Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).

Wirk, Wyrk, v. Also: wyrke, wyirk, virk(e, vyrk, (wirken), wryk, werk, weirk, work(e, vork, uorke, wourk(e, uoork, wurk, vurk, wark, vark. Pres. p. also wrochtand. P.t. wrocht(e, vrocht, urocht, (rocht), wroucht, vroucht, wrowcht, wroycht, vroycht, wra(u)cht, wraycht, wro(u)ght, worought, vroght, (wrycht). P.p. wro(c)ht, vrocht, ywrocht, wroch(e, wroucht, worcht, vorcht, wra(u)cht, wroght, vroght, w(o)rought, vrought, wrowght, vorght, wrochtin, (wirk). [ME and e.m.E. werchen (a1175), wurchen (c1175), wirrkenn (Orm), warchen (a1225), wyrk, wirc, werc (all Cursor M.), work(en (1340), werk(en (Chaucer), wark (Alph. Tales), wurk (1570), woorke (Spenser); p.t. warhte (c1175), wrohhte (Orm), wroght (Cursor M.), wrought (c1400); p.p. wrohht (Orm), wroȝt (c1250), worght (Cursor M.), OE wyrcan, wircan, wercan, to work, ON yrkja; OE wærcan to feel pain, ON verkja, virkja. Cf. Wark n.]

I. tr.

1. To do (a deed), perform (an action); to cause, bring about (an event or state of affairs); to achieve (an outcome); to carry out (an activity). b. specif.As a job of work.pres. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 251.
All thing thai [sc. wisemen] wyrk with wys consaill
a1500 Henr. Robene & M. 34.
Robene, tak tent vnto my taill, And wirk all as I reid
c1475 Wall. vii 1142.
My purpos is to … wyrk for thaim sum suttell jeperte
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 201/20.
Think ȝe not schame, Sa litill polesie to wirk
1533 Bell. Livy I 51/6.
Attoure, his flurisant ȝouth … enforcit him to wirk sum notabil and marciall vassalege
1558-66 Knox II 105.
Lord Jesus … wyrketh in thame all that is good
1562-3 Winȝet I 91/11.
Quhou suld ȝe minister nocht haif intent to performe and perfyte that thing, that he wirkis in the name … of God
1562-3 Winȝet II 31/3.
Walk ȝe in the spirit, and the lustis of the flesche ȝe sal naways wirk
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 67/30.
Quhat ewer thair wyffis dois thame demand Thay wirk it mony wayis
1570 Sat. P. xxi 72.
Lippin for na gude to cum, Gif ȝe wirk hir releif
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 57.
Fraude was the way to wirk it, for that utherwise it was not possibill to be obtenit
a1578 Pitsc. II 304/18.
God … wirkis all thing for the best
c1596 Milne-Home MSS 62.
The sam wyirkis no thinge to yowr preiewdece
(b) a1585 Arbuthnot in Maitl. Q. 98/15.
Worke thy vocatioun steidfastlie And rander to thy maker grace
(c) 1581 Sat. P. xliv 368.
Destroy the block, That vurkis thir Turkis aganis thé
(d) c1590 Fowler I 110/173.
Goe wourke eache one ane others wrake
c1590 Fowler I 281/203.
p.t. c1475 Wall. vii 36.
Sa I be quytt, I rek nocht quhat yhe wrocht
a1500 Seven S. 2744.
All ȝone I wrocht To tempe thi sone
1596 Dalr. I 71/8.
The gret … actes, and douchtie deidis that thair he wrochte
1629 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 80.
He saw hir tak the salt watter … bot quhat sho wrought by it he knaws not
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii 4250.
All that he wrowcht Lytill helpyt hym or rycht nowcht
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 197.
They worought ther freedom … by payment of summes of money
p.p. a1400 Leg. S. ii 1103.
The day Quhen that we sall gif … reknyng … Of all that we haf sad or wrocht
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 280.
For thi ȝarnynge sal be wrocht
1531 Bell. Boece I iv.
The cuming of Saxonis … ; thair weris, slichtis, and marciall dedis wrocht, be sindry chancis
1562-3 Winȝet II 5/22.
To hef wrocht sik pennance, for thai thingis
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 360/19.
Scho said quhat haue I wrocht That on me kythit hes all this cair
1631 Justiciary Cases I 161.
The samyn could nevir haif wrocht … the laird of Pitcaple his rwyne
1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 22.
Which gives me sume hoope that deuisioune may be wroght amongst them
c1650 Spalding II 292.
His escaip wes wrocht in October
(b) c1590 Fowler I 94/212.
In all suche other thingis such concord than was wrought
b. pres. 1582 Lanark B. Rec. 89.
They … set upone me with thre suordis and strak me sindry strakis quhairthrow I may nocht wirk ane turn
1653 Glasgow B. Rec. II 261.
Everie man to work nothing of the hammermen tred bot in such work as he is buiket
p.t. 1474 Treas. Acc. I 24.
To a tailȝour … for certane lynyng, making and vthir werkmanschip wrocht be him
(b) 1571 Inverness Rec. I 202.
For ane serwandis expensis that wraycht the said laubour

