Middle English Dictionary Entry

assai n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) The testing or a test of quality (as of a metal or other object); assaying of metal; putten in ~; after the ~ of London, according to the London standard of quality; (b) of god ~, of good quality or make; of ~, of proven quality; etc.; (c) the testing (of a report or problem).
2.
(a) A testing of character or personal traits (such as faithfulness, friendship, faith, fortitude); trial, ordeal; (b) character or personal qualities (as demonstrated by trial).
3.
(a) A test of arms, combat; an attack or sally; (b) fig. a sally (as of the Devil or an enemy).
4.
Ceremonial tasting (of food or drink); taken ~; cup of ~, a ceremonial cup for such tasting; basin of ~, a basin for testing wash water; also, a taste or foretaste.
5.
(a) Investigation, examination, inspection; observation, experience; also, power of observation, reason [quot. c1600]; (b) what is observed or observable; evidence, sign; (c) maken ~, have sexual experience.
6.
(a) An attempt; striving, effort; don, maken ~; (b) an enterprise; a feat; (c) fallen in ~, be tempted.
7.
at al assaies, at every trial; under any circumstances, anyway [often as verse tag]; for non ~, under no circumstances.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1400 Trin-C O.9.39 Recipes (Trin-C O.9.39) 9/6 : Medle hem boþe togedere forto selle, þe werse with þe better, þerfore þu knowist þe veray asay þeroffe.
  • Note: Need date, sense 1.(a).