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

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Lows, Lous, v.1 Also: lowse, louse, lousse, lovs(e, lowis, -ise, -ys, -es, louise, laws. P.t. and p.p. lows-, lousit, -ed, etc., lowsd, loust, lowisd. [ME. (midland and north.) leowsin (13th c.), lowse, louse, also (? chiefly midland) lawse, laus(e, lauce, e.m.E. lowse, louse, f. Lows a. Cf. also Los v.2 (and ON. leysa f. lauss Lows a., which largely coincides in sense). Senses 6, 7, and 12–15 below are appar. only Sc.] To loose, loosen.

1. tr. To release from bonds or restraint; to let loose, set free, set at liberty, liberate; to unbind (a person); to untether or otherwise unfasten (an animal). Also absol. Also with adv. or adv. phrase complements, and, of a pregnant woman, to be lowsit of hir bandis, to be delivered. Also reflex. (and fig.), to deliver oneself. (1) Thai broucht hym to the erll in hy And he gert lows hym hastely; Barb. x. 765.
And thame that ar in feteris stad He lousis oft and makis glad; Leg. S. iv. 84.
Ib. iii. 748, ix. 104, etc.
All the planettes … As He thame maid … To kepe thar kindely course at rytht, He may thame louse & lete go by, For he is endles almythty; Troy-bk. i. 585.
[The winds] Loussed [L. relaxati] and sende frome Eolus, Ourtirvis the depe se in wallis; Ib. ii. 1717.
Lowsyd, lous(s)it; Wynt. vii. 3159.
1444 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 10.
Wall. vii. 1220, etc.
Henr. Fab. 1550, etc.
Irland Mir. I. 121/1.
O Lord Iesu, that tholit thy handis tobe bundin, lous the handis of my synnis; Remembr. Passion 57.
Kennedy Pass. Christ 679.
Dunb. xlii. 56. Asl. MS. I. 215/20.
Nisbet Mark xi. 2, 4, 5.
Bell. Livy II. 163/5.
Lynd. Mon. 1498.
The saulis departit ar lowsit [L. solvuntur] foure maner of wais, oder be oblatiouns of preistis [etc.]; Hamilton Cat. 283.
Scho lowsit oxin aucht or nyne; Wyf Awcht. 45.
Clar. ii. 1584, v. 662.
At his plesure he [Alexander] micht louse or ransoun Quhairsumeuer he war or quhat degre; Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 244.
This grewhound was sa swift … , Quhen he was lousit, his pray he gart ay bleid; Id. Seven S. 1726.
The best of his oxin hes pereist … he being fast on the saile, na bodye in the house to louse nor releiff the said oxe being worreyt on the saile; 1567 Inverness Rec. I. 148.
Syne efter that, quhen lymmers loust their bryde, He faucht for ȝow vpon the Langsyde hill; 1571 Sat. P. xxvi. 21.
That he … enter his persoun … in ward … thair to remane … quhill he be lousit be the Kingis grace; Balfour Pract. 271.
Diurn. Occurr. 131.
Despauter (1579) 135;
Duncan App. Etym. s.v. Solvo.
His kingdome vil be at the heicht quhen the deuil sal be loused; Burne Disput. 135.
1583 Sat. P. xlv. 350.
Lowsse; Montg. Flyt. 483 (H).
[He] said that we … loussit our ky in the nicht and callit them into thair beir; c 1590 Fraser Wigtown (1877) 392.
Melvill 143.
If they be readie to cry out with Bishop Adamsone, ‘Lowse them, lowse them’; 1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 185.
Spalding I. 212.
Durham Comm. Rev. 417.
That they heard the said Janet call Helen … excomunicate witch, that she hade the devill one a chaine & could louse him when she pleased; 1664 Cullen Kirk S. July 10.
1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 219.
absol. Girne when ye knit, and lauch when ye louse; Ferg. Prov. No. 294.
(2) With lyff I sall nocht be Of this croice lousyt; Leg. S. iii. 736.
Scho … lousit hym doun of the tre; Ib. 792.
To louse his body fra the tre; Ib. vii. 777.
Ib. ix. 229.
That … thai micht be Owt of that presoun lowsyd fre; Wynt. i. 590.
Ib. v. 1038.
Henr. III. 99/84. Wall. vi. 483.
And nocht to be lousit out of the golf quhile the saide hour; 1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 60.
Jane … was the duke of Somersydis douchter that King James the first spousit in Yngland for till help to lous him furth of it; Asl. MS. I. 219/24;
Leslie 19.
[To] lous ȝow of the feindis arrest; Dunb. x. 22.
Doug. ii. iii. 17.
Lowis; Bann. MS. 39 a/58.
Lyke ane lyone lowsit of his caige; Lynd. Trag. Card. 153.
G. Ball. 159.
Pitsc. II. 8/17.
Dalr. II. 352/26.
Thow immediatle thairefter awytit on the cow quhill schow was lowsit furth and keist witchecraft on the said cow; 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 93.
Within less nor ane yeir … they had a kow … loused out of the byr and calved in the corne yeard; 1650 Brechin Presb. 23.
[He] did … louse out the horses and take away the cairtgraith; 1674 Arbroath Old Doc. 12.
(3) Scho culd newir be lowsit of hir bandis quhill scho send for thé and causit thé cum to hir; 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 92.
(4) refl. The haill nobilietie … wexit with the tyrannie of King Henrie, to louse them selffis out of the ȝoke of thraldome hes taine porpois [etc.]; Pitsc. I. 135/24.

