Middle English Dictionary Entry

bēren v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To carry (sth.), bring, carry away; be a bearer or carrier; refl. to betake oneself, go; (b) ~ again, bring back, restore; ~ awei, carry away; also, steal; ~ forth, carry away; ~ on (an, in) hond, carry in one's hand(s; ~ out, carry out; ~ over, remove, take away; born togeder, carried together, congested; (c) to serve (food, drink); ~ cuppe, serve drink, be a cupbearer; (d) to carry (a flag, a standard); (e) to carry (a message, words, a letter); ~ erende, carry a message; also, act as advocate (for sb.); ~ tales, carry tales, be a tale bearer; (f) to spread abroad (fame, renown, truth, someone's name or voice, etc.), publish; (g) to send (tribute); (h) of the wind: to blow (sth.), drive, convey; (i) to carry (the burden or bass of a song); (j) miscellaneous fig. uses; ben out of world boren, to die; ~ thought toward, think about; (k) ppl. bering, berand, carrying; of veins: carrying (sperm); as noun: a bearer; bering barwe, handbarrow; bering case, portable chest; bering lep (skep), a basket for carrying; bering staf, carrying pole; softe bering, easy gaited.
(a) To wear (clothing, armor, jewelry, etc.); carry on one's person (sth. to ward off evil); ~ livere or clothing, to wear the livery (of sb.), be in (someone's) employ; (b) to wear (a crown); ~ croun; also, to be king, reign; (c) to display (a coat-of-arms, a heraldic device, an emblem); ~ armes, display (or be entitled to use) a coat-of-arms; of a coat-of-arms: contain (a heraldic device); (d) to bear (weapons); ~ armes (wepen), be armed; also, perform military service, fight.
(a) To hold up (sth.), keep from falling or sinking, support; ~ up (upward), hold up, raise up; ~ lowe sail, carry little canvass, behave oneself meekly; (b) to hold (the body or part of the body in a certain position); ~ doun, lower (one's ears, one's eyes); ~ face toward, turn one's face toward; ~ up, hold up or raise (one's head, hands, feathers, etc.); (c) to aid or support (sb.), strengthen (sth.), abet (a criminal), support (the body); to enhance (the reputation of sb.), increase the fame of (sth.).
(a) To push or thrust (sth.); ~ abak (on bak), hurl (sth.) back; ~ again, push against (sth.), push back; ~ gret strok, strike (sb.) hard; ~ on, bear down upon (sth.), weigh down; ~ open, throw open (gates); ~ out (outward), push or thrust (sth.) out; ~ over, knock (sb.) over; ~ up helm, bear up the helm (of a ship); (b) ~ doun (adoun), to overthrow (sb.); also, overcome, conquer, oppress; (c) ~ forth, to project; push (sth.) out or forward; (d) ~ of, to ward off (a blow); (e) ~ on, to thrust (sth.) upon (sb.), offer (sth.) to (sb.); ~ to, thrust (sth.) toward (sb.); (f) to rush, charge; ~ on, ~ to, rush at (sb.); (g) to stab (sb.), pierce (sth.); ~ in, ~ thurgh.
(a) To urge or incite (sb. to do sth.); ~ to, be inclined toward (sth.), be favorable toward (sb.); ~ (sb.) to, urge or prompt (sb.) to (do sth.); (b) ~ in herte, to seem (to sb.) in his heart; ~ on eie, to seem to (someone's) eye, appear.
(a) To have (sth.), keep, possess, have charge of; ~ astat (estat, stat), have a rank or position; ~ heritage, have an inheritance; ~ magistrat, hold the office of magistrate; ~ office, hold office; ~ order, have a rank or position; ~ part, have a share (in sth.), participate; ~ the keie, have the key (of sth.), have charge or control; ~ the purs, hold the purse strings; ~ voice, have a deciding voice (in sth.), have the right to speak or vote; also, be important; (b) to have (a body); have (sth.) as part of one's body; ~ god eie, have a good eye, aim well; ~ god face, assume a cheerful countenance; ~ god mouth, speak pleasingly; ~ gret visage, put on a bold front; (c) to have (a mark or spot on one's body); of a book or statue: bear (an inscription); ~ the croun, be tonsured; (d) of a document: to bear (a certain date); bering date, dated; (e) to keep (sth. in one's mind or heart); ~ in herte (mind), keep (sth.) in mind, be mindful of (sth.); ~ in thought, have (the prototype of sth.) in (one's) mind; (f) ~ over, to keep back, reserve.
