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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Clos, Clois, Close, a. Also: closse, clois(s)e, cloys, cloce. [ME. clos, cloos, close, also northern cloise, cloyse, OF. clos m., close f., L. clausus, -a, -um. The forms with long vowel (clois, close, etc.) may orig. represent the OF. fem., but cf. Clos,n.]

1. Shut (up), closed, not left open or apart.(a) 1456 Hay I. 99/27.
Of the condicioun of clos felde, ordanyt for fechting in barreris
Ib. 172/33.
In a clos prisoun
Ib. II. 121/30.
It opnys the clos termes of the passagis of humouris
c1475 Wall. iv. 259.
Wemen and barnys … He gert be tayn, in clos hous kepyt weill
Ib. viii. 1205.
A clos byrny, with mony sekyr clasp
a1500 Colk. Sow 128.
Of the foulis of the are, How sum with clos feit thay fare, And sum diuidit the nalis
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 280.
Burds and … sparris … , to mak the Kingis clos cartis
1513 Doug. i. ix. 135.
The clos or doubill crown, Set full of precyus stonys
Ib. vii. xiii. 83.
A quavir clos scho bair alssua
1610 Conv. Burghs II. 303.
Of … ilk bott [= boat] … that be clos vj s. viij d., ilk oppin bott iij s. iiij d.
1618 Linlithgow Pal. 336.
For two clos barrowes
1646 Kelso Baillie Ct. MS. 87.
His putting on of ane ȝet or clos doore upon … the said entrie
1670 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 268.
Not keiping clos the kirk dores before or after sunesetting
1701 Foulis Acc. Bk. 296.
For a loan of a clos barrow and 2 skulls
(b) 1479 Acta Conc. 31/2.
The captanes and constablis to … keip him in prisoun in a cloisse housse
1513 Doug. xii. Prol. 176.
Within fermans and parkis cloys of palys
1513 Treas. Acc. IV. 512.
Rauchteris … to mak the clois cartis
1529 Reg. Great S. 178/1.
A cloise wairstall of fir
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 300.
To ane man to beir down her small wark in ane clois creill to Leyth
1563–4 Edinb. Old Acc. II. 194.
For ane Suadin burd to be ane clois spout
1568 Buch. Indict. 43.
To keipe ane clois hous fourtie dayis without day lycht
1591 Edinb. Test. XXIII. 293.
Tua tumbland cairtis with tua clois bodeis
1622-6 Bisset II. 223/25.
Noe geir in schipis suld be stered out of cloise lumes quhill the merchandis … be presented to the admirall
1625 Edinb. Test. LIII. 114 b.
Ane clois wair almrie of fir
c1650 Spalding II. 456.
His corpis ar takin wp, wynd and put in ane clois kist
(c) 1549 Compl. 60/7.
The thondir … quhen it slais ane man that is sleipand, he sal be fundin dede, and his ene close
c 1580 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 105.
A hors with a close cairt

2. Of documents or letters: Closed, sealed. 1471 Acta Aud. 16/2.
That he retoure again as sal be fundin be the samyn [inquest] … clos vnder his seele
c 1476 Lennox Mun. 108.
How yhe present the retour clos agane to the chapell
c1475 Wall. viii. 1648.
I thé beseik … My clos lettir thow wald consaiff and se
1496 Acta Conc. II. 7.
That the … bailȝeis retowr the samyn clois and deliver it to … Schir James
1515–6 Treas. Acc. V. 72.
To Robert Hert to pas with clois lettres fra my lord governour to the erill of Lenox
1541 Ib. VIII. 40.
Gevin to Alexander Hutoun, for passing to Macgregour … witht twa clos writtingis
1559–60 Ib. XI. 15.
To ane boy passand of Edinburght witht clois writtingis of the Quenis grace
1587 Acts III. 464/2.
That the iustice clerk sall twyis in the ȝeir … procure the kingis … clois valentynis to be send to the maisteris, landislordis, … and chiftanes of all notable lymmeris and thevis

3. Lying, placed, or pressing near; close-fitting. 1513 Doug. ii. vi. 116.
The dyrk nycht hyd ws with cloys schaddowis
Ib. x. 109.
Scho hir hyd in the cloys nycht
1533 Boece vii. vii. 234 b.
Thai stude clois togidder in rowtis
1560 Bk. Disc. 252.
Everie churche I must have … cloise wyndoes of glass
c 1570 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. 652/1.
Hir lychtis … wer blekynnit, … and growin clois to hir sayed [= side]
1575 Edinb. Test. IV. 42 b.
He levis … to hir … the clois goun of broun chamelat
1589 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 383.
Thatt all … pultrie … be sawld oppinly and … nocht hid or coverit under clois gownis … as hes bene usit
1639 Acts V. 276/1.
All wryteris to wryte ane good clois hand

b. Nearly related. 1637 Bk. Carlaverock II. 501.
The grate baner or coate of the defuncte, caried by a closse mourner, one of the kinred of the defuncte Lady

c. Of weather: Sultry. 1659-60 Hay Diary 129.
A warme, louring, closse day

4. Shut up or away from others; in retirement. 1530 Soc. Ant. II. 393.
Nanie Hepburn & her marro to cleng thaim and … keip thaim close viii dayis
1535 Stewart 35782.
For that caus tha keipit it als clois, As men wald keip balme riche in ane bois
15.. Clar. i. 384.
[He] maid the messinger pas to his in But wordis mo, and hald him clois thairin
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 991.
In ane busk thay hid thame cloce, Aschamit of the Lordis voce
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6935.
Thair was ane fair ladie, Keipit sa clois, that nane micht cum hir till

b. Undisclosed, secret. 1513 Doug. ii. ii. 123.
This Calcas held his tong, … Kepand secret and cloys al his entent
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 167.
The suith suld nocht be haldin clos
a1578 Pitsc. II. 94/16.
The governour … kepit close thir writtingis … fre the great lordis of Scottland
1661 Decis. Lords G. 8.
How wives, children, or servants … might clandestinly obtain rights, and keep them closs till the appearand heir were served

c. Uncommunicative, silent, quiet. c1460 Dietary 23.
Be … clos of toung, of word nocht dissavable
1535 Stewart 41144.
He maid thame all to be as clois and quoy
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7185.
Quhidder to speik or for to hald him clois He not weill wist
Ib. 8110.
Than was all clois, to speik thair durst na man

d. Unrelaxed, strict. 1587 Reg. Morton I. 155.
We … command ȝow that ȝe retene and kepe the said plege in clois firmance
1652 Peebles B. Rec. II. 3.
The said Iames Haldine to be put in cloise prisone within the steipill of this burgh

5. Closed in respect of legal proceedings; observed as a vacation.Regularly used in the phr. feriat and clois time (of harvest): see Feriat a.

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"Clos adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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