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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Prev(e, Pref(e, Prive, v.1 Also: prew(e, preiv(e, preiw(e, preeve, prieve; preff(e, preuef, preif(f, preife, preyf(f, prief. P.t. and weak p.p. previt, -itt, -eit, -yt, -id, prewit, -yt, -yde, -et, preivit, preevit; prev-, preived, priev'd; pref(f)it, prefyt, preif(f)it; preft; strong p.p. previn, -yne, -en, -ing, -yng, prewyne; provin(e, -yn(e, -en, eine, prowin(e, -yn(e, -en(e; profen, -in; pruven, -yne. [ME preve, preeve, proeve, (Chaucer), preoven (Ancr. R.), prieve (Gower), prevyn (15th c.), prefe (Cursor M.), pref (c 1500), e.m.E. also prive (1634), p.t. and weak p.p. i)preoued (Ancr. R.), preved (Manning, Chaucer), OF prover (11th c. in Littré), in open stressed syllables (je, il) preuve (1175 in Wartburg), (also back-formations proever (1320), preuver (16th c.)), L. probāre. Also in the mod. Sc. and North. Eng. dialects.The strong forms of the p.p., previn, provin, etc., are appar. on the analogy of Cleve v.1 and Weve v. (to weave), but the forms pruven etc. are appar. influenced by pruve Prove v.Cf. Prove v.]

To test; to try; to prove.

I. To test, make trial of.

1. To establish the worth of (a person or animal or a quality or attribute of a person or animal) by trial, to put to the test.In various specific applications, as, by asking a boon, in combat, by temptation, by subjecting to misfortune.Latterly passing into: To subject to severe trial or affliction, to try the patience of; also to try (one's patience).(1) pres. 1456 Hay II 58/4.
To be wrechit of the gudis that God has send thame to preve thame and assay thair vertu with
Ib. 150/7.
And how princis suld preve thair counsailouris or thai traist alluterly in thame
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 3774.
Than Graudefere … His hart encressit, and tocht to preve him [sc. Alexander] anyis
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 1053.
I haue na vther help nor ȝit supplie, Bot I wil pas to my freinds thrie … and preif them now And tel them al the caus and maner how
Ib. 1151, 1154. a1500 Seven S. 1350.
Sum vther way first thow him gref For thusgatis best thow may him pref
1535 Stewart 37831. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 211.
Let a man … first examine him self, discusse and preif him self, and sa lat him eit of that precious breid
Ib. 266.
As the fyire preiffis and shawis the layme vessellis … sa temptatioun of troubil preiffis and schawis just men
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4153.
In ane maner ȝe sall ȝour husband preif Him for to temp, or anger him or greif
Ib. 4166. 1571 Sempill Sat. P. xxviii 41.
To preif my spreit and say my scharp ingyne
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxiii 44.
If … some ȝonkiers … preissis ȝou to prieve [: give, relieve, deiv]
p.t. a1585 Maitland Maitl. Q. xlvi 50.
God his peculiar proper peopill previt
p.p. (a) c1460 Consail Vys Man 399.
Men are prewyt be thar wertews As goldsmyth gold in furnas dois
1505 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 102.
That euerie man that is to be maid freman … be examit and previt in thir poyntis following
1512 Treas. Acc. IV 356.
To ane nurice … at was prewit with sex wolkis mylk and gat hir leiff becaus hir milk was oure stark
1535 Stewart 20295.
[As] Quhen tua houndis richt oft hes other preuit
1590 J. Lee Lect. Hist. Ch. Scotl. (1860) App. ii 424.
To the quhilk [office] he is preifit be the kirk quho hes tryit … his literature and gude conversatioun
(b) c1490 Porteous Noblenes 179/22 (Asl.).
The lyf … in curtas men makis wele tham self and thar gudis be mony ways to be provyne In tham may nocht … remane wikitnes
1533 Gau 31/30.
Faith is … prouine in aduersite as the gold is prouine in the fyr
c1590 Fowler I 55/215.
O law seveir of Cupidis court … Whose … strong effect not onlye men hes proven
(2) a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. cii 39.
For sum He will pwnis To preif thair patience

b. To put to the test or set at risk (one's body) ? so as to demonstrate its or one's worth. — ?1438 Alex. ii 8084.
To him that wald his body preif [: greif] And for his lord him abandoun

c. ? To satisfy oneself as to the merit of (a person's actions, by witnessing them). — (c 1580) Alex. ii 1751.
Gif ȝe haue preued his dedes ȝare, Ȝe suld [etc.]

2. To establish the quality of (a thing) by trial, also ? by testing; to try; to test. c1420 Wynt. iii 946.
Falaris … gert that ilk smyth in ga To prewe the lenth and breid alsua
1506 Treas. Acc. III 196.
To the marinaris that rowit the botis to preif thaim
c1520-c1535 Nisbet 1 Cor. iii 13.
1569 Lanark B. Rec. 44.
To be cuneris to pref and sie that the aill quhilk ilk ostlar takis four d. for be worth the soum
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxvii 11.
My poesie I leave my prince to preiv
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 357.
[Ale] to be provin by the cwnstaris appointit thairto

b. ? To ascertain the nature of. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1083 (Ch.).
His deith be practik may be preuit eith

