Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

Failȝe, Falȝe, v. Also: faylyhe, -yȝe, -ȝe, -ȝie; failyhe, -ȝhe, -ȝie, -iȝie, -ȝea; failie, faillie, -lly; falyhe, -ȝhe, -eȝe, fallȝe; faelȝe, fealȝe, -ȝea, felȝe, -ȝie, feilȝe, -ȝie, feillȝe. [OF. faillir, with for ll. Cf. Fail v.]

1. intr. To be absent or wanting.Freq. of heirs, passing into sense 3. 1375 Barb. i. 231.
A noble hart may haiff nane es … Gyff fredome failȝhe
Ib. 371. 1391 Lennox Mun. 43.
The quhilkis faleȝand, to the nest and lachful ayris of the forsaid Erle
1396 Soc. Ant. XIV. 217.
The qwylk ayris faylyȝeand peraventour, … the said landys agayn cummand to the forsayd erle
1402 Reg. Panmure II. 184.
To the ayris betwene thaim lachfully gotyn, the quhilk thrw case falyeand [etc.]
c1420 Wynt. v. 2195.
The towne for to leve abowndand, That till hys knycht na thyng mycht fayhle, That for hym tane had that travayhle
1490 Irland Mir. I. 77/36.
Gif ony thing had falȝeit in that place be natur, … all that the devin prouidence had supleit
1535 Stewart 55613.
Gif of him the airis maill did falȝe
1566 Reg. Soltre 129.
To … his airis maill … quhilkis all failyeing to the said James Coluill

b. To fall short (of an amount, etc.); to be defective. 1396 Soc. Ant. XIV. 217.
Quhare that faylyheys of xl. marcis … , the forsayd Erle sal aseth him of swa mykyl [as] faylyheys
a 1423 Reg. Great S. 44/2.
Gif it hapnys to falye that the said Kyrktoun cummys nocht to sa mekyll
1445 Peebles B. Rec. 10.
Gif it falyheis of ten markis, … he sal … tak quhil he hafe ten markis
1486 Misc. Spald. C. V. 30.
Quhar it falȝeis of the duplicatioun of the clerkschip, [it is] to be pait of the haile toune
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 55.
As attircop, … Makand hir net quhilk falȝeis nocht a flaw
1541 Treas. Acc. VIII. 125.
At the quhilk melting becaus of ane vent in the cuppeling of the mulde witht the tayll, the pece felȝeit, and thairfor wes brokin

c. To miss happening, taking place, or being done. 1465 Buccleuch Mun. II. 66.
Of les than it happyn the said mariage to falȝe in the saidis Sir Walter and Dauidis defalt
1486 Lennox Mun. 127.
Gif the said mariage falȝhe … be the deces of the said Johne or the said mariage be completit
c1500 Fyve Bestes 201.
Thairin standis myne awansing hale Vnto ane benefice perpetuale, And falȝe this the kirk gais to ane nother
1511–2 Reg. Soltre 85.
Quhilk pament as said is failyheand the said assedatioun to expyre

d. Gif it failȝie(s), if it so mischance. 1456 Peebles B. Rec. 115.
Gyf it falȝeis of the sayd Andro that he de in the mene tym
1462 Misc. Spald. C. V. 23.
Gif it fallȝeis at Will. Modan that day can nocht bring … a man to suer with him [etc.]
1491 Fam. Rose 154.
Giff it fallyeye the saide Huchion and Makenye nocht tobe accordit

2. Failȝeand (or failȝeing) of. a. In the absence or lack of a designated heir (through the succession failing) or other specified person.(a) 1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 163.
Failliand of the ayrez of hir body, the half of the … lordship perteignys to my wyfe
1445 Misc. Spald. C. V. 282.
James, son and ayre … Alexander the second son and ayre … and sa furth failȝeand of ane sone til ane uthir
1482 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 35.
And failyeand of ony of thir persovnis, wtheris that has comonit in the said matter
1501 Dunferm. B. Rec. 301.
To the airris lauchfully gottin … betuix thaim, ffailyeande tharof redundande agane to the airris of the sade Elizabetht
1521 Ib. 172.
Failyeand tharof the said land [etc.]
(b) 1477 Stewart Mem. 74.
Faleȝeing of the said lord Erllis dochteris … it sal be leuefull to the said Neill [etc.]
1507 Reg. Privy S. I. 206/1.
With the mariage of Alexander Lammy, his son and are, and falȝein of him of ony uther are
1541 Reg. Cupar A. II. 13.
To the langar lewand of thame tuay, failȝeing of ane to ane vther
1556 Reg. Soltre 120.
To the said Dame Margaret … and failyheing of hyr … to James Coluile
a1578 Pitsc. I. 63/15.
Failȝeing of him and airis of his body that it suld returne againe to the croune
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 57.
Failyeing of airis male gottin of the said Coline
1644 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 25.
That the councell … hade maid nomination … of Mr Samuell Rutherfurd, and faillieing of him of Mr Robert Baillie
1661 Decis. Lords G. 7.
To repay … to her two sons in fie; and failȝieing of her sons, to belong to her self

