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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lel(e, Leil(l, adj. and adv. Also: lell(e; leile, leiall, leyl(l, -lle, leyill; liel(l, liele; leal(l, leale; leel(l, leele; laill. [ME. lel(e (Cursor M.), lell, leale (liale), leel(le, OF. leel, leal, leial, (class. and med.L. legalis). After the 15th c. only Sc.: cf. Loyall.]The common rhyme-words include dele, deill v. (e.g. Barb. i. 375, Leg. S. i. 569, Wynt. vii. 101 (W), Bk. Chess 1172, Dunb. lxxv. 4), hele, heill n. (health) (e.g. Leg. S. xxi. 1009, Rauf C. 602, Dunb. lxxv. 4), stele, steill v. (e.g. Peblis to Play 35, 279), seill n. (seal) (e.g. Wall. vi. 924, Stewart 34369) and conceill v. (conceal) (Montg. Son. xlv. 3), and see also the examples cited below. Latterly there also occur such rhymes as with baill (misery, sorrow) and faill v. (Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. xxxv. 36, 183).Also in surnames (cf. senses 2–4 below): 1459 Rep. Hist. MSS., Varr. Coll. V. 80.
Johannes the leill man
Ib. 82.
Jhon the lelman
1479 Reg. Episc. Glasg. II. 440.
Andream Leal

1. According to or as appointed by law; legally valid, legal; lawful, just, rightful.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xl. 1050.
How-gat The ded he had eschapit thryse, & he condemnyt be leile syse
1396 Scot. Ant. XIV. 217.
Inqueryt thru a lele inquest before the twa forsayd partis
1448 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 114.
Gif it beis fundyne be ane guyd and leile inquisitioune
(2) c1420 Wynt. viii. 3184.
Be lele jwgement … he gert hyng wp that carle
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1221.
On clerkis I do it, gif this sentence wes leill [: appeill]
1485–6 Prot. Bk. J. Young I. 9.
That the sad compromise is lel and trew, and therefor giffis for sentens [etc.]
1535 Stewart 39789.
Traist weill … that sentence is so leill, Withoutin place fra it to apeill
(3) c1420 Wynt. vi. 2482.
[He] usurpyd … The kynryk … Off thame that suld … Have had [it] … Be lauchfull and be lele lynage
1456 Hay I. 255/30.
As to the successioun … I traist it be bathe lele and lauffull, haly and just
1556 Lauder Off. Kings 385.
Thay suld be of ane lynage leill [: weill = well adv.]
(4) c1420 Wynt. vi. 369.
In lele maryage … He to swne gude Charlys gat
Ib. vii. 269.
Wyth hyr hys lyff In lele spowsale he thowcht to lede
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 155.
Or how ȝe like lif to leid in to lell spousage
(5) 14.. Acts I. 40/2.
That ayre and his catall sal be in ȝemsell of his frendis … till the leill elde of the ayre
(6) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 871.
Sancte Nicholas … as lele borcht freit has thé
1519 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 73 b.
[He] prowit his aicht gud and leill
(7) 14.. Acts I. 11/2.
The King biddis that conabil and leil man-herbery be ȝemyt [L. quod conveniens et legalis hospitalitas custodiatur] undir his riole pouste
c1420 Wynt. vi. 95.
Na the Papys lele desyre He dyde noucht
1456 Hay II. 31/8.
The curage of a lele knycht, that for a lele caus debatis may nocht be our cummyn
1513 Doug. ii. viii. 81.
Obseruyng weil, as he commandyt had, The serymonys leill
1533 Bell. Livy II. 291/29.
They haue devisit … gude and equale lawis, als lele for riche as pure
(8) c1500 Barounis Lawis 8 b.
This hors ... is my lele lauchful & hameald catell

