Middle English Dictionary Entry

hīred n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A household; the familia of a cathedral; an eccl. court [last quot.]; the heavenly retinue of the Virgin Mary, the Devil's retinue; fig. the senses and desires of man; hiredes alder (lord), the head of a household, master; (b) someone's descendants, clan, tribe, race; (c) Christ's disciples; also, Christians coll.
(a) The household of a king; (b) a royal court; esp. as a council and a court of law; holden ~, to hold (one's) court (in a certain place); (c) the courtiers coll., the chief nobles of the kingdom; ?also, an individual courtier [quot.: c1450].
(a) An army; also fig.; comen to ~, to assemble as an army; kepen ~, hold (one's) position in a military formation; (b) englene ~, the host of the angels; halwen ~, the company of the saints; hevenli ~, ~ of heven, heavenly host; (c) a company of people, crowd; in eche ~, in every company, everywhere; in ~, in the crowd, in public, publicly, openly; in ~ is not to hiden, it is no secret, it is well-known; in ~ nas nought to helen, it was no secret.
(a) In cpds.: ~ child, ~ knave, a young servant, ?a page; ~ clerk, court chaplain; ~ folk, household; ~ gome, ~ knight [OE hīred-cniht, domestic servant], a retainer, courtier, knight of the king's household; ~ ifere, household companion, ?courtier; ~ pleie, courtly amusements; ~ swein, a domestic servant; (b) ?in place names [see Smith PNElem. 1.247].