Middle English Dictionary Entry

bigōn v.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To cover (sth., as with blood); (b) to trim or ornament (sth., as with gold, jewels); (c) to approach or surround (sth.); beset, engulf; (d) to fill (a chest); load (water with poison).
(a) To provide or endow (sb., as with wealth, virtue, etc.); (b) bigon with child, pregnant.
(a) Of states: to come upon or overtake (sb.); beset, overwhelm, dominate (sb.); me is wo bigon, I am overcome with grief; wo the bigo, may you come to grief!; wel was him bigon, he was lucky or happy; (b) of a person: ben bigon [orig. pass.], to be overcome, engulfed, or overwhelmed (as by grief, longing, sin, etc.); grefli bigon, distressed; ivel ~, in distress or trouble, badly off, wel ~, lucky, well off; happy, cheerful; wo-bigon, deeply grieved, distressed, sorrowful, despondent.
(a) To engage in (an activity); till (the soil); observe (a fast); treat (a wound); (b) ?to belabor or bear down upon (sb.); ?deceive.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (?1440) Palladius (DukeH d.2)1.628 : A shoughturyng, a flusshyng, & a fray He [peacock] maketh then & turneth hym aboute, Al gold bygoon his tail & wyngis stoute [L singularum capita oculata pennarum locis suis exerit, cum stridore procurrens].
  • Note: ?Quot. belongs to sense 2.(a) (where it postdates sense) = 'to provide or endow (sb., as with wealth, virtue, etc.)'.--REL
    Note: ?Quot. belongs to sense 1.(b); modify gloss to include: 'gold bigon, of a peacock's feathers: exhibiting an iridescent shimmer, as if gilded'.--per MLL