b. In the event of something not happening or being done, or not being obtainable.(a) 1428 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 460.
Failyeand tharof thru alienaceon he sal joynt feft tham in als mykill in als conuenand place
1448 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 17.
To mak a propyne to our souerane lord the kingis welcum of … xii half pundis of scorchetis, or falyheand tharof xii hale pundis
1471 Acta Aud. 21/1.
That he deliuer to the said Nichol … an acquitans of the said Robertis and falȝeand therof that he be distrenȝeit for the said x li.
1513 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 145.
Thai that hes disobeyit … [sall] pay for ilk tyme viij d., failyeand thairof thai to be poyndit for ij s. ilk tyme
1551 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 182.
And than failyand of paement thairof this our assedatione to be of na … effect fra thynfurtht
1622-6 Bisset II. 64/21.
To charge the pairtie … to fulfill the said sentence, … and failȝeand thereof to put thaim to the horne
(b) 1508 Reg. Great S. I. 261/2.
And failȝeing of the movable gudis … strenȝeable for the said byrun malis, his grace sall mak the said landis to be apprisit
1562-3 Winȝet I. 39/26.
Bot failȝeing thairof … we exhorte ȝow … that ȝe [etc.]
1572 Peebles B. Rec. 344.
To wirk … quhill lyme may be had, and failyene of lyme to lay dry werk in all places necessar
1605 Stewart Memor. 114.
[To] charg them personale give thay can be apprehendet, and failȝeing thairof at thair dewlling-plaice

c. With dependent negative clause. 1471 Acta Aud. 22/2.
And falȝeing that thai couthe nocht aggre … the lordis auditouris … to be ourman
1472 Reg. Cupar A. I. 165.
And falȝand at thir condecions be nocht kepit he sal tyne and forfaut his tak
1514 Prestwick B. Rec. 46.
And failȝeand thai may nocht ganandlie get the forsaid personis
1522 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 208.
Failyeand that the saidis officeris poynd nocht for the samyn, thai to pay the saidis soumes of thair awin pursis
1552 Breadalbane Coll. No. 84.
And faillyeand of the said Collin … may nocht manteine and defend the saidis William Malcum

d. With direct object. 1536 Glasgow Prot. IV. 102.
And faelyeand paement of the sayd meyll yeirle at Candylmes, it sall pas to the feyr of Lammes
1571 Sat. P. xxvi. 64.
Gar thame … subscriue the band, Or, failȝeand this, do with thair leuings mell
a1578 Pitsc. I. 285/21.
Faillȝeing his hamecomming I sall rather pase for him my self
1605 Edinb. Test. XL. 50 b.
I leif to William Hammiltoun … xl markis moneth and failȝeing him be deceis to returne abak agane to my wyf

3. To cease to exist or be present; to come to an end. 1375 Barb. iii. 88.
In that failȝeit the liklynes
a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 313.
To thé I haf brocht here Lestand tresoure that ma nocht falȝe
c1420 Wynt. vii. 3617.
This [abundance] falyhyd fra he deyd suddanly
1456 Hay I. 19/22.
Ane othir [fontayn] is fra mannis hert that dryis quhen grace failȝeis
a1500 Seven S. 119.
Gif caise war that he war gane. Than falȝeit ȝour generacioun
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 870.
Fall ȝet was the flesche that wes ther fude
1533 Bell. Livy I. 47/31.
That the … cerymonis institute be kingis suld nocht dekey nor failȝe
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3981.
Duryng the tyme of this assailȝe, Thare meit, and drynk, and all did failȝe
1588 King Cat. fol. 171.
Mak for ȝour selfs … Ane treasur quhilk neuer faillies in heauen
1596 Dalr. II. 203/16.
Because the freindschip … was bot finȝet and fraudful, it failȝet sune

b. With dative of person. 1375 Barb. ix. 40.
His strinth so haly can him falȝe, That he mycht nouthir ryde no ga
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 666.
Quhen sik coste tham falȝet wes, … Our the wal thai vald tham cast
c1420 Wynt. iv. 991.
All kynd of thyng than falyhyde hym nere
Ib. viii. 6578.
Sa fast thare fors can thai faynd That baithe the partyis failyeid aynd

