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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Repreve, -prove, -pruve, v. Also: ra- and -prew(e, -pref(e, -preif(e, -preiff; -prive; -prow(e, -prof(f, -proif; -pruw, -pruf(e, -pruff, -prwfe, -pruif. [ME and e.m.E. repreue(n (Manning), reprieve (Spenser), also reprove(n (Rolle), repruue (a1325), AF repreov-, repruver, OF reprover (c1120 in Larousse), L. reprobāre.]

1. tr. To censure (conduct, way of thinking, etc.); to express disapproval of.(a) c1420 Ratis R. 1451.
Eild can nocht se to rapref wyce
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 394.
Na man may rapref the werk of God
a1500 K. Hart 128.
For wes thair nocht … That no man micht the poynting of ane prene Repreve
c1515 Asl. MS I 202/2.
Becaus he reprevit his wikkit deidis he exild him
1513 Doug. Comm. i Prol. 425.
Quhilk falt reprefit nocht the goddes diuinite
a1538 Abell 11b. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 491.
Jeremy reprefand the ydolatre of his pepill … thai stanit him to deid
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2469.
Dauid planely did repreue ydolatrye
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 134/13.
Vritand aganis Luther he reprevis the jugement and doctrin of hyme that apprevis the real presence
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.) 402.
Quhat oppressioun or vice hes he not repreuit?
(b) a1500 Henr. Fab. 6.
To repreif [Bann. repreife] thé of thi misleuing, O man
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1275.
I considder prudent folk will … sic jangling repreif
Id. Æn. i Prol. 106.
My wark or ȝhe repreif Consider it warly reid oftar than anys
a1538 Abell 71b.
Hir wikkit malice is to repreif principalie in 3 thingis
1549 Compl. 12/15.
Prompt to repreif ane smal ignorant falt
Ib. 156/25.
Bot I repreif the ouer prodig expensis that sum gentil men makkis on horse and doggis
1567 Sat. P. vii 82.
Quhat preachour this repreif, I pray ȝow, durst?
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 325/34.
All vertew loue and all vyces repreif
(c) a1400 Leg. S. v 106.
Ȝet God of hewine sic lare vald reprof
1456 Hay I 256/24.
It is a thing reprovit of God and of his lawis
1490 Irland Mir. II 107/3.
The philosophouris … reprehendis and reprovis ane of thame vthir thar sawis and opinioun as fals
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 970.
Thow rauis vnrockit, … So to reproue ryches or propertie
a1578 Pitsc. I 40/8.
Persawing … they could nocht reprowe his tyrannie be strength or might
Ib. II 65/13.
I reproved no maner of confessioun
1584 Misc. Bann. C. I 122.
Som ministers did reprove the enormities that reigned
1700 Rothesay Par. Rec. 134.
[They are to] reprove any breach of Sabbath or smaller indecencies they can find
(d) ?1438 Alex. i 563.
Men suld nocht repruf pouerte
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 29.
We find … That men suld prech, … Raprufand erour, foly and wyce
1490 Irland Mir. II 119/26.
I speik nocht of the woidnes corporale at Arestotill reprufis in the ferd buk of phesik
a1500 Bk. Chess 747.
So hie [= he] repruiffis in a judge to be A vrechednes alyk and verray pouirtie
1513 Doug. i Prol. 496.
Gyf I haue falȝeit, baldly reprufe my ryme
a1538 Abell 123a.
And thow be prelait or prechour thow suld reprwfe herice and conferme the faith
a1568 Scott i 45.
The pulling doun of policie reprufe

2. To rebuke, blame or chide (a person); to find fault with.Also const. of or for (the action reproved, etc.), and with clause or other compl.(1) a1400 Leg. S. ii 120.
Than fyfe of his maste prewe men Reprewit Nero
1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 1951.
May nane repreif me quhan I de ane king
c1460 Thewis Wysmen 44.
Fore wysdome … fleis fra thaim that it raprevis
a1500 Rauf C. 843.
‘Now, be the rude,’ said Schir Rauf, ‘I repreif thé!’
a1500 Lanc. 3227. c1475 Wall. vii 612.
At Bothwell ȝeit he was, Repreiffit Wallang or he wald forthir pas
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 126/78.
I say not, Sir, ȝow to repreiff
1533 Bell. Livy I 145/10.
He reprevit euery ane of thame be thare name
a1538 Abell 83b.
Quhilkis first bringand a wnconsecrat wst he reprevit
1549 Compl. 159/25. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 243.
Judith … repreffit [pr. repressit] thame scharply sayand quhat maner of men ar ye?
1587-99 Hume 210/2.
Gif thow be euill, thow will be wors repreuit
(b) 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 245.
The vther wald na mair reprive him, But all men he forbade beleive him
(c) 1375 Barb. ii 116.
Bot, at I nocht reprowyt war, On this maner weile wyrk thou may
Ib. xvi 605.
For he had thaim reprowyt [C. repreuit] sua That … nane fled him fra
?1438 Alex. ii 4728.
Ȝe … ay reproues me quhen ȝe may!
c1450-2 Howlat 809 (A).
The dene rurale, the ravyn, reprovit him than
1456 Hay II 90/17.
Than sall he be reprovit … and put to perpetuale defame
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 85.
My freyindis thow reprovit with thy pen
1535 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 148.
Quhair ane unfreman … efter that he be reproffit, dyngis our giltine burges one the faice …, ve put sic ane man in to ane gret vrang
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 14.
To wryt to the lord of Kilmawaris … in sum part reprowan hym
1575 Reg. Soltre 229.
Thair brethering being … reprovit be the maister hospitale
(d) a1500 Henr. Robene & M. 32.
Thay wald ws bayth reproif
(e) c1420 Ratis R. 966.
That nane reprufe thé eftirwart
c1420 Wynt. ii 731 (C).
Repruffand [R. Repruwand] thaim as sottis wille … For to lieff it fayntly
c1460 Consail Vys Man 101.
Thow may nocht ples hyme to rapruf
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2281.
Ane lord … That … doutis to be repruuit
Id. Test. Cress. 280.
Cresseid … Me and my mother starklie can reprufe
1554–5 Corr. M. Lorraine 396.
Ye sall nocht be repruffit nodyr with the keyngis majestye nor the quenis grace
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8935.
Gif I sa did I war greit to reprufe
1567 G. Ball. 188. a1568 Scott xxxiv 59.
Ȝit thair is lesum lufe … He is nocht to reprufe That is with ane possest
1575 St. A. Kirk S. 415.
And his dochtir repruffit and accusit Mariory
(f) a1578 Pitsc. I 44/21.
The Earle of Douglas … repruiffit thame heightlie
1580 Reg. Privy S. VII 414/2.
The … officiaris to repruif, correct and … to deprive and displace according to his majesteis commandment
(2) 1375 Barb. v 84 (C) (see 6 (c) below).
c1475 Wall. viii 723.
He … Rapreiffyt Eduuard rycht gretlye off this thing
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece II 76.
Colgern … come … to the Pichtis, reprevand thaim of thair unfaithfull mind
1533 Gau 17/27.
Thay that … raprewis thayme notht of thairbakbitine
1546–7 Corr. M. Lorraine 179.
And trow weill your grace sall nevir be reprevit therof
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (S.T.S.) 399.
To repreif the generationis present of thair vnrichteousnes
(b) c1420 Wynt. viii 6099.
Reprowyd scho suld noucht be for-thi … off trychery
1456 Hay I 247/22.
Na that ony mycht reprove thame of disobeysaunce
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 51.
Of the quhilk Chamaeleon reprovit vehemently the Hamiltonis
1456 Hay I 11/2.
He reprovit Herodes of his brothir wyf
(c) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 8185.
Quhill I reprufe hir of the cruell crime Scho laid on me
1595 Rec. Earld. Orkney 171.
That … nane within the paroschin … repruf the said Georg … theroff
(3) a1568 Pedder C. 46.
Thay ar reprevit for that regratour
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 40.
Sum … micht haue reprevit me for … foryetting sic thingis
1570 Leslie 114.
And reprevit thame scharplie for thair behaviour
(b) ?1438 Alex. ii 4422.
For this day tuis I haue bene reprouit for cowardis
1608 Crim. Trials II 542.
The Deuill … reprovet … Beigis Tod verrie scherplie, for hir lang tayreing
1675 S. Leith Rec. 131/2.
Cited for abusing some of elders … when they reproved him for the ill-making of a grave
(c) 1595 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. I 221.
To ilk persone quha repruiffes him thairfoir
1603 Dundonald Par. Rec. 30.
He hard … Johne Neill … reprufe Johne Maxvell, yungar, for stryking of James Fullartoun
(4) a1500 Seven S. 1448.
The lord … angrely has hir reprevit That scho had done sa gret offens
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece I 36.
Repreving him quhy he yeid fra the counsall of the wise nobillis
Ib. II 40.
Hengist … reprevit him quhy he maid sa hevy cheir
1535 Stewart 31666.
Reprevand him quhy that he suld do so
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 168/4.
Augustyne … reprevit Aerius as ane heretyk
(b) c1420 Wynt. v 5798.
And sayd he dowtyd for to be Reprowyd [C. Reprewit] wnkynd [W. repruffit of vnkyndnes]
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece II 211.
Quhen Culine was reprovit that thir … enormiteis com only throw his misgovernance

