Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations & symbols Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).

Poiso(u)n-, Poyson(e)abill, -able, adj. Also: poys(s)o(u)n-, poysan- and -abyll. [e.m.E. poysonable (c 1550), f. Poiso(u)n n. and v. Cf. Puso(u)nable.] That is able or apt to poison, in various senses of Poisoun v.

1. That contains, or that is, a poisonous substance; poisonous. a1500 Henr. Orph. 313 (Ch. & M.).
Thy drink is poysonable [Bann. pvsonable]
1607 Crim. Trials II 535.
And ministring, vnder forme of medecine, of poysoneable drinkis
1613 Ib. III 261.
Vsearis of poysone or poysoneable herbis, quhairthrow ony Cristiane man, woman or bairne may take hearme
Ib. 264. 1624 Perth Kirk S. MS 27 April.
It is ane poyssonabill herbe and … it is nocht lesum to onye except phisitiounis … to compoise drinkis of herbis
1627 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II 162.
1633 Dalyell Darker Superst. 210.
Certain philtra or poysones or poysonable and inchantit toakynes of love
1665–7 Lauder Jrnl. 69.
A poisonable potion stuffed with sulfre quick silver … and … burning corrasive ingredients
1688 Old Kirk Chron. 57.
It was lyklie she was poysoned by eating poysonabill herbis

2. fig. a. Of a quality: Harmful, noxious. a1500 Henr. Fab. 593 (Bann.).
Fy! pompous pryd, thow art rycht poysonable

b. Of a doctrine or intention: Corrupting. 1567 Bk. Univ. Kirk I 110.
That ȝouth be not infectit be poysonable doctrine at the beginning
1580 Cath. Tr. 50/2.
That poysanabill erroure first induced amangs Christians be Simon Magus
1596 Dalr. II 215/22.
Quha venum verie poysonable and deidlye in Germanie had souked out of Luther
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 400.
That poysonabill hart of thine, that is procuiring the away taking of this gospell
a1652 Dickson Psalms 1–50 (1653) 28.
Rotten and poysonable advice

c. Of a person: Corrupting, conveying an evil influence, evil. 1528 Lynd. Dreme 219.
Machomete, that propheit poysonabyll
1600-1610 Melvill 281.
Because we haid lurking within our awin bowelles a poisonable and vennemus Psyllus, a warlow … sa empoisoned be the vennome of that auld serpent … that [etc.] … This is Patrik Adamsone fals Bischope of St. Androis

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: