Middle English Dictionary Entry

thrīven v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. ithriven v. (Suppl.).
(a) To prosper, flourish, thrive; enjoy good fortune; ~ and then; ~ ivele, have bad luck, do poorly; (b) in proverbs, aphorisms, and prov. expressions; (c) in oaths and asseverations: as ever (so) mot ich ~, as he moste ~, etc., so may I (might he) thrive, as I may (he might) thrive, etc.; ivele mot he (she, thei, etc.) ~, may he (she, they, etc.) have bad luck; (d) ppls. thrivinge, thriven, endowed with a superior quality [the meaning is largely contextual, and the precise gloss is determined by the attribute required by the situation]: prosperous, successful; worthy; skillful; fair in appearance; thriven and (or) thro; wel thriven; ben thriven; (e) ppl. thrivinge as noun: the worthy ones; ppl. thriven as noun: that thriven and thro, that excellent one; thrid thrivenest, the third most worthy.
(a) To grow, increase; mature, grow up;—also refl.; also, develop [quot. a1387, which may be an error for grouen v.]; waxen and ~; ~ ivele, grow poorly; (b) to be healthy, have vigor; also, live; also, be intellectually vigorous; (c) to intensify; ~ hateful, become more hateful; (d) in oaths and asseverations: so (also, as ever) ich ~, as I live and breathe [sometimes difficult to distinguish from sense 1.(c)]; (e) ppl. thriven, mature; well developed; also, possessed of vitality; overgrown [quot. c1450(?a1400) Wars Alex., 1st]; ?well spread [quot. c1390]; thriven and thro; wel thriven; ben thriven; thriven of god elde, grown to a suitable age; thriven of thriti yer, thirty years old; (f) ppl. thrivinge, fecund; also, intellectually productive, lively, vigorous; capable of supporting life [quot. a1500 (?a1425)].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1225 Þeh þet hi (Roy 8.D.13)p. xii : Nes ic hol ne bliþe iwis ne þriminde mon.
  • Note: New spelling
    Note: Belongs to sense 1.(d)--per REL
  • (?1440) Palladius (DukeH d.2)11.89 : In this maner do thryue A bareyn tre to childe.
  • Note: Additional quote(s)
    Note: [L gloss: swyue auctor dicit]
    Note: childe = MED childen v., sense 2.(b), where this quot. is found.
    Note: Belongs to sense 2.(a).--per MLL