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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.

Reso(u)n, Resso(u)n, n. Also: -un(e, -o(u)ne, -own(e, reas(s)o(u)n(e, reasin; resing. [ME resun (c1290), reso(u)n, resone, reesoun, resoune, late ME reasone (1449), e.m.E. reson (Caxton), reason, OF reson (c1170 in Greimas). Cf. Raiso(u)n n.]There is perh. some overlapping between senses 7 and 8.

I. 1. A statement of alleged fact advanced in support of a contention, or in favour of or against some action; a ground or argument; a legal plea; a justification or proof.In legal contexts, freq. in collocations with Allegatioun n., Richt n., Law n.1 2 c, etc. See also Jure n. 2 a for further examples.(1) a1400 Leg. S. 1 392.
A madine … prechis fast of a new law & has na suth resone to schaw
c1420 Wynt. viii 350.
The lawys cyvile, na canown, Gyvys for yhoure part na resown
Ib. 2395.
Maystyre Baldred … Awnsweryd to thai resownys welle
14.. Burgh Laws c. 102 (A).
And gif he may set for hym certane resonis to sauf his distres thai salbe sufferit
1442 Stirlings of Keir 216.
The resonis and abaymentis of bath the forsaid partyes [being] herde
1456 Hay I 103/30.
And ȝit mare stark resoun, for and a Sarazene tak the haly baptesme [etc.]
Ib. 223/7.
Quharefore ȝour resouns ar of na valure
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 5/8.
In the begynnyng of this buke I sall mak foure or five ressonis
Id. Mir. MS fol. 347.
The ressouns and argumentis that I maid
14.. Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 248.
The first reson the land that Forbes clemys his of Tirepressy is [etc.]
1533 Bell. Livy II 46/30, 31.
More respect suld haue bene had to ressoun of the senatouris than to ony ressoun of thare [sc. the consuls'] vassalege or meritis
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2560.
For quhy my lordis this is my ressone lo
a1568 Bann. MS 144b/27.
Schir Penny is a man of law … And mony ressonis [M. rasownis] can furth schaw Quhen he is standand at the bar
1568 Lennox Mun. 274.
Ressonis to schaw, oure absence to excuse
1558-66 Knox II 441.
‘I knaw the last pairt of your ressoune,’ said Johne Knox, ‘to be trew’
1573 Davidson Three Reformers 68.
That ressoun is bot vane, To say [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset I 289/17.
Then sall the pairtie … mak his resson on paiper aganist the dome
1630 Kirkcaldy Presb. 13.
And ordaines thir last resons to be sein and hard be the Presbytrie
1633 Inverness Rec. II 171.
Haiffinge no just ressune to oppone in the contrar
(b) 1539 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 213.
Robert sawe droppis in the northt side of the hous … and he saw resingis yneuch in utheris parteis of the hous for defens of his geir
(c) a1578 Pitsc. II 73/26.
Than said he to his accusar, … ‘schaw furth thy reassounis’
1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 204.
I … used sick reasones as I culd to dispose him to your effect
Ib. 206.
Reasonis against the exporting of wol to England
1638 Baillie I 95.
The reason from the law or nature … infers bot a permission
Ib. 90.(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2692.
Ane summondis mak Aganis that day to gif ressoun and tak
1558–9 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I lxiii.
And to gif reson of thair fayth and belief
(3) 1479 Acta Conc. I 31/1.
That baith … partijs … bring … sic lawis & resons as thai will vse in this mater
1482 Acta Aud. 102/2.
The richtis resons munymentis & instrumentis … herd sene & vnderstandin, the lordis auditoris decretis [etc.]
1489 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 265.
His richtis ressonis allegationis and productioune of witnes at lenth sene hard and vndirstandin
1559–60 St. A. Kirk S. 26.
The said petitioun with ansuereing therto, reasones, jures, allegationes [etc.]
1584 Crim. Trials I ii 132.
The … aduocat to produce … wryttis, rychtis, ressones, documentis and vtheris probationis quhilkis he … will vse for prewing of … the said summondis
1606 Glasgow Merchants House 99.
The rytis, ressounis, and allegaciounes of bayth the saidis pairteis hard, sein, and considderit

b. With resoun, with good grounds, justifiably. 1625 Aberd. Council Lett. I 237.
Affix one copie thairof upoun the said croce, ane other [etc.] … to the intent nane with reasone pretend ignorance thairof

