Middle English Dictionary Entry

bresten v.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To be broken, fall apart, break, shatter; ~ atwo, ~ atwinne, ~ in peces, ~ in sunder; (b) to break (sth.), shatter, crush; break (one's arm); ppl. brosten, of grain or flour: crushed, pulverized; (c) ~ doun (up), to smash (sth.), break down (a door, gate, etc.); ~ open, force open; (d) to violate (a commandment); (e) to overcome (sb.), conquer; heal (a wound); (f) to beat or injure (sb.); (g) to fail.
(a) To break because of pressure from within, burst; (b) to burst (sth.); (c) of bees, music, flowers, fire, a stream, etc.: to issue suddenly, spring forth; ~ out; (d) of blood, tears, marrow: to gush forth; of eyes, brain: be forced out by a blow; ~ out; (e) to send forth suddenly, gush; ~ a (on) blod, bleed suddenly and profusely; ~ on water, ~ out water, weep violently; (f) to rush; ~ on (in, into, over, thurgh, to, up); appear suddenly.
(a) Of the heart: to break or burst (with emotion, pain, etc.); til that min herte ~, until I die; (b) to change state or condition suddenly; ~ out, ~ up, burst out (into speech, etc.); ~ in waking, become wide awake suddenly; (c) ~ to wepen, ~ into (on) weping, ~ out to greten (roren, wepen), etc., to burst into tears, begin to weep; (d) to suffer violently, be bursting (with hunger or sorrow).
To break with a crashing sound; make a bursting noise.
Med. & surg. (a) To make (a swelling, an ulcer, etc.) come to a head and break; also, of a swelling: break; (b) of a sore: to break out, appear on the surface; of the body: break out in sores or blisters; ~ out; (c) of food, medicine: to blister (skin, flesh), produce an eruption; bresting medicine, a medicine which blisters; also, a medicine used to bring a swelling to a head; (d) to rupture (a bowel, blood vessel, testicle, the gall); (e) to rupture (sb.), cause a hernia; ppl. brosten, ruptured.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Methodius(3) (Stw 953)555 : Ysmaellys sonys..Schull efte cum owt & bere mastry..Xall non wyth-stynte þat howge rowte, Nor non here scheltron breste.
  • Note: New sense.
    Note: Quot. probably belongs to sense 1.(e).
    Note: Gloss: to penetrate (one's battle formation), break.
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.--notes per MLL

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc. (sense 5.(c)), see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. bursting medicine.