3. To make trial of (a thing, also a person) by experiencing the thing or employing the person, to try out in experience. ?1438 Alex. ii 5338.
That I dar say for I haue preuit Ȝour strakes and ȝour mekill micht To-day hes fellit me in the ficht
a1500 Colk. Sow iii 9.
Cokelby … Thocht he wald preve the thrid penny
a1500 Bk. Chess 382.
Sen thow has maid this cruell instrument Go preif it first
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 80. 1540 Lynd. Sat. 888 (Bann.).
Bot to preve my experience, Schir, len me fourty crownis, To mak mvltiplicatioun
Ib. 4424.
Ȝe wald nocht spair to preve my graith With hobbing of ȝour hippis
Ib. 465.
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9897.
We sall not faill to fetche fine phisitians, … Nor for payment to preif all potingars
c1590 Fowler I 321/6.
I now will sing off patience bred by preason … By sonndryie proven, by yow, sir, in the end
1596 Dalr. I 331/21.
Sumerled … now thinkes to preiue the cast of the dyse against Malcolme
Ib. II 273/10.
To preiue the fortoune of the weiris

b. To experience, to undergo (pleasure, pain or the like); to enjoy or to suffer. ?1438 Alex. ii 9466.
Thare had thay preuit of fecht thair fill
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 42. 1535 Stewart 7864.
He previt hes the panis of strang deid
a1568 Bann. MS 31 b/54.
My spirit than preuit all pane and bittirnes
Ib. 39 a/62. a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 512 (W).
How many throw dispaire ar dead That never perrellis preiuit [L. previtt, Wr. priev'd]
c1590 Fowler I 87/42.
Tell me, my hevinlie dame, That now of lyfe and death hes prowin the practise of the same
1587-99 Hume 40/194.
Preif [: reveif, beleeue, releeue]
c1600 Montg. Suppl. vii 34.
Quhilk tyme … gewe ȝe haid to preife [: releife n.] … ȝe wald pitie my distres

4. To try out (food or drink) by eating or drinking it, to try, to taste.Passing into: To eat or drink, to consume as food or drink.Also transf., to ‘taste’ or make trial of, sexually.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 728 (Bann.).
Gife me leif to eit puddingis … Or heid and feit or penchis lat me preif
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1806.
Temperance is cuik his meit to taist and preif
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlii (O.U.P.) 13.
Quhone the gled dois the peirtrikis preiff The gentill goishalk gois undyned
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 836.
Thairfoir mak mirrie … And let vs preif the michtie wyne
c1552 Id. Mon. 932.
That plesand fruct gyf he wald preue
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 93.
That scho gewe no milk bot … lyk … wenem, quhilk no leiwing creatur culd preive
1596–7 Ib. 126. 1597 Crim. Trials II 26.
1587-99 Hume 23/206.
(2) 1596 Dalr. I 152/18.
And that thay [sc. gentlemen and masters] first sould preiue thair [servants' daughters'] madinheid, and haue thair virginitie

5. intr. const. of (what is tested or tried): To make trial of. c1475 Wall. ii 204.
Off thir paynys God lat you neuir preiff
Ib. viii 967.
Wycht Arthour als, off wer quhen that he prewit [: myschewit]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xl 9.
And ay scho said, Latt preif of that, This lang lentern makis me lene
1535 Stewart 57176.
Quhen that tha hard so greit vanting he maid, Tha langit soir of his curage to preif
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1113.
Geue thay of that tre had preuit, Perpetuallye thay mycht haue leuit
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 194.
The gers … wes so heich by the natour of vther gers, that nather cow, ox nor scheip ewir previt [Digest Justic. Proc. preevit] thairof yit

II. 6. To try out in action, attempt, set about. a. To attempt to accomplish or execute, to set about (an action, achievement, undertaking). Passing into 7. a1500 Seven S. 1521.
The chak scho tuke on hand to preif [: leif n.]
1539 Treas. Acc. VII 190.
Quhen the lytill bark previt salage
1596 Dalr. II 397/19.
Bot quhen scho vndirstud to proffit nathing this way … scho preiues another way
Ib. 437/26.
Tha began to preiue thair entres be setting leddiris to the wallis

b. To try, attempt, endeavour, strive; also, to set about (to do or be something). Cf. 9 c.Also with noun phrase adverbial.(1) a1400 Leg. S. vii 464.
That towne … The quhilk before Vaspaciane Prewit be fors for til haf tane
Ib. xxv 531.
Thame [pots] to prowe thane prewit he, & fand thame ful of gold
c1420 Wynt. i 595.
He prewyde [E. pruffit, W. preffit] wytht werk-men than thraly Thare in to steke thaim mare straitly
c1450-2 Howlat 928 (B).
Ȝit sall I preif ȝow to pleis
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 682.
To preif to win honour
Ib. MS 14023.
At a ground eb it garris thame prive to wade
a1500 Henr. Fab. 31 (Makc.).
In moder thowng of Latyne I walld preif To mak a maner of translatiowne
Ib. 2305. a1500 Rauf C. 304.
I sall preif the morne, gif I may, To bring coillis to the court, to se gif thay sell sall
Ib. 615. c1475 Wall. v 629.
To proffer luff thus sone I wald nocht preffe [: leyff]
Ib. xi 1249.
He grantyt him … to preiff [: leiff (= permission)] To cum agayn
Ib. ix 981. a1500 Seven S. 2319.
Bot and he plesit he wald preif [: leif (= permission)] To big … Ane stark towre [etc.]
Ib. 2544.
& I had previt Ane word to speike [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxii 43.
To be a pykthank I wald preif, For thay … wantis no plesans
1513 Doug. v
Now cummys heir … quha lyst preif To streke thar armys furth
a1538 Abell 19 a.
vii 2. Gillus … prewit to distroy the houssat of Droust
1535 Stewart 20505.
(2) c1475 Wall. viii 1353.
Wengyt to be I prewyt all my mycht

c. Const. noun clause introduced by gif or gif that. a1400 Leg. S. x 205.
To prefe Gyf thai mycht gere hym than lyfe
c1475 Wall. v 656.
Prefand giff he mycht off that languor slaik
1535 Stewart 34744.
To preif with him gif that we can mak peice

