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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.

Liknes, Lyknes, n. Also: liyk-, lick- and -nes(s)e, -nis. [ME. liccness (Orm.), lic-, lik-, lick-, lyknes(se, OE. (Northumb.) lícnes, (West-saxon) ᵹelícnes. Cf. Likenesse.]

1. The likeness or outward semblance, the shape or form (of, also as, till, another person or thing, or const. possess.).Freq. in the phr. in (the) liknes of (the person or thing).(a) a1400 Leg. S. i. 390.
The fals fend in his liknese
c1420 Wynt. i. 1292 (W).
Troye was Maid till [C. as] a hors in to liknes
c1475 Wall. v. 219.
Quhat it was in liknes of Faudoun Quhilk brocht his men to suddand confusioun
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 254.
I wes dissymblit suttelly in a sanctis liknes
a1538 Abell 75.
3 personis in womennis liknis
1570 Leslie 159.
His imiage maid in the liknes of him wes brunt
1588 King Cat. 76.
Vnder the liknes of bread and wyne
1590 Crim. Trials I. ii. 239.
The dewill, in mannis liknes
1658 Sc. Ant. IX. 50.
They war all turned in the liknes of cattis
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxi. 477, 9.
Of his vysag the lyknes In Faustyniane he gert empres In lyknes of hyme
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 676.
Thought that the dedys [= the Fates] as of the corps Statut lyknes of ane hors
1513 Doug. i. x. 51.
Tak thou his lyknes
a1540 Freiris Berw. 508. 1596 Dalr. II. 22/14. 1629 Justic. Cases I. 119.(c) a1400 Leg. S. xxx. 651.
In the liyknes Of wilde bestis … He gert feyle feyndis thare apere
a1538 Abell 7 * b.
Lypirmannys liyknes aperit Cryst to Paip Leo
(d) 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 159.
The deuill, in the licknes of ane hen flichtering
Ib. i 72.

b. A like or identical shape or form. c. One's form or appearance. 1513 Doug. x. vii. 79.
To fader and mother is oft plesand thyng, Seand thar childer resembill ane lyknes
1562 Knox Ressoning 172.
The smith maketh the yrnes that gives to that god his … licknes and form

2. An outward evidence or indication of something. b. Be liknes, by appearances, apparently, evidently. c1475 Wall. vi. 890.
Frendschipe to thaim na liknes wald he ma
a1540 Freiris Berw. 228 (M).
Sche … strowit the hous so clein That no liknes of feist meit micht be sene
b. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1096.
The lyoun is the warld be liknes

3. Resemblance, similarity. 1513 Doug. x. Prol. 82.
Thocht God by hys awin creaturis to preif, War mar onliknes than liknes to discern

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



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