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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 but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Compell, v. Also: conpell, compaill. [ME. compelle, -pell (c 1380), OF. compeller, -pellir, L. compellere.]

1. tr. To compel or force (one) to do something. Also with prep. to, or without const.(1) 1436–7 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 5.
Quha beis obstinate … to the fulfilling of this ordnance salbe compellit … to fulfil
1456 Hay I. 140/10.
He may nocht compell him to pay his men wagis bot at his list
1484 Acta Conc. *89/2.
With boist and manasing compelland the said sir Dauide to mak assedacioun of his kirk
1513 Doug. i. Prol. 75.
Sen I am compellit thé to translait
Ib. ii. x. 166.
To stert to harnes I am compeld agane
1549 Compl. 123/5.
I am compellit to bayr ane importabil byrdyng
1579 Reg. Privy C. III. 176.
That na lord … sould compell ony his Majesteis tennentis to do thame … service be coactioun or dreid
1639 Misc. Hist. Soc. I. 109.
Since ye will compaill me to byde be that miserabell contrak
(2) 1456 Hay I. 196/1.
Women … suld nocht be compellit to the weris
Ib. II. 92/33.
To speke bot lytill … bot gif that he be compellit thareto be necessitee
1535 Stewart 40200.
To tratlaris I am infectit far … For-quhy nature compellis me thairto
1562-3 Winȝet I. 7/4.
Na man … wald resaue the office of ane pastour, quhil he wes almaist compellit thairto
(3) 1456 Hay I. 104/35.
Faith sulde nocht be compellit be fors
Ib. 235/23.
Na justice may compell thame, sen thay ar legatis of princis
c1460 Consail Wys Man 377.
Suere neuer bot thow compellyt bee
a1500 Seven S. 1331.
Compellit be his frendis syne, He has marit a faire virgine
1555 Peebles B. Rec. 223.
The saidis … will nocht decist and ceis thairfra without thai be compellit
1566 Ib. 303.
It lyis nocht in our possabillitte to compell thame

2. To force (a person) by distraint of property; to distrain (goods, etc.). 1471 Acta Aud. 22.
That … Cuthbert … freithe the said personys of the said soume … and at lettres be writin to compell his persoun, landis and gudis therto
1472 Edinb. Chart. 135.
Gif ony outeburges or occupiaris … dissobeis or refusis to help … that thai compell and distrenyhe thaim thareto as afferis
1491 Acta Conc. I. 205/1.
That George Robisones movable gudis … be compellit and distrenȝeit for the soume of [etc.]
1496 Ib. II. 9.
Robert the Bruse to haf letters to compell and distrinȝe thare landis and gudis tharfore
1508 Cart. S. Nich. Aberd. I. 205.
The tennentis … and thar gudis for the malys and fermes befor expremit … to pund, compell, pris and distrenȝhe
1572 Peebles B. Rec. 337.
To caus compell, poynd, and destrenye all thame quha ar nocht bent for the defence of the tovne, baith in body and gudis

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"Compell v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Dec 2022 <>



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