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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Lichtin-,) Licht(e)ning, Lychtnyng, vbl. n.2 Also: lichning, light(e)ning. [ME. liȝtnyng, lyȝtnynge (Rolle), e.m.E. lyght(e)nynge, lightning, Lichtin v.2] a. concr. Lightning; also, a flash of lightning. b. fig. (Slight or intermittent) flashes of enlightenment, ‘glimmerings’. c. A ‘lightening’ or revival of the spirits which is supposed to occur just before death (as in e.m.E. (Shakespeare) and mod. Eng.). —a. 1513 Doug. xiii. x. 10.
Furth of the clowdis … In maner of a lychtnyng or fyre flaucht
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3446.
Quhen Lottis wyfe hard the thoundring Of flammand fyre and lichtening
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 185/682.
If these passionis … uolde suiftlie pass auay as doth a glauncing lichning cleir
1635 Dickson Wr. I. 125.
He makes Satan fall from heaven like lightening
b. 1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 295.
How the reprobates will get lightenings and tastings of the heavenly gifts
Ib. 424.
And if ye get glances and lightnings by the word, he [Satan] makes them think it is enough
c. 1621-40 Melville Commonpl. Bk. 17.
A lichtning befoir death

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"Lichtning vbl. n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Feb 2023 <>



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