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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 since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Resonabil(l)y, -ably, adv. Also: resson-, reason- and -abillie, -ablie. [ME resonablelich (Piers Plowman), -abillye (?a1400), reissonnabli (1422), e.m.E. resonably (c1502), reasonably (1585). Cf. Raisonably.]

1. Rationally, as directed by reason or rational processes. 1456 Hay I 66/29.
He gave to man wit and resoun … to governe him resonably
Ib. 230/31.
The gude aulde burges speke sa resonably
Id. ?1438 Alex. (S.T.S.) 738.
Sa ȝoung a prince to speik sa resonably
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2411.
Ȝit reasonably reuolfe, in to ȝour thocht In stok nor stone can be non holynes

2. In accordance with justice, equity or propriety; justly, fairly; rightly, properly.Passing into next sense. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2043.
Bot thai may nouthir resonabilly Excers thare wikkit adultry
c1475 Wall. v 685.
Scho ansuerd him rycht resonably agayne
1490 Irland Mir. I 34/7.
All thing that we may resonabily desyr
1497–8 Acta Conc. II 102.
That the lauboraris fischaris be ressonably emplesit
1503–4 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 119.
Thai … gif thame charge tile extent resonablie ale vnfre personis of thair craftis
1528 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 96.
The saidis parteis to cum to the alderman and luk gef he can aggre thaim resonabily vith thair avys coniunctlie
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3813 (Ch.).
That all the temporall lands Be set in few … Till verteous men … Resonabillie restrictit
1547 Cal. Sc. P. I 6.
And gyff me syk thyng as I sall resonably desyre for the same
1560 Bk. Disc. 237.
Thay are not so occupyed with the effares of the churche but that reasonabillie thay may attend upoun thair domesticall besynes
1570 St. A. Kirk S. 344. Knox II 163.
That resonable travell quhilk he offerit to undirly in tyme to cum according as his body mycht resonablie sustein
1576–7 Reg. Privy C. II 600.
Alsmekill proffeit as thay … can ressonablie aggre upoun
1583–4 Waus Corr. 280.
Quhilk suld be inlowit at the least resonabillie, as law … wald
1602 Bk. Arran II 102.
Some experience of guid ordowre hes bene thir twa or thrie yeiris bigane ressonablie establischit

3. At a reasonable or moderate rate; to an adequate but not excessive degree or extent. c1475 Wall. iv 387.
In thar presence he spendyt resonably, ȝeit for him self he payit ay boundandlye
1590 Edinb. B. Rec. V 16.
To speir owt the schip … and to agrie gif scho may be resonably had
1594 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. 217.
Bot sa mony as may serve to be thair bait ressonablie

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"Resonabily adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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