Middle English Dictionary Entry

tīme n.(2)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Temporal duration; the duration of the world;—also pl.; worldes ~; fulnesse (ful-filling, plente) of ~, the full measure of time, appointed time; thinges of ~, temporal things; under the ~, in time; (b) the course of time; bi ~ and proces, bi (in) proces of ~, bi (in, of) long ~, in times, over the course of time; over a long stretch of time; of old; (c) in adv. constructions: a litel (short) ~, for a short while; a) long ~, a long ~ and space, for a long time, over the course of a long time; so long ~, for so long a time.
A span of time having a definite, though often unspecified, beginning and end: (a) a temporal interval, a while; for long times, ?for long periods of time; unto ~, for a time; (b) a stage, phase; a stage of life; med. a period in the development of a morbid condition during which certain symptoms or processes occur; (c) the period during which a particular condition or state of affairs exists, a term; also in proverbs; hungrie (pestilence, etc.) ~, a time of famine (pestilence, etc.); (d) a period characterized by the dominant influence of a person, a people, etc.; the period during which someone flourished;—also pl.; also, a term of office or regency; in his ~ of strengthe, in his prime; ben for the ~, to be currently in office; ben but for a ~, hold office only for a finite term; (e) in phrases with long adj.(1) or old(e adj.: of long (olde) ~, used adjectivally: old; long enduring; long established; deeply rooted, entrenched; also, used adverbially: of old, from olden time; of long ~ passed, since a long time ago.
In selected phrases: (a) bi ~ withouten minde, biforen (from, oute of, sitthe, withouten, etc.) ~ of minde, from (of) ~ oute of minde, from ~ that no minde is (renneth), etc., from time out of mind, from time immemorial; (b) for (the) ~ being, holding office for the term, currently incumbent; (c) abouten this ~, around this period, about this time; bi (in) that ~, on (to) the ~, in those days, at that period; in (on) the ilke ~, on this ~, etc., in this (the same) period; (d) in adv. constructions: ~ oute of minde, from time immemorial; a certain ~, for a certain period of time; al) that ~, during (all) that time; then; thilke (the same) ~, during the same period; what ~ that, during the time that (sth. happens); (e) from ~ to ~, from one time to another, over the course of several periods, continually, for a long time; from ~ unto ~, ?in perpetuity; in-to al ~, to ~, forever; unto ~ and ~, ?until the end of time; ?for a long time.
(a) An interval of time available for profitable use; also in proverbs; with inf.: time (in which to do sth.); ~ spendinge; driven awei (forth) ~; lesen (wasten) ~; spenden ~; on ~, in time, soon enough; (b) a lifespan, lifetime; also, the proper period of time necessary for the development of a pearl or similar gem [last 2 quots.]; ~ of lif, lifes ~; lif ~, q.v.; (c) the time spent practicing a profession; one's working career; in min ~; (d) ~ and space (place), space and ~, opportunity; also in proverbs.
(a) A period of time appropriate to some act, activity, etc.; also in proverbs; bitinge ~, the time when fish characteristically bite; drinkinge (slepinge) ~; morninge ~, a period of mourning; (b) a span of time allotted for a particular purpose; also, the span of time required for the accomplishment of a task; mete ~, the span of time allotted for a meal; (c) the span of elapsed time preceding the completion of an act, a task, etc.; wommanes ~, the term of pregnancy.
(a) A specific temporal period; times of the mone, phases of the moon; bi ~ and times and the half of ~, for a time; ebbinge ~, the time of ebb tide; also, in adv. phrase: alle other times, at all other periods; (b) an era, age; times of naciouns, the ages of the Gentiles; laste ~, the last age of the world; ~ of deviacion (revocacioun, peregrinacioun, pilgrimage, reconciliacioun, etc.), the 'ages' of the world (qq.v.).
(a) A season of the year, esp. one of the four seasons; springinge (ver) ~; also, in adv. constructions: no (this) ~ of the yer, at no (this) time of year; the lusti ~, at the pleasant season; (b) an agricultural season, a period of the year marked by some agricultural activity; ~ of gaderinge (heiing, etc.); clipping (sed, vendage, etc.) ~; ~ of lenten (winter) sed, the time at which spring (winter) seed is sown; (c) a period of the year during which certain religious practices are enjoined; a liturgical division of the year, liturgical season; also, a legal division of the year; estern (fastinge, feste, etc.) ~; flesh ~, a season when religious law permits the eating of meat; also, in adv. constructions: this holi ~ (of lenten, during this holy season (of Lent); (d) a month; a period roughly corresponding to a month; mai ~; (e) ~ of floures, menstrual ~, the time of menstruation, menstrual period.
