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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Innocent, a. and n. Also: inocent, inosent, innysent. Pl. -entis, also -ens. [ME. (c 1325) and OF. innocent.]

1. adj. Innocent, in usual senses; free from guilt, general or specific.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1093.
A wirgyne innocent
c1420 Ratis R. 18.
Quhill thow art yhonge and innocent
1456 Hay I. 207/11.
Innocent men that maid na caus of evill
Ib. 233/9.
Anciene men or innocent barnis or women
1490 Irland Mir. I. 63/16.
Gif he [man] had remanit innocent without syn
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 252.
I … schew me innocent
1535 Stewart 48983.
Oft clengand him that he wes innocent
(2) 1460 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 56.
Qwhare in defavyte of suthfast knawlegis preiudice may be generyt to innocent partyse
a1500 Bk. Chess 1430.
That ocht may hurt the party innocent
1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 83.
Quhar the ocultation of verite may gener harme … to ane inocent man
(3) 1514 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 152.
Thai fand … the said Alexander quitt and innocent of the said slauchter
1567 Acts III. 28/1.
[They] salbe innocent, fre, and acquyte of the samin [offences]
1549 Compl. 130/18.
[We] sal be clene and innocentis of that foule cryme
1615 Highland P. III. 221.
I … was … inosent of the taiking … of Dynveg
(4) c1420 Wynt. i. 92.
Off matrymony the sacryment Than rase in that state innocent
c1420 Ratis R. 1142.
This eild [childhood] is lycht and innocent
(5) transf. c1500-c1512 Dunb. ix. 158.
Thy [sc. Christ's] fair flesche innocent
1533 Bell. Livy I. 125/6.
The body is … defoulit but the sprete is innocent & clene

b. absol. as sing. or plural. a1400 Leg. S. xxvi. 440.
Quhy has thu … To felone ded of innocent Conspyrit?
c1420 Wynt. v. 3856.
Na be oure hasty jugement Sall be supprysyd the innocent
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2904.
Ane fals intent [etc.] … Hes causit mony innocent for to de
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. xv. 14.
To gar lymmaris foirbeir For till oppres the innocent

2. n. An innocent person, in senses of the adj. Freq. in plur.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxviii. 126.
Than ware handis wyolent Layd one that Cristis innocent
c1420 Wynt. v. 1121.
Thaim that that innocent Has done to dede but jugement
a1500 Colk. Sow ii. 90.
This amiable innocent Adria Wes callit to name
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 287(A).
He wait he is ane innocent
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 3906.
That innocent [sc. Christ] thay tuke
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1215.
Ane innocent bure blame
a1585 Maitl. Q. xvi. 69.
[That] our judges wald … Compell no innocent to pay
(2) plur. c1460 Wisd. Sol. 541.
The wykit chalenginge of pure innocentis
1469 Echt-Forbes Chart. 65.
Quhar the conceling [of the truth] may gender skaith … to innocens
1474 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 28.
Sa that innocentis be nocht throu the hiding of verite … scaithit in our defaltis
1499 Fam. Rose 170.
To beir leill … witnessing … , that may kep innysentis fra skath
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 258/6.
In his tyme was gret … slauchter of innocentis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 267.
Be of ȝour luke like innocentis, thoght ȝe haif euill myndis
1551 Hamilton Cat. 24.
The peple of the Jewis … thocht thame self innocentis and without sinne
a1578 Pitsc. I. 36/16.
To … defend innocentis frome the tyrannous

b. plur. Innocent children. c1420 Wynt. v. 2763.
All yhone innocentys to sla
1533 Boece iii. i. 90 b.
Wemen, ȝong innocentis, & febill persons … war slane
Ib. vii. xi. 243. a1585 Maitl. Q. xvi. 10.
Ane Heroid … Ane murtherar of innocentis

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"Innocent adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Feb 2024 <>



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