Middle English Dictionary Entry

not adv.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Not: (a) following a finite verb; (b) preceding a finite verb; (c) between a finite verb (usually an auxiliary) and an inf.; also, with inversion of auxiliary and inf.; (d) preceding an auxiliary verb; (e) following ben or haven used with a p.ppl.; (f) following an auxiliary and an inf.; (g) introducing a sentence.
Not; -- with one or more further negs.: (a) preceding or following a finite verb; ne..~; ~ ne; (b) preceding or following an auxiliary verb; ne..~; (c) following a verb with neg. pref.; also with for- pref.: forbeden ~, to forbid.
Not: (a) preceding an inf.; (b) preceding a ppl. or ppl. phrase; (c) preceding an adverbial phrase; (d) preceding an adj. or adv.; ~ so, ~ yet; (e) expressing contrast or opposition; and ~; (f) in elliptical constructions; whether..or ~.
(a) In phrases: ~ but (onli, ~..but, only, nothing but; ~ but faste bi, very near, close at hand; ~ but so, indifferently; ~..more but, not more than; ~ elles, elles ~, not otherwise; ~ elles but, nothing other than; ~ a bene (cresse, del, feue, hawe, litel, etc.) [see bene, cresse, del, etc.]; (b) in correl. constructions: ~..ne (neither, nor, nouther), neither..nor, not..nor; ~..but (but onli, but rather), ~ onli..but (but also, but and, but ek, but rather), ~ onli but, ~..nor..nor; (c) ~ for-than (for-that, for-thi), nevertheless, notwithstanding.