Middle English Dictionary Entry

wāǧe n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. gage n.
(a) A pledge, guarantee, surety; winter ~, a foretaste of winter, the promise of winter’s approach; holden in ~, to hold (sth.) hostage; (b) a promise or pledge to meet in battle.
(a) A salary or monetary allotment paid at regular intervals to a holder of a civil office, a laborer, an artisan, a member of the clergy, etc. for continuous or repeated service;—usu. pl. [occas. difficult to distinguish from (b)]; ?also, pl. maintenance, support [1st quot.]; (b) a salary paid to a provider of military service, soldiers’ pay; a payment made to a knight bound by indenture, feudal obligation, etc. to service to or defense of an overlord, a king, etc.;—usu. pl.; also in fig. context; (c) at (under) wage(s, in wages, of ~, in the pay (of sb.), in (someone’s) service, under (someone’s) command; salaried, employed; oute of ~, discharged; taken ~ with, to fight on behalf of (sb.), enlist in (someone’s) service; (d) expenditure for salaries, wages considered in the abstract, a payroll;—sometimes pl.; (e) ?a payment for the use of property [1st quot.]; ?a bribe [2nd quot.].
A reward; recompense, just deserts;—sometimes pl.; also, ?the fruits of labor, abundance [quot. ?1440].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1440 Degrev.(Thrn)1014 : The Erle..Faste gan hym praye To duelle at his costage, At bouche of court and tonage [read: to uage], Bothe sqwyere and page, To the tweluft daye.
  • Note: New phrase:to ~--belongs to sense 2.(c): add it to first set of glosses: at (under) wage(s, in wages, of ~, to ~, in the pay (of sb), in(someone's) service.--per MLL
    Note: New spelling: uage.
    Note: Can't read 'tonage' (tonnage), but at bouche and to uage reads very well and is paleographically easy.--per MM