Middle English Dictionary Entry

gāte n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) A gateway; a gate of a city, castle, house, etc.; also, a doorway; flod ~, a floodgate; (b) the movable barrier which closes off a gateway; one of the valves of a double gate; ?a portcullis [quot.: TC]; fig. a means of stopping idle chatter.
2.
In phrases: (a) openen ~, putten open ~, undon (unbarren, unclosen, unpinnen, unshitten, unsperren, untinen, unyarken) ~, to open a gate or gates, raise or unlock a gate; breiden (casten, don, taken, weven) up ~, raise a gate or gates, raise a portcullis; (b) barren (closen, clusen, luken, maken, maken fast, shitten, sperren, steken, tinen) ~, to shut a gate or gates, lock, or bar gate(s; (c) biloken (geten, kepen, loken, yemen) ~, to guard a gate or gates, watch the gate(s; (d) welden the gates of, to conquer (sb.), rule over; (e) driven until the ~, to drive (sb.) to desperate measures; (f) at (the) ~, at one's door, imminent, oppressively near; when deth (the wain) is at the ~, when one is about to die; haven dame at the ~, proverbial expression of obscure meaning; (g) withouten the gate(s, outside the gate(s, abroad, outside a walled city; withinnen on ~, in one dwelling.
3.
Fig. (a) A means by which Christ, the Devil, virtue, sin, etc., enter the soul; a means of entering or attaining (a state or condition), a means of achieving (an action); (b) gate(s of deth, the gate(s of death, the verge of death; also, the entrance to damnation; ~ of lif, salvation, entrance into (eternal) life; also, the Virgin Mary; (c) ~ of heven, heven(es ~, hevenriches ~, the gate(s of heaven (in a literal sense); spiritual blessing, salvation, eternal life; also, the Virgin Mary, the Church; ~ of helle, helle ~, the gate(s of Hell or of the pagan Hades; wickedness, sin, damnation, power of the Devil.
4.
(a) Access to an area; capsi ~, gates of caspi, a pass in the mountains near the southern end of the Caspian Sea; (b) the beginning or end of a period of time; (c) one of the cardinal directions [cp. L cardo]; (d) anat. an opening into a bodily organ, an inlet or outlet; ~ of the liver, etc.
5.
Gate of the city as a place of assembly.
6.
(a) Cpds. & Cmbs.: ~ essel, the bolt or bar of a gate; ~ lef, part of a gate that swings on hinges; ~ maker, a maker or builder of gates; ~ stapel, a gatepost; ~ tre, ?a gatepost, ?the upper beam of the frame to which a gate is attached; (b) ~ hous, a house or lodge built over or beside a gate; (c) ~ man, ~ ward, a gatekeeper; also fig.; also as surname; (d) in surnames, names of specific gates, place names. [In place names, gate may mean `gate' in the ordinary sense, a gap in a wall or fence, a gap in a chain of hills or cliffs, a sluice gate, etc.; see Smith PNElem. 1.198, 248, 252. See also lid ~.]

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?a1400(a1338) Mannyng Chron.Pt.2 (Petyt 511)p.291 : The kyng spak for his prow..'I am castelle for ʒow, toure, hous, & rescette, & ʒe als naked berd loken in pauilloun þat to fight is ferd or ʒate þat first is doun.'
  • Note: AQ
  • (a1382) WBible(1) Pref.Jer.(Bod 959)7.87 : Sophonyas..heriþ a crye from þe ʒate of fyschez.
  • Note: New phrase
    Note: 'ʒate of fyschez' = one of the gates of Jersusalem

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. gate.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc. (sense 4.(d)), see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. gate of the liver.