Middle English Dictionary Entry

Psalm(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) One of the Psalms of the Book of Psalms; (b) seien ~, to sing a Psalm; also, recite a Psalm; seiere of psalmes, a singer of Psalms; singen ~, sing a Psalm; praise (God) with a Psalm; don ~ to, sing Psalms in praise of(God); tellen ~, recount the story associated with a Psalm; this ~ seiinge, the recitation of this Psalm; (c) seven psalmes, the seven Penitential Psalms (Vulg. Ps. 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142); fiftene psalmes, the fifteen Gradual Psalms (Vulg. Ps. 119-133); (d) pl. the Book of Psalms; the Psalter; (e) fig. crowing of a rooster; (f) in proverb.
In cpds. and combs.: (a) ~ itel, a group or number of Psalms; lof ~, a Psalm of praise; psalmes lettres, ?decorated initial capitals in a Psalter; (b) ~ bok, the Book of Psalms, the Psalter; (c) ~ makere, ~ scop [OE salm-scop, sealm-], ~ writer, Psalm-wright (q.v.), a Psalmist, esp. David.
(a) A specific sacred recitation, canticle, or song, as the Creed, the Pater Noster, the Te Deum, the Magnificat, the Benedictus, etc.; (b) a derisive song.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1150(OE) Vsp.D.Hom.(Vsp D.14)100/5 : Eac hit gecweðen is on sealmen, 'God, min lif ic cyððe þe & mine teares ic sette beforen þinre gesihðe.'
Note: Additional quote(s). Sense 1a.(d). Specific reference is evidently to Psalm 55:9 (Vulg.).