2. Of persons: Loyal, faithful. a. To the sovereign, one's superior, one's husband, etc.; also, to a feudal inferior.Also lele lege, Lege n.1 1 b. See also Feal adj. and cf. the following two quotations:  14.. Acts I. 319/1.
Infeodatus per baronem debet … iurare … quod erit fidelis sibi et heredibus suis vel leel et feel
Quod erit leel et feel domino regi
 (1) 1375 Barb. v. 293 (E).
All the lele men off that land
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 675.
His lele discipil
c1420 Wynt. vii. 28.
A lele man That tald the Kyngys awyne persowne, That that lord set hym be tresowne
Ib. 108.
He become his man Mare lele, than he wes befor than
c1450-2 Howlat 433.
To the Dowglas that senȝe was send, As lelest, all Scotland fra scaith to reskewe
1456 Hay II. 301/24.
In regard of him that ever was lele and trewe in all thir thingis, and deis for his lord in bataill place
1490 Irland Mir. 357 b.
The prince sulde consider his frendis and quha are lelest quha visest and quha eldest
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 402.
My linage and forbearis war ay lele [: stele v., appelle, dele v.; M. liell], It cumis of kynde to thé to be a traytoure
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xl. 591.
As seruandis gud & leile [: ilke deile]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2014.
I will thow mak to me ane aith, For to be leill
1482 Fam. Rose 148.
The said Donalde is becummyn leill and trew sone in seruice
1518 Sutherland Chart. 70.
And alsua [I] the said lord byndis … me … that I … salbe leyll and trew
1531 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 140.
Sworne to be leill & trew in the said offise
1567 G. Ball. 163.
Go, hart, as leill and trew seruiture, To him that heill is for all seik
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 443.
He gat allowance, being leill [: meill n. = meal, ground grain]
(c) a1500 K. Hart 123.
Ane legioun liell war at hir leding
(2) 1375 Barb. v. 276.
A man … That … had beyn till his fader lele [: catell]
1408 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 68.
And the forsaide Alexander is oblist to be lele man & trew … to the forsaide Erll
1409 Exch. R. IV. ccix.
He sal be til him in all his causis lele counselour, and … lele helpar
1415 Lennox Mun. 61.
I sal be lele and trew til my said lord in vorde, cunseil and deid
c1420 Wynt. v. 4992.
He … wes to the empryoure … lele procuratoure
1456 Hay I. 290/27.
He salbe lele and trew to our haly fader the Pape
1456 Peebles B. Rec. 115.
To be lel and treu to the fredom qwyl he and his master can acord
c1575 Balfour Pract. 23.
I sall be lele and trew to ȝou my liege lord and soverane
15.. Misc. Spald. C. II. 193.
Ye beand ane gud serwand and lelle and trow to me
(b) 1432 (1481) Lamont P. 13.
The said Robert … to be to the said Finlo and his ayris leyl and a gud lorde
1438 Ayr Burgh Ct. Bk. MS.
The qilk day Tho[ma]s Greyff swer the ath to be leyl & trew to the King
a1487 Gud Wife & D. 142.
Gif scho … Be leil and trew till hir husband
a1500 Bk. Chess 1760.
To thair gestis suld thir folk be leile, Thar gudis kepe & thair secret conseile
1515 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 45.
I salbe leile and traist to your lordschip and your materis
1520 Thanes of Cawdor 137.
To be cuming leyill and trewe men and seruandis to the forsayd Sir Johne Campbell
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 176.
Sworne … that he sould be leile & trew to the said office
a1538 Abell 109 b.
He at is fals to a maistir he is nocht abill to be leill to thé
1590 Misc. Spald. C. II. 93.
We … oblidges ws … to be effauld, trew, and leill to wtheris
1597 Skene Verb S. s.v. Homagium.(c) 1513 Reg. Panmure II. 282.
I … grantis me till becumin … leall trew man and servand to … schir Thomas Mauil
1558 Reg. Cupar A. II. 301.
He, his heirs … should be leall true and awfauld servants to the said venerable fader
1646 Dunferm. Hammermen 71.
That he sall be ane leall and obedient servant till his said father
1673 Sc. N. & Q. 1 Ser. XII. 169.
I sall be leall and true to the brugh of Innernes
(3) 1484 Grant Chart. 36.
[They] sal stand anefalde leyl and kind ilkain to vthir
1510 15th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. viii. 14.
Tharefor I and my ayris sall stand leile and trew tennandis to the said Wilȝeam
1530 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 34.
That ilkane … stand afald lele and trew in freyndlie luf and kyndnes till vtheris

