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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Mell, v.1 Also: mel, mele, melle, meld. P.t. and p.p. mellit etc., meilit; meld(e. [ME. (Cursor M.) and e.m,E. mell, OF. meller var. of mesler: cf. Med(d)ill v.]

1. tr. To mix, mingle, combine, blend.Said of material and non-material things and of persons, and variously const. 1375 Barb. vi. 360 (E).
This nobile king … Mellyt all tyme with wit manheid
Ib. xvi. 65 (C).
Quhen byrdis syngis on the spray Melland thair notys with syndry sowne
Ib. xvii. 614.
And pik and ter als haf thai tane … And dry treis that weill wald [brin] And mellit syne athir othir in
1456 Hay I. 19/15.
The Emperour wald mell with a fals colour ane undrequet malicius errour with … the doctrine of haly doctouris
Ib. II. 148/17.
Melle nocht thair sawis togeder
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1592.
Bot he was put sa far into the thrang And him allane his fais mellit amang
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 351.
[To] mell iustice and mercy to-giddir
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 336 b.
Euir junand and melland with justice mercy
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 131/159.
She with her hookes … doth mixe for us & mell The skumm of silluer & arsenike
Ib. II. 21/19.b. P.p. (1) 1375 Barb. v. 410.
Tharfore the men of that cuntre, For sic thingis thar mellit were Callit it the Douglas lardenere [E. lardner]
1456 Hay I. 15/6.
A grete frost … all mellit with blude
c1475 Wall. vii. 455.
The reik mellyt with fylth off carioune
(2) 1375 Barb. vi. 356.
Hardyment that mellit is Vith vit
Ib. x. 517. 1456 Hay I. 14/32.
That resoun is that haly wrytt be mellit tharewith
Ib. 148/5.
The first gude dede mellit with the last evill dede
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 30.
Greit hoip mellit with ambitioun
(3) 1375 Barb. xv. 68.
The erll Thomas … And his rout, chassit with swerdis bar, That all emang thame mellit war
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 24.
Als it is not unknawin … how thai ar mellit with godles papistes harlat protestantis common brybouris
a1651 Calderwood III. 118.

2. intr. To mingle in combat, join or do battle, engage in fighting, fight.With various complements. Also b. to fight on, ? to continue fighting, and c. transf. to a flyting.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii. 8656.
With that all mellit the remnand, Visage to visage, hard fechtand
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 543.
Forthi makis furth ane man … That for the maistry dar mell With schaft and with scheild
Ib. 572.
Thus thai mellit on mold, ane myle way and maire
Ib. 666.
Thus thai mellit and met with ane stout steuin
1513 Doug. v. vii. 82.
Darhes … abasyt wolx grettumly Thar with to mel reffusyng aluterly
1533 Boece 18 b.
How Scottis and Pichtis mellit in batell
Ib. xi. iii. 406.
Syne thai approchit and mellit with hand strakis
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 179/618.(2) 1535 Stewart 22973.
Richt manfullie togidder tha did mell
(3) c1450-2 Howlat 497.
Thar with on Mahownis men manly he mellit
(4) 1513 Doug. x. xiv. 116.
To mell with me and to meyt hand for hand
1533 Boece xv. vii. 586 b.
The capitane … ischand fra the castell he mellit with the residew of the Inglis armye
Ib. i. vii. 50. 1535 Stewart 3509. 1559 Cal. Sc. P. I. 282.
[The inhabitants … rashly] mellit [with the enemy]
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 153/360. Ib. 219/163. c1590 Fowler I. 293/65.
How that with thame I skirmisht not, nor with theme wold anes mell
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Melletum.
Ane French word, Melle, dissension, strife, debate, as wee saye that ane hes melled or tuilȝied with ane vther
b. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1012.
Thai mellit on with malice, thay myghtyis in mude
c. a1585 Polwart Flyt. 131 (H).
Stoup thow not at the secund chairge, Mischeivous mischant, we sall mell With laidlie language
Ib. 643.
Bauldlie I forebad thee To mell with me or els thow should deir buy it
a1605 Montg. Ib. 14; etc. Id. Son. lxvii. 13.

