Middle English Dictionary Entry

length(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Extent of time, duration; the duration of a period of time, an action, a person or thing, etc.; ~ of lif, the length of (someone's) life; ~ of lond, the time during which the land continues to exist; the ~ of oure daies, as long as we live; leten ~, to grant (sb. a specified amount of) time; (b) long duration; also, prolixity; also, procrastination; ~ of daies, long life; eternal life; ~ of lif, long life; ~ of daies and nightes, long duration of days and nights; al bi ~, at length, fully; on (upon) ~, for a long time; drauen in (on, out on) ~, to prolong (the night, one's wrath, a prayer, a tale); also, postpone (an action) [cp. alengthe adv.]; drauen of (on) ~, put (sb.) off with procrastination; drauen with lite and ~, put (sb.) off with delay and procrastination; sparen ~, be brief; (c) ~ of yeres, the passing of years; bi ~ of yeres (time), with the passing of years (time); also, because of the passage of years (time); on (upon) ~, in time, after a time; (d) fourti daies ~, for a period of forty days.
(a) Linear extent or distance; of persons, trees, buildings: height; also fig.; (b) armes ~, a cubit; legges ~, the length of (someone's) leg; londes ~, the length of a field; mannes ~, the length or height of a man; speres (stones, swordes) ~, a spear's (stone's, sword's) length; wepenes ~, a weapon's length, the reach of (one's) weapon; yerdes ~, the space of a yard; arme ~, bodi ~, cubite ~, fadme ~, furlong ~, paume ~, plough ~, shaft ~, spanne ~, spere ~, stede ~, sword ~, q.v.
In phrases: (a) in (on, o) ~, in length, in height, in distance; of ~, in length or height; of fair ~, of goodly height; of even ~, of medium height; in ~ and in brede, of ~ and brede, in length and breadth, as to length and breadth; in (of) brede and ~, in breadth and height, in physical stature; in (o, of) gret and ~, in mesure and in ~, in size and height; in ~ and gretnesse, of ~ and of large, of ~ and largenesse, in length and size; (b) in (after, fro, o, of) ~, lengthwise, along the longest dimension of a body, limb, bodily organ, etc.; in streight ~, in a straight line; on ~, lengthwise; ?also, in a line or row; drauen in ~, to pull (sth.) lengthwise; [see also alengthe]; (c) in (on) ~, fully extended; (d) in (on) ~, for the full length or distance; all the way (from one place to another); (e) on ~, to a distance, away; also fig.; of ~, at a distance, away; out of ~, too far away; (f) the ~ of, the length of (sth.), for the space or distance of, to the distance of; as long as (sth.); also, a fragment as long as (an ell); in (of, to) the ~ of, as long as (sth., a cubit, so many inches, etc.); bi ~ of, in proportion to the length of (sth.); ~ of casting of a ston, a stone's throw away; ~ of spere, a spear's length away; in the ~ of a gonne, ?from a gun's length away, ?within point-blank range of a siege engine; (g) in ~ and in brede, in all dimensions, everywhere; with neg.: nowhere, anywhere; in (bi, o, of, on) ~ and brede, everywhere, on every side; in (of, on) brede and ~, far and wide, everywhere; also, completely, all; ~ and wide, of (on) ~ and wide, completely, all, in every way; in ~ ne in brede, neither a ~ ne on brede, nouther of ~ ne of brede, in ~ and i brede, nowhere, anywhere; (h) conteinen in ~, haven (of) ~, haven ~ of (o), to have a length of (fifteen feet, etc.), be (fifteen feet, etc.) long; holden ~, have a (specified) minimal length; conteinen ~ and brede of, holden lengthes and bredes of, have (specified) dimensions.