b. With regard to religious faith: Faithful, Christian. Also absol.Common in Leg. S. Only early. a1400 Leg. S. ii. 223.
Lele men [L. viri fideles] sall … ber myn corse away
Ib. iii. 671.
Thu blissit croice, … leile folk [L. credentibus] wat quhat gyftis thou … in thé has grathit
Ib. iv. 338.
For-thi the lele mene, ore tha fane, Thinkand na ewil vent to the hill
Ib. 365. Ib. xiii. 10.
Thai that leile [L. fideles] ware at the laste Tuk with ewangelis & cane pray [etc.]
Ib. xxvii. 944.
He mad mony payene leile [: feile a., many]
Ib. xxxiii. 875.
That martir lele [:hele n., health]
Ib. xliii. 120. 1438 Misc. Spald. C. V. 391.
Tyl all and syndrie lele folk in Cryste … greting in Gode ay lestand
1456 Hay II. 102/7.
Ordaine lele men that lufis thy saule to … do thame humanitee for the reverence of almychty God
absol. 1456 Hay I. 104/18.
A wis man wald say that he [sc. the Pope] has bathe power on lele and vnlele

3. In friendship and, espec., love: Faithful, true, constant. Also absol. as n. Also b. said of the heart, c. of the act of loving, and d. leill-luif, = true-love, sweetheart.(1) ?1438 Alex. ii. 6648.
Gude freind and lele in laute [F. bons amis et loyaus]
a1500 Sir Eger 795.
The man that loves and als is leel Is worthiest to keep counsell
a1500 Henr. Orph. 207.
In luf nane lelar than Schir Orpheus
a1568 Scott xxx. 50.
Luvaris suld be leill and trew
1604-31 Craig v. 10.
The leilest in loue commeth ay the worst speede
Ib. 28.
Since first our love began, I haue beene the lielest aye
absol. a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 399.
Hou suld I luf, & that lele mys?
(2) ?1438 Alex. ii. 2544.
God him-self, the lele luffar, Beris witnes, in lele lufing
a1500 Henr. Orph. 235 (Ch. & M.).
Quod he, ‘My lady lele, and my delyte’
Id. III. 148/61.
[The Virgin] O lady lele and lusumest
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 477.
All my luffaris leill my lugeing persewis
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 39.
O Uenus … ȝe neuer had sic two So leill luffaris without dissimulance
1528 Id. Dreme 39. a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxii. 39.
Hir leilest lover for to leed Out of the laberinth of love
(b) a1568 Scott x. 29.
I am hir luwar laill [: withouttin faill, alhaill]
Ib. xi. 1.
It cumis ȝou luvaris to be laill [: alhaill, daill (= deal v.), faill]
b. c1420 Wynt. iii. 400.
For luff to yheld fenyhyng It is to lele hart a throwyng
?1438 Alex. ii. 2200.
Thow lufis with gude hart and lele [: consele v., conceal]
Ib. 3849. a1568 Scott viii. 6.
Lat nocht, deir hairt, my leill hairt be forloir
Ib. xxxvi. 79.
This sacrifice than thow salt have Off thy just pepill and ressave Thair laill trew hairtis
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1692) No. 55.
A leill heart lied never
c. 1375 Barb. ii. 516.
Othir ladyis … for leyle luff and leawte Wald partenerys off thar paynys be
?1438 Alex. ii. 3246.
He but fenȝeing Wald haue had of Gaudefere lele lufing
Ib. 3726. Ib. 6380.
In fyne lufe the lele ȝarning Growis
a1568 Bann. MS. 80 b/7.
Leill loif and lawte lyis behind And auld kyndnes is quyt forȝett
Ib. 265 a/1.
Sum man luvis for leill luv and delyte And vthir sum for rentis and renoun
a1568 Scott vi. 24.
Leilest lufe [comes] of law degre
a1605 Montg. Son. lxx. 2.
Blind brutal boy, that with thy bou abuses Leill leisome love by lechery and lust
d. c1600 Montg. Suppl. 194/15.
My leill luif, hert and ioo Nane hes my hairt bot ȝe
1604-31 Craig v. 9.
Suppone Thy mistres … from her heart wisheth her leile loue to see
Ib. 31.
When shee saw her liele loue lye dead