b. To release or set free (the soul from the body or mortal life). [Gud thing it is to me To be lousit & with hyme be; Leg. S. xxvii. 1516.]
The throwand sawle to lowys; Doug. iv. xii. 102.
I man … lowis thi sawle out of this mortale stait; Ib. 118.
Quhil we be lowsit of this mortal body; Gau 24/22.
Or ellis thy saull sall be rugged out of thy bodie … .Wald thou haue it sweitlie lowsed? Rollock Wks. I. 430.

c. To free (a person's lips, tongue, voice) from constraint, so as to enable him to speak out freely. With gret difficulte The cundytis of his voce war lowsyt fre; Doug. xi. iv. 28.
Lowse thow my lippis, that … I may gif to Thé lovingis wyd; Scott xxxvi. 61. G. Ball. 127.
Eftir prayeris maid to God to oppin hir hairt and louse hir toung to confes the treuth; 1623 Crim. Trials II. 537.
Now doe the wicked louse their tongues to lyes; Mure Crucifixe 2283.

d. To unbind, to remove a constriction from; to undo (braided hair) from the tress; to allow or cause (something constricted) to open out. e. intr. To cease to be constricted, to go free. [A paralytic's] senownys that drawyn ware To-gyddyre, lousyt rycht thare; Leg. S. vii. 632.
As scho had bene a wild hunteres With wynd waving hir haris lowsit of tres; Doug. i. vi. 26.
That flour [the solsequium] laughis on Phœbus lousing out his leivis; Montg. Misc. P. xv. 18.
That quhen the foullis flaw to the rouste ower him, he mycht resaue the wind of thair wingis aboute his harte, for that wes werrie profitable to lousse his harte pypis, quhilk wer closit; 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 105.

2. fig. To release, set free, relieve, absolve, acquit, from pain, punishment, sin, obligation, servitude, or other immaterial constraint. Cf. sense 12. (1) Syndry seke mene gettis thare hele & are lousit of mekil payne; Leg. S. xvi. 985.
And all in presowne to be fre Lowsyd qwyte off thare pennans; Wynt. v. 2873.
That he wald lows hym off hys syne And bandys that he was cumbryd in He made hym … prayere; Ib. 3791.
Of the Kyng of France to be Lowsyt off homage and fewte; Ib. viii. 7104.
Ded … come now into tyme Him for to lous fra his gret wa and pyne; Kennedy Pass. Christ 749.
This woman hechtis … From luffis bandis to lows al thar ententis Quham so hir lyst; Doug. iv. ix. 30.
At the Lacedemonys suld nocht trow that thai war lowsit fra thare aith be ganbringing of his banis; Abell 9 a.
Lynd. Mon. 266.
I … fund my heart much loused from all the pleasures of time; Nimmo Narr. 34.
[The minister should] suggest unto them [sc. the sick] what is proper for lousing their affectiones from the world; 1675 Alford Rec. 234.
He being excommunicat, was desirous the minister should louse him fra that sentence; Law Memor. (1818) 108.
(2) & gif it be fundyn be an assise that he is a fre mane than sal he be lousyt fra the party askand for euermar; Reg. Maj. xliv. (Adv. MS. 25. 4. 15, fol. 15 b).
(3) Bind me sa with the band of cherite … that my wittis be neuer lousit to na contraryis to thy will; Remembr. Passion 59.
I pray thé, Lord, … Louse me or I be for 1011; G. Ball. 220.
The prophete sayes that Christ lawsit thame in the bluid of his Testament; Hamilton Facile Tr. 208.

b. To release or dismiss (a workman etc.) at the end of a turn of work, to cause to knock off. (Cf. 7 c). Also passive, to be lousit, to be dismissed for the day, to have knocked off (but cf. 7 c). To Jerome Murray for ringing the bell and keiping the sandglas to entir and lowse the maissounes at thair houres; 1622 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 144.
Ib. 217.
That no persone within this burgh, fra once the hird be enterit till he be lousit, putt out any louse horse or nolt to the muir bot put them to the hirdes; 1660 Lanark B. Rec. 177.

c. To release (a minister) from his charge. [Leighton] desyred to be loused from his charge; 1653 Dalkeith Presb. in
Butler Life Leighton 239.
The Councell of Edinburgh … conclude that the said Mr Robert Lichton shall be lowsed, and by thir presents doe actually lowse him from his ministrie … declaring the kirk … to be vacant; Ib. 240.
To … deall with … any … haveing power to lowse and transport the said maister Matthias that they … continow him in the ministrie at this burgh; 1664 Stirling B. Rec. I. 246.

