Middle English Dictionary Entry

hal(le n.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
(a) A large private residence, a manorial hall; a royal residence, palace, castle; (b) a large public building for the transaction of business, holding court, worship, etc.; [see also both ~, mot ~]; (c) a large university building, the chief building of a college; (d) a building used by a guild, the meeting house of the guild merchant, a guildhall [see gilde-halle]; (e) any large building.
1b.
Fig. A dwelling place; ~ of the womb, dwelling place of the womb; heven ~, goddes hal(les in heven, etc., heaven, God's mansion, etc.; somer ~, the bliss of heaven; winter ~, Holy Church.
2.
(a) The large public room in a mansion, palace, ship, etc., used for assembly, eating, audience, holding court, etc.; assembly room, banquet hall, etc.; also, the atrium of an ancient building; (b) contrasted with bour, chaumbre, kichene, etc.; in ~ and in bour, in hall and chamber, everywhere; (c) a chamber, bedroom.
3.
(a) The company assembled in a hall; (b) the department of a large household detailed to service in the hall; (c) holden ~, to hold assembly in a hall; maken a(n ~, call such an assembly.
4.
A piece of tapestry, painted or stained cloth, etc., used as a hanging on the walls of a hall.
5.
In cpds. & combs.: (a) ~ dore, the entrance doorway or door of a mansion, palace, etc.; (b) ~ flor, the floor of a public room in a mansion, etc.; ~ gate, the gate before a mansion, etc.; ~ hed, the entranceway to a mansion; ~ hous, a guildhall; ~ place, a mansion; ~ rof, the roof of a mansion, of a large public room, or fig. of the grave; ~ porch, the entranceway to a mansion; ~ wough, the wall of the hall of a castle.
6.
(a) In surnames; (b) in place names [see Smith PNElem. 1.225].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Tale Basin (Cmb Ff.5.48)p.52 : The carter fro the halle-dure erth can he throw, With a sheuell in his hande, to make it clene, I trowe.
  • Note: Additional quote(s)
    Note: Fills date gap in 5.
  • c1300(?c1225) Horn (Cmb Gg.4.27)81/1383 : He com to his moder halle In a roche walle.
  • Note: ?New sense
    Note: If ed. n. (Atlen) correct, this 'hall' is a cave in a cliff used as a dwelling—not covered by present glosses.--per MJW.