Middle English Dictionary Entry

quī̆k adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

In attributive use: (a) living, live, animate; ~ god, the living God; ~ instrument, living implement or tool; bi here ~ lif, while they were alive; in ~ estat, alive; with ~ child, in late pregnancy; (b) ~ aughte (catel, bestaille), livestock; ~ devel (fend), living devil, incarnate devil; ~ flesh (bon), living or healthy flesh (bone); ~ thing, living thing, living being; sellen ~ flesh, to be a prostitute; (c) in phrases denoting total inclusion or exclusion: ~ man, any living man; never (no) ~ man, no living man; al ~ men, all living men; ani (ech) ~ thing, any (every) living thing; al ~ shaft (thinges, wightes), all living things; no ~ thing (creature), no living thing (creature); (d) bi min ~ lif, as sure as I am alive, by all means; bi here ~ lives, in neg. context: not for their lives, by no means; (e) in fig. contexts and with nouns denoting inanimate objects; ~ bred, of Christ or the Eucharist: living bread; ~ col, burning coal, live coal; (f) ~ se, living sea; ~ spring (strem), flowing spring (stream); ~ ston, living stone; ~ veine, flowing vein, ?artery; ~ water, living water, water of life; also, flowing water; ~ welle, welle ~, flowing well, fountainhead.
Nonattributive: (a) alive; also fig.; sensitive to pain [quots.: c1230]; ai like ~, ?always like a spring; ~ in existence, ~ with (o, and on) lif, alive; (b) ded and ~, ded other ~, ~ other ded, ne ~ ne ded, etc., dead and alive, etc.; half ded half ~; catel ~ and ded, godes bothe ~ and ded, godes and catels (bothe) ~ and ded, thinges ~ and ded, (both) livestock and other chattels; ben ~ and ded, to live and die; demen ~ or ded, decide whether (sb.) lives or dies; (c) quellen ~, ~ slen, to kill (sb.); ~ biheveden, behead (sb.) while alive; ~ birien (delven, graven), begraven (birien, delven) ~, birien ~ alive (on lif), etc., bury (sb.) alive; flen (beflaien, hilden) ~, ~ flen (hilden), skin (sb.) alive; ~ boillen, wellen ~, boil (sb.) alive; devouren (swelwen, freten, etc.) ~, swallow up or devour (sb.) alive; ~ brennen (forbrennen), burn (sb.) alive; ~ to forbrennen, so that (she) would burn alive [quot.: c1225]; (d) in association with subjects or objects of selected verbs; (e) pregnant; in the later stage of pregnancy; ~ with child; (f) having life in the manner of an animal (as opposed to having the restricted life of a vegetable); ~ and grene, animal and vegetable; (g) immortal.
As noun: (a) living people, the living; a living person; also in proverb; the ~ and the ded, etc.; (b) a living thing; living things; (c) no wight quikes, no living creature; nought quikes, nothing alive; ech thing quikes, every living thing; (d) living flesh; the part of the finger to which the fingernail is attached; the sensitive portion of a horse's hoof; (e) hedge shoots; (f) in ~, of coals: afire, live; (g) a fountain or spring.
(a) Vigorous, active; eager, willing; vigorous in battle, aggressive; of prayer or people praying: earnest, urgent, fervent; of faith: sincere, active; a ~ herte, a willing heart; hardi ~, rashly resistant; ~ age, the prime of life; ~ to grace, responsive to grace; (b) keen, alert, perceptive, vigilant; ever ~, of the soul: constantly sentient; ~ fir of thought, keen intellect; ~ of eie, a ~ eie, eien ~; (c) of a law or an authority: imparting energy or life, forceful; of reasoning or a reason: apparent, evident; also, valid; of a word or discourse: effective, forceful, pithy; ~ sentence, immediately intelligible meaning; ~ skil, obvious reason; ~ voice, vibrant or living voice; (d) of a street: busy; (e) of a voice: loud; (f) of a sore or an ailment: active, virulent; (g) of spirits: producing life, vital; (h) alch. retaining natural properties; as noun: al ~, everything alive or volatile.
Speedy, swift, alacritous; of payment: immediate; of a root: fast-growing; ~ pas, brisk speed.
(a) Of a story, an example, a sight, etc.: vivid, lifelike; of a corpse: lifelike; ~ loking, lifelike appearance; ~ remembraunce, vivid mental image; (b) of color or flowers: lively, bright, vivid; of the moon: bright [quot.: c1460]; of a human complexion or body: ruddy, flushed, lively; of a bee: bright, vivid [quot.: Vegetius(2)].
Noun cpds.: (a) ~ lim, caustic lime, quicklime; also, fig. an adhesive, birdlime [quot.: c1440(?a1375)]; pelotes of ~ lim, pellets of ointment containing quicklime; (b) ~ brim-ston, free or native sulfur; (c) ~ sand (gravel), quicksand; a bog of quicksand; ~ molde, wet soil, mud; ~ mire, quaking bog; (d) ~ iren, lodestone; (e) ~ hegge (set, wode), a row of shrubs or bushes set out as a border, a quickset hedge, a quickset; ~ bem, [OE cwic-bēam], ?an aspen or a tamarisk; ~ fruit, a shrub; ~ mounde, a hedge planted on an embankment to hold it in place; ~ tre [?OE cwic-trēow], a gorse plant, furze bush; (f) ~ lether, leather from slaughtered animals, i.e., not from those dead of disease or natural causes; ~ fetheres, ?feathers from freshly killed birds.
Verbal cpd.: ~ boren, born alive, live-born; fig. of deeds: meritorious.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1150(OE) Vsp.D.Hom.Nicod.(Vsp D.14)87/10 : Ic herige þe, heofona Hlaford, þæt þu me of þyssere cwicsusle woldest onfon.
  • Note: New cpd. in sense 5., ~ susl [OE cwic-sūsl] , literally 'living torment,' perhaps with implications of perpetual punishment.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Sln.122 Artist.Recipes (Sln 122) 84/1 : Forto make vermylon. Take .j. lb. of qwik sulphur þat is rawe, for there be dyuerse colours therof.
  • Note: New cpd. for sense 5.(b) = 'natural sulphur'. Cf. quik brim-ston.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc. (sense 1c.(d)), see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. quick.