuously, steadily; (h) from that dai (forward), from that day (onward); (i) in the daie, on the day (of); in one ~, one day; in ~, at any time, ever; (j) on a dai, upon a ~, on an unspecified day; one day, one of these days; (k) on (in) the other dai, on the second day; (l) on daies, a dai, in daytime; (m) on daies nou, nou a dai(es, nou bi dawe, at present, nowadays; (n) sin thilke day, since the day or time (that); (o) to dai, on this day, today, now [see to-dai]; (p) upon a dai, in one day.
Cpds. & phrases: (a) dai-belle, morning bell; ~ cercle, the rotation of days; ~ dauing, daybreak, dawn; daies-eie, eye of the day, i.e. the sun; daies-erth, ~ ardawe, [cp. erthe n.(2)], a land measure: an area plowable in one day by one team; dai-fǒul, a bird that feeds and sings in day-time; (b) daies fare, ~ gang, ~ ȝong, ~ journei, dai-gang, dai-journei, a day's journey, i.e. as far as one normally or customarily travels in one day; dai-glēm, the morning glow, dawn; ~ hete, the heat or warmth of daytime; ~ light, q.v.; ~ mǣl [OE], a sundial; ~ mēte, afternoon luncheon; ~ planete, a day planet, i.e. one that is effective in daytime; (c) dai-rēd [OE dæȝ-rǣd], dawn, daybreak; daired-sang, degred-, the eccl. office of lauds celebrated at dawn; dai-reue, -raue, -roue [cp. reue, roue row, line], the rays of dawn, dawn; ~ rim(e [OE dæȝ-rima], the rays of dawn, dawn; (d) dai-sang, the eccl. office of lauds celebrated at dawn; ~ signe, a diurnal sign of the zodiac that is effective in daytime; ~ skulker, a sneak thief; ~ spring, -springing, daies spring, daybreak, dawn; dai-sterre, q.v.; ~ thẹ̄f, one who steals in daytime; robber, bandit; also as nickname; ~ tide, the time of a natural day, 24 hours; daytime; dawn; ~ wacche, a daytime watch; daies wei, a day's journey; dai-wercāte, a land measure [see dai-werk]; dai-werk, q.v.; dai-wine, -wene [OE dæȝ-wine], a day's earnings or pay.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Correction: in sense 13.(d) add the compound ~ sterne to the sense and either make the cross-reference "see sterne n.(1) (f)" or gloss the collocation, pull it, and use the four quots with the -n from the present dai-sterre n. entry. (In 'S' sterne n.(1) and sterre are two separate entries, so they have to be separated in the compoounds, too.) I handled it under sterne n.(1) to get it in correctly, without making reference to the entry in 'D' at all.--per MJW
Note: Correction: in sense 5.(b), on (in, bi) his dai (daies) is all that is needed. The alternative spellings of the plural should not be given. In sense 5.(c), in the phrase ben of dawe, dawe is an 'also' spelling of the entry form, so the phrase should be ben of ~. There may be other examples of this sort; check all the bold-faced phrases in all senses.--per MJW
Note: In sense 9.(a), the phrase withouten ~ is seriously misglossed, as "without one's day in court" but this expression actually indicates success in the case. See yede v. sense 14.(d): ~ withouten dai, = law. departed the court with a definitive successful verdict.--per JLS
Note: Remove the three quots (and any corresponding forms from the form section) with ~ tide from sense 13.(d), namely a1225 Wint.Ben.Rule, (1444) *Doc.Maldon, and 1450(c1410) Lovel. Grail. This compound now has its own entry.--per MLL
Note: In sense 13.(d), add the compound dai-sterne and "see sterne n.(1) (f)."

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • 1790(1471-1472) Ordin.Househ.Edw.IV(2) (Topham)31 : A chamberlayn for the King…taketh his brekefast, if he wulle, in opyn dayes.
  • 1790(1471-1472) Ordin.Househ.Edw.IV(2) (Topham)41 : These groomes also ete withoute the grete chambre pryvately, as theyre course goeth about dayly in opyn dayes, taking iiii loves, iiii messes of kytchen of grete mete, ii gallons ale.
  • Note: New compound.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 13.
    Note: open ~ = ?a rest day, a day on which no service is required from a member of the king's household.
  • (c1385) Chaucer CT.Kn.(Manly-Rickert)A.2736 : Duc Theseus…heeld a feeste dayes three.
  • Note: Additional quot.
    Note: Quot. belongs in sense 4.(a) (used adverbially).
    Note: Gloss: daies thre, for three days.
  • ?a1425(c1380) Chaucer Bo.(Benson-Robinson)3.m.12.62 : This fable apertinith to…whosoevere desireth…to lede his thought into the sovereyn day, that is to seyn, to cleernesse of sovereyn good.
  • Note: Quot. belongs to dai n., sense 3.(a)= daylight. This is a better quot. than most (if entry is re-done to eliminate the daies light, light of ~, etc. phrases, it will be needed.--per MJW
  • (c1426) Audelay Poems (Dc 302)p.vii : The 'day of dome' shuld come in here, Vor the defawte of the wrytere, At the xiij leef afore hyt ys; Seche hyt there--thou shalt nott mys.
  • Note: The expression "dai of dome" refers to a title or incipit of a lost work by John Audelay. Probably belongs to sense 7.
  • c1300 SLeg.Brendan (Hrl 2277:Wright)p.29 : To morwe arys sone days, to the see thu must wende
  • Note: New form: early plural dais.
    Note: [Ld: ȝwane it is day]
    Note: In phrase: sone daies, early in the day. (See sone adv., sense 4.(b).) Belongs to sense 12b.?
  • c1300 SLeg.Geo.(1) (LdMisc 108)30 : Þov schalt in oþere ribaudies sone daiȝes beo i-do.
  • Note: New spelling: early plural daiȝes.
    Note: In phrase: sone daies, early in the day. (See sone adv., sense 4.(b).) Belongs to sense 12b.?
  • a1325 SLeg.Juliana (Corp-C 145)193 : Ne spareþ noȝt…ac hieð faste þat heo of dawe beo.
  • Note: New form?
    Note: Antedates sense
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 5.(c).
  • ?a1425(c1350) Apollonius (Dc 216)54 : By har dawe wymmen did þat offys of prest.
  • Note: Belongs to sense 12c.(d); tweak existing gloss to include: bi hire dawe, during her lifetime, reign, etc.
  • a1450(?c1350) Pride Life (ChrC-Dub)334 : Geyl is mad a cepman And truyt is don of dau.
  • Note: New form.
    Note: In phrase: ben don of ~, to be dead.
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section may be incomplete and / or may need revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED.--notes per MLL