3. To prove (an idea, statement, etc.) wrong; to rebut. 1490 Irland Mir. II 23/20.
This fals and subtil opynioun of Arestotill I haue … reprevit in the secund buk of the sentens
1533 Bell. Livy II 176/19.
In quhatsumeuir way sic thingis ar, I wil nowthir afferme nor ȝit repreif thame
Ib. I 9/2.

b. To refute, confute, disagree with (a person). 1490 Irland Mir. II 107/4.
And Arestotil reprevit almaist all the philosophouris that was befor him
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4136.
Or ane gay knicht, nor a priest to thy lufe Scho said mother thairin I ȝow reprufe
1562-3 Winȝet I 101/18.
Men in this vocatioun … suld … be … potent to repreue [MS repreviffe] and conuict the gainsayaris of the samin

4. To set aside (a document) as invalid. b. Only in Nisbet, after Purvey: To reject. 1479 Acta Conc. I 41/2.
Ay & quhill the said letter vnder the said Thomas Forbas sele be repreifit and decernit of na vale
b. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Matth. xxi 42.
The staan quhilk biggaris repreuet [P. repreueden]

5. Of God: To reject (a person) from (fra) heaven; to reprobate.Also in this sense in ME (Rolle, etc.) and in e.m.E. till 1604. 1490 Irland Mir. II 149/7.
God … reprovit thaim fra his hevinly realme ioy and blis

6. absol. or intr. To rebuke, give a rebuke.(a) a1500 Lanc. 1959.
As beith not to schamful nore to nyce … But dissemblyng reprewith as afferis
1513 Doug. i vi 174.
Thus he reprevys [Sm. repruifis], bot sche is went adew
1549 Compl. 130/5.
The prudent Seneque gyuis cummand to repreif vitht out iniure
1551 Hamilton Cat. 61.
Preche thow the word, be fervent, … ympreif, repreif, exhort [etc.]
(b) c1420 Wynt. vii Prol. 12.
Off inwyows brynnand men That offtare will reprove [C. repruff] than ken
(c) 1375 Barb. v 84.
Thocht we slepand slew thaim all, Repruff [C. Repreif vs] thar off na man sall
c1420 Ratis R. 1446.
And eild, that suld repruf & plenȝe And pres al wycis to refrenȝe
1573–4 Cal. Sc. P. I 639.
That thairupoun ȝour majestie micht repruif or declaire ȝoure displeasure

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"Repreve v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 May 2023 <>



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