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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hevy, Hewy, a. Also: hevye, hevi(e (evi); hewy(e, hewé; heavy, -ie; heawie, heaffie. [ME. hevy(e, hevi, (evi,) early hefeȝ, -iȝ, OE. hefiᵹ. Cf. Havy a.]

1. Materially heavy; of some weight.(1) (a) a1400 Leg. S. xix. 246.
The lytil barne … Wox euiare mare and mare
?1438 Alex. i. 1488.
With swerd … That heuy was
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2638.
All heuie thing man of the self discend
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 687.
His tender bak beris the hevy croce
1502 Treas. Acc. II. 37.
For ane hat to the King, quhen he gaif away his hat for caus it wes hevy
1513 Doug. vi. vi. 62.
Vndir the paysand and the hevy charge [sc. a boat-load]
1531 Bell. Boece I. viii.
Thir four bodyis elementar: Two hevy and grosse, and two ar licht and pure
1564 Prot. Bk. T. Johnsoun 138.
Ane hevi ax
1615 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 181.
That na caschies be hevier than ane half setting weicht
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 867.
Ane ankyre rycht hewy He gert bynd till his hals
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1170.
Haylstanys … hewy, thik and hard can licht
Ib. v. 1969.
Wyth hard and hewy stanys
c1475 Wall. iv. 251.
That staff he had, hewy and forgit new
1533 Gau 62/27.
Thair is na hewiar burdine to men na sine
(c) ?1438 Alex. ii. 9056.
Ane mekill, heauy mas [= mace]
c1563 Reg. Panmure I. p. xxxiv.
[The water] maid them heawie and onahil to flea
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xii. 79.
As scho with barne had bene hewy
(3) 1375 Barb. ii. 369.
He … hard and hewy dyntis gave
?1438 Alex. i. 2443.
The heuy dintis to gif and tak

2. Of the body or persons: Having a feeling of weight, languid. 1375 Barb. vii. 175.
Quhen the vanys fillit ar, The body vorthis hevy, … And to slepe drawis hevynes
1456 Hay II. 77/28.
Grete febilness of body has maid me sa paysand and hevy to travaile
Ib. 119/29.
Gude of sycht, nocht hevy of eyne
1533 Gau 66/30.
Our bodis sal be na mair hewy or sweir
1596 Dalr. I. 213/18.
King Constantine is … sa dul, and heauie, … and deid ydle

b. Of sleep, age, or feelings. a1400 Leg. S. xl. 702.
And vaknit as of hewy slepe
1533 Boece ii. iii. 61 b.
My hevy age requiris now to he absoluit and relaxit fra curis
c1615 Chron. Kings 109.
The king … being on ane heaffie sleip
1661 Black Sc. Witches 46.
Thair came as shoe thoght a heavie spirit wpon hir

3. a. Burdensome, hard to bear, oppressive. 1456 Hay I. 205/26.
Suppos it be rycht hevy to thole be the lawe that ane innocent man … suld he punyst
1490 Irland Mir. I. 14/3.
Tharfor considere that thi office is … of hevy charge
a1500 Lanc. 1029.
Confusit with a hewy thocht, … Deuoydit was his spritis
1513 Doug. xiii. ii. 75.
All that horribil was, or ȝit heuy, Woful, hidduous
1533 Boece vi. xiii. 211 b.
Beseking onelie the legate he wald nocht think hevy to supple him with power
1531 Bell. Boece II. 169.
Gif peace under thir conditiouis war thocht hevy
1528 Lynd. Dreme 66.
I … Had lyne walking, … Throuch heuy thocht, that no way sleip I micht

b. Severe or extreme in any respect; serious.(1) 1375 Barb. xvii. 20.
He had ay at thame hevy will
14.. Acts I. 328/2.
Gif he dois nocht, he sal remayn in the kingis hewy mercy
?1438 Alex. i. 1609.
The myscheif was heuy, And richt cruell to athir party
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1540.
Glydand glaidnes temper with the gall Of hevy panis
1490 Irland Mir. I. 121/4.
All this time … mankind has bene for his gilt in hevy presoune
1513 Doug. vii. x. 117.
Hevy wraik and sorofull vengence ȝit sall thé ourtak
Ib. xiii. ii. 116.
So huge and hevy perrellis
1545 Reg. Privy S. III. 196/2.
Vexit with infirmiteis and hevy sekenes
1555 Peebles B. Rec. 223.
To thair hevy dampnage and skaith
1560 Rolland Seven S. 667.
Betuix vs twa is chancit ane heuie cace
1596 Misc. Spald. C. I. 87.
He tuik bed with ane extreme heuie seiknes
c1615 Chron. Kings 36.
Deceissing of ane heaffie diseas
(2) 1489 Lennox Mun. 129.
Nocht to commyt sic hewy crymes

4. Oppressed in spirit, dejected, distressed. c1420 Wynt. v. 1980.
Marcus, … hewy in till hys hart and wa
Ib. viii. 2091.
In hart he wes hewy
c1475 Wall. ii. 309.
The mynister said, with hart hewy as leid
1492 Myll Spect. 291/17.
He was maire hevy to depart with hyr na for all the laif
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 664.
Vp he rais richt heuie and dolent
Id. Seven S. 2118.
Quhairof the King was heuie in his minde
Ib. 9041.
Of ȝour depart my hart is richt heuie
c1600 Montg. Suppl. xxxv. 66.
With humell hewe hairtt

b. Manifesting or expressing depression.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii. 839.
He wald wyth hevy chere Mak for this man swa gret prayere
c1475 Wall. i. 251.
With hewy cheyr and sorowfull in thocht
1531 Bell. Boece II. 40.
Hengist … reprevit him quhy he maid sa hevy cheir in the time of his mariage
1528 Lynd. Dreme 475.
With heuy cheir, and cullour paill as leid
(2) c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 51/13.
Quhar thair salbe greting, sorow & hevy murnyng
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 102.
Marcy and Piete maid ane full hevy mane
1513 Doug. ii. v. 72.
Ane hevy murmour, as it was draw Furthof the boddum of his breste
1576 Crim. Trials I. 51.
Makand hevye sair dule with herself

5. Comb. with -hedit, -hertit. 1456 Hay II. 119/31.
He that has a wayke calde stomak … is … hevy hertit and sad
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 31.
Melancoly … Heuie-heidit and seindill in game or glew

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"Hevy adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Feb 2023 <>



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