(a) A division of the day; ~ of the (this) dai; ~ o (of) night, nightes ~, etc.; night ~, q.v.; non ~, q.v.; (b) a period of the day defined by an activity assigned for it, esp. a period appointed for a liturgical office; curfeu ~, the time during which a curfew is imposed [see also curfeu n. 2.(b)]; even-song ~ [see also eve(n-song n. 3.(c)]; matines (tenebres) ~; undern ~, q.v.; (c) an hour; also, a specified hour of the day or night; a fractional division of the day; the first ~ of the night, the seventhe ~ of the dai, the ~ of non, etc.; (d) in adv. constructions: certain times and houres, at certain times (in the day); ech ~ of the dai, at any hour of the day; everi houre and ~, at all times of the day; fourti times, for forty hours; the same ~, at the same hour; what ~, at what time of the day, at what hour.
A period of time conceptually distinguished as past, present, or future with reference to the present moment: (a) ~ (that is) agon (passed), ~ bi-gon (ipassed), times biforen, olde ~, etc., past time; ancient time, old times, the past; neue ~, recent time; ~ (that is) nou, presente ~, etc., present time; the present; ~ to ben, ~ (to) cominge, ~ for to comen, future (toward) ~, etc., future time; the future; (b) in phrases with contextual reference to present time [sometimes difficult to distinguish from sense 8a.(f)]: for the ~, for the time being, for the present; in ~, in (on) this ~, at present, nowadays, in this present time; (c) in adv. constructions: ~ remembred of antiquite, at a time recorded of old; ~ to ben, in future, for time to come; late ~ (passed, recently, of late; long ~ agon (passed), long ago, of old; on ~, at one time, formerly; that ~, at one time, formerly.
An interval of time between the present and some change in condition or the occurrence of some event: (a) in prep. phrases: bi a short ~, in (within) short ~, in litel ~, in a short time, soon; in ~ that cometh after-ward, subsequently; in god (hastie) ~, quickly, hastily, expeditiously; (b) in adv. constructions: al ~, always, forever; not long ~ after that, soon after that.
In phrase: writere of time(s, a writer of history, chronicler.
(a) A specific interval of time used as a measurement for the duration of an act, a condition, etc.; ~ of a mile wei, the ~ of (half) a mile wei, the time required to travel one (half a) mile, approx. twenty (ten) minutes; at on daies ~, bi ~ of dai, in one day's time; for the ~ of eighte wekes; over the space of the ~ of an houre; under ~ of o dai, in less than one day; withinne ~ of yeres; (b) in adv. constructions: the ~ of on houre, for an hour; (c) the length of time a person has lived, age;—usu. in proverbs.
A point in time, a moment, an instant: (a) the point in time when something happened, an occasion; the time when something is to happen;—freq. in prophetic contexts; also, the time when something will happen or should have happened; from that ~ fore-ward (forth), from that moment on, from then on; preventen ~, to anticipate an occasion; (b) in adv. constructions: that (thilke) ~, at that point in time; on that occasion; (c) in conjunctive prep. phrases followed by a clause with or without that: after ~, after (the) ~ that, sin the ~, sitthe the ~ that, after (since) the time when (sb. does sth., sth. happens, etc.); at (alle the) times that; bi that ~ that; from (the) ~ that, from than ~ the, etc.; in ~, at the time when (sb. does sth.); in-to ~ (that, til ~ (that, to (the) ~ (that, unto the ~ that, unto ~, etc., until the time when (sb. does sth., sth. happens, etc.), till; toforen than ~ the; (d) an indefinite point in time, the odd moment; at (in) no ~, on non ~, never; from ~ to (unto) ~, from time to time, occasionally; in (sondri) times, on some occasions; o which ~ so-ever, at whatsoever time; (e) in adv. constructions: ~ after (to) ~, from time to time; ani ~, ever; ani ~ of the dai, at any time of day; ech (everi) ~, at each (every) time, on each (every) occasion; first ~ other laste, at the first time or the last; long ~, a long time (before sb. did sth.); no (non) ~, never; on ~..and on other ~, at one time and another; on ~ or other, at one time or another; on other ~, at another time, on another occasion; (f) in phrases with contextual reference to the present moment [some quots. difficult to distinguish from sense 6a.(b)]: after this ~, from this ~ fore-ward (forth), from now on; at (bi, oth) this ~, at this point in time, now; to this ~, up to now; toforen this ~, before now; also, in adv. construction: this ~, at this moment, right now; (g) in phrases freq. introducing a narrative: ones on a ~, in (on, upon) a ~, in (on) on ~, etc., once upon a time, once; also, in adv. constructions without prep.: o (on) ~, on a certain occasion, once; (h) abouten that (this) ~, at about that (this) same time; at on ~, on a ~, on o (on) ~, at one and the same time, simultaneously; at that (the) self ~, in that (the) same ~, in o (on) ~ of the dai, at that (the) same time, at one and the same time; in that ilke ~, at that very same moment; also, in adv. constructions: the) same ~, thilke ~, at the same time, at the same moment; (i) tide and (ne, nor) ~, etc., time and (nor) occasion; also, in adv. construction: at all times, at any time; (j) in conjunctive phrases introducing a clause: swich (a) ~ as, at such time as, when; that ~ (that, what ~ (that, etc., when; whenever; also, in correl. construction: at that ~.. thanne, when..then; (k) bi ~, bi-times, mene ~, ofte ~, ofte-times, often ~, often-times, som ~, som-times, q.v.