c. To have resoun to (into) a thing, to be entitled to it or justified in having it. 1467 Acta Aud. 8/1.
The lordis of consale to gif thaim to the partij that thai consider has resoun to thaim & that thai pertene to
1475 Ib. 39/1.
That he had na reson to the said tak
1484 Acta Conc. I *97/1. 1533 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 286a.
Geif Rogere Mckevyne hais resone to thame or nocht
a1578 Pitsc. I 349/6.
Thow gaif againe to the parochinaris the kow and the wmest cloth sayand thow had no ressone into thame

d. To have resoun (to do something), to be entitled to do it or justified in doing it. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1354.
Heir mak I thé reward as I haue resoune
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 123/4.
Equale distributioun Makis thame content that hes ressoun
1609 Crim. Trials III 18.
How lytill resone I had to trust to Calder
1621 Aberd. Council Lett. I 193.
We have all moir nor reason to gieve him harty thanks
1639 T. Hope in Misc. Hist. Soc. I 109.
I haif iust ressoun to blasone my good sone, for he wes askit and refusit

2. A statement, report, speech or writing; a ‘legend’. ?1438 Alex. i 2134.
Be he haue shewit his ressoun [F. tel parole] The king … Sall of thir tydingis sory be
Ib. ii 8016.
He … said him with courtes ressoun [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 606.
He … wrait hir name and superscriptioun … In golding letteris conteining this ressoun
1513 Doug. viii Prol. 67.
The ralȝear … ratlis furth ranys, Full rude and royt ressons baith roundalis and ryme
a1578 Pitsc. I 93 marg.
The kingis ressone to the Earle of Douglas
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 684 (T).
c1590 Fowler I 29/63.
His speaches than and freindlie words and reason … did quickly than this muche to me vnfould
1600 Crim. Trials II 149.
His maiesteis graif and constant speicheis and ressonis

b. A motto, posy.Also in this sense in late ME (1434) and e.m.E. (obs. after a1548). Cf. med. L. (Eng.) ratio, in this sense (1416 and 1437 in Latham).(1) c1420 Wynt. iv 222.
Wytht brokyn lettrys on that gowne, Byllyde wele wes his resowne, ‘Susus geta’
1535 Stewart 15398.
And mony ressone writtin all in grew
Id. Maitl. F. 353/11.
Throucht the samin … I mycht weill spye the ressounis on the wall Alsweill as mony lampis had bene lycht
1589 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 390.
For paintin of sum ressons on the vall of the north yll in the kirk
For the ressouns theiron writtin
(2) 1578 Edinb. Test. VI 232b.
Ane … gold ring with ane ressoun in it
1586 Ib. XVI 246b.
Thrie small gold ringis with ressonis in thame
1631 Ib. LV 20b.
Ane wovin purs with ane lytill gold ring conteining ane reassoun

c. A notice or bill. 1538 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. II 88.
Putt on the said skaffald with ane ressoun of paper about hir heid declaring the caus

3. A fact or circumstance alleged as ground for accepting or rejecting a course of action, a belief, etc.; a motive. Variously const. a1400 Leg. S. ii 162.
He gerte but resone sa mony sla
Ib. 493.
Thir ar resonis thre for quhy Haly kirk … Of his conuersione mais feste
c1420 Wynt. v 105.
For that resowne now will I Oure pas it here
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 45.
Frely to pas quhar he will ner or fer for outyn ony manis askyng for resoune
1456 Hay I 3/5.
The resouns quhy I have undertane to mak this buke ar gude yneuch
Ib. II 111/8.
God has nathing maid … bot cause na resoun
1513 Doug. iv vi 15.
Thys resson [L. sententia] hym semyt fynaly the best
1533 Bell. Livy I 21/19.
And for thir ressouns It was statute to … serche the myndis of thare goddis
Ib. II 48/10. 1535 Stewart 27819.
Withoutin ony caus Or ressoun quhy
1562-3 Winȝet I 4/8.
Thaim … to schaw … strenthiar reasonis for thair interpryse
Ib. 52/25.
Of na ressoun culd I be induceit [etc.]
a1568 Bann. MS I p. 18/9.
Ȝe suld be glaid for ressonis seir
1558-66 Knox II 173.
I fand thairin na grit ressone to change my opinioun
c1590 Fowler II 67/4.
He randers the ressoun in his 119. epist.
1595 Innes Sketches 534.
I onlie did it for … feir of my lyif, luiking according to the resone of fleche that sum moyane suld be maid
1618 Crim. Trials III 586.
Off quhilkis blasphemeis (ȝe haif writtin) that ȝe wald rander and follow out the maist just reasones … at ane vther occasioun moir lairglie … bothe by prose and verse
1621 Denmylne MSS in Highland P. III 310.
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I 372.
1642 Orkney Rentals iii 18.
Gude ressones moveing both him and me tharto
1666 Laing MSS I 349.
I know not what ther resons might be

