Middle English Dictionary Entry

yēven v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. ayeven v., foryeven v., iyeven v. (Suppl.), unyeven v.
(a) To give alms, gifts, etc., give something voluntarily, make a gift; give generously (to sb.); give alms, gifts, etc. (to sb.) in response to a request; also, in partitive construction: ~ of, give of (one’s means, goods, etc. to sb.); (b) to give (sth. material) gratuitously and unconditionally, transfer ownership or possession of (an object, property, etc.) without recompense, give (alms, a gift, etc.), bestow;—usu. with indirect obj.; also iron.; ~ awei, give (sth.) away; (c) to convey ownership of (sth. material to sb.) in response to a request or plea, grant; give (sb. a requested gift); (d) to convey ownership of (sth. material) for the accomplishment of a specified purpose or cause, contribute; donate (money, a gift, etc. to a religious house, God, etc.); (e) to convey ownership of (sth. material, sth. to sb.) in accord with or in violation of a bequest; distribute (an estate); also, alienate (property from the heirs or possessor); (f) to assign future ownership or disposition of (goods, property, etc.) by testament; bequeath (sth. to sb.); also, promise (sb. sth.) [1st & 2nd quots.]; also in fig. context [quot. a1500(?a1450)]; (g) to reward (an inferior) with (sth., a woman), give (sb. sth.) in response to some service or good deed, in the hope of cultivating fame, etc.; also used iron.; also, reward (sb.) for services rendered (as distinct from rendering payment owed) [quot. c1300(c1250)]; ~ mede (reward); (h) to supply (sth.) as a dowry; dower (sb.) with (sth.); (i) to give (sb. sth. as an award or a prize), award (sb. a prize); (j) in proverbs and prov. expressions.
(a) To bestow (sth. immaterial), confer (possession of sth., a privilege, title, benefice, an office, etc.); grant jurisdiction over (a kingdom, bishopric, etc.), put (an institution, a city, jurisdiction, etc.) into someone’s charge; grant (authority, power, etc.);—usu. with indirect obj.; also, confer (the right to a specified coat of arms on sb. or a guild); (b) to gift (sb. with freedom); (c) to convey (property, rights, privileges, jurisdiction over a bishopric, district, etc.) by formal instrument;—usu. with to phrase and person as obj. of prep.; also in fig. context; (d) to reward with (sth. immaterial), give as a reward; of God: give (a place in heaven, the grace of a good end, etc.) as a reward; give (a reward); also fig.;—usu. with indirect obj.; (e) of a person: to award (victory to sb. or sth.), adjudge; also, grant (preeminence to sb.); (f) to forgive (sb. a debt).
(a) To give (comfort, help, mercy, etc.), grant (forgiveness, pardon, respite, etc.), render (judgment), pass (sentence); of God: give (grace);—usu. with indirect obj.; also, with inf. or clause: give (sb. respite, grace, comfort, etc. to do sth.); give (sb. respite that sb. do sth.), pass (judgment that sth. should occur), etc.; (b) to grant (sb. leave or license), give (sb. permission); also, with inf. or clause: grant (sb. leave to so sth., that sb. do sth., etc.); (c) in oaths, asseverations, prayers, imprecations, etc.;—freq. with inf. or clause: god yeve him ivel grace; god yeve that oure ende be god; yeve us so his wille to don; etc.