d. To make an attempt on or at (some concrete objective). a1500 Rauf C. 314.
Tak gude tent to my name, the court gif thow will preif
a1578 Pitsc. I 346/5.
I had rather put the croun of Ingland in ieopardie aganis ony man that wald preif the samin
1596 Dalr. II 438/10.
The Jnglismen preiueng the walis with letheris gat a repulse

e. absol. c1475 Wall. iii 361.
Quhi, Scot, dar thow nocht preiff?
15.. Bk. Dean Lismore p. 94.
Preif quhen ȝe vil ȝowr labour is in wane
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxii 58.
May nane remeid my melady Sa weill as ȝe, … For with a benifice ȝe may preif
1535 Stewart 25469.
And durst nocht turs, or be so pert to preve, With thame moir geir nor he wald gif thame leve

7. To put into action, carry out, perform, execute, accomplish (some action, feat or undertaking). Also absol.Cf. 6 a above, which passes into this.Freq. to preve practikis, Practik n. esp. 3 b, q.v. for further examples.(1) 1375 Barb. x 342.
The douchty Lord Dowglas … he full mony a iuperdye, And fair poyntis off cheuelry Preuit
a1538 Abell 11 a.
He gart put him in first [into the brazen bull] to preif his prettik with fire ondir him
Ib. 97 a.
Than he thocht he wald preif dedis of chewelrie
a1540 Freiris Berw. 309 (B).
For I haif mony sindry practikis seir … That I wald preve glaidly for ȝour saik
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1452.
He lernit the art of medicyne … And on thame preuit monie ane cure On his expensis, without rewaird
1596 Dalr. II 297/16.
Quhairfor quhat vses to be done … quhen the land is in maist dainger now the gouernour puttis til experience and beginis to preife
Ib. 317/2. 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 92.
The wyiff of David Hutcheon … callit thé witche, to quhom thow said that thow suld preive sum witchecraft on hir
1597 James VI Dæmonol. (S.T.S.) 15/30.
And such innumerable false practicques which are prouen by ouer-manie in this age
(2) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2860 (Bann.).
To preif that play it wer our perrellous
1540 Lynd. Sat. 363.
I will gang preif that play my sell
1603 Philotus lii.(3) 1525 St. P. Henry VIII IV 378.
I sal … do ȝoure grace pleseris … as I sall God willing preif in dede
(4) absol. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1274.
Ȝoung wantoun men wenis it is bot play Quhill thai haue prefit and anis bene at the say
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2577 (H).
Ane flear gettis ane followare commounly, … preif quha sa euer will

III. To demonstrate or display, in action or by performance.

8. To give proof of, display or evince in action (an ability or quality).For further examples, see Pith n. 1 b and 2 (6). 1375 Barb. ix 29 (C).
I sall … se On quhat vis that thai preif [E. pruwe] thar mycht
a1400 Leg. S. xxx 186.
Thane of his gud he hir gef parte & scho [the witch] went on to pref hir arte & [etc.]
?1438 Alex. i 544.
For to greif His fais and his worship preif
Ib. 730.
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 538.
He thinkis provese to preve, for his paramour
1513 Doug. v x 66.
To preif thar fors with iavillyngis in thar handis
Ib. xi Prol. 189.
To wyn the feild and nevir preif thy mycht, That war nyce thyng
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1684.
That he preuit fulischnes
1596 Dalr. I 183/12.
Quhen he saw he culd do nathing be the strang hand, he intendet to preiue his ingine throuch craft and disceit

b. To apply or exert (effort, care or the like). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 444.
I sall preif all my pane to do hym plesance
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1754.
I promisit hir … thairon my cure to preif

9. intr. and reflex. Of a person: To display or reveal oneself in practice, demonstrate by action that one is, to be shown or turn out to be (as specified in the compl.). a. With noun or adj. compl.intr. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1457.
The Greikis hes previt the hardiest of the stour
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxii (O.U.P.) 8.
Bott in the felde preiff thai na cockis
1513 Doug. ix iii 187.
Agane Grekis … Quhilkis in thar weris previt sa spreitles men
1535 Stewart 22328.
And euirilk one now preiss to preve ane man
1544–5 Corr. M. Lorraine 128.
This countre sall preif gude Scottis men
1549 Compl. 135/27. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 70.
Quhairfoir we think that ȝe haif preuit fulage For to offend that souerane
a1568 Bann. MS 92 a/2.
Salamone in his prowerbis previs Ane potent prince of superne excellence
1567 G. Ball. 212.
Freiris oft tymes preuis fulis
a1568 Scott xix 35.
But paciens … Nane may the panis of lufe indure … Without thay preif baith sueit and sour With paciens
1591-2 Rob Stene 9.
Leist ȝe … preif bot wyis behind the hand
15.. Crawford Mun. Invent. I 91.
Ye sall se that I sall preyf the honest man and he in the vrang
1632 Sutherland Bk. II 158.
The Duck of Saxone, quha hes prowene vngraith to his countrie
reflex. 1567 G. Ball. 198.
Preistis, preif ȝow men, And now defend ȝour libertie

