Middle English Dictionary Entry

borwen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) To take (sth.) with the understanding that it will be returned, receive (sth.) on credit, borrow; esp., to obtain (money) by pledging something as security or by finding sureties to guarantee repayment; also, to mortgage (sth.); -- often with at or of phr. denoting the lender; (b) fig. to take (sth.) temporarily; to receive (a blow) with the intention of returning it; to have temporary use of (food, clothes, lodgings, etc.); ~ spirit, to receive (one's) life or spirit as a loan; (c) fig. to take (sth. that cannot be repaid); to receive (flavor, sweetness), adopt (a rhetorical ornament), derive (authority), obtain (sleep), reflect (light), borrow (care, tears, trouble); to beg; ~ titel, to find another name (for sth.); (d) math. to borrow (a number) to make up a sum; to borrow (a number) in subtracting; fig. ~ time, to borrow time, procrastinate; (e) law to find a guarantor or surety for (a loan).
2.
Law To become surety for (sb.), guarantee the good behavior of, go bail for; to obtain the release of (sb.) from prison or punishment; -- also used loosely.
3.
(a) To save (sb.), rescue; preserve, protect; -- also refl.; ~ lif, to save (someone's) life; (b) to ransom or free (sb.); ~ out; (c) to redeem (sb.), save (from sin or damnation).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500(c1410) Dives & P.(Htrn 270)2.203 : Þou it be leful to borwyn for a good ende up usure, ʒit it is nout leful..to conseylyn ony man..to borwyn up usure, as it is leful to a cristene man to takyn an oth of þe heþene man þat sweryth be hys false god..it is nout leful to þe cristene man for to askyn of hym þat oth.
  • Note: 2nd occ. ~ up