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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Unabill, -able, v. P.p. unhablit, inublat. [ME and e.m.E. unable (Wyclif). Cf. Inable v.1]

1. a. To disable physically. b. To damage, cause (non-physical) harm to (a person).a. 1558 Corr. M. Lorraine 414.
Ane swdane debait … betuix ane of my tenendis and twa of his nychtbouris; … quhar I trest thair is ane of thame inublat
b. 1561 Cal. Sc. P. I 602.
[The Earl of Lennox … with] infamye untrewlie by his wyeffes procurement [goes about to] unable [me]

2. To render unsuitable, declare unfit, disqualify (a person) for (of, to do) (something). 1558-66 Knox II 144.
A sermone, in the quhilk thir heids war intreated. First the necessity of ministers … 2. The crymes and vyces that micht unable thame [of the ministrie]
1558-66 Knox II 145.
Gif ony man knew ony cryme or offence to the said Mr. Johne, that mycht unabill him to be called to that office
1558-66 Knox II 152.
If ony man knaw ony notorious cryme or caus, that micht unabill ony of these persones to enter in sick vocatioun
1589 Lothian and Tweeddale Synod 3.
That the said presbiterie … call the said Mr. Richard before thame and admonische him to keip thair exerceis and incais he refuse to unable him of the office of the ministrie

3. To render (a person) unable (to do something). 1623 Aberd. Council Lett. I 208.
The nobillmen … salbe grittumlie damnifeit throw the want of ther moneyis … The tyme of the payment quhairof being ordinarlie betuix Michelmes and Martinmes they are thairby unhablit to satisffie thair creditors

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



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