Middle English Dictionary Entry

birthen n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Something carried or supported; a load, a weight; (b) something carried within the body or as part of the body; a fetus; ~ of nature (womb), excrement; last (secound) ~, afterbirth, placenta; (c) a bundle of clothes; a bundle or fagot of rushes, thorns, etc.; a packet of myrrh; a number of beams fastened together; (d) a variable measure of weight or quantity, a load; (e) the carrying capacity of a ship.
(a) Anything that is hard to endure; a burden of duty, responsibility, suffering, penance, guilt, sin, love, desire, etc.; haven ~, to have difficulty; (b) a feudal obligation, a payment or service to one's feudal lord; (c) the fate predicted for someone, a prophecy against a nation or city; (d) importance, significance; also, meaning, import.
(a) The carrying of loads, bearing; (b) the bearing of a child in the womb, gestation; also, giving birth, parturition; at on ~, at one childbearing; (c) the producing of crops.
?Error for lourdan, rascal.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1451) MSS Beverley in HMC ()32 : A saf condith..schal be sent them..for the merchands to cum bye and selle at Burdeux, paying for the same saf condith eftir the burdon of the same schip.
  • Note: Need date in 1.(e)--per MM