Middle English Dictionary Entry

cart n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A cart, a wagon; also fig.; dong ~, [see dong n.(1), 5.]; fare ~, [see fare n. (1), 8.(b)]; iren-bounden ~, shod ~, a cart with wheels which are bound or reinforced with iron bands; taken ~, to commandeer carts in the king's name; (b) in proverbial expressions; his ~ amidde the mire, his plans upset, his hopes dashed, etc.; shouven at the ~, to put one's shoulder to the wheel; slepen (ben cast) in wanhopes ~, to be in despair; the ~ is at the gate, the funeral cart is waiting for the corpse; (c) a cartload.
A chariot, a war chariot, the chariot of the sun; a coach or carriage; four-horsed ~, four-wheled ~.
~ hors: (a) a horse that draws a cart or wagon, a cart horse; (b) a chariot horse.
~ hous: (a) a cart shed; (b) error for carfouk, q.v.
(a) ~ sadel, a small saddle on the back of a cart horse, to which the tongue or shafts are attached; (b) ~ sadel tre, the wooden framework of a cart saddle.
~ whele: (a) a cart wheel; (b) ?as a measure of land: a carucate, a plowland.
In various cpds. and combs.: (a) ~ man, a carter; ~ reve, manorial official in charge of vehicles; ~ takere, an officer in charge of commandeering carts or wagons for the king; ~ wrighte, one who makes or repairs carts or wagons; (b) ~ ful, a cartload; also, a large number, many; ~ lode, a cartload; also, as a measure: 2000 pounds; (c) ~ bote, an allowance of timber which a tenant has the right to cut and to use for making or repairing carts; ~ gate, a gate for the passage of carts; ~ hired, a collection of chariots [cp. OE hīrēd n.]; ~ mere, a mare that draws a cart; ~ plough, a wheeled plow; ~ silver, a money rent paid in lieu of carting services for the lord of the manor; ~ spore, a cart track, the track made by a cart-wheel; ~ wei, a road for carts and wagons; commune as the ~ wei, public, common, cheap; (d) ~ wise, as a cart.
In names of parts or appurtenances of a cart: (a) ~ bodi, the superstructure of a cart, the part that holds the load; ~ bond, an iron rim or tire of a cart wheel; ~ clout, an iron plate on the axle of a cart (to prevent wearing); ~ gadde, ?a goad used by a carter; (b) ~ harneis, harness of a cart horse; ~ hirdel, a hurdle attached to the sides of a cart; ~ kipe, ?some part of a cart; ?a basket acting as a tip on a cart; ~ laddere, a removable framework attached to the body of a cart; ~ nail, a nail for a cart; ~ nave (~ nathe), the hub of a cart wheel; ~ pin, a tholepin for attaching shafts or tongue to a cart; ?also, a linchpin; ~ rop, a rope for a cart; (c) ~ scrile, some part of a cart or something used in repairing a cart; ~ sole, a wooden bar supporting the bottom of a cart; ~ spoke, a spoke of a cart wheel; ~ staf, a tongue or a shaft of a cart; ~ stoure, one of the upright pieces of wood in the sides of a cart to which the boards are nailed to form the sides; ~ strake (stroke), one of the separate iron plates together forming a band used to secure the felloes of a cartwheel to each other; ~ thille, a shaft or a tongue of a cart; (paire of ) ~ traises, the (pair of) ropes by which an animal is attached to a cart, the tugs or traces of a cart harness.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1390) Doc.Beverley in Seld.Soc.1433 : Ordinatum est..quod quilibet artifices ville Beverlaci, viz. mercers et drapers, tannatores, masons, skynners..cutlers, latoners, brochemakers, horners, sponers, ladilers..cartwrightes, coupars..and workmen habeant suos ludos et pagentes paratos amodo qualibet die in festo Corporis Christi.
  • Note: Quot. needed for date in sense 7.(a).
  • (1344-5) Acc.R.Priory HTrin.Dub.(DubPRO)59 : Item in duobus cartebaas emptis per visum Johannis Comyn, xii d.
  • Note: New combination: ~ base, a cloth or pad put under a cart-horse's collar.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 8.(a).
    Note: Editor's glossary: 'Cartebasses' probably the same as 'bass,' which is defined as 'a collar for cart horses.'
    Note: MED bās(e n., sense 2. Miscel. uses [prob. in part from adj. bas low] (a): a cloth or pad put under a horse's collar.
  • (1454) Plea & Mem.R.Lond.Gildh.140 : [3 new] carte bodyes, 12 s.
  • Note: Quot. needed for date in sense 8.(a).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1480 *Medulla (Pep 2002) : Tartspalre [read: Cartspore][Stnh: Vadum: a ford or a cart spoke [read: spore]].
  • Note: New form: Also..(error) (in cpd.) tart-.
    Note: Quot. belongs to sense 7.(c).
Note: The list of variant spellings in the form section is incomplete and needs revision to accord with standards of later volumes of the MED. Provisional revised form seciton: Also carte, chearte, kert, (early) (Orm.) carrte; pl. cartes, etc. & (rare) carten.--all notes per MLL