3. To undo, unfasten, untie, loosen (anything which fastens, as a knot, a bond or fetters, a garment or its fastenings, etc.). Also with complements. To lous of (= from), to unfasten (and remove) from. To lous off, to take off = sense b. To lous doun, to let down (trousers or a part of them) by undoing the fastening(s). (1) Thai … lousit thare beltis spedly & put thame sone a-bowt the hals Of thai maumentis; Leg. S. xix. 510.
Thir four scheldis … War chenȝeit so cheualrus that no creatur Of lokis nor lynx mycht lous worth a lence; Howlat 606.
[Alexander] Gart lous his [Bucephal's] fetteris and furth he him led; Alex. (Taym.) 651.
The ta partii beand discomfit … his harnes sal nocht be lousit bot … cuttit of him; Loutfut MS. 113 a.
Lunatike, lymare, luschbald, louse thy hose, That I may touch thy tone wyth tribulation; Kennedy Flyt. 501.
Dunb. xxxviii. 36.
Do lows the rabandis and lat down the saill; Doug. iii. iv. 110.
All Latyn wyfis, … Lows hed bandis, schake down ȝour haris all; Ib. vii. vi. 142.
It settis not madynis als To latt men lowis thair laice; Scott iv. 42.
The King … past to his chamber and loussit his claithis and maid him to his bede; Pitsc. I. 324/25.
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 398.
1607 Crim. Trials II. 532.
Like pearls upon a thread, louse but the knot of the thread & let the end go louse & incontinent they will all fall aff; Henderson Serm. 50.
Ib. 309.
Mure Ps. cv. 20.
The schakles was lovsit, but [etc.]; Spalding I. 53.
Ib. 268.
(2) And first of all, the mannykillis and hard bandis Chargit he lows of this ilk manis handis; Doug. ii. iii. 3.
Helenus than … lowsit the garlandis of his haly hed; Ib. iii. vi. 34.
Lowis doun my hois; Lynd. Sat. 3981.
Ane callit Guthrie loussit done his ballope poynt and pischit in his mouth; Pitsc. II. 84/1.
Montg. Flyt. 342 (see Lingal n.).

b. To unfasten and detach, to take off or away, to cast loose. Quhan he was the closer enterit in Thay lousit the musell that closit was with a gin; Alex. (Taym.) 592.
To lous the pyne quhen Wallace leit him witt; Wall. vii. 1160.
Lowsing a litle Hebrew byble fra his belt and clanking it down on the burd; Melvill 142.
The Lord Chamberlaine [did] lousse the Kinges suord quherwith by the Constable he was girt; Balfour Ann. IV. 400.

c. In fig. contexts. Thay are noblis that … defendis thair lorde noght lousande the right knot of thair faith; Porteous of Noblenes 125 (Ch. & M.).
Syne to the croce a lang ledder thai june, Of that hurde to lows the lokis strang; Kennedy Pass. Christ 1234.
The Haly Gaist enteris in our hartis ande lowsis the bandis of the dewill; Nisbet III. 320/25.
The band of his tung was lowset and he spak richtly; Id. Mark vii. 35.
Sumtyme a man haffand displesure at his wife wald geve to hir a libel of partising and put hir fra him and lowse the band of matrimonye; Hamilton Cat. 236.
The knot that I wend had bene knit Of … faithfulnes for ay I se it lowisd; Bann. MS. 257 a/7.
We … devorceis the saidis persones … frome the holie band of mareage, from hencefurth dissoluit, relaxit and lowsit; 1562 Crim. Trials I. i. 460.
Fowler I. 211. lxxv. 13.
Of the next, i. we differ farder, and the knot harder to louse, for nether syde wantes sum reason; Hume Orthog. 9.
1668 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. II. 672.
And now Lord if it be thy will to shaik and dissolve this church government louse wee pray the pins of it softly; 1669 Laing MSS. I. 375.
That were … to undoe all ye had made so much work for, … and were it once loused it will not be easilie fixed againe; 1680 Aberd. Council Lett. VI. 255.

d. intr. To come unfastened. In the riuere quhen scho Wes castine, mony gowand to, Hyr band lousit but delay, & the gret mylstan fel away; Leg. S. xxxi. 853.

