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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).

Improfitabil(l, -able, adj. Also: im-, inproffit-. [ME. inprofetabyll, -profitable (a 1325–1434), and e.m.E. improfitable (a 1643). See also Inproffitable.] Producing no profit, unprofitable, profitless. b. With allusion to the unprofitable servant in the parable of the talents (Matth. xxv. 30).(a) 1490 Irland Mir. I. 30/30.
For than ware all prayere wane and inproffitable
(b)  1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 125.
Thair is ane uther commoun saying ... quhilk ... appeirs to me not impropir nor improffitable for our purpose
  1581 (16..) Bk. Univ. Kirk II. 498.
To … aboleishe all statutis … that ar fund noysum or improfitable
1624 Aberd. Council Lett. I. 231.
The burrowes ar mightelie burdenit with such unnecessarie and improffitabill subsedies
1633 Ib. 375.
[The money not yet invested] is liklie sua to continew idle and improfittabill
c1650 Spalding I. 241.
He gat yeirlie payment of about 600 merkis for teiching ane improfitable lessoun when he pleissit
1658 Edinb. B. Rec. IX. iii.
That the samen may be sett for profite quhilk hitherto hes bein improfitable
b. 1567 Conf. Faith in 14.. Acts III. 18/2.
We man … vnfenȝeitlie confes, that we ar improfitabill [1560, vnprofitabil] seruandis
1581 Burne Disput. 2 b.
Al men hes past astray, thay ar altogither improffitable
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 151 b.
The example of the improffitabil servand hyding vnder the earth the talent committit to him

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"Improfitabil adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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