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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Strenthy, -ie, adj. (adv.). Also: strenthé, -ey, strenththi, strenthty, , strinthie, strynthy, -ie, . [ME and e.m.E. strenthy, strenghti (Rolle), strenkithi (14th c.); Strenth n.]

A. adj. 1. Of a person: Strong in action, forceful; mighty, powerful. Also const. to do (something), and fig.(1) 1375 Barb. iv 653.
Nane sa mychty na sa strenththi of hand Sall ger ȝow pas owt off ȝour countre
a1450 Fifteen Ois 261.
O Jesu, lioun maist strenthy, King vnendlik
c1450 Cr. Deyng 148.
Thou art nocht as vthir men are, thow art strenthy in thi face, & in the hop of the mercy of God thow art wycht
c1475 Wall. x 570.
Allace! My best brothir in warld that euir I had! … My faith, my help, strenthiast in stour!
c1520-c1535 Nisbet 1 Cor. x 22.
Quhethir we have jnvy to the Lord? quhethir we ar strenthiare [P. strengere] than he?
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Heb. xi 34.
Thai war made strinthie [W., P. strong] in batale
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rev. xviii 8.
For God is strenthie [W., P. strong], that sal deme hir
1533 Boece 40.
Thai [sc. Pichts] war honest and plesand men, … robust and strenthy in weris
1533 Boece 575b.
Quhen Edwerd knew Randell stout and strenthy, reddy for batell, … diffiding his awne pissence he returnit to Ingland
1546 Ruddiman Epist. II App. 375.
The maist cristine King of France will mak him sa strenthe be sey, that he may be maister
1549 Compl. 151/2.
He vas strynthy ande auful in ane battel contrar the enemeis of Alexander
1570 Leslie 56. 1570 Warrender P. (SHS) I 83.
So that thair is na questioun bot in this realme the strenthiest arme of the cuntrey debaitis the quene
a1578 Pitsc. I 243/10.
He wan the lady frome thame all for he was verie puissant and strenthie on horsback
(2) 1456 Hay II 57/7.
Suppos he be … strenthy to ourcum his corporale inymyes, and nocht noblesse in him … to vencus … his inymyes spirituale, that is vicis
1494 Loutfut MS 129a.
Hontaris … of wild baris … ar nocht invadit without gret hardyment and thairfor sic men ar couragius & strenthy to ficht
1533 Boece 196.
That … thai mycht be mare robust and strenthy to end the weris at thare plesoure
fig. c1460 Wisd. Sol. (STS) 356.
Wysdome is mar strenthy na gret powere temporall of princis

b. Of a site, position, natural or man-made structure: Strong against assault, easily defensible; impregnable. Also ellipt. Also transf. and fig. 1460 Hay Alex. 3037.
Thair com ane voce him till … And bad him spy ane vther strenthie place … ane crag out in the sey And thair gar big ane stark castell suld he
1513 Doug. viii x 19.
[They] intyll a strenthy place Thar palȝeonys all had plantyt apon cace
1513 Doug. xi viii 13.
Sa lang as that our strenthty wallys gude Our ennemys debarrit doith exclude
1531 Bell. Boece I xxix.
In this cuntre ar mony strang castellis, richt strenthy
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxviii.
The castel of Dunbar; quhilk, be nature and crafty industre of man, is the strenthiest hous … of Albion
1531 Bell. Boece II 386.
The castell [of Stirling] was … richt strenthy be nature of the crag, standing on ane hie mote
1533 Boece 94.
Cesare … reterit his armye to ane camp [L. castra] walit apoun the west sey bank strang and strenthy be naturale situacioun
1533 Boece 132b.
Fra this terribill myscheif sparit was nocht Carlele the strenthy towne
1535 Stewart 36831.
Ane strenthie toun, biggit of stane and lyme
1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 209.
Inlykwis intendis to haif the toun of Dunde hastile sa strynthe that tha ma defend the samyn
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 332.
Thairfra ane space lay thrie small peices [sc. guns]; with strenthie and deip trinscheis in all pairtis
a1578 Pitsc. II 251/9.
The towne of Edinburgh was all maid strenthie within and keepit be fyve hundreith men of weir
1596 Dalr. I 23/10, etc. a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 70.
A certayne man callit Robesoun, wha had … bene a watcheman within the hous … knew perfytlie all the passages tharof, baith strenthie and waik
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 56.
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1884) 30.
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1884) 31.
Thir iyles are baith strenthe and inhabit
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 70.
Certane towns, inhabite and manurit, with strenthie coves
compar. 1535 Stewart 21541.
The strenthis all, baith castell, tour and toun, … He hes gart big far strenthear agane
1535 Stewart 30892.
He … The wall … Gart big agane … Far strenthear nor euir it wes befoir
ellipt. 1535 Stewart 11200.
Ane castell standis on ane roche of stone, Ane strenthear ȝit wes thair neuir none
transf. 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 241.
The … capitan of Edinburgh castell causit big ane new port … of aisler wark in the maist strenthie maner
fig. c1590 Fowler II 55/9.
Let this autority suffice to confute thy errour, and for an strenthie Balwarke … to subuert the inuocatioun of Sancts

