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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mekil(l, -le, Meikill, adj., n. and adv. Also: meick-, meikk-, miek-, meek-, meak- and -il(l)e, -yl(l, -yl(l)e, -el(l, -el(l)e, -all, -le, -lle, -l(l. [ME. (14–15th c.) mekil(l, -le, -ull, etc., var. of Mikil(l adj., with normal e for i as in Chekin, Sekir, etc.]The compar. and superl. are supplied respectively by Mare (and Ma) and by Maste.Sometimes comb. with a synonym, as mekle grete, great mekle, mekle heich, with intensitive force.For the phrases als, how, sa mekill, see also the various separate entries (as Alsmekill etc.) of these phrases written as single words.

A. adj. 1. Large in size or extent. Of inanimate things.Also with expressed or implied comparison, = the larger or largest; of the larger orlargest kind. The mekillt a, the big toe.(1) 1375 Barb. xviii. 308.
His mekill hude helit haly The armyng
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 537.
Fra hewine schane doun a mekil lycht
1394 Liber Aberbr. II. 42.
That … Wyllam Plumer sal theke the mekil quere
c1400 Troy-bk. i. 567.
The mekile engyne … Of all this warld
?1438 Alex. i. 1183.
Of land … ane mekill pane
c1420 Wynt. viii. 6737.
A stalwart barres … Off mekyll bastyn rapis
c1475 Wall. ix. 146. 1488 Lanark B. Rec. i. 1513 Doug. v. iii. 89. 1545 Aberd. B. Rec. MS. XIX (Jam. (1880) s.v. Leid).
Ane mekill leid, ane littill leid
1591 Crim. Trials I. ii. 246.
(Jam.). The lychtis … wer lyke mekill blak candillis
1597 Elgin Rec. II. 56.
The mekill oppin places
1607 Inverurie B. Ct. 22 May.
The mekill rig of the Laingland fauld
1624 St. A. Baxter Bks. 86.
For baiking of ane our mekill leaf
(b) c1420 Wynt. i. 741 (W).
His mouth is mekle
1456 Hay I. 24/77.
Twa grete lichtis … , a lytill and a mekle, the mekle for the day and the lytill for the nycht
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 154/18.
Thir thre partis is nocht in lyk mekle
c1500 Crying of Play 63. c1500-c1512 Dunb. liv. 5. 15.. Wyf Awcht. 113.
Than vp scho gat ane mekle rung
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1554. c1575 Balfour Pract. 88.
Four cradill of the greatest sort of glas, and five of the mekle bind, is ane tun
1602 Conv. Burghs II. 141.
Ony guidis, ather litill or mekle
1615 Highland P. III. 267.(c) 1560–1 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 142.
Ane meikill cors bot
1567 Crim. Trials I. i. 497.
But the barrel was so meikle it could not be gottin in
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 180.
[The uppermost crown] litill, and the doun maist croun meikill
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 263.
1618 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 371.
Till ane meikill gray stane
1632 Inv. Newark 6 a.
Of meikill stowpes
1636 Thanes of Cawdor 281. 1665 Lauder Jrnl. 152.
That the Devil did put his meikle thomb upon Scotland
1677 Brechin Test. VII. 4.
Tuo meickle chists and ane litle one
1678 Rothesay B. Rec. 356.
Eight fouts … off from the east gavill of his meikle hous for building a litle room off office
16.. Blythsome Wedding in Watson's Coll. i. 8.
And Willie with the meikle mow
1690 Foulis Acc. Bk. 130.
The key of the meikleseller
(d) 1676 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Reg. H.) 22 Sept.
To … his sone his meakle iron pott and his meakle chist
1695 Edinb. Test. LXXX. 121.
Sex chists, littell & meakell
(2) 1535 Stewart 20599.
Of erd and stone ane mekle heiche strang wall
1561 Inv. Wardrobe 150.
Twa great mekle bordclaithis of dornik
(3) 1456 Hay I. 47/8.
Thair maister citee was als mekle as Rome
1551 Hamilton Cat. 32.
Rome is nocht quarter samekil now
(4) 1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Pollex pedis, the meikle tae
1665-76 Lauder Jrnl. 15.
The water gliding … partly out at his [the statue's] meickle too, partly out at the serpents mouth
Colvil 1681 Whig's Suppl. i. 41.
On Cancer's meikle toe
(5) 1658 Boyd Fam. P. No. 236.
Ane meiklle spinning wheele, three lintt queillis
1667 Strathblane Par. 317.
Ane meikle wheill, tuo littell wooll wheills
1694 Inchmahome Pr. 164. 1709 Misc. Spald. C. V. 233.

b. Comb. in mekill-baket and (see the second elements) meikle-keited (= -kyted), -mouthed.1 1615 Edinb. Test. XLVIII. 179.
Ane mekill baket chyre

c. In naming the larger or largest or more important of two or more farms or estates, places or countries, of the same name: cf. Litil(l a. 6 a.(1) 1393 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 26. c 1475 Coll. Aberd. & B. 498.
The landez of Mekyl Bregauch
1481 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 234. 1487 Ib. 102.
The Meikle Hathdois wedset for [etc.]
1493 Acta Conc. I. 281/2. 1501 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 220. 1512 Exch. R. XIII. 470.
Firma terrarum de Almornes Mekill et Litill
1564–5 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 536/2.
In insula de Mekle Cumray
1633 Acts V. (1817) 119/2.(2) a1400 Leg. S. xl. 4.
This Sanct Niniane … In-to mekil Bretane wes borne
?1438 Alex. ii. 1222.
That thow in mekill Inde wald be
c1420 Wynt. i. 1251.
The mekyll se wyth-out, Beltand all the erde abowt
Ib. 1284.
Men oysyt to call Ytaly Mekyll Grece all halyly
Ib. v. 4142.

2. Of animals: Large.Of mares and cows: ? Full-grown (cf. Grete adj. 3 d).(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2543.
A mekile hart
15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 67.
Als mekle as ane mige amaist
1594 Black Bk. Taymouth 299.
The mekil gray cursor
1590 Burel Pilgr. i. xxxiii.
The meikill fouls, the litill fouls
Ib. xxxiv.
The ritch the pureons ay oprest, I mene the meikillest ay the lest [etc.]
1606 Old Ross-shire I. 168.
Threttie goats litill and mekill
1685 Sinclair Satan's Inv. World 163.
The silly bit chiken gar cast it a pickle and it will grow meikle
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 864.
He … saw a bare mekill & gret
1596 Dalr. I. 14/6.
Thay mekle gret horse quhilkes … beiris armed men of weir
(3) 1609 Argyll Rentals I.
Tua meikle meiris ane ȝeirling and thrie ȝeir auld
1662 Melrose Reg. Rec. II. 42.
Ane young quey and ane meikle kow

3. Of Persons: Large in stature, big.(1) 1375 Barb. xvi. 625.
a1400 Leg. S. xix. 27.
He sa mekil, sa hee and auchful vas, That few du[r]ste luk hyme in the face
Ib. 195. ?1438 Alex. ii. 4086. 14.. Acts I. 309/1.
A mekill man … , a man of messurabill statur [etc.]
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1850. c1500 Crying of Play 163.
Gar … vale to me a mekle wyf
Ib. 42. c1500-c1512 Dunb. li. 21.
He [sc. James Dog] is owre mekle to be ȝour messan
a1651 Calderwood VII. 597. 1649 Cupar Presb. 136. 1662 Crim. Trials III. 610. 1701 Brand Orkney & Shetl. 46.(2) 1474 Treas. Acc. I. 53.
To the mekle lang man
(3) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1430.
The worthy mekile [L. magnus] Achilles
c1500 Crying of Play 81.
My fader mekle Gow Makmorne
1500 Reg. Privy S. I. 84/1.
Mekle Johne Burn in Branxholm
1507 Rentale Dunkeld. 169. 15.. Lord Fergus' Gaist 4. 1557 Reg. Privy S. V. i. 30/1. 1567–8 Mar & Kellie MSS. 18.
Violaris, mekill Thomas Hudsoun [etc.]
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 107.
Christane Hendersoune, vulgo callit mekil Christane
1643 Baillie II. 125.
Meekle Jo.
(4) 1590 Treas. Acc. MS. (1590–3) 9 b.
To mekle growin Donald McCarlycht

4. Applied to God (? = great in power) and (chiefly) the Devil.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 1598.
Al thing changis at the wyll Of mekile God
(2) a1500 Peblis to Play 174.
Quhat meikle deuill may lest me?
Ib. 228. c1475 Wall. ii. 93.
Go hens thé, Scot, the mekill dewill thé speid
1536 Lynd. Answ. Flyting 19. 1553 Mill Mediæv. Plays 273.
Patrik Balmen [to play] the mekle devill
1558-66 Knox II. 311.
The good laird of Pitarro was ane earnest professor of Christ, but the mekle devill receave the Comptroller
1570 Sat. P. xxiv. 51. 1603 Philotus iv.
The mekill feind resaue the fithir
1692 Presb. Eloq. (1693) 77.
Woman, if you take not Christ, take the meikle devil then
Ib. 82.

b. Mekle of micht, pryd, speich, etc. = Great, outstanding, notable in or for the quality or activity specified.See also Micht n. for some further examples. c1400 Troy-bk. i. 238.
Dukis of gret possessions And erlis that war mekle of mycht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxiii. 36.
So meikle he was of myance
Id. xxxiv. 11.
Ane courtyour mekle of pryd
15.. Clar. i. 1268.
Mekill of renoune
a1568 Bann. MS. 135 a/29.
A man mekle of speiche Quhylomis mon lie
absol. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxv. 31.
Haile, … mekle of mycht! Haile, glorious Virgine!

c. Of things and persons: Great in importance; more important, greater.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii. 10117.
This mekill battell
c1420 Wynt. v. 3007.
Befor the mekill day off dome
a1500 Henr. III. 147/37.
The miraclis ar mekle & meit Fra luffis ryuer rynnis
1513 Doug. iii. vi. 207.
The fame of mekil Troy
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 704.
Sanct Mongois matynis and the mekle creid
(2) 1456 Hay I. 232/10.
But excepcioun of lytill or mekle inymy

5. Of more or less measurable things, as material things, money, time, etc.: A large quantity or amount of, much.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xv. 35.
[Criste] sad to thame, thare wes corne mekil Bot few war to set it in sekil
Ib. x. 464. c1420 Wynt. vi. 256.
Ane hare offt he luwyd till ete, For he wes off mekill mete
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 314.
It is bettir a gud name na mekil riches in this warld
Ib. 529. c1475 Wall. ix. 463. 1513 Doug. x. xiv. 29. 1517 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 40.
A certane of quhit rawclath, bot how mekile it was he miskennis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet John v. 6.
He had mekile tyme
1588 Crawford Mun. Invent. II. 190 (25 May).
Sche hes hard mekill speiking therof, bot nevir saw ony of the samin
16.. Hist. Kennedy 25.
The laird wes sa … seik that he durst nocht wse mekill langage
1678 Lauderdale P. III. 126.
Mekill dine & littill dirdume
(b) 1456 Hay II. 126/29. Ib. 56/19, 93/2.
That thare habound mekle humour in thy mouth
1483 Acta Conc. II. cxxxi.
How mekle gudis … or somes of money is takin be outher of the said partiis
1490 Irland Mir. fol. II. 85/7.
Quhare men seis mekle reik thai may know that thar is fyre
a1500 Seven S. 1234.
Ane hundreth merk is mekle conȝe
c1540 Lynd. Kitteis Conf 43.
Mekle Latyne he did mummill
fig. c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. title page.
That ȝe bryng furth mekle frute
(c) 1570 Leslie 299.
With meikill silver wark
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlv. 30.
Ane man of meikle speiche may sum tyme lie
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 289.
Quha had meikel money on thame
a1578 Pitsc. II. 127/2. a 1595 Misc. Spald. C. II. xxx.
To meikill drinking
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) No. 81.
An old seck craves meikle clouting
Ib. No. 12. 1610 Dunferm. B. Rec. II. 74.
The said John Smart's evill toung and over meikle drink
1657 Dunkeld Presb. II. 426.
And spent meikle time in [etc.]
?1665 M. Bruce Six Dreadful Alarms 12.
There is meikle doing among many folk, that Ille no give meikle silver for
(d) 1679 Fugitive Poetry II. xxxv.
There was spilt miekle blood
(2) 1402 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 54. 1437 Reg. Dunferm. 285.
And custume als mekele as to the forsayd land pertenis
1439 Sutherland & Cai. Rec. 225.
Alsmekill malys yerly as all the landis of Dunbeth
1528 Lennox Mun. 231.
Als meikle malt as [etc.]
1546 Reg. Privy C. I. 41.
Als meikile proffett yeirlie … as [etc.]
1549 Compl. 8/9.
Na bettir nor as mekil vattir
1633 Rutherford Christ's Napkin 20.
As meikle money, as meikle grace
(3) 1531 Bell. Boece I. lii.
Ilk man providis for sa mekle fische … as may sustene his hous
1590 Welwod 63.
Need … of sa meickle money
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 94.
That na drink, albeit newir so mekill, culd satisfie hir

b. Numerous (multitude, host, etc.); many (people); large (quantity).(1) 1375 Barb. xi. 125.
That mekill host
Ib. xviii. 370. a1500 Henr. Fab. 96 (Bann.).
Of iaspis ane mekill multitude
1513 Doug. ix. vii. 63.(2) 1375 Barb. xvii. 390.
The mekill folk that wes vithout
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xiii. 2.
And mekile pepile was gaderit to him
(3) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 327.
Of gold in mekill quantyte
1456 Hay II. 129/3.
Our mekle quantitee

6. Of non-material things: a. Great in amount, degree or intensity; large, high, extreme.Except where the noun is plur. or where the noun phrase contains an article or a possessive, not usu. distinguishable from:

b. A large quantity or amount of, much (as prec. sense).For phrases with maucht and micht see these nouns.Na mekil, nocht mekle, no great, not much, little, small.(1) 1375 Barb. ii. 524.
That thai may mekill paynys endur
a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 29.
For hyre mekil halynes
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1525. c1420 Ratis R. 246.
Fow mekile a grace God has thaim lent
1422 Stirling Chart. 208.
In my mekyl mystare
c1450 Cr. Deyng (S.T.S.) 76.
Godis mekille mersye
1456 Hay I. 53/9. Ib. 82/27.
The mekle valiaunce of schir Cipro
Ib. II. 9/31. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 315.
Bot mercy in to womanheid is a mekle vertu
1557 Digest Justiciary Proc. B. 139.
Quhilk wer the mekle doun setteng of all regaliteis
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xcix. 28.
To mak ane mekle conqueis to thair airis
(2) 1375 Barb. xvi. 46.
He maid thame mekill fest and fare
a1400 Leg. S. i. 537.
He had therof rycht mekil wondir
c1420 Wynt. iv. 423.
Rayne wytht mekyll wete
c1420 Ratis R. 835.
The quhilk has mekile syndrynes Tyll wndirstand
1461 Liber Plusc. I. 387.
Scho … mekyl gud as seyn
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1651.
It ware ouir mekill cummer
c1460 Consail Vys Man 364. c1475 Wall. vii. 30.
A justice … quhilk wes of mekill mayne
1490 Irland Mir. I. 43/4. c1650 Spalding II. 101.
Thay did no good but mekill evill
(b) c1420 Ratis R. 13.
With mekle scham
1456 Hay II. 25/35.
That war mekle unresoun
a1500 Seven S. 1901. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xvii. 4.
Sum takkis our littill awtoritie, And sum our mekle
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 91.
To mekle lenitie
(c) 1559 Cal. Sc. P. I. 251.
[I have written to Randell to come here, for he will do me] meikil steid
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlvii. 108.
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 23.
Meikle dollour
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 31.
About mine and thine ryses meikle stryfe
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 309.
One of His looks would do me meikle world's good
Id. Cry from the Dead (1775) 12.
Meikle scant of life in the world
a 1665 W. Guthrie in Sel. Biog. II. 78.
So ye would make meikle use of Christ's intercession
?1665 M. Bruce Six Dreadful Alarms 6.
Ye may be at meikle pains and travel to hear a preaching
1666 Jurid. Rev. XXIV. 21.
A burgess of Air who had meikle light and knowledge
1681 Hay Fleming Six Saints II. 44.
Lads, ye had meikle need to pray in earnest
a1689 Cleland 105.(d) a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 714 (Wr.).
Indeed, sir, that head, sir, Hath meekle wit about it
(e) 1676 Welsh Gospel Summonds 9.
Miekle corruption
(3) c1400 Troy-bk. i. 16.
Payit tharfor with mekle thank
?1438 Alex. ii. 1980.
Schir, mekill thank. sayis the Bauderane
Ib. 8292.
The folke of Grece to Gaudefere Kythit mekill thanke
1676 Welsh Gospel Summonds 16.
And he no get meikle thanks for his offer
(4) 1375 Barb. vii. 171.
He had to slepe sa mekill vill
1456 Hay II. 14/22, 23.
In the quhilk lordschip thare is sa mekle nobles, and in servitude thare is sa mekle subjectioun, bondage and thrillage
Ib. 37/25.
Sa mekle is the vertue of knychthede
1551 Hamilton Cat. 4. 1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV. ii. 72.(5) 1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 53.
To distreyne for als mekil tynsale and scathe as [etc.]
1613 Warrender P. (S.T.S.) II. 259.
With als meikill speid as his hors hes
(6) 1479 Misc. Bann. C. III. 427.
Of this mekill valour
a1578 Pitsc. II. 24/30.
For thow hes this meikill adwantage
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1863) I. 444.
I can yet lippen that meikle good in Christ as to get a suspension
(7) c1420 Ratis R. 448.
Na mekil gud of thé may cum
1584 Waus Corr. I. 286.
I haif nocht mekle credite in that toun of burges men