4. a. Of persons: To lose vigour or spirit; to give way under exertion or strain; to succumb. 1375 Barb. ii. 393.
Thar mycht na worschip thar awailȝe; For thar small folk begouth to failȝie
a1400 Leg. S. xvii. 109.
He enterit in riuere faste, … Bot he falȝeyt, & drownyt thare
c1420 Wynt. viii. 6770.
I wend noucht in thé That thow the fyrst suld failyeand be
a1500 Rauf C. 832.
Quhill thay had maid thame sa mait, thay failȝe almaist
c1475 Wall. x. 870.
He saw his folk failȝe about him fast
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 84.
To perfurneis furth the werk quhen failȝeit the tother

b. Of qualities or properties: To grow less or weaker; to flag or wane. a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 847.
Al his strynth falȝet sa That he mycht na forthyr ga
?1438 Alex. ii. 1421.
It semis weill quhair hartis failȝeis, The laif of lymmes lytle vailȝeis
1456 Hay II. 114/26.
Quhar mannis witt failȝeis … sa that his complexioun change
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 471.
Quhen thai wen to stand althir best, Thar fortone failȝeis as tempest
1490 Irland I. 66/4.
The humidite and … naturale heit falȝeis in thar wertu and strenth
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 401.
All is bot frutles his effeir, and falȝeis at the vpwith

c. Of material things: To decay; to become unsound; to give way. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2431.
Bot that place than was falȝeit all, So that men mycht nocht ken no wall
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 671.
Fra we be deid than falȝeis our figure
a1500 Seven S. 332.
Thar ma na gudding it avalȝe, This treis vmbre garris it falȝe
1512 Dunferm. B. Rec. 360.
Gif the hous at the neddir end of the tenement sall happyn to falye
1531 Bell. Boece I. p. xlix.
Ane schip, … becaus hir timmer, as apperit, failyeit, scho was brokin down
a 1568 Sat. P. xlviii. 20.
Weill werand reid, … Quhilk sall nocht failȝe
Ib. 83.
Gif my claith felȝie, ȝe pay nocht a melȝie

5. To come to little or nothing; to break down or end without result. 1375 Barb. i. 582.
Oft failȝeis the fulis thocht
Ib. vi. 5.
Schir Yngerame … That thoucht his sutelte and gyle Had all falȝeit in-to that place
c1420 Wynt. iv. 666.
Bot in hys ost he deyd, off cas, And swa his purpos falyhyd was
c1420 Ratis R. 1282.
Fore-thi thar wnderstanding falȝeis, Quhen subtilyte hire oucht assalȝeis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1989.
Falset will failȝe ay at the latter end
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 447.
With De profundis fend thé and that failye
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxiii. 4.
Thair in failȝeis my science

b. Of persons: To fall in fortune; to come to grief. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 471.
Atte last thai failȝe all; Thar foly takis a sudand fall
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2212.
This warld … for ane quhyle Flatteris with folk, as thay suld failȝe neuer

6. To be unable, to lack power or skill, to do something attempted. 1375 Barb. ii. 539.
Throw the kingis prayer … That ȝeit to tak the toun had failȝeit
a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 7.
Ȝet mon he falȝe oftyme til eschew Sum that he wald rycht gladly grewe
1426 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 202.
Gif it hapins me … to faleye or againstand to fulfille the forsaid couenandis
1456 Hay II. 104/2.
In the quhilkis thou sall nocht failȝe to fynd mony notable … ensamplis
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 311/17.
Nane wnderstud vther and sa confusit falȝeit to big [the tower] ferrare
a1568 Scott xx. 47.
Ȝit felȝeit thow to faik That thow did maist desyre
1669 Justiciary Ct. Rec. I. 310.
If he faillie to redeliver that which is trusted, … he is guilty of theft
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i. xix. § 12.
As also, that the pursuer failȝieing to prove, in this case commits treason

