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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Merciabill, -able, a. Also: mercyabile, merceabill. [ME. (Ancr. R.), e.m.E., and OF. merciable.]

1. Merciful, compassionate. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 256.
Wysmen ar … mercyabile in petwous cas
1456 Hay I. 299/20. Ib. II. 95/14.
Quhilum to do rigorous justice, quhilum merciable or favourable
a1500 Henr. Fab. 929 (Bann.).
I lat ȝou wit my mycht is merceabill [Ch. merciabill]
Id. Orph. 285 (Ch. & M.).
Quhat art thou, lufe … Bitter and suete, cruel and merciable
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lx. 68.
Thairfoir O Prince … Be in this mater merciabill
15.. Clar. ii. 138.
The knichtis wox in heartis merciabill, And him forgave
Ib. iv. 678. a1570-86 Maitl. F. lvi. 26.

2. Deserving of pity; pitiful. 1456 Hay I. 234/33.
Bot thai ar callit in the law miserable personis, that is to say personis that merci is aucht to, merciable personis

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"Merciabill adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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