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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).

Terrible, -ill, adj. Also: -il(e, -yll, terrable, -ill, -yll, terrebill, -yll. [Late ME and e.m.E. terrible (Lydgate), OF terrible, L. terribilis.] Inspiring fear or awe, terrifying, dreadful. Passing into use as a mere intensive: Very bad, severe, dreadful, awful. c1450-2 Howlat 620 (A).
That terrible felloun my spreit affrayd
a1500 Henr. Orph. 115.
Hir madin wepit … Cryand with mony schout and voce terrible
1490 Irland Mir. I 40/5.
1490 Irland Mir. III 8/4.
Sa cruell and terrible a ded
c1515 Asl. MS I 261/9.
This Alexander was gud to haly kirk … and terrible yneucht till his subiectis
c1490 Irland Asl. MS 22/10.
[Confession] makis the face of the saull and mynde … terrible to the devill to luke on
?a1500 Dewoit Exerc. 133.
The scharp croun of thorne, the quhilk wes horabill and terrabill to behald the scharp lang pikis of it
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 266.
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 764.
Terribill thochtis oft my hart did gryis
1513 Doug. ix viii 106.
With terribill brag of brasyn bludy soundis
1525 St. P. Henry VIII IV 417.
The terribill swerd of Halykirk
1533 Bell. Livy I 291/14.
1533 Boece 433.
The eistyn wynd, with ane terrible drift blewe the sand … in the face of Constantinis armye
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5608.
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6018 (see Trimbil(l v. 3 (a)).
1562-3 Winȝet I 3/9.
Terrible rolkis presenting deth
1565 St. A. Kirk S. 235.
Wyth sorowfull mynd and sayr hart, bursting owt wyth tearis throw the aufull and terrebyll fear
1567 G. Ball. 233.
That day sall horribill be and eik terribill
a1578 Pitsc. II 81/3.
Then they laid fyre into him and gaif him the first blast of pulder quhilk was werie terribill and odieous to sie
1596 Dalr. II 129/19 (see Trimbil(l v. 2).
c1650 Spalding I 239.
The Spanȝeard gat heir ane terribill overthrow
1661 Forfar Witches in Reliq. Antiq. Sc. 129.
Shoe hes been a great banner and a terrible curser

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



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