4. tr. (also b. intr.) To disintegrate, dissolve into fragments. Owthir ane tholis God of nature Or ellis now within this houre The mekile engyne shall lowsit be [L. dissoluetur] Of all this warld, as men may se; Troy-bk. i. 567.
And wyntyr weddrys felle and grete Lowsyd all his bryg [sc. of ships] off threte; Wynt. iv. 980.
Deith is the dissolution of the body, … quhilk it lousis into powder; Rollock Wks. I. 303.
It lyis not in the handis of deith to wrack the thing it dissolvis: it may weill louse it and cast it sundrie, bot it cannot destroy it; Ib.
b. Til the fals ydol don can fal & in poudre lousyt al smal; Leg. S. xlv. 234.

c. fig. To dissolve or cancel, also, to break (a contract, obligation or the like). See also sense 13. Used either impersonally or of a personal agent. The balȝe may be freyndfull componicone desolu & lous thingis that ar doutful betwene ony partis; Reg. Maj. xxxviii (Adv.MS. 25. 4. 15, fol. 14b).
Arbutre is endyt and lowsyt throw the ded of the partis or throw the ded of the arbitouris gif the day of the arbutre be by passyt; Ib. xliii (MS. id., fol. 15).
Sen the knycht in his default has lousit that obligacioun, the King is free [etc.]; Hay I. 147/24.
The necessitee, nature and cheritee lousis my band to ȝow, nocht brekand my leautee; Ib. 149/4.
Considerand the jurement of the man of armes that may nocht lous his faith; Ib. /24.
This [Christ's intercession] would be to the believer the last refuge and, whatever come, it is never to be loused or reteired from; Durham Comm. Rev. 414.

d. To dispel, abolish (the effects of witchcraft). e. To terminate (a state of captivity) by setting free the captives. f. To raise a siege (as a lit. rendering of L. obsidionem solvere). Thane ves it tald … That wischcrafte & inchaunment Vith nettyng mocht be lousit sone [L. quod lotio fugarentur maleficia]; Leg. S. xliv. 275.
Ciyr lowsit the captiuitie of the Jowes; Abell 12 b.
Tha … denyet to lous the seige [L. obsidionem soluturos] ony way afor tha the toun had won; Dalr. II. 405/4.

g. intr. Of snowy or wintry weather or of lying snow and frost: ? To break up, come to an end with the thaw. Quhen the storme loussit at spring of the ȝere [L. aquis hyemali gelu concretis tepore verno solutis]; Boece xi. xxi. 452.

5. In fig. uses of previous senses, set in contrast with bind, espec. in the phr. to bind and lous and freq. with allusion to Matth. xvi. 19, xviii. 18. Also absol. See also Bind v. 1 c. To bind and lous quhowm-euer thou will; Leg. S. i. 18.
Kingis Q. xxxix.
Gray MS. iv. 125.
Our Lord hes giffine the keyis to chrissine men to lows sinnis; Gau 59/26.
Ib. 80/31.
Quhat ȝe lous apone the ȝeird it sal be lous in the heuine; Ib. 59/30.
Ib. 61/19.
[The Pope] That spiritually may louse and bynd; Lynd. Mon. 4350.
Ib. 4355.
Hamilton Cat. 173.
Knox I. 8.
To God on hicht be louing maist Quhilk lousis sin allanerlie; G. Ball. 21.
Ib. 7, 192.
Thair is no ransoun may me lows nor bynd; Bann. MS. 246 a/9.
To thame [sc. ministers] is giffin the keyis of the kingdome of hewin, to oppin, to steik, to bind, to lous [etc.]; 1571 Misc. Spald. C. IV. 94.
Pitsc. II. 68/24.
1581 Cath. Tr. 121/5.
Hamilton Facile Tr. 263.
[Christ] ordaned bischopis [etc.] … to … bind, lowse and judge of doctrines; Bisset II. 281/8.
When the spirit binds, I dar not loyse; M. Bruce Six Dreadfull Alarms 19.

6. To undo the fastenings of, to open up, ‘dip into’ (a purse, bag, sack, coffer); to unpack the contents of (a chest). (Of some motive etc.) to lows and bynd one's purs, to control or dictate one's spending. To louse the box, bagis, one's purse, to open up or dip into one's coffers or purse, to pay up. (1) Bot wrang jugment thow geffys and sentence blynde Geff auarice thi purs sal lows and bynde; Bernardus 94.
Now lowis thy purs and lay doun thy offrand; Lynd. Sat. 2232.
He pat him off with mowis and mockis And had no will to louse the boxe; 1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 227.
The lymmer feiring lyfe and leving He saw na bute but bagis to louse [: in mowis]; Ib. 239.
If I could get him to louse his purse upone my land, when mony is so scarse; 1667 Argyll-Lauderdale Lett. 71.
(2) That … Marioun Clerk lowsit the foirsaid sek of Thom Stewartis bundin wyth the raipe of stray; 1568 Inverness Rec. I. 172.
The girsters horsemen … [not to]be suffered to lows their secks and give malt to their horses … and if they be lowsed that the millers delate it to the taxmen or girsters that have their secks lowsed; 1667 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 32.
The report … was that a packman carrying a box chest of flax … that came from Holland, this being opened and loused, the pest spread; Fraser Polichron. 350.