c. To do (good). a1400 Leg. S. xiii 198.
To werk & do ay gud
a1500 Quare Jel. 371.
All gude the quhich that may be wrocht
1513 Doug. xii vi 29.
Nane knew … quha wrocht had to the Rutilianys Sa gret wirschip and lovyng
1567 G. Ball. 45.
Pray for all men … Suppose thay wirk vs richt or wrang

d. To do, cause (harm, sin, wrong). Also const. indirect object and prep. phrase indicating the recipient.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xviii 430.
Thine eris … Ma nocht thole … To here thé syne that I cane vyrk
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1262 (C).
Traytoury, thrught hym wrought
c1420 Wynt. v 5314 (W).
Al the wilis that he wraucht [: noucht]
c1475 Wall. i 175.
[The English] Hangitt barrownnys and wroucht full mekill cayr
a1500 Quare Jel. 280.
Allace, by him the harm … Is euery day into this world ywrocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 14/70.
Small merit is of synnes for to irke Quhen thou art ald, and ma na wrangis wyrke
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 379.
To wirk sum prodicioun vnder coloure of peace
1535 Stewart 45239.
Greit wrang he wrocht in his crabing and ire
c1590 Fowler I 102/148.
Loss & saccage he hes wrought
1596 Dalr. II 253/1.
The king of Ingland … wil suffer sa noble a pray na way to be tane out of his handes. Bot wirking wrang vpon wrang, directes Schir Robert Bowis … with ane armie til our bordouris
(2) 1375 Barb. v 101.
The ill That thai and thairis had thaim wrocht
a1400 Leg. S. xv 176.
Thai tuk … Sancte Barnaba, & pynyt hyme, & wrocht hyme wa
?1438 Alex. ii 260.
Gif ony man wald worke him wrang
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 138.
Luf … thi nychtburris, and wyrk thame nane onrycht
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 55.
I wrocht hym wo, And cruellie I did hym hurt
1572 Sempill in Sat. P. xxx 195.
He wrocht ȝour self iniure
c1590 J. Stewart 221 § 87.
Vith ewill inuentions for to virk me noy
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxi 46.
To wirk hir schame
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xl 521.
The myse that he had wrocht Aganis hyme
c1400 Troy-bk. i 461.
Gret rygour oft scho wrought To the comowns
a1500 Bk. Chess 311.
This falt that to his lord he wrocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 193/5.
He wirkis sorrow to him sell
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rom. i 27.
Men into men wrocht filthede
1533 Boece 468b.
Ane wikkit man … thocht … to wirk harme apon Edmwnd
c1590 Fowler II 19/15.
Thame aganist quhome … sic violent beastlines thai haif wrocht
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xix 79.
To wryk in ws his wekit pouste

e. To do, work (a miracle, wonder, etc.).(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 110.
Be his nygramancy He wald wirk mony ferly
a1400 Leg. S. xlvi 172.
Tho that place ves lacht & myrk Ȝet God cane His mychtis wirk, & of His mycht mad it schenand
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 127/2.
He villingly sustenit His … pouerte to vork the misterye of mannis saluacione
1562-3 Winȝet I 17/24.
He send His apostolis … His word, geuand thaim also power to wyrk wounderis
(b) c1450-2 Howlat 786 (A).
He couth wirk wounderis … , Mak of a gray gus a gold garland
p.t. a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 67.
Of the merwalis he vrocht
a1400 Leg. S. iv 56.
Myraculis gret he wrocht
a1400 Leg. S. xi 23.
Of thé I haf hard ferly thynge & of the cure, thru thé wrocht
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 155.
Than the squyer wrocht greit wonder, Ay till his sword did shaik in sunder
1596 Dalr. I 228/26.
Sche wrocht mony mirackles allanerlie throuch the benifite of haly water
p.p. 1490 Irland Mir. I 89/29.
The blist sone of God assumand the nature of angell had wrocht gret perfeccioune in that nature
1490 Irland Mir. I 122/11.
How the blist sone of God … has … wroucht oure redempcioune

f. To do (one's own or another's will); to carry out (an intention or desire). a1400 Leg. S. iii 177.
Richt sa thocht scho to … wirk in me hyr wekit will
?1438 Alex. ii 1401.
Now may ȝe heir How ȝone Bauderane … Wald wirk his will with Ydeas
?1438 Alex. ii 3510.
I am abandoned … To wirk ȝour will baith far and nere
c1475 Wall. i 160.
Saxons blud into this realm cummyng, Wyrkand the will of Eduuard that fals king
c1475 Wall. iii 321.
‘Now,’ he said, ‘wyrk part of my consaill’
a1500 Bk. Chess 663.
All suld at his will be led The quhilk he hicht & richt so scho it wrocht
a1497, 15.. Gray MS iv 110.
In me als lang as ȝouthhed rang, I couth nocht rest wirkand my will
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 192/23.
Lat Fortoun wirk furthe hir rage
a1561 Norvell Meroure 12a.
I am first borne, that wroght my fathers will
1567 G. Ball. 9.
Our poysound nature … cannot wirk His godly will
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 197.
Earle Alexander haveing wroght his will against the slayers of George Gordoun [etc.]