4. A cause of something; a fact or circumstance serving to explain some phenomenon, state of mind, etc. ?1438 Alex. ii 2380.
Wele better … it helpis me The amorous thochtis of that fre… Quha sa couth say the ressoun quhy
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 21.
To gyf a resone for al thingis that God has maid
a1570-86 Arbuthnot Maitl. F. 58/104.
Thocht it exceid our dull intelligence Off everie thing the ressoun till invent
1635 Dickson Hebrews 98.
He giveth a reason … under a similitude from land-labouring, thus [etc.]
a1699 Skene Agric. MS (ed.) 68.
The reasone is becawse a horse eates farr mor nor ather ox or kow

5. Be (also throw) (this etc.) resoun or thir etc. resounis, be (also throw) (the) resoun of, be (the) resoun (that something is so) in the above senses.As, by or according to this etc. argument, with this justification, on this account or score, as a consequence of this; etc.(1) 1375 Barb. I 65.
Be this resoun that part thocht hale That [etc.]
c1450-2 Howlat 544 (A).
Throw thir ressonis ald, The bludy hart it is cald [etc.]
Ib. 554.
Be thai ressonis He bure the sternis of estait in his stele weidis
1456 Hay I 209/22.
Than mon we se be quhat resoun it aw to be sa
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 171 (Asl.).
Mercy is menȝeit be diuers seire ressonnis
1490 Irland Mir. I 16/20.
The ferd [book] … prufis be mony ressounis naturale the faithe of Jhesu
1533 Bell. Livy II 233/6.
Camillus movit the Romanis fra migration to Veos be mony ressonis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4463.
Be quhat reassoun Thynk ȝe thare impyre may cum doun?
a1561 Norvell Meroure 8a.
Sprang bryeres or weides … : Shulde men them pluck; or lat them still incresse: By this reason, we shulde thole euery where
a1578 Pitsc. I 61/2.
The ȝeir following the quene pairtit witht bairne bot na man knew be quhat reassone
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii 1041.
Be resowne off the bowsumnes Mald the gud qwene cald scho wes
1456 Hay I 240/13, 14.
That, be resoun of thair office, and nocht be resoun of thair body, thai suld joys the privilege
1471 Acta Aud. 12/2.
Scho has na richt to the said landis … be resoun of the cofe made [etc.]
1478 Ib. 70/2. 1496 Acta Conc. II 5, etc. 1506 Glasgow Dioc. Reg. II 161.
Lord Cathkert … throw reasone of the said alienacion, has [etc.]
1513 Doug. iii v 26.
Helenus … Rang king our mony citeis … By resson of his spows
1542 Reg. Privy S. II 727/2.
[He] is maid almaist unable to ordour his benefice … be resoun of unfreindis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2637, 2639.
Off all prayer this bene the principall, Be reasoun of the makkar quhilk it maid … Be reasoun, als, to quhome it suld be said
1563 Inverness Rec. I 106.
Be resson of nane payment making at the foirsaid terme
1573 Cath. Tr. 9/25.
I am verray excusabill, be resson of my lang absence
c1575 Balfour Pract. 284. 1582 Edinb. Test. X 296.
Be resoun of ane gud aig my body is becum waik
1593 Birrel Diary in Dunferm. Ann. 248.
1598 Aberd. B. Rec. II 170.
Causing rais the calsey … be reasoun quhairof the water … standis on the middist of the calsey
1611 Reg. Panmure I xciii.
Jhone wes thought ane infortunat nem in ane kinge, be ressone of the gryt misluk of Jhone Balliole
1670 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 4 Oct.
c1450 Cr. Deyng (S.T.S.) 185.
For bestis knawis na-thing bot erde … by the resone of the erde at thai ar maid off
1491 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 327.
Jhone Stalkaris clame of intreis … be the reson of heritage
(3) c1420 Wynt. vii 2855.
He … thame denyid, be resowne That it had bene dysherysown
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 63.
Be ressone that thai ken nocht [the] ground
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 82. 1549–50 Ayr B. Ct. & Council Bk. 28 Feb.
Be ressoun na schip culd be ballastit … with irne without vtheris gudis thairamang
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1501.
Be theressoun the branches ar so braid Sa the ȝoung plant is sa vnliklie maid
1568 Hosack Mary Q. of Scots I 531.
The … work … wes left of be ressoun it culd not be endit and serve to thair commoditie
a1578 Pitsc. I 63/24.
[She] was callit blak Annas be ressone scho was blak skynnit
1600 Acts IV 207/1.
This deponar desyrit Maister Alexander to dischone with him be ressoun his awin culd nocht be sa sone preparit
1655 Hibbert P. No. 17.
Be reassone that it [sc. butter] gaue no pryce thair this tua ȝeir