(a) To provide; provide (for sb.); also, in partitive construction: ~ of, provide (for sb.) some of (sth.); also, of the earth: provide (for sb.) of (its fruits); (b) to provide (the necessities of life), supply (daily sustenance, shelter, worldly goods, etc.), make available; also fig.; provide (a sum of money, a commodity);—usu. with indirect obj.; also, of Christ: provide (mankind) with (good things); (c) to provide (a son for a woman or a people), give (sb. offspring or descendants); also, provide (a king for sb.), supply (human beings to populate the earth); (d) to furnish (equipment, battle gear, etc. to sb.); also fig. and in fig. context; ~ seiles, furnish speed (to a navy); (e) to furnish (an example, a model), serve as (an exemplar); also, set (a precedent);—freq. with indirect obj.; also, with inf. or clause: furnish (an example or a model to sb. to do sth., how one should do sth., etc.); ~ ensaumple (essample, exaumple, fore-bisne) [see also ensaumple n. 4b.(b)]; (f) to furnish (an opportunity, impediment, a cause, means, etc.);—usu. with indirect obj.; also, with inf. or clause: furnish (sb. a reason, justification, an occasion, etc. to do sth.); furnish (a cause or an occasion that sth. be done); ~ profite (utilite), be useful (for doing sth.); (g) to endow with (life, a soul, faculty, quality, reason, etc.); be responsible for (natural endowments, behavioral or temperamental traits, a talent, an aptitude);—usu. with indirect obj.; also, furnish (light, beams to the sun, stars to the heavens, etc.); also, with inf. or clause: endow (sb.) with (reason, free will, etc. to do sth.); endow (sb.) with (free choice whether he will do sth.).
To spare (sb., someone’s life).
(a) To make payment, pay; also, in partitive construction: ~ of, pay tribute from (one’s goods); (b) to pay (an exaction, a rent, tax, tribute, etc.); pay (money or the equivalent) for some consideration, as in a bribe, discharge of a debt, payment of wages, etc.; also fig.; make (payment for sth. done), pay (money for a purchase); also, pay (a sum as recompense, interest, etc.);—usu. with indirect obj.; (c) to exchange (sb. or sth. for sb. or sth. else), trade; give up (sth. in favor of sth. else); ~ for; (d) to give (sth.) in return for something given or done; give (sth. on condition that sth. is done); repay (evil for good, hate for love, etc.);—usu. with indirect obj.; also fig.; also, restore (sth. to its rightful owner); ~ ayen; (e) to sell (sb. or sth. to sb.), supply in exchange for money; also, sell (sth. for money); also fig. [last quot.]; (f) to restore (to sb. or sth. a faculty, quality, health, etc. that has been diminished or lost).
In phrases, freq. negative, indicating disdain, indifference, or disregard: (a) ne ~ nought of, ne ~ no-thing of, ~ no del of, etc., to give nothing for (sb. or sth.), care nothing for, have no interest in, have no regard for, pay no heed to; ~ litel (litel charge, litel tale, etc.) of, give little for (sb. or sth.), care little about, have little concern for; no ~ of, care nothing about (sb. or sth.); also, with inf.: ~ nought, have no concern (about doing sth.), scruple not (to do sth.); (b) ~ not a bene (pulled hen, etc.) of, ~ nought a lek for, ne ~ nought a strau (on gos winge, etc.) of, ne ~ a torde for, etc., to give not a bean (plucked hen, goose wing, leek, turd, etc.) for (sb. or sth., God), have no concern for, regard as worthless, pay no heed to; (c) ~ no force, to pay no heed; pay no heed (to sth.), care not (about sth.); also, with inf. or clause: have no concern (to do sth., what occurred, etc.); ~ litel tale, care little (how sth. is); ~ not a mite, ne ~ a gras, care not a bit (though sth. happen).
(a) To convey temporary possession of (sth.) on loan, lend; also fig.; ~ oute bi eschaunge, ~ in leninge, ~ to usure, etc.; (b) to hand over (sth., oneself) as a pledge or an earnest; deliver (a hostage) in pledge; pledge (one’s word); also, wager (sth.);—freq. with indirect obj.; (c) to give (a woman in marriage), arrange the betrothal or marriage of (a woman); give (sb. a woman as wife or companion); provide (a husband for one’s daughter); also, grant (sb. a lover) [quot. c1385]; of Nature: provide (a mate for every fowl); (d) to entrust or commit (sb. or sth.) into someone’s charge or keeping; entrust (sb. or sth. to sb.); refl. entrust oneself (to someone’s grace), throw oneself (upon someone’s mercy); ~ in kepinge (to kepen, unto your governaunce, etc.); (e) to delegate (authority, judgment, etc. to sb.); also, confer (a badge or token of authority on sb.), bestow; with inf.: commission (sb. to do sth.), delegate, authorize; ~ in honde, give (sb.) the responsibility (to do sth.).
