Middle English Dictionary Entry

brinke n.
Quotations: Show all Hide all

Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The shore (of the sea); seashore, coast; se ~; ?also, the top (of a mound) [quot.: 1607], ?a precipice [quot. a1425 Wycl.]; (b) the bank (of a stream); (c) the edge (of a spring); (d) in place names [see Smith PNElem. 1.51].
(a) The rim or edge (of a pit or ditch); (b) pittes brink, the edge of the grave; ben on pittes brinke, be on the verge of death.
The rim or upper edge (of a vessel); also, side [quot.Pallad.]; to, bi the ~, to the brim; hertes ~, the brim of an overflowing heart.
(a) The margin or outer edge (of an area); end (of a bone); border, boundary, limit; (b) the end (of life); upon the ~, on the verge (of death, etc.); ben at the ~, be imminent.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1390 Disp.Virg.& Cross (Vrn)135 : I presse wyn for kniht and knape, Vp-on a Blodi brinke, I presse a grape with strok and stryf.
Note: Quot. belongs to sense 3, the first gloss of which should therefore be modified to: "The rim of upper edge (of a vessel); also fig.;".
Note: In the same sense, modify second gloss: "also, the side of a vessel [quot. Pallad.];" and the collocation hertes ~ is "in fig. context."

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1475(1392) *MS Wel.564 (Wel 564)34a/a : The neþemoste boon of þe thorace haþ in his middil a gristle y rotid and hanginge doun vpon þe brinke of þe stomac.
Note: Quot. belongs to sense 4.(a).
Note: Gloss: ~ of the stomak, ?the diaphragm.
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. Provisional revised form section: Also brink(ke, brincke, brenk(e, (error) brycke; pl. brinkes, etc. & brinkez. --notes per MLL