d. tr. To mingle (forces, battalions) in battle; in the passive, (of the armies) to meet in conflict. ?1438 Alex. ii. 8455.
Na war Philot that to the fecht Come prekand … And thay of Inde on ather party That battellis mellit commonly
Ib. 8966.
The soun was hie … Quhen the battales sa fell and fers War mellit

3. To involve, occupy or concern oneself, frequently improperly or intrusively, in (also within) or with (any affair, action, etc.), to deal or have to do with. a. reflex. b. intr.Also euphemistically, to mell with another's blude, to take or arrange the taking of a person's life.Also, chiefly by anacoluthia, without complement.a. (1) a1400 Leg. S. xviii. 680.
I sal neuir … mel me mar in that foly
1456 Hay I. 222/9. Ib. 251/20.
We ar Franch men, and mellis us nocht with Emporouris lawis, na with ȝour Emperouris that your lawis maid
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 381.
He mellis hyme of his awne wyll within sa mony diuers materis but end
c1460 Regim. Princ. 93. 1540–1 Hamilton P. I. 68.
We mell ws nocht nouthir be oure self nor temporale officiaris … in handilling of thair personis
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in Cath Tr. (S.T.S.) 84/21.
Na man seruing in the Kirk of God inuoluis and mellis him self vith saecular and vardlie affairs
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 992.
Galloway with no mater meld him Except necessitie compeld him
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 37.
The zealous sisters suld remark how God execut his vengeance agains … Eua and Marie [= Miriam] … for melling thame selfis with maters of religion
(2) 1540 James V in St. P. Henry VIII V. 173.
And quhat falt ony freir … committis … supponand it concerne our self we mel ws nocht
b. (1) 1416 Liber Melros 539.
Be cause of hee and grete besines … we might noth gudli dresse vs to melle tharwith
c1460 Regim. Princ. 96.
Nobilite sulde mel bot with nobilnes
a1603 Anc. Proph. 8. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxi. 8. Ib. xlix. 2.
He … syne with mariege dois him mell And bindis him with ane wicket wyfe
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III. 341/32.
Thow cann neuir melle with the sentence of predestinatiounn without thi awin harmme
1527 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 116.
Anent the intermeling with the brig, … Johne Anderson said he wad nocht mell with sik materis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 699 (Ch.).
Now with our purpois let vs mell: Quhat is ȝour counsall, I pray ȝow tell?
Ib. 4501 (B).
With my cramery gif ȝe list mell, Heir I haif foly hattis to sell
1549 Compl. 15/32. a1568 Scott v. 65.
Nocht oft till mell with thankles mowth
1558-66 Knox II. 382.
What then should become of thame that had melled with the slaughter of the Erle of Huntley?
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. xxix. 171.
Bot gif I mell with meiter or with ryme
1567 G. Ball. 71.
Brether and sisteris that will resort Till Christ, and with His gospell mell
1568 Charteris Lyndesay Pref. Adhort. 61. 1575 Inverness Rec. I. 245.
That the ministeris mell nocht with wardlie efferis, nather be procuratoris nor scribis in ciwell courtis
1577 Perth Kirk S. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 275.
[Ne]uir to mell with sik thingis again
16.. Hist. Kennedy 15.
All this tyme Blairquhane mellitt nocht with this feid na way
1638-54 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 149.
To mell with what belonged to my calling
1649 J. M. Beale Fife Schools 66. 1650 Aberd. Council Lett. III. 171.
[He was] loath to mell with anything that might divert him
(2) 1587 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 152.
All this counsell could not move the Quene to mele with the Quene of Scotlandis blood til this invention ves found furthe
1609 Crim. Trials III. 9.
In respect my Lord Ergyll hes mellit with his blude and leving
(3) 1543–4 Corr. M. Lorraine 69.
I wyll nocht mell na fordyr in your materris on to the tym that I haif sum wryttin fra hyr grace
1548 Ib. 239.
I … hes mellit sa far thairin that I cwld nocht retyre me … bwt tynsell of my procedyng
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 143.
To mel in curius ressoning of materis obscure concernyng the faith
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 145. 1584 Acts III. 355/1. 1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 79/15.
They ar to graue materis for a poet to mellin
1585 Cal. Sc. P. VIII. 50.
[Every man who has] meilit [in this cause]
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 119/2.
Gif any uill mell in thaire kinn or freindis querrellis giue him his leue
Ib. 118/12. 1634 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. xxxvi.
That no person sould mell in any sort in setting doun of the saidis supportis
(4) 1559 Knox I. 416.
We lykwise beseik yow … that ye on na wayis mell or assent to that ungodlie interpryise
1613 Mar& Kellie MS. Suppl. 52.
But you know heir thaye doe not mell but under boord all their playe is
1649 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I. 437.
Notwithstanding, it was alleged that he meld by tolerance of the mother, liferentrix

