Middle English Dictionary Entry

abai n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The act or occasion of keeping a hunted animal at bay by barking dogs; (b) the confrontation of hounds and the carcass of slain prey (the former encouraged to lunge and bark at the latter); (c) of dogs: holden at ~, keep (an animal) at bay; stonden at ~, surround an animal; hunten to ~, chase (an animal) until it is at bay; (d) of a hunted animal: ben, biden, stonden at ~, be at bay, unable to escape the barking dogs; turnen to the ~, to face, or turn on, the dogs.
Of a human being: at abai, in extreme difficulties, at the mercy of an enemy.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Sense (b) supplied by J. McNelis; some of the other quotations taken from Master of Game under sense 1.(a) or (d) may belong here as well.