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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Rationabill, Racionabil, -able, adj. Also: raicion-, retion-, -cion- and -abyll. [OF rationable, L. ratiōnābil-, cf. e.m.E. rationable (1620).]

1. Of a person: a. Rational, endowed with reason. b. Capable of exercising one's reason well; clever, wise.a. 1533 Gau 67/20.
Quhow mekil mair power thane giffis God to his racionabil creaturs (quhilk ar men)
b. a1400 Leg. S. iii 716.
For sik techere as he wes thane And sa racionable a mane

2. Not unreasonable or extravagant; moderate; not excessive. a. Of requests, etc. b. Of amounts.a. 1483 Anal. Scot. I 209.
I understande his request raicionabill and consonant to justice
1500 Edinb. B. Rec. I 82.
Thir followand ar oure rationable desyris
1535 Stewart 1282.
Of that desyre content was euerie wicht, Tha thocht it wes rationabill and richt
1541 Misc. Bann. C. I 262.
We find the saids artikles rationabill, not hereticall
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 182 (G).
To satyfye ȝour rationabill desyris
b. 1436 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 4.
It is ordanit … the alderman [etc.] … by this vitaile of rationable pryce as thai may
1496–7 15th Rep. Hist. MSS App. viii 12.
1498 Acta Conc. II 226.
Pertenyng til hir be ressone of hir racionable teirce
1566 Prot. Bk. Thomas Johnstoun 152.
To send ane of his deputis [etc.] … upoun the said Gilbartis rationabill expens
1570–80 14th Rep. Hist. MSS App. iii 44.
Gyffand vs … ane rationabyll drink-syluer

3. Consonant with reason; not absurd.Chiefly in attrib. use.attrib. 1476 Acta Aud. 57/1.
To schaw a rationable caus quhy he suld nocht deliuer the … lettres
1502 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 96. 1507 Reg. Privy S. I 227/1.
For uther rationabill causis and considerationis moving us
1519 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 51.
To reid the said hous … or to schaw ane retionabyll caus quhi it aucht nocht to be reid
1535 Ib. 155.
Geif thai may nocht comper to schaw ane racionabyll caus quhy or ellis ask leif
1542 Reg. Cupar A. II 16.
Gude and rationable caussis moving ws
1554 Perth Guildry 295 (20 April).
1586 Prot. Bk. J. Merser 4b.
Vpone quhais freyndlie and rationabill arbitrament and decreit [etc.]
(b) 1529–30 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 105.
Na nychtvaikeris to pas in our streit without … ane recionabyll caus quhy thai may pas
predic. 1600 Glasgow Wrights 41.
It wes fund meitast and maist rationable that [etc.]

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"Rationabill adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 Sep 2023 <>



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