b. Be resoun of, rendering L. ratione, by way of. 1554 Misc. Bann. C. III 75.
Hes brukit … the said erildom frelie without onie exaction … except omage to be maid to the Kingis of Norwege, be resson of tribut [L. tributi racione]

II. 6. The power or faculty of the human mind credited with the ability to control and order thought in a purposeful manner; rationality. Also in fig. context.(1) a1400 Leg. S. 1 218.
In thocht lat resone gowerne thé
c1420 Wynt. v 3831.
Syn resowne thine entent Rewlyd noucht in all jugement
c1420 Ratis R. 1415.
Than ringis the perfeccioune Of resone and discreccioune
1456 Hay I 66/29.
He gave to man wit and resoun, knaulage and discrecioun to governe him resonably
1461 Liber Plusc. 384.
The deferans … betueix resoune and sensualite
a1500 Bernardus 201.
As resone askys thi consel gef hym tyl
1490 Irland Mir. I 85/8.
Throu it [sc. original sin] the ressoune of man is fallin fra hie science and nobile state to gret blindnes & ignoraunce
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 205/31.
Wilfull men … Quhome no ressone may seis nor pacify
1513 Doug. xii xi 121.
And hys rememberans The lycht of resson has recoverit agane
1535 Stewart 26945.
Without humanitie, Or ȝit ressone … Lyke brutell beistis
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 76/17.
Wilfull reasonis, proceeding rather from passioun nor reasoun
c1590 J. Stewart 217 § 69.
As beists but reson beistlie is thair sens
1620 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 106b (5 April).
Finding that maner off tryell … till hawe na warrend in the word of God nor in the ciuill lawis nether to hawe any ground in natuir or ressone
(2) 1490 Irland Mir. I 85/21.
Throu the originale syne … sensualite … folowis the desyre … and obeyis nocht to the bridill of ressoune
a1568 Bann. MS 228b/12.
The chafrone sett with … rubeis of rycht ressoun

7. A view of things which seems to be in conformity with reason, or what is good or right.Usu. without article or other determiner.Also to have (gret) resoun (cf. F. avoir raison to be right) and to say or heir resoun.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 130.
To na resone haffand ey
1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 418.
[He] bad him … That euir he sett resoun befoir his deid
Ib. 736.
Realm but ressoun reulit sone will fale
1461 Liber Plusc. 387.
God [h]as gevyn ws wyt and knalage abille To depart resoun fra his contrary, And keip ws that we eir nocht opinly
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 331.
Ressaue him reuerendly, as resoun in lyis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1504 (Bann.).
The lyone his … thocht accordit till ressoun
Ib. (O.U.P.) 2643.
Ȝour accusatioun Failȝeis fra treuth and contrair is to ressoun
Ib. 1649. a1500 Seven S. 403.
Wald ȝe resoun knaw Ane suth sample I sall ȝow schawe
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 174/7 (Asl.).
Thai ar haldin in werray richt and resoun for to serf thair king and defend there subiectis
1513 Doug. xiii i 69.
Aganyst reson and equyte, Aganyst lawte, and brokyn all vnyte Of confideratioun sworn …, The Troian pepill sair trublit hes thow
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 328.
Say quhat ȝe will … Not pretendant to argune throw ȝour will: Bot to ressoun that ȝour sermone resound, Or ellis the lak to ȝour self sall redound
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 180/16.
How mekle mair is it aggreable with all gude ressoun conforme to Goddis worde, that the ministeris of the new law haif thair reparaling decent
c1590 Fowler II 10/4.
As I am encouragit … be example, so I am not a lytill heirto inforcit by ressoun
1602 Conv. Burghs II 138.
Gif ony of them beis fund stubroune … and will nocht be agreabill to ressoun
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 22.
Far contrair to all Cristiane dewtie, equitie and ressoun
a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 3.
Conform to the comon law, good equity, and reasone
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii 5519.
Thow hes great ressoun [F. c'est drois … et justise], sen [etc.]
(3) ?1438 Alex. ii 6433.
Said Cassamus, ‘ȝow [sic] sais resoun’
1535 Stewart 18511.
For na counsall that tyme wald he heir ressoun
(4) c1590 J. Stewart 115 § 1.
Reson sayis … chose thy peregall