b. With adv. complement.Freq. to preve wele.(1) c1420 Ratis R. 1175.
Thai say God wrangvysly to thaim prewys
c1475 Wall. vii 1118.
Agayne Wallace he prewit in mony pres
Ib. 1189.
At the forbreist thai prewit hardely
1492 Myll Spect. 294/28.
And thus he previt oft … quhill that [etc.]
c1500-c1512 Dunb. liv 17.
Quhai for hir saik … Preiffis maist mychtelye in the feld
1533 Boece 70 b.
Stoutlie previt the men of Lorne
1535 Stewart 19237. a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 47.
In every wark mast vertuously he preuit
a1578 Pitsc. I 77/16.
Ȝe haue provin walieȝeantlie … for the defence and libertie of this realme
(2) ?1438 Alex. i 2750.
For thay haue preuit weill to-day
c1475 Wall. v 871. a1500 Colk. Sow i 360.
That expert and weill preuit [: beleuit] Thay war in the est warld
Ib. 467. ?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 136.
Iames the gud Douglas Quhilk preveit weill in euerie place
15.. Christis Kirk 146 (M).reflex. ?1438 Alex. ii 8715.
Arrestes That couth him weill preif in the preis
(3) ?1438 Alex. ii 2722.
I hope that we Sall cum in tyme for to assay Our worshep, preue how-euer we may
1540 Lynd. Sat. 497 (Bann.).
Now schir preve as ȝe pleis I se hir cummand

c. Const. to be (something). Cf. 6 b. 1456 Hay I 211/29.
Sum greve his nychtbouris but caus, and preve to be a passe maister

10. Of a thing: To manifest itself (as), to be shown in practice to be, to turn out to be (as specified in a complement). b. absol. To turn out to be correct, etc. c. impers. To turn out (to be the case), to eventuate; also with complement. 1600-1610 Melvill 276.
Bot it preived, in end, a Spanishe Papisticall course
1609 Garden Garden 34.
Thy name … Though seasons slide it permanent shall priue [: liue]
1650 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 600.
A deutie that hath oftin prowin confortable to uswards
1660 Aberd. B. Rec. IV 186.
b. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 5214.
We haue … Dreamit our dreames, quhilk … hes preuit in deid
c. (1) c1475 Wall. xi 1237.
As it prewyt be gud experians
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1427 (Asl.).
Herfor our saull as previs be experiens … we may … occupye [etc.]
1542 St. P. Henry VIII V 209.
Contenand the … conventioun of ȝour wardane … for the invasioun of oure … liegis, as prewit in deid
(2) 1532 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 122.
Quhar it preffis in deid that the hors is thre yeiris outgane of held
(3) 1535 Stewart 1145.
Oftymes … it preues weill to [reid] That [etc.]

IV. To make good, substantiate, establish, verify, by adducing evidence or by argument, also by combat.

11. a. To establish the validity of, demonstrate to be true, substantiate, make good (a claim, assertion or contention).Also to preve utherwayis, to prove something other than what is asserted to be true.(1) pres. a1400 Leg. S. v 183.
And the fyrste skil to preve it [his argument] He tuk vt of haly vryte
1456 Hay I 256/15.
I will … prove opynly that gage of bataille … is forbedyn expressely … and first and formast, I preve it be resoun naturale
Ib. 273/17.
He … that puttis ony crime till ony persone and may not preve it
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1103 (Bann.).
Thir doctouris of dyvyne … preue [Ch., H. paynt] thare preching be a poesye
1513 Doug. x Prol. marg. (Ruddim.).
And that he preuis be the creacyon and mystery of the trinite
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2586. a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 123/29. 1563 St. A. Kirk S. 157. 1567 G. Ball. 140.
This sall I preue, be Goddis leue
Ib. 195.
Preistis, Christ beleue, And onlie traist in to his blude … As plainlie Paule can preue
a1568 Scott vi 14.
This prowerb planely for till preue
(b) 1506 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 51.
Tile inforce & preiwe thar allegeance in deu forme
1555 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 758.
The said Johnne … hes vtterlie fallit to preive and verefy the samin
15.. Clar. iii 1683.
That thow hes said, ather sall thow preive [: mischeive], Or [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I 61/3.
To preiue the truth of this mater … he brings thrie things that he hard
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 7.
Quhen he compeires in court he sall preive that, be his awne eath, and be ane man swerand with him
(c) 1559 St. A. Kirk S. 19.
To prieve his clame
(d) a1585 Polwart Flyt. 695 (T).
Quhilk I can prive & clenge me
(e) 1521 Wigtown B. Ct. 119 a.
The nixt curt assignit to preuef it peremptourle
(f) 14.. Acts I 378/1.
He aucht to say … tharto I streik a borch and that I will preiff
1482–3 Acta Conc. II ciii.
He failyeit in his preif quhilk he tuke apon him and offerit him to preif
1490 Irland Mir. I 70/23.
Thocht Adam had noucht synnit … the sone of God Jhesus had bene consauit … This I preif, for [etc.]
1519 (c 1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 188. 1533 Bell. Livy II 4/5. 1559 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 275. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 3063. Ib. 3967. a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 113/25.
To preif the sammyne [assertion] impropirly callis he to ramemberance [etc.]
Ib. 128/11.
I … sal declare and preife it plainly be diuine scriptouris
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 469. 1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 38.p.t. 1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 192.
He grantit the selling of thaim [sheep] and preuit the sammyn be the merkis of the skynnis
(2) a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 406.
Quhen thow puttis poysonn to me, I appelle Thé in that part, preue it, pelour, wyth thy persone [B. and preif it on thy persoun]
1535 Stewart 41504.
To preif In plane battell … All that he said
a1578 Pitsc. I 220/26.
Ȝe ar all … fallis tratouris … and that I dar preif witht my body
(3) 1609 Crim. Trials III 13.
I will defy my onfreindis prive vtherwayis

