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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).

Notabil(l, -able, a., n. and adv. Also: nottabill, (natable). [ME. and e.m.E. notabile (Rolle), -able, F. notable (13th c.), L. notābilis.]

1. adj. Worthy of note, esp. on account of eminence, value or importance.a. Of things, actions, conditions, etc.(a) 14.. Acts I. 12/2.
Quhasa evir … hes suorn apon the haly evangel or apon the haly cystre or othir notabill halydum
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 194.
Mony notabill history
1533 Bell. Livy I. 4/22.
Ane notabil doctryne To ws
a1538 Abell 113 a.
Mony odir notabill turnis he did eftir
1568 Q. Mary Facs. Nat. MSS. III. lviii.
That ye did sum notabil act aganis the rebelis
1570 Leslie 198.
The vangairde … gaif thame ane notabill owrthraw
1638 T. Hope Diary v.
It wer ane notabill testimonie of his majestys love to religioun
(b) 1456 Hay I. 4/2.
Ȝour notable and haly workis
c1490 Irland Asl. MS. I. 34/23.
A persone in gret notable necessite & perile
1492 Myll Spect. 285/26. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 324/13.
The mast notable accidentis brevit thus
1531 Bell. Boece I. iii. 1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 165. 1554 Misc. Bann. C. III. 73.
Of thair stowt and notable operationis
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 134/9.
I vald mak the readaris to knaw ane notable purposse
1558-66 Knox I. 225.
In suppressing of so notable a wark of God
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 350.
To see a youth … without a notable inconvenient either to body or soul … without a notable menȝe
1596 Dalr. II. 53/30.
The actes notable of our last kings
superl. 1600-1610 Melvill 117.
I … saw the notablest exemple … of God's judgment

b. Of persons. Also in an unfavourable sense, = notorious.Also, well-known, noted, for the attributes implied by the noun.(1) 1428 Liber Melros II. 520.
Worthy and notable persons
1456 Hay I. 1/6.
Compilit be a notable man, doctour in decreis
Ib. 229/33.
Owre maist notable doctouris
Ib. 302/11. 1456 Misc. Bann. C. III. 94.
Before natable [sic in pr.] witnes
1494 Loutfut MS. 42 b.
[To] call the … herrauld or pursewant the maist notable in absens of herrauld
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 344.
[Chaucer's] legend of notabill [Ruddim. notabillis] ladeis
Ib. vi. viii. 95.
That notabil spows furth of hir lugyng place … al armour dyd arrace
a1578 Pitsc. II. 45/21.
Sum nottabill man quhome he gaif credit
1596 Dalr. II. 358/21.
Nobillis … to menteine the commounouris weil notable and prudent
(2) 1494 Loutfut MS. 6 a.
plur. Mony notables princis & lordis
Notablis madenys without spot … of villany
(3) 1456 Hay II. 111/2.
A notable and expert maister in astronomy
1596 Dalr. I. 60/32.
A man nocht les notable in iugement
Ib. 142/6.
Tua notable men in lerning, maneris and halynes of lyfe
Ib. 335/1.
Except mony vertuous men … tua notable and wondirfull in respecte of thair vertue
1626 Garden Worthies 87.
A nobleman nottable for many noble pairts
(4) 1530 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 328.
Certane grete notable thevis
1587 Acts III. 464/2. 1596 Dalr. I. 146/10.
A man of a craftie ingine and disceitful and a notabil hipocrit
Ib. II. 396/23.
Sum notable clattireris … quha steirit vpe the rude peple
1622-6 Bisset I. 52/14.
Fywe hundreth of the maist notabill theivis
c1650 Spalding I. 44.

c. Of a body of persons. 1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I. 151.
Eftir the awis of ane notable assise
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 782.
Ane notabill embassade, Thre hundreth hors trappit with harnessing
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 151/17.
The maist anceant and notable generale consellis

d. Of places. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 153/18.
iijclxx notable citeis
1533 Boece xiv. vi. 553.
The samyn [city] was ȝit be ancientnes notabill and famous
1571 Misc. Spald. C. II. 38.
The maist notabill townis of France
1622-6 Bisset I. 70/6.
The cheifes places … and utheris notabill pairtis

2. noun. A noteworthy fact or event.plur. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 299/23.
Ane litill memoriale … with principale accidentis and notables of the sam
Ib. 301/30.
This was the mast notables of the first age
Ib. 326/1, 329/25.sing. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 302/7.
I schewe bot the most notable of euery age

3. adv. in notable (= well) knawin: cf. Notablie adv. a. 1481 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II. 330.
Within fourty dayis next it be notable knawyn the said James … sall [etc.]
1511 Lennox Mun. 191.
On to the day … that the falȝe … be notable knawin be the said Mathowe

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"Notabil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <>



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