(a) To possess (a quality, capacity, power, virtue, etc.); al that beren lif, all living creatures; ~ brede, to have (good) breeding; ~ breth, be alive; ~ charge (effect), be important; ~ liknesse (anliknesse, figure, image), have a certain appearance, bear a resemblance (to sth.); ~ lif, have life, live; ~ strength, be effective, have potency, have legal force or validity; ~ voice, be accompanied by speech; boren in, inherent in; (b) to have (anger, envy, hate, love, etc., toward sb.); bear (a grudge); have (desire for sth.); -- often with againes, to, toward, unto, upon; (c) to show (sb. respect, reverence, homage, obedience, favor, consideration, etc.); ~ bataile againes, wage war against, be hostile to; ~ crim unto, commit a crime against; ~ (god) feith, ~ treuth, be loyal (to sb.); ~ pes, keep the peace (toward sb.); ~ (sb.) evel name, have a bad opinion (of sb.); ~ los, have a high opinion (of sb.); (d) to have (a name, a certain kind of name, a reputation); al that ~ name, all people; ~ a (the) name of, be known as (sth.), have the title of (sth.), have a reputation for (sth.); ~ los of, have a reputation for (sth.); ~ name, bear (someone's) name, be named (after sb.); (e) to have (a certain length, breadth, thickness); (f) to cast (shadow); shed (light); (g) to have (a meaning); ~ indicacioun, give an indication (of sth.); ~ understonding, to mean.
(a) To get (sth.), obtain; ~ (awei) maistrie, ~ (awei) the victori, win the victory, be victorious; ~ cost, get or require expenditure; ~ gret price, win high praise; (b) ~ the belle (flour, price), take the prize, be the best (of a class of things), be the best (with regard to sth.); (c) ~ on, to take (sth.) upon (oneself), assume (a burden of guilt or conflict).
(a) To endure (sth.), bear, accept; ~ rod, bear a cross; ~ grevousli (hevi, sikli, sore), endure (sth.) with difficulty, accept (sth.) unwillingly; (b) to suffer (injury, damage, loss, punishment, etc.); to be punished for (guilt, evil deeds); ~ blame, be blamed; (c) to pay (a rent, charge, cost); of land or property: to be charged with (rent), be taxed (at a certain rate); (d) ~ charge, to bear the responsibility (for sth.), be responsible for, be in charge of; of words: carry weight, be significant; of a bodily organ: assume the function (of another organ).
To give birth to (a child); of animals: to bring forth (young); ~ birth, bear a child.
Ppl. boren, born: (a) with noun: ~ brother, brother by birth; ~ duk, duke by birth; ~ king, born to be king; ~ thral, a slave by birth; ~ Trojan, a native Trojan; thi ~ man, your servant from birth; gentil-woman ~, a gentlewoman by birth; no man ~, no man; vilain ~, a serf by birth, a person of humble lineage; woman ~, any woman; (b) with adj. or adv.: ~ again, born again, spiritually reborn; ~ blind, born blind; ded ~, born dead; def ~, born deaf; firmest ~, first ~, firstborn; freli (gentil, heigh) ~, of noble birth; next ~, next of kin; on ~, only begotten; twies ~, twice born; (c) with phr.: ~ bifor tim, abortive; ~ in mariage (wedlok), legitimate; ~ of, born from (the body or the womb of sb.), brought forth by (a certain woman), born into (a certain family), descended from (a certain lineage), born in (a place); ~ of fornicacioun, illegitimate; ~ of God, spiritually born; ~ of womman, born of a woman, of the human race; ~ to (unto), born into (a certain state or condition), born to possess (land, etc.), born for (a purpose), born to (do sth.); (d) in exclamations, idioms, etc.: alon as I was ~, completely alone, solitary; no ~ lif, no living creature; that (ever) I was ~; the dai that I was ~.
(a) To bear (fruit, flowers, leaves, seed, etc.); to bloom, be fruitful; also fig.; ppl. bering, fruitful, producing; (b) of a sheep: to produce (wool); (c) of land: to yield (crops); be fertile; ppl. bering, fertile, productive; (d) to create (sth.), bring into existence; make or do (sth.).