b. To establish the truth of (an alleged fact). c. To establish the genuineness, correctness or accuracy of (a thing claimed).For further examples see Deforcement n. 1 (a).(a) 1409 Exch. R. IV ccx.
Thai sal preve gude acorde with the avisment of thair batheris counselis
1562-3 Winȝet I 18/19.
Be quhois exemple ȝe apperit to intend to preue ȝour lauchfull vocation
Ib. 82/2. 1563 St. A. Kirk S. 157.
Barbara and Wyliam hes confessed divers tymmis befoyr famos wytnes quhilk Ihon offeris hym to prev
1564 Ib. 208.
1622-6 Bisset II 145/16.
Or ellis may be provin be sufficient famous witnesis prevand fourtie at the leist threttie ȝeiris possessioun
(b) 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 44.
Batal sal tak na sted for to pref the stat of fredome
1512 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 19.
He his wyff and his buik be thair gret athes maye preff his coump
1515 Ib. 35.
Jhone Hucheson to preff pament to Thome Henderson of the pament of his mer
1560 Inverness Rec. I 47.
Mathow Paterson … to preff ix fyrryn burdis he geff hym
(c) 1576 Digest Justiciary Proc. I 10.
To preiwe the said Androis inhabilitie to travell
(d) 1488–9 Acta Conc. I 101/1.
And assignis to the said abbot … to preif sufficiently the richt and interes that thai clame to the said land
1490 Irland Mir. II 106/16.
viii maner of wais to preif and persuaid the faith
1493 Crosraguel Chart. I 57. 1497–8 Acta Conc. II 107. 1499 Exch. R. XI 436. 1502 Acta Conc. XI MS 146 b.
Til preif sufficentlye the legacy of the sade Robert
1513 Doug. x Prol. 84.
Thus rude exemplys … may we geif, Thocht God by hys awin creaturis to preif [Ruddim. preife] War mair onliknes than liknes to discern
1515 Treas. Acc. V 46. 1524 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 12.
The inqueist ordanis Jhon Copland to preif pament quhat he hes pait
1538 Treas. Acc. VII 106.
Williame Scheves … to preif ane deforsment maid be [etc.]
1552–3 Ib. X 161. a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 115/5.
That the scripturis ar … manifest quhilkis the kirk dois allege to preif the real presens
1562 Edinb. B. Rec. III 145. 1562 Inverness Rec. I 89. 1596 Crim. Trials I ii 369.
Knawledge of ony kynd of tressoun, and conceling thairof, be him quha may preif it, is tressoun

d. In south Scotland: ? To establish one's ownership of or right to, ? to identify conclusively as one's property. c 1456 Edinb. B. Rec. MS (Reg. H.) 2.
It is assignit to the said Marione to preif the thrid quarter [of yarn] & the laif of the gudis contenit in hir bil
1514 Wigtown B. Ct. 40 a.
Michell McGarve … has tane in hand to pref the kow deliuerit to Male Hannay at the nixt court be hyd & hew
1515 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 34.
The inquest ordanes Jok Frere to preff the clais contenit in his byll and the walor of thaim
1526 Ib. 81.
Roben Portuus prevyt the forsaidis meir be his awne aytht [etc.]

e. To establish or verify as to amount (a quantity, value, or the like).For further examples, see Avail n. 4. 1477–8 Acta Conc. I 23/2.
William Boyde … to preife quhat dampniage … he has sustenit
1478–9 Ib. 26/2.
The lord Carlile defalkand of the soume that he prefis
1480 Ib. 60/2.
Samekle as he may preife befor the schiref that the said hors was skathit
1483 Acta Aud. *127/1.
And samekle as beis prefit to be paid to the said lard
1491–2 Acta Conc. I 208/1, Ib. 254/1, etc.
And the avale of the gudis … sufficiently preffit
1493 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 103.
The said Schyr James … to preif his costis dampnage and scathtis
1501 Acta Conc. III 28.
1515–16 Reg. Privy S. I 418/1. 1519 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 54.
To preff of ilk ane persone how mekle scho is planteis of
1558–9 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 159.
Nocht makand na titill knawin nor prevand ony liquidat sowme

f. Also said of a fact, a piece of evidence, an argument, or the like. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1327 (Asl.).
As preves baith auctorite and ressoun
1563 Dumfries B. Ct. fol. 186 b.
The instrumentts producit … to preiff the acclame of the said Patrik
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xl 82.
Of sic exempills … Bot ane thair is, that preifis our purpois plane
1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. 25/7.
Your argument adduced to prief the inuisibilitie of the kirk, is vane
1596 Crim. Trials I ii 395.
The band produceit preifis manifestlie the assertioun of the said persewar
1597 Acts IV 128/1.
And as to the allegit depositiones … the samin lykwayes nawayes previt that heid nor article of the said summondis inrespect that thaj [etc.]

