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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Strenth, Strength, Strinth(t, n. Also: strenthe, strentht, strench(e, strencht, strencth, strengthe, strengh(t, streinth, streynth, strainth(e, stranth, stranthth, strinthe, strynt, strynth(e, stryntht, stryncht, strenith, strenyth. [ME and e.m.E. strengthe (1154), streinðe (c1175), strenȝe (Layamon), strengh, strencth (both Cursor M.), strenght, strenth (both Rolle), strynthe (Wyclif), strength (1387-8), stryngthe (c1400), streynthe (c1420), OE strengðu, OE *stręngan.]

1. a. Power of body or limbs; ability to exert muscular force. Also pl.sing. 1375 Barb. xv 382.
Set we than will & strenth & mycht For to mete thaim rycht hardely
?1438 Alex. i 2310.
Tua barrounis of Grece … That of great strenth and worship war
1456 Hay I 80/35.
Certaynly nocht force na strenth corporale makis a man to wyn the bataill
1456 Hay I 117/28.
Strenth is a disposicioun of mannis body
1460 Hay Alex. 1920.
[He] straik so weill That of his strenth he suld the power feill
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 276.
Or he be strenyeit with strenth, yone sterne for to schore
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1476.
The honour … Of all victour vpon the strenth dependis Of his compair
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 9/67.
On to the crose … They straitit him with all thair strenth
1513 Doug. v xii 35.
Thar was na strenth of vaillyant men [L. vires heroum] to waill
1513 Doug. xi Prol. 27.
Warldly strenth is febill and impotent
1533 Bell. Livy I 51/5.
His flurisant ȝouth, his mychty strenth of body
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2039.
Thay faucht, throw strenth of thare bodeis, With gaddis of irne, with stonis, and treis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2043.
Thay ruschit to gidther rycht rudly With hardy hart and strenth of handis
1567 G. Ball. 94.
The king is not saif be his greit armie, Nor jyand saif, be strenth of his bodie
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 273 (W).
Like to an fische fast in the nette, In dead-thraw vndeceist, Quhais thocht in vaine dois striue for strenth For to pull out her head
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1489.
Wood in a wildernes & strenth in a fool
1679 Edinb. B. Rec. X 367.
The toun guairds are soe ill keept that ther is noe suitable strenth or couradge to resist any comotion which may happen within the city
(b) c1420 Ratis R. 258.
And [ȝit] was mony worthiar man Of strenth and body than vas he than
c1590 Fowler I 77/7.
c1590 Fowler II 188/10.
Which chariot … appeared to be drawen in, onely by the strength of a Moore, which was very richly attyred
1594 Colville Lett. 132.
He lippins so muche in his awin strengthe
(c) c1420 Wynt. i 812.
Wormys als of hwge streynth, Lyk to partanys her ar thai
(d) 1596 Dalr. I 92/8.
With age thay mycht that natural courage and strainth in thame make mekle quicker and abler
(e) a1500 Bk. Chess 1024.
Strinth of persone gret lak it dois ane knycht Bot in the saull the man be werraye richt
1549 Compl. 20/8.
Childir … grouis & incressis … to the perfyit stryntht of men
pl. a1400 Leg. S. xlv 114.
Seke Tyl thi godis thare strinthis [L. virtutem] til eke
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 34.
To folow thar wyles … Which yharnyt hys wndoyng With thar strenthes in alkyne thyng
1456 Hay II 23/24.
When a knycht has all strenthis and habiliteis that appertenis to the corps, and has nocht thame that appertenis to the saule
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 346.
War al your strenthis in ane, In his grippis and ye gane, He wald ourcum yow ilkane
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2889.
The dreid of deith hir strenthis gart incres And forcit hir defend with mycht and mane
1513 Doug. viii ix 41.
O sen omnipotent Hie Jupiter my ȝyng ȝheris … Wald me restor in sic strenthis and eild So as I was quhen first [etc.]

