Middle English Dictionary Entry

ouen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
To possess (sb. or sth.), have, own; rule (a kingdom, people, etc.), be in command of, haue authority over; ~ lordshipe; ~ weld, have possession; ~ child, bear a child; also, be the father of a child [last quot.]; ~ a ladi (wif), have a lady (wife); ~ the dai, govern the day; haven and ~, have and possess: (a) present forms; (b) present forms with past meaning; (c) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (a)].
1b.
In phrases: ~ lif, to have life, be alive; ~ anwald (iwald, wald), have power or strength, have control; also, have power over (sb. or sth.), dominate, control; nah iwald, have no power; ~ awold, be significant, have authority, mean, signify; ?also, be the cause of (sth.); ~ manshipe, possess honor: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (a)].
1c.
To gain possession of (sth.); win (a lady); take, seize; the devil (fend) him owe, the devil take him; so god mi soule owe, so may God take my soul: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (a)].
1d.
To acknowledge (sth.), admit, own; ~ him as lord, acknowledge him as lord.
2a.
To owe (money, a debt, etc.) to (sb.); also fig.; be indebted in the amount of (so much); be obliged to pay or repay (sth.) to (sb.); be required to pay (a debt, ransom, tribute, etc.); have to pay (sth.) for (sth.); ben ouinge, owe; ppl. oued, ouen, owed, due: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning.
2b.
To be bound to render (loyalty, honor, allegiance, service, reward, etc.) to (sb. or sth.); be obligated to render (sth. to sb.); be bound to render (service); also, be indebted (to sb.) for (sth.); be indebted to (sb.) for (sth.); ~ subjeccioun, be under a legal obligation to (sb.), be subject to; ~ a word, have a remark to pay back: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (b)].
2c.
To cherish (love, gratitude, etc.) toward (sb.); also, have a duty to cherish such a feeling; ~ god (ivel) wil, bear good (ill) will (toward sb.); ~ god wil to; ~ thank, ?render thanks; ~ service, perform service: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (b)].
2d.
~ a mischaunce (shame), to owe (sb.) a bad turn, be bound or inclined to inflict an injury.
2e.
(a) To incur (sth.) as a debt; assume as an obligation; (b) to be in debt, be under obligation.
2f.
Ppl. ouinge: (a) of wages, a sum of money, debt, etc.: owed to (sb.), due (sb.); ~ to; ~ bi, owed by (sb.); (b) of a person: owed (for sth.).
3.
Impers. To be suitable, proper, or fitting; also, with obj.: befit (sb. or sth.): (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning.
4a.
As modal verb expressing moral or legal obligation, necessity, propriety, etc.: to be supposed (to do, undergo, or be sth.), ought, should; have a duty or right (to do or have sth.); be obliged (to do sth.); -- with complementary inf.: (a) present forms; (b) with selected verbs: ~ beren, ~ comen (ben comen), ~ don (ben don), ~ haven, ~ holden, ~ loven, ~ nimen, ~ wernen, ~ worthen, ~ yelden; (c) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (c)].
4b.
As modal verb expressing moral or legal obligation, etc.: to be supposed (to do or be sth.), etc.; -- with don or ben used as a substitute for a specific verb or verb phrase (usually supplied in the preceding clause): (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (d)].
4c.
As modal verb expressing moral or legal obligation, etc.: to be supposed (to do sth.), etc.; -- with implied inf. drawn from the context, usually from the preceding clause: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (e)].
4d.
As modal verb expressing obligation, necessity, propriety, etc., in impers. constructions: it behooves (sb. to do sth.), it is proper, it befits; -- with complementary inf.: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (f)].
4e.
As modal verb expressing obligation, propriety, etc., in impers. constructions: it befits, etc.; -- with implied inf. drawn from the context, usually from the preceding clause: (a) present forms; (b) ?present form with past meaning; (c) past forms with past meaning [cp. sense 5. (h)].
4f.
In combination with other modal verbs (sometimes with the sense of obligation diminished): mouen (shulen, willen) and ~, may (shall, will) and ought; noueth ne can, ought not nor can; mighte, oughte, coulde, or mighte haven coude, etc.: (a) present forms; (b) past forms with past meaning [cp. 5. (i)].
5.
Past forms with pres. or fut. meanings: (a) to possess (sth.), have, own; get possession of (sth.), win; ~ iwald, have power; (b) to owe (honor) to (God); cherish (gratitude); ~ a despit, owe (sb.) a bad turn; (c) as modal verb expressing obligation: to be supposed (to do sth.), ought, should; -- with complementary inf.; (d) with selected verbs: bi)leven, com)pleinen, deien, don, dreden, fallen, haven, heren, suffren, wondren; (e) as modal verb expressing obligation: to be supposed (to do sth.), ought, should; -- with don or ben as a substitute for a specific verb or verb phrase (usually supplied in the preceding clause); (f) as modal verb expressing obligation: to be supposed (to do sth.), ought, should; -- with implied inf. drawn from the context, usually from the preceding clause; (g) as modal verb expressing obligation or propriety, in impers. construction: it behooves, etc.; -- with complementary inf.; (h) as modal verb expressing obligation or propriety, in impers. construction: it behooves, etc.; -- with don or ben as a substitute for a specific verb or verb phrase (usually supplied in the preceding clause); (i) as modal verb expressing obligation or propriety, in impers. construction: it behooves etc.; -- with implied inf. drawn from the context, usually from the preceding clause; (j) in combination with other modal verbs (with sense of obligation more or less diminished): mai ne oughte, mighten and oughten, wolden and oughte.
6.
In miscellaneous weakened senses: (a) as modal verb in subjunctive or conditional constructions, implying doubt or uncertainty: might, should, would; -- past forms with pres. or fut. meaning; (b) ~ an ivel to don, may do an evil deed, have an evil deed to do; ~ to welden, may control (sth.), have the right to control.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1400(?c1380) Pearl (Nero A.10)341 : Þe oʒte better þyseluen blesse And loue ay God…For anger gaynez þe not a cresse.
  • a1425(c1385) Chaucer TC (Benson-Robinson)1.649 : The ne aughte nat ben yvel appayed, Though I desyre with the for to bere Thyn hevy charge.
  • Note: 4d. (or perh. somewhere else)--per REL
  • c1450(?a1400) Parl.3 Ages (Add 31042)483 : He made a blyot to his bride of the berdes of kynges, And aughtilde Sir Arthures berde one scholde be.
  • a1500 Parl.3 Ages (Add 33994)483 : He made a billet to his bride of byrdes of kynges. And Alhild that Arthure berde shuld be.
  • Note: NF
  • a1500(?a1471) ME Chart.Leic.VB in Bateson Rec.B.Leic.1156 : He oweth not Thwertnay.
  • Note: ?NS. see sense 1d.--per AFH
  • a1500 LChart.Chr.B79/377 : A well feyre mayde me hyt oght And owt of hur bowre y hyt broght.
  • Note: See techen 13.(b). This could = ouen v.--per REL