A point in time suitable for a particular purpose: (a) the proper time, a fit occasion; due time; also in proverbs; also, followed by inf. or clause: the proper time (to do sth., that sb. do sth., etc.); (b) an opportune moment, opportunity, a chance; with inf.: an opportunity (to do sth.); also in proverbs; abiden (kepen, sen, etc.) ~; ajournen the ~, to delay; (c) a time at which an activity is to begin or take place, a prescribed or set time for performing some action, undergoing some process, etc.; also, with inf.: time (to do sth.); bed ~ [see bed n.(1) 1c.(t)]; bothe times, used adverbially: on both occasions mentioned; mel (mete) ~, the time for a meal [see also mel n.(2) 2. and mete n.(1) 1b.(e)]; multiplien times, to increase the number of times a medicine or treatment is administered; (d) an appointed time; the time ordained for some event, esp. the time ordained for someone's death; also, in adv. construction: the which ~, at which time; (e) the moment of delivery of a child; (one's) time for giving birth; birthe ~ [see birth(e n. 7.(e)]; biforen (er) ~, before the proper time for giving birth, before term, prematurely; (f) the day set for the repayment of a loan; ~ of paie (paiement); ~ settere, a creditor; ~ settinge, the extending of credit; sellen to ~, to sell on credit; sellen times, ?sell credit.
In misc. collocations and phrases: (a) ~ heigh, heigh ~, the last possible moment for action; with inf.: high time (to do sth.); due (best, covenable, god, etc.) ~, the proper time, a propitious moment; in god ~, fortunately, fortuitously; oute of ~, at an inappropriate moment; (b) ~ stabled, isette (sette) ~, the appointed time; at unsette ~, at an unplanned time, by happenstance; (c) in (in-to) ~, soon enough, in good time; also, in adv. construction: time(s inough, soon enough; (d) as (the) ~ asketh, if ~ asketh, whanne the ~ shal requeren hit, as appropriate.
(a) A specific point in time used to make an appointment, fix the exact moment of an occurrence, etc.; bi ~ and terme, at the appointed time; (b) in adv. constructions: o morn al swich ~, at exactly that time on the morrow; this ~ six yer, at this time six years ago; this ~ twelve-month (other yer), at this time next year, a year from now; yester-night this ~, at this time last night.
In prep. phrases referring to recurrent or continuous occasions: at (in) al ~, at (in) alle times, at all times; always; continually; bi al ~, perpetually, for all time; on ech ~, ever; also, in collocations with place: in al places and times, ne for everi ~ ne for everi place, etc.
In adv. constructions referring to recurrent or continuous occasions: (a) al ~, alle times, at all times; always; also, ever [3rd quot.]; (b) as mani times as, as often as; diverse times, several times; fele times, mani (a) ~, mani (score) times, times ofte, repeatedly; often, frequently; hou mani times, on how many occasions, how many times; mani ~ of the dai, frequently during the day, many times a day; mani diverse times, on many different occasions, many different times; on other ~, again; (c) the nexte ~, on the next occasion, the next time.
One of a number of repeated instances, a recurrent or potentially recurrent occasion;—usu. in adv. constructions: (a) with cardinal number denoting frequency; (b) with ordinal number expressing the order of occurrence [amounting in some cases to an adverbial particle or suffix]; (c) on ~..(and) on other ~, first..(and) then.
Pl. In expressions of multiplication: times: (a) joining multiplier and multiplicand; (b) with comparatives: a hundred (thousand) times more than, a thousand times brightere than, etc.; (c) hou mani times ther be unites, however many times there be units (in a number), as many times as there be units.
Gram. (a) Tense, a category of verb inflection denoting the location of an action or state in past, present, or future time; (b) adverbes of ~, temporal adverbs.
In misc. senses: (a) in phrase used as interjection: in god ~, good! [cp. F à la bonne heure!]; (b) ?a turn; chaungen times, ?to take turns; (c) mistransl. of L temporibus, dat. pl. of tempora temples of the head; (d) in allegorical names.