b. Power of body to withstand hardship, stress, etc.; vigour, healthiness, as contrasted with weakness or debility. Also, an instance of such power. Also coll. pl. Also fig. and in fig. context.(1) sing. c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1650.
Wyntir … Command with strenth of his slaw paces
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. § 71.
Turnyt is my strenth in febilnesse
a1450 Fifteen Ois 64.
Thy tender body … Thai drew … Apoun the croce … Quhill in Thi sennonis wer left no strenth
c1450 Cr. Deyng 114.
Thir men for the strenthe at thai have of complexioune ar laith to de
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 171.
He is a ȝoung man ryght ȝaip bot nought in ȝouth flouris For he is fadit full far and feblit of strenth
1513 Doug. Comm. i v 2.
Venus was … discendent, and nocht in hir strength
1513 Doug. i x 15.
O thow my child, my strenth [Ruddim. strencth; L. meae vires] and my gret mycht
1533 Boece 70b.
Thai thocht best to ische and attempt sum iupertie quhil strenth ȝit amang thame remanit
1533 Boece 430.
Mony fyne stanys … quhilkis infoundis in man celestiall strenth
1551 Hamilton Cat. 268. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1453. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 8529.
With panis and pine, and greit penuritie, Fed this ȝoung rauin quhil it had strenth to fle
1558-66 Knox II 263.
Thei that waite upoun the Lord shall renewe thair strenth
c1590 Fowler I 292/48.
1685 Kingarth Par. Rec. 149.
The said Jonat so soon as she recovrs strenth to give publick satisfaction for her sin of fornicatioun
1685 Marchmont P. 4.
His hood-winked people … who truly have been as Samson dandled upon the knees of their Delilas ‘till the loaks of their strenth have been cutt off and almost their eyes put out
(b) 1375 Barb. ix 40.
His strinth so haly can him falȝe, That he mycht nouthir ryde no ga
a1400 Leg. S. i 105.
Petir, my ioy … Recouir thi strinth, and speke with me
a1400 Leg. S. xvi 847.
Thane begane … al his body for to schake, & al his strynth falȝet sa That he mycht na forthyr ga
a1400 Leg. S. xxi 438.
The fadyr thane strynth cane tyne. In swonyng thane he fel flat brad
1549 Compl. 10/4.
Sen Gode hes nocht dotit me vitht … stryntht of my body til indure seruile subiectione
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 36.
And gif strinthe apperis to inlaik & signis of dethe appeir sic as oft swoning
(c) 1600-1610 Melvill 13.
When my strainthe fealls mie, leave mie nocht
pl. 1375 Barb. ii 526.
Luff … mony tyme mais tender wychtis Off swilk strenthtis and swilk mychtis, That thai may mekill paynys endur
(b) a1400 Leg. S. ii 630.
And ay the mar that thai sad that, The fer mare he his strinthis gat [L. multo magis convalescebat]
a1400 Leg. S. xxxi 274.
Fevrys … That trawalit hir hard & hat, & of strinthis mad hyr mat
(2) c1420 Wynt. vi 435.
A mayden … But mete or drynk, lyvyd yheris thre, And all that tyme in a full streynth
(3) fig. a1500 Henr. Fab. 595.
Pryde … Thy strenth is nocht thy stule standis vnstabill

c. Power more generally, whether moral or physical, or both combined; efficiency, vigour (of mental faculties). ?1438 Alex. ii 1424.
And quha hes hart hardy and gude, Strenth him doubilles in mane and mude
15.. Dunb. App. ii 27.
Of all wisdome he [sc. Solomon] had the strenth, He knew the vertew of erb and stone
1513 Doug. i viii 84.
Albeit the strenth of men [L. genus humanum] ȝhe set not by And mortal weris contempnys and comptis nocht
1533 Boece 214b.
Luke that ȝe employ ȝoure strenth and fortitude to de vailȝeandlie
1532 St. P. Henry VIII IV 624.
We ar of puyssance and strenche in our persoun and liegis to recompence and acquyt ws to ȝou of ȝour gud deid [etc.]
1533 Gau 7/16.
To onderstand … quhair thay cane noth du or lat be one dune of thair aune strinth as thay suld
1535 Stewart 23125.
It will … transcend the strenth of my ingyne To tell ȝow all thair godlines diuyne
1560 Rolland Seven S. 10526.
Sa quhen wit wants and strenth of ressoun leist I count a man na better nor ane beist
1562 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 5.
With the haill man, saull, hart, mynd, mycht, and stryncht
1567 Sat. P. vii 147.
God has gein to thame [sc. princes] baith strenth & mycht
1573 Cath. Tr. 3/15.
I haue … ansuerit … with sic strenth of reasone as thou gude reader sall think sufficient