7. To detach the team from (a plough); in passive, (of the plough) to have its team detached. a. To put (another's plough) out of action in this way; in fig. context, to put a stop to some activity. b. To lay aside (one's own plough), to cease ploughing at the end of a spell or a day's work; in fig. context, to cease from some activity. Also absol. or intr. a. That the said Adame Lyndesay wranguisly … lousyt thar pleuchis in tym of thar laubouris in contrare the statutis of the realme; 1522 Fife Sheriff Ct. 262.
[They] lousit his said pleuch, cheissit the oxin being in the samin [etc.]; 1584 Reg. Privy C. III. 730.
fig. Thairfoir pray all prelatis spirituall and temporall to lows the pleuch of thare jakmen, that is the cartis and dis; Abell 70 b.
The Lord is about to … louse their plough that is plowing deep in our Lords aikers in Scotland; Peden Lords Trumpet 29.
b (1) He lowsit the pluche at the landis end And draif his oxin hame at evin; Wyf Awcht. 9.
Ib. 102.
Henrie Smart being him self with his servand … gangand with his plewis, ane quarter hour or thei suld hef bene lowsit, thow com in thair way [etc.]; 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 113.
Law Memor. 6.
(2) fig. And if we make not better use of the gospel every way, the pleugh sall not be loused yet, but the Lord sall suffer the enemies to hold it going; Henderson Serm. 278.
(3) absol. Syne efter thay lousit, fra that it worthit weill lait; Henr. Fab. 2246.
fig. The pleugh … being yoked cannot enter to gang whill He direct … .When He thinks it time to louse then … He cuts their cords so that they cannot go once about after He thinks time to louse; Henderson Serm. 276.

c. intr. Generalised: To finish work (of any kind), to knock off. (Cf. also 2 b). Ordered for the … perfyteing of the mending the hie wayes to the north march in the muire That ilk halffe quarter as they are alreadie devyded shall enter at seven and louse at twelffe and the uther halffe enter at on efternoon and louse at sex; 1673 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS. 7 July.

8. a. tr. To cast off (a ship) before setting sail. Hence, to sail or take (a ship) out of harbour, forth. — Classique immittit habenas, he louses the schippis and lanches into the sea; Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vi. 1.
The duetie of the master is, befoir he lowse his schip out of the harbery, to haif the consent of the maist part of the kippage; Welwod 53.
Without ane skilled pilot lowse forth the ship he sall be haldin for all that perishit with hir; Ib.

b. absol. To cast off and set sail. c. intr. Said of the ship. b. Gyf onye … skippar … sall tak vpon hand … to laidin his schip or boytt and lowis fray shoyr; 1563 Grant Chart. 129.
We will that the masteris … bring the … schippis … to the partis fra quhilk thay lousit; Balfour Pract. 638.
Quhen he was shipit, and louset with a fayr tyd, a prosperous veyage he fand; Dalr. II. 198/2.
Bot the Inglis nauie … , afor thay loused, sum knotis of men of weir war sent to spoylȝie Fife; Ib. 314/6.
Ib. 280/7, 311/8, etc.
1610 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 345.
Ȝe, … , notorious pirattis … lowsed af Ireland, in this schip callit the Preame; 1610 Crim. Trials III. 100.
Ib. 101.
1649 Lamont Diary 2.
c. The said complenar dissassentit that the said bolt sould lowise furth of the havin of Brint Iland; 1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 253.
Vpon the morne, both shippes louse and come togidder the space of foure myles, … and when they sindered [etc.]; 1615 Crim. Trials III. iii.
[That] no schipps … that sallbe in saife harbours sall louse or transport themselfs ellswhere, bot sall rest the sabbath; 1642 Kirkcaldy Presb. 225.
1642 Aberd. Council Lett. II. 312.
1643 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII. 25.
Spalding I. 296.
1687 Brown Diary 47.

d. tr. To weigh (anchor). At his departeng the Frenche shipis beginis to lous thair anker and stryk sail at Bristoo; Dalr. II. 307/8.
Quhen the men of weir had loused anker; Ib. 333/13.
1646 S. Leith Rec. 75.

9. To discharge, let fly, shoot (a missile, a shot, etc.), also to lows of (= off). Also fig. A cloud of arowis as hayle schour lousit thay; Dunb. G. Targe 178.
He lowsit it of with sic a reird, Baith hors and man he straik till eird, He fartit with sic ane feir; Id. xxvii. 85.
The bent croce bowis lowssit the ganeȝeis; Boece xi. xii. 430.
A ȝaip ȝung man … Lowsd of a schot with yre; Christis K. 112 (B).
Euen as the diabete doth by the contraire louse at last The creische of all oure boddie in the urine seething fast; James VI Poems I. 159/433.
Disjuniumque omnem evomuit valde hungrius homo Lausavitque supra & infra, miserabile visu; Polemo-Mid. 143.
[He gathered his friends and … ] loused severall shotts [against Inverey's party]; 1677 4th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 534/1.
fig. Ramowd rebald thow fall doun att the roist, My laureat lettres at thé and I lowis [: skrowis, mowis, rowis]; Kennedy Flyt. 28.