b. Behaviour based on such a view; propriety.Abbat out of resoun (see Abbot n. 2, Unresoun n.), lorde but resoun (see Lord n. 25 a).(1) c1450-2 Howlat 968 (A).
Quhen I was hewit as heire all ther hieast Fra rule ressoun and richt redles I ran
1531 Bell. 1531 Boece I 240.
Thay [sc. the old men] ruschit on thair ennimes … regarding nothir life, reason nor aige [L. ætatis obliti ac sexus]
1533 Boece 58b.
To se … pepill rynnyng disordorit but reule or law and richt few curing owthir lawte or resoun
a1568 Bann. MS 86b/63.
The lord for vertew takis volupte No difference puttis betuix reif and reasoun
(2) 1528 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 142.
The prouest [etc.] … assignit to thair lovitis Jhone Ratray and Gilbert Malisoun thair abbatis out of ressoun of this instant ȝeir
a1568 Scott v 21.
Abbotis by rewll, and lordis but ressone

c. In extended sense: A code of behaviour; a discipline. 1533 Bell. Livy I 205/31.
The Romane state … was governit be ressoun militare [L. disciplina militari]

8. Treatment which accords with the principles of right or reason; justice; satisfaction.In early use, freq. coupled with Lauch n.1 or Richt n.Also to do, have, ger, get resoun.(1) 1405 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 201.
And thare to [sc. lands] Dame Isabel … sal mak the saide erle als sekir as can be done be lach and resone
1456 Hay I 108/29.
Thare may na man tak rycht na resoun at his awin hand
1488–91 Treas. Acc. I 166.
That ȝe here the thesauraris compt … and allow as ȝe think accordis to resone
1496–7 Acta Conc. II 54.
The Lordis, understandand his desyre consonant to ressone, decretis [etc.]
c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 9b.
Nothir ma he … be borrowit of law na of resvne
1521 Fife Sheriff Ct. 233.
Quhilkis is noucht consonand to ressone
a1568 Scott xi 46.
Thocht that thay lat ȝow with thame ly—Ressoun; Bot be ȝe fund vnfaithfull, fy!—Tressoun
a1578 Pitsc. I 105/3.
Nocht witht standing ressone it self persuadis me to goode hope to come into the clemencie [etc.]
1578 Conv. Burghs I 64.
At oure workmen … wald exaction or tak mare for thair laubouris nor resoun
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 249.
That the pairtie maist offendit should be repairit according to ressoun [1825 reasoun]
1602 Conv. Burghs II 139.
The marineris to haif thair hyre … as newtrall men sall fynd agreable with ressoun
1638 Baillie I 132.
The thesaurer … required … that his grace would see justice done upon him… The commissioner promised him reason
(2) 1438 Reg. St. A. 430.
That yhe wald do me law and resoune in favorabill manere
1456 Hay I 68/24.
That the faderis wald do na resoun, na justice of thair barnis
Ib. 68/28.
A soverane … suld have na pitee to do law and resoun, and to justify euery man efter his desertis
Ib. 207/13.
The granting of mark to ger resoun be done
c1460 Regim. Princ. 221 (Marchm.).
To leif maist tiranly, Doand na resoune to na creature
1490 Irland Mir. II 31/31.
His diuinite … did ressoune and iustice to his humanite of the auld innemy … and maid him … subiekt to Jhesus in his humanite
1511–12 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 15.
The said James sould have resone under the payne competent
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. 31/45.
Do equale ressoun bayth to grit and small
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Cvlrach.
Gif the partie complainand gettis na reason in that court … he sal haue regres againe to the first court
1638 Baillie I 93.
If they gett reason it is thought they are both undone

b. Fair or just dealing; fairness of mind. c1490 Porteous Noblenes 176/1, 3 (Asl.). a1568 Scott i 11.
Ressoun … is the ferde werteu pertenand to a nobill. Resoun equite and mesour [etc.] … makis mychti men to lest
1577 Laing MSS I 28.
Sen al mesour and ressoun is refuisit be the Scottis
a1578 Pitsc. I 105/18.
That na man sould of his dewtie declyne frome right and ressone

c. Men of resoun, fair-minded or just men. 1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 1042.
Till nane vther bot till his awin persone I will it pay befoir men of resoun

