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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Obligato(u)r, a. and n. Also: -ur(e, obligetour, oblygatore, oblgaitour. [Cf. e.m.E. oblygatorye (1480, Caxton), obligatory(e, -ie, late L. obligātōrius.]

1. adj. Lettre, lettris, also writtingis, obligatour (is, a written contract or bond embodying a legally binding undertaking. = Obligatio(u)n n. 2 b.Cf. med. L. scriptum, instrumentum obligatorium (1274), literæ obligatoriæ (Sc., 15th c.).(1) 1398 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 36.
In the witnes of the qvhilke thingis to my [letteris] obligatoris I hafe set my seale
c1420 Wynt. vii. 3309.
Sum Scottis men … Send thare lettrys oblygatore [W. obligatour] Till off Norway this Kyng before
1456 Hay I. 182/1.
Suppos the capitane wald oblis him be his lettres obligatoris
1479 Douglas Chart. 110.
1482–3 Acta Conc. II. cvii. 1490 Liber Melros 600.
1498 Acta Conc. II. 158.
1527 Liber Melros 634. 1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 319. 1577 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 39.
1582–3 Perth B. Ct. 15 Jan.
The said Gilbert be his lettres obligatouris vnder his subscriptioun manuall … oblist him … to … pay[etc.]
1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 142.
1604 Stewart Mem. 114.
That thir our letres obligatouris be … insert in the buikis of our souerane lordis counsall
(2) 1478–9 Acta Aud. 73/2.
A lettre obligatur maide be … Alexander and Georg to … Thomas vppoun the soum of a thousand merkis
1496 Acta Conc. II. 14. 1508 Red. Bk. Menteith II. 307.
The said lord erle … is bundin to me be his lettre obligatour to … defend to me [etc.]
(3) 1549 Corr. M. Lorraine 297.
And day assignit thairto as hir writtingis obligatouris under hir hand writ mair fullelie proportis

b. absol. as noun in same application.(1) 1575 Reg. Privy C. II. 454.
Bringand with thame … all sic bandis and obligatouris as thay … hes
1592 Grey Friars II. 69.
Upone speciall provisione, band and obligatour
1657 Sc. Ch. Hist. Soc. Rec.V. 83.
William Selkrige, procuratour speciallie constitute be the obligatours within specifeit
1672 Aberd. Council Lett.V. 178.
They will have ane obligator under your handes that … yow shall performe the particulars aggried upon anent the lands of Ferriehill
(2) 1657 Aberd. Council Lett. III. 302.
In this proces to tak heid quo titulo they will obleidge the magistrates if they have any ticket obligators againes the said Mr. Alexander Skeyn; if they have no obligator to remember that the defence … will be [etc.]

2. Legally or morally binding, obligatory. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. Table.
Obligationis are contracted be consent: and ȝet ilk consent is not obligatour
1673 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 159.
The … oath … could not be mor obligator then the solemne league and covenant
1691 Farther Vindic. ii.
The civil determinations, if they judge them sinfuland scandalous, to be void and not obligator

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"Obligator adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Apr 2024 <>



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