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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Strenȝe,) Streinȝe, Strain, n. Also: strienȝie, streyn, straine, strayne, strane, stren, streane. [Late ME and e.m.E. straine (1432), stren (c1467), strayn (1558), streyne (1563), streine (1576); Strenȝe v.1]

1. The state of being restrained; restraint, bondage. a1500 K. Hart 274.
Thar saw I lust ly law vnder lok In streinȝe strong fast fetterrit fute and hand

2. Compulsion, force. 1632 Lithgow Trav. x 487.
What by dread or straine you can not worke nor do

3. A strain or sprain (of part of the body). a1700 Mare of Colinton 608.
It will be good against the pine Of any wriest or strienȝie

4. A style or mode of music (cf. 6 below). 1657 R. Moray Lett. 68.
I shall be ready to … play him a spring either in … the enchromatick or any other strain and dance, dusty foot, till I be tired

5. A line or verse of poetry. 1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. xx 4.
Machles Montgomery in his native tounge In former tymes to thy great syre hath sung And often ravischt his harmonious ear With straynes fitt only for a prince to heir

6. a. Tone, style, manner (of expression). b. Height, pitch (of some quality).a. 1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 7.
[I] intret if you finde my letters not alwys rune in on [= one] strane thatt ye will be plesed to imput itt to no other cause bot to the alteratiouns that happeneth amongst us
1641 Spalding II 9.
Malice … althogh scho hath prynted on hir face the blak characteris of mony gross lyes … yit dar scho oppin hir mouthe agane and weirieth not to keip hir owne streyn
1658 R. Moray Lett. 200.
I was going to fall into a strain of kindness but I have smothered it in the Oud
1667 Dunblane Synod 52.
Concerneing the training upe of such young men … as intende the ministery, not onely as to their straine of preaching, but the moving of their myndes to more inwarde thoughtes
1676 Inverness Rec. II 265.
The prowest … caused, after reading therof be the clerk, to drawe wp ane new ane [sc. declaration] efter the samen streane to the effect it may be subscriwed according to the desyr of the letter
c1690 Dunlop P. III 67.
I was … greved att the stren of it [sc. a letter] to fynd you soe early began to suspect my frind without ground
b. 1660-7 Naphtali (1667) 91.
This is a strain of wickedness above all that former times could imagine

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"Strenȝe n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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