(a) In partitive construction: ~ of, to give some of (sth.) for another’s use or consumption; give some of (sth. to sb.); (b) to serve (sb. food, drink, a drink, etc.), give (an animal its fodder, sth. as feed); also fig.; offer (sb. as if food for an animal) [1st quot.]; feed (sb., someone’s flesh, etc. to birds of prey); also, provide (water for drinking or washing), furnish; med. & veter. diet (sb., an animal) with (specified diet, certain foods), feed (a patient specified food or drink); ~ drinke (drinche), give (sb.) drink; also, fig. soak (sth.) [quot. ?1440, 1st]; ~ milk, nurse (a young child); also fig.; (c) in constructions with inf.: ~ (to, for to) drinken, to give (sb.) to drink; have (sb.) drink (sth.), let (sb.) drink (sth.); ~ (to, for to, at) eten, give (sb.) to eat; let (sb.) eat (sth.); ~ (to, at) souken, give suck, suckle; also, give (a young child, the young of an animal) suck, suckle, nurse; also fig.; (d) chiefly med. & veter. to administer (a medicine, medicinal herb, potion, etc.) internally; give (a patient, an animal, etc. sth. medicinal) to eat or drink;—also without obj. [1st quot.]; ~ (to) drinken, give (a patient sth.) to drink, have (a patient) drink (sth.); also, give (sth.) to drink [quot. a1500, 1st]; (e) eccl. & theol. to administer (the Eucharistic host to sb.), give (communion); also, administer (the chrism) in the sacrament of baptism or extreme unction; of Christ: offer (his body in the Eucharist); (f) to offer or allow the use of (one’s body to sb.) in a sexual relationship; also, proffer (one’s breast) to suckle a child.
(a) To hand (sb.) over into the custody of (sb.), deliver (sb. to sb. else); release (a captive to his people) [1st quot.]; also, hand over (a corpse) for burial; ~ over; ~ to dom, hand (sb.) over to judgment; (b) to hand over (sth., an animal) into the physical custody of (sb.); also, hand (sb. sth.) for some purpose; turn over (to sb. a riderless horse) on the field; hand over (a surrendered city to sb.); (c) to bring out (sth. kept in reserve) for use, bring forth so as to hand over.
To extend (one’s hand to sb.) in accord, in the dance, etc.; also, put out (one’s hands to be bound), stretch out.
(a) To dedicate (one’s child to God) by placing him in the service of a Jewish priest; also, offer up (one’s voluntary poverty, chastity, etc. to God) as a gift; eccl. offer (a religious service to Mary); (b) to devote (oneself, one’s heart, etc. to God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, a pagan deity, etc.); dedicate, give over entirely; also, put oneself at the disposal of (sb.); with inf.: devote oneself (to serve God, be Christ’s servant, etc.); (c) to sacrifice (sb. to an idol); offer (a sacrifice or an offering to God or an idol); also, present (an action) as an offering; present (sth.) as an offering (to sb. or God); (d) of a wife: to give (her virginity to her husband); also, in proverb, of a woman: ?give (her pudendum to a lover); ~ togeder, of a married couple: give (their bodies to each other) mutually.
In phrases: (a) ~ to (til, unto), to devote (oneself, one’s body or heart) to (sth., an action, activity, occupation, a practice, way of life, etc.), pursue actively; also, refl. cultivate the company of (a certain kind of person) [quot. a1425(?a1400), 2nd]; with inf.: devote (one’s heart to doing sth.); refl. give oneself over (to doing sth.); (b) ~ to (til, unto), of a person, the heart: to be inclined to (sb. or sth.), be favorably disposed; also, incline (sb., one’s heart to sb.); ~ ayenes, be ill-disposed toward (an action); (c) ben) yeven to (with), to be) characterized by (a vice, an evil, etc.), be) dedicated to the pursuit of (violence), be) disposed or inclined to; also, with inf.: be disposed (to do sth.), have a propensity.