10. tr. To loosen in its seating so that it is no longer a fixture, to make insecure in position. Also, to loosen from the body to which it is attached. A gret stane … That … Wes lowsyt redy for to fall; Barb. vi. 252 (E).
From the rutis he it [the rock] lowsyt and rent; Doug. viii. iv. 122.
Thou brak and lousit ane stenseoune of his buithe window; 1637 Banff Ann. I. 77.
There was not one stone fallen nor loused; Henderson Serm. 156.
The pleugh waked and lowsed the march stone; 1686 Inverness Rec. II. 340.
The strokes were so violent that it loused the stock from the gunn; 1693 Argyll Justic. Rec. I. 149.

b. intr. To become insecure or loosened in position. He … stepping upon a stone which was ever a sure step befoir, ye … be your said … art of witchcraft maid the said stone to lows and fall down with him; 1644 Shetland Witch Trial in
Hibbert Shetland Islands (1822) 595.

11. To slacken, make less tight. a. To allow to go loose (a bridle, reins). fig., To lous a brydle or reinȝies to, to give free rein to. He sett out sum leicherous lawis, that his flagitious gaird … mycht haue occasione frilie to louse a brydle to al thair appetites; Dalr. I. 152/9.
[He] louset a brydle to thame to vaig in … lust; Ib. 289/21.
The reinȝies loussed to all prophane persons and papists … to abuse the ministrie; Forbes Rec. 520.

b. To loosen or slacken (one's sinews or frame). lit. and fig. Leist any sould abuse this our exceptioune to louise the sinewis of the act above writtin; 1635 Dundonald Par. Rec. 399.
Beware of posting now after the bathes, which … has … opened your pores, and loused the whole frame of your body; 1688 Red Bk. Grandtully II. 290.

c. To loosen (the bowels). This water … bindeth the belly of most part of drinkers, as … milke: For the croudy part bindeth some, and the serous or wheyish part louseth others; Barclay Well 6.
This water … is very detersiue for the which quality it louseth the belly of some; Ib.

d. intr. Of one's hands: To become loose, lose their grip. My hands did shaik, that I him held withall. At lenth thay lousit, than they begouth to fall, I cryit O Lord, and caucht him fast againe; E. Melville Godlie Dreame 317.

e. tr. To tease out (tow, old rope). That næ hardis of auld cordage salbe put in calfetting unles it be first weyed … , or it be lowsed out; Bisset II. 238/25.

12. To free (something or someone), by payment: cf. sense 2.

a. To free (lands, heritable property) from encumbrance, as of wadset or attachment for debt, by payment of the debt; to redeem (heritage). Also to louse (lands) fra (the wadsetter) or out. That … I … sal notht sell anale no wedset ony landys of Drummvre … to lous the landis quhilkis I hafe wedset to the said Robert; 1462 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 371.
That the sadis landis war lauchfully lowsit and redemit be the proffering of blak mone be the said James; 1482–3 Acta Conc. II. cxxv.
1494 Ib. I. 361/2.
How sone eftir the redemption, outqwytyng and lowsyng of thir forsaid landis … sua that the said landis of the town of Inchenan reman with me or myn assignais last wnredemyt or lowsit of the forsaidis landis … than I … sall … wpgeiff the said landis … likas thai be redemyt and lowsit fra me; 1496 Lennox Mun. 161.
[The lands] to be broikit and joisit … as prisit landis for det, sa that gif thai be nocht lowsit within the space of vij yeris next tocum thai sal heretably remane with the sade Alexander; 1499–1500 Acta Conc. II. 349.
Lowise; 1497–8 Ib. 133,
1500 Ib. 437, etc.
1506 Glasg. Dioc. Reg. II. 162.
1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 288/2.
1513 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 21.
1521 Maxwell Mem. I. 247.
1526 Reg. Panmure II. 302.
1527 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II. 239.
1528 Lennox Mun. 231.
1537 Glasgow Prot. IV. 102.
1542 Prot. Bk. W. Corbet (S.R.S.) 3.
1545 Glasgow Chart. II. 509.
Maitland Ho. Seytoun 37.
The pledge or cautioun sall have recours to the landis … and gif the air will not buy or louse thame out [etc.]; Balfour Pract. 57.
1620 Aboyne Rec. 255, 264.
The said lands … shall be in all tyme heireftir holden & repute dewly & lawfully redeemed loused & outquit be ws from them; 1688 Irvine Deeds MS. (8 June).

