Middle English Dictionary Entry

hir(e pron.(2)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. he pron.(2).
As direct or indirect object of a verb, object of a preposition or infinitive, etc.: (a) with reference to female persons: her; (b) with reference to female animals or to creatures having feminine gender in OE or OF: her, it -- also used generically of the tercil (which is male) [quot. ?a1450]; (c) with reference to things, abstractions, the soul: it.
Reflexive: (a) with reference to persons: herself; (b) with reference to animals: herself, itself; (c) with reference to things, the soul, abstractions (often personified), etc.: itself, herself.
As object of an impersonal verb, dative of interest, etc.: (a) with reference to persons; (b) with reference to animals; (c) with reference to the soul, a planet, an abstraction.
In impersonal constructions with ben & noun, adj., adv., or phr.: (a) with reference to persons; ~ was wo, woe was to her, she was woeful; lever ~ were, it were more pleasing to her, she would have preferred; what was ~, what ailed her; (b) with reference to animals, things, etc.; ~ to haven is, is necessary for it to have.
In phrases: ~ on, by herself; to ~ ward, toward her.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1400 Þo oure lord god (Mrg M 957)p.320 : Myde here slynge Sche gurte helendes wyþ a gerdel of blak.
  • Note: New spelling: 'helendes' prob. error for her lendes = her loins
  • ?a1450 Poem Hawking (Yale 163)587, 589 : Þe tarcell-gentill may nat defye..Ordeygne her ther-for twy or thry Rounde stones..Lay them a-forne her on a grene sward.
  • Note: Modify gloss 1.(b)

Supplemental Materials (draft)

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