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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Occur, v. Also: occur(r)e; accur, -our, acure. [e.m.E. occur(re (1527), L. occurrĕre, obs. F. occurrer, -ir (16th c. in Godef.).]

1. intr. Of persons: To go to meet, encounter or present oneself, as an adversary, to another, in his meting, or without compl. 1533 Boece ii. vi. 68 b.
Dowale nocht vnaduertist of thare intencioun occurrit with his folkis in thare meting
Ib. viii. 72, xi. 79 b. Ib. iv. ix. 139.
Gald, thinking best to occur to inemyis or thai war spred in the cuntre, … walit ane armye
a1538 Abell 39 b.
Placitus … occurrit in feld to thame
1596 Dalr. I. 173/30.
The Scottis … brekis in ower the nerrest prouince. … Trebellie occuris in al haist

b. To present oneself to, to meet. 1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 105.
Melchisedech offerit vp ane sacrifice … quhen he occurit to Abraham efter his victorie

c. To run together. 1533 Bell. Livy I. 167/31.
In euery partis of the ciete occurrit wilfullie certane men to augment this sedicioun
Ib. 203/23.
Quhare twa armyis occurrit to thare huge dredoure

d. fig. Const. to (something non-material): To oppose in advance, to forestall, prevent or thwart. a1651 Calderwood IV. 627.
Forasmuche as Satan … seeketh … to increasse his kingdom of darknesse … it is the part of the true Kirk vigilantlie to occurre to his craft

2. tr. a. To run or go to meet. 1533 Boece xiii. v. 506 b.
The King … haistelie occurrit the ald man with bare hede and lyart haris

b. fig. To meet, encounter in advance, forestall (a danger). 1531 Bell. Boece (M) I. 136.
[They] desyrit him to send support in tyme, to occur the present dangere afoir thair pussance wer brokin

3. intr. To present oneself, appear, arrive. Also, of a thing, to present itself, appear.Cf. also sense 1 c.(1) 1513 Doug. iii. vi. 100.
Les than amyd the godly fyris, per cace, Thi ennemeis mycht occur and knaw thi face
1533 Boece vi. iii. 190 b.
The tratouris … taryit beside the King, bering in handis scharp grundin dartis to sla the wolf … gif he occurrit
Ib. vii. 198.
Carance … in the dawing entering at the hals of the strenth in gude ordoure occurrit
(2) 1684 Corshill Baron Ct. 169.
The laird … ordaines [them] … to make sinkes and passages for the watter that fallis or occurres thereintill [sc. dikes]

4. To present itself in the course of events, to happen, befall, take place, turn up or out.Quhen or as (the) time occurris, when the time or opportunity presents itself, when the time comes.(1) 1499 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I. 77.
Fyve persouns … to do … thair lawbouris thairintill quhen ony sic aventures or cais occurris
1513 Doug. vii. Prol. 153.
For byssynes, quhilk occurrit on cace
1528 Douglas Corr. 129. 1531 Bell. Boece I. 136.
Dredand sum hid dangere occurring
Ib. II. 223.
Mutabil and corespondent to the season as it occurris
Id. Livy I. 122/22.
As oft occurris quhare ony batallis ar mare langsum than scharpe
Ib. 217/17.
Quhen ony avantage occurrit
Ib. 103/3. a1538 Abell 73 a.
For ane sanctis feist occurrand he left his host at the sege
1539 Liber Melros II. 627. 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 32.
Ony novations I sall adverteis your grace as thay occure
1549 Compl. 1/18.
The vniuersal pestilens ande mortalite that hes occurit mercyles amang the pepil
Ib. 58/6.
The ciuil veyris that occurrit betuix Anthonius and Agustus Cesar
Ib. 22/29, 58/13. 1559 Arran in Cal. Sc. P. I. 251.
Sic news as hes occurit in thir partes sens my awin hir coummin
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5306.
How hes occurrit this cace That [etc.]
Ib. 4162, etc. 1572 Sempill Sat. P. xxxviii. 96. a1578 Pitsc. I. 152 head. Ib. II. 154/12. 1592 Acts III. 566/2.
According to the wind and wedder that occurrit
Ib. 573/1.
Quhairby it occurris dalie that [etc.]
1622 R. M. Fergusson A. Hume (1899) 221.
They assigne to him the first vaiking gilbrotheris fyne that sall occur to thame
(b) 1536–7 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 81.
Quhen ony taxt accourit
1555 Conv. Burghs I. 7.
Gif it sal happin ony vthir occasioun to acure … that … alteratioun be maid of new
1604 Urie Baron Ct. 6.
In respect of the menifald complentis that accurris
(2) 1495 Acta Conc. I. 393/2.
James of Dowglas … said that quhen tyme occurrit he wald schew sic richtis as he haid
1501–2 Ib. III. 174.
[Cases south of the Forth are to be heard indiscriminately] as tyme occuris
1541 Sc. Hist. Rev. VI. 152.
I sall not be necgligent bot as the tyme occurris sall [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I. 194/11.
It will caus thame … for to disawe thair maisteris … quhan tyme occuris that the enemyeis persewis thame
Ib. II. 247/11.
Quhen tyme occurrit that thay sould have carmischit [etc.]

5. To present itself to thought, come to mind. a1500 Henr. Fab. 886 (Bann.).
I sall rehers a pairt of ewery kynd Als far as now occurris to my mynd

6. To give agreement or support to. 1584–5 James VI in Laing MSS. I. 47.
And as ye have begun, sa continewe tymouslie to occurre thairto be all gude meanis possible

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



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