b. To release (movable goods) by payment or by finding security, from arrestment or pawn; to redeem (anything confiscated or taken as a pledge). Also, To free (a bond) of the sum for which it has been pledged. (1) I … arrestit … and chargit … that na man … suld analy na tak away the said cornis … quhil the tyme the said cornis be lauchfully lowsit at the said schreff; 1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 147.
For the wrangus postponyng … til lowis and redeme … of a cop and covir of silver owregilt and ane saltfat of silver … laid in wed; 1498 Acta Conc. II. 154.
1500 Treas. Acc. II. 98.
To Inglis Cuddy to lous his buttonis he tynt at the cartis; 1502 Ib. 347.
1504–5 Ib. III. 127.
1526 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 81.
That James of Murray tuk nedder Jame Turnbull ky for borrowgait of Robert Turnbull and quhen Robert Turnbull send his oxin to lous James ky with the said James vauld nocht tak thaim; 1532 Ib. MS. 161 b (30 Apr.).
1541 Maxwell Mem. I. 285.
1565 Inverness Rec. I. 135.
Quhatsumeuer persone … that beis poyndit … and lousis nocht the samin … in that cais it salbe lesum to the dekyn … to dispone thair vpon; 1569 Edinb. Hammermen I. 8 b.
The dekyn … to lend to Thomas Ȝoung saidlar thre pundis to lows his geir fra Johnn Forrest, pest baillie; 1585 Ib. III. 38 b.
I haif ane ring & ane pece of gold pertening to vmquhile Mr Alexander Roy quhilk lay me in plege & ar lousit bot not ressauit; 1584 Edinb. Test. XIII. 152.
They tuik in ane kow of myne not doand them skaithe … , bot vpoun maleice and contempt keipit hir in and vald not geif hir to lous for vod nor cautioun; c 1590 Fraser Wigtown (1877) 392.
1593 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 295.
I pray your lo. … lovse my mvntour fra Pettfindie for 48 lib.; 1615 Highland P. III. 225.
I pray your lo. … try if I will gett my mounter and chister to lovse; Ib. 267.
1617 Orkney Sheriff Ct. in
Misc. Maitl. C. II. 192.
1643 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 692.
(2) And gif the sadis reversions has bene lade in wed … he sal lowys thame of quhat soumes of money thai ly apone on the sade Robertis expensis; 1496–7 Acta Conc. II. 65.

c. To obtain the withdrawal of (an arrestment on goods), by finding the required security. Be ressoun that I mycht nocht cum to get souerte to lows the said arreistment becaus I haif bein under greit seiknes … this lang tyme bygane; 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 46.

d. To recover (a bond constituting a debt) by payment of the debt. To lowse owt. Anent the accione … agane David Lindesay … for the wrangus postponyng … to redeme and lowse owt ane obligacione made be the sade umquhile Thomas to Wilȝeam lord Ruthven of the soume of xx li. the quhilk soume the sade David ressavit fra the saide Wilyeam; 1496 Acta Conc. II. 21.

e. To obtain the release of (a prisoner) by payment. Gif there suld be als mekill of the first frie money that is gottin thereof gevin to louse the saidis presoneris; Bisset II. 262/3.

f. To obtain the release of (a hostage, by entering oneself in his place). The tyme appointit for the change of the plegeis now approcheand, we … directit sic as suld lowis the vtheris for thair brancheis now liand; 1576 Buccleuch Mun. II. 339.

13. To withdraw, revoke, remove, authoritatively, a. an arrestment made on goods, also const. from the goods, and absol., b. a recognition of, or legal interdiction on, heritable property, c. an act of a legislative body. (Cf. sense 4 c). a. & efter that don the arest of hym maid & his gudis sal be frely lowsyt & releschyt; Quon. Attach. ii in Adv. MS. 25. 4. 15.
Schir Johne has … lowsit and fred the arrest maid vpon the said Johns corn; 1480 Acta Conc. I. 62/2.
1490 Ib. 142/2.
Becaus the decisioun of the sadis cornis is nocht declarit quham to thai suld be lowsit, … that … the … schiref … ceis of the distrenyeing of the sade Symon … that it may be declarit quham to the arrestment of the sade cornis suld be lowsit; 1501 Ib. III. 38.
In presens of the prouest and baillies, Alexander Mowbray desyrit the arreistment maid vpoun vij polkis of woll to be lowsit and offerrit souertie till do thairfor as accordis vpoun the law; 1534 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 68.
The prouest ansuerit that he could nocht lowse the arreistment for sundry caussis; Ib.
1536 Reg. Privy S. II. 296/2.
I beseik your l. … that ye will caus him to find cautioun … and gif me lettres to lowis the arreist maid apoun my schippis and gudis; 1538 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 471.
1540 Edinb. Chart. 212.
1548 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 360.
1550 Reg. Privy C. I. 112.
1567 Ib. 531.
Balfour Pract. 538.
1607 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 15.
This countrey is … wnder the shriffdome of Air, and vnder the authority of the sheriffe theroffe, quhosse officer may lousse the arrestment made by the officer of the said baliffe; Pont Cunningham 7.
He supplicat, that the lords might take course to louse that arriest from so much of his goods as might sustaine his wife and children; 1641 Baillie I. 339.
Johne Guttraw is judicially decerned to louse that arreistment … and efter the arreistment is loused ordaine the said Robert Lillie to pay to the said Johne Guttraw the agreed pryce … with all possible diligence efter the lousing of the said arreistment; 1667 Stitchill Baron Ct. 44.
1670 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 72.
1674 Corshill Baron Ct. 96, 117.
absol. Givis powar to the said wattir serjand to mak arreistmentis, bot not to lows bot be command of ane of the baillies; 1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 237.
b. That the sade recognicione [of the fishing] be nocht lowsit quhil the sade inquisicione be sene and considerit be the Kingis hienes; 1496 Acta Conc. II. 29.
The Lordis of Consale … consalis the Kingis hienes til lowis the recognicione made apone the landis of Dempstertoune; 1498 Ib. 230.
Interdictioun … may be lowsit and relaxit for ane ressonabill cause, at the discretioun of a judge aither in haill or in part thairof; the samin interdictioun nevertheles standand unlousit anent the remanent punctis contenit thairintill; Balfour Pract. 187.
Ib. 487.
Hope Major Pract. I. 133.
c. The counsell … louses the formar act wher it is enacted that the hous mailles pay foure pennies for ilk pound; 1657 Peebles B. Rec. II. 42.