d. Moral courage; fortitude. 1456 Hay I 120/5.
War nocht strenth and force of curage in a man, the lave of his vertues war of litil valour
1490 Irland Mir. I 80/2.
The foure wertuis cardinale, prudence, justice, strenthe, that is fortitud, and temporaunce
1533 Boece 70.
First gretelie astonyst war Scottis … syne furoure and dispite kendilling to thame baith strenth and hardyment thai made for defence
1560 Cal. Sc. P. I 462.
Give thy servandis streinth to speak thi word in boldnes
1567 G. Ball. 34.
God … will not thole ȝow tempit for to be, Abone ȝour strenth
1567 G. Ball. 142.
In hour of deid grant vs thy strenth
1596 Dalr. I 8/18.
With the force of thair bodie, and strenth of mynd
1600-1610 Melvill 146.
God … furnesit … sum missour of strynthe and gifts to tak a piece of courage
1639 Fugitive Poetry II xvi 2/3.
In man can be no strenthe or grace To shunne the evil, or choose the good

e. Power in fighting or waging war; military force; fighting ability or capacity. 1375 Barb. iv 541.
Thai our possessioune Haldis with strinth [E. strenthly] agane resoune
1375 Barb. viii 505.
Quhethir it wes throu strinth or slicht … he vrocht swa, throu his gret mycht, That [etc.]
1375 Barb. x 334.
And he set vit [and] strinth and slicht To kepe the castell at his mycht
1375 Barb. xix 592.
He weill oft wes herd assayit, Throu mekill strynth and gret manheid
a1400 Leg. S. xxxii 570.
Thu has suorne … That thu sal nothire fore strinth na slich Depart fra me til ony mane
?1438 Alex. i 546.
That day thocht he for to … with grete strenth and hardement Manteme the kingis mense
?1438 Alex. i 780.
And he that sa grete feis tais Suld the strenth of his lordis fais Suffer sum quhile at grete myscheif, Thocht dede appeir, perell and greif
1533 Bell. Livy I 14/31.
The curage of thir two pepill incressing ilk day in more riches and strenth
a1538 Abell 35a.
The Pichtis strenth wes sa mekit with the Scottis that thai wer fane to lurk fra batell
1567 Sat. P. vi 36.
Ȝour strength to thairis on na way mycht be peir
1596 Dalr. I 8/13.
The Ingles men partelie confides in thair cost syd compassing thame round about with craiges lyke a wall: partlie thay confide in thair awne strenth
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1825) 304.
The king … maid great instance to the people that they should assist him with thair gudewillis and strenth to suppress his ennemie
c1650 Spalding I 170.
Thus is this gryte and michtie Marquess … brocht wnder thir straites … by his neighbour subiectis … whiche vtheruayes … thay durst not haue haserd to interpryss be thair awin strenth

f. Of a fortified place: Power of withstanding assault or capture. Of open ground: Natural advantage (for defenders).(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 67.
He entre mycht nocht For gret strinth & hicht of wal & gret ȝemesel of ȝettis al
1460 Fam. Rose in Innes Sketches 444.
To fund … a toure of fens, … wpon quhat place of strynth him best likis
1460 Hay Alex. 2304.
Within schort tyme I think him for to se, Bot he him hald be strenth of place fra me
1547 Cal. Sc. P. I 30.
The hous is wele ludgit within, bot it is of na strynth, for the barmekyn beand wyne, the hous is gottin
1596 Dalr. I 103/13.
The nobilmen had leuir duel in the feildes, quhair … ar … castelis of strenth and touris … than in the tounes
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 23.
He wald not receaue hir within his hous of strenthe, without a speciall warrandice of these rebellious lordis
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 57.
Certane housses of strenth, as namely the castell of Drafen and Roisten
(2) 1375 Barb. vi 129.
He sa stoutly hym allane, For litill strynth of erd has tane To ficht with twa hundreth & ma
1375 Barb. xii 301.
Strynth of this place, as ȝhe se, Sall let vs enveronyt to be
1535 Stewart 444.
Tha fundit thair ane citie of defence … It stude rycht quhair it had strenth aneuche Of wod and watter, and of craig and cleuch