g. P.p. in these senses.(a) 1504 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 146.
Quhilk indegens wes sufficientlie previt be the forsaide assis
1513 Doug. x Prol. 50.
Thame [the Trinity] to traste the mair meryte we have That be na manys rayson prevyt may thai be
1543 Reg. Morton II 287.
That the charge … suld be previt be writting and nocht be witnessis
a1578 Pitsc. II 61/2.
Quhat ansueris thow to those thingis … we haue dewlie previt be suffiecient witnes aganis thé
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv 366.
Becaus they culd not get it previt [: beleavit]
(b) 1430 Ayr B. Ct. 8 May.
The quhylk attachyment … lachfully prefyt be Jhon Bonar officiar & Jhon Petye vitnes
1525 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 76.
And this is preffit souerlie and may be preffit with xxxti persones
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 85.
The hail mater is preifit, and sa planely preifit, that [etc.]
(c) 1541 Reg. Cupar A. II 14.
For ilk falt beand preving or vnpurgit
1560–7 Old Ross-shire I 14.
Ane pairt of my exceptiouns is to be previn be wryte
(d) 1533 Gau 27/3.
Quhair thay haiff thair grund and fundment prowine be the halie writ
1553–4 Corr. M. Lorraine 382.
Quhilk tresone … salbe … suffyceyiently provyne in your grace precence
1553–4 Mill Mediæv. Plays 151.
1561 St. A. Kirk S. I 88.
We … fyndis the saidis articles and headis [etc.] … sufficientle provyn
1561 Inverness Rec. I 60.
Quhilk gyf tha do in tyme cuming the same beand knawyne and prowyne tha salbe accusit [etc.]
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 149/21. 1562-3 Winȝet I 139/17. 1563 St. A. Kirk S. 153.
Fyndis na caus of impotencye provyn
1570 Leslie 170. 1594 Acts IV 72/2.
The treuth of the fact being provin be tua witnesis
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 76/15.
To vse learnit and infallible reasonis, prouin be necessities
1619 Perth Kirk S. MS 23 March.
Sua it lyis ower till it can be prowin
1622 Crim. Trials III 530.
Scho hes thairin committit onlie a lie, and being persewit and provin, is content to [etc.]
1622-6 Bisset II 145/16.
These chartaris of mortificatioun … may be provin be sufficient famous witnesis prevand fourtie at the leist threttie ȝeiris possessioun
1629 Ritchie Ch. S. Baldred 216. 1662 Aberd. Council Lett. IV 229.
A decreitt upon probatione witnesses prowes still any thinge prowine befoir that judge
1672 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 39.
(e) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 5.
Whilk is notoriously known … and shall be proven and cannot be denied
1583 St. A. Baxter Bks. 35.
Cleirlie proven by famous vitnes
1588 King Cat. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. 216/21.
Adulterie lauchefullie prouen
c1590 Fowler I 89/75.
The proofe thairof evin be my self most planelie may be prowen
Ib. II 119/12. 1596 Dalr. I 154/9. 1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Recognition.
The service aucht to be proven and liquidat
1627 St. A. Baxter Bks. 87.
Quhilk wes sufficientlie proven and verefeit be the children of the said baikhous
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 200. 1650 Buccleuch Mun. II 359.
They war suspecting the wnder stewart … bot could not get it prowen
1657 Rothesay B. Rec. 14.
Thair … profane speiches being tryed and prowen
1673 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II 130.
In regard [of] nothing proven of feed or hatred betwixt them two
1692 Cramond Kirk S. III 2 June.
It shall be sufficient ground for them to return thair verdict, findeing the lybell proven
(f) 1558–9 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 159.
The pairty aduersour hes noder allegit sufficient titill … nor yit pruvyne sufficient ordour
(g) 1561 Crim. Trials I i 415.
He is minor … as … salbe profin gyff neid beis
1596 Dalr. II 349/5.
Bot how that may be profen of the quene, he denyes

h. Also not proven, as a verdict: not proved. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 121.
That the judge … decerne, quhether that quhilk was admitted to probation, is sufficientlie proven, or not proven
1615 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 62 a (25 Oct.).
[The session] findis not prowen aganis Marjory Swan
16.. (1635) in Hay Geneal. Hays 90.
For the justice [etc.] … finding the dittay or so relivant, ye have no moire to do but to pronunce ether to proveine or not proveine, guiltie or not guiltie

12. To establish, substantiate, verify, demonstrate, also, to affirm (that something is so, something to be the case, etc.).Chiefly of a person, also of evidence or argument, and in impers. passive construction (with anticipatory it and postponed clause complement).