4. a. Loyal to one's obligations, faithful to one's word, of good faith, honest, trustworthy.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 763.
Gyf I mycht trew That thu as lele man wald quyt me The gud that I suld creance thé
c1420 Wynt. vi. 2181.
I sall be lele and stedfast ay, And hald till ilke man gud fay
Ib. viii. 2974.
In all Ingland thare wes noucht thane As Williame Walays swa lele a mane
c1460 Wisd. Sol. (S.T.S.) 439.
It is gud to be lell and kep condiscions, fore seldin cumys fals man till honour
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 653.
Ane schir Louys the lele, ane lord of that leid
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 186/28.
Thai war ay lele amangis thaim self
1533 Boece ix. iii. 292 b.
Britouns … seing that Saxouns nouder be lygis wald be lele, nor wald be content to lif in pece
a1586 Lindsay MS. 36 b.
He … wes lele and joyeus and generit of noble bluid
(b) c1420 Ratis R. 561.
Fore ay quhill thou art fundin leill, All worthi man wyll with thé deill
c1475 Wall. x. 605.
I am so boundyn with wytnes to be leill, For all Ingland I wald nocht fals my seill
Ib. viii. 1623. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2272.
Ane lord, and he be leill … His saw is ay als sickker as his seill
1535 Stewart 26360.
Thair kynd wes neuir ȝit to be leill
Ib. 27273. Ib. 34380.
To caus ȝow to be leill, Sextie ȝoung lordis for pledgis I will haue
Ib. 35719.(2) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 714.
It plesede to Pryame … Of the Gregeois fals spekynges, Thame reputand leile in-to all thingis
c1420 Wynt. viii. 2718.
In that heycht he wes noucht lele [: selle n., seal]
a1585 Maitl. Q. xi. 19.
Be of thy promeis and conditioun leill [: reveill]

b. Honest, honourable, upright, virtuous, law-abiding.Freq. lele man, the or an honest man as opposed to a thief.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 966.
Thai forhicht mare to steile & become gud men and lele
Ib. xxx. 264. 14.. Acts I. 348/2.
To sla lele peceable and rychtwis lifand men
c1420 Wynt. i. 372.
Noe wes a man rycht wys Perfyt and lele at all dewys
1456 Hay I. 206/4.
Bot to say that a gude lele man suld be destroyat for othir mennis dede [etc.]
c1420 Ratis R. 361.
Gif thow oucht tynis to be lell Thow sall wyne eftir thris so fell
a1500 Seven S. 600.
God wait gif … ȝour quene Be sa lele as scho garris ȝow wene
Ib. 1769.
God send ȝow grace to dreme at eis For lelar men ȝit neuer I saw
1533 Boece ii. ix. 74 b.
Vthiris quhilkis heryit … the cuntre, spuleȝeing lele lauboraris of thare gudis
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 770.
How do ye commer? Als fat as the fairest of them and as lele as the best of them
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 588.
That thu … May gere leile folk in thé affy & sa betrese thaim
c1450-2 Howlat 167.
Thir ar fowlis … Spirituale in all thing, Leile in thar leving
a1500 Bk. Chess 1641.
This theif at his end daye leile he fand
Ib. 1945.
The thesaurer he suld be ay so leile That with the commoun gud and gold suld deile
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 277.
Thai wryt wp leile and fals, baith all & sum, And dytis thaim vnder a perdoun
Ib. 320.
Leile men ar hurt & theiffis gettis away
1540 Lynd. Sat. 669.
Sen I was clekit of my dame, Ȝit was I never leill [: steill v.]
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxiv. 1.
A wobster that is leill And a myllar that will not steill
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1478.
They ar fel leil staw never a heiring
(c) a1578 Pitsc. (1814) 512.
Oppressand the leall men als weill as the theiff
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 1188.
Speir at Jock Theef my marrow if I be ane leall man