g. Power to do or achieve (something); potency, effectiveness. a1500 Bk. Chess 15.
Comfort & plesance be the enemy Off this dedlie passioun malancoly And most of strenth this passioun till oppres
1567 G. Ball. 54.
Na tung can tell, thy strenth nor mycht
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 43.
Ane strange [creature] maid be nature, other willing to schaw hir greit strenth or [etc.]
1580 Cath. Tr. 67/13.
Heretiks … quha partlie hes bean condamned … be the authoritie of coonselles, and paertlie throw the strenthe and force of miracles
c1590 Fowler II 21/6.
Bot quhair honesty can haue na suey: modestie can haue na strenth

h. Validity; legal force.(a) 1379–80 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 2.
As thing of na valu no of strenthe but fraude or gyle
1456 Hay I 275/5.
Quhat thing that ples the prince in privelegis extraordinaris, and gracis, and remissiouns is tholit and has strenth in the lawe
1473–4 Edinb. B. Rec. I 28.
And for the mair verificatioun and strenth of the samyn we haif to hungin oure commoun seall of caus for the said burghe of Edinburghe
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1211 (Ch.).
For to decyde gif this exceptioun Wes of na strenth, nor lauchfullie mycht stand
1478–9 Acta Conc. I 22/1. 1490 Irland Mir. I 113/13.
As to hir argumentis … thai are of litile wertu ore strenthe
1490 Irland Mir. III 3/13.
The haly wourdis of Jhesu that ar of gret mycht and strenth
1495 Acta Conc. I 389/1.
That the said appointment sulde haf na forther strenth
1501–2 Acta Conc. III 131.
Wilyeam Douglas ressons producit on the behalf of … his spous suld haf na strenth nor effect, becaus [etc.]
1524 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 218. 1526 St. P. Henry VIII IV 433.
That the sailf conductis ellis grauntit stand in strenth and vigoure
1529–30 Crim. Trials I i 245.
This respitt havand strenthe fra the day of the said Hectouris furthcuming of his howse of Dowart
a1538 Abell 91b.
For this teneantur in the law hes the strenth of a precep
1535 Stewart 3421.
Thir drewideis [had authority] for to caus thair lawis keip the strenth
a1568 Scott xx 18.
Thow langit ay to prufe The strenth of luvis lair
1562-3 Winȝet II 26/19.
At last quhat wes the strenthe of that counsel or decre of Aphrik?
1689 Acts XII 63/2.
By causeing persew and forfault seuerall persones upon strenthes of old and absolute lawes
(b) 1677 Irvine Deeds Confirmation 3 Aug.
This my present confirmationne to be of alse great value force strength and effect … as giff the said heretable band … were at length engrossit and sett doune heirintill
(c) 1583 Melvill 157.
(d) 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 34.
The strynth of cunandis rekis on till other personis
1455 Fraser P. 98.
Discernande thaim [sc. charters] to be of na valew strinth nor effect quhair euir thai be schawin in jugement or wtew
1461 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V i p. 436 (24 Nov.).
The delyuerance … of the personys vnderwirtin till haf the strinth force & effect of a borch of fres deforce but ony pell of wnlaw of ony of the perteis
1482 Thanes of Cawdor 65.
That the first band of frendschipe [etc.] … maid betuix the saidis perteis … sal stande … in siclike strinth vertew robour and fors as thai var in tyme of thar first making
1529 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 396.
To sustene … in sik stait stryntht and fasoun … as is abuf writin
1538 Aberd. B. Rec. I 159. 1549 Lamb Resonyng 139/1.
Of quhat strynth or vigour hald ȝe ane instrument of homage without the name of him that makis this homage
1576 Misc. Spald. C. II 332.
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I 269.

