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

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First published 1951 (DOST Vol. II).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Grow, v.1 Also: growe, grou, (grouve,) grov-, gro-. P.t. grew(e, greu, grwe. P.p. growin(e, -yn, grouyn, growne, groun(e. [ME. growe, OE. grówan. Cf. Grew v.1]

1. intr. Of vegetation: To spring up, be produced; to increase by natural development. Also transf. of persons or things.(1) 1375 Barb. xvi. 395.
Byrkis … That ȝoung and thik wes growand ner
a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 789.
Nere about hyr greu rycht nocht, … Gers, na tre, na nocht ellis
c1420 Wynt. i. 655.
Thare pepyre growys that off hewe Is quhyt quhill it is growand newe
c1420 Ratis R. 20.
For so lang art thow able alle To grow as tre up gret and small
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1758.
All growis not that in the ground is set
1478 Acta Aud. 82/1.
The wrangwis distructioune of … certain cornis grovand vpoun the said landis
a1500 Seven S. 319.
A syon of this pyne Grew wp
Ib. 343.
Quhen the pynull wald nocht growe
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiv. 63.
The corne and fruct that growis grene
1513 Doug. vii. xii. 89.
The weirly wallit cite Of Nola … Quhare gret plente of apillis orange growis
1546 Acta Conc. MS. XXI. 54.
The … distructioun of the … aikis, escheis, allaris, byrkis, and vtheris growand
a1568 Scott ii. 77.
Als gude the tre had nevir growin Quhairof my speir wes maid
1584 Reg. Great S. 398/2.
So far as aik, birk, alrone or ony wther wode grew or is apperand to grow
1596 Dalr. I. 36/17.
How hes sa gret … wodes evir thar growin, quhair now … will nocht sa mekle as ane small wande grow
1611 Reg. Panmure I. p. xcviii.
May be befor it was labourit thear hes growine farnes thear
(2) c1420 Wynt. i. 329.
In the wale of Hebrown Eftir that grewe geawndis ma
Ib. ii. 509.
And off tha castys eftyre grewe Men and wemen all of newe
c1420 Ratis R. 2078.
God, that ordanyt hire seruande To man and woman here growande
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xv. 54.
No more I lout, Bot stands vp stout As glade of hir, for vhom I only greu
(3) c1420 Wynt. iii. 443.
Sa lang he lay in that dungeoune, Quhill on his hevid the hare grew
c1450-2 Howlat 884.
And I sall gar thaim samyn [sc. feathers] be To growe or I ga
c1420 Ratis R. 1676.
The ryg is growin al of lenth
15.. Sym & Bruder 16.
Sen thair bairdis grew on thair mow They saw nevir the kirk within
1560 Rolland Seven S. 8533.
Meit grew at large, and vittaillis was not deir
1590 Waus Corr. II. 447.
We die for thrist and worme vobbis groing in our throt

2. fig. To arise, originate, be developed. a 1350 Facs. Nat. MSS. II. 19.
Si autem querele … exorte fuerint [gl. haf grouyn] inter homines [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. vi. 172.
Of pollucione of flesche Grovis, as ve vat, giltines
?1438 Alex. ii. 3950.
For to the gude All gude thing grouis
c1420 Ratis R. 898.
Think thar ma na dises bee Than thar of neid sal grow to thé
1535 Stewart 20477.
Wa wirth the wicht in quhome that tressoun grew
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 1067.
Intill his hart thair grew sic ire
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 30.
Ane spark of peirtnes in his breist than grew
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lx. 73.
And than sall grace grow on thy ground And welth vp walking

3. To increase, become greater, in some respect. 1375 Barb. xix. 638.
It war gret foly … with sic ane host till ficht That ilk day growis of mycht
a1400 Leg. S. xxiv. 501.
Euir my sorow groys, alace
Ib. xxvii. 50.
As he greu, sa Godis grace Greu in hyme ay
1456 Hay I. 233/20.
And than sall his honour and los grow
a1500 Henr. Orph. 73.
His noble fame so far it sprang and grewe
a1500 Bk. Chess 1273.
Speir gif that better be nobilite In me growand or discendand in thé
1513 Doug. ii. viii. 25.
Our spretis war restoryt, and curage grew
Ib. iv. v. 5.
Fame is myscheif, … Movand scho growis
1531 Bell. Boece I. xxiv.
Throw thair intemperance … sa fowsumlie growin
1535 Stewart 51618.
Thair policie sould euir eik and grow
1596 Dalr. II. 249/21.
To incres his strenth quhilke mekle mair was groune throuch the … ryches of the kirke

b. Of the water of a river or the sea: To rise. 1535 Stewart 33809.
Ane schour … Quhilk causit hes the water for to grow So greit
Ib. 53019.
Out of the loch quhair that the water ran, To dam that place and gar the water grow
1584 Melvill 168.
Because it was law water, we behoved to ly a whyll … till the water grew

c. With complements specifying the extent of the growth or increase. c1420 Wynt. v. 5191.
Thare oure the wattyr he kest hys wand, That suddanly grewe in a tre
a1500 Seven S. 2154.
That a fair well on the grene sprang And grewe thairefter in a flude
c1500-c1512 Dunb. lxxxi. 89.
I am possest in kirkis sevin And ȝitt I think thai grow sall till ellevin
a1578 Pitsc. I. 35/11.
That sober goodis and geir with peace and concord growis ay mair and mair to great substance
1596 Dalr. I. 8/9.
We knawe … dorpes and wyn[d]es to be now growne in fair townes
1643 Bamff Chart. 262.
Quhilkis sowmes of money … hes now accrest and growne up to the sowme of tuentie thrie thousand … pundis

d. To grow down, to decrease. 1456 Hay II. 90/22.
Ay his lordschip suld downe grow and wane