c. intr. To deal with, treat of, discuss (in a literary composition etc.). 1559 Q. Mary in Knox I. 399.
And in thair precheing not to mell sa mekle with civill policie and publict governance
a1568 Scott i. 97.
With mes nor matynes nowayis will I mell

4. To occupy oneself, espec. improperly or intrusively, with (goods, property, etc.), to interfere, meddle with, to lay hands (on), to appropriate.(1) (a) 1549 Soc. Ant. XI. 91.
Gif the geir beand in the said kirk … pertenit to Cathenes men it becom nocht to thame to mell with the same violentlie in brekking of sanctuarii
1559 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 323.
In cace ony particular person or personis mell witht the saids crofts
c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 570.
Gyf ȝe haue done with siclyke gudis mell
1566 Soc. Ant. II. 109. 1571 Sat. P. xxvi. 64.
Failȝeand this, do with thair leuings mell
a1578 Pitsc. I. 197/31.
How he durst be so peirt for to mell with the honourabill croun of Ingland
1600 Conv. Burghs II. 82.
It salbe lesum to the provest … to mell with the saidis skaffis, skeldrykeis and ȝowis
1638 Elgin Rec. I. 260. c1650 Spalding II. 295. Ib. I. 187.
To mell with the duke's estait, landis and leivinges
Ib. 207. Ib. 211. 1676 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS. 6 Mar. 1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 72.
If ev'r hereafter any see me Melling [gl. medling] wi' what perteens no' to me
(b) 1583 Reg. Morton I. 137.
Ȝewill se sik order tane off that that may apperten me to meld wyth
(b) 1562–3 Inverness Rec. I. 101.
Quha nait he mellit wyth ony of the said pruiff
1580 Prot. Bk. J. Scott MS. 1/1.
Ane gryt quhaill … the inhabitantis … tuk hir away and mellit with hir
c1650 Spalding I. 34.
Bot the Marques of Hammilton … mellit with the gift as dew to him be virtue of his office
(c) 1559 Cal. Sc. P. I. 220.
[They have not as yet] mellit [with a pennyworth of Kirk property]
1581 Reg. Episc. Brechin II. 309. 1592 Burntisland B. Ct. 24 April.
James Coupar hes ressawit mellit and intromettit with the said almarie
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 4.
To have brokin Mathow Magnussonis skeo and mellit with sum cheis thairin
1603 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II. 42.
Quhilk yeiris cornis fell under executrie and was mellit with be the executouris
1607 Orkney Rentals App. 91. 1615 Highland P. III. 226.
They had alreddie melled with a ship of Glasgow, had slayne some of the equippage [etc.]
1636 Urie Baron Ct. 79.
John Gairdyne wha is fund to have melit thairwith and demolished the samen is … ordeanit to reidifie the samen and mak it alse guid as it was the tyme he medlit with it
c1650 Spalding II. 189.(2) 1537 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 413.
Sir Wilȝame … sal frelie mel and intromet and dispone apone all and haill the prophetis
1583 Reg. Morton I. 137.
Ampll procowration … to mell intermet and giue dischairges
1600 Misc. 3 Spald. C. II. 51.

