Middle English Dictionary Entry

sǒuken v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To feed from the breast or udder; also fig.; ~ of (at, on, upon), feed from (the breast); also fig.; (b) ~ of, to partake of (milk from the breast); (c) ppl. soukinge as adj.: of the age of sucking from the breast or udder, very young; soukinge childhod, fig. spiritual infancy; soukinge fere, one suckled at the same breast, a brother or foster brother; mouth soukinge, of a child: nursing; (d) ppl. soukinge as noun: one who feeds from the breast, a suckling.
In phrases: (a) yeven ~, to give a child milk from the breast; nurse (a child, an animal) or permit (a child, an animal) to nurse at the breast or udder, give suck to, suckle; of breasts: provide milk for a child to suck; provide milk for (a child) to suck; -- often used with sign of the inf.; yeven ~ to (unto), don ~, give suck to (a child); (b) fig. yeven ~, to give encouragement to a sinful thought or action; give (a sinful thought) encouragement; give (sb.) encouragement to sin; yeven ~ unto, don ~, give spiritual nourishment to (sb.) [some quots. in 1b. may belong to souke n.].
(a) To suck (the breast of a woman, the udder of a cow, etc.) for milk; also, suck the breast of (a woman, sow, etc.) for milk; (b) to draw (milk) from the breast by sucking; also fig.; ~ oute; yeven ~, provide (milk) for (a child); also [quot.?a1425, give (sb. sth.) as nourishment; -- used fig.; ppl. milk-soukinge as noun [OE meolcsūcend]: one who sucks milk from the breast, a suckling.
(a) To draw liquid, etc. into the mouth by sucking; (b) ~ of, to drink (the blood of Jesus); -- used fig.; also, partake of (honey); -- used fig.; also, of a vein: ?draw blood out of (the small intestine); ~ on, draw nectar from (a flower); ~ thurgh, fig. ?have a debilitating effect throughout (the body), remove joy from; (c) ppl. soukinge as adj.: drawing blood [quot.c1450(?a1400)]; fig. debilitating; of a sponge, ground, etc.: absorbent; chanel soukinge, surg. a tube or tubular instrument for drawing out water or foreign particles from the ear.
(a) To suck on (sth. other than a milk-yielding breast); draw out nourishment from (sth.), feed on; torture (sb.) by sucking; also, suck (a wound) to draw out venom, a thorn, etc.; (b) to draw (blood, moisture, etc.) into the mouth by sucking; draw (a liquid) into the nose, inhale; remove (dust from Christ's feet) with the mouth; also, of a hart: draw (a serpent out of a den and into the nose) by inhalation; surg. draw out (water or a stone from the ear with a suction instrument); ~ in (oute, up); (c) fig. of (b); (d) to sop up (fluid with a piece of cotton); of a sponge: absorb (pus); of medicine, a plaster: extract (water, a thorn, etc.) from a wound; of a plant: imbibe (moisture, nourishment, etc.), extract; ~ awei, remove (discoloration) by absorbing blood; ~ in, of wax: ?absorb moisture [prob. based on misreading of L fugat as sugat]; ~ oute.
(a) ~ of, to extract or draw money from (a source); (b) to use up (financial resources), consume; impoverish (sb.), despoil; ~ awei oute of, diminish (someone's prosperity); ~ fro, take away (honey) from (a bee); ~ to, draw (sb.) to (sth.).
(a) = soken v. (a); (b) ?error for socouren v.; ~ in.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (a1475) Recipe Painting(2) in Clarke Crafte Lymmyng (Sln 73) 203/22 : Make but esy fier; at þe firste tyme lete it be sokynge fier.
  • Note: ?New sense and cpd.: soukinge as adj. soukinge fir = 'well-drawing fire'.