9. In special constructions and phrases, in the three preceding senses. a. In impersonal constructions, also with ellipsis of the verb to be.(1) a1500 Rauf C. 119.
The Coilȝear … put him [sc. the king] befoir him, as ressoun had bene
Ib. 884.
‘Na,’ said Schir Rolland, ‘that war na resoun’
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 28/111.
He … baid still, as it wes resoune
Ib. 130/63.
It war bot ressoun, Thairat suld no man mak enchessoun
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4983.
Twa bathing fattis … The ane was cauld … The vther het for winter, quhilk was ressoun
(2) c1400 Troy-bk. i 444.
As is ressoune In wyntre-tyd that it sa be
1456 Hay I 14/32.
That resoun is that haly wrytt be mellit tharewith to verify it
c1475 Wall. i 385.
It war resone me think ȝhe suld haif part
1558-66 Knox II 284.
It is no reassone that eather of the parteis be farther beleved then thei are able to prove
1583–4 Waus Corr. 280.
It is not resoun that sho sould be … sa slaw ane peyir
1601 Wemyss of Bogie MSS.
And thairfor reassone it war that [etc.]
1615 Black Bk. Taymouth 57.
1626 Fraserburgh Kirk S. II 26 April.
That it war ressoun that he payit the dowble
(3) a1578 Pitsc. I 308/15.
It is ressone and lesum to all men … to reid the word of God
(4) 1632 Fugitive Poetry II vii 3/70.
For they (as reason) are [etc.]

b. Me (I) think (it) … resoun. Variously const. 1456 Hay I 185/32.
To be sekir of this amendis, to geve gude hostage him thocht grete resoun
Id. ?1438 Alex. (S.T.S.) 386.
Me thing maist resoun That I me call the sone of god Amon
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 137.
It that ȝe think richt or ȝit resoun, To that can I nor na man haue enchesoun
1533 Bell. Livy II 146/14.
Thinkis thow it ressoun that [etc.]?
1540 Lynd. Sat. 953 (B).
Bruder, I think that counsale ressone
1678 Rothesay B. Rec. 366.
Quhilk desyre the magistrates and counsell thought reasone

c. Resoun wil (also requiris) (that something be done, etc.). a1400 Leg. S. xviii 653.
Rycht & resone wil that [etc.]
Ib. l 71.
Resone requeris … that we Hayliste the fare
?1438 Alex. ii 3949.
As resoun will [F. et c'est drois]
c1420 Wynt. viii 328.
That lauch wald nowthir na resown
c1420 Ratis R. 329.
The men dois al that done suld bee, … His part is bot at resone wyll
1456 Hay I 223/12.
And now mon we se quhat justice and resoune wald in this mater
1490 Irland Mir. I 89/12, etc.
Considerand that [man] … askit mercy, ressoune wauld and pite that the mercy of God had rewit on him
a1500 Bk. Chess 841. 1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 245.
And als how resun requyrit that the erll Argaill suld haif discharg
1578 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) I 139.
His [sc. the King's] dealing appeares tobe mair hard nor ressone wald
1583 Waus Corr. 275.
As reasoun and missour wald
1599 Reg. Privy C. VI 40.
That the said Sir George be satisfeit … as ressone requyris
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS App. 127.
Reason wald that reasoun sould reule the congregation
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 397.
Becaus his palice … was not so … pertenentlie apperlit as reason wald [etc.]

