Middle English Dictionary Entry

līen v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
(a) To adopt a recumbent posture, lie down; -- also refl.; ~ a)doun; (b) to go to bed, take to one's bed; ~ doun, be confined; ~ and risen, dwell, abide; liing and rising, as adv. phrase: continuously; (c) to kneel down, bow down, fall prostrate; ~ a)doun, fall down; fig. of an army: suffer defeat; ~ loue, collapse; (d) to die; ~ doun.
1b.
With sexual implications: ~ bi (biside, mid, with), to have sexual intercourse with (sb.); ~ fleshli bi (to) [see fleshli(che adv. (c)]; of a man: ~ boven; of a woman: ~ loue (under); of a couple: ~ samen (togeder), have sexual intercourse; also, embrace; ~ in armes, enjoy sexual union; also, embrace; ~ in bosum, share the nuptial couch; also refl.: ~ bi, ~ togeder.
2.
(a) To be in a reclining posture, recline, lie at ease; also, wallow; -- also refl.; of a partridge:?sit; ~ wid open, lie supine; ?also, lie with legs apart; ppl. liende, of hair: lying flat; (b) to lean; ~ out; ~ over; (c) to be in bed, lie in a bed; ~ a (in) bed; (d) to sleep, be asleep; ~ a (on) slep.
3.
(a) To be down or cast down; lie wounded or unable to move; ~ in the mire; ppl. liinge, prostrate; (b) to be sick or blind, lie sick; ~ bed-rede(n; ~ sik; ~ in, ~ in (on) childbed, of a woman: be confined; ~ in gesin(e; ppl. liinge, sick; (c) to be kneeling, be prostrate (in supplication, prayer, etc.); ~ loue; ~ on kne(s [see also kne 1b. (g)]; (d) to lie dead, be dead; ~ ded (loue, stille); ppl. liinge, dead; (e) to lie buried or enshrined.
4.
(a) To be in some misfortune; -- also refl.; be exposed, be defenseless; ~ loue; ~ under, be subject to (sb.); ~ bar (open), be exposed; (b) to be in prison or in bonds; be in hell or the underworld; (c) to remain sunk in sin, vice, idolatry, etc.; (d) to be offered as a bet, be set as a pledge; ~ to wed, be a pledge; also, fig. be in danger; ~ in balaunce (doute, jupartie), be in danger; (e) of things: to be in a ruinous or disorderly state.
5.
(a) Of land, a place, or other topographical feature: to be situated; ~ bi (to), be adjacent to (a place); ~ abouten, be close to (a place); liinge lond, ?neighboring land; (b) to extend, spread out, stretch out; of a road, line, etc.: run, lead; fig. of a journey, a life: last.
6.
(a) To be placed or located; ~ on, rest on (sth.); ~ to, fit around (sth.); ~ in rime, fit into a rime scheme; (b) to stay in place, continue, remain; ~ adoun, remain at the bottom; ~ to, remain in contact, remain in position; leten ~, leave (sth.) alone; fish. ground lin liing, a stationary ground line; (c) to be at a stand, remain inactive, linger; ~ stille; of cultivated land: ~ leie, lie fallow, lie idle.
7.
(a) Of an army, a king: to be encamped; -- also refl.; of a siege, troops, ships: be in position; ~ in (at) sege, be with a besieging force; ~ over, keep guard over (sb.); ~ on the peni, pay for one's own quarters; ?scrimp; (b) to be lodged, reside, dwell, sojourn; (c) to spend the night, stay overnight; (d) to have sleeping quarters, occupy a bed, habitually pass the night.
8.
(a) To remain hidden, lie in concealment, lurk; ~ abouten (in waite), seek an opportunity (to do sth.); ~ abouten, woo (a lady); ~ in waite for, ~ awaite upon, ambush (sb.); ~ bi the wei, ~ in a)waite, ~ waite, lie in ambush; (b) to be sheltered (in a castle, a religious order); also fig.
9.
In phrases: ~ in (on, upon), to weigh heavy on (sb.), lie heavy on; also, fig. of difficulty, guilt, expense, etc.: be burdensome to (sb.), fall on; ~ on, oppress (sb.), attack persistently; ~ on (upon) herte, trouble (sb.); ~ nere (neigh) to herte, be of great concern to (sb.); ~ on, of one's heart, affections: be set on (sb.).
10.
(a) Of an abstraction: to exist (in sb. or sth. as a necessary or concomitant feature), be; in proverb: betwen two stoles lieth the fal; (b) ~ in, to consist in (sth.), be constituted by; (c) ~ in, to depend on (sb. or sth.); ~ for, depend on (sb.); ~ after (on), depend on (sth.); ~ upon, be consequent on (sth.), follow upon.
11.
(a) To be found, occur; (b) to be relevant, be required, be due or fitting; ~ to (in), pertain to (sb. or sth.); (c) ~ in, to be within the bounds of possibility for (sb., his power, his knowledge, etc.); ~ in your ese, be convenient for you; (d) ~ to (in, into, on), to belong to (sb., a place).
12.
= leien: (a) to put (sth.) in place, set; put (sb. in prison); ~ doun [see also leien 1b. (c)]; ~ on [see also leien 1b. (d)]; (b) to apply (a plaster); (c) to lay (an egg); (d) to place (sb.) in a recumbent posture; (e) to lay (sth.) away, hoard; (f) to bury (sb.); (g) ~ awaite upon [see also awaite 1. (a)]; (h) ~ on, to rain blows on (sb.); (i) to rent (land); (j) ~ doun, to forfeit (one's head).
13.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Add.37075 Gloss (Add 37075)21/128b : Concubo: to lye.
  • Note: Add to līen v.(1) 1b. - only gloss quote without prep. phrase.--per MG
  • a1291 Her lis arfaxat (Lamb 499)412 : Her lis arfaxat fader brandan.
  • Note: See ed. note on form, p.414
    Note: Sense 3.(e) - needed for form with -s 3 sg. pres.--per MJW