2. To write (something). c1400 Troy-bk. ii 30 (C).
And so long Pryame wyst rytht nought What he myght do: so was it wrought
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1788 n.
That oft happinnit for gilt of ane A thousand that trespassit nocht To be pvnist for it, he wrocht
a1500 Seven S. 1676.
All this wrocht this clerk Virgill
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 532.
I haue said the veritie … I wald beseik ȝour maiesteis … Bot in-to gude part tak it weil Sen I haue wrocht it of gude ȝeill
c1590 J. Stewart 86/223.
Dictums … Be Medor vrocht, … Als recent fair and viwelie formit schew As instantlie thay haid beine forgit new

3. To maintain (an observance), keep (a law), follow (a practice). c1475 Wall. v 645.
Rycht hard it is … to … wyrk the obserwance Quhilk langis luff
1490 Irland Mir. II 132/32.
God … has gevin to ws a law that is impossible to ws to keip & fulfill and that He has oblist ws … to wyrk and do it
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 432.
Unhonest wayis all, wolroun, that thou wirkis

4. To inflict (a wound). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 701.
The wyis … Wirkand woundis full wyde with wapnis of were
1513 Doug. iv Prol. 65.
The bustuus bullys … wyrkis othir mony a wound

5. To invent, create (a reason). c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 206/2.
Off every asking followis nocht Rewaird, bot gif sum caus war wrocht

6. To use (a material or non-material thing). 1513 Doug. Conscience 23.
O hungrie ens … All kynd of folk constrenis thow to wirk
1533 Gau 55/17, 18.
The halie spreit virkis the effect of His precious deid to mak vs richt and saiff thair throw for that is His vark to virk our lord Jesus Christis faith in our hertis

7. Of God: To make, create (the world, a person, etc.). Also proverb. a1400 Leg. S. ix 330.
He … That hewyne & ȝerde wrocht & althynge
a1500 Seven S. 2447.
Nor ȝit twa women lykast I trow … God neuer wrocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 61/44.
God … that him of nocht wrocht
1611-57 Mure Psalmes viii 3.
The moone, the twinckling starrs … Works, by Thy finger wroght
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 609.
God wro[ch]t the warld ay war and war

b. passive.Omitting reference to God. a1400 Leg. S. ix 134.
Adame, That wrocht w[e]s of vmwemmyt lame
?1438 Alex. ii Prol. 13.
Ane, the lustyest that is wrocht That I haue luffit [etc.]
c1450-2 Howlat 955 (A).
The tyde That he was wrocht in this warld
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 252.
Al thai that ar wrocht vndir the hie hevin
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 203.
Must all ga die that in this warld is wrocht

c. Of a person's characteristics. a1568 Bann. MS 79a/6.
Fleschly desyre and gestly nvrissing In till a persone all semyne to be wrocht
a1568 Bann. MS 228b/15.
Thair wes nevir in to no woman wroch Bot planelie in to ȝour persone dois appei[r]
a1568 Bann. MS 267b/9.
Sen trewth is nocht in wemen wrocht

d. transf.Of pagan gods, nature, etc. 1513 Doug. vi iv 58.
Confusyt Chaos, quharof all thing beyn wirk
a1585 Maitl. Q. 249/6.
Euerie thing that nature furth hes brought Or ȝit to licht with schap and lyfe hes wroght Dois seik to keip the thing it loves best
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 346 (T).
‘Wo worth,’ quod the weirdis, ‘the wicht[is] that thé wrocht!'
1604-31 Craig v 5.
A bush … Which Nature her selfe wrought

8. To carry out building work, to build, furbish or repair buildings, etc. Also const. in to a site. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1038.
Sanct Machor … gert wirk Of treis fare a cumly kirk
c1400 Troy-bk. i 224.
Castellis and palais … was wrought of marbile-stone
c1420 Wynt. vi 1756.
Than gert he … be wroucht The heyast gallows
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 77.
The place … Was all … of cristall stonis wroght
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 64.
Weill wroght wes the wall, And payntit with pride
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1455.
Nor he that wrocht the tempill of Salomon, Nor he that beildit the royall Ylion
1517 Treas. Acc. V 121.
Wrocht be the said wrychttis … ij rud of lofting in David Tour
a1540 Freiris Berw. 103 (M).
Ȝon loft Quhilk is wrocht in to ȝon hallis end
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 688.
Ane palice weill wroucht with all ingine
1565 Reg. Privy C. I 360.
Schulis, [etc.] … to wirk and repair the rowme [sc. of the Castle of Dunbar]
1676 Soc. Ant. XIV 336.
The said plint … built and wrought weill in ane handsome copairtment or howseing
1685 Cramond Ch. Cullen 165.
The said Thomas is to vork ane porch at the entrie of the said pewes

b. To prepare (something). a1500 Rauf C. 264.
To ane preuie chalmer … thay him led, Quhair ane burely bed was wrocht in that wane

