Middle English Dictionary Entry

indef. art.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Referring to an unspecified, or as yet unspecified, member of a class or representative of a type; -- (a) as the first unit in a noun phrase [the usual construction]; (b) before an adj. modifying a preceding noun phrase [emphatic]; (c) between a descriptive adj. and a noun; so poure a page, how comly a.., to dere a date.
Referring to a member of a class or to a representative of a type: -- (a) following a qualifying limiting adj. (rarely preceding it), such as ech, everi(ch, such, which, what-kin, what-manner, (early also a swuch); see definitions and quots. under ech, etc.; (b) following a quantifying limiting adj., such as al, half, nought, mani; see definitions and quots. under al, etc.
Referring to an individual exemplifying a type.
Referring (a) to a specified number of units regarded as a set or as a whole; a twenty winter, a fewe wordes, etc.; (b) to a specified quantity or degree; a lite(l, a certein.
a dai, ~ wike, ~ yer, per day (week, year) [in part from prep. phrase on daie, etc.].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450 Nicod.(3) (Eg 2658)19/29 : It was þe lawe þoo þat man hadde trespassyd aȝens aȝoþere þat me shulde bynde hym naked to sum tree & ȝyf hym xxxti lasshes.
  • Note: New form (error): ?aȝ ('aȝoþere').