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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Contré, Contrie, n. Also: contree, cointrie, contrey. [ME. contré (13th c.), -tree, OF. contrée, late L. contrāta. Cf. Contray, Countré, Cuntré.]

1. A land, region, district.Frequently in a more limited sense than in modern use, = a part of a country.(a) c1420 Wynt. ii. 1030.
Pers he gert call that contre
Ib. 1658. 1456 Hay I. 29/3.
Thay have corrumpit mony realmes … and contreis of the cristyn faith
Ib. 212/11.
In a contree callit Sytie
1479 Peebles B. Rec. 183.
Becaus … Sir Willyam bownit and schup to trawall in other contreis to scullis
Brus xvi. 27 (E.).
He said, he wald … se the affer Off that contré, and of thar wer
1547 Breadalbane Doc. (Reg. H.) No. 64.
Quhen ony of thaym decessis [he] sall leyf to me … ane cawylpe of kenkynȝe as is vsit in the contrees abowt
1551 Black Bk. Taymouth 192.
In all bundis and contreis quhare euer thai sall happyn to mak resydens
1562-3 Winȝet I. 27/17.
In al contreis in the warld professing Christ
(b) 1558-66 Knox II. 444.
When skairslie coulde ten be founde into ane contrie
a1578 Pitsc. I. 72/9.
The contrieis being invadit on this maner on ether syde
1616 Dunferm. B. Rec. 368.
We can get na beir within this contrie vnder vij lib. the boll

b. With personal pronouns. 1456 Hay I. 227/12.
Quhen he come of his contree of Ingland
Ib. 298/3.
He has bot a citee in his contree
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 849.
Thy contre thow betrasit has
a1578 Pitsc. II. 22/22.
The said earle … schortlie past to Lennox to his awin contre
Ib. 103/28.
As they might saiff thair contrie fre skaitht and boundage
1611-57 Mure II. 238.
The young king, threatned with forraine forces in his owne contrey

2. The contré, the country or district under special consideration; the inhabitants of this. 1398 Acts I. 211/1.
Gife ocht be done in the contre … throch oure lorde the kingis byddynge
1456 Hay I. 202/20.
Sen he was be justice bannyst the contree
Ib. 252/25; etc.
Efter the custum of the contree
c1475 Wall. i. 82.
To Corspatryk … he send, His consell ast, for he the contre kend
Ib. ii. 362.
The contre demyd haile at he was dede
1484 Acta Aud. *142/2.
Payand … gersum … like as the laif of the contre pait to our souueran lord
1562-3 Winȝet I. 25/15.
He diuulgat it in the contre in my name
a1578 Pitsc. I. 353/34.
He … plenischit the contrie with all kynd of craftismen out of wther countries
1587 Rec. Earld. Orkney 309.
For polisching and decoratioun of the contrie
1615 Highland P. III. 255.
Be traine of a craftie fellow of the contree, the constable of the castell … was broght furth
1614 Fraser P. 234.
We have begun the bulding of ane harbouris at our burcht quhilk … will … be ane perpetuall ease to us … and haill cointrie
1633 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 18.
Sevin dolouris gevin … to Andro Dykes … to help him aff the contrie

3. Attrib. with folk, man. 1456 Hay I. 38/21. Ib. 152/8.
Tharfore the contree folk maid him thair lorde
a1578 Pitsc. I. 270/27.
The lord Wastmureland with the haill bordararis and contriemen tharof

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"Contré n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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