c. Applied to a person required to act (under oath) officially or legally.Answering to L. legalis, fidelis or fidedignus as in the early Latin laws.(1) 1398 Acts I. 210/2.
With the consail of wyse men & lele … In the firste the Duc of Albany
14.. Acts I. 28/2.
That man sall have wytnes of tua leil men or of women nychtburis
Ib. 356/2.
Be the wytnesing of xij men lawchfull lell ande suffycyande burges
1424 Ib. II. 4/2.
Ilk scherref … sall cheis lele men and discret and sik as he will answer for, the quhilkis sall byde knawlege befor the King gif [etc.]
1456 Hay I. 74/1.
Gif I faile of my pruf be twa or thre lele men to witnes [etc.]
1478 Binns P. No. 17.
The saidis landis … to be prisit now be lele trew men
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Attaynt.
Bot attaint … is called the probation of 24 leill men, the quhilk may be called an great assise
Id. Reg. Maj. i. 120.
Povertie sould be proven be twelue leill and faithfull neighbors
(2) 1424 Acts II. 8/2.
That the juge … get a lele and a wys aduocate
1467 Acta Aud. 7/2.
Certificacion … that the notar is famous & lele that made the instrument
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2679.
I sall compeir Before the lyoun, lord and leill iustice
1661 Forbes Baron Ct. 229.
These four men hes giwin thair oath of fidelitie that they shall be leill and trew birlimen

5. Of conduct, counsel, etc.: Loyal, faithful, dutiful, in good faith, honest.In various collocations and formulæ.(1) 1375 Barb. x. 270.
He knew … His trast hert and his leillseruis
a1400 Leg. S. xxv. 265.
Lele seruice I wald mak ȝou til, & at ȝoure wil tak of ȝow fe
1442 Foulis Chart. (Reg. H.) 18 Jan.
I sall mak to my saide lorde lele and trew service at all my gudely powar
1518 Thanes of Cawdor 129.
We sal gif our leil trew and afauld seruice … to … Sir Jhone Campbell of Calder
1548 Red Bk. Menteith II. 332.(2) 1487 Misc. Spald. C. II. 256.
I … sall tak leill treu and aufald part with hym in all … thingis
1515 Reg. Privy S. I. 405/2.
All his kyn … that … keipis lele and afald part to hym
1544–5 Lamont P. 54.
Keipand ane leil trew and affawld pairt till us
1572 Montgomery Mem. 209.(3) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1309.
Sen the lawte is lell, That thow my kyndnes wil heill
1477 Misc. Spald. C. II. 252.
Oblist … til ane richt noble … lord … in oure lele treu lawte afald kindnes [etc.] … to be done to the said Erle
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 153.
By the faith onfylit, and leil lawte, … Haue rewth and piete
(4) a1400 Leg. S. vi. 422.
That in lele pennance we suld dwel
Ib. ix. 147.
Richt sa suld mane in lele fastinge Oure-cum the fend
(5) 1424 Lanark & R. 283.
The quhilks bailȝeis … sal do thair lele besynes vnpartiabilly
1426 Cal. Chart. MS. Suppl. (Reg. H.) 16 Jan.
To do our lele & trew besines to trete the tenant … without fraud or gile
1449 Reg. Great S. 70/2.
I oblis me … to do my lele diligence [etc.]
1456 Hay II. 79/10.
The first is that he have governement just and lele
1490 Acta Aud. 136/2.
For the trew, lele, and detfull administratioune thairof
1601 St. A. Baxter Bks. 66.
And maid his aith for leill and trew administratioun of his office
a 1700 J. Colston Edinb. Guildry 47.
I shall give my leiall and true judgment in all lineations … without price preyer or reward
(6) c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxvi. 13.
The leill labour lost, and leill seruice
1531 Th. Davidson in 1531 Bell. Boece I. ii.
I the prentar … Desiris nocht bot on my laubour leil That I mycht leif
a1540 Freiris Berw. 65 (M).
I pray to God him speid And sauf him sound in till his leill travale
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 154.
Sum sempill men of thair leill laubour leuis
(7) 14.. Acts I. 26/2.
Thai say it nocht for hatrent of the ta part na for luferent of the tothir part bot alanerly for lele suthefastnes
c1420 Wynt. v. 1002.
He … avowyd, wyth lele intent, For to fulfyll … the yharnyng
Ib. viii. 922.
Thai awnsuerd … thai had made full delywerans And lele off the gret dystans And in hale conclusyown Thai ordanyd to the Brows the crown
(8) a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 154.
Consele kane I kene thé gud & leile [: saule-heile]
1424 Lanark & R. 283.
And ather partis sal gife til uther the lelest and the treuast consale
1466 (1471) Reg. Great S. 214/2.
Oure saide counsale beand … sworne to gif us lele and trew counsale
1478 Decr. Ld. Abernethy (MS.).
Thai beand suorne to gif ane leile and trew cunsele into the actione
1550 Breadalbane Doc. (Reg. H.) No. 71.
Colyne Campbell … sall gif thame lele trew and efald counsale at all tymes

