Middle English Dictionary Entry

ayẹ̄n prep.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) In front of, facing toward, over against, opposite; (b) on the opposite side from; (c) with verbs of motion: toward, to meet; comen ~, gon ~, rennen ~, riden ~, wenden ~, etc.; with verbs of looking: in the direction of; (d) open ~, opened to receive (sb.); ringen ~, ring in welcoming (sb.); risen ~, rise to greet (sb.), rise at (someone's) approach.
(a) In (or into) contact with, against, upon; fallen ~, fall upon (sb.); gon ~, go upon (sth.), travel (over); growen ~, grow on (sth.); etc.; (b) turnen ~ itself, turn back against itself, reverse its direction.
(a) In the presence of, before; in the sight of, before one's eyes; (b) exposed to; ~ the light, in the light, under the light; ~ the mone, in the moonlight; ~ the sonne, in the sun, in the sunshine; ~ the sternes, under the stars; ~ the wind, exposed to the wind; etc.
(a) In opposition to, against; as an antidote to (a poison); as a protection against (the wind); leggen ~, allege (sth.) against (sb.), bring (a charge) against; (b) mai ~, may prevail against (sth.); ther nis non ~ sterre, no one can oppose his destiny; (c) ~ flod, ~ strem, against the current, upstream; (d) contrary to, incompatible with; ~ (one's) assent, without (one's) permission; ~ kind, contrary to nature; ~ skill, mistakenly, blunderingly; ~ lawe, ~ pes, ~ resoun, ~ right, ~ forbode, ~ hest, ~ will, etc.
(a) With regard to, in respect to, toward, to; (b) about, as to, concerning.
(a) In return for, in exchange for; dint ~ dint, blow for blow; don god ~ ivel, to return good for evil; in place of [quot.: c1230]; as a reward for [quot.: a1450]; (b) in reply to; sweren ~, to swear in answer to (sb.), meet one oath with a counter oath.
(a) Over against, balanced against, set against; (b) in comparison with; (c) in contrast with, unlike.
(a) In anticipation of, in preparation for; as an omen of; (b) shortly before, about the time of, toward; ~ somer, at the approach or beginning of summer; ~ winter, shortly before winter, when winter comes; etc.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1450 Lordyngis leue (Bod 48)291 : He maket hym merie þe ferst..Amorwe he taket þe vryne and schaket aʒen þe sonne.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 1.(a).
  • c1440(a1400) Eglam.(Thrn)337 : Þe courte come hally hym [giant] agayne; Slyk an hede, gun þay sayne, Hade þay neuir sene nane.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 1.(c).
  • a1450(?c1350) Pride Life (ChrC-Dub)124 : King ic am..Al þe worlde wide to welde at my wil; Nas þer neuer no man of woman iborre Oʒein me withstonde þat I nold him spille.
  • Note: New form: Also..oʒein.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 4.(a).
  • a1425 Ben.Rule(1) (Lnsd 378)20/33 : Yef any..wyl noht be buxum..ouþir ani greuching make aigain haly religiun..man sal amoneste þam, þat tay amende þaim.
  • Note: New form: Also..aigain.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 4.(a).
  • c1440(a1400) Eglam.(Thrn)888 : Als þe buke of Rome sayse, Scho had no mete of sex dayes Agayne þose carefull cleuys.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 4.(a).
  • c1440(a1400) Eglam.(Thrn)364 : A monethe he trauelde alle by lande..Till þat it felle, agayne an euyn tyde, Into þe forrest gan he ryde Whare als þat bare sulde be.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 8.(b).
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section may be incomplete and / or may need revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED.--all notes per MLL