b. Const. of (purpose, etc.). 1375 Barb. v. 562.
Bot ȝeit of purpos falȝeit thai
a1400 Leg. S. xxiv. 280.
Alixes that can se That of his purpos faylit he
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxviii. 15.
The mercifull Lord … maid him for to felȝe of that fang

c. To be unsuccessful, to fal short of success (in something). a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii. 251.
Werchis, ȝe falȝe aloute, Na docht ȝe ocht but ony doute
14.. Acts I. 72/2.
Gif he that is chalangyt falȝhe in batale
c1420 Ratis R. 272.
Faind nocht with fors at thow may falȝhe
Ib. 1644.
Gyf ane [man] syk eild passis at-oure, Comonly thar faylȝeis four
a1500 Colk. Sow 226.
Gregry … Licht lap at a lyn He felȝeit and he fell in
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiii. 57.
Me thocht seir fassonis he assailȝeit, To mak the quintessance, and failȝeit
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 496.
Gyf I haue falȝeit, baldly reprufe my ryme
15.. Clar. iv. 2131.
That war … ane grite presumtioun, … That I sould go assay quhair they have failȝeit
a1578 Pitsc. I. 5/17.
Quhair that I haue feilȝeit In letteris, sillabbis, pointtis lang or schortt
1606 Melrose R. Rec. I. 20.
Scho tuik in hand to pruif his intramissioun and failȝeit thairintill
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 116.
Decreit sould be given in his favours, albeit he faillie in probation of the remanent exceptions

d. With a negative: To miss or avoid. Const. to with infin. 1456 Hay II. 143/20.
Quhen man passis sudaynly fra grete hete to grete caulde, he may nocht failȝe to fall in ane inconvenient
a1500 Seven S. 457.
We may nocht falȝe to be forfarne
1670 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 259.
[He] had not failȝied to haue done greater mischeiff if he had not bein hindred

e. To escape, get free from. Const. to with infin. 1603 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 44.
Geneua … hes falȝiit to be takin be the duik of Sauoy

7. To make default in some respect.(a) 1467 Reg. Panmure II. 242.
Gif it happins me or thame to failyhe in the payment of the said sowm
1482 Reg. Morton II. 247.
Ilk tyme that I sall happyne to failȝhe in the fulfylling … of ony of thir condicionis
1514 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 150.
Gif thai failȝie thairin all the guidis to be escheitt
1554 Crim. Trials I. 368.
Gif thai … failȝies in making of the said act and obligatione
1598 Edinb. Test. XXXI. 308.
Gif he failȝie … in his dewtie
1613 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 318.
Incace the saidis persones feilȝie in performing any poynt
1645 Ib. IV. 43.
In caise the said John faillie in making of his residence within this burghe
1647 Grant Chart. 242.
If it sall happine me to failȝie in the premissis
1708 Ann. Banff II. 179.
Wherin if he faillie the Magistrats will … abstract his sallarie accordingly
(b) 1431 Reg. Great S. 43/2.
Gif it hapnys me … in the paying of the sayd somme … to falye
1485 Liber Coll. Glasg. 197.
Geif it happynnis the saidis Priour and conuente … to falyhe in the seruice and prayer abuff writyn
1509 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II. 339.
Geif it salhappine … me … to falȝe in the payment of the said sowme
1512 9th Rep. Hist. MSS. 190/2.
Gif it happinnis me … to brek or falȝe in ony poynt hereof
1644 Spalding II. 379.
Quhairin if thay falȝeit, then parteis to be send out and leive vpone thair estaites

b. Const. to with infin. To neglect or omit. 1493 Acta Conc. 281/2.
Scho failȝeit to big a land and tennement liand within the burghe of Edinburghe
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 242.
Quhilk gif ye failye to do, We can nocht stand content thairwith
1576 Oppress. Orkney 49.
Quha that failȝeis to be quyt, becummis convict in ane domeraw
1603 Ellon Presb. 46.
In caice he faillye to enter
1653 Peebles B. Rec. II. 14.
If any maister or servant who hes any hors … failȝea to take a field and bring home their hors