9. To do something to or perform some process on (a (raw) material, substance or thing) in order to make an artifact or product. Also transf.b. To make productive or till (land). c. To work (a mine, salt works); to extract (minerals).pres. c1420 Wynt. i 250.
To wyrk mettalle, Irne and stele lede and tyn To yhet or bete or grawe thairin
1494 Treas. Acc. I 252.
xij stane of irne, send to wirk in Dumbertane with Eduard, smyth
1520 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 197.
That Symon Ker by na maner of woll … bot sa mekle as he will wirk in his awin hous
1538–9 Treas. Acc. VII 145.
Deliverit to Johnne Ȝoung, broudster, iij ellis … sating to the stand of claytht of gold wirkand to the kingis chapell
1572 Inverness Rec. I 224.
xiij elnis hewit clayth quhilk I gaiff him to wirk
1586 Edinb. Test. XV 166a.
Tuelf hyddis reddy to wirk
1628 St. A. Baxter Bks. 90.
To serve and vork his maisteris daugh … according to his indentour
p.t. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 45.
Beis wrocht materiall for thair hyue
1549–50 Treas. Acc. IX 364.
To xvi warkmen quhilk wroucht certane wod and rys to be gabyounes
1595 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 6b.
Wark mene that vroycht the schepe abone the water
p.p. 14.. Acts I 34/2.
Hukstaris … sal nocht by … woll wrocht na lyttyt … outtane the tym of the fayre
14.. Acts I 336/2.
[Skinners] mak gluvis and vther graith or ther lethir be kindely wrocht and maid [L. prius quam pelles bene et sufficienter curantur]
1531 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 58.
The sparris wrocht in garronis and ribbis to the plateforme and ledyn ruyff
1532 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 99.
Leyd bet and wrocht upone the grete hall
1573-1600 Burne Disput. in Cath. Tr. 119/16.
The natural operation of the valter quhilk vas cassin on the lyme vas impeschit on sik maner that it could not be vrocht
1606 Crim. Trials II 508.
Broun veluet breikis, wrocht with cordounis of gold
1610 Brechin Test. II 113a.
Quhyt sez wrocht
1612 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 286.
1615 Edinb. Test. XLVIII 214a.
Gluifis wrocht on the bakis
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 201.
Woll quhilk is all wroght and labored heir
1632 14th Rep. Hist. MSS App. iii 235.
Ane naipkine of quhyt holland cloth, wroght in cutt work with gold and silk
1641-8 Skipper's Acc. (Smettone) 24.
For arin vark … roset … & mapes quhen the shep wos vorght vnder the vatter
1686 Galloway P. 17, 19 April.
Corne & vther graine … to be wrought & greind at the mill of Garleis
1705 Dumfries Fleshers.
[Prohibiting] any sheep to be ether wroght or blane ore cut in the flank [etc.]
transf. 1490 Irland Mir. II 68/4.
To wyrk thame to sovnder and powder as the mylne dois the corne
b. 1534 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 120.
At the saidis landis … vald hef beyne … vorcht and he … and his seruandis … hed occupeit manwrit and laborit the samyn
1536 Innes Sketches 445.
Thom Daueson … sall werk and lawbour his yardis [etc.] … and all werkis pertening to ane gardner to do
1558 Rentale Dunkeld. (SHS) 352.
For fyfe pikkis and mattokis and ane ex … quhan he vrocht the yard
1688 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 25 Feb.
The oxen and kine are not to remove whill the land be wrought
c. 1588 Reg. Privy C. IV 320.
Nawise … to work or caus be wrocht ony of the saidis mynis and mynrallis
1632 Wemyss Chart. II 315.
[Salt works] quhilk he had vrought and daylie workis
1645 Dunferm. Ann. 315.
[Coal being] thair wrocht for hame use
1670 Dunferm. Ann. 343.
The earls … were satisfied the coill in the touns muire be wrought be the toun