4. Of persons: To increase or make progress in (into, of) some quality or property. a1400 Leg. S. xl. 22.
Sa grew he in-to vertu ay Forberand wantones & play
c1420 Wynt. ii. 550.
Thai grewe so fast, Off industry and ingyne … And off welth
Ib. iv. 1941.
Fra thai be growyn in welth and welle
c1475 Wall. iii. 45.
Adam, eldest, was growand in curage
Ib. 95.
Was na man than … So growane in pith
1531 Bell. Boece I. 3.
Throw this victory, Gathelus and his folkis grew in esperance of gud fortoun
1567 Sat. P. xvi. 26.
Fra he in court in credite grew

b. To advance, rise, or come to or towards some state or condition. Const. in, into, till, untill, to.(1) c1420 Wynt. v. 476.
A woman yhong till eyilgrowand
Ib. vi. 106.
Growand wp to rype manhade
1535 Stewart 30099.
He grew into sic eild, As he wes wont he micht nocht walk on feild
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 22.
Then, when he grew to witt and strength
(2) 1409 Exch. R. IV. p. ccxi.
To grow in tyme to cum to the estate of King
c1420 Wynt. vi. 1942.
That sowne … scho bare … , That grewe as yhe herd till gret fame
Ib. vii. 3077.
Thai Besatys … grwe tyll statis and till hycht
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 960.
Golagras at Gawyne in sic ane grief grew
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 289/13.
Nane couth juge be quhat waye … this quene grew to sa gret reches of gold
1533 Boece i. ii. 36.
Hyber … devisit that with his awne pepill thai suld convers and suld incres and growe in ane ferme nacioun
1573 Sat. P. xlii. 600.
Quhen that the Kirk efter at lenth Had growin untill ane greiter strenth
1626 Garden Worthies 103.
Senator grave … , To such a greatnes groun
c1650 Spalding II. 352.
He wes informit that his sone … wes in the toune of Banf growing to ane heid, … bot his sone had no sic intentioun as to grow to ane heid against him

c. With adj. or noun as complement: To come to be, to become. a1400 Leg. S. xl. 19.
As he growine wes in eld Rypare
c1420 Wynt. v. 4420.
He gert that chyld be … fostryd wp quhill he grew man
1456 Hay I. 13/32.
For ay the faith grewe starkar and starkar
Ib. II. 153/23.
I am growin riche under ȝow
c1500 Crying of Play 41.
Ȝit he was bot of tendere ȝouth Bot eftir he grewe mekle at fouth
1513 Doug. ii. vi. 7.
So bustuus grew the noys and furyus fray
1531 Bell. Boece I. lviii.
Gif thay saw thair awin blude in battale, thay grew nocht astonist
1535 Stewart 9473.
So that thair blude mycht mixit be togither, Within schort quhile thai wald grow sib till vther
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 904.
With facund wordis fals, and fair, He grew with hir familiar
Ib. 3885.
Thay grew sa bolden in thair breistis
1562 Reg. Privy C. I. 200.
All kyndis of flesche … growis out of seasoun, that thai ar nocht than meit for eiting
a1578 Pitsc. I. 405/34.
The night was growand mark vpoun thame
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 354 (T).
Ay as thow growis auld, so eik in thy anger
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxiii. 44.
Thre scoir and xiiij ȝeiris of age and growin blind
1596 Dalr. II. 63/14.
The thrid ȝeir following, sa corpolent growin, this lyfe he departes

5. Of land: To be covered with growth (of vegetation). With various complements. c1420 Wynt. i. 1336.
Sum steddys growys sa habowndanly Of gyrs
Ib. iii. 240.
Thare flattis grete, Than growand grene off wyne and quheyt
c1475 Wall. vi. 716.
That bog … Growyn our with reys
1533 Boece i. viii. 55 b.
Ane porte … now … growin to sward, and now sum parte thareof is erit land and beris corne
1535 Stewart 10944.
Euerie garth wes growand ouir full grene

6. tr. To cause to grow, to cultivate. Also fig. 1456 Hay I. 114/2.
Knychtis ar nouthir ordanyt to labour cornis, na grouve the wynis
Ib. II. 19/8.
As he [sc. God] has chosin to growe and mantene his fayth
Ib. 120/2.
The quhilk wayke stomak sone fylis and growis in it corrupciouns

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"Grow v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Feb 2024 <>



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