(a) To direct (an emotion, a mental attitude, etc. toward sb. or God); give (credence to sb. or sth.); also, pay (attention); pay (attention to sth.); ~ ere(s, give ear, listen; ~ herte, fig. give (one’s) heart (to sb.), bestow (one’s) love (on sb.); also, pay attention (to sb.); (b) with inf.: ~ entente (tente), to take heed (to do sth); also, with clause: ~ kep, pay attention to (what occurred).
(a) To impart (knowledge, understanding, eloquence, enlightenment, etc.), convey (information, a piece of specific information), teach;—usu. with indirect obj.; ppl. yevinge as noun: one who bestows (wisdom on sb.); (b) to impart (an emotion, a state of mind, desire, etc.);—usu. with indirect obj.; implant (an impulse in someone’s heart); (c) to impart (moral or spiritual strength, might, virtue, etc. to sb. or sth.), give (sb. courage);—freq. with inf. phrase following; bestow (on sb. a spiritual gift), imbue (sb.) with (spiritual life), give (sb. immortality); also, convey (a supernatural power to sb.); (d) of one member of the Trinity: to inspire (sb.) with (the Holy Spirit, the spirit of prophecy), infuse (sb.) with the presence of (the Holy Spirit, etc.);—also without obj.; give (to sb. the emanation of God’s spirit); ~ of, give (sb.) of (the Holy Spirit), make (sb.) a partaker of; (e) of the soul: to imbue (the body) with (a quality, faculty, etc.); fig. and in fig. context: ~ lif, of a root: bring life (to a tree or its leaves); also, of self-love: give (life to the disobedient); ~ strengthe to, of charity: reinforce (virtues), strengthen; (f) physiol. of flesh: to lend (shape to bodily members); of nerves, sinews: ?transmit (motion, sensation), ?enable.
(a) To transmit (sth.), send; (b) to impart (to wine a fragrance or pleasant taste).
(a) To exude (pus, sap, etc.), put out, discharge; ~ oute; (b) to emit (light, a smell, fiery gleam, etc.); ~ oute; (c) to send forth (one’s spirit), i.e., die; ~ gost, ~ up gost (spirit).
In phrases: ben) yeven, of a legal document: to be) issued; also fig.
(a) To generate (a product), produce (fruit, honey, meat, etc.); engender (flesh) [quot. ?c1375-a1390]; ~ milk, of a woman, female animal: produce milk, lactate; (b) to generate (revenue or income), produce; (c) fig. to produce (a kind of soul); also, give rise to (questions, power, fame, etc.); (d) to cast (a shadow);—used in fig. context.
(a) To utter (a word, cry, groan, etc.), speak; make (a sound), sound (a note or signal); ~ oute (up); ~ god dai, say ‘good day’ (to sb.), wish (sb.) a good day; ~ god word (godli langage), speak courteously, speak pleasantly; ~ langages, speak (a number of) languages; ~ to answeres, say (a word) in answer; (b) to sing (a song for sb.), chant, perform; also, ?intone (an antiphon); (c) to pronounce (a blessing, curse, condemnation, etc.), utter; announce (a verdict, sentence), proclaim [some quots. difficult to distinguish from sense 1c.(a)]; (d) to issue (a command, warning, etc.), make (exhortation), give (notice); disclose (a law), communicate (instructions, a rule, etc.), enjoin (a commandment);—freq. with indirect obj.; also, swear (an oath), make (a vow); with inf.: command (sb. to do sth.); ~ in charge (commaundement), command (sb. to do sth., that sb. should do sth., etc.); (e) to give (answer);—sometimes with indirect obj.; (f) to render (an account, a reckoning); ~ up; (g) to give (counsel, advice, etc.), tender;—sometimes with indirect obj.; with inf.: give (sb. counsel to do sth.); ~ to red, with inf.: urge as counsel (to do sth.); (h) to make (accusation, complaint, or mockery against sb.); give (glory, honor, praise, thanks to sb. or God); spread (rumor, slander about sb.); utter (reproof to sb.); (i) to give (a verbal report); bear (witness); ~ up, state (one’s) business; (j) to give (assent, accord, consent, etc.); (k) med. to prescribe (a remedy, course of treatment, etc.), recommend.
