Middle English Dictionary Entry

wing(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

An organ of flight, usu. paired: (a) a wing of a creature whose sole or primary means of locomotion is flight (a bird, an insect, a bat, etc.);—occas. with sg. for pl.; also in fig. context; also, fig. one’s ability to fly, hence one’s own powers [quot. a1450(?1418)]; ~ fetheres; of ~ swifte, swifte of ~, capable of fast flight; (b) a wing of a mythological or fantastic beast; (c) a wing of a celestial being (an angel, a cherub, seraph, etc.); also in fig. context; ~ bon; (d) a wing attributed to a reified or personified abstraction;—usu. implying rapid dissemination of news; (e) in fixed phrases or idiomatic expressions: taken to winges, to betake (oneself) somewhere else, depart; techen to swimmen with winges, give (sb.) a ducking, ?drown; willen flen withouten winges, desire that which cannot be, wish something in vain; (f) something insignificant or trifling, a thing of utter worthlessness; a flie (a flies, on gos) ~.
Something serving as a means of flight for a nonvolant creature: (a) a mechanical or an artificial wing; (b) a disembodied bird’s wing;—used in fig. context; (c) fig. that by which someone or a reified abstraction ascends or is borne on high, the means of spiritual ascent; winges of charite (god werkinge, etc.), spiritual winges.
(a) A representation of a wing, either in paint or in stone, wood, etc.; also, wings for an angel costume [quot. 1391]; also, a heraldic device in the shape of a duck’s wing [quot. c1475]; (b) swan ~ purse, ?a purse with a decorative motif in the form of a swan’s wing or with decorative stitching suggesting feathers; ?a purse made from a swan’s wing.
A wing as a protective or concealing member; the shelter provided by a wing: (a) of a bird; also of an angelic being; under wing(es; under dame ~; bile under the ~, fig. concealed, unobserved; (b) under wing(es, fig. under the protection (of God, a parent, lord, ruler, etc.), in the care.
(a) Cook. The wing of a fowl or foreleg of a rabbit prepared as food or as part of a dish; (b) med. the wing of a bird or some substance derived from it used in medicinal preparations or procedures; the wing of a beetle used in medicinal preparations; also, the wing of an eagle carried or applied as a talisman [quots. a1450]; gos ~; (c) the wing of a bird with its feathers used as an implement; specif. a brush; ?also, a winnowing fan [2nd quot.].
One of two paired lateral structures that project so as to resemble wings: (a) anat. a lateral process; (b) arm. an attachment to a breastplate designed to protect the upper arm or shoulder; (c) cost. goune of winges, ?a dress that has epaulets or some similar decorative element.
(a) A division of an area, a district; withinne theire winges, ?within their compass; (b) anat. a lobe or section of an organ.
Mil. (a) One of two divisions of a military force placed on either side of the main host [cp. horn n. 6c.]; (b) a division of a military host.
A unit of measurement for cloth; ?= eln(e n.(2).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

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