10. To make (an artifact or product). Also in fig. context. b. fig.With complement: To become (something), to be brought into (a state).pres. 1497–8 Treas. Acc. I 379.
For collis to wyrk the irne grath with
1602 Tailor's Acc. Bk. A 22b.
Bukrame … to … wirk the hingand byslevis on
1604 Glasgow Weavers 50.
Nane of thame sall work onie linchie winchie of the roundest sort bettir chaip nor xxx d. ilk ell
1635 Galloway P. 11 Aug.
To work poynts ane hank silver
1697 St. A. Baxter Bks. 68 n.
[No unfree boy was to be allowed in the trade who could work any] semill, or wastill … of beakin meat
(b) 1640 Aberd. Council Lett. II 237.
That ye … put your haill shoemakeris to wark the shoes
p.t. 1375 Barb. ii 578.
With his handys … he wrocht Gynnys to tak geddis & salmonys
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 138.
Quharof the beys wrocht thar hunny sweit
1549 Compl. 70/7.
Thay … that vrocht ande maid it [sc. a lady's mantle]
1596 Dalr. I 296/22.
This goldne aple … commendes the crafte of the craftesman that wrochte it
p.p. ?1438 Alex. ii 7644.
Basynes that war craftely wrocht
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 519 (C).
Sere stekynges Ryght craftely with wyse engynes, And so subtelly to be wrought That [etc.]
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 461.
Alkin wappyns … for were wroght
c1475 Wall. vii 342.
Irland ayle the mychteast couth be wrocht
1513 Doug. iii vii 32.
Ressaue … Thir remembrance wrocht with my handis twa, In takyn lang tyme to thynkyng apon me
1513 Doug. xiii viii 86.
The precyus wedis, Wrocht craftely and weif of goldyn thredis Quhilum be fair Andromachais hand
15.. Clar. i 450.
Ane braclet wroucht with gold, About hir arme … to weir
1559 Inverness Rec. I 35.
1611 Reg. Panmure I xciv.
The portrait of ane man, rudlie vroght in reasit work
1612 Bk. Rates (Halyb.) 327.
Silks wroght called: Caffa or damask … Silk say … Satyne [etc.]
1624 Conv. Burghs III 160.
Glas wrocht be theme
1639 Innes Sketches 418.
[Provided the] armes, names, and siferis upon the windockis were wrocht to the said Colin Campbell his contentment
1683 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 17 Nov.
248 load which was wrowght at coall rouch
1698 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 258.
He was setting up his worklooms for working of fyne damask stuffs not formerly wrought in this burgh
(b) 1516 Selkirk B. Ct. MS 51a.
The aill to be salled for xii d. quhar it is worcht
(c) 1559 Inverness Rec. I 34.
The thred to be wracht in his buyth
fig. 1604-31 Craig ii 89.
No hart so hard tho wrought of Vulcans steele
b. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 10/116.
Ordane for Him ane resting place That is so werie wrocht for thé
a1508 Want of Wyse Men 6 (Bann.).
Welth is away, wit is now wrochtin to wrinkis

11. In collocation with wark, werk(is in senses of Wark n. a. In sense 1 above. b. In senses 1 b, 9 or 10 above.a. c1420 Ratis R. 1340.
Than may thow … wyrk syk werkis as a mane
14… Edinb. Univ. MS La.ii.318.
[Men] That puttis Gode out of thare thocht Quhen the werk of wedlaik suld be wrocht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 351.
I maid that wif carll to werk all womenis werkis
1567 G. Ball. 8.
Wirk na euill wark on haly day
a1568 Scott i 151.
Lairdis vpliftis mennis leifing … pursevandis … pund pure communis corne … all thir wrangus workis ar wrocht
1570 Sat. P. xiii 84.
Than suld justice and lufe be clene diminissit Gif thay war spairit this wickit wark hes wrocht
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 12.
A part of thy Saviour wroght not the wark of thy salvation
1595 Cal. Sc. P. XI 648.
[He has] ane vork virkand [in their company]
1600-1610 Melvill 222.
Making us knaw that He was to wourk that wark Him selff for His awin glorie
b. pres. 1517 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 171.
Vnto the tyme that thay be reddy to wirk thair awin wark and to be fremen of the toun
1536 Innes Sketches 445 (see 9 b). 1551 Hamilton Cat. 134.
Ane craftis man can nocht wyrk his werk except that he have sum mater to mak his wark of
1600 Glasgow Wrights 49.
Nane of the saide craftis sall work ony laubour or work bot [etc.]
1604 Dunferm. Hammermen 47.
The naibors of the burgh quha employ landward smiths to work their wark
1611 Inverness Rec. II 84.
Ledder to virk vark to satisfie the Kingis leigis
1620 Inverness Rec. II 156.
During the quhilk space the said Francis was onabill to wirk his wark
1664 Maxwell Mem. 342.
Gawane Parke, hammerman, … bindis himself to worke all smith work necessaire
1658 Dumfries Kirk S. 26 Aug.
That they remayned … all the Thursday being a fast working their wark
(b) 1599 Glasgow Weavers 49.
That nane … tak … ony … silveir before the hand, except the work be wrochtand the tyme thai tak the said silveir for to help to work the same
p.p. 1483 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. II 104.
That nae work wraucht within this realm belanging to the said trades … be sauld in buithes within this burgh
1594 Aberd. Council Lett. I 60.
Thair [sc. the craftsmen's] haill warkis, ather wrocht or in working
1595 Paisley B. Rec. 165.
xj s. money for wark wrocht be the said Patrik
1633 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 370.
To Johne Bining painter for paintrie work done be him … Item mair to him for bywarkes wrocht be him at the said castle as the compt … beares

12. To cause a. A mechanism to function. b. An animal to work.a. c1475 Wall. xi 245.
Gret chenys was wrocht in the ȝet with a gyn; And puld it to
b. 1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 219.
She and her husband continued working and working the beast also

