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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Dispone, v. Also: dys-, despone, dispon. [ME. dispone, despone (Chaucer), OF. disponer, L. disponere. Cf. Dispoun(e v.]

1. tr. To set in order, arrange, regulate, dispose (in some way). 1375 Barb. xi. 29.
God … disponis at his liking, Efter his ordinans, all thyng
1456 Hay I. 288/18.
A prince … that begynnis at him [sc. God] to dispone all his governaunce and dedis
1490 Irland Mir. fol. 261.
God creis the saule and puttis in the body, quhen the body is graithit and disponit to resaue it
c1500 Fyve Bestis 254.
It was tyme of none, The kirk disponit, & all the seruice done
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxi. 6.
Lord, how sall I my dayis dispone?
1533 Gau 90/26.
Lat vs thank thy godlie wil quhilk disponis althing to our guid
1562-3 Winȝet II. 77/8.
Nocht onlie wald thai dispone the mater weil for the praesent tyme, bot also wald geue exemple to the eftercummeris
1588 King Cat. 107.
The clerks … to assist the priests … to dispone the people resorting to the haly mysteries
1596 Dalr. II. 281/11.
He met with aduersares … disponet in sik ordour that [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset I. 83/1.
The lawes richtlie dispones, and ordouris to the best, baith godlie and manlie effairis

b. absol. To order matters, make disposition. a1400 Leg. S. xiii. 63.
God disponyt vthire-way Thane he cuth othyre do or say
Ib. xviii. 1245; etc.
Quhat God disponis of me to do
14.. Acts I. 329/2.
For quhy, God disponand, our chaumerlane ayr … sic a day of nouember next to cum … we ettill to begyn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxvi. 13.
Quhill thow hes space se thow dispone, That for thy geir quhen thow art gone [etc.]
a1568 Bann. MS. 49 a/29.
He cowld nocht for him self dispone Attour his dait, to leif a ȝeir
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxiv. 36.
All lyes into ȝour will, As ȝe list to dispone
a1598 Ferg. Prov. 15.
Man propons, but God dispons

2. refl. To make (oneself) ready; to prepare or set (oneself) to do something. 1375 Barb. xi. 273.
Now ȝe se That Ynglis men with mekill mycht Has all disponit thame for the ficht
c1420 Wynt. ix. 1356.
The awaward of that were he gat. As he dysponit hym for that [etc.]
1456 Hay II. 121/8.
Thus sall all thy body be mare waldin, and esy to dispone thé till thyne operaciounis
a1500 Henr. III. 137/37.
Dispone thy self and cum with me in hy
1492 Myll Spect. 288/3.
I think to dispone me to luf in sic a place [etc.]
a1500 Bk. Chess .
He tuk on hand … to dispone him erar for to de Than for to leif
1513 Doug. xi. Prol. 157.
Quhen thou dewly disponys thé tharfor, Doand all that in thé thar may be done
15.. Clar. iii. 1056.
He on the morne could glaidlie him dispone Out at the porte to isch with all his meinȝe
Ib. v. 2088.
Then fra the preis the knightis them disponis
1567 G. Ball. 147.
Him to serue I me dispone, As to my sauiour allone
1570 Sat. P. xviii. 38.
Cleik on his quarrell, and schortly ȝow dispone

b. absol. To make ready; to set oneself. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1003.
Eftre syne disponed they Inne hye frome Troye to pas away
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1133.
He disponit for mannis saik to de
c1500-c1512 Dunb. iv. 98.
Sen for the deid remeid is non, Best is that we for dede dispone
1533 Boece xi. xiv. 433 b.
Gryme … disponit for na thing samekle as with euery man to be louit

c. tr. To put (a person) in a suitable frame of mind or proper condition for some end.(1) 1456 Hay II. 150/22.
For the body … enclynis the persone and disponis him to folow the nature of thame [sc. the stars]
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 45/1.
It is rycht mervalus proffitable to a persone to dispone him for prayere and vrisoun
1551 Hamilton Cat. 20/2.
That fasting and almous deidis disponis a man to devot praiar
(2) c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 18/7.
Our deidis disponis ws to be participale and acceptable of his glorius passioun
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 144.
Disponand euery gude Christin man to be the mair able to keip the law of God

3. tr. To deal with, dispose of, in some way.Freq. with implication of giving to another or others, as in b. 1427 Melville Chart. 21.
Thre hundreth punde … to be disponit be the conseile of the cheiffe lorde of the Wemys schire
1452 Reg. Great S. 131/2.
My gudis … to be frely ressavit, … and fullely disponit at the will … of the saide Walter
1478 Chart. (Reg. H.) No. 471.
The quhilk gudis and catell we … grantis to the said Thomas to dyspone and do thairwitht as sall ples hym
c1500 Rowll Cursing 30.
All that lattis … The vicar to dispone his awin Kirkland hay or gers to awaill
1527 Stirling B. Rec. II. 31.
It is ordinit that na cordinaris … by ony hidis … to bark, or to dispon ony wder way
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1429.
Dispone hir as ȝe think expedient
1552 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 483.
The said Erll … sall pay to the said Arthure the soume of xl pundis … becaus this crope instant is disponit
1568 Pref. Lyndesay 9.
He did gif ouir into thair handis … the possessionis … to be disponit at thair libertie and plesour
a1578 Pitsc. I. 170/11.
Na casualietieis culd fall to the king … bot it was disponit be the advyse of this Cowchrin
1590 Edinb. Test. XXII. 114.
To vse, apply, appropriat, and dispone to his awin vtilitie & proffeit
1622-6 Bisset II. 82/30.
Ane woman beand cled with ane husband may dispone … na thing in hir lattir will without his consent
1627 Bk. Carlaverock II. 11.
Forsamekle as be our former gift … wee hawe gevin and disponit … the nonentres dew to ws furthe of the landis
fig. c1420 Ratis R. 580.
Sen gud hop is of sik bounte, Dispone it nocht in vanite
absol. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxi. 49.
Hairtis ar maid of hard flynt stone, … And handis of adamant laith to dispone

