Middle English Dictionary Entry

wenden v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. awenden v., biwenden v., forth-wenden v., forwend ppl., iwenden v., miswenden v., ofwenden v., outwenden v., overwenden v., towenden v.(1) & (2), underwenden v., upwenden v.; for semantic model cp. gon v. & yede v. for senses 1.-16., turnen v. for senses 17.-29.
(a) To go on foot, walk; ~ and (or) riden, riden and ~; ~ walkinge; ~ in, walk around; ~ in honde, walk hand in hand; ~ on alle four, crawl on hands and knees; ~ righte up (uprightes), walk erect; ~ up and doun, pace; (b) in phrase: ~ biforen, to precede (sb.); also, fig. surpass (sb.).
(a) To make one’s way, travel, proceed, move;—also refl.; fig. continue a narrative [quot. c1450]; ~ thider (wher, whider, etc.); (b) to wander, roam; also, stray; also fig.; ~ abouten (ther-abouten, etc.); ~ wil; ben went; (c) with adverbs of direction: ~ abak, to retreat; ~ abouten, make a circuit; ~ alonde, go ashore; ~ bak-ward, fig. regress; ~ forth; ~ hom, hom-ward ~, ben went hom; ~ in; ~ oute, circulate; ~ over, make a crossing; ~ to, make an approach; ~ up, rise; also, climb up; ~ up and doun, ascend and descend; move erratically; also, fig. be busy; (d) refl. with adverbs of direction: ~ awei (forth, hom-ward), to betake oneself away (homeward, etc.); (e) ~ togeder, to copulate.
With selected common prep. phrases: (a) ~ aboven, to go above (the heavens); ~ adoun, go down (a stair); ~ after, follow (sb., an animal), pursue; ~ among, move through (a crowd); ~ ayen (ayenes), advance toward (sb.); also, go against (sb.), attack; ~ bi, pass (sb.); also, travel via (a certain route); (b) ~ from (of)…to, ~ oute of…in-to, to go from (one place) to (another); ~ in (in-til, in-to), go into (a place), enter; ~ on (upon), go atop (sth.); ~ til (to, unto), ben went to (til), approach (sb., a place), go to; ~ thurgh; ~ toward; ~ under, go under (water), sink; (c) refl. betake oneself (into a place, to sb., etc.).
In idiomatic prep. phrases: (a) ~ bi (in, on, upon) wei, ben went on (upon) wei, to travel along a road; also, proceed on (one’s) way; ~ on gate, go on (one’s) way; (b) ~ in (on) journei, to be on (one’s) way; ~ on (in) pilgrimage, go on a pilgrimage; (c) ~ in compas, to move in a circle.
(a) To go through (a place), traverse; (b) ~ wei (gate, ride), to follow a course, take (one’s) way; ~ weies, travel certain paths; also fig.; ~ forth; (c) to make a journey to (a market, holy place); also, take part in (a procession).
(a) To go one’s way, leave, depart; also fig.;—also refl.; ~ awei (forth, hennes, outre, etc.); to depart from a job or post; (b) to go away (from sb., a place, etc.), part; also fig.; go (out of a place); also, escape (from harm); ~ awei; ~ to hors, depart on horseback; ~ to viage, depart on an expedition; (c) ben went, to have departed; have departed (from sb., a place, etc.); ben went awei (forth, oute); (d) ~ his (theire, your, etc.) wei, ~ min (hire) gate, ~ thin cours, of a person: to be on his (etc.) way, depart; of persons: depart; also, go their separate ways, part; ~ forth; ben went.
(a) To sail; sail across a body of water; sail (over a body of water); ~ forth; ~ thider; ~ to ship (se, water), set sail; ben went, have crossed (over a body of water); also, float [quot. a1325]; (b) of a heavenly body or a soul: to move across the heavens, travel across the sky; of the moon: move (into another astrological house); ~ adoun (doun, unto reste), of the sun: pass below the horizon, go down, set; also fig. [last quot.]; ~ cours, of the sun: travel a path from east to west in the sky; ben went doun (west), of a heavenly body, usu. the sun: have set, have gone down; (c) to run, flow; ~ oute (over); (d) fig. and in fig. contexts: to penetrate, pierce; also, pass (through the ears).
To descend, come down; ~ of; ~ doun, fall (onto one’s knees); ~ doun of, alight from (a horse, knee); ~ to erthe (ground), fall; ben went, fall (on sb.); ben went to nekke, of a jaw: be lowered.
To go to hell after death; go (to heaven, purgatory, etc.); ~ wei, travel the path (to hell).
Of various abstractions: (a) of a sound, report, etc.: to travel, spread; spread throughout (a land) [quot. c1450(a1425)]; ben went, of a rumor or noise: have traveled (throughout a country); of words: be banished (from a land) [quot. a1393]; (b) of delight: to pass (through a mind); (c) of an action, event, etc.: to happen, occur; happen (that sth. is the case); ben went.
(a) To pass (into or out of a state); also, enter (into an agreement); go (from woe to bliss, bliss to woe); ~ oute of minde; ~ to slep; ben went (to slep; (b) of a state or condition: to fall (upon sb.).
To behave (in a certain way); ~ wei, pursue a way of life.
(a) To set out with the intention of doing something, go out for the purpose of engaging in an activity, proceed to do something; also, betake oneself (to do sth.), undertake; ~ to; ben went; ~ afisheth (dauncinge, on huntinge, etc.), go fishing (dancing, hunting, etc.); ~ forth pleiinge, refl. disport oneself; (b) to busy oneself (with something); also, go on (an errand) [quot. a1400(a1325), 1st]; (c) with prep. phrases beginning with to, in-to, and til: ~ to (in-to) bataille, ~ til travail, ben went to dede of armes, etc., to go to a fight (work, etc.); ~ to mete, go to eat; ~ to reste, go to rest;—also refl.
