Middle English Dictionary Entry

flitten v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) To convey (something), move, take, transport; to remove (something); fig. to transfer (power from one people to another), to deliver (someone from death or wretchedness); (b) to drive or thrust (something); expel (someone); force (someone) to retreat; ~ in sunder, to drive apart; ~ out of sadel, to thrust from the saddle, unseat; fig. to impel (someone toward God), drive (something from one's thoughts), turn (one's thoughts to something, one's heart aside from something, etc.); (c) to take away (something), do away with, destroy; (d) refl. to betake oneself (to or away from something); to turn (away from sin, toward Christ).
2.
(a) To go; come, depart; to proceed (in reading or writing); to deviate (from justice, old custom); ~ out of world, to die; (b) to flee or escape (from something); flen and ~; ~ ne folden, flee nor turn away; (c) to leave (a place); to escape (something); to flee from; to abandon (the law, one's honor); (d) to fall (from the saddle); (e) of things: to depart, be separated (from something); to disappear, be lost, be done away with or destroyed.
3.
To be in motion, to move or shift about; flitting, drifting, floating, flowing [influenced by flēten v. (1)].
4.
(a) To change, vary, be altered; chaungen and ~; flitting, changeable, shifty; passing, transitory; (b) to change or alter (something).
5.
To get along; ~ bi, to subsist on (something).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450(a1449) Lydg.Ex.AW (Dgb 181)97 : For wher women woll flitte & be variable, Shall no man make hem stedfast & stable.
  • Note: Postdates 4.(a)