i. Power to withstand the application of force without breaking or giving way. a1500 Bk. Chess 1946.
A towr he biggit merwalous … Off hicht and strenth
1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I 60.
That ane blockhouse salbe bigyt of gret strinth at the hevin moutht
1549 Compl. 20/23.
The grite tour of Babilone … vas biggit be ane maist ingenius artifeis, of proportione, quantite, ande of stryntht
1562-3 Winȝet I 37/13.
[John Knox] intendit to preue his vocation planelie in the pulpet (bot quhat strenth had his armour of defence thair, lat cunning men iuge quha hard him)
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 423.
The said leaddin pyp might be of such strenth as may at all tyms resist the current and strenth of the water

j. Power or force (of a volume of water). 1456 Hay I 37/12.
With the strenth of the water he was borne doune and drownyt
c1515 Asl. MS I 157/12.
The … mycht and strenth of other ryweris & blak watteris that … dryfis furth the see Cusum euermar in a cours
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts xxvii 41.
And the last part [sc. of the ship] was brokin of strenthe of the see
1675 Edinb. B. Rec. X 423 (see i above).

k. Intensity (of a feeling). 1513 Doug. v i 12.
Weil wyst Eneas In violait lufe quhat strenth of dolour was

l. Power or intensity of a specific property in a substance (e.g. of the alcoholic content of ale); potency. Also transf. c1400 Troy-bk. i 515.
Notht-than throw the strenth & the mycht Of hyre enchauntement & hyr slytht
1490 Irland Mir. I 66/4, 5.
The humedite and als the naturale heit falȝeis in thar wertu and strenthe be proces of tyme, as, and we myxt the wyne with the wattir, it falȝeis in the strenth
1516 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 38.
Thome Smyth and Thomas Portuus … to pas one the strenth [of the ale]
1533 Boece 75.
Nor of phesik wantit he nocht the knaulege, for wysely he vnderstude the nature and strenth of herbis
1535 Stewart 39524.
Leit it stand at greit laser and lenth, Quhill that the aill tuke all the jus and strenth Out of that herb
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 4.
Ane pest is the corruptioun or infectioun of the air … quhilk hes strenthe and wikitnes abone al natural putrifactioun
1580 Skeyne Descr. Well Sig. A 4b.
Efter the xx day of September it tynes the medicinal strenth quhill the nixt ȝeir thairefter
1639 Glasgow B. Rec. I 403.
That when they flee thair scheip they leive the substance and strenthe of the skine on the bouk, and therby maks the bouk seime bettir then it is
1662 Dalyell Darker Superst. 250.
[She contrived to take the] fuzioun and strenth from all the rest of the meill so that he never gott any good therof
transf. 1662 Crim. Trials III 605.
We … took the heall strenth of the fatt away, that it could litt nothing bot onlie blak

m. ? The main part, ? the gist (of a statement, etc.). 1651 Rec. Kirk Scotl. in Dunkeld Presb. II 352.
But the strenth of their answer did run to the point of necessity, but that was not satisfactory to the former

2. a. Strenth of hand (armis), prowess in fighting; armed assault or combat. Chiefly with throw (once, by). Also personified, and transf.(1) 1375 Barb. iv 653 (C).
Thair sal no mycht, no strinth of hand Ger ȝow furth pas
(2) 1375 Barb. i 524.
Then slayn wes mone thowsand Off thaim … throw strenth of hand
1375 Barb. xix 136.
He had wonnyn all his land Throu strinth of armys till his hand
1375 Barb. xvi 320. ?1438 Alex. ii 8125.
Throw strenth of armes and of hand [F. A force d'armes]
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 762.
The tempiles of the toune spolȝeand Full cruelly thrught strenth of hand
c1420 Wynt. ix 691.
And at brade feld throwch strenth off hand He dyscumfyte thre thowsand
1456 Hay I 213/30.
Quhilk fredome thai have ay … haldin … be wit, wisdome, and strenth of armes
personified c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) viii 21.
The prince of knychtheid, … The crop of curage, the strenth of armes in stour
transf. a1500 Lanc. 668.
That ther by fors be entrit in my land Men of armys by strenth of vyolens

b. Throw strenth of steid, as a result of a charging horse's momentum. ?1438 Alex. ii 1633.
Marciane … hit him that throw strenth of steid [F. A force de cheval] His mekill speir in splendris ȝeid

