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

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About this entry:
First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Descend, v. Also: decent, desend, des(c)hend. [ME. descend (c 1300), decend, dessend, OF. descendre, L. dēscendere. Cf. Discend v.]

1. intr. To come or go down from a higher to a lower level or place. 1427 Melville Chart. 245.
Hafand fre vsche of water … descendand throw the landis of the said Schire Ione
1456 Hay II. 121/5.
The kembing of thy hede … gerris thame descend in thy body
a1500 Henr. Orph. 280.
Quhen he dulkit, the water wald descend
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 6.
Lucifer, that fra the hevin descendit
1537 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 367.
Descendand down to the brek of the mos
1562-3 Winȝet I. 20/8.
We exhort ȝow … to descend from the hie skyis … amang men
1565 Bamff Chart. 99.
Ane stryp or runner desending northerlie down fra the Craberry Myre
fig. 1456 Hay I. 57/17.
A vice that gerris oft tymes the curage of mony noble knycht descend full lawe
1562-3 Winȝet I. 107/21.
That sindry at this praesent ar descendit to sik beistlie ruidnes … that thai [etc.]

2. To be derived by generation or lineage. 1375 Barb. i. 61.
Ony male That were in lyne ewyn descendand
c1420 Wynt. iv. 1818.
Fra this Fergus, ewyn be lyne, Kenyaucht descendit Makalpyne
Ib. viii. 424.
In onykyne lyne down cumand Fra the stok, or than descendand
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 195/8.
All the kingis of Yngland … ar descendit and cummyn dovne of the samyn tyrand
1535 Stewart 27.
Thair nobill deidis, and of thair ring the space. Ay lineall descendand to his grace
a1578 Pitsc. I. 59/12.
Baith descendit of the house of Callender
Ib. 143/28.
The Allmantis … quhome of scho was desendit
1663 Wemyss Corr. 110.
Ther was never any deshendet of your Lordships hous who desayers mor your L'ships honor that I doue
1690 Melville Chart. 214.
The said noble earle doeth receave in protection … . his father, and all these deschended of their familie

3. = Condescend v. 2 and 4. 1553 Blackfriars Perth 234.
Lat the witnesses descend in speciale quhat dampnage … the complenaris has sustenit
1601 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 173.
[A decision of the presbytery] quhairunto the laird descendit and promisit to keip

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"Descend v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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