Middle English Dictionary Entry

yift(e n.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
(a) That which is given or offered; a gift, present; also iron.;—also coll.; maken ~ (of, yeven ~; neue yer ~, ?a small item to be given as a gift at New Year’s; yeres ~ [see yer n.(2) 2b.(c)]; (b) bi (in, of, to) ~, as a gift; fre (large) of yiftes, large in yiftes, generous; frenesse (largenesse) of yiftes, munificence.
1b.
Giving; the act of giving a gift or gifts; fre (large) of ~, generous in giving; unto your ~, subject to your will, within your power of giving; withouten ~, without an act of giving.
2a.
(a) A grant or bequest of property or income; also, a dowry [1st quot.]; dede (lettre) of ~, a legal document transferring ownership of property; also fig.; (b) graunten in fre ~, to transfer (property) quit of legal obligations; haven al clene of ~, hold (property) absolutely; haven in ~ of, hold (land) under the overlordship of (sb.); longen to (unto) ~, of a prebend: fall under (a person’s) authority to bestow; maken ~ of, bestow (property).
2b.
The bestowal of property or a title derived from property; also, the delegation of authority.
3.
(a) A gift given in remuneration, a reward; a payment for services; (b) a premium or profit as the equivalent of interest on a loan; (c) a contribution of money, goods, etc. given in discharge of a feudal obligation, as tribute, etc.;—also coll.; also, property which can be paid in discharge of a fine [quot. a1400]; also, the satisfaction of an obligation [last quot.].
4.
(a) An offering made to God or a pagan deity; also, a condition or set of deeds dedicated to God [quots. a1450 & c1460]; (b) a charitable gift; alms; almesse ~; (c) a donation made to a religious or secular institution; also iron.; (d) ~ moneie, money given as a donation; of ~, as a donation; of the ~ of, donated by (sb.); of sire jones ~, donated by Sir John.
5a.
(a) That which is conferred by God, a pagan deity, fortune, nature, etc.; also, a personal faculty, attribute, or endowment; a naturel ~ to, something naturally accorded to (a social status); the ~ of bachus, wine; (b) a spiritual benefit bestowed by God, the Holy Spirit, etc., a spiritual gift; the (seven) yiftes of the holi gost, etc., the seven spiritual gifts itemized in the Septuagint transl. of Is.11.2.
5b.
The dispensation or bestowal of a benefit by God, the Holy Spirit, etc.; of here ~, in their power to bestow.
6.
A gift given in expectation of a desired response; an inducement; a bribe; also, bribery; also in fig. context [last quot.]; yer(es ~, a payment or bribe repeated annually.
7.
A vow, a promise, an assurance; yeven a ~.
8.
The word ‘yifte’ (in its var. spellings with initial ʒ- and g-).
9.
(a) Error for thefte n.; (b) error for giste n.(3) [cp. ale n. 4.]; (c) error for geste n.(1).