3. A source of strength; that which makes a person strong. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 264.
Be dragonis baith and dowis … And quhen it nedis ȝow onone note baith ther stranthis
1562-3 Winȝet I 54/18.
That the waik suld nocht hef bene offendit by my silence and that I micht hef knawin my aduersaris strenthe gif ony had bene for thair nouationis
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 99/4.
Lett first the iustnes of youre cause be youre greatest strenth
1638 Henderson Serm. 459.
We must lippen to both these strengths … to wit, the external strength: ‘Be strong in the Lord [etc.]’ … [and] the internal strength: ‘Put on the whole armour of God’

4. (Superior) power exercised for conquest; force, aggression, violence. 1375 Barb. iii 341.
Swa stalwart wes the castell, That it with strenth war hard to get
a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 363.
Thocht the ȝet wes before Sparyt, with strinth he enterit in
1398 Acts I 211/1.
He is to ber the kyngis power … manslaerys reiferis brynneris … thruch strynthe til restreygnhe
1406 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 64.
Sayand and grantand hir nouthir to be enducit na led thrw awe na strenith na yhete thrw errour sliddin
1407 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 32.
Nowcht throw strenthe na drede led bot of my fre and liberale wyll
c1420 Wynt. i 816.
The elephawntys thai [sc. crocodiles] tak wytht streynth, And oft gerrys thame drownyd be
1434 Buccleuch Mun. II 418.
John of Geddes, … nowthyr led be strenth na aw, na ȝyt sledyn throuch errour … made … resignacyon [etc.]
1453 Douglas Bequest.
Gyff thai will deliuer it [sc. payment] without fors or strentht in hendering of ws but fraude or gyle
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 177/23 (A).
Thai ar nocht outtrageous to … tak vengeance be strenth
1498–9 Acta Conc. II 338.
Scho was nocht compellit hereto throu strenth nor dredour of hir said spouse bot did the forsaid thingis of her awin fre wil
1530 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 106.
[That] the saidis Jenot suld of hir gud fre wyll, nocht nede be na strentht, nor yit be na clame nor rycht be tytill of airschipe, wyll geif frely Villiem hir sone halff ane daiker of barkyt ledder
1533 Gau 16/27.
Thay sine aganis this comand that comittis thift or okker or reffis fra oders throw power and strintht
c1575 Balfour Pract. 640.
That thay [sc. seamen and soldiers] sall have all the spuilȝie and pillage of cleithing, harnes and wappinis of enemies quhilkis sall be takin be strenth in the saidis prizes
c1590 Fowler I 58/2.
My fortoun had … me forwards thrust, within ane others force and strenght

5. A deed requiring great physical power, a feat of strength. 1375 Barb. xvi 654.
Thar did ane Inglis-man, perfay, A weill gret strenth, as ik hard say. For … A Scottis-man … He ewyn apon his bak … slang And with him to the bat gan gang And kest him in
1375 Barb. xvi 662.

6. The rhythmic value of a written note in music. c1550-c1580 Art of Music 19b.
Colur … is of principall figuris denigration of the quhilk the strentht is so mekill that fro figuris in thair perfyt quantatie deducit the thrid part of the valour dois abstract fro imperfytis
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 24a.
The numer dois not minorat the prolation for quhy the circle keipand it may nocht dres the strentht of it in ane pwnct
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 25a.
Figuris and sypheris in void spacis within rewlis or lynis sittuat, schawand be signis the nummerable strenth of ewerry noittis colorat and decolorat
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 34b.
Arsis throw the propir strenth dois naturly to the height ascend, and thesis dois swthly to the law descend

7. To tak ane strinth, ? to take a vow, swear an oath.Cf. OED Strength n. 8, ‘strengthening, reinforcement, confirmation’. a1500 Bk. Chess 1063.
He tuke ane strinth for euer to remane

8. Authority, or an instance of this. a1400 Leg. S. xxvii 1578.
God … Cesis neuir … Ferly werkis for to wirk, To fereme our treutht & strinth of kirk
1489 Acta Aud. 143/2.
The lordis of Consale hafand strenthe and power of parliament, decrettis and deliueris that [etc.]
1553 Perth Guildry 510.
Vs prouest [etc.] … and decanis of craftis of the burgh of Perth haueand the strentht of the Comite of the samyn
1562-3 Winȝet I 73/5.
Qvhidir affirm ȝe … ȝour determinationis in controuersiis … be the best leirnit declarit in ȝour contrare to have the strenthe of the decreis of a General Counsell, or nocht?
1558-66 Knox II 281.
As rycht religioun tooke nather originall strenth nor authoritie frome worldly princes, but frome the eternall God allone, so [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset I 93/5.
That [to] the said institution to be maid we suld joyne the ead of apostolict strenth