a. With finite noun clause obj. b. With interrog. clause obj. c. (To establish etc.) a person or thing to be or to have been or done something; also in passive const. d. With appositive predicate without infin.a. (1) a1400 Leg. S. xliii 561.
I ma prewe wele That thu has leyt
1456 Hay I 103/5.
And first I will preve that it may nocht be be lawe
Ib. 201/31, c 1456 Edinb. B. Rec. MS (Reg. H.) 2.
257/13. Helene Neilsone to preif … that scho bocht [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2640 (Ch.).
I wait ȝe can nocht preif [: leif (= permission)] That I did ony thing that suld ȝow greif
1478 Acta Aud. 59/1, etc.
c1475 Wall. viii 1535.
King Eduuard prewyt that thai mycht nocht hym get
1506 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 76.
1523 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 5.
The quhilk day thai deniit & he tuk to preif quhat his iiij prysaris & thai say that thai sall preif that his dyk vas na vorth
1528 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 94.
1535 Stewart 41507.
He … kest his gluif to preif that all wes trew
1554 Edinb. B. Rec. II 196.
In cais ony … chaplanis … wald preif the kirk wantit fyre and watter in his defalt
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 134/15.
And preuis be plaine authoritie of scriptour and invincible argumentes … that [etc.]
1565 Prestwick B. Rec. 68.
He suld preyf at scho was tane wyth ane cabok of cheys
1565 Inverness Rec. I 125.
Ellyne NeynEwin … to preiff scho pait Johne Gollan for [etc.]
1605 Rec. Earld. Orkney 180.
The said Niniane to preiff onie gerse land occupyit be [etc.] … appertenit to him
1611 Glasgow B. Rec. II 561.
To prive that the milleris … was … in vse to [etc.]
1612 Orkney & Shetl. Ct. Bk. (ed.) 33.
Becaus he offerris him to preive that the said James had [etc.]
(2) 1456 Hay I 97/10.
Here previs the autour playnly how gage of bataill is reprovit [etc.]
1517 Wigtown B. Ct. 62 b.
Thom Logan officer preuit with ii witnes quhar Joes McCoy vas summond
(3) 1533 Gau 38/11.
The quhilk prewis that he is weray God
1533 Bell. Livy I 3/25.
Be mony exemplis dois this storie preif Of tressoun … The fynale end is no thing bot myschefe
1549 Compl. 51/14.
Sa mony probabil rasons that preuis that the eird is round
1554 Knox III 170.
Theis and many mo places evidentlie preveis that the plagues … do appertene to everie rebellious pepill
1707 Conv. Burghs IV 429.
Experience hes proven that [etc.]
(4) (a) 1484–5 Acta Conc. I 110/2.
The said letter of tak quhilk was prefit that he tuke out of a caget of vmquhil Alexander
1488–9 Acta Aud. 123/2.
Ay and quhill it be sufficiently prefit that the said landis ar haldin blanchferme of our souerane lord
a1500 Seven S. 2755.
For it sall opynly be previt Sa synfull lyf as scho has levit
1515 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. II 351.
Quhile previd that thai maybe of puyschance to [etc.]
1521 Reg. Cupar A. I 318.
The quhilk is prewit that he hes pait
(b) 1568 Lanark B. Rec. 42.
The baillies … hes fund cleirly preving that the said George Beg is in the wrang
(c) 1533 Gau 67/36.
Heir it is cleirlie anewch prouine that this same body sal ris wp agane
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III 335/8.
Quhairby it is evidently knawin ande cleirly provin [T. proued to the vttermoste] that [etc.]
c1575 Balfour Pract. 361.
Gif it be provin be a testimonial … that he is bed-seik [etc.]
1597 Acts IV 128/1. 1605 Rec. Earld. Orkney 180.
1625 Justiciary Cases I 20.
It is … to be provin be the doctour … that it [the wound] was nocht lethall
1628 Dumbarton B. Rec. 28. 1674 Justiciary Ct. Rec. II 271.
Its offered to be proven, that [etc.]
b. a1500 Seven S. 2184.
And to pref gif thire wordis be worth, Remuf ȝour bed and [etc.]
1493 Acta Conc. I 306/2.
1496–7 Ib. II 50. 1526–7 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 83.
Jhone of Bellenden to preiff … quhidder it is towcher gud or nocht
1532 Ib. 127.
Volle Carnes tuk to preff with the forsaid preff quhat of his sonnes fee vanttis nocht pait
c. pres. 1560 Treas. Acc. XI 33.
Certane broustaris appointit to preif the foirsaid provisioun in ale to be of sufficient stufe
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 111.
Ane … breif tracteit … prevand cleirlye the real body of Iesu Crist to be present in the sacrament
1568 St. A. Kirk S. 305.
To preve Margaret Brown to have bein corrupt
1573 Tyrie in Cath. Tr. 26/36. 1583–4 St. A. Kirk S. 517. 1600 Misc. Bann. C. I 143.
As the bookes quhilk he uset, quhilk preiffes him plainlie to have bein ane studier of magick
1610 Glasgow Trades House 28.
The said Archibald bieing ane wryght could nocht preive him to be foundit prenteis to the measoun craft
p.t. 1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 170/23.
Be invincible ressouns … we previt the interpretatioun of the auld fatheris … to be sufficient … preif of the sacrifice of the mes
p.p. (a) 1562-3 Winȝet II 75/24.
Bot leste Grece allone, or the Orient onlie … hef bene prouin euir sua to hef vnderstand, thair wes red thair lykeways [etc.]
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 860.
Quhilk I haue prouin within this hour To be bot ane dissaitfull wyle
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 18.
The skinis … is provin to be fund lymit in his hous
(b) 1596 Dalr. I 185 marg.
He is preuen to be Findokis sone be his fostirfather
1606 Haddington MS in Reg. Privy C. VII 182.
Whilk man wes previn to be my lord Maxwellis man
d. pres. 1514 Facs. Nat. MSS III xi.
With all vtheris that he may preif gevin to the said Nicoll
1531–2 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 48.
To pref Jhone Duncan pait of five pundis
1532 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 124. 1535–6 Ayr B. Acc. 74.
Quhen he prevys it sufficientlye payit to the monk of Kylwynning
1564–5 Rec. Earld. Orkney 121.
And forther offerit to preif the said Jhones forbear callit Villiame Tuait ane bastarde, quhairby the said Jhone aucht to posses na landis
a1578 Pitsc. II 141/15.
He wald preif it lesum to him to [etc.]
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 697 (T).
To prive my speikin probabill & plane Thow man confes thow vsit my inventioun
p.t. 1432 Ayr B. Ct. p. 27.
The qwylk day Newyn Chepman prefit wast the land be twen [etc.]
1454–5 Soc. Ant. Chart. (Reg. H.) No. 7.
The quhilk executione the said David previt in court lac[h]fully made be him
p.p. (a) a1500 Rauf C. 497.
It micht be preifit preiudice, bot gif thow suld compeir
1480 Acta Conc. I 51/2.
For a termes male that was prefit awing be the said Johne
1483 Ib. II cxxxi.
And samekle [goods, etc.] as beis prefit befor thame [sc. the Lords] that is takin that thai mak the samyn be restorit
1515 in Doug. (Sm.) I p. xxiii.
1525 Carnwath Baron Ct. (S.H.S.) 34.
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 228.
Quhen he wes previt sufficientlie the son of Fyndocus be his foster fader and vtheris
1540 Ecclesia Antiqua 286.
And it be prewit in his defalt the foresaid altar sall vaik
1574 Carrick Baillie Ct. 17 June.
Previt lauchfully summoundit oftymes callit & nocht comperit
(b) 1548 Reg. Cupar A. II 56.
It being sufficientlie prevyng the falt being in thame
(c) 1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 175/12.
Quhilk can nocht be provyn attentict scripture be na vther scripture
1563 St. A. Kirk S. 159.
The sayd Barbara provyn lawfully summond
1586 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 31.
That your majestie is, or may be prowin heireftir assenting to hir procedingis