With prepositions expressing d. conformity with (also negated in be na resoun), or e. contrariety to or transgression of, the dictates of reason, right or justice.d. (1) 1405 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 58.
Gif thar be ocht that may plece yw that I may do of resoun
Ib. No. 59.
Me think o resoune yhe sulde [etc.]
I haff trewly kepit myn athe & the trewis as afferys to me of resoun
c1420 Ratis R. 1207.
In that sessone Quhen rutis springis of resone
1424 Acts II 8/1.
Ilk man of sympil estate that of resone suld be a laborar
1456 Hay I 177/19.
He kepis his writt … quharfore he may nocht of resoun be reprufit
Ib. 296/5.
[To give] till otheris quhat to thame suld appertene of gude resoun
1461 Liber Plusc. 336.
Vthir richtis that of law and reson he aw til haif
1468 Edinb. B. Rec. I 24.
The dochter … aucht of resone and law to suceede to the heritage
a1500 K. Hart 900.
a1500 Bk. Chess 688. 1513 Doug. i Prol. 445.
This wikit woman … Of ressoun suld scho sic a husband haif
1533 Bell. Livy II 146/13.
Of gude resoun
1562-3 Winȝet I 7/16.
We maye nawayis of reasone bot impute that cryme to [etc.]
1567 Bk. Univ. Kirk I 103.
We sall … sustaine our minister, sa that of reason he sall have no cause of plaint
1583 Wemyss Corr. 80.
I sall … do to the removyng of that qwerrell quhat I ma of ressone
(2) 1405 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 200.
The saide Erl of Mar … sal furthir and suppouale the saide Schir Dauid … in alsfer as he gudeli may be resone
c1420 Ratis R. 687.
Cal nocht ȝit blessit be resone Wardly honore, na ȝhit renowne
1456 Hay I 102/20.
And alssua law canoun and law civile may wele be callit lawe of peple or of folk; for thai declare be gude resoun the richtis of every partis
Ib. 177/9.
Be all lawis and resoun, men suld in sik thingis conforme thame to thair writtis
Ib. 272/33.
Bot he may nocht be resoun [withhold] it that is pertenand of rycht to the tothir partye
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 197.
That the gret God schawis to man be gude resone that the lyf of a man and a best in this warld is bot all ane
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 34.
Na couet nocht cleithing mar deir Na be resone suld hir effeir
Ib. 60.
Gud profytabile is ane of three, And it be resone takin bee
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 189.
Thair is na ridand roy, be resoun and right Sa deir welcum this day
1490 Irland Mir. II 132/18.
And he fall in syn … he suld be ressoune be … wnpunyst, sene [etc.]
1527 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 69.
Al his mofabil gudis to pertene to hyme be resone as escheit
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2747 (B).
Howbeid that he be obleist be ressoun To preiche the evangell
1622-6 Bisset II 251/11.
Be richt and resson he that committis sic offence aucht to tyne his hyre
c1420 Ratis R. 1543.
Sum othir fellon men ȝit ar That … Lauchful ore evyne pwniscioune May thaim assith be na resone
(3) 1460 Hay Alex. (S.T.S.) 403.
Ȝit thocht he [sc. Aristotle] it was ill It for to wse in resoun and in skill
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1295.
I sal be reddy at your will In alkin resoune and skill
1566 3rd Rep. Hist. MSS App. iii 395/2.
The counsell … offerit … that in reasoun he suld haue na occasioun of discontentatioun
1584 Misc. Bann. C. I 86.
Albeit the said ansuer wes moir nor in resone we culd haif wischit
(4) 14.. Burgh Laws c. 70 (A).
Ony man … that thru resone may walk the man sal haf [etc.]
(5) ?1438 Alex. ii 2116.
To answer him adwysedly All with ressoun without foly
a1500 Rauf C. 84.
That we micht with ressoun baith thus excuse
c1590 J. Stewart 36/227.
As to my self I sall with reson rengȝie Thocht thay suld raidge
e. 1375 Barb. i 488.
Thai … haldis this land agayne resoune
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 20 (C).
By skill and ageynes resoune
1409 Exch. R. IV ccxi.
Gif … [they] rebellis or disobesis till ony of the saide lordis again resoun
c1420 Wynt. vii 1596.
He … Made this coronatyown Agayne all lawch and all resown
Ib. viii 1645.
He agayne resown That gat be fals extorsyown
c1420 Ratis R. 105.
Besyd resone
Ib. 583.
Hop nocht to have atour resone Ane-vthir manis possessioune
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 62/29.
He that … putis the charge of all on the wakest … dois aganis resoun and justice
1501 Prestwick B. Rec. 36. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 305.
It war aganis bayth natur and gud ressoun That [etc.]
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 6.
Ane small falt, quhilk is nocht tressoun, Thocht it be contrarie to ressoun
c1550 Corr. M. Lorraine 439.
Quhilk is contrare ressoun
1570 Sat. P. xiii 4.
We … sall judge God aganis all ressoun striue
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 44.
Doctour Cranstoun … wes manteinit be Chamæleon aganis all law and ressoun
1580–1 Reg. Privy C. III 340.
Quhilk is to his great hurt and far by reasoun
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 53b.
To say that … is ane gret absurditie, contrare to ressone

10. a. Only in Alex.: With resoun, in accordance with fitnes or moderation, not excessively, ‘reasonably’. ?1438 Alex. ii 2577.
Small with ressoun and schapin wele … Hir hare [etc.]
Ib. 4702.
His visage was ane party broun And fleshly was with ressoun

b. A settled way of conducting oneself; a moderate order (of life) or regimen. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2189.
He that of ressoun can not be content But couetis all is abill all to tyne
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 15.
The patient beand without rest and ressone
c1580-90 Rules of Health
Them quhilk can not keip a gude ressoun of leving and rycht ordour of dyet

