Middle English Dictionary Entry

mǒuth n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The human mouth; rof of the ~, the palate; also fig.; (b) the mouth as a facial feature and the part of the face with or on which kisses are given.
(a) The mouth as the organ for tasting, eating, and drinking; also fig.; ~ soukinge, of a child: nursing; bi (at) the ~, through the mouth, orally; likerous ~ [see likerous adj. 2. (a)]; tender ~, a fastidious appetite; (b) for his (the kinges, the quenes, oure) ~, of oure ~, attending to the procurement and preparation of (someone's) food and drink.
The mouth of an animal, an insect, or a fish; the beak of a bird.
(a) The mouth as the organ which produces speech, song, or other sounds; ~ sed, words; at mouthes met [see met n.4.]; bi speche (wordes) of ~, with words, verbally; lighter in the ~, easier to pronounce; melen (monen, speken, tellen) with ~, seien (speken) mid ~, to say or speak (sth.); talk [see also melen v. (a)]; godes ~, the spokesman of God; light fates ~ [see light n. 10. (b)]; (b) closen (bitunen, ditten, forshetten, holden, stoppen) ~, to shut (someone's) mouth, silence (sb.) [see also bitunen v. 2. (b); closen v. 1. (b); ditten v. 4. (a); holden v. 14a. (c)]; openen ~, begin to speak; maken gret (maken large, spreden abrode, yenen) ~ on, raise one's voice against (sb.), decry; (c) comen to (in) ~, bicomen on ~, to come to (someone's) mouth (as if from an external source); also, be spoken of; haven in ~, speak (sth.); talk about (sb. or sth.) [see also haven v. 1d. (a)]; putten (setten) in ~, put (words, sayings) in (someone's) mouth, tell (sb.) what to say; (d) ~ with (bi, to) ~, personally, in conversation; fro ~ to ~, from person to person by word of mouth; with (mid) one ~, with a ~, in unison, unanimously; with open ~, in a loquacious manner, with indiscreet chatter; also, aloud; with ful ~, loudly.
(a) The ability to speak; ~ fre, able to speak of one's own free will; domb of ~, silent; openen (undon) ~, to give (sb. or sth.) the power to speak; (b) law the right to plead.
(a) Speech, words; way of speaking; courteis (milde, mirie) of ~, courteous (gentle, cheerful) in speech [see also mirie adj. 1a. (a)]; also, the song of birds [quot.PPl.B]; (b) bi ~, by word of mouth, orally; also, in person; with (mid) ~, with ~ stevene, with speech or words, orally; with ~, with noise of speaking or shouting [quot.: a1475]; with his (thin) ouen ~, bi his ouen ~, in his (your) own words, personally; yelden with ~, to concede defeat verbally; (c) thurgh (bi, in) ~, in the words (of sb.); by means of (someone's) speech; (d) kepen (geten, holden, refreinen, restreinen, witien, yemen) ~, to restrain (one's) speech, guard (one's) words; chaungen ~, alter (one's) speech; beren god ~, speak pleasantly; (e) honi (sugred) ~, pleasing speech, eloquent words [see also honi n. 2. (b)]; golden (gilden) ~, eloquence [see also golden adj. 5 & gilden adj. 2. (b)]; (f) shrift (confessioun) of ~, mouthes confessioun, oral confession; sword of ~, weapon of words; (g) the words of God, Christ, the Holy Ghost, or a secular king; verbal commandments; of godes (cristes, drihtenes) ~, of (on) godes ouen ~, in God's own words, from (by, in) God's law.
Speech as external expression: (a) as opposed to one's understanding, internal feeling, or deeds, or the truth; (b) in phrases: ~ and (or) herte, ~ and truth, herte and ~, outward speech and internal feeling; honde and ~, ~ and honde, word and deed [see also hond n. 6. (a)]; ~ herte and honde [see also herte n. 2b. (b)]; (c) in sayings.
Med. & surg. (a) The entrance to or outlet from a bodily organ or the blood vessels; (b) the external opening of a sore, wound, ulcer, hemorrhoid, etc.
(a) The mouth of a river or bay; a strait leading to a sea; the entrance to a harbor; haven ~ [see haven n.(1) 2. (a)]; (b) the entrance to a pit, cave, well, oven, furnace, etc.; also fig.; ~ ston, a stone used to close the entrance to an oven; (c) the opening of a sack, pot, box, beehive, or other container; the opening of a pastry shell; (d) an opening in the seed pod or capsule of a plant; (e) the bell of a trumpet.
The biting edge of a sharp instrument; in ~ of (the) sword, with the sharp edge of a sword.
In surnames and place names [see Smith PNElem. 2.47].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1425 Wel were hym (CmbAdd 5943)10 : Wol god þat alle suche had a marke lyte oþer moche þat al men myȝt y-knowe how here hert & moȝt stent as ryȝt as norþe & sowþe to þylke hy but sowe.
  • Note: Additional quote(s)
    Note: Ed. = mouth.
  • (1428) in Fransson Surn.464 : Thomas Watermouth.
  • Note: Additional quote(s) for 4.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. mouth.