Middle English Dictionary Entry

swē̆ven n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A dream experienced in sleep; a dream-vision, prophetic dream; also, a supernatural vision appearing to one in a waking state; -- freq. without article; in (on) ~, in a dream; (b) with selected verbs: abreiden oute of ~, swengen oute of swevenes, to wake up suddenly; dremen (haven, isen, meten, sen, taken) ~, dream a dream, have a dream or vision; also, impers. me (him) mete ~, him thought (tok) ~, etc.; expounen (jugen, recchen, reden, undon) ~, interpret a dream; heren ~, hear an account of a dream; seien ~, give an account of a dream, tell a dream; sheuen a ~, reveal a dream; tellen ~, describe or relate a dream; also, interpret a dream [quot. c1440(?a1400), 1st]; turnen ~, reverse the events predicted by a dream; waiten swevenes, consider the import of dreams, mark or take note of dreams; (c) in comparisons, as a symbol of ephemerality or insubstantiality; (d) a literary account of a dream, a dream or vision told in literary terms; (e) sleep [1st quot. could also be construed as (a)].