5. To have dealings or have to do with (a person or persons); to have intercourse, associate or treat with. Also reflex.(1) c 1515 A. Williamson Lett. in Doug. (Sm.) I. xxiv.
She may cowrs the tyme that euer she mellyt with your blood
c 1520 Douglas in Ib. cvii.
And gyf so war that the said King [of France] … wald bynd that induring the tyme of his office he suid no wise mell with him [Albany]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John iv. 10.
For Jewis vsit nocht to mele with Samaritanis
c1530-40 Stewart Bann. MS. 96 a/44.
He gaif to me ane cursour gray Worth all this sort that I with mell
1546 Corr. M. Lorraine 172. 1572 Sat. P. xxxi. 130. a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcvii. 81. Id. Ib. c. 43. a1578 Pitsc. I. 203/10.
Certane of the eldest … concludit … not to mell witht the king withtout they had the prince his sone in thair handis
1585 Annandale Corr. 274.
This gentill man nor nane of his servandis ever assistit my Lord of Mortoun nor mellit with his cummerris
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 793. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 184/9.
Sum of the best skilled men in that craft that in these workis ȝe mell with
1600 Crim. Trials II. 297. 1603 Philotus xvii.
Ȝe neyther mell with lad nor loun Bot with the best in all this toun
1612 Thanes of Cawdor 225.
Luik with quhom ye mell heirefter
1612 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1898) Oct.(2) reflex. 1543–4 Corr. M. Lorraine 69.
Ye suld nocht mell yow wyth na brokyn men

b. To deal in an unwelcome or intrusive manner with, to interfere, meddle with, take action against.In some instances with admixture of sense 2.(1) 1549 Corr. M. Lorraine 315.
He sall be laytht … to mell with Frencemen in that maneir
a1578 Pitsc. I. 288/21. 1586 Cal. Sc. P. IX. 229.
Quhilk was thoccasion that non durst mell with the said barron by reason of his great frendship in the country
1595 Melvill 326.
That the King haid begoun to put at the Kirk, … namlie haid melde with your pastor and … put him in exyll
1598 Warrender P. MS. A 359.
Ane spetial clan … can nor mai be derectlie mellitt with nor effectuallie punesitt
1599 Rollock Wks. I. 362.
Mell not with the saincts of God
1686 G. Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 6.
They're unsoncy that mells with th' Almighty's anointed
(2) a1578 Pitsc. I. 164/14.
Be ressone that he was … the Kingis brother thair durst na man mell [I. meddill] against him

6. spec. To have dealings or ‘relations’ with a person of the opposite sex; passing into: to have sexual intercourse with, to copulate with.

Also reflex. and absol.(1) reflex. a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 406.
Of my wyf this case thane fel That cane hyre with hyre serwandis mel
(2) absol. a1500 Henr. III. 115/37.
Of mariagis to mel with mowis met
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 56.
God gif matrimony were made to mell for ane yeir!
a1568 Scott v. 67.
Sen every pastyme is at plesure. I counsale ȝow to mel with mesure
(3) a1568 Scott v. 28.
In May men mellis with famyny
1563 St. A. Kirk S. 186.
Sche wes ane virgin befoyr he meld wyth hyr
1564–5 Rec. Earld. Orkney 275.
Quhowsone that scho mellis with ane man scho sall remvif fra the said place
a1578 Pitsc. I. 258/30. Ib. 262/20.
Forther scho bad thé nocht mell witht no wemen nor wse witht thair counsall nor lat them nocht tuitch thy body nor thow thairs
1588 Haddington Presb. 10 July.
And the said Marioun xx ȝeris efter hir said husband wes fugitive mellit with Andro Clarksoun
1625 Justiciary Cases I. 23.
He ansuerit … that he wald be with his wyfe and mell with hir buitis and spuris and altogiddir

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"Mell v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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