13. With non-personal subject: To have (an effect), bring about (a state), cause (something).pres. 1490 Irland Mir. III 16/14.
The grace that this sacrament signifyis and wyrkis [etc.]
a1500 K. Hart 319.
The meikle mirth … can … sink vnto his hart, And thairin wirkis mony previe wound
1533 Boece 41a.
That proces of tyme suld wirk sum occasioun of were
a1570-86 Arbuthnot in Maitl. F. 49/6.
O cruell destanie … That all dois wirk this contrair my intent
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 307/85.
Quhone that the ane the uther wraikis The quhilk will not be done lychtlie … quhat sall this wirk finalie Bot rais ane deidlie feid
c1590 Fowler I 57/264.
How in his vanis the hiddin hurt dois his consumptioun wurk
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xiv 6.
Absence … wourkis me tene
1607 Melvill 742.
I think the conferrence can wirk no guid effect
p.t., p.p. 1587 Laing MSS 72.
Quhiche varietie of dealing hathe wroucht in us incertantie of mynd
c1590 J. Stewart 220 § 81.
In smokie sops the suawe soft souber air Vrocht vaporit vobs
1597–8 Misc. Spald. C. I 168.
Findand thet the said witchecraft tuik nocht effect, and wrocht nocht on him [etc.]
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 74/4.
These same infirmities urocht the ouirthrau of the papiste kirke in this cuntrey
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. I 72.
It had alreadye worought sensible alterationes in the people towards amendement in ther manners
(b) a1500 Henr. Praise of Age 12.
Wrechitnes has wroht all welthis wele to wo
(c) c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 157/221.
That sa gud ane bourd me thocht, Sic solace to my hairt it rocht

14. To harm, hurt or afflict (a person, his mind, etc.). Also proverb. c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 68.
Thay no stranger May wirken ony wight
1460 Hay Alex. 1962.
With his dintis gart his banis werk
a1500 Lanc. 1011.
How long shall it be so Loue, at yow shall wirk me al this wo?
c1475 Wall. xi 575.
His petows mynd was for his men so wrocht, That [etc.]
c1500 Fyve Bestes 49.
With dedly synnis ar thai wrocht Takin and slane
1560 Rolland Seven S. 691.
Hir minde was … all with malice wrocht
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 170.
As ye will sa wark your heid

II. intr.

15. To act, do, behave, freq. with adverbial of manner. Also const. that clause or infinitive expressing the purpose of the action or prep. phrase with in or aganis expressing the object or purpose of the action or the situation in which it takes place. b. With non-personal subject: To act, function. Also const. upon a person. c. Of a part of the body: To function, perform. d. To fight, struggle.(1) 1375 Barb. i 94.
Haid ȝe wmbethocht ȝow enkrely Quhat perell to ȝow mycht apper Ȝe had nocht wrocht on that maner
1375 Barb. vi 525.
The king … wrocht [C. vroucht] wnwittily, For Jhon off Lorn full sutelly Be-hind thocht to supprys the king
a1400 Leg. S. ii 1109.
For-thi … To this Paule gif we gud tent tak, At gud ensampill can ws mak, Hou we suld wirk till we are here
?1438 Alex. ii 3656.
I am abandoned in all thing To work efter ȝour counsaling
1490 Irland Mir. I 8/4.
To knaw His law and wyrk thar eftir
1490 Irland Mir. II 89/26.
Richtsua suld the man … loif the creatur … als fer as he may think spek or wyrke
1535 Stewart 15010.
Sen I haif wrocht efter my fatall weird
1560 Rolland Seven S. 461.
Na empreour Nor king suld wirk at thair plesour Without ane gude counsall; Gude counsall is the procurour For to set fordwart gude laubour
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 133/23.
Our Lord Hym self vorkand be His vord ‘This is my bodye’, pronuncit be the preiste
a1568 Bann. MS 141b/48.
Ȝour courtly fukking garis me fling, ȝe wirk so weill
1596 James VI in Facs. Nat. MSS III lxxiii.
Gif they ga this uaye to uorke I uill be forced … to ryde to Edinburghe my self
1629 Black Orkn. & Shetl. Folklore 109.
Walliman wrought conforme to the dittay
1696 Spalding Sermon Preached before Commissioner 15.
What ye do … do it jointly … as one man, … every one working to others hands
(2) 1375 Barb. ii 340.
Wyrk yhe then apon swylk wys That ȝour honour be sawyt ay
1375 Barb. v 292.
Sa wrocht he throw sutelte That all the lele men off that land … gert … mak him manrent
1375 Barb. xi 328 (C).
He sall sa manfully Do his dewour, and virk so weill, That [etc.]
(3) c1450-2 Howlat 874 (A).
I wrocht To reforme the howlot of faltis
c1475 Wall. i 13.
How thai haff wrocht … To hald Scotlande at wndyr
a1568 Scott xi 20.
Wirk with all ȝour mynd to meis thame
1596 Dalr. I 196/28.
Thay wrochte with the familiaris of the Roman legat, corrupted with money, to obteine [etc.]
1632 Lithgow Trav. iv 140.
Sir Thomas … seriously wrought with the Grand Signior and his counsell to have had him restored againe to his lands
(4) a1500 Lanc. 876.
Whar … many worthy knyght … Of Arthuris hous … That neuer men mar in to armys vroght Of manhed
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 39/9.
Quhat have I wrocht aganis ȝour womanheid
1521–2 Doug. in Doug. (Sm.) I p. cv.
Gif thai had not wrocht in the contrar to thair awne distruccioun and myne sa fer as in thame lyis
1560 Cal. Sc. P. I 546.
Maist humlie beseikand your grace … to accept my part as I sall bayth meyne and wyrk in to it
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 66.
The Regent wroght directlie in the contrar, for first he directit his horsemen and futemen … to pas to Hamiltoun
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 288.
He … went to bed, whair he wrocht in drawing of his end
c1596 Milne-Home MSS 63.
So mekill as ye thinke may furder the ennde ye wyrke [pr. wynke] in
1600-1610 Melvill 147.
The Lord began to … wourk stranglie in his conscience
b. (1) a1500 Henr. Deth & Man 25.
Natur can so wirk, That … riche & pur, man de
1559 Knox in Cal. Sc. P. I 218.
England … hath receaved by the power of God wirking in me that benefitt [etc.]
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 15.
To behald nature quhair it virkis weill … and support quhair it inlaikis, or apperis to be ourcum
(2) 1666 Sel. Biog. I 161.
The people being landwart simple people, were more likely to be wrought upon by the gospell
c. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 116.
Quhen it [sc. the heart] is smorit, memberis wirkis not richt
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 236.
I wald that ilk band, that ȝe so blist call, Had bund him so to that bryght quhill his bak werkit
c1650 P. Gordon Brit. Dist. 93.
He knew him to be a profund mass of pollicie, whose braine wes neuer idle, but alwayes workeing and hammering furth sum ingeine to compasse his designe
d. c1420 Wynt. iv 1373.
Wytht that eddyr sa he wroucht, That to dede [he] sone hyr broucht
1460 Hay Alex. 1455.
Bot lat the vangard wirk a quhile to se [etc.]
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 563.
Thair with wraithly thai wirk … Hewit on the hard steill
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 573.
Thus thai mellit on mold … Wraithly wroht, as thei war … wode
a1500 Lanc. 2971.
In sich wys ay in the feld he vrocht Whill that his speris gon var