13. To establish or prove, in various prec. applications, on or upon, or aganis, (= in accusation of, also, in contradiction of or opposition to) another.(1) pres. 1456 Hay I 266/12.
And that sall I preve apon thé, as law of armes will
Ib. 259/9. c1460 Consail Vys Man 72.
That neuir man may preif one thé A taynt of falsat
?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 194.
I proffer me to preif [R. preiv] on thé At we and Scotland ȝit art [sic] fre
1494 Loutfut MS 109 b.
I tak apon me to preif it apon thé body for body as the law of armes schawis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 86.
Thow leis, tratour! quhilk I sall on thé preif [: cleif (= cleave)]
Ib. 80. 1532 Treas. Acc. VI 50.
Summound to preiff ane fence upon ane callit Trale
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 186. Id. Seven S. 9173.
Quhilk I sall preif on him in plane battall
p.p. (a) 1492–3 Acta Conc. I 294/2.
Becaus of the deforce led and preffit one him in the said schirreffis court
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I 81.
And gif ony personis … beis ouertane wyrkand with cardis notit or previt apone him
1563 Lanark B. Rec. 32.
(b) 1544 Reg. Cupar A. II 39.
Sway the samyn [heresies] be prewyne sufficientlye vpone thame, it sall [etc.]
1546 Ib. 35.
(c) 1509 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 72.
To heir and se the saide brekin of lawborrowis provin one Huchon Andirsone
1559 Aberd. B. Rec. I 322.
To heir and se … defors prowyn on thaim
(2) 1533 Gau 68/19.
That Christ prewit aganis the Saduceis that the deid sal stand wp agane
1584 Crim. Trials I ii 128.
Quhilkis lordis of articles thaireftir fand the said summondis sufficientlie prowine aganis the persones vnderwrittin
1647 St. A. Baxter Bks. 117.
And wtterit some injuries speches againes him, quhilk wer prowin aganis hir

14. a. In a relative clause introduced by as, in previous senses. Chiefly p.p. b. absol. To bring forward substantiation, confirmation or verification (of a contention etc., chiefly, a plea in a court of law), to establish or prove one's case.a. p.p. (a) 1456 Hay I 220/7.
As I have before said and previt reasonably as I traist
1478 Acta Conc. I 26/2.
As was preifit be his avne hand writ
1480 Ib. 52/2.
As was previt and schewin before the lordis be autentik instrument
1482–3 Acta Aud. in Acta Conc. II civ.
Ib. cxxii.
1489 Acta Aud. 130/1.
1490 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 102. 1523 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 69.
1531 Bell. Boece I 195.
c1550-c1580 Art of Music 13.
As heir be ane exempill is prewit
(b) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 6.
As is notoriously known and sall be preven
(c) 1573 Davidson Sat. P. xlii 618.
As I haue cleirly prouin befoir
(d) 1575 Orkney Oppress. 6.
Whereby he means to oppress the country … as shall be pruven
pres. 1490 Acta Conc. I 168/1.
[They] sall … mak satisfaccioune … to the partiis plenȝeand as thai may preif
1531 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 114.
As I sall preff, and ned be, man and penne vortht
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1554 (Wr.).
Whose throat, sir, I wot, sir, You may stop with your neive, As you, sir, I trow, sir, Experience, can prieve
b. 1489 Acta Aud. 128/1.
Johne Baxster haid a certane day bigane assignit to him to prefe in the actioun
c1500 Barounis Lawis fol. 7 b.
The followar … to produce witnes to preif with his entent
1530 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 109.
Failyeing heirof to preiff this day xv dais
1535 Aberd. B. Rec. MS p. 32.
In the terme assignit to Iohne Chalmer to preif for the first terme in the caus betwix him and [etc.]
1540 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 222.
That Meg Ker preif with the sammyn men that partit [ed. pactit] thai gudis betuex hir and [etc.]
1553 Rec. Earld. Orkney 106.
The syis hes gywin hym xiiij dayis eftir Candilmis to pref and gywe he prewis ma markis … nor [etc.]
1604 Shetland Sheriff Ct. (ed.) 154. 1617 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. II 226.
[The pursuer] tuik to preiwe for the secund

15. With dative pron. in prec. senses: To prove (something) to another. a1400 Leg. S. iii 402.
As I sal prew thé be resone Gyf thu wil her me
?1438 Alex. ii 2379.
Thus may men preif ȝow sikkerly Quha sa couth say the ressoun quhy
1456 Hay I 85/32.
And first I will preve ȝow that he suld erar [etc.]
Ib. 163/1.
And as to that poynt I preve ȝou first that nay, it suld nocht be
Ib. 137/4.

16. a. ? To discover by demonstration or evidence, to ascertain. a1400 Leg. S. ii 1000.
Quhen I Petir se Ȝe sall apertly prewe be me That I ame verray Jow
c1475 Wall. xi 353.
Ȝeit thai preiff sone the cumyng off Wallace; Knawlage to get thai kest a sutell cace
c1490 Porteous Noblenes 179/16 (Asl.).
Be the deid allway is previt the thing that is closit in the hert
c 1569 Sc. N. & Q. 3 Ser. VIII 45.
For nevir sen my hart ye hede preft I to be ontrew
a1633 W. Struther True Happiness 8 (OED).
When a number serveth not necessitie, all are proven to be weak

b. ? To establish or confirm in a position; or ? Prevev.2  c1420 Wynt. iv 1952.
Thou sall hym wytht gud relewe And in till state off honure prewe [v.rr. preve, preyff] That belyste is in [to] bownte

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