9. A stronghold, fortress; a defensible place, fastness. Also transf., of a forest. 1375 Barb. v 224.
He dreid the kyngys mycht That in Carrik wes trawailland In the maist strenth off [C. Quhar the mast strynth wes of] the land
1375 Barb. ix 59.
Thai war bot ane few menȝe To ly, but strinth, in-to the playn
c1420 Wynt. iii 251.
Than Sampson that [na] strenthys had In tyll a cove his duellyng mad
c1420 Wynt. viii 5559.
c1475 Wall. viii 315, etc. 1494 Acta Conc. I 329/2.
Occupacioune … of the landis of Dunbeth with the house and strenthe of the sammyn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lxi 27.
Suppois I war ane ald ȝaid aver, … And had the strenthis off all Strenever
1513 Doug. iii v 106.
Troiane wallis heir hes beild vp thus, And on thir motis a strenth hait Ilion
1527 Caldwell P. 60.
1528 St. P. Henry VIII IV 500.
1531 Bell. Boece I 5.
Thay affixit thair tentis on the nixt strenthis
1531 Bell. Boece I 179.
The Romanis had brokin down the wal of Adrian, and in place thairof hes beildit gret strenthis of treis, stanis and devaitis
1531 Bell. Boece I 260.
The Pichtis spred fast in Athole and maid sindry strenthis and polecyis [M. sindry municionis and pollecyis] in it
1531 Bell. Boece II 404.
The Scottis, beand of small noumer in regard of Inglismen, stude arrayit at ane gret strenth on the hill
1533 Boece 127b.
The strenth, quhilk was ane litill mote within ane bog
1533 Treas. Acc. VI 129. 1535 Stewart 5963, etc. 1547 Cal. Sc. P. I 6.
1548–9 Corr. M. Lorraine 290.
Monsieur de Wyngallyone twk on hym to compleitt the stryntht in thretty dayis hawand ane thowsand pionerris
1549 Compl. 23/6.
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vi 549.
Moenia, a forth, strenth
1567 Reg. Privy C. I 522.
The murtherare of his fader … wes cled with the principall strenthis of the realme
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV 120.
1558-66 Knox I 122.
To the Englismen war delivered diverse strenthis, such as Carelaverok, Lowmaben and Longhame
1573 Davidson in Three Reformers 84.
Na strenth was sure to thame that was his fais
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 45.
1596 Dalr. I 27/7.
The Basse mairouer is sik a strenth that nathir be force or fraud is it thocht winnable
14.. Acts (1597) Table s.v. King.
Keipers … of the Kingis castelles or strengthes
1600-1610 Melvill 225.
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 48.
The Isle of Buit … with twa strengths. The ane is the Round Castle of Buit [etc.]
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 68.
The castle of Dunvegane … ane stark strenth biggit on ane craig
16.. Hist. Kennedy 2.
1628 Insh Colonial Schemes 219.
Being placet in a pairt of the countrie quhilk is a natirall strenthe
c1630 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 175.
transf. c1475 Wall. viii 127.
Wallace folowed bot … wald nocht assaill … Our few he had, the strenth [sc. Ettrick forest] was thik and strang, vij myill on breid, and tharto twys so lang

b. A defensive work, fortification. 1452 Aberd. B. Rec. I 20.
Because of perile apperand the toune salbe stryngthnit and fortifiit with walles and strynthes in all gudeli haste
1500 Coll. Aberd. & B. 318.
To big … a toure and fortalice … And thairuppoun to mak bertasing battaling … and all other defens and strenchtis as thai think mayst ganyng
1501 Acta Conc. III 53.
The distruccione and dounecasting of the toure housis barmykn strenthis and fortalices of Blacadir
1596 Dalr. II 309/29.
He shot … continuallie at a gret strenth or bulwark
1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 6.
To cause demolish and slight the wallis, strenths and fortificationes of the citiedale of Inuernesse

