Middle English Dictionary Entry

lēpen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Of persons, animals, etc.: to jump, leap, spring; hop as a game or sport; jump for pain, fear, or anger; ~ up; ~ a lope, take a jump; also fig.; (b) to jump (into or out of some place or sth.); of things: pop (out of sth.); ~ out; -- also refl.; also fig.; (c) to clear (a ditch or a certain distance); ~ over, jump over (hills, rivers, walls, etc.); ~ over (the) bord, jump overboard; ~ into (on, upon), spring upon (sb.); attack (sb.).
(a) To jump up (to sth. or some place higher), spring up; leap (on shore); of Jesus or the soul of the faithful: jump upward to heaven or God; ~ alofte (up, upward); ~ up, ?aspire (to sth.) [quot.: Wycl.]; (b) to mount a horse; ~ on (loft), ~ up; ~ on (to, unto, up, upon), jump onto (a horse or other animal); ~ in (into, on), leap into (a saddle or chariot); also fig.; (c) to jump down (from a place), plunge; fall; ~ a)doun (out); fig. fall (to eternal death, into hell or sin); (d) to dismount (from a horse); alight (from a chariot); ~ a)doun, dismount.
To start up, rise; bounce (out of bed); ~ aloft (up); ~ (up) on fot, ~ upon fet, spring to one's feet.
(a) To dance; skip; ppl. as adj.: lepinge, dancing; (b) of horses: to prance; curvet; ppl. as adj.: lepande, of horses: curvetting.
(a) To travel by hops or jumps, bound; rush (to sb. or sth., to a place), run; hasten, hurry; of horses: gallop; -- also refl.; rennen and ~; ~ abouten, go everywhere; ~ forth (to), rush forward, go forth; ~ in, ?bound in; comen lepinge; also fig.; (b) ~ overlande, ~ over al the contre (lond), to travel all over; wander; ~ hider and thider, of a sore: spread from place to place, develop here and there; (c) to escape (from a place), flee; leave; ?also, retreat, withdraw, recede; ~ awei (oute); (d) to make an assault; ~ togeder(es, attack each other; ~ to, attack (a teaching or belief).
Of animals: to cover (a female); ~ on (upon).
(a) Of water, other liquids, etc.: to gush forth, spout; ~ up, shoot up; of blood: spurt; ~ out, of waves:?swell; ?surge; (b) of fire or smoke: to rise; (c) of light: to shine, radiate, dart; ~ in; (d) of a severed head: to leap (from the neck); (e) ppl. lope, ?tossed about.
(a) To burst open, crack; crackle; ~ asonder (in twinne), become separated, fall apart; ~ of, of feathers: drop off; ~ out, of joints: be dislocated; ~ togeder, of stones: smash together; (b) to burst into song; of words or speech: to burst forth, be uttered; ~ oute.
(a) To pierce (into sth.), penetrate; enter (into sb.); ~ in (into, to); also fig.; (b) to enter precipitously (into a condition or state).
To pass: (a) ~ over, to pass over (a step of a process, a stage of an experience, etc.), leave out, omit; ~ to, skip to (sth. by omitting the intervening steps); (b) ~ from, to digress from (a topic or subject of discussion); ~ in margin, pass into the commentary, leave the prepared text and speak on one's own.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (c1300) Havelok (LdMisc 108)2009 : Quoþ ubbe, 'bernard, seyst þou soth?' 'Ya, sire, that i ne lepe oth. Yif y, louerd, a word leye, To-morwen do me henden heye.'
  • Note: New sense: fig. escape from.
  • ?a1400(a1338) Mannyng Chron.Pt.2 (Petyt 511)p.113 : Þo þat þe casteles kept, in penance þei soiorned, þat eft not on him lept, to Wynchestre he tourned.
  • Note: New phr. for lēpen v. 4.(d): ~ on, attack (sb.).
  • c1380 Vncomly in (Arun 292)49 : Qwan ilke note til oþer lepes and makes hem a-sawt Þat we calles a moyson in gesoreutz en hawt.
  • Note: Fig. use of lepen not covered.--per MJW