Middle English Dictionary Entry

tē̆rme n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
(a) A limit of space or capacity; withouten ani ~, limitless, bottomless;—used fig.; (b) a temporal limit, limit of a span of time; med. the limit of a period of time in which a morbid condition obtains; the limit of the period during which such a condition may be treated; (c) a limit of quality or degree; a limit to love; med. a limit to the degree of tightness or looseness in binding; termes of brede (latitude), the natural limits for the extreme degrees of variation in a bodily humor; (d) ?a personal limitation, limitation of character or wit; (e) a specification or proportion; proporciounen bi certain ~, to compose (a medicine) according to proportions that are specific and fixed.
1b.
(a) The end of an operation, a cessation of activity; ~ of infrigidacioun, med. the end of the process or operation of cooling; (b) the end of a period or span of time; the end of someone's life.
1c.
A goal, that which one seeks to attain; also used fig. of God, Christ.
2.
(a) The boundary of a territory, a border; also fig.; also, a boundary marker; putten oute of ~, to banish (a group of people); (b) the territory encompassed by a border; also, the uttermost reaches of the earth, heaven, etc.; also, a part of a country, district; (c) the edge of an object, a bodily member, etc.; the side of a bodily structure; passinge ~ or bounde (bounde or ~), growing past the edge (of the pupil of the eye); (d) an appointed place; (e) fig. putten face oute of kindeli termes, to disfigure (one's) face; set oute of termes, destroyed.
3.
Astrol. A division of the zodiac defining a period within which the influence of a planet is heightened; astron. an appointed course of a planet or star.
4.
(a) A specific point in time; a time appointed for the performance of an action; ~ dai, dai of ~, a day appointed for doing something, esp. for payment of money that is owed; breken ~ dai, to fail to perform what is required on an appointed day; isetten (setten) ~; setten ~ dai; also, in adverbial phrase: no ~, at no time; (b) a period of time having definite limits; a span of time; the ever-lasting ~, eternity; also, in adverbial phrase: ~ time and tide, during that time; (c) the temporal duration of a life, a lifespan, lifetime; the course of a disease, duration of a morbid condition, etc.; also, the duration of a periodic event, a menstrual cycle, recurrent cycle of disease; ~ of hete, a regular period of the year when an animal is in heat; (d) an interval or period of time established for the performance of an activity, maintenance of a truce, etc.; a term or stipulated period of employment; the duration of a lease; also, one of the ages or periods into which the history of the world is divided [quot. a1500 Methodius(3)]; ~ (time) and stage; (e) law one of several intervals or periods into which the year is divided for purposes of specifying the duration of a lease, a sitting of court, etc.; ~ of criste-masse; ~ of estern (paske); ~ of mighel-messe (of seinte mighel), mighel ~; ~ of seinte hilari; ~ of the trinite, trinite ~; ~ time; (f) for (to) ~ of lif, for the duration of (one's, someone's) life; also, in adverbial phrases: ~ of (al) age, through the (whole) course of (one's) life, during (one's) lifetime; ~ of lif, for the duration of (one's, someone's) life, for life; (g) law graunten (maken graunt of) for ~ of lif, to grant a life interest in (fees, rents, etc.), grant a life tenure in (an office); graunten for ~ of yeres, grant (fees, revenues, etc.) for a stipulated number of years; haven (holden) for ~ of lif, have a life interest in (property); leten for ~ of lif, grant a life lease on (property); also, with adverbial phrases: haven (holden, receiven, yeven) ~ of lif, have (receive, give) a life interest in (an annuity, property, revenues, etc.); leten ~ of lif (yeres), let (property) with a life lease (for a stipulated number of years); occupien ~ of lif, occupy (an office) for life.
5.
(a) A word; also, a grouping of words; a saying; in bref termes, in a few words, concisely; (b) usu.pl. the technical vocabulary associated with a particular field, jargon; the terminology appropriate to a certain context; in ~, with the correct term; (c) pl. the diction associated with a particular class of people, level of education, etc.; also, a rhetorical style; also, proper usage [quot. c1450]; scole termes.
6.
A condition, stipulation, guarantee; also, a lease; pl. the provisions of religious law, a lease, treaty, etc.
7.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Dc.45 Artist.Recipes (Dc 45) 149/5,8 : Thus biith þe crafte of steynyng, and hyre turmys..To glase, and men callyth þat turme 'glauusyng'.
  • Note: Additional quot., sense 5.(b).
    Note: New spelling (with u).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. terms (pl.).