c. A position of strength; the place where one is most secure and unassailable. 1375 Barb. iii 44.
Tharfor me thynk maist awenand To withdraw ws … Till we cum owt off thar daunger For owr strenth at our hand is ner
1460 Hay Alex. 4201.
And in that hiest toure Duke Ballas was, For it was the moist strenth of the place
1535 Stewart 422.
Tha socht … Quhair tha mycht find ane strenth to big ane toun
1535 Stewart 15519.
The montanis he, and mossis large of lenth To Scot and Pecht wes sic refuge and strenth, [etc.]
1563 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 229.
As it war ane fox, loupynd fra hole to hole, seiking ane strenth

10. a. coll. A force or troop (of men, knights). Also pl. b. comb. With force (or, ? erron. for Strenthy adj.).a. 1375 Barb. iv 66.
Thai … inforsit the castell sua, Thame thocht that na strinth mycht it ta
1375 Barb. xi 176.
Thai Trowyt giff thai come to fycht Thar suld na strenth withstand thar mycht
1375 Barb. xvii 779.
And the fyre that he fand thar-at With strinth of men he put avay
1375 Barb. xvii 787.
With gret strynth of men the ȝet Thai defendit
1375 Barb. xviii 54.
Sall na man say, quhill I may dre, That strynth of men sall ger me fle
a1400 Leg. S. xxix 679.
With awisment lukit he Quhat strinth of knychttis he mycht se
?1438 Alex. i 1940.
Na strenth of men micht thame ganestand
c1420 Wynt. ix 20 (C).
Withe thar men [They] Coyme agane the Dowglase then Sa that this ilk Erl of Dowglasse Throw thar strenythe [W. powere] astonayit was
14.. Reg. Maj. 5a.
The kingis lawys … ar misterfull in the kynrik it to reull ande gowerne for rycht; … be strynth of mene of armes endantand thar enymys
1489 Kennedy Aberd. Ann. I 60.
His [sc. the King's] tresour strintht and artelary
a1500 Adv. MS 25. 4. 15 95, 96.
Quha that ever be fundyn dissessour with strynth or armes efter that statut was publist thai salbe adiugit to the personne and til a gret amerciament
1570 Sat. P. xix 93.
Ȝour Prince, & strenth keip weill in faithful handis
1571 Sat. P. xxvi 174.
As ye haue sene, within thir monethis twane, Ane greiter strenth ye gat
a1585 Maitl. Q. 67/81.
And ȝe in hand quhilk hes the gretest strenth Quhat it will serve I wait not at the lenth
pl. 1570 Sat. P. xix 75.
Now ȝe, his followeris of his interpryse, … Extend ȝour strenthis and all togidder ryse
1596 Dalr. I 176/11.
He ever had … strenthis of men of weir
b. c1500-50 Brevis Cronica 322.
Richert King of Scottis, with strenth force, conquest furth of Inglismennis handis the daill callit Riddisdaill

11. Goods or money supplied by the owner of lands to his tenants at the beginning of a tenancy on the understanding that they will be left behind, replaced or repaid on its expiration, = Stelebow n.1 Only attrib. with corne, horse, silver. 1743 Inveraray P. 85.]
[The Master has the following strength in the lands, vizt. In Carnasriemore each of seven tennents have twenty-four pound for a plough horse [etc.]
1594 Black Bk. Taymouth 268.
Off strenthe siluer [£20]
1640 Black Bk. Taymouth 346.
Inventars of the jewells … steilbow corne and beir and strenthsilver, and ky … left to ws be the said Sir Coline the tyme of his deceis
1640 Black Bk. Taymouth 351.
And of strenth silver and steilbow horss on the forsaids lands … quhilk we also obleiss ws to mak furthcumand
1688 Inveraray P. 84.
Nota the steill bow of the saids lands is tuo hundreth and eight bolls corne … and of strength horse tuentie tuo and fourtie four pounds
1688 Inveraray P. 84.
Nota there lyes in this rowm of strength corne fourtie eight bolls
1688 Inveraray P. 85.
Nota the steill bow of the within wrn [? = written] lands is of good corne 204 bolls, of bear 23 bolls, and of strength horse 21

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"Strenth n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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