(a) To depart this life through death, die; ~ awei (hennes, hethen, etc.); ~ from (of, oute of) world, ~ of (oute of) lif, ~ to deth (ende); ben went; ~ to grave, die;—used refl.; ~ worldes wone, depart from the world, die; (b) of material goods: to perish; of the earth: pass away; of a town: cease to exist; ~ amis (awei, hennes, to nought); ben went awei; ~ oute, of candlelight: go out; (c) of an abstraction, a condition, etc.: to come to an end, cease; also, be lost; ~ awei; ben went (awei; (d) ben went (awei, of a plant: to die; of a physical ability: fail.
Of time, a period of time: to elapse; ~ biforen (oute); ben went, have passed; ben went awei (oute, til ende).
(a) To issue forth (from an instrument, a part of the body); of an edict: issue (from a ruler); ~ oute; (b) ~ oute, of brain tissue: to gush out; (c) to dispatch (sb. or sth.), send; ~ awei.
In selected fig. phrases: ~ ayen (ayenes), ben went ayenes, to oppose (sb.); of a sentence: condemn (sb.) [quot. c1440]; ~ bi (over), transgress (a rule); ~ in ayen, engage in (a plot) against (sb.); ~ togederes, form a coalition, unite; ~ with, keep company with (sb.).
(a) To dwell; be (in a certain place); live (in woe, peace, etc.); ~ hole; ~ wepinge; ben went alonde; (b) to be (in a certain condition of dress), be dressed (in a certain fashion); ~ bar-fot, ~ naked, etc. [difficult to distinguish from, e.g., sense 2a.(a)]; (c) to be pregnant (with child); (d) of gold: to be sold (by weight); (e) to transpire, happen, come about; ~ a-right (wel); ben went.
To extend (from one place to another).
(a) To move on an axis, rotate, spin; also, fig. revolve (sth. in one’s thoughts), consider [1st quot.]; (b) to swirl (a garment in blood); roll (a stone from a place); also, roll away (a stone); (c) fig. to embroil (sb. in sth.), involve [cp. winden v.(1) 4.(d)].
(a) To change position, move, shift; toss and turn; refl. writhe; also, wallow [last quot.]; (b) ~ abouten, to brandish (a sword); ~ to and fro, of a sword: flicker back and forth; (c) to bend or twist (sth.); also, disturb (one’s thought); ppl. went, overturned; (d) to turn (a corpse) over; turn (a page); page through (a massbook); also, plow up (a crop, the earth).
In phrase: ~ doun, to overthrow (a city).
(a) To change position so as to face (toward sth.); also fig.; also, take an adverse stance (against sb.); ~ awei, turn around or away;—also refl.; ~ ayen (onyen), turn around;—also refl.; (b) to change the position of (sth., a part of the body); also fig.; ~ awei.
(a) To go in a certain direction; of a river: flow; ~ asonder (atwinne), take different directions, part; (b) to cause (sb., an animal, the wind) to take a certain course, direct; also, pull (a bridle, sail) in a certain direction; also, aim (a blow) [last quot.]; (c) to direct (one’s attention or energy to sth.).
(a) To change course or direction; also in fig. context; also, meander; ~ ayen; ben went; ppl. wendinge, meandering; (b) to change spiritual or moral direction; turn (to or away from God, to religion, from evil, etc.); also, turn away from (God’s law), reject [quot. c1300 SLeg.Jas]; ben went; (c) to change the spiritual direction of (sb.), convert; cause the conversion of (sb., oneself, someone’s mind, etc. to or from Christianity, God, etc.); (d) to switch allegiance away (from sb., from sb. to sb. else); also, rally (to sb.); also, divert (wisdom to good use).
(a) To return to a place, make one’s way back to a certain location;—also refl.; return (to sb., the earth, etc.); also fig.; ~ ayen (ayen-ward, onyen, etc.); ben went ayen, of the planets: have made a heavenly circuit; (b) to return (to a topic, narrative, etc.); ~ ayen; (c) to cause (insults, trickery) to redound (upon sb.); (d) ~ ayen, to counterattack; (e) ~ rigge, to take flight, retreat.
Of a dream: to be realized; of a habit: result in (a consequence).
(a) To be appropriated (for a purpose); also, be controlled (by sb.), belong (with sb.); (b) to bring (sth. into one’s possession).
(a) To change in state or condition; change from one state, condition, etc. (into another); also, of a state or condition: change (into another); (b) to effect change [quot. a1325]; change the state or condition of (sth.); change (a certain state, condition, etc. into another); also, alter (a state); (c) ~ on fir (a blase), to catch on fire, burn.
(a) To undergo transmutation from one substance (into another);—also refl.; also, change (to a different characteristic or property); (b) to transmute (one substance into another), change; change the physical characteristics of (sth.); ppl. went, of a person: changed (into sth. else); (c) to take on different (features); switch (garments).
(a) To change in intention or behavior; (b) to adjust (someone’s or one’s own thinking, attitude, etc.); also, cause (sb.) to think or feel differently [quot. ?a1300].
(a) To translate (sth.) into another language; translate (sth. into English); (b) to change (a name); also [2nd quot.], ?change the order of words; ?restyle something; (c) to alter the import of (a word).
In surnames and street names.