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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
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Venerabil(l)(e, -abyll, -able, adj. (n.). Also: wenerabil, -able, wenarabill, wanarabill, venerible, venerall. [ME and e.m.E. venerable (1432-50), venerall (1631), OF venerable, L. venerābilis.]

A. adj. Revered, held in great esteem, worthy of respect. a. Used of ecclesiastics, chiefly as venerabill fader (in God). b. Used of a lay person. c. transf. d. comb.a. (1) 1428 Liber Melros 519.
The forsaide venerable fadir in Cryste
1435 Douglas Chart. 65.
Thir endenturis made … betwix ane hee and a mychti lorde … ande a venerable fader in Christe, Patric … abbot of the Hali Croise of Edinburgh
1466 Acta Aud. 6/1.
A venerable fader in Criste, Patric abbot of Newbotil
1490 Paisley B. Rec. 39.
It is menit and complenit to us of lait be a venerable fader in God and our devote oraturis, the abbot and convent … of Paslay, that [etc.]
1497 Acta Conc. II 79.
The Lordis of Consale ordanis that the sade Wilyeam, Lord Ruthven, raise ane new summondis on the sade venerable fader til compere before the Lordis of the Chekkir
1540 Elgin Rec. I 27.
They ar to say wenerable fathers in God Alexander, commendar of Cambuskynnoch … Robert, commendar of Kinlois [etc.]
1555 Inverness Sheriff Ct. 29b.
William Douglas … principall & taxman to ane wenerable father in God Dawid bishoip off Ros off the landis off Litle Kylmeur port & heawin thairoff
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 44.
Richt venerable minister and eldaris, unto your wisedomes, humilie menis and schawes, Dauid Gudlawde, that [etc.]
(b) 1433 Swintons App. xxxiii.
A venerabile fadyr in Crist, dan Williȝam Drax, priour of Coldynghame
1489–90 Acta Aud. 142/1.
A venerabile faider in God Johne prior of the metropolitane kirk of Sanctandres
(c) 1437 Reg. Dunferm. 285.
A venerabill fadir in Crist Androw … Abbot of Dunfermlyn
1501 Chart. Coupar A. II 102.
To be broikit and joisit be the said venerabill fader his conuent [etc.]
1530–1 Maxwell Mem. I 260.
Ane reuerend and wenarabill fauderis in God, Robert Byssop of Orknaye, James Abbot of Drybrucht
1530–1 Maxwell Mem. I 263.
1538 Soc. Ant. II 363.
The said venerabill fader sal brouk and tak up the fruits of the said benefice
1558 Old Ross-shire I 6.
Ressavit fra ane venerabill fader in God the Abbot of Ferne in name of the Laird of Balnagown [blank] ten merks
(d) 1473 Holyrood Chart. 152.
Now the saide venerabil fadir is cummyn til elde and in grete wakenes of his persone
1500 Reg. Morton II 256.
The said Robert has gewin his obligacioun till ane wenerabil fader in God James
(2) 1454–5 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 275.
Be it kende … me Valter of Deskfurde … to be oblysit [blank] til ane venerabille man master Johnne of Clat
1512 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 188.
Ane richt venerabil and religius man Dene Robert Swyntoune sacristan of Dunfermling
1528 Lynd. Dreme 563.
Patriarkis and prophetis honorabyll … Euangellistis, apostolis venerabyll War capitanis on to the Kyng of Glorye
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 128.
All the lordis of religioun, And princes of the preistis venerable
1514-6 St. A. Formulare II 104.
With the assistence of the reverend faderis in God my lordis prelatis and venerabill clerkis and doctouris heir present
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5655.
Moyses, Esayas, honourabyll, With all trew prophetis uenerabyll
1565 Reg. Privy S. V i 639/1.
Throw deceis of ane venerabill clerk, Donald, last abbote thairof
1629 Justiciary Cases I 138.
My lord bishope of St. Androis ane lerned and venerable prelat
b. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1384.
I said, ‘Esope, my maister venerabill I ȝow beseik [etc.]'
1514 Facs. Nat. MSS III xi.
We … has procurit … the selis of venerabill and discreit men that ar to say Fredrik Newphar notar public and Gilbert Kenidy
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 324.
Sen Experience bene ȝour name, I praye ȝow, father venerabyll, Geue me sum counsell confortabyll
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vi 49.
Scho appeired more venerable and spak with a gryter woyce than any mortall man
c. 1513 Doug. xiii vi 188.
The sam Kyng Latyn my gud fader ald, Sall hys impyre and venerall [Sm., Ruddim. venerabill] ceptour hald
Arundel MS 241/99.
O Lord Jesu Crist … be Thi venerabill passioun grant that I with a worthy memoriance worschip Thé
Arundel MS 283/148.
O haly Mary, quene of hevin and erd … I commend in Thy haly and venerabill handis and of Thy Sonis, our Saluiour & Redemeir of the warld
d. 1632 Lithgow Trav. vi 264.
Wee found twelue venerable like Turkes

B. absol. as noun. A person worthy of respect, esp. an ecclesiastic. 1466 Acta Aud. 6/1.
The lordis … deliuers that the saide James Lorde Hammiltoune has spulȝeit the saide venerable fader & his saide landis of the saide vre and tharefore ordanis him to restore … to the saide venerable sa mekle of the saide lede vre as he may prufe was takin out of his saide landis
1494 Loutfut MS 10a.
And giff thai war send to vtheris digniteis lik as collegis priouris channous or vtheris sic lik thai suld say my lordis richt veneribles and discret personis God be kepair of ȝow
1544 Reg. Cupar A. II 32.
Quhilk wes done and admittit in presens of ane venerable in God, Donald, abbot of the said abbay
1566 Old Ross-shire I 15.
It is … agreit … betwix ane venerable Nicholas provest of Tayne and commendator of Ferne on that uther part … as efter followis … forsamekle as the said venerable hes [etc.]

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"Venerabil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Jan 2023 <>



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