Middle English Dictionary Entry

light n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
(a) Light as a substance that illuminates objects or colors, light as seen or present in a condition where vision is possible; lightes leme; (b) light as one of God's creations; (c) the property of light inherent in the physical composition of a substance; potencial ~.
1b.
(a) The light emanating from the sun, moon, planets, stars, etc.; the light or flame of a lamp or candle; blaze of a fire; -- sometimes pl.; also fig. the loved one occupying a house; yeven ~, to emit light; shine on or for (sb.); ~ to, illuminate (sb. or sth.); (b) daylight; ~ of dai, the time of daylight, dawn, daybreak; also, day; bi (the) ~, bi ~ of dai, in daytime, by daylight; (c) in asseverations: bi this ~.
1c.
The light issuing from, or provided by, truth, righteousness, knowledge, wisdom, grace, etc.; ~ of conninge (grace, resoun), etc.; also, the state of intellectual enlightenment or excellence.
2.
(a) Intense brightness, brilliance; the dazzle or luster of a precious stone or metal; leme and ~; leme of ~ [see leme]; (b) the radiance or glory of Jesus, the Virgin, God or his countenance, angels; light of heaven or paradise, etc.; -- sometimes pl.; (c) aungel of ~ [cp. aungel 1b. (b)]; contre of ~, heaven.
3.
(a) A source of light; a candle, torch, lamp, etc.; a lighted signal; a heavenly body; -- sometimes coll.; also fig.; (b) a lamp or set of candles burned in church commemorating a festival or saint, in front of the cross, maintained by a guild, used in religious processions, etc.; -- sometimes coll.; (c) one of the candleholders on a candlestick or candelabrum; (d) fig. a distinguished or eminent person.
4.
(a) An opening in a wall through which light may penetrate; (b) any of the vertical sections between the mullions of a window [cp. dai 11.].
5.
The faculty of sight; the light of the eye; pl. eyes; lifes ~, life, the light of life; -- said also of a beloved person or object [see also lif la. (b)].
6.
(a) The condition where there is light; the state of being in public view or sight; in ~, ?clearly, plainly; comen in (to the) ~, to come into public view, appear; be revealed; comen to the ~ of oure knouleche, be disclosed to us, become known; (b) a lighted place, a place where there is daylight; the realm of light, heaven; also (in phrases only) the lighted space to be occupied or traversed by a person: stonden in ~, to take (someone's) place; obstruct or block (someone's) way; (c) a phenomenon or instance of brightness, a bright light, a flash of light, a beam of the sun; (d) lightning; ~ of thonder; leveninge ~.
7.
(a) Elucidation; yeven ~, to explain, elucidate; (b) guidance; inspiration; yeven ~ to, to guide (sb.); (c) a source of inspiration, guide, shining light; one who enlightens; ~ of the world, Christ's disciples.
8.
Fig. (a) Power; (b) joy, happiness;(c) ?safety, preservation.
9.
(a) Fig. God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, or?any supreme being; also, the faithful or righteous; ~ and leme; ~ of grace (hele), etc.; (b) the divine light or presence; salvation, grace, truth, spiritual enlightenment, righteousness, virtue; eche ~, eternal bliss; yeven ~, to enlighten (sb.), impart spiritual insight (to sb.); (c) insight, perspicacity; also, the capacity for rational understanding or judgment; natural ~; (d) fader of light(es, lord of ~, God; lanterne of ~, the Virgin Mary; piler of ~, St. Peter; child (son) of ~, the faithful, the righteous, a believer.
10.
Cpds. and combs. (a) ~ barn (bere, berend, berer), the angel Lucifer; (b) ~ bem, a ray of light; ~ fat, a lamp or lantern; ~ fates mouth, an epithet of the apostle Philip; an apostle; (c) ~ makere (yevere), a source of light; a heavenly body; (d) ~ man, one who collects the ~ silver for the church; ~ silver, a rent for providing lights in the church; (e) ~ yeving, lighting, illumination; (f) candel ~ [see candel 2. (c)]; dai ~, daies ~, even ~, q.v.; herte ~ [see herte 2a. (c)]; heven ~ [see heven 7. (d)]; laumpe ~ [see laumpe]; mone ~, morwe-tide ~ [see mone, morwe]; oure ladi ~ [see ladie 4. (f)]; rode ~, sterre ~, q.v.; taper ~, thonder ~, torche ~, tortis ~, trendel ~ [see taper, thonder, torche, tortis, trendel].
11.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?c1425 Chauliac(2) (Paris angl.25)538/14 : The veynes þe whiche ben late blode in men ben 33…In the hede ben xiii: two behynde þe eres…þe veyne of þe forhede, þe veyne of þe liʒte [*Ch.(1): puppe; L puppis], þe veyne of the nose.
  • Note: ?= back of the head. If so, can't find in MED s.v. light n.--per LMM