(a) To perform (an act, operation, a ritual); make (confession); eccl. perform (a sacramental rite), administer; ~ ende, make (one’s) end, die; ~ a hete (boile), heat (sth.); (b) to do (battle), make (an assault), carry on, wage; do (battle against sb.), make (an assault against sb. or sth.); (c) ~ blessinge with the lift honde, to make the sign of the cross with the left hand as a curse; (d) to administer (punishment or chastising to sb.); (e) ~ a yeve (yifte), to make (sb.) a promise, give a pledge (to sb.); also, promise (that sb. will do sth.), promise (sb. that sb. will do sth.).
(a) To deliver (a blow), give (sb. a buffet, knock, etc.); also fig.; ~ breid, give a pull or jerk; also, with refl. pron. as indirect obj., of hell: wrench itself, convulse; ~ a fal, give (sb.) a fall in a joust, unhorse (sb.); also, knock (sb.) down; ~ tripet, trip (sb.) up; (b) ~ acole (colee), to tap (sb.) on the shoulder with the flat of a sword blade as part of the ritual of dubbing to knighthood; (c) to strike (sb.), hit, smite; also, kick (sb.); (d) to inflict (a wound);—usu. with indirect obj.; also fig.; ~ dedis (dedli, dethes, mortal, etc.) wound.
(a) To show (signs, portents, etc.), demonstrate, exhibit; show (sb. a sign); also, with clause: show (that sth. is the case); also, refl. show oneself (as sth.); (b) to present (a doctrine, an opinion) for consideration; set forth (a rule), express; offer (a choice); ~ in (up); ppl. yeven as adj.: stated; (c) of an instrument: to indicate (sth.), register; (d) to feel (an emotion);—in phrases with refl. pron. as indirect obj.: ~ gret wonder, wonder greatly, feel great curiosity; ~ ille, trouble oneself, be disturbed; ~ sorwe, feel sorrow, be sorrowful; (e) ~ (the) bak, to show one’s back, show (sb.) one’s back, turn and run; also, put (sb.) to flight [1st quot.].
(a) To appoint (sb. leader, an officer, or a companion for sb.), choose; appoint (sb. as knight); (b) to ordain (sth.), require, make mandatory;—also without obj. in as clause [last quot.]; with inf. or clause: ordain (sth. for the purpose of doing sth.); require (sth. to be done); also, ordain (that sb. do sth.); (c) to assign (an office, a task, penance, etc.);—freq. with indirect obj.; also, set (a punishment); with inf.: direct (sb. to do sth.); also, in impers. construction: him was yeven, it was appointed for him (to do sth.); (d) in phrase: ~ to, to assign (a numerical value) to (each letter of an alphabet); also, associate (a metal, certain plant life, truth) with (a particular planet or heavenly body), regard as in the domain or under the influence of; (e) in expressions of naming: ~ name, to assign a name (to sb. or sth.); give (a poem) a title; ~ to name, give (sb. or sth. a specified name) as a name; ~ word, give (a specified honorific) title (to sb.); (f) to fix on (a day for action), appoint; also, fix (the duration for rumors);—usu. with indirect obj.; (g) to attribute (sth. to sb., God, or the devil), ascribe.
(a) To bring about (a state, condition, an affliction, etc.), cause, induce;—also without obj. [quot. a1400]; cause (sb. or sth.) to have (victory, a quality, etc.); with inf. or clause: cause (sb. to do sth.); bring it about (that sb. behaves in a certain way or has sth.); ~ cas, bring a matter or situation about; ~ ded, cause death (for sb.); ~ sighte, fig. ?open (a window); (b) of God, a pagan deity: to cause (a natural process or phenomenon) to occur, send (rain, a fruitful season, etc.); (c) of a planet, heavenly body: to influence (a skill in sb.), be responsible for; encourage (a condition); with inf.: be responsible for a tendency (to be wicked or good); (d) in phrases: ~ to understonden, to give (sb.) to understand, make (sb.) understand; hit is yeven to knouen, it is given to know (sb. or sth.), (one) may know; hit is yeven to understonden, it is given (to sb.) to understand (that sth. is the case).