b. Common, chiefy in legal contexts, in the formula to bere lele (= honest, truthful) (and suthefast) witnes(sing.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xii. 319.
Ane … That ma … bere lele vitnes Of Christis werkis
1384 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 6.
I ber witnes lele and suthfast that [etc.]
1496–7 Acta Conc. II. 48.
To bere lele and suthfast witnessing in sa fer as thai knaw [etc.]
1538 Soc. Ant. II. 362.
Thir indentures … proportis and beris lele witnessing … that it is appoyntit [etc.]
1560 St. A. Kirk S. 26.
Quhai beiris lele and anefauld witnessing to our consciences
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxxvii. 223.
& here-to ber I leile witnes
1463 Liber Aberbr. 138.
Andro Fermor … to compeir … to beir leil witnes to the suthfastnes in it
1511 Dunferm. B. Rec. I. 143; also 1516 Fife Sheriff Ct. 144, 1527 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 125 b.
Sen nedful and meritable thing is to ber leill and suthfast vitnesing to the verite and specialy in … causis quhar the occultacioune tharof may gener preiudice to the innocent
1649 Stirling Merch. Guild 63.
This indentour … bearis leill and suthefast witnessing that [etc.]
1699 Misc. 3rd Spald. C. II. 104.
He had cited diverse famous witnesses to have born leill and soothfast witnessing
(c) 1669 Bk. Old Edinb. C. V. 151.
Put to the horne … for not compeiring … to have borne [pr. beine] leell and suithfast witnessing in sua far as they know
(d) 1531–2 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 53.
To bayr laill and suthfast vitneseyng in the actione … foyrsaid

6. a. Honest, truthful; true, correct, accurate (report, account, inventory, etc.). b. Trustworthy, sound (proposition, doctrine etc.). c. Actual, very (truth). d. Trustworthy, truthful (writer). e. absol. as n. The truth.a. (1) 1441 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 7.
Of the quhilk he sall make lele and trew accompt to the commounes
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 189.
Gifand leyl cunt bath of the dukat and of the stankis
a1500 Henr. Ressoning 15 (Makc.).
A bil he bure apone his brest abone, In letteris leill [M. liell] but les, with this legyand
1498 Dunferm. B. Rec. 81.
To mak leill report eftir his witting in safer as he herde and saw
1502 Prot. Bk. J. Young 286.
My said executouris to mak a leil inventoure and ligasy of all my gudis
a1568 Scott i. 212.
The wordis … Quhilkis ar … Bot leale, but feale, may haell avaell thy grace
1622-6 Bisset II. 222/24.
The valoure of the pryse [= ship] be ane leill inventare
Ib. 223/4.(2) a1400 Leg. S. xiii. 20.
Marke … put [the gospel] in wryt, & quhene Petyre examyt it And fand it leile, for-thi gert he It in al placis aprowit be
1510 Reg. Privy S. I. 309/1.
His comptis is examit be our comptrollaris … and fund just and lele
a1500 Sir Eger 1346.
Am I his tale for to impele? I wot not but it may be lele
b. c1420 Wynt. i. 60 (W).
Better is that we all commend To God … That may nocht in ws consauit be, Na pruffit be leill autorite
c1450-2 Howlat 266.
Mony allegiance leile in leid nocht to layne it Off Arestotill and ald men
1456 Hay I. 30/25.
The symple peple … traistit that thair doctrine had bene trewe and lele
Ib. 242/14.
Me think this opynioun nouthir lele na trewe
c. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 348.
Bot quhethir that this be suth or nay, I[n] lele treutht, I dare nocht say
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Bona Patria.
The aith of the assisors … We sall leill suith say, & na suith conceale for na thing be may
1610 Crim. Trials III. 107.d. 1587-99 Hume 78/332.
Then iudge if I be writer fals or leill [: the common weill]
e. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 71.
He saw nane levand leid … Nouther lord na lad, leif ye the lele [: dele v., mele v. (= speak), wele n. (= prosperity)]

