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

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

Exercise, -cese, n. Also: exercize, -cyis; excercise, -sise; exercies, -ceis(e, -ceace. [ME. excercise, -cyse (1340), exercise, -cyse, etc., OF. exercice, L. exercitium.]

1. Practice or occupation in study or discussion, esp. of religious themes. 1560 Bk. Disc. 210.
The exercise of the children in everie churche shall be great instructioun to the aigeit
1562-3 Winȝet I. 25/9.
Haifand affection to my kynd discipulis, and my … godly exercise sumtyme with thaim
1570 Leslie 159.
[At Aberdeen] their wes excersise and disputationes in all kind of sciences in the colledge and sculis
1619 Garden Elphinstoun 148.
His teacher … , marking this … His earnest exerceis, He walks [= wakes] him

b. Family exercise, family worship. 1650 S. Leith Rec. 90.
That the master of everie familie sould buy the Larger and Lesser Catechisms, Confessione of Faith and Directorie for family exerceise
1651 Johnston Diary II. 143.
I heard of Suynton's … leaving of all family exercises and privat retyrings daylie

2. The exposition or discussion of a passage of Scripture, either as part of a church service or by the members of a presbytery.(1) 1568 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 138.
To use the exercise accustomeit in the kirk of the first institutioun, and els to use sobrietie in eating and drinking in tyme of the exercise
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. ii.
The thre law classis sal nocht be subject to cum to preaching or exercise public, except on the Sunday
1589 Logie Par. Hist. I. 21.
Alexr Fargy is appointit for his tryell in doctrein to teiche in publict exerceis the xxij day of this instant moneth
1598 Acts IV. 189.
Exemit … fra all teiching in kirkis and congregationis, except in exerceissis and censuring of doctrine in exerceissis
1610 Bk. Univ. Kirk III. 1101.
That none of the ministrie either in pulpitt in his preaching, or in the publick exercise, speake … against the acts of this present Assemblie
(2) 1597 Bk. Univ. Kirk III. 947.
That every member of the Presbytrie studie the text quhervpon the exercise is to be made
1602 Ib. 989.
That all applicatiouns in exercises of presbitries is found fault with
1611 Fife Synod 6.
Such as failȝie to mak the exerceis, additioune, or intreat the commoune head of doctrine
1630 Kirkcaldy Presb. 6.
Mr. Andro Michelson ordained to mak the excercise the nixt day, Mr. David Anderson to add
1656 Inverness Presb. 278.
No exercise in respect of … the adders absence

b. A presbytery. 1572 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 265.
That a copie of the Acts of the Generall Assemblie be given to every Exercise
1579 Ib. II. 430.
The assembly committs the execution of the said order to the commissioner, … with the assistance of the brethren of his Exercise
1612 Acts I. 499/1.
The ministers of the exercise of Dalkeith
1638 Rothes Affairs Kirk 8.
One is from the Exercise of Auchterairder in the Dyocie of Dumblaine
1662 Ellon Presb. 168.
The booke of disciplin of the Exerceis of Ellon

3. The discharge of a function or office. 1560 Bk. Disc. 237.
Polecie we call ane exercise of the Churche in suche thingis as may bring the rude and ignorant to knawledge
1622-6 Bisset I. 94/32.
All the clerkis, scrybis [etc.] … appoyntted for the tyme admitted for the said exercise

4. Physical exertion; activity or enterprise. a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxx. 17.
Gude exercies is thocht torment and cair, And honest labour comptit miserie
c1615 Chron. Kings 22.
Findocus … waiȝeant and nicht featt to ewerie exerceace
1622-6 Bisset II. 352/5.
He … commanded the tiran … to pas bak frome his wicked interpryse and exercese
1626 Garden Worthies 122.
He, throw haunting honorable armes, And exerceise, … grew by degrees Nixt to a great dictators dignities

5. attrib. with day. 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. ii.
The other preaching and exercise days, … dewly exercisit … in lerning to writ
c 1603 State P. (Reg. H.) No. 115. 4.
Pleis ȝow remembre how I presented, ȝour last exercise day, … my bill, protesting my sorrou for my sin
1615 Logie Par. Hist. I. 77.
Mr Henrie Schaw … to teache privallie the nixt exerceis day

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"Exercise n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2023 <>



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