Middle English Dictionary Entry

bō̆dī n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The whole physical frame of a living being; physique, body; bodi-lich, body [cp. līch body]; assaien ~, test (one's) physique or physical prowess; (b) build, stature, figure; (c) bodi and bon(es, flesh and bone, the whole body.
(a) The physical part or aspect of a living being as distinct from its spiritual or mental part or aspect; the body, the 'flesh'; ~ and gost, mind, soule, spirit; (b) bodibuxumnes, overt submissiveness; ~ dede, an act of the 'flesh'; ~ deth, ~ diinge, physical death; ~ half, physical half (of a being); ~ sight, physical sight; ~ sinne, a sin of the 'flesh'.
The human body in its reproductive and sexual function: (a) of procreation: akenned, born, coming of (someone's) bodi, to be (someone's) child; geten, winnen of ~, beget or have (a child); haven heir of ~, have a legitimate heir; bodifaunt, ?offspring; (b) of intercourse and fornication: beden, sellen, yeven ~, to offer, surrender (one's) body (to sb.); haven, welden ~; don sinne with ~, sin fleshly; etc.
A dead body, a corpse; ded ~; office of the ded ~, funeral rites.
The Host as the symbol of Christ; Cristes ~, goddes ~, his owen ~.
(a) A living being, an individual, a person; mennes bodies, persons; non lives bodi, no living being; (b) ani ~, everi ~, mani ~, no ~, som ~, any person, anybody, anyone, etc. [see ani-bodi, etc.]; (c) in names.
(a) A person or personality; (one's) person, (one's) self; mi bodi, etc., myself, etc.; taken ~, taken in ~, seize or arrest a person; yelden ~, present oneself; putten ~ in jupartie, risk (one's) life; in ~, personally; to ~, for personal use; (b) his ouen bodi, in person, by himself.
Phrases: (a) squier for the (kinges) bodi, a squire attending upon the person (of the king); (b) proven bodi for bodi, determine (sth.) person to person, i.e. in single combat; meinprisen bodi for bodi, give personal surety for someone; (c) with bodi and god(es, with (one's) person and possessions; etc.; (d) bi feith (trouth) of his bodi, by personal pledge, on his honor.
(a) An organized whole; an organism, an organization, a union; ~ incorporat, a corporation; ~ politik, a political union, a body politic; (b) a religious body; specif., Christendom; Cristes ~.
(a) The trunk of man or beast; (b) the chest; ~ half, the front; (c) the belly; into the bodi-ward, into his stomach; (d) the waist; (e) limb, organ, tissue.
The chief or most prominent part (of sth.): (a) the trunk (of a tree), the stem (of a plant); (b) the nave (of a church); (c) the body (of a pot, flask); also, a flask; (d) the body (of a poem); the bulk or meat (of an apple); (e) ~ tray, a hurdle or side-board for the body (of a cart).
(a) Phys. Material substance, matter; medled ~, matter consisting of 'elements'; (b) one of the four (or five) 'elements' constituting matter; simple ~; (c) physiol. a 'humor'; (d) composition (of a tissue).
Alch. (a) One of the seven metallic substances or metals; metaline ~, ~ mineral; (b) ?an alloy.
A physical mass, an object; also, bulk [quot. a1500 Yonge]; specif., a star, planet, etc.; celestial, hevenly ~.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (c1392) ?Westwyk EPlanets (Peterh 75)38/13 : Whan thow hast rekned the argument of a planete in thin epicicle, thanne is the body of the planete in thin Epicicle at the ende of thyn argument.
  • Note: Quot. antedates sense 11.
  • a1425 Daniel *Treat.Uroscopy (Wel 225)127/175 : Tak gud hede þat blak uryn havys a thyk body, or ellys a party thyk.
  • Note: Postdates sense 10a.(a).
Note: Add this combination and its gloss to the existing gloss in sense 1.(a): ~ lengthe, stature.
Note: In sense 7a.(a), the (c1390) Chaucer CT.Pard. C.474 quot. should be moved to sense 1.(a). Add to existing gloss in sense 1.(a) this phrase and gloss: toteren oure blessed lordes ~, to blaspheme (i.e., to swear profanely by Christ's body, limbs, etc.).
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section is incomplete and needs revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED.--notes per MLL

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?c1400(1379) Daniel *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.6ra (1.1) : In þe lyuer he [urine] takeþ first his body and his substance. His coloure he takeþ when he entriþ þe reyns.
  • ?c1400(1379) Daniel *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.22rb (1.4) : The body of þe vryn seiþ alwaie disposicion of þe humores of man.
  • Note: Additional quots., sense 10a.(a).
  • ?c1400(1379) Daniel *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.12rb (1.4) : 'Pitiriasis' is as mykel for to saie as 'brenne,' for þai þat haue þis malady, here vryn scheweþ him wiþ bodies moste like brenne or scuddis or rouus of a soore.
  • Note: Additional quot., prob. sense 10a.(a). Editor's gloss: n. pl. 'particles in urine'.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

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