Middle English Dictionary Entry

weght n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. iwighte n., wei n.(2).
(a) The physical property of heaviness, mass; weight as an attribute of objects, living creatures, or substances; also, the abstract quality of weight as a component of due proportion in nature; also, fig. ?fixity, stability [quot. a1402, 2nd occurrence]; (b) force resulting from weight in motion, impetus; also, pressure exerted by weight; sagging due to weight [quot. c1450]; ?also, a sensation of heaviness or pressure [quot. ?c1425, 1st]; wepen of ~, ?weaponry of force, powerful weapons; (c) gravity of import, weightiness, importance; (d) psychological force or power; also, oppressiveness, weighing down [last quot.].
(a) The weight attributable to or possessed by a particular creature, object, or substance, what someone or something weighs; the weight (of sth.), (someone’s) weight; also in fig. context; lesen ~, of heated gold: to decrease in mass, be diminished; (b) in phrases indicating what someone or something weighs in specified units of measurement, in reference to a specified object, etc.: of ~ (of, the ~ (of, etc., having the weight of (a certain measured quantity or amount), weighing (a specified amount), of (a specified amount) in weight; of a pounde (a noble, the same, etc.) ~, weighing a pound (as much as a gold noble, the same, etc.); of twenti pounde of ~, weighing twenty pounds; not but an ounce of ~, only an ounce in weight; but the ~ of, only as much as (a penny); (c) the weight of someone or something used as an ad hoc standard, usu. in extravagant estimations of value; his ~ of gold (silver), seven sithes of gold hire ~, silver ~, etc.
(a) A standard measure of weight, a defined unit in a system of weights and measures; the statutory weight established for a coin, a measure of a commodity, etc.; the ~ ciatus, the pounde ~; ferthing gold ~, ?a unit of weight equivalent to the weight of a gold farthing; (b) in phrases specifying the standard system by which a given weight is determined: ~ of the escheker (seintuarie, tour), tour ~, the standard system or unit of weight for coinage, established by authority of the Exchequer (the tabernacle, the Tower mint); ~ of troie, troie ~, the standard system of weights based on a twelve-ounce pound, used for weighing precious metals [see also troi(e n.(2) (a)]; auncel ~, a system of weights based on the auncel or balance; liinge ~, the system of avoirdupois weights; (c) the unit of weight equivalent to a pound.
(a) The process of weighing; a weighing; ~ heue, ?a baker’s assistant charged with the weighing of unbaked loaves; kinges ~, ?a duty or tax imposed for the service of weighing according to the king’s weights [cp. sense 6.(b)]; (b) bi ~, in quantities or amounts determined through the process of weighing, according to the mass or weight established by the process of weighing; also in fig. context; also, in accordance with a statutory or prescribed weight established for some object, substance, etc.; bi (in) even ~, in equal quantities; bi (mid) on ~, in the same quantity;—used in fig. context.
(a) An amount or a quantity of a substance determined by weight, a measure or portion weighed out; a share, measure, or portion (of sth.); also fig.; (b) an amount or a quantity of a substance determined by weight, with reference to a standard system of weights and measures; also, an amount or a quantity determined by reference to an object of known or fixed weight, a quantity of a substance weighing an amount equivalent to a specified object or quantity of another substance; ~ of a dragme (pounde, etc.), a besaunt (thre ferthing, eighte-tene pounde, etc.) ~; peni ~, q.v.; ~ of troie, ?a quantity of gold measured in troy ounces; (c) a statutory amount or quantity of a substance as determined by weighing, the quantity of a substance required in order that a coin, measure of a commodity, etc. meet statutory standards; wol ~, a standard measure or statutory quantity of wool as a commodity.
(a) An object that has mass, a heavy or substantial object, a weight; a heavy piece (of some substance); also, a heavy load, burden; also in fig. context; fig. a weighty thing [quot. 1451]; ?an oppressive thing [quot. ?a1425(c1380), 2nd]; (b) a block, bar, etc. of some heavy material, usu. stone, lead, or iron serving as a counterpoise in the weighing of goods; also fig. and in fig. context; ~ ston; auncel ~, a counterpoise for use with the type of balance known as an auncel; double (fals) ~, a counterpoise that weighs more or less than its stated weight, used as a means of defrauding buyers or sellers; even (treue) ~, a counterpoise of right or accurate weight [these phrases sometimes difficult to distinguish from sense 3.(a)]; (c) pl. a pair, set, or quantity of counterpoises for use in weighing goods to be exchanged in commercial transactions, coining money, etc.; weghtes fals, fals (double) weghtes, deliberately inaccurate (varying) weights used in fraudulent business dealings or the like [sometimes difficult to distinguish from sense 3.(a)]; commune) weghtes asseled, a set of certified weights employed in official or officially sanctioned weighing operations; kinges weghtes, a set of weights bearing royal approbation; troie weghtes, a set of weights for use in weighing precious metals or other substances according to the troy system; (d) a weight serving to operate the mechanism of a clock.
(a) Scales, a balance; also, the pan of a balance; also in fig. context; ~ scale(s; ~ bem, the bar of a balance; (b) fig. judgment; hongen (ben) in weghtes, to be placed under examination, be subject to judgment; leien in ~, subject (one’s conscience) to judgment, place under scrutiny; also, put (one’s worldly estate) at risk of judgment, risk; (c) pl. astrol. the zodiacal sign Libra, identified with the constellation Scales.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1400 Trin-C O.9.39 Recipes (Trin-C O.9.39) 35/29 : Þerto take and put a noble whyȝte of brasile poudrid in a morter or ells schaued with a bowyers flote.
  • Note: Additional quot., sense 2.(b).
  • a1500 Sln.1698 Artist.Recipes (Sln 1698) 247/13 : Take quykseluer, and too wyghtz of sulphur, þe whittest þat may be fonde, and put hit in a vessell of glasse.
  • Note: New spelling (pl.)

Supplemental Materials (draft)

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