Middle English Dictionary Entry

chẹ̄sen v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1a.
(a) To select or choose (sth. or sb.) as suitable or agreeable; ~ out; ~ the best, make the best (of sth.); ~ at wille, choose freely; to dethe icoren, destined to die; (b) to choose or decide upon (one alternative); ~ on of two; ~ the better parti, make the better choice; (c) to decide or enter upon (an activity or a mode of behavior).
1b.
To decide or resolve (to do or be sth.).
2.
(a) To elect or choose (a king, abbot, etc.); (b) to elect or choose (sb. to or for an office, etc.); (c) to elect or choose (sb. to ben king, etc.); (d) to elect or choose (sb. as an officer, etc.).
3.
(a) To make a choice or decision; ~ of, choose among (things); ~ amis, aright, make the wrong (proper) choice; ~ at avis, wille, choose at discretion (will); ~ bi lot; he mai ~, he has free choice, the decision is his; I mai not ~, I have no choice, I am helpless; (b) to exercise one's power to choose freely or to make a decision; (b) to consent or agree (to sth.).
4a.
(a) To have a preference for (sth.), prefer; ~ rather, ~ er; ~ first, mest, before al other, prefer (sth.) to all other things; ~ led for gold; (b) to show favor to (sb.); the chosen of Israel; ben icorn, be favored (with sth.).
4b.
(a) To choose (sth.) as a way of life; dedicate or devote oneself to (Christianity, priesthood, chastity, poverty, etc.); -- with obj. or to phrase; (b) to have a liking (for sth.); indulge (in pleasure, etc.); -- usu. refl.
5.
Ppl. (a) Of persons: choice, elegant, excellent, distinguished, noble; handsome, beautiful, fair; coronest, kiddest ~, most distinguished; even ~, equally excellent; comeli ~, loveli ~; kindeli ~, naturally fair; also, choice or singular (cuckold); (b) of things: choice, excellent, fine, fair; gold ~, pure gold; ~ bote, singular revenge.
6a.
Theol. Of God or Christ: (a) to choose (the virtuous) for eternal life or the bliss of heaven; ~ to blisse, heven; (b) ppl. chosen to heavenly bliss, blessed; (c) ppl. as noun: the elect, the blessed; Cristes (godes) chosen.
6b.
Theol. Of Jesus: to choose (the Virgin for his mother); choose (the Christian community as his bride, the weak to confound the mighty); ~ to service, select (sb.) for holy office.
7.
(a) To collect, cull, pick (sth.); ~ out, pick out; (b) to obtain, get, find (sth.); occupy (a place); refl. keep or sustain (oneself), carry on; (c) to adopt (a child).
8.
To choose or take one's way; ~ wei (gate); proceed or go (to or from a place); refl. betake oneself; ~ fast, to hurry.
9.
(a) To perceive (sth., sb.); also, recognize; (b) to distinguish (one thing from another).

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?a1425(?a1350) Castleford Chron.(Göt Hist 740)26709 : Hame com wilfride, sacrede was he, Escoldesham his bischopes see, Þar he wonede als goddes chose Durande daies of archebischope bose.
  • Note: New sense for subsense 6a.(c): "godes chosen, one chosen by God for a particular purpose." (Distinguished from the godes chosen of the gloss who are "the elect, the blessed" i.e. those chosen for salvation.
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