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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Assoilȝe, Assolȝe, v. Also: assoiliȝe, assoilȝie, assoillie, assoylie; asolȝe, assolȝee, -ȝie, -ȝhe, assoleȝe, -iȝe, -yȝe, assoly; essolȝe. (Also with y for ȝ) [OF. a(s)soille pres. subj., a(s)soil pres. indic. of a(s)soldre, L. absolvere, with normal for French ll. Cf. Assoile,v. and Absolȝe.]

1. tr. To absolve by ecclesiastical authority; to grant absolution to. 1375 Barb. xx. 295.
Bischoppes and prelatis that thar weir Assolȝeit hym
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 888.
Sayand, schou wald … to sik man schryfyne be, That till assolȝe hyr had pouste
c1420 Wynt. vi. 1389.
The Legate thare … Assolyhyd hym off all cursyng
1461 Liber Plusc. 400.
Thai … ar cursit of law of spiritualite, Quhilk but the pape may nocht essolyeit [v.r. assolyit] be
1490 Irland Mir. I. 36/2.
He that assolȝeis ws of oure synnis
1531 Bell. Boece II. 109.
Colmane … , assoilyeit him first of the cursin
1551 Hamilton Cat. 222.
Seik for ane lauchful minister quhilk may pronunce the wordis of absolutioun to the and assolye the fra thi synnis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 2/24.
For thay wald … gar the hippis of ane deid ȝow or skin Assolȝe ȝow of all ȝour deidly sin

b. In the formula that (the quhilk, quham) God assoilȝe, as a pious wish for the dead, rendering OF. que Dieu assoille, L. quem Deus absolvat. 1389 Liber Melros 449.
Dauid kyng qwhilom of Scotland, that god assoillie
1441 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 6.
My lord Wilyeam the Hay, Constabil of Scotland, the quhilk God assolyhe
1449 Reg. Episc. Glasg. 370.
The priuilege and custum … kepyt in tyme of our genitouris quham God assolȝe
1487 Breadalbane Doc. (Reg. H.) No. 23.
Oure progenitouris of maist nobill minde, quham god assoleȝe, sen the tyme of Robert the Bruce
1508 Reg. Cupar A. I. 277.
Ane assedacioun maid be our predecessour, qwhom God assoly
1539 Treas. Acc. VII. 181.
The Expensis debursit upoun the suffrage of Quene Magdalene, quham God assoilȝe
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 236.
The Quenes grace dearest husband King James the Fift … quhom God assolye
1602 Colville Parænese 70.
Speking of the dead thai vill not haue vs to say, vhom God assolȝie or absolue

2. To free from an obligation. 1456 Hay I. 249/7.
He is assoilȝeit of his athe, be the law writtin
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 177.
Tha beand aso[l]ȝeit of al vthir cariage
1475 Ib. 202.
He beand allegit and aso[l]ȝett of al vther cariage

3. To acquit of a charge; to declare innocent or free from liability. 1456 Hay I. 74/2.
Gif I faile of my pruf … the juge may assoliȝe my party, and frely delyver thame fra my clame
1507 Lanark B. Rec. 18.
For ane letter sowmondis apon maister James to heir ws assolȝit
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 108.
Your Lordschipe man find sum way to caus the ox be pait or thane writt to the commissar of Abirdene to essolye the man
1518 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 181.
The Lordis assoilȝeis the said Robert fra the punctis aboue writin
1533 Bell. Livy I. 62/10.
The pepill … tharefore assoleȝeit him fra the deith
Ib. II. 106/3.
How Posthvmeus was condampnit, & Ti. Q. assolȝeit
1598 Liber Coll. Glasg. p. lxxvi.
The Lords of Counsall assoilyies … the saids provest and baillies of Glasgow fra the petitioun
1637 Ann. Banff I. 78.
The assysoris assoilyie the said Franceis Broune … fra the steilling of the horses taillis
1674 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II. 221.
The same was a sufficient title to assoilȝie him from this pursuit
1683 Corshill Baron-Ct. 164.
The Judge … assoiliȝeies the said Iohn … to be free in the mater … against him

b. refl. To clear (oneself) from a charge. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 125/21.
Thocht I haue assolȝeit me fra consent of the tresoun committit aganis my husband

c. absol. To give sentence of acquittal. 1637 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 129.
The saidis Lords hes fund and declarit, decerned and assoilyied in maner forsaid
1662 Decis. Lords G. 14.
The Lords found the alledgeance relevant, and assoilȝied
1665 Ib. 118.
The Lords assoilȝied in January thereafter

4. To clear away, remove. 1453 Stirlings of Keir 226.
I, myn ayris [etc.], … sal be for euermar dischargit, excludit, assolyhet, and oute put be thir our present letteris
1472 Lennox Mun. 87.
Fra all rycht, clame and titill of rycht, … I, myn ayris [etc.], be excludyt, assolȝiet and outeput for euermar

5. To resolve, solve, answer (a question, etc.). c1420 Wynt. iii. 228.
Thare robys fyne He gave to thai thretty syne … Sen thai assolyeit his questyowne
?1438 Alex. ii. 1507.
Mony demand thay askit that day, The king hes thame assoilȝeit ay
1490 Irland Mir. MS. 347.
Syn I will assolȝe the ressouns and argumentis
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 166.
The king … bad thaim that thai suld foroutin mare His questioun reid, assolȝe & declare
1513 Doug. vii. i. 138.
The pepil … thar petitions gettis assolȝeit heir

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



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