Middle English Dictionary Entry

melten v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. imelten.
1a.
(a) To melt (ice, metal, snow, tallow, wax, etc.); liquefy (sth.); ppl. molten, liquid, melted; thing molten, a liquid; molten pich, pich molten, tar; moltetaleu, rendered tallow; (b) to melt down (coins, jewelry, a metal object); refine (a metal); cast or recast (a metal object); ppl. as noun: meltende vessel, vessel for melting, refiner's cauldron; molten: of metals or icons: cast or recast; of ore: smelted; (c) to fuse (the components of a concoction); weld (glass); make an alloy (of metals); ~ togeder, ~ with; maken melting metal, alloy (metals); ppl. molten, fused, mixed; (d) to dissolve (resin, salt, sugar, etc.); corrode or dissolve (iron or steel); (e) to putrefy or traumatize (flesh); disintegrate (damaged tissue, a tumor, etc.); ppl. molten, decayed, rotten; (f) to modify (the texture of meat, the consistency of ingested food); change (meat by cooking); flesh melted, molten flesh, a modified form of meat, meat transformed into a variant food.
1b.
To touch or soften (the heart of sb.), mollify (sb.); bring (sb.) to repentance; transform (God's power into mercy); ~ his (thin) herte, soften his (your) heart, repent; of a person, of the soul or spirit: ben melted (awei, be consumed or overwhelmed (by grief, sorrow, etc.); ben molten, be overcome (by fear, grief, love).
2a.
(a) Of metal objects, of ice, wax, foodstuffs, etc.: to melt, liquefy; also, evaporate, vanish; of salt: dissolve; ppl. melting, melted, liquefied, fluid; of fatty tissue: melting as oil, oleaginous; melting hot, heated to the melting point; (b) of finite creation, stones, the earth, the heavens: to disintegrate, melt away; disappear, vanish; of mortal man, worldly gain, or material goods: vanish, be transitory; ~ to noght, ~ out of memorie; ~ to mote, fig. of demons and doomed souls in hell: be annihilated; (c) of an afflicted person, of the body: to disintegrate, waste away; ~ awei; of the flesh:?degenerate, soften; also fig.
2b.
(a) Of the heart: to be touched, grow tender; of a person: be tender, grow compassionate; be overcome (by desire, joy, sorrow, etc.); of tears: flow (from the heart); ~ al togeder, be utterly consumed (by love of God); ~..in(to teres, be overcome (with feeling); ~ to maddinge, grow frenzied; ~..mesure, ascertain the value (of sth.), perceive (in sth. its) worth; of (God's) mercy: manifest (itself); (b) of courage, power, strength: to diminish, wane; dwindle away.
3.
Of the meaning of an inscription: to impinge (on the mind of sb.), be intelligible (to sb.).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Adv.23.7.11 Artist.Recipes (Adv 23.7.11) 298/11 : Take .j. quarte of water and make it hote, and þen take alom powder .j. ounce and lete it melte in þe water.
  • Note: Additional quot., sense 1a.(d).
  • a1500 Trin-C.R.14.45 Recipes (Trin-C R.14.45) 122/27 : Forto meltyn holde ryban of golde or of sylver.
  • Note: Postdates sense 1a.(b).
  • a1400 Trin-C O.9.39 Recipes (Trin-C O.9.39) 7/16,17 : Whanne þy watre is hoot put þerto foure gode large vnces of alum de glas..and late hit melte..and whan þu seest þat hit be clene molten take hit doun.
  • a1525 BodEMus.52 Artist.Recipes (BodEMus 52) 187/15 : Take..gum Arabycke, and knyʒht it in a lynen clowte, and put in a lytell reyn watere tyll it be all melten.
  • Note: = 'dissolve, dissolved'. Need dates, sense 1a.(d).