c. Of a thing: Strongly made; able to withstand pressure or assault without breaking. 1513 Doug. vii x 22.
A hundreth brasyn hespis thame claspit queym, And strenthy irne slottis

d. Of something non-material: Powerful in effect or influence; persuasive; formidable to contend with, difficult to dislodge or refute. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Heb. vi 18.
We haue strinthiest solace, that we fle togiddir to hald the hope that is put furth to vs
1531 Bell. Boece I 175.
Cristin faith, quhilk incressit ay the more strenthy, that it wes persewit be tyranny
1533 Bell. Livy II 127/33.
This aduersite cumin to the ciete maid the actioun of tribunis mare strenthy than afore
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus i 514.
Lufe is sa perrellous, To all gude deid it is ane strenthie bar
1562-3 Winȝet I 4/7.
Exhorting thaim to assent to our counsell, or to schaw mair plane demonstratioun of strenthiar reasonis for thair interpryse
1562-3 Winȝet I 60/26.
In sentence fer mair strenthy and difficill to our aduersaris to mak anssuer thairto
1563 Davidson Answer 208.
Na examinatione can subvert the veritie, bot make it the mair strenthy and the mair manifest to the warlde
1573 Cath. Tr. 4/1.
[That they learn] nocht to esteme ws … to be so destitute of iugement and commone intelligence, that we can nocht perceaue, quhat difference thair be betuix the simple and strenthte defence of ane iust caus, and the craftie coloring of ane lesing
1573 Cath. Tr. 24/13.
This [pr. Thus] is ane argument treulie maist subtile and strenthie
1581 Burne Disput. 33.
Becaus the lyk, ȝe, strenthiar demonstrationis may be brocht

e. Of plants: Strong in health-giving properties. 1513 Doug. xii vii 35.
The myght … of strenthy herbys fyne

2. Physically strong or powerful; robust; healthy. Also transf. 1456 Hay II 97/6.
And all thouchtis rycht sa restis and evanyschis fra syk remembraunce, and all the corps is the mare strenthy
1456 Hay II 117/14.
I remember of men … that … lyvit be dyete and abstinence. Thai men ware mare lyfly, hale, faire, habil and strenthyar … na ony othir that gave thaire flesche all the lustis and desyris that it covatis
1456 Hay II 128/36.
The blude of man … passis throu the conduytis of the body to all the membris and makis all the cors mare vertuous and mare strenthy
1494 Loutfut MS 21a.
The wnicorn is a strenthy best the quhilk is lik a hors of body bot scho has feit of ane eliphant & taill of a hart
1513 Doug. vii xii 113 (Sm.).
Vmbro … the strenthiest a man Of all the peple in Marrubia clan
1513 Doug. x vi 73.
Thar strenthy handis helpyt thame na thyng, Nowder Hercules wapynnys nor armyng Mycht thame defend
1513 Doug. x xii 47.
Lyke to the strenthy sangler, or the bor Quham hundis quest with mony quhryne and ror
1533 Boece 33b.
Gathele … was strenthy in persoun and of hie curage
1533 Boece 61.
Ferleig … is ane plesand fare man robust and strenthy of persoun
transf. 1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 31.
As natural facultie & it quhilk is callit animalis facultas ar maist strenthy & best at eis, the vitale faculte becummis the mair feble

b. Of age: Mature, characterised by the attainment of full growth and strength. 1513 Doug. xi iv 82.
Gyf ȝhe of age had beyn equale and perys And baith elyke cummyn to ȝour strenthy ȝheris

B. adv. 1. Strongly, firmly. 1531 Bell. Boece II 134.
That the said band may be the mair strenthy roborat, we have ordanit oure brothir … with iv men of singulare erudition … to pas with you in France
1535 Stewart 21541.
The strenthis all, … He hes gart big far strenthear agane

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"Strenthy adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jul 2024 <>



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