(a) To allow (sth. to sb. or sth.);—also without obj. [quot. a1450 PNoster R.Hermit]; also, allow (a span of time to do sth.); permit (sb. a span of time) in which to do something; of a week: afford (sb. a specified number of workdays); with inf. or clause: allow (sb. to do sth., that sb. do sth.); also, make allowance (for doing sth.) [quot. a1325]; (b) with inf. or clause: to prompt (sb. to do sth., that one do sth.), incite.
(a) To grant (sb. that he do sth.); (b) ~ (an) audience, to grant (sb.) audience, give a hearing (to someone’s request).
(a) To surrender (oneself, one’s body, a kingdom, etc. to sb. or an empire); ~ a laue to, fig. make a law yield to (unlawfulness), i.e., make unlawfulness legal; (b) to subject (oneself to death, one’s body to penance); also, subject (sb. to servitude or death); submit (oneself to sb.); ~ under in yoke, fig. submit (oneself) to the yoke; (c) with selected adverbs: ~ awei, to give up (one’s land or goods), relinquish; ~ over, abandon (a challenge); also, law ?bind over a matter, make adjournment [quot. 1448]; ~ up, relinquish (an office), give up (sth., a battle, project, an endeavor, etc.), abandon (a belief), renounce (an allegiance, matters of war, etc.); surrender (a castle, a town); also fig.; also, relinquish professional interest in (a horse), give up on [quot. 1409].
In selected phrases: (a) ~ place (stede, wei), to submit (to sb., the devil, or a disturbance of soul), yield, give in; ~ place (stede) to subjeccioun, yield submission; (b) ~ place, of air, water, etc.: to yield (to sth., the passage of creatures), part before; ~ stede, med. of hernia: yield (when touched); of edema, a swelling, etc.: yield (to the pressure of the fingers, a touch, etc.); (c) ~ place (space, stede, wei), to make room (for sb. or sth.), leave room; also, make a place (for sb.); make way (for sb.), get out of the way of (sb., a creature); ~ the wei roum, give (sb.) a wide berth, avoid; (d) ~ stede, to flee a place; also, flee (before the sword); (e) ~ place (space, stede), to defer (to sb. or sth.); give precedence (to sb. or sth.).
To lay down (one’s life) willingly (for sb. or sth., for a cause), sacrifice (one’s body, blood, or flesh); theol. of Christ: offer up (himself, his life, body, etc.) as a sacrifice, die (for sb., mankind’s sin, etc.); of God: sacrifice (his son).
(a) To put (sth. somewhere), place, set; also fig. and in fig. context; also, put (a mark on someone’s face); plant (sth.) [quot. a1382, 3rd]; ~ up, raise (one’s hands), hold up; (b) to apply (sth. to sb. or a part of the body); (c) ~ in thought, to put something into (someone’s) thought.
To go or move back, give way;—used in fig. context; ~ abak, withdraw, retreat; ~ abouten, surround (sb.).
In phrase: ~ oute, to expend (sth.), use up; ben yeven aboven (over), fig. of a person: be spent, be used.
In misc. senses: (a) of one’s heart: to misgive (one), rouse apprehension in (oneself); (b) in phrase: ~ for treuth, to accept (sth.) as the truth, take for truth; (c) the word ‘yeven’ (in its var. spellings with initial ʒ- and g-).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1443) Reg.Gild Stratford (Macdonald)36 : All the aldirmen, by resonabull warnynge once evene [read: gevene], be ther redy Ichone of them uppon peyne to pay to the seyd Gilde..xl d.
Note: New form: ppl. (error) evene.
Note: Quot. belongs to sense 13.(d).--notes per MLL