Middle English Dictionary Entry

bǒuen v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) To bow, kneel, or prostrate oneself; bow to (sb.), kneel or prostrate oneself before; of the head or knee: bend down in reverence; ~ on kne, to kneel; ~ to fot, fall at the feet of (sb.); ~ doun(ward), ~ into (unto) the erthe; (b) ~ to, to bow to (sb.), kneel or prostrate oneself before; (c) to bend or lower (part of one's body), esp. in reverence or humility; bow (one's head, face, neck, breast, limbs); (d) refl. to bow oneself; bow, kneel, or prostrate oneself (to sb.).
2.
(a) To be submissive, be obedient; ben bouwing, ben bouwen, be humble or submissive; ~ til the deth, be obedient when obedience means death; (b) to submit to (sb.), acknowledge (sb.) as one's lord or superior, obey; obey (a command, etc.); (c) ~ to (til, toward, until, unto), to submit to (sb.), be yielding or submissive toward, obey; acknowledge (sb.) as God or as ruler; (d) ~ to (til, until, unto), to submit to (sth.), obey (a command), bow to (someone's will), follow (advice), accede to (a prayer, a request), accept (poverty); ~ to hond, submit to (someone's) authority; ~ to ileve, accept the faith, be converted; ~ to the bowes, submit to the yoke (of a plow); ~ to yok, bow to (someone's) yoke, accept (sb.) as ruler; (e) ~ herte, to bow (one's) heart, be meek or obedient; pay attention (to words of wickedness); ~ lif, submit one's life, surrender control of one's life; (f) refl. to submit, obey; submit (to baptism, etc.); be given (to the use of women, i.e. to fornication).
3.
(a) To fall, descend, lie down; ~ to ground (the erthe), drop or fall to the ground; (b) fig. to decline, perish, be ruined; cease, pass away, come to an end; fall away from righteousness, be unfaithful in friendship, fail; -- often with awei or doun; (c) fig. to cast (sth.) down, overthrow, overcome, ruin, subdue; bring (sth.) to an end.
4a.
(a) To bend, curve; ~ (a)doun, bend down, lean over, stoop; fig. stoop (to unworthy conduct); (b) ppl. bouwing, bent, curving; (c) ppl. bouwand, -ing, flexible; (d) in proverbs: beter is to ~ than bresten, it is better to bend than to break, better to yield than be destroyed; beter ~ than fallen, etc.
4b.
(a) To bend (sth.), put a bend or curve in (sth.); turn or twist (one's body), bend (one's back or neck), flex (the knee); ~ armes, ?wring one's hands; (b) ppl. bouwed, bent, curved, crooked, flexed; bent into a circular shape; (c) refl. to bend oneself, stoop, fall down.
5a.
(a) To change direction or position, turn; be turned or facing (toward sth.); of the eyes: be looking (in a certain direction); ~ aside, turn aside, turn away; (b) fig. to incline (toward sth.), have a tendency (to sth.); bouwing to drinesse (lennesse), tending toward dryness (leanness); -- usually with to; (c) fig. to turn away; ~ from (fro, awei fro, doun fro), desert (sb.), give up (sth.), cease from (doing sth.), abandon, avoid, reject.
5b.
(a) To turn (sth.), change the course or direction of; ~ bisties, turn (one's) course or steps; ~ pathes, direct (someone's) path or course; (b) ~ awei eien, to turn away (one's) eyes, refuse to look; ~ awei (doun) eres, turn away (one's) ears, refuse to listen; ~ doun thin ere, bend down your ear, condescend to listen; ~ the eres, turn the ears, give ear, listen; ~ thin ere(s), turn your ear (s), give ear (to sth.), listen; (c) fig. to bend (sb. to one's will), train or direct (sb.); turn (a fool away from insulting words); influence (sb. to do sth.); guide (the heart, will, understanding, etc., in a certain direction); incline (sb. to a certain color), give (sb.) a tendency (toward blackness, etc.).
6.
(a) To come, go; ~ after, follow (sb.); ~ togeder(es, go together or in company, come together or join forces; ~ toyenes, go toward (sb.), go to meet; (b) ~ to, to go to (a place), come to, approach (sth.); ~ a, go to (a place); ~ into, go into, enter; ~ toward, go toward (sth.), travel toward (a place); (c) ~ forth, to go forth, go out, depart; ~ from, . ~ fro, go away from (sth.), depart from (sb.), leave (a place), flee from; ~ of, ~ out of, go out of (a place), get out of (bed); ~ henne, go hence; (d) comen ~, to come walking [cp. comen gongen]; (e) to send or put (sth.); intend or attempt (evil, wickedness) to, unto, or ayenes (sb.); give (faith, blessing) to or til (sb.); ~ from (fro)..to (into), put or send (sth.) from (one place) into (another); ~ out, send forth (sth.), utter (speech, a word), make known; (f) refl. to betake oneself, go, come.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (a1382) WBible(1) (Bod 959)Gen.24.14 : Bow doun þi waterpott þat I drynke.
  • Note: NF
    Note: [L inclina]
    Note: = incline, ?tip--per JR
  • (a1382) WBible(1) (Bod 959)Ex.23.6 : Þou schalt not bow awey [WB(2): bowe; Corp-C: bowe fro treuth; L declinabis] in þe dome of þe pore.
  • Note: NF
    Note: Extra quot. for bǒuen v.(1) 3.(b)--per JR
  • (a1382) WBible(1) (Bod 959)Gen.19.2 : I prey ʒou, sirez, bowiþ doun into þe house of ʒour child.
  • Note: [WB(2): bowʒe; L declinate]
    Note: Phrase = turn aside per JR
  • a1500(a1450) St.Robt.Knares.(Eg 3143)554 : To man bowes all thinges for hys beste.
  • Note: Sense not covered in entry. Gloss. 'happen'--per MJW
  • c1300 SLeg.Edm.Abp.(Hrl 2277)170-1 : Vneþe he miʒte bye his rug oþer lokie to þe grounde, & whan he byde him eni þing, his flesch was so ignawe.