7. a. Honest, just, fair; also, exact, accurate (measures, division etc.); exact (number).(1) 1425 Acts II. 10/2.
A stane … the quhilk sall wey xv lele troyis pundis Ande at the stane be diuidyt in xvj lele Scottis pundis
1473 Reg. Cupar A. I. 173.
The sade toun salbe pairtyt … with lele pairtyn be cut and quavyl
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 82.
Anentt markstenys, leyll meyrchis and methis betuix Saba and Toop
1529 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 12.
That na maner of personis … sell aittis or meill bot with ane sufficient lele mesour pek and ferlot
1534–5 Ib. 68.
[The] myllaris … ar oblist … to tak thair leill multer
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xv. 64.
God send our burgesis wit and skeill For to set furth the commoun weill … And to vse met and mesure leill
c1575 Balfour Pract. 521.
It is statute and ordanit, that commoun and equal wechtis, that ar leill, be kept in buying and selling
(2) c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus Prol. 35.
The planeitis … ar in leill number thir seuin: Saturnus, Juppiter [etc.]

b. Of money: Good, sound, up to standard. 1398 Liber Melros 488.
Foure skore and ten pond of gude mone and lele of Scotland

c. Leill by lyne, straight. a1568 Bann. MS. 80 a/16.
Als leill by lyne rycht as a ramis horne

8. adv. In various senses of the adj. a. Faithfully, loyally; (to love) truly; (to divide) honestly, fairly; (to look, read, compare) accurately, closely, carefully; (to light or fall) exactly or directly (upon), fig.(1) c1420 Wynt. vii. 2053.
All thir poyntis … to be haldyn ferme or lele [: sele n., seal; C. lel]
1535 Stewart 1269.
Syne war all suorne to keip that [pact] leill and trew
(2) c1450-2 Howlat 750.
Lady, luke to the leid that thé so leile lufis
a1585 Arbuthnot Maitl. Q. xxxv. 19.
Thay luif maist leill thocht men doe feill [= fail]
1584-9 Maxwall Commonpl. Bk. fol. 21 b.
Luif leill and luif bot ane
1604-31 Craig ii. 89.
No hart … tho wrought of Vulcans steele … That doe endure or last so long so leele
(3) c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxvi. 46.
Beneficis ar nocht leill devydit, Sum men has sewin, and I nocht ane
(4) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 175.
Luke lele gif it be lykand and lestie
1513 Doug. Æn. Conclusion 23.
Ȝhe … gentill redaris … redis leill, and tak gud tent
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3093.
Luik ȝe gif scho comparit it leill [: steill v.]
(5) a1650 Row 285.
The King … absented himselfe … therby giving Mr Andro Melvill a faire opportunitie to light leill upon Bishop Bancroft

b. Comb. in leil-won (-win) and leil-come, -come by, -becumit, lawfully obtained, honestly come by, also, honestly earned. c1460 Wisd. Sol. 267.
Quhen a seruand … is richit throw falsat of his mastir lell-wone gud
1457 Peebles B. Rec. 122.
The som that he gaif hym for that land that he wald pruf was his an leil won gud
1557 Orkney & Shetl. Rec. 263.
Ay and quhile I … pay … of the foirsaid soume … , and that of our awine leil win conquest gudis
a1661 Rutherford Lett. (1862) I. 443.
Then let us claim our leel-come and lawfully conquessed joy
1662 Kelso Baillie Ct. 69 b.
He knows no fault to the said naig and that the samyne is leal becumit
Leile becomed
1675 Ib. 75 b.
Leill becomed
1692 Presb. Eloq. (1694) 57.
Every man hath conversion and the new-birth, but it's not leel come by, they had never a sick night for sin
1695 Cullen Kirk S. Jan 13.
John Ogilvie … did disspone the said croaft in wedsett … for … ane hundreth pounds (Nota four bolls yearly rent dissponed for ane hundreth pounds looks not leil come)

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"Lel adj., adv.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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