Refl. [prob. includes usages orig. belonging to beren v.(2)]: (a) to conduct oneself, behave; ~ even, behave in a steady manner, be prudent; ~ heigh, behave proudly, be arrogant; ~ lowe, behave humbly; (b) of a book: to have a certain relationship (to sth.), contain a certain part (of a field of knowledge).
In phrases: (a) ~ abouten, swing (sth.) around; to change the course of (a ship); (b) ~ companie (felauship, genge), bear (sb.) company, accompany (sb.); (c) ~ depnesse, ?draw or displace a depth (of water), ?have a depth (of water) beneath one; (d) ~ forth, change (sth.), transform; (e) ~ it out, carry it off, put on a front; (f) ~ of, signify (sth.), symbolize; (g) ~ on (an) hond, assert or maintain (that sth. is true); ~ on hond to (upon), accuse (sb. of sth.), assert to (sb. that sth. is true or that he has done sth.), attribute (a statement or action) to (sb.) [cp. OI bera ā hendr and other parallel expressions]; (h) ~ on hond, accuse (sb.); ~ falsed on hond, ~ wrong on (in) hond, accuse (sb.) falsely; ~ on hond of, accuse (sb.) of (sth.); ~ on hond that, ~ hond that, assert (to sb.) that (he is guilty of sth.); (i) ~ on hond, persuade (sb.), try to convince (sb. that sth. is true); (j) ~ out, corroborate (sth.); (k) ~ over, change (sth.), transfer, transform; (1) ~ record, testify (that sth. is true), witness (an action, a proceeding); of a thing: indicate (sth.), signify, prove; ~ God record, witness before God; ~ record again, give legal evidence against (sb.), testify against; ~ record of (to), testify to the truth of (sth.), corroborate, verify; (m) ~ up oil, speak flatteringly; (n) ~ upon (on, up), accuse (sb. of sth.); attribute (sth. to sb.); (o) ~ witnesse, testify, bear witness; to act as witness to a transaction; of a story or a document: confirm (sth.), corroborate; of ears or eyes: verify (sth.); ~ fals (les) witnesse, testify falsely, bear false witness; (p) ~ witnesse of (to), testify to the accuracy of (sth.), testify to the existence or validity of (sth.); (q) ~ witnesse, support (sb.) with testimony; corroborate (sb.); ~ witnesse of sin, testify to the guilt (of sb.); ~ god witnesse, testify to (someone's) innocence; ~ to witnesse, confirm the truth of (sth.) to (sb.).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1225 Wor.Gloss.(Corp-C 178)689/221 : Berren [OE Þa ferodon þa hæþenan þæt foresæde scrin..to heora temple].
  • Note: New form: Pres.sg.3 pl. (early) berren.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 1.(a).
  • (1434) in Salzman Building in Engl.()507 : The..steepil shall haf in lenght iij xx fete..above the ground table-stones, and xx fote square withyn the walls, the walles beryng six fote thicknesse abof the said ground table-stones.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 7.(e).
  • c1450(1438)GLeg.Bernard (GiL113) (Eg 876) 594/31 : Bernarde..coueited to knowe atte what oure Ihesu Crist had be born, the childe Ihesus appered to hym right as bering [F naissant; L nascens] before his eyen of the wombe of his moder.
  • Note: New sense: unrecorded usage of beren v.(1), meaning 'being born' rather than 'giving birth'. (See sense 10.(a).
    Note: Gloss: ppl. beringe, that is in the process of being born, aborning .
  • (1440) PParv.(Hrl 221)56 : Burgyn or burryn, as trees: Germino, frondo, gemmo, frondeo.
  • Note: New form: Also..burrin.
    Note: Add intransitive gloss to sense 11.(a).
    Note: Gloss: To put forth leaves, to be in leaf, to become green.
  • a1475 Gawain & CC (Brog 2.1)82 : Of asur for sothe he bare A gryffyn of golde full feyr, Iset full of golde flourrus.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 2.(c).
    Note: Editor's note, p. 168: "A griffin is Gawain's heraldic sign e.g. in morte Arthure 3869 and The Aunturs of Arthur 40/2."
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section is incomplete and needs revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED.--notes per MLL

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?c1400(1379) *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.31va (2.3) : Þe remanant of þe braunches go to þe pappis, beronde wiþ hem eke of þe blode, for to make it white and turne it into mylk.
Note: New spelling (pr. ppl.): beronde. Editor's gloss: beronde of 'carrying a certain amount of (sth.)'.