Middle English Dictionary Entry

persǒun(e n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) An individual, a person; -- also with reference to Christ; coll. persons, people; (b) a ~, per person; ~ or persounes, no ~ ne persounes; a ~ of eighte-tene, eighteen people; in o(n ~, in one individual; (c) a being; bodili persounes of resoun, beings having body and reason, human beings; (d) a person of rank or distinction, personage; (e) a vassal, retainer, supporter; (f) lai ~, ~ temporal, a member of the laity; mene ~, an intermediary [see also mene adj. (2) 4.(a)]; religious ~, ~ spiritual, a religious, member of the clergy; (g) knouen ~, taken ~, biholden mannes ~, taken ~ of man, accepten persoune(s, to show partiality or favoritism [see also accepten 2.(c)]; accepcioun (accepting, acceptour) of persounes [see accepcioun (b) and see also accepting (b) and acceptour of persones].
2.
An individual's physical being, body; appearance.
3.
(a) Being, self; -- frequently used as a token of respect or as intensifier; min (the, his, etc.) ~, me (you, him, etc.); his (your) ~, himself (yourself); the kinges ~, the king; persounes of men (gentil-men, etc.), people, members of the gentry, etc.; (b) hir (min, your, their) ouen ~, herself (myself, yourselves, themselves); his ouen ~, he himself; his ouen propre ~, himself; our ladies ouen ~, our lady herself; thin ouen (his, propre) ~, yourself (himself), in person; (c) in min (hir, his) ~, in min ouen (hir ouen, his ouen) ~, in person, personally, myself (herself, himself); in his ~, for (his) part [quot.: (a1393) 2nd]; in propre ~ (persones), in person, personally, oneself (themselves); in min (his, your) propre ~, in person, myself (himself, yourself); in their propre ~ and persones, in oure ouen propre ~; (d) with thin (ouen, bodily) ~, in person, yourself; to your (his ouen) ~, to you (him) personally, to your (his) face; of his ~, on his behalf; in the ~ of, regarding (sb., Christ).
4.
(a) Divine being, hypostasis; a divine being; one of the three persons of the Trinity; second (laste) ~, ~ thridde; thre persones, persones thre; (b) fig.: a state or condition of human existence, conceived in analogy to the persons of the Trinity.
5.
(a) Role, character; form; in here ouen ~, in their proper role or capacity; (b) manifestation; (c) in ~ of, as a representative or exemplar of (people of a specific type); (d) a vision.
6.
(a) Law A person with the rights and duties accorded him by law; privat (singuler) ~, a person not associated with or representing a group of people, an individual not possessing the prerogatives or duties of public office; ~ aggregat, an incorporated body; persoune(s corporat, an incorporated body; a member of such a body; (b) gram. a classification of pronouns and verbs expressing the relationship of the speaker to his subject.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(2) (Pen 356B)1/111 : How know ʒe þe þryd person?
  • c1450 Peniarth Accedence(2) (Pen 356B)3/121 : How knos þu a pronown? A pronowne ys a party of spech þe wych ys set for a mon and resayuys certayn person and certen nowmbyr.
  • a1500 Add.37075 Accedence (Add 37075)46/94 : How many personns [?read: persouns] ben þer?..III. The first, the secund,þe iijd.
Note: Additional quote(s), sense 6.(b).