b. To give or hand over to another or others; to dispose of, or distribute, by gift. a1400 Leg. S. xliii. 306.
Tyburcius thane, … & his bruthire … Thare faculte, til it mycht leste, Til poure folk disponyt faste
a1500 Bk. Chess 1555.
That gold and gud be redye at his will For his knychtis for to dispone thaim till
1497 Treas. Acc. I. 353.
Giffin to the Abbot of Lundoris to dispone to pur folk in almous, xxxvj s.
1514 Acta Conc. MS. XXVI. 174.
The quene … disponys, delapitis, and analiis the kingis jowellis … to divers persouns
1533 Bell. Livy I. 104/11.
Quharethrow he may dispone the gudis … amang the pure and indigent pepill
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 244.
We haif oft … chargit ȝow to haif providit and disponit the office of wattirbaillieschip … to our daylie seruitour
1574 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 31.
The … counsale gave and disponit to Johne Lourie the almous bedlast possest be vmquhile John Gibsoun
1597 Frasers of Philorth 264.
Mortefeand, dottand, and disponand to the saidis college or collegis, … the saidis personagis [etc.]
1610 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 153.
Our leevings & landis war al disponit to vthers & wee forfaltit or atteintit
1642 Orkney Rentals iii. 19.
Patrick Smith disponed the vicarage … to a sone of mine
1666 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 233.
Ane minute be way of contract … , quhairby the said Earle disponed to them sex irone cannone

4. To make over or assign (lands) to a person formally or legally.(a) 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 109.
Gif it hapynnys that Pattown … lettis the said byschap or his successowris … to dyspone the said landis … at thair awn fredome
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 174.
The saidis landis … to be occupeit be the said Hew ore sic personis as he pleisis to dispone thaim to
1548 Red Bk. Menteith II. 334.
Our landis and steding … fra thynefurtht to be peciablie breukit, set, vsit, or disponit, be the said Alexander
1570 Leslie 178.
Ane pairt thairof [sc. his lands] disponit to the erle of Argyle quhilk he joysed continowalie thaireftir
1587 Acts III. 433/2.
Landis … disponit in frie tennendrie, in blenche cane, or for seruice of waird and releif or vtherwayes
c 1608 Fam. Rose 298.
The said Sir Alexander … being at my hous and the collaterallis thairof … did dispone the propertie
1638 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 440.
His Maiestie shall dispone heritably and irredeamably to him … all and sundry landis
1657 Mure II. 242.
He disponed to his kinsman … the lands of Pokellie
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. 93.
A woman divorced for her adultery, marrying the person with whom she committed the adultery … cannot dispone her lands
(b) 1572 Peebles B. Rec. 337.
To sycht the landis of Caidmuir … and thairefter to despone as thai think expedient
1595 Douglas Chart. (Reg. H.) 7 July.
Gif it sal happin the said Mr Gilbert to sell, despone, or sett the sadis landis

5. intr. a. To dispose, make disposition of a thing or person. 1375 Barb. xix. 115.
Of his land in full gret hy As him thoucht best, disponit he
a1500 Doug. K. Hart 895.
Ȝit for I will dispone of my thesaure, Vpon this wyse mak I my testament
1535 Stewart 42939.
Of his tua sisteris first he wald dispone … In mariage

b. To exercise disposition, authority, or control on or upon something. 14.. Acts I. 29/2.
Gif the ayr be absent for ivil wyl or malyce … it sal be leifful to the man mysterand to dyspone on his lande quhar he may best speid
1472 Reg. Aberbr. 168.
It sall be leful to the said venerabille fader … till … dispone one the said teindis
1477 Stewart Mem. 74.
It sal be leuefull to the said Neill to dispone apon his sonis mariage at his awin fre will
1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 299/1.
With power frely to dispone thairon and upon the ward of the landis forsaid
1533 Bell. Livy II. 133/1.
To that fyne thai sall nocht … tak consultacioun to dispone on the colonis or public landis
1540 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 99.
Sua that the gude toun may dispone vpoun thair buthis to the maist avale
1552 Ann. Banff I. 29.
The said fysche to be confisk and the getter … to dispone thairupone
1568 Inverness B. Rec. I. 162.
That he … sauld and disponit on ane mylstane of four fute braid
1599 Acts IV. 185/1.
The merchandis inbringaris of the saidis guidis aucht nocht to lose, brek bowke, nor dispone thairvpoun quhill the same be … deulie custumat
1622-6 Bisset I. 37/19.
Makand thame abill to bruik landis … , and to dispone thairupoun
1639 Corbet Ungirding Sc. Armour 16.
You spair not … to … dispone upon the Kings forts and castles, as you think good

c. To dispense with something. 1590 Digest Justiciary Proc. M. 12.
We being movit … of our royall authoritie to dispone with the executioun of the dome pronunceit

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"Dispone v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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