c. Without construction, usually in subordinate clauses, as gif he failȝie. 1498 Acta Conc. II. 102.
Quha failyeis and cumis nocht to the sade crya in supple of his nychtbouris [etc.]
1540 Lynd. Sat. Proc. 24.
So ȝe keip tryist, forswth we sall nocht felȝie
1551 Acts II. 488/1.
At euerie tyme he failȝeis ane hundreth pund for euerie failȝie
1558-66 Knox II. 302.
With certification to thame that failȝeis, the Quenis grace and counsale will proceid heirin as accordis
1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 141.
In case he failȝeit, to redeliver to hir the said soume back agane
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 17.
Gif the overlord of the defender … failȝeis or refuses the warandice
1641 Kirkcudbr. Min. Bk. 154.
With certificatione … that if they failȝie … they shall be halden as contumax and censurit thairfore
1694 Corshill Baron Ct. 187.
The same … to be payed at mertimass nixt, with certificatione if [they] faillie to be poyndit be the officer thairfore

d. To be in fault; to act wrongly. c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 38/16.
Gif the persone fastis our extremely, … and geve … he dois it doand vnlefully … he falȝeis
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 34.
The party contendand, or failyeand ony maner of way, to be banist the toun
1551 Hamilton Cat. 24.
The peple of the Jewis … thocht thame self innocentis and without sinne, wharin thai falyeit mekil
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xix. 31.
Cheis … Men of knawlege, gud lif, and conscience, That will nocht failȝe for affectioun
1622-6 Bisset I. 43/15.
Gif the sone be iniurious to the father, … the member that failȝeit … salbe cutted fra him

e. With the prepositions aganis, fra, of, to, or dative of person.(1) 1515 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 154.
James Maccalȝeane hes failyeit aganis the commoun proffeit of this toun in bying of Lord Borthuikis woll
1533 Gau 94/4.
We suld first forgiff thayme quhilk hes failȝet aganis vs
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2635.
Ȝe wait alswa that ȝour accusatioun Failȝeis fra treuth
1533 Boece v. viii. 179.
Be thir and siclike resouns the counsell present was sone inflammyt to falȝe fra Romanis
Ib. xi. xiv. 434.
Sum parte of nobillis … faleȝeit fra Gryme, to Malcolme adhering
(3) 1519 Edinb. B. Rec. 189.
Becaus thai haue failyeit be the space of iij yeiris … of the payment of the said annuall
1608 Melrose R. Rec. I. 76.
The persone failyeand quhatsumever thairof salbe immediatle poyndit pro rata
(4) 1549 Compl. 74/17.
As sune as the inglis men dreymis that ȝe haue failȝet to them than thai repute ȝou for there mortal enemeis
a1578 Pitsc. I. 393/18.
Thocht I was ane sinner aganis God ȝeit I failȝett not to thé
(5) c1460 Thewis Wysmen 438.
Thai are euer rakles in thar deid, And falȝeis euer thar frend at neid

8. To give way in some respect. Also with dat. of person. 1375 Barb. iii. 123.
He lansyt furth delyuerly, Swa that the tothir failȝeit fete
1490 Irland Mir. I. 9/20.
Fra tyme that wisdome falȝeit in the prince
1567 G. Ball. 101.
Stakerand almaist failȝeit my feilt
a1568 Scott xvii. 23.
Baith trest & trew my hairt sall nevir felȝie
a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxix. 47.
Sen tounge can not my troubillis then expres, And countenance dois failȝe me no les
1591-2 Rob Stene 8.
Scho restit hir on a rottin reid, Quhilk felȝeit hir quhen sche had neid

9. tr. a. To miss having; to lose. b. To miss hitting with. c. To avoid producing. c1420 Wynt. i. 1199.
As he faylhyde lycht For eeld had myrknyd all hys sycht
Ib. viii. 5607.
Thai … Fayhlyde sa fullyly the mete, That thai had na thing for till ete
1456 Hay II. 126/4.
The nature of mannis kynde leppinis to … the custume that it is wount till, and quhen it failȝeis that custume, thare mon be a fault
a1500 Seven S. 1563.
Sa did scho quhill scho falȝeit speche
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 244/27.
A Franche man schot richt wele and falȝeit na schot within a faldome quhar it was chargit him to hit
1559 Misc. Wodrow Soc. I. 266.
Gif I had done utherwyse, it had not failȝied cummyr

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

"Failȝe v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: