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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Mes(e, Meis, v. Also: meise, meys, meyis; meas(e; mise, mies; mais(e. [North. and north midl. ME. mese, mees(e (14–15th c.), otherwise only Sc., aphetic f. Ameise v.]

1. tr. To appease, placate, pacify, assuage, calm (a person or his mind or heart).Also, to placate a person, thereby restraining him from (fra) an action or inclination.(1) 1456 Hay II. 62/11.
Pacience and … charitee … with temperaunce mes his mynd and bryng his hert to sobirnes
1513 Doug. v. viii. 85.
With wordis hym to mesyng thus he said
Ib. xiii. vi. 36.
Thar myndis mesys and estabillis he
1528 Douglas Corr. 134.
Ȝour … greit wysdome … that has mesit, pacifyit and put to rest mekill of the haill Christianite
1531 Bell. Boece I. 55/24. Id. Livy II. 113/3. 1535 Stewart 41122.
This Eleank, or that he wald be mesit, Richt cruellie [etc.]
a1538 Abell 27 b.
Now I am saciat and mesit
(b) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 473.
The cruell panis … May tham nocht meis, quhill thai to ded Him bring
1513 Doug. iv. vii. 64. 1535 Stewart 56277.
Syne King Richart for oucht that mycht him meis [: bleis] He brint the toun
Ib. 50810. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus 343.
Was nathing wald him meis [: pleis v., eis]
Id. Seven S. 1424.
Lat mercy meis ȝour mynde alway
a1568 Scott xxxiv. 148.
Gif ocht be to displeis ȝow … My mynd sal be to meis ȝow [: rais ȝow, wais ȝow]
Id. xi. 20. 1567 Sat. P. iv. 54.
Musand the meine mycht meis hir euer mair
1584 Sempill Ib. xlv. 974. c1590 J. Stewart II. 195/11. a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xiv. 13.
But libertie what micht me meis [: pleis]?
(c) a1568 Scott xvi. 31.
Bot and gud scheruice mycht hir mais [: rais, gais]
c1610 Melville Mem. 316.
Mair to maise and content your motherly mynd
(d) 1535 Stewart 23247.
The nobillis … With fair wordis misit the multitude
Ib. 14597.(e) c1568 Lauder Minor P. i. 582.
Gif Abygall had nocht … measit Dauid verray prudentlie
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 23.
Ȝe can nowther bow thair obstinat hicht with pacience nor mease thair stubburne hartis with gentilnes
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 283 ().
Na mirth my mind could mease [: disease]
1603 Moysie 58.
The King, offendit heirwith, wes measit be my Lord Hamiltoun
1600 Crim. Trials II. 232.
The partie may dash them, or his humanity mease them
1626 Garden Worthies 3.(2) a1538 Abell 45 a.
He cuth nocht be mesit na refrenyt fra mowin of batell
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iv. 196.
Fra malice ȝour minde with mercie meis [: pleis, deseis]

b. To pacify, mollify, temper, assuage, alleviate or soothe (some emotion, passion, or the like).(a) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 573.
Quhill he thair passioun mesit [: plesit]
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 318/7.
Dauid mesit the ill spreit in the King Saull with harping
1513 Doug. i. vii. 59.
Seir novelteis … mesyt gretly hys feir
Ib. iv. x. 12.
Mesyng thar bissy thocht and curis smart All irksum laubour forȝet
Ib. v. xiii. 118.
With sik wordis Neptunus Had mesit the mude of the goddes Venus
Ib. xi. vii. 11. Ib. xii. ii. 150. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 62.
Alwayis Gillus inflammit more thair hatrent than he mesit
Ib. II. 122.
Gif my ire had nocht bene mesit be sum temperance
Id. Livy I. 30/20. Ib. 39/19. Ib. 41/13. 1535 Stewart 368.
That malice all wes mesit [: applesit]
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4159.
Quhen thay obey and mesit bene his yre
(b) a1500 K. Hart 631.
Gif I suld be the caus ȝe are disesit … Richt fayne wald I with mirrour [? read mesour] it war meisit
1490 Irland Mir. I. 18/14.
Oure orisoune … that we may … offere to oure hevinly fader to meis His jre
1513 Doug. iv. viii. 50.
My furour to asswage and meys [: eys]
Ib. i. ii. 13. Ib. viii. i. 36. 1531 Bell. Boece (M) I. 316.
For thir causis Dougall consalit the nobillis to meis thair sedicioun
Ib. (1821) I. 36. Id. Livy I. 30/14.
To meis the haterent of thir revist virginis
c1530-40 Stewart Bann. MS. 216 b/22.
Malis of men thai meis and pacefy
a1568 Scott iv. 58.
Sum luvis dance vp and doun To meis thair malancoly
a1578 Pitsc. I. 399/18. 1590 Burel Pilgr. i. vii.
No swaging his raging Micht mitigat or meis
1611-57 Mure True Crucifixe 596.
Hee … Yet did not mease the causelesse spight conceau'd In hardned hearts

2. To appease or pacify, assuage or allay, cause to subside (strife, tumult or the like). 1456 Hay I. 21/29.
And to mes all thir debatis it was ordanyt that Rome suld be … soverane kirk
1491 Lennox Mun. 143.
To mes and sese all sik thingis [sc. disputes] quhill it cum befor thaim self and thar well awysyt frendis
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I. 9/11.
How troubill rysand in Scottland was mesitt be prudence of Dougall
Ib. II. 15/11.
1531 Bell. Boece (1821) I. 50. 1533 Boece xvi. ix. 624 b.
As to us we wyll meis all occasion of battell quhair ony occuris at thy pleasir
Id. Livy I. 49/3.
Funerall obsequies sall be done to meis and pecify the offence of saulis towart thar goddis
Ib. 227/23.
Quhen the noyes and clamoure … was sum parte mesit
a1538 Abell 85 b.
Thai rais batell betwix Johne and him bot … it wes mesit of King Wilȝemis tua douchteris with Johnis tua sonnis
a1550 Ave Gloriosa 80.
Befor our Lord Meis all discord
1567 Sempill Sat. P. viii. 25.
Wist I quhome with to flyte agane The mater sould be war to meis
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 138.
The mater beand soine meassed, the toun stayed
a1578 Pitsc. I. 51/31.
1603 Philotus xviii.
Se quhat a womans mynde may meise [: eise, pleise]

b. To pacify, make calm (the elements, weather, etc.). 1513 Doug. i. iii. 69.
Me behuffis first meys The motioune of fludis and thame appes
Ib. v. 49.
That ilk sweit vissage … That mesys tempestis and makis the hevynnys cleir
Ib. ii. ii. 106.
With blude and by the slauchtir of a maid, Grekis, ȝe mesyt the wyndis first
Ib. vii. i. 19.
The byrdis … Wyth wryblis sweit … Gan meys and glaid the hevynnys and the ayr
Ib. viii. ii. 47.
[Tiber] On syk wys mesand his watir, that he Ane standand stank semyt for tobe
Ib. i. ii. 30. Ib. iii. ii. 2; etc. 1590 Burel Pilgr. ii. i.
I thocht I saw gret seis Quhois michty force Neptvn dois meis

c. To cause to subside; to quench (a fire); to cool down (anything hot), also fig. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 62.
Swyth the gret fyre can he mes [: bles]
1513 Doug. xiii. Prol. 23.
To meys the byrnyng quhar the son had schyne
fig. 1581-1623 James VI Poems II. 69/4.
Who coulde not quenche that restles burning flame Which onlie ye by sympathie did mease

3. To mitigate, allay (pain); to soothe (a wound); to mitigate the pain of, soothe (a sufferer). 1513 Doug. vii. xii. 123.
With his charmys … Thar [sc. snakes'] wraith and wenom couth he dant and mes [: eys] And heill thar stangyng
Ib. xii. i. 113.
Quha wald with cuyr of medycyne hym meys The moir encressys and growys hys mail eys
Ib. vii. 71.
This pane to meys [: dyseys]
Ib. 94.
This ancyent surrigian … With sik watir or ius … The wond mesys

b. To palliate, extenuate (a crime). 1618-60 Lithgow Poet. Rem. 56.
And I doe knowe, for all thy showe of mirth … these trickes can not be meased

4. intr. To be appeased, placated or mollified, to calm down. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 305.
He that crabbes without cause should mease without mends

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"Mes v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 May 2024 <>



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