Middle English Dictionary Entry

hir(e pron.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. he pron.(2).
1a.
With reference to persons: (a) denoting possession in a broad sense: her; (b) ~ ouen, her own.
1b.
With reference to female animals, or to creatures having feminine gender because of their gender in OE, OF, or L: her, its -- also used generically with reference to the tercil (which is male) [quot. ?a1450]; ~ ouen.
1c.
With reference to things, abstractions, the soul, etc.: (a) with an antecedent having feminine gender in OE or OF: its, her; ~ ouen; (b) with an antecedent having masculine or neuter gender in OE: its, her.
2.
Used absolutely, denoting possession: hers, its; ~ ouen.
3.
(a) As subjective genitive: of her, of it, her, its; ~ love, love felt by her; (b) as objective genitive: her, its; ~ love, love felt toward her; ~ messe, a mass performed for her; ~ per, an equal to her; for ~ worshipe, as an honor to her; (c) governed by noun: on ech half ~, on every side of her; on either half ~, on each side of her.
4.
?Equivalent to the genitive ending of a preceding noun [prob. sense 1a., but cp. OD her poss. pron. 3rd sing.fem. 3].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?a1425(c1350) Apollonius (Dc 216)54 : By har dawe wymmen did þat offys of prest.
    Note: NF: Also..har.--per MLL
    Note: Probably belongs to sense 1a.(a) (Phrase 'bi har dawe' = 'in her lifetime'.)--per MLL

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?a1450 Poem Hawking (Yale 163)587 : Þe tarcell-gentill may nat defye, Sum-tyme her gorge nere eke ouer-putte.
  • Note: RE: the tercil
    Note: Modify gloss 1b.; fem. pron., but the 'tercil' is by definition the male; the 'falcon' is the female. This text uses fem. prons. generically for all refs. to all hawks--per MJW

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Added '-- also used generically with reference to the tercil (which is male) [quot. ?a1450]' to 1b. per green slip--JL