16. To do a job of work, carry out a task; to labour (for remuneration). Also const. prep. phrase indicating the nature of the work done, etc. Also with const. indicating the period of time during which the task continues. b. specif.To work a mine.(1) 1395 Liber Aberbr. II 43.
That day that he wyrkis he sal haf a penny til his noynsankys
c1420 Ratis R. App. v 5.
Sum wyrk sum pray [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 710.
Neid causis me to steill … I eschame to thig, I can not wirk, … Ȝit wald I fane pretend to gentill stait
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2046.
And we get off ȝone pelff Ȝe man tak trauell … For he that will not laubour … is not worth ane fle. I think to work als besie as ane be
1506 Treas. Acc. III 208.
To wiffis that passit in to the schip and wrocht eftir scho passit furth in the havin of Leith
1513 Doug. vi iii 53.
Ene … With lwme in hand fast wirkand lyke the laif
1537–8 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 215.
To Patrik Pow, paintour, for xi wolkis … wirkand and paintend hawand wolkle ix s.
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2688 (B).
Sett in to few ȝour … landis To men that labowris with thair handis Bot nocht to … gentill man That nowdir will he wirk or can
1567 Sat. P. iv 155.
As the woirme that workis vnder cuire At lenth the tre consumis that is duire
a1568 Scott i 174.
Merchandis to trafique … Mechanikis wirk, husbandis to saw and scheir
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 27/81.
God send the commounis will to wirk, The grund to laubour [etc.]
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 329.
The saids pynoris … affixit ane braid saill betuix thame and the castell; … that thaj suld not be sene work
1577–8 Glasgow B. Rec. I 66.
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 44.
To 8 wemen that bore sand and sklaitt … To them to work fast
1622-6 Bisset I 50/36.
They wirk thocht we be idill, and with continewall laboure, wynnis ws riches
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 176.
Better finger off nor ay warkin
(2) pres. a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 35.
I ma nocht wirk As mynistere of haly kirke Fore gret eld & febilnes
a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1349.
Ȝet sall thu duell in this stede … in Godis corne to wirk & strenth and confort haly kirk
1456 Hay II 15/25.
Merchandis in thair marchandice, and othir craftis wirkand at lordis devis
1465 Peebles B. Rec. I 154.
The nychtburis consentyt that quhat tyme that the bryg-masteris chargyt thaim to cwm to wyrk to the bryg thai sal cwm
1493 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 338.
To hew and wirk … to the … bigyne of the queir
1510 Reg. Privy S. I 308/1.
To cum within oure realme … and wirk in oure conȝe
1521 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 204.
All maner of beggares … that ar habill persouns to wirk and lawbour for thair leving
1533 Boece 55b.
The dochteris of princis … to wirk & lauboure with thare handis
1532 Treas. Acc. VI 156.
Johne Drummondis childer wirkand upoune the hagbute stokkis
1532–3 Treas. Acc. VI 161.
The werkmen quhilkis werkis with Peris at the fundatioune of the artailȝerie
1551 Reg. Privy S. IV 188/1.
Stanis … won furth of the querrell … be the quaryouris warkand thairat
a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlvi 45.
That man that wirkis best for his hyre, Syne he salbe my mariner
1598 Edinb. Masons 2b.
To sie thair skaffellis … surelie sett … that … na hurt or skaith cum vnto ony personis that warkis at the said wark
1672 Sheriffhall Coal Accompt 16 Nov.
Coattis to the 2 men that workes in the mind
1701 Misc. Maitl. C. III 402.
Marjory Reid, Margaret Stronoch and Beatrix Stewart work at the cloath manufactory in Musselburgh
(b) 1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II 311.
Collis, to Johne Ahannay … to weirk with
p.t. 1558 Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI 66.
He vroucht vitht our fre men vithtout lycence of the dekyn
a1578 Pitsc. I 251/12.
The wryghtis … quho wroght werie bessielie on hir
(b) 1625–6 Aberd. Shore Wk. Acc. 140.
For 12 galloun eill that day the auld toun wracht at the schoir
(3) 1536–7 Reg. Episc. Brechin. II 318.
The said George sall werk all festual … fastryn dais quhill four houris efter none
1558-66 Glencairn in 1558-66 Knox I 74.
To wirk Till that we bigged have ane kirk
1674 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 388.
To work sex weiks for meett and drink allennerlie
p.t., p.p. 1456 Hay II 60/13.
Vignerounis labouraris had wroucht all the day
a1500 Seven S. 1798.
All that nycht thai wrocht … Quhill thai the foundement fand
1599 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 319.
To ane warkman quha wrocht the haill oulk
1684 Peebles B. Rec. II 116.
[Not to] brother any jorneyman whill he have wrought a month with any master
(b) 1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 288.
We wroycht with pykkis and mattokkis quhill the wall wes cwttit
(c) 1606 Sc. Eccles. Soc. 309.
Andro Vatson wryt and his servandis enterit to put up the counsall desk in the old kirk and wrycht this haill owk
b. 1592 Mining Rec. 69.
Quhair Mr. Johnne wald allege that I haif hinderit vtheris to wirk sik as the findaris and the landislordis quha wer awneris of certane mynis; It is replyit … that I wes never hinder to ony man quha wald haif worcht vpoun ressonabill conditionis
1620 Reg. Great S. 784/1.
They salbe haldin to enter againe the saidis mynes and to prosecute the working thairof … at such one of the saidis mynes as they sall have last wroght into