7. Mekill thing, a great deal, much. = Mekil(l n. (next sense). (Cf. Litil(l adj. 9).In mekill thing, greatly, much.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 1137.
Ȝet men mycht say mekile thinge Of sancte Andrew in lowinge
Ib. v. 604.
A ringe … worth mekil thinge
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 2646. c1460 Thewis Gud Women 9.
That womenis honore is tendyr & slyddir, And raithar brekis be mekil thinge
a1568 Bann. MS. 159 a/102.
He will talk mekle thing & nevir be confest
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 2961.
And he may help thé in mekill thing
1513 Doug. viii. vii. 20. Brus xiii. *134 (H).
That we them hate in meekle thing

b. absol. as n. 8. Much, a great deal, a large amount. Passing into next sense.Absol. use of senses 5 and 6 of the adj.To mak mekill of (someone or something), see Mak v. 15.Mekill of (a period of time), the best part of.(1) 1375 Barb. x. 275.
Mekill of hym may spokin be
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 523. 14.. Acts I. 385/2.
That best aw to be prisyt how mekill it was worth ded
c1460 Vert. Mess (S.T.S.) 16. 1456 Hay I. 300/2.
In mydlyn way, Nocht our mekle na our lytill
c1475 Wall. iii. 273.
I knaw he will do mekill for his kyne
Ib. vii. 1136.
Our mekill it is to proffer thaim battaill Apon a playne feild
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 376.
Luffaris … That I held … derer be ful mekill
1529 Lynd. Complaynt 166.
We thynk thame verray naturail fulis That lernis ouir mekle at the sculis
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 131.
The rycht understanding of the samyn servis mekle for men unlearnit
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 38.
Ane thousand pundis … , quhilk was mekle to him to forbeir
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xlv. 23. 1567 G. Ball. 213, 235. 1583–4 Waus Corr. I. 280.
That my lady Vchiltrie is inawing mekill for hir landis
1596 Dalr. II. 406/4.
Quhat suld mekle [L. Quid multa] ?
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 832.
There is meikle between word and deed
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1114.
Meikle eat wald have meikle weit
Ib. No. 1449. 1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 356.
He that is faithful in the least, he is also faithful in meikle
1685-8 Renwick Serm. 249.
Ye talk meikle of your fasting
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xiii. 10.
[St. John] of Cristis priwete mekil wyste
c1420 Ratis R. 998.
Na fyrst nocht mekyll of thi gere
c1420 Wynt. ii. 12.
Mekyll off sakles blwde be schede
Ib. viii. 6610.
He couth rycht mekill off cumpany
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 207/11.
The dalphyne … conquest mekle of Yngland
Ib. 229/4. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 201/7.
Beleving the pepill to haue yneuch and oure mekil of wilfull furie
1532 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 77.
Becaus thai misknaw quhat part of quhow mekill of the saidis landis of Raitht … ar wortht the said sum
15.. Dunb. App. ii. 66.
This preist … That had sa mekle of warldis wrack
1559 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 316.
Quhairthrow thair wald inlayk mekill thairof
1609 Glasgow Trades House 18.
To declair quhow meakll thay will gif of the same
1613 Inverness Rec. II. 112.(3) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 2330.
Mekill of the nicht thair sat he at the wait
a1578 Pitsc. I. 324/4.
[He] remanitt thair mekill of ane day
1615 Crim. Trials III. 292.
The procedingis and ceremoneis tuik mekle of aucht dayes
(4) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 138/12.
The cause that moueis me at this tyme to eik this mekle to ȝow in al haist
1570 Reg. Morton I. 53.
This mekle I doupt nocht bot ȝe wnderstand
1597 Misc. Spald. C. II. lxi.
This mekill shortlie
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 451. c1610 Melville Mem. 231.(5) a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 1071.
Many litles makis a meikle

