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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Melt, v.1 Also: malte, molt, (meelte). P.t. meltit. P.p. meltit, -ed; meltyn(e; moltin(e, -yn(e, -en; moltynnyd, -yt. [ME. melte(n, mealten (13th c.), malte (14th c.), molte, mylte, multe (14–15th c.), p.t. malt (c 1290), moltid (Wyclif), p.p. imelt (a 1230), melted (c 1320), molt-, multen (a 1300), e.m.E. melt(e, p.t. melted, molte (1546), molted (1573), p.p. y)molt (a 1562), moult, melt, melted (1577–87), OE. meltan intr. str. vb., p.t. mealt, pl. multon, p.p. ᵹemolten (see Moltin ppl. a.), OE. mieltan, myltan, weak vb. (chiefly trans.), causative of meltan.] To melt.

1. intr. To be melted (away); also, to be dissolved, to vanish.(1) a1400 Leg. S. vi. 656.
[The idol] meltit as it vax ware
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4140.
As the snaw doith meit in May
(2) a1400 Leg. S. xxxii. 394.
[The fiend] sonnere but delay Meltit thane wax in fyre away
1531 Bell. Boece I. xliii.
And gif thay [sc. milts of fish] be handillit thay melt away like ane blob of watter
1590–1 Crim. Trials I. ii. 240.

2. transf. and fig. a. Of a person's ‘heart’ (i.e. his resolution, stubbornness or the like): To become softened, to weaken, to give way; to be dismayed. a1400 Leg. S. xxxviii. 470.
That his hart for dred suld melt & for sic dout Criste to forsake
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 256 (L). 1629 Boyd Last B. 1.
Nowe God's glowmes, … make heart and soule to melt

b. To ‘melt’ away, dwindle, vanish. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 2596.
Behald how your awin brether … as the snaw ar meltit clein away
Ib. 4230. 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 92.
The said Johnis haill guidis … delie meltit away lyk the snaw
1644 Baillie II. 167.
Waller's armie is molten away

c. Of a person: To waste or pine away, by illness etc. 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 88.
James Low, stabler … ley continualie bedfast in ane dwyning seiknes, melting away like ane birnand quhyt candle
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1671) 185.
Fy, fy upon us who … doe not pine & melt away with love for Christ

3. tr. To liquefy by heat; also, to melt down (metal). Also absol. and fig.(1) (a) a1400 Leg. S. xx. 237.
The presydent … Gert melt leyd in fusione
Ib. xliii. 586.
1494 Treas. Acc. I. 249.
For a caldron to melt the kechen fe in
1564–5 Reg. Privy C. I. 325.
To caus melt the maill full of fals hardhedis brocht furth of Flanderis
1579 Ib. III. 159.
That na officiar … deforme, melt … or brek doun ony of the saidis pecis of sylvir money
1639 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. lx.
Did see them malte thair siluer for casting thairof into lignets
(b) 1549 Compl. 60/13, 14.
The fyir slaucht … meltit the gold … and it meltit nocht the vax of ane seyl
1567 Hist. Jas. VI 16.
As also thay … meltit the same [cupboard]
(c) a1400 Leg. S. xix. 560.
Ȝet that stule … Vndir hyme as vax moltine vas
1456 Hay I. 171/2.
As gold or silver … that is oft tyme moltin to prove gif it be fyne
1475 Acts II. 112/1.
That … nouther siluer [etc.] … be in ony wis moltyn or put to the fire [etc.]
a1500 Bk. Chess 1600.
All the gold & vr [that] Was moltyne hat
1535 Stewart 53870.
Than pik and tar [etc.] … In ane veschell wes moltin all in ane
(b) 1540–1 Treas. Acc. VII. 423.
[Goldsmith's work] to be meltit in ane grete lingot
1549 Compl. 145/30.
Mettellis var meltit to mak vtensel veschel
1579, 1617 Despauter (1579). 1603 Reg. Privy C. VI. 529. 1613 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I. 227.
Being melted togidder
1630 Justiciary Cases I. 145.
Meltit togidder
(c) c1420 Wynt. iv. 1895.
All the metall moltynnyd [C. moltynnyt, W. meltyn] than In tyll a qwerne togydder ran
(2) 1647 J. Hope Diary (1958) 133.
absol. The gold smithes, who would nather furnish theim silver for their worke, nor suffer theim to molt doune and refyne for theimselfes
(3) c1590 Fowler I. 225/7.
fig. Bellisa … melts my spreits as fyre doith pik and glewe

b. To melt away, to waste or destroy by or as by melting; also, to dissolve away. c1420 Wynt. ii. 1340.
Noucht tyll hey for dowt the ayre Sulde melt away his [Icarus'] fethrys fayre
1456 Hay II. 133/32.
Our hate water … meltis the fatnes away
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 85.
The vther half of the day melting away his bodye with ane extraordinar cauld sweatt

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"Melt v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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