Middle English Dictionary Entry

shāven v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To scrape (sth.) with a knife or tool; scrape (a parchment, hide, etc.); scrape the skin from (a tongue); also fig.; scrape or slice (sth.) into thin pieces, grate; rub (sth.); of a medicine: chafe or abrade (the intestines); ppl. shaven, scraped; cut into small pieces; (b) to remove (sth.) by scraping or paring; also fig.; cut out (the intestines) of a dead animal; slice off (bits of flesh) from a hide; erase (sth.) from a parchment; cut (fingernails); ~ awei, scrape or pare (sth.) off, remove; also fig.; ~ of (oute of); ~ oute fro, remove (sb.) from (the land of the living), obliterate (sb.) from (the earth); (c) to sharpen (sth.) by scraping or cutting; smooth or plane (sth.), polish; ppl. shaven as adj.: ?sharpened; ?made smooth by cutting; (d) med. to scrape (a bone, the teeth) with a surgical instrument; (e) to gather (bees) into a hive.
(a) To scrape away hair, shave the face or head; remove hair close to the skin; also, fig. deceive someone [quot.: c1475-c1500]; ~ awei; (b) to cut off the hair of (sb.) close to the skin; shave the face or head of (sb.); shave the skin of (sb.) in the course of medical treatment; tonsure the head of (sb.); ~ him a prest doun to the nekke, cut off his head; ben shaven, be shaved; also, fig. be bereft of money [quot.: c1450(1399)]; ben shaven a monk, be made a monk by tonsuring; ben shaven round, fig. be wounded in battle; ppl. shaven, tonsured; half shaven, half shaven; (c) to cut off the hair from (the head), shave; shave (the head) as part of medical treatment; tonsure (the head); also, cut off (the head); ~ coroune; ~ hem a coroune, shave their heads; ~ him a coroune brod (brod coroune), tonsure one's own head; also, cut off someone's head; ~ of, shave off the hair and skin from (the head) as a form of torture; ben shaven the hed, have the head shaved; ppl. shaven, shaven; tonsured; shaven to the bon, cut, wounded; (d) to shave off (the hair) from the head or body; -- often as part of medical treatment; shave off (the beard, a part of the beard), cut off; shave (hair) from a horse's body; ~ awei, shave away (hair, a beard); -- also without obj.; ~ of; (e) to shave (a part of a body, the edge of a wound); also, shave (the body or part of the body of a horse); (f) in proverb and prov. expressions; ~ berd.
In plant names: shave gras (wort), a plant of the genus Equisetum, prob. E. hiemale; also used medicinally.
In place name and surnames.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500(a1450 Ashmole SSecr.(Ashm 396)62/34 : Fisshes of smale substaunce, of sotell skynne, and light to be chaved..ben lightest and best.
  • Note: New form: ppl. ..chaved.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 1.(b).
    Note: Add new gloss: To scale (a fish).--per MLL

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1400 Trin-C O.9.39 Recipes (Trin-C O.9.39) 9/28,31 : Take a schepes skyn..wel wayssched..and yschaue clene on þe fleschy side, and..nat fatty nor blak..And whanne þy skyn is clene chauen and waysschen out of þe lyme, take and waissche hit aʒen wel in two watres.
  • Note: Additional quot., sense 1.(b). New spelling (ppl.) = chauen.