Middle English Dictionary Entry

brennen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To be consumed by fire; burn, burn down; ~ awai; of fire: burn; ~ up, flame up; brenning, on fire, fiery; (b) to destroy (sth.) with fire; put to the torch, reduce to ashes; ~ up; ~ to ashes, pouder; ~ on glede, burn to cinders; ~ (sb.), burn (sb.) out of his home, destroy or devastate (someone's) home or country with fire; (c) to burn (sth.) as an offering to God; brend offering; (d) to set (sth.) on fire, light.
(a) To suffer death or torture by fire; burn to death; ~ to duste; ~ in helle; (b) to destroy (someone's life) with fire; burn or torture (sb.) alive; ~ to deth; ~ to duste (glede), burn to ashes (cinders); the devel the brenne!
(a) To be hot, radiate heat; brenning wind, searing wind; ~ hot, red-hot; (b) to suffer a burn, burn oneself; burn (the hand, etc.); brent child dredeth fir, etc.; (c) to brand or scorch (sb.); sear (sth.); torture (sb.) with fire; (d) to roast, broil, toast, or parch (sth.); burn (sth.) in cooking.
(a) Of a lamp or candle: to burn for illumination, be lighted, burn; ~ bright; (b) of objects: to shine, glitter, sparkle, glow; also, blush.
(a) Of an emotion: to be fervent or inflamed; brenning love, etc.; (b) of the heart: to be ardent or inflamed; (c) of a person: to be ardent, passionate, aroused; brennen at, for, in, of, on (an emotion); (d) bet is to wedde than brenne, etc.
Of an emotion: to inflame or arouse (the heart, a person); ben brenned, to be or become incensed.
To produce a burning sensation, sting.
To treat (sth.) with fire or heat: (a) to calcine (limestone); brend lim, quicklime; (b) to bake (tiles); (c) brent led, calcined lead, i.e., lead monoxide; vitriol ~, etc.; (d) brent gold, gold refined by fire, pure gold [cp. burned gold under burnen].
(a) To cauterize; (b) of a medicine: to have a caustic effect; (c) to be feverish or affect with fever; brenning ague (fever); to be inflamed, fester; (d) to alter or corrupt (humors, blood, etc.) with body heat; brent colre, etc.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1450-1509 Rich.(Brunner)4061 : Þey slowe euery Sarezyn, And tooke þe temple off Appolyn, þey ffelde it doun, and brende Mahoun.
  • Note: Additional quot. for sense 1.(b).
  • a1475 Gawain & CC (Brog 2.1)90 : Brennyng dragons hade he slayn, And wylde bullus mony won That gresely wer iholde.
  • Note: New gloss for sense 3.(a).
    Note: Gloss: "ppl. as adj.: of a dragon: fire-breathing."
    Note: ?Quot. may also be construed as a dragon that destroys with its fiery breath, in which case, this is an additional quot. in sense 1.(b).
  • (1409) MSS Beverley in HMC100 : [All masters..shall..cover their saddles for sale; viz., housed with hides called] Salisbery-lethyr, calf-lethyr, swyn-lether, brynt-lethir [or other leather fitting].
  • Note: New combination for sense 6.
    Note: Gloss: "brent lether, ?leather which has been embossed with heated irons; ?leather which has been treated to make it brown.
  • ?c1400(1379) Daniel *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.62ra (2.8) : Vryn pale or subpale þoroghoute thenne, & wiþ a maner of grenyshede, seiþ dominium of a colre aduste (anglice: a brent colre; adust, i. brente).
  • Note: New combination: brent colre.
    Note: Quot. needed for date in sense 7.(d).
    Note: Gloss: "brent colre, an unnatural or morbid secondary form of black bile."
    Note: Editor's gloss: 'of humours: burnt, overheated, destroyed by heat'.
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section may be incomplete and / or may need revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED.--all notes per MLL