Middle English Dictionary Entry

birth(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The act of giving birth, childbirth; ~ bering; labour of ~; at on (a) ~, in one delivery; (b) ~ in wombe, conception.
The event of being born, birth; taken ~, be born; bannen ~, curse (one's) birth; constellacioun of ~, horoscope; fruit of ~, an offering made at the birth of a child, first-fruit.
(a) What is born; child, son, descendant; beren, nimen ~, bear, beget offspring; first ~, first-born; (b) a fetus; (c) a litter (of pigs); a brood (of birds); (d) first ~, the first young as offered in sacrifice.
firme birthe, firste ~, the privileges or rights of the first-born, primogeniture.
Parentage, lineage, descent; of high, noble ~, of noble family; baroun, bondeman, gentleman of ~, baron, etc., by birth; of ~, by (right of) descent or inheritance.
Family, strain, tribe; a people.
Origin; original, innate, or natural state or character; kind, strain; of ~, natural.
Rising (of the sun, a star).
(a) firme birth-ehe [cp. ē n. (3) law], the rights of the first-born, primogeniture; (b) ~ bold, ancestral hall or home; (c) ~ dai [OE ge)byrd-dæg], the anniversary of one's birth or of giving birth; (d) ~ stede, birth place; (e) ~ tid, ~ time [OE ge)byrd-tīd, -tīma], time of birth or of giving birth; oure louerdes ~ tid (time), the birth of Christ; (f) ~ tonge, native language; (g) ~ whate, chance or sequence of birth.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. birth.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1200 Wor.Serm.in EGSt.7 (Wor Q.29)87 : Godes burtid vas isuteled on mani kunnes vise.
  • Note: Need date in 7.(e)