Middle English Dictionary Entry

dīen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Of a person, animal, soul, body, part of body: to cease living, die; liven or ~, liven and ~; (b) refl.
(a) ~..deth, to die (a particular kind of) death; (b) ~ bi (in, o, of, on, with) deth, to die (a particular kind of) death; also, to die a natural death.
With prep. phr.: (a) ~ bi, to die of (pestilence); (b) ~ for, to die of (fear, hunger, indignation, love, etc.); die for (sb., sth.); ~ for the sake of; (c) ~ in, to die in (battle, childbirth); die on (the battlefield); die for (a cause); die in a state of (honor, peace, sin, etc.); ~ in God (the Lord), die in a state of Christian grace; (d) ~ of, to die from (a wound, hunger, etc.); ~ of hond(es, die by (someone's) hand(s; (e) ~ on, ~ upon, to die in (bed); die on (the cross, the rood); die of (hunger, a knife wound); die (a certain kind of death); (f) ~ thurgh, to die because of (sb., sth.); die at the hands of (sb.); die of (hunger, etc.); ~ thurgh deth, die (a certain kind of) death; (g) ~ with, to die by (poison, blows, a sword, torture, etc.).
With adverbs: ~ doun, ~ up, to die off, perish.
With pred. noun or adj.
(a) To suffer the pains of dying; face the danger of death; also fig.; (b) to suffer spiritual death.
(a) To suffer suspension, change, or loss of vegetative life; (b) of fire: to die out; of smoke: to fade away; of a river: to run no farther; (c) to come to an end, terminate; also, be forgotten.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1350 NPass.(Rwl C.655)143/1550b : Þe most dele of riche borwe sal daie for hunger þourþe & þowr.
  • Note: New spelling: Also..daie.
    Note: Belongs to sense 1c.(b), where it is needed for date.
  • a1500(c1410) Dives & P.(Htrn 270)2.201 : Ʒif a man betake hys beste to a pore man to hyre or to kepyn in comenaunt uttyrlyche þat ʒif it dye, it schal dye to þe pore man and lyuyn to hym, for he wil han as good þerfor, it is wyckyd usure.
  • Note: 2nd occurrence; belongs to sense 1c. with its own lettered subsense: ~ to, to die as far as (sb.) is concerned.--per MLL
Note: In sense 1c.(b), form in quot. c1380 needs to be added to the form section. Style it: P.died & daide.--per MLL
Note: Note that the list of variant spellings in the form section may not be complete--see sense 1a.(a), p.ppl. deide in second quot.--per MLL