b. (For, in) als (also etc.), sa (swa, so) mekill: see also Alsmekill, Foralsmekle, Forsamekle, Insameikle, Samekill.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii. 2694.
For a pynt now mon [we] pay Als mekill nere ilke day
1480 Rec. Earld. Orkney 331. 1513 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 27 a. 1531 Rec. Earld. Orkney 213.
Als meikil
1551 Hamilton Cat. 96.
Als mekle
1573 Sat. P. xlii. 83.
Quhen ȝe … ar daft and ȝoung … Ȝe knaw als mekill as ane guse
a1578 Pitsc. II. 111/25.
Allis mekill
1588 King Cat. fol. 172 b.
To help him als mekle as in vslyis
1596 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 65.
Als meikel
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) 3.
As meikle
1612 Orkn. & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 10 Aug.
Als mekill
1615 Inverness Rec. II. 133.
Alse meickil
1623 Black Bk. Taymouth 364.
Alse meikall
(2) 1375 Barb. iii. 100.
That is al-so mekill to say her As the durwarth sonnys perfay
1533 Boece iii. vi. 98 b.
To name Julis hoff als mekill to say the hall or clois of Julius
1535 Stewart 36355. 1563 J. Davidson in Wodrow Misc. 192.
For that war als mekle to say as [etc.]
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 123 b.
Dis in Greik is als mekill to say as bis in Latin
(3) 1375 Barb. i. 321.
Na thar wes nane that euir [him] kend Wald do sa mekill for him
Ib. 426.
Yheyt has he nocht sa mekill fre As [etc.]
1456 Hay II. 14/18.
A man is nocht a lord suppos he have never sa mekle of warldly gudis
1475 Lennox Mun. 105.
Sa mekel as hapnis to be wnrun of the tak
1515 Douglas Corr. 68.
Gyf ȝe kouth do so mekyll as caus the Kyng mak a post therfore
1527 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 90.
Pament of sa meikill as he can preiff with nychtbouris
a1538 Abell 9 b.
Sa mekill hes ye haif sa mekill ar ȝe worth and sa mekill I lufe ȝow
1562-3 Winȝet I. 24/16.
In mony townis thair is not … sa mekle prouidit thairto as a common house
1584 Conv. Burghs I. 193. 1590 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 32.
[The Council] ordanet Alexr. Slowman … to … tak doun swa mekill of his wester dyke … as is biggett within the touns bounds
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Liceor, to lowe for so meikle
1610 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 153. 1627 Rep. Parishes 73.
Not so meikill
1676 Welsh Gospel Summonds 23.
Ye that say ye cannot do so meikle as to make a mint
(4) c1450 Cr. Deyng (S.T.S.) 13, 14.
Ande in-samekile as the saull is mare precious … than the body, in-samekile is the ded of it mare perulus
1456 Hay I. 14/25.
In sa mekle that I wald ȝe had sum understanding thar of
Ib. II. 13/27.
And thus sen a man is mare hable … to be better na womman, in samekle is he mare enclynit tobe tempit to vice
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 2485. c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 46/5.
And thocht God here nocht consentand to the prayere in sa mekle that he is in syn, neuertheles in safere as [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet I. 4.
In sa mekile that we may be als bald of his … victorie as thocht we had done it oure selfis
Id. Hebr. vii. 22. 1558-66 Knox I. 283.
Never twa of thame universallie aggreing in all pointis, in samekle as thei ar of men
(5) 1515 Gray Lett. App. iii.
For so mekyll as certane consideracions hes mowyt vs to lycent our cusyng [etc.]
c1590 Fowler II. 64/17.
For sa mekill
1699 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III. 106.
For so meikle as I am of considerable age