17. Of ale: To ferment. 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 126.
Quhen the same was milkit, it wrocht our the lumes lyk new aill
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 15 May.
Cummyng to seik draff his new aill being working being refuseit scho depairtit mumling swm wordis … imediatlie the brewing fell to the ground
1650 Brechin Presb. 20.
That the milk of his thrie kyne and a dissen of ȝewes was loathsom … and it wrought lyk new aill
1650 Brechin Presb. 32.
Ther was a broust working in the geillfatt
1662 Soc. Ant. XXII 231.
His ale … being in the fatt it would not work nor bear the bells

18. With non-personal subject: To influence, have an effect ((ap)on, agane, at, with a person). 1375 Barb. iv 700 (C).
Of the hevyn … How that the disposicioune Suld apon thingis virk heir doune
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 593.
Thi strinth sal nocht wyrke Agane the treutht of haly kirke
1513 Doug. ix i 2.
Quhyll … Sik materis and ordinancis wirkand is In diuers placis
1513 Doug. Direct. 62.
Ȝour frendschip … Wrocht mair at me than dyd myne awyn estait
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 519.
Qvhilk thyngs … wysely merk … Geue thay wyrk weill, the better is ȝouris
1567 G. Ball. 10.
Trew faith in Christ wirkand be lufe, Sall saue vs
a1578 Pitsc. II 121/33.
[They] baid him be blyth and thank God for all wald wirk for the best
1613 Crim. Trials III 263.
Quhilk drink, eftir thair ressaueing thairof, wrocht so violentlie vpone thame, that [etc.]
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 274.
My apprehensions so wrought upon my cross, that I became jealous
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 456.
Oh, what it worketh on me to remember [etc.]
1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 12.
Your Maiestie heath hard … that they loufe monie, yett itt will not uoork with them

19. To become, grow (to the state indicated).Quot. Troy-bk. may belong in sense 20. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2963.
He smot him so That to the erth he maid him go With one deidly wound, wirkand wyid Among the ribbes [L. sic quod ipsum ex eo letaliter vulnerauit costas eius ex ipso vulnere perforauit]

20. To hurt, ache.Quot. Stewart may belong in sense 19. 1533 Gau 66/21.
Quhen ve study lang apone ony subtil thing thane our heid varkis for caus the body is ful of vaiknes
1535 Stewart 25726.
Occa … out of the field him bair With mony wound that warkand war full sair
1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 77.
My heid dois wark and ȝaik

21. Const. off: To complete, print. 1642 Misc. Bann. C. II 260.
Certane Psalmes, … quhairof the thrid wes not wrocht off at the press the tyme of the defunctis deceis

22. Const. out. a. Of a substance: To issue, ooze (from something). b. Of an opening: To break through, make.a. 1596 Dalr. I 47/33.
Sum says it [sc. amber] is a mater that wirkes out of the stanes
b. 1658 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 206.
That the gate is wrocht out upon the north since maister Davids enterie

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: