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

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).

Unwinnabil(l, -able, adj. Also: -winneable, -wynnabill, -wynable, -wonnable, wnwinabill, -winnable, -wynnabill, onwinnabill. [e.m.E. unwinable (1551); Winnable adj.]

1. Of a place, stronghold, etc.: Impregnable. Also fig.(a) 1460 Hay Alex. 17245.
The toun to wyn on force was wnwynnabill It was sa mekill and vnmesurabill
1531 Bell. Boece I xxxvii.
This crag is callit the Bas; unwinnabill [1536 vnwynnabill] be ingine of man
1531 Bell. Boece II 243.
Thus was Narne … tane be the Danis, and sa garnist … that it semit unwinnabil
a1578 Pitsc. I 333/12.
[He] maid all massie wark [sc. at Tantallon Castle] to that effect that it sould be wnwinabill in tymeis comming to ony enemeis
1596 Dalr. II 289/21.
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1961) 65.
Thir craigis are easily made unwynable be craftie men
c1650 Spalding I 291.
The houss (being ane impregnabill strenth be nature) … the assaillantis fynding the place … vn-wynnabill without gryte skaith
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 2729.
The cuntre was baith strait and onwinnabill
fig. 1584 Balnaves Conf. Faith 442.
Thou … art my only refuge and strength unwinneable, in all my troubles and adversities

2. Of a person or his attributes: That cannot be seduced or won over (to others, to do something).(a) 1588 King Cat. 23.
Giwe me … a valkryffe harte … a stoute and vnwinnable, that na tribulation may mak veirie
(b) c1610 Melville Mem. 256.
Tua trew Scottis men wha wer vnwonnable till England to do any thing against ther prince or contre

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"Unwinnabil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Aug 2022 <>



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