C. adv. 9. To a large extent, greatly; a great deal; much.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 447.
He … that nycht mekyl woike
?1438 Alex. ii. 3732.
To mekill, shir, drede I ȝour skaith
c1420 Ratis R. 172. c1420 Wynt. vii. 1195.
In till Karlele … thare he hade Offt and mekyll his duellyng
Ib. viii. 3884. c1450 Cr. Deyng (S.T.S.) 8.
It may awaill rycht mekile till have a gude ende
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 240.
For do he nocht, he wyll be mekile lakit
1456 Hay I. 11/27.
Ilke man did sum thing that was mekle to lowe and to pris
Ib. 33/3. Ib. 37/4.
He failit nocht mekle of his purpos
Ib. 62/36.
He was rycht mekle enclynit to vertue moral
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1098.
As me think thow … mekill fro thame differis in language
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1311.
I thank thé mekill, schir knycht
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 334 b.
Thi hienes suld nocht multiply mekle the ministeris of iustice
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 240. Ib. 474. 1513 Doug. xi. xvi. 19. 1533 Boece vi. i. 184 b.
Athirco … hantit wersling mekil
Ib. xii. 209.
To that gam mekill gevin
1535 Stewart 42441. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 57. 1557 Knox IV. 279. 1560 Carte Northberwic 78. 1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. 3/19.
Sum thingis nocht meakle appertenand to the caus
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 78/6. c1590 Fowler II. 10/19. Ib. 128/7. 1596 Dalr. I. 83/12. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 169/1. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 116, etc. 1629 Justiciary Cases I. iii. a1689 Cleland 66.
Ye speak, sir, like a man Who meikle with your logick can
1685 Hay Fleming Six Saints I. 84.
If he has never preached. meikle has he prayed in his time
(2) c1420 Wynt. ii. 401.
Mekyll agayne hys fadyr wylle
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1549.
Baith of Grece and mekill of ane make And of an age
1490 Irland Mir. I. 11/15. 1533 Boece vi. v. 194.
Thare awne houndis … war mekill behind the Scottis
1576 Orkney Oppress. 48.
Thair gudis … war comprysit meikle inwith the avale
(3) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 205.
O thyng full mekill wirteous
1456 Hay I. 145/3.
Thai ar nocht mekle contrair to this opynioun
1533 Boece ii. ix. 74.
Thare fassons nocht mekill variant fra the rytis of Egipcianis
1630 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II. 28 July.
That he hade not gottin meikle drunk

