Middle English Dictionary Entry

nāme n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The name of a human being: Christian name, surname, or both; Christian name with epithet denoting rank, with characterizing adjective, or with descriptive noun; hire first ~, the name she first bore; kinde (right, propre) ~, actual name; ~ of bapteme [see bapteme 1.]; (b) the name of a personified virtue, vice, act, etc.; (c) the written or engraved name of a person; (d) in metonymical use: a person; the deeds of a person, reports of one's deeds; one's name as the bearer of his fame [see also sense 5.]; one's name as a symbol of his authority; one's identity; in here ouen ~, ?with awareness of their identity; thes names, these nobles; (e) the name of a tribe, family, clan; folk, race.
(a) Behalf, authority, stead; in (on) his ~, by his authority on his behalf; in his ouen ~, on his own behalf; in his faderes ~, for his father's sake, on his father's behalf; in his lordes ~, on his lord's behalf; in here names, by their authority, on their behalf; for sinful manes ~, for sinful man's sake; of (in) ~ of, on behalf of (sb.); etc.; (b) bi ~, by name, named; also, specifically, directly [quots.: 1455, a1475]; -- also as a metrical filler; ben (ben cleped) bi ~, to call or call upon (sb.) by name; knouen bi ~, know (sb.) by name; nemnen bi ~, give (sb.) a name [quot.: ?c1200]; to ~, by name; (c) bi thi ~, as you are called; bi his ~, by his name; (d) to ~, as one's name; to his right ~, as his own name; drauen..to ~, to take (to oneself) as a name; him shal to ~, he shall be named; (e) a characterizing appellation of a person; ~ of Cristen, ~ of neighebor, ~ of pilour.
(a) A state, situation; attribute or condition of human life; ~ of aventurous welefullenesse (of gentilesse, of thraldom); the ~ of soverainte, the mere label of sovereignty; (b) title, rank, ecclesiastical rank; also, an office, an institution; gentilmen of ~, men of rank; the ~ of kinges, the monarchy; riche ~, noble title; (c) the designation of a craft or trade; occupation, vocation.
The name or names of God: (a) as an object of worship or reverence; as a sacred name, misuse of which is forbidden by Scripture; (b) as a name invoked for protection or aid; a name used to dedicate an act to God or to affirm that one's strength, success, or safety comes from Him; names seven [see (c)]; a (on, in) godes ~, in mi ~, etc.; (c) in asseverations, oaths, interjections [see also God 7. (c)]; bi (in) godes ~, etc.; bi god and his holi names; for his names seven, of both God and Christ:?perh. the six names in Isaiah 9 (Admirabilis, Consilarius, etc.) plus the name Jesus Christ; (d) in formulas: at the beginning of a will; at the beginning of a pious narrative, medical treatise, or historical account; in the liturgy of baptism; in charms; etc.; (e) as a written name; the gretteste of al godes names.
The name of Christ (Drihten, Helend, Lomb, etc.): (a) used in ascribing to Christ credit for miracles or in invoking aid; in dedicating acts, assemblies, journeys, etc.; in proclaiming oneself an agent of Christ; as a means of access to God; as a name which confers spiritual healing, salvation, forgiveness of sins, etc.; (b) as an object of faith or worship; as a symbol of Christian belief or the divinity of Christ; as a cause for which one suffers or struggles; for) mi ~, for the ~ of Jesu, etc.; (c) in formulas for baptism and for beginning or ending books, wills, or other documents; also, in asseverations; for his names seven [see sense 2a. (c)]; (d) as a given name; in association with other given names or epithets; as a written name; the lombes ~, etc.
(a) The name of a saint, an apostle, the Virgin Mary, etc., as a name of spiritual power or object of reverence; in the ~ of a prophete (a just man), as a prophet (a just man); a seint Marie ~, in the name (or honor) of the Virgin Mary; etc.; (b) the name of an angel, an apocalyptic beast, a devil, the Devil; also, the name of the Devil as used in oaths; in the devels ~, in the ~ of the devel; (c) the name of a pagan god, giant, etc. [see also hæhtnesse].
The name of a place; also, in the name of (a political entity), on behalf of; to ~, for a name, as a name.
(a) The designation of an animal, a plant, heavenly body, stone, book, letter of the alphabet, division of time, soul, etc.; (b) med. & surg. the designation of a part of the body, humor, type of sore, surgical instrument, medicine.
The designation of a virtue or virtuous act; of a sin or inclination to sin; of a pursuit or code of conduct, knighthood; bi ~, especially, specifically; bi here (ouen) nameli names, by their (own) special names.
The designation of human possessions, gifts, riches, or transient earthly things.
(a) In misc. phrases: bi ~, certainly; -- also as metrical filler; bi the ~ and under colour of distresse, under pretense of distress [see also distresse 4. (a)]; for ~ of the world, in service to the world; in ~ of douere (peine, penaunce, ransoun, taillage), for (dower, etc.); in the ~ of that table, ?modeled after that table; (b) in cpds.: ~ cleping (yevinge), use of words, terminology.
(a) Distinction, quality; importance, consequence; man of ~, man of distinction; (b) moral reputation; good moral reputation; reputation for a specific virtue; ~ & habit of holinesse, reputation and appearance of holiness; haven..~ in honde, to accuse (sb.); lesen ~, destroy (someone's) reputation; ~ and fame; (c) bad (foul, coveitous, ivel, wikked) ~, bad (etc.) reputation, reputation for being bad; (d) ~ of large almesse (conninge, heigh discrecioun, gentilesse, helpinge, liberalite, manhede, perseveraunce), reputation for largess (learning, etc.); (e) fame, renown, praise; notoriety; distinguished or wide-spread reputation; renown for excellence in knighthood, medicine, theological disputation, etc.; maken (geten)..a ~, to acquire fame (for oneself, ourselves, etc.), become known; (f) one's existence in the memory of others; one's identity [quot.: Ashby].
A word, term; a word or name considered as a word; ~ collectif [see collectif (b)]; ~ of necessite, the word 'necessity', the topic of 'necessity'; names of your laue, terminology of your law; cacchen of (that) ~, to seize upon (that) word [see also cacchen 3. (b)].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(2) (Pen 356B)10/45 : When þe nominatyf case endyth in -vs þa vocatyf shall be like hym; When þe nominatyf case endithe in -ius ȝif hit be a propur name of a man, þe vocityf shall end in -i.
  • Note: Additional quote(s)

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1500 15c.Serm.Cycle (BodeMus 180)340/151 : And to soche maner of pepyll seyth seint Iohn, Apocalipsis tercio: Nomen h[ab]es quod vivas, sed mortuus es. 'Thu haste a nawme that þu lyvist, but sothely þu art dede.'
  • Note: Glossary: "nawme n. 'name'." Editor's note: "nawme: a form not recorded in either MED, OED, or LALME. Cf. the form bawme in 19/129 (MS L)."
    Note: ?New form; may be anomalous.