11. Natural resoun, resoun natural (see Natural(l adj. 8, q.v. also for further examples), manly resoun, rational principles; the power of human reason unaided by revelation. 1456 Hay I 67/20, etc.
All jurisdiccioun and justice cummis fra God; and chosyn be resoun naturale throu mannis wit
Ib. 138/29.
To the quhilk questioun resoun naturale schawis us that [etc.]
1490 Irland Mir. I 16/7.
And I sall proced be ressoune naturall, that I sall caus thi naturall wyt and ressoune to conforme it to the faithe
Ib. 85/15.
The reulis and licht of naturale ressoune the haly scripture behufit to teich and schaw ws
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6110.
That maner of delyte, Quhilk passit naturall reasoun to indyte
1553–4 Knox III 128.
Onlesse we have another scoolmaster then manlie reason [etc.]
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 122/26.
Albeit it be repugnant to manly ressone … that [etc.]

12. Reason viewed as a faculty of an individual person; the ability of an individual to apply his power of reasoning or choosing the right in a specific case; the exercise of reason or moral choice; ratiocination.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 1732.
Fra tyme haif woirn awaye resoun
Ib. 1350.
He disspendyt his resone In wycis agan kindly skill
1456 Hay I 13/8.
Ane evill carnale fele … the quhilk lettis to have perfyte resoun of grace to understand rychtwisly
Ib. 227/32.
A woodman … has na knaulage of wit, na resoun mare than a beste
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 993.
Neir his resoune wes tynt sa rude wes the rout
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 5/31.
Thy resoun mon distincly knaw all thi synnis
a1497, 15.. Gray MS iv 95.
Thou has v wittis & resoune
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 19/123.
I have synnit … In wrangus gudis taking … Contrar my ressoun, conscience and discrecioun
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 6.
Ane ressoun dois not gyde euerie mynd
1554 Crim. Trials I i 363.
Jasper hes bene furious and wantand the vse of resoune, doand in all the said tyme … furious and daft dedis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5433. 1572 Sat. P. xxxiii 217.
Quhair is ȝour wit, ȝour ressoun, sence, and feill
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii 6818.
For men may weil se be ressone, That [etc.]

b. The state of mind of a person controlled by reason; sanity. c1460 Consail Vys Man 3.
To knaw resone be foly
a1500 Rauf C. 378.
I spak not out of ressoun, the suith gif I sall say
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 98/18.
Ane wod fuill far owt off ressoun

c. Yheris of resoun, that period of life during which the powers of reasoning are deemed to be operative. a1500 Lanc. 1660.
When so thei cum to yheris of resone

13. Coupled with ryme, esp. in senses 4 and 12.Esp. but ryme or resoun (in both senses). a1500 Henr. Hasty Credence 23.
Ryme as it may, thairin is na ressoun To gif till taillis hestely creddence
a1508 Want of Wyse Men 61 (B).
But ryme or ressone all is bot heble hable
1535 Stewart 3671.
Sum out of wit without ressone or ryme
Ib. 19341.
Nother to ryme nor ressoun wald tha luke
15.. Dum Wyf 78. a1570-86 Maitl. F. 159/1.
Mony man makis ryme and luikis to na ressoun
1570 Sat. P. xvi 68.
I wat ȝe saw neuer ane styme And wantit baith ressoun and ryme
1581 Sempill Sat. P. xliii 199.
Laitly accusit but outher ryme or ressoun
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. iii 21.
But ryme or reson or respect to richt The worthiest … sho [sc. Fortune] wraks
a1605 Montg. Flyt. To the Reader 16 (Hart).
Heere it not stands by reason, but by ryme

14. Personified. c1420 Ratis R. 1240.
For resone than is ȝong & wak
a1500 Henr. Orph. 469 (Asl.).
Bot quhen that ressoun and intelligens Playis apon the harpe of eloquens
a1500 K. Hart 578.
Ib. 585. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (O.U.P.) 148/61. Ib. 21/4.
Thane spak ane constant wycht callit Ressoun
1528 Lynd. Dreme 951. 1529 Id. Complaynt 402.
Foly is fled … Quhilk ay was countrar to ressoun
1535 Stewart 41. a1605 Montg. Sonn. lvii 9.
How appetite maid ressone oft syis blind In mony kingis
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. i 151.

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"Reson n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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