Middle English Dictionary Entry

voiden v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. avoiden v., devoiden v.
(a) To empty (sth.) of its contents; clear (a house, country, etc.); also, rid (a land of a belief or sentiment); also fig. and in fig. context; ppl. voidede, emptied, cleared; of a river: drained; (b) chiefly med. to purge or relieve (sb., oneself, a bodily organ, etc.) of substances; also fig.; ppl. voidede, purged; also in fig. context; (c) to dig out space for (a ditch, foundation), excavate; (d) ppl. voidede, of shoes: having a portion missing or cut away; loue voidede.
(a) To depart from or abandon (a country, place, position, etc.), leave; also, give (ground); (b) to withdraw or run away from (sb.), retreat before (an armed host); also, separate oneself from (one’s troops); (c) to dismount from (a horse).
(a) Of a benefice, an office, etc.: to be without an incumbent, be vacant; also, become or fall vacant; (b) of days, etc.: to be a time when a realm has no king, constitute an interregnum.
(a) To relieve or discharge (sb.) from military service; free or exempt (sb. from sth.); also, deliver (sb., a people) from (the devil’s clutches, spiritual darkness, etc.); (b) voidede from (of), free from or devoid of (sth.).
(a) To clear or rid a place of (sb. or sth.), remove; expel (sb.); ?also, drive back (attackers) [quot. a1420]; also, empty out (water) from a container; ~ bak, clear or drive back (a crowd); (b) to defecate or vomit; of a vein: spurt, flow; ~ bothe biforen and bihinden, vomit and defecate; (c) to expel (poison, waste, etc.) from the body or a bodily organ; also, expectorate (sth.); (d) fig. to empty oneself of (an emotion, thoughts, etc.); remove (suspicion from sb. or someone’s heart, love from oneself); also, deflect (anger from sb.); ~ (fer) awei.
(a) To take away (sth.), remove; carry off (sth.), steal [quot. c1440 may be an error for weien v.(1)]; ~ awei (oute); (b) chiefly med. & surg. to be conducive to the drawing off or purging of a substance; draw off or purge (blood, toxins, etc.); ppl. voidinge, purgative; (c) to get rid of (sth.), eliminate; also in fig. context; clear away (sth.); remove (hair, one’s beard); drain away (water, sewage); ?also, refuse to accept (sth.) [quot. a1450]; also, be conducive to the removal of hair [quot. c1450 Med.Bk.(2), 2nd occurrence]; ~ awei; (d) to take off (armor, etc.); also, remove or raise (one’s visor) [last quot.]; (e) to make deletions from a book; also, delete (sth. from a letter), erase.
(a) To lay waste (a city); demolish (a building, etc.); destroy (a banner); ~ doun, of the wind: blow down (leaves); (b) to eliminate (an ailment, a pathological condition), cure; ~ awei; (c) to throw (sth.) away, discard; also in prov. expressions; also, relinquish (sth.), abandon; extinguish (a light); (d) fig. to dispel (fear, pain, etc.); banish (war, sin, etc.); also, deaden (conscience); avoid (a difficulty); ~ awei; ~ withouten, cast out (suffering); (e) to put an end to (night, rain, darkness, etc.); also in fig. context; ~ awei.
(a) To absent oneself [1st quot.]; stay away from or have nothing to do with (sb., sth., or a certain place), avoid, shun; also, pass over or disregard (sb.) [2nd quot.]; also, fig. keep (distractions from oneself); (b) to escape or keep clear of (sth. injurious or unpleasant), evade; also, guard against (sth.); also, refl. protect oneself (from harm); (c) to prevent (someone’s death).
(a) To ask or order (sb.) to leave, send (sb.) away, dismiss; also fig. [quot. a1450(a1401)]; expel (sb.); drive out or banish (sb., a demon, etc.); also, put aside (one’s wife); withdraw (one’s troops); ~ awei (oute); (b) fig. to spurn, fail to take advantage of, or chase away (one’s good fortune); ~ awei; (c) to push (sth.) away, repel, repulse.
(a) To exclude (sb. from heavenly bliss, a sect from the church, etc.), cut off; also, deny (sb. a place); ~ awei; excluden and ~, law dispossess (sb. of property rights); (b) to be separated (from sb.); (c) ~ atwinne, to part; also, distinguish (two things).
(a) To go away, withdraw; also, exit; escape, flee; ?also, give ground; depart (from view, a place, etc.); ~ awei; ben voidede; ~ oute, leave; ?also, go into exile [quot. ?c1421]; (b) refl. to retreat; run away; fig. remove oneself (from a state of serenity); (c) to run out or away from a place of cover, be flushed out; flush out (game); (d) to disappear, vanish, be removed; come to an end, cease; also in fig. context; also, fade away; cause (an image of sth.) to vanish [quots. c1395]; ben voidede; (e) to recede; ~ doun, flow away downward.
(a) To abstain or refrain from (sth., an activity, a course of action, vice, etc.), avoid, eschew, forgo; ~ awei; (b) to take care to avoid (sth.);—used with that clause as obj.; (c) to reject (sth.), forsake; also, have or show no concern for (sth.), disregard; ~ from, turn away from (sb. or sth.).
To be or make oneself free and idle; also, desist (from an activity).
(a) To make (sth.) powerless or of no effect, nullify; also, make (sth.) obsolete or unnecessary; bring (sth.) to nought; ~ awei; (b) to disregard or set aside (sth.), treat as nothing; also, violate (God’s commandments), break; (c) to excuse (wrongdoing).
(a) Law To make (sth.) legally null and void, deprive of legal force; ~ and anenden; ~ and refusen, reject or repudiate (a binding agreement); except and voidede, excepting and excluding (certain provisions from a will); (b) escheuen and ~, to abstain from and correct (a wrong).
?To expel (sth.) [first quot.]; ?error for fonden, -ien v. in sense 'to try, attempt, undertake' (=fonden v., sense 8.) [both quots.]

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: With some twisting of the syntax, it is possible to read 'voide' in the last quot. from Trev.Reg.Princ. in a more ordinary way as 'to escape, evade, eschew' if it be taken as part of a gloss on 'withoute recusacioun' : "I am inclyned..withoute recusacioun, þat is forsakyng to voide, an auenture with likynge, on þis worke" = "I am bent on this work, perhaps with pleasure, without recusal, that is, refusing to evade [my duty]."