Middle English Dictionary Entry

wei n.(2)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. iweie n., wawe n., weght n.(1).
1.
(a) A variable unit of quantity for commodities sold by weight; a standard measure (of cheese, coal, salt, etc.); the ~, per unit; (b) ?a unit of weight equal to a pound; (c) ?the process of weighing; per ~, as determined by weighing, by weight [quot. could also be construed as (a)]; (d) a quantity of a substance determined by weight, with reference to a standard system; anre tremese ~, tweʒa (þreo) trimesan ~, one dram’s worth, two (three) drams’ worth; (e) the weight attributed to something, with reference to a standard system; of xx libri ~, of twenty pounds’ weight, twenty pounds in weight.
2.
(a) A scales, balance; also in fig. context; par weies; ~ scale, q.v.; ~ balke, a beam of a balance; (b) in (on) ~, in a balance, on a scales;—used fig. or in fig. context; also, under judgment; (c) ?a counterpoise of established weight designated for use with a balance; ?a standard system of weights; (d) astrol. the zodiacal sign Libra, identified with the constellation Scales.
3.
(a) A while, a short time;—used in adv. constructions: a (litel) ~, in (a) litel ~ [difficult to distinguish from wei n.(1) 4.(c)]; (b) a young child; litel ~.