14. To obtain or receive delivery of and pay for; to get, procure (usually by payment and chiefly for (to) another, as his agent); to purchase. Also const. fra the seller or supplier. The localized examples are all southern. To Dauid Quhytehede and Thome of Stanly … for Doctour Andres dispensacione lousyt be thaim in Bruges xvj li.; 1473 Treas. Acc. I. 48.
Quhen we com to Medylburgh lowssit hym 3270 irne; 1497 Halyb. 125.
1498 Ib. 149, 160, 169.
1498 Acta Conc. II. 148, 206, 255.
Quhilk gert him lowis certane walx, spicis, and saiffrone in the toune of Elgin extending til the soume of ix merkis; 1500–1 Ib. 491.
To pay for Johne of Ilis … berying and to lous his gere; 1502–3 Treas. Acc. II. 357.
I leit him be my lumbart to lous me all misteris [M. to lous all my misteris]; Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 362.
To the droiche to lows his claithis fra the tailȝeouris; 1535 Treas. Acc. VI. 263.
That sick ministers as hes not quherwith to buy bookes, may have bookes lousit to them be the collectour, and to allow the pryces therof in their stipends; 1572 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 266.
To pay xl s. restand of the pryce of ane boll meill quhilk he lowsit to him; 1579 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 98.
To lous the act and decreit fra Walter Mawer; 1594–5 Edinb. Skinners in
Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 97.
[The council] ordanis the thesaurer to delyver to Nicoll Broun swascher ten merkis to lowss his awin claithis & also to by his sone … ane quhite poldovie; 1619 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 10 June.
Given out be Jon Hutchesone to louse the timber to the kirk, 13 lib. 3 sh.; 1667 Hutton Sess. Bk. in
Berw. Nat. C. VII. 228.

15. In Orkney, according to udal law: To purchase or redeem (land). a. In reference to ‘the rights of the brothers to buy out the sisters’ shares in the lands of the Head Bu'. Also const. fra (the sister). b. In the passive, of the sister: To be lousit of, to be bought out of (the inheritance). c. To redeem (land) (out of one's hands), according to the ‘roith’ or, kinsfolks' right of redemption of udal land sold outside the kin. d. To lous landis pris, to discharge payment as appointed by law for transactions of this kind. a. And the said Schir William to louse a sistyr part of the foirsaid laundis and heretage, togidder with the tane half of the tend penne and the ferd, as the eldast bruthir; 1514 Rec. Earld. Orkney 88.
Anent the lowsing of the land of Howsgar that Johne Cromate yongar was dempt to lows fra his syster Cristan Cromate, and his fader and he to pay hir the byrun malis syn the desais of hir mother; 1553 Ib. 106.
b. Oppression committed by Lord Robert Stuart be inbringing of new laws … viz. … that the sisters should not be lowsed of their heid bull; 1575 Orkney Oppress. 4.
The assiis … fyndis the said Margret lawfulle lowssit bayth off landis and movablis be hir said umquhill brothir; 1578 Rec. Earld. Orkney 143.
c. The quhilk twa mark land I the said David lousit out of the handis of our … kynisman maister Williame Sincleir and grantis that the said Maunis is nerrest rothman to lous the said land; 1551 Rec. Earld. Orkney 244.
d. The airis till byde still in till thame [sc. their houses] … quhill the said Williame outred thame the soume of twel poundis … and this soume til be put in gold siluir oxin and kye syk as may lous landis pris; 1522 Rec. Earld. Orkney 95.

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"Lows v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2019 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/lows_v_1>



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