b. Qualifying comparatives: Much, far, still.(1) c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 1888.
To traist in God is mekill better ay
Ib. 3518.
Than war I mekill war na ane tratoure
c1475 Wall. ix. 251.
This blythis me mekill mor
1490 Irland Mir. I. 69/27.
And tharfor … beatitude of that state was mekile perfitare
Ib. fol. 333 b.
Thai that are gret fautouris … ledis thame that are mekle les to the gebet
Id. Asl. MS. I. 44/4. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lx. 47. 1533 Boece xiii. xi. 522.
The tyrannye … is mekill mare importabill
a1538 Abell 119 a.
[They] hes recowerit all thare landis and mekill maire agane
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 191. 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 97. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 2808. c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 268.
I compt thame daft and mekill wors nor mad
1567 G. Ball. 171. Ib. 181. a1578 Pitsc. I. 25/15. c1590 Fowler II. 78/2.
They ar mekill mair suirer
1596 Dalr. I. 5/16. Ib. 14/27.
Quhair throuch the cuntrey is nocht lytle bot mekle hailsumer
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. iii. io.
Sho is mair mobile mekle nor the mone
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1691. 1629 M. Works Acc. MS. XX. 31.
The treis conteinit that meakle mair nor he ressauit
1631 Justiciary Cases I. 166.
The samyn [leg] being … mekill schorter nor the uther
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1751) 93.
Meikle better
(2) a1400 Leg. S. l. 210.
Mekill les ȝeit suld men trew A brokill woman as is thu
1563 Melville Chart. 107. 1581 Burne Disput. 127. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 26/7.
Thinke not … that … youre dignitie diminishes youre faultis mekle lesse giues you a licence to sinne
1598 Paisley B. Rec. 87.
They have alredie bestowit … sumptuous expensis thairupon, mekil les ar thae be able to uphald the said brig
1604 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 35. 1606 Birnie Kirk-b. xiii. 18.
Wee neyther reade of kirks nor buriales, mekill lesse of kirk-buriales
1607 Stirling Presb. in Hume xxxvii.
Mr. Patrik hes not bein … habill to discharge his awin calling in preaching … meikelles is he habill [etc.]
1616 J. Maitland in Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 166.
Abot of Londores he never wes, nor ȝit President of the Session, mekle les of the Privie Councell
c1450-2 Howlat 24.
Content of the fair firth, Mekle mair of the mirth [etc.]
1551 Hamilton Cat. 242.
Gyff carnell fathers … gyff thaire sonnis gude gyftis, meklemair your hevinlie father [etc.]
1567 G. Ball. 215. 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 130. 1584 Gowrie P. 38.
A thief … may be taken without sumonds, meikill mair he in tressone
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 182/3.
It maye be thocht … imbecillite of spreit in a king to speake obscuirlie. mekle haire untreulie
c1650 Spalding I. 235.

c. (Als, sa, that, how) mekill.Nocht sa mekle … as … , not so much … as … , not … but rather … .(1) 14.. Acts I. 42/2.
And he luf his sone … sa mekyll that [etc.]
Ib. 52/2.
To be fre sa mekill as a swyn of iij ȝer elde … is of lenth
1456 Hay I. 235/22.
He may nocht … mak thame na questioun … sa mekle ar thai privilegit be the lawis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 291.
I vald … cheris him so mekill
1531 Bell. Boece (M) II. 160.
Reiosing in na thing sa mekill as in vayn detraccioun
Id. Livy II. 165/22. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 9/9. 1570 Leslie 122.
Sa mekill dred in France
a1578 Pitsc. I. 16/22.
Thair was na thing that scho haitit so meikill as ciuill weiris
Ib. II. 68/27.
Lauch so meikill as ȝe pleis, said he
1580 Hay in Cath. Tr. 42/18.
Quhy raill ye swa mekle against the seate of Rome
1610 Laing MSS. I. 123.
Giff ye respect not so meikill the advantag … as ye feir the loss
(2) 1550 Knox III. 50.
Not so mekill in wordis as in deid
1562-3 Winȝet II. 36/10.
That his doctrine mycht be callit nocht sa mekle ædificatioun as temptatioun of the Kirk
Ib. 48/14.
Nocht wordis sa mekle as certane hwnie
c1590 Fowler II. 28/9. Ib. 87/21.(3) 1485 Lag. Chart. 54.
That the said Gyb had alse mekle mare than the tane half of the saidis landis
(4) 1559–60 Inverness Rec. I. 40.
He lewir se hym hangit nor he effec his hatret that mekyll
(5) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1349.
That pane of ciuile law, … How mekle mair with sorowe suremonting All erdlie pane [etc.]
1567 G. Ball. 33. 1588 King Cat. 15 b.
How mekil better thane is that lyfe to be estimit
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 33/257. 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 87/31. 1598 James VI Basil. Doron 131/4.(6) 1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 22.
To prays eftirwart als mekill your justice as thai had afoir condampnit [etc.]
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 531.
It goes as meikle in his heart as in his heel
(7) 1596 Dalr. I. 11/18.
Thair ȝeirlie rentis … is nocht ȝit violat, how mekil sa evir thair places … the furies of thir wod men … haue castne doune
(8) 1618 Trial Isobel Inch 9.
And that so meikill the rather that God